I will admit it: I am stuck. I don’t know what to write about. I created my blog to tell you some stories about our journey to unschooling, and all about Suzie Andres’ books and I feel I have done that. I really enjoyed writing those stories too! And having Suzie visit and everyone comment and share… But now I am sitting here thinking, “What next?”
Could this be the blog with the shortest history in all the blogosphere?
I think, “I could tell you about our day, our unschooling day. But is that really of interest to other families?” Just in case, you have hopped over in search of an answer to the question, “What do unschoolers do all day?" I will round up our day for you. Maybe this will give me time to think of something more important and of greater interest.
Here goes:
We started our day with morning prayers at 8 am. I like gathering together as a family before we all go our separate ways. It gives us, not only a chance to pray together and read the Bible, but also an opportunity to talk over everyone’s plans for the coming day: who’s going where and when, who needs a lift where and when, who’s home for dinner…  And to find answers to important questions like “What shall we have for dinner tonight?”
It‘s so cold here today. After prayers, the girls and I headed for the family room and the gas heater and some maths. Now I know some unschoolers don’t do formal maths, but we are all maths lovers. We actually enjoy the challenge of working out the problems. I’m that kind of person (and maybe my girls are too). You know... the kind of person who gets a thrill from getting a correct answer. I love the black and white nature of maths and I’m fascinated how the right answer can usually be obtained by multiple methods. But I digress… The girls use interesting online courses which they can handle with little input from me. So I am fairly free to switch on my Kindle and enjoy.
After maths, Sophie wrote some emails and had a think about spelling. She said, "I don't think I need to know how to spell the word ‘thong’? It’s a word I’m never going to use. I hate thongs. I can’t walk in them.”
This started a discussion on thongs and I told a story of my younger days. My grandmother gave me a pair of Indian leather thongs and I very foolishly took them with me on a university field trip to Spain. One sunny morning, I decided the thongs would be the ideal footway for the beautiful weather.  A few hours later, I’d changed my mind.  I was totally fed up with trying to keep the thongs on my feet while walking along as if I didn’t have a care in the world. I really could have thrust the thongs in the nearest garbage bin and walked bare foot.
So we decided that the big question was: Why can some people walk in thongs but we can’t? Are Elvis feet different from everyone else’s? Not having any other people around to do some experiments on, we moved on to reading.
The girls love listening while I read. They snuggle up under blankets, together with the cats and enjoy. At the moment we are reading  Ballet Shoes and Ramona the Pest (they saw the movie recently) and a historical fiction book about the Eureka Stockade.
Morning tea time, check-our-emails-time, time for a bit of blogging.
Imogen said, “Now you’re an ex-ex blogger, Mum (I’d been considering deleting all my blogs but my mind was changed) you need to write a blog post. We want to write posts as well.” So for the next hour and a half, we typed away, each at our own computers. Cameras were sought out, photos downloaded and compressed and added to blog posts. Then everyone sat back for a short restful and satisfied moment, before returning to their computers to check out each other’s blog stories. Lots of compliments and a few tactful suggestions later, I suddenly noticed it was lunch time.
We prepared sandwiches to the accompaniment of all the funny bits out of the movie Singin’ in the Rain (which we watched together on Monday evening). “Do you want cheese?” “No. No. No.” “Or would you rather have peanut butter?” “Yes. Yes. Yes.” And then some amusing tongue twister thing about noses and roses. It’s amazing how easily the kids pick up and remember things from movies.
Over lunch we discussed the visit of two Jehovah’s Witnesses who’d arrived during morning tea time. I’d extended good Catholic hospitality to the two lovely ladies, inviting them in out of the wind. I then talked as much as I could about the Catholic Faith and how much I love it. I can’t understand why the ladies had to leave so soon. We shook hands and departed friends. To my surprise, they want to return another day to hear more about our Faith (or perhaps interrupt me to talk about theirs.)
After a quick lunch and clean up, we gathered our library books and headed into town. Imogen had a two hour house cleaning job and while she was busy, I took the other girls to a library two towns away that we rarely visit. A whole library of fresh books: we were in paradise. We staggered back to the van with twenty books each and then it was time for the afternoon tea we’d packed in our basket. We discovered a playground where I could park the van alongside the equipment. This allowed the sensible soft people (Charlotte and I) to stay in the van and read our newly borrowed library books while the tougher ones (Sophie and Gemma-Rose) ventured out into the wind to play on the swings and get some exercise. We collected Imogen (who had newly earned money to add to her growing buy-my-own-car fund) and headed home.
Walking through the door, we were greeted by the delicious smell of red wine and beef casserole which I omitted to say, the older girls prepared first thing this morning. Imogen and Charlotte cooked the polenta and vegetables in between practising the piano and completing musicianship exercises. The rest of us did a quick tidy up. Andy arrived home from school and the whole family gathered around the table for dinner.
This evening everyone has dispersed. I am writing. Andy is preparing lessons for his class for tomorrow. Some of the girls are reading and some are drawing. And what the boys are doing is anyone’s guess. No sensible person would want to enter the boys’ bedroom.
And that is our day. I omitted all the less impressive things like how the ironing is still not done and how I still haven’t sorted out some household paperwork or organised dental appointments or haircuts…
Now I have described a typical day, what next? It didn’t work: I still haven’t had a brilliant blogging idea.
I guess I could always tell you more about Suzie’s books. I haven’t even mentioned the second one, A Little Way of Homeschooling.  Yes, you must hear about that. It could change your homeschooling life. I will think and maybe next time….

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  1. It sounds like a full and enjoyable day, Sue:) The weather sounds a bit brutal, though - are we still in the same country?;)

  2. Hi Vicky, good to see your comment.
    It was a good day. I didn't really want to go out in that cold wind but the library books were worth it. I have a Sir Ken Robinson book to read!! Winter isn't my favourite season. The cats are very obliging. they don't mind snuggling up on a lap and being a living hot water bottle!

  3. Sounded a day similar to our afternoon...I should post on my blog, what our new days look like.Maybe you should do a post on the Little way of Homeschooling..leanne

  4. Lovely rhythm to your day:)
    Our library limit is 30 card/book but the librarians told my boys not to tell me. lol
    I have an idea, where I am thinking of going next; when children 'formal' school age, what was the first lesson they taught you?

  5. Your day sounds lovely Sue. So peaceful! Can I post some things that have been swirling in my mind? Maybe one of those would prompt a post idea from you. I have been very much contemplating the difference between unschooling and doing nothing. So many people say that when you begin to deschool you should just start by doing nothing. We have been forced to do that by a recent move, but the lifestyle we have at the moment doesn't look much at all like I would want unschooling to look like in our home. The kids are watching too much TV as I pack and unpack and deal with the move. They are often bored and our days just don't seem rich. I think my lack of involvement is the main culprit -- they are just 6, 4, and 1 -- so I hope to get back to a regular routine very soon. BUT I don't want to get back to making things too schooly and am uncertain how to strike a balance. Also how do you work in a really little one. The 19 month old wants to be right in the middle of what we are doing all the time. Most of the things the bigger kids want to do need to be done during his nap time. Once again that portion of the day begins to look like "school time". Finally, they really have few passionate interests but are often very keen on learning a little about almost anything I introduce. But then I feel like I am steering the process too much. Any thoughts?

  6. Well, I really enjoy your blog and liked hearing about your day. It doesn't sound all that different from ours even though you live on the opposite side of the world and I don't have any daughters at home anymore.

    Maybe you could share some memories of how your kids learned things in a natural or unschooly way? Or share some family interests and how they developed?

    Anyway, I find your blog inspiring -- and thank you for linking to your sister's blog -- I love her writing, too. I'm an only daughter just like my daughter so I love reading about sisters who both unschool, like Sabine and Beate, and you and Vicky.

    Maybe you could write about whatever was in your background that led both of you to homeschool? I know you wrote about loving to play school but was there anythings else?

    (I hope I don't sound like I'm pressuring! just trying to think up some ideas!)

  7. Sue,
    SO glad you didn't delete your blogs. I love them! And of course I can't wait to read what you'll say about A Little Way of Homeschooling! How's that for modesty? Actually, I can't help but smile and even laugh when I think about that book because it's not just me or mine - it's St. Therese's book, and she's a reason to rejoice, and it's the book of the other 12 contributing Catholic unschooling moms, and they are a joy, and it's Margot's (publisher) and Ted's (cover artist, see more of his work at 5sparrows.com), and Nora's (Catholic homeschooling mom who did the beautiful interior design) and Rose's (lovely Catholic homeschooling - possibly soon to be unschooling - mom who did the copy-editing). It's been such a gift to work alongside (through emails and across a distance) such talented and creative people.

    But meanwhile - I for one am fascinated and enthralled to hear about unschooling days! Especially yours, because now I know I'm not alone -- we call them flip-flops here (used to call them thongs when I was a kid, but now it's "flip-flops" in the U.S.) and they are ALL the rage -- in our sunny Southern California climate almost everyone wears them all the time, and some of the styles are darling -- and I can't wear them to save my life!!! (Well maybe I could to save my life, but not on a normal day).
    Maybe I'm an Elvis?
    That thing between my big toe and the next toe. Can't do it.

    And Singing in the Rain!!
    The best ever!

    I can't wait to read the ongoing stories from Sue Elvis who writes :)
    Thank You Jesus for blogs, and for the Elvis family, and for sandals that aren't thongs!

  8. Dopey me.
    That last post - (anti-flip-flop and pro-Sue's-blog and pro-A Little-Way-of-Homeschooling) - was "with love from Suzie Andres"


  9. Leanne, please write about your day. I must add your homeschooling blog to my side bar. I keep meaning to but I'm a bit hopeless at the moment!

  10. Erin, we find it hard enough to keep track of 20 books per person. How do you manage not to lose the huge amount of books your family must borrow?

    Isn't it great sharing ideas? We learn so much from each other. I am looking forward to you developing your latest thought.

  11. Pam, I am so pleased you stopped to say hello. And all your musings... you have given me lots of ideas on what to write about. Thank you! Someone else on FB asked about incorporating babies and toddlers into an unschooling day. I think unschooling is ideally suited to a family with all age children. I was thinking about this last night and now I can feel an unschooling post about to happen! I really appreciate your input. God bless!

  12. Oh Willa! You are full of wonderful blogging ideas. Thank you! I would love to write about the things you suggested if you will visit and add your bit too.

    I know you have a special relationship with your daughter Clare. I wonder if it is even closer because you are both only daughters. Sisters can be a real blessing and I am very grateful for mine. I love sharing blogging with Vicky. Because you don't have a sister I will just have to adopt you! We can be internet sisters and who knows, one day we may get to meet.

  13. Hi Suzie, what a delight to see you back here at my blog! I spent some time thinking, and realised there is still such a lot left to say about your books. I can't possibly delete my blog just yet. Thank you so much for your encouragement. Where would we be without our friends (and sisters)?

    Yes, without a doubt you must be part of the Californian branch of the Elvis family. You are the only other person I have come across who can't walk in thongs or flip flops, so we really must be related! That's a beautiful thought. (Vicky, we seem to be gathering a few extra sisters!)

    I haven't had time to read all the UC list messages but I did see that "A Little Way of Homeschooling" will soon be available as an ebook. Hurray! I can't wait to let everyone know. This will be so good for people like us who live outside the US. God bless, Suzie!

  14. Sue, I just think about all the conversations we've had when we've been really excited and passionate about what we're doing and learning - and how our families (or mine, at least!) have good-naturedly humoured our latest enthusiasms;). And, I think how lovely to find like-minded people to share the passion and excitement with. So, collect all the sisters you can find - I'm sure God expects us to enjoy this unschooling life together:)

  15. I couldn't agree more, Vicky! As we're delighting in each other and our homeschooling families, I am sure Suzie would say, God is taking great delight in us!

  16. Hi Sue,
    I'm just glad you've posted some more for me to read.
    in Colorado

  17. Hi Amy, I am so pleased to see you here. I am wondering if that's your family's story in "A Little Way of Homechooling?" If it is, then yes, we are twins separated at birth! (I hope you are the Amy who wrote that comment!) Amy and Amy R- I get easily confused. Are they both you? Have I thoroughly confused you as well? God bless!

  18. I'm one of those "can't wear 'em" non-flip-flop people too. So I hereby accept the offer of virtual sisterhood! I always wanted an Australian relative!! Since I'm a former Alaskan, practically the extreme opposite side of the globe, I think that shows the true universal nature of Catholic unschooling!

  19. Welcome to the family, Willa! Will I get to share that beautiful daughter of yours, now that we're virtual sisters? I know I would love her as we're both skirt girls. Now I am just going to have to find out more about your part of the world. I know you live somewhere extremely beautiful but I have to know exactly where you are. btw, I have a question for you. I will send you a FB message!God bless!

  20. Dear Sue,

    I just got back here and read your replies. Yes, I am Amy-in-Colorado AND Amy R and one of the contributors in Suzie's book. I am apparently consistent in my inconsistencies!

    I really love reading your stories, and hope you keep this blog going, even if you don't post frequently.

    And will add, that in the USA, thongs are now mainly known as a certain type of underwear. And it's hard for me to read about them as footwear without picturing the other.

    in Colorado

  21. Hi Amy, I never thought about the underwear! My mind is boggling! The differences in meanings of words between countries. I think I shall avoid the subject from now on. Much safer!

    Thank so much for your encouragement. I love telling stories. I just don't do so well with advice and suggestions. But I know you don't need any advice so please come back so we can just share!


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