-A day in the life at the House of Wonders-
It’s not always relaxed and low energy in our house. If you have been reading the last few posts on the surprising reality of our unschooling rhythm or the glorification of busy, you might be under the impression that everything is continuously gentle and calm. Creating an unschooling rhythm is responsive to our children’s moment to moment needs, and sometimes those needs are energetic or electrifying with multiple ideas simultaneously.
One day this week, we embraced a whirlwind of activity as my eldest was playing various minecraft games on the pc with his friend in our living room. There was loud discussions and battle plans and mid battle cries, followed by game reviews and their own thoughts and comparisons on different games that they had played. They talked excitedly of new ideas for builds, planning on what resources they needed and who was going to get what item as they collaborated together. This then evolved into them playing board games together, first monopoly and then taking in turns to play solitaire.
In the dinning room, my two daughters and their friend were making items out of polymer clay. They made bouquets, and fruit. One of my daughters (8) and her friend then moved to the kitchen to make my youngest daughter (6) a snack. They collected a range of food items, (oreos, marshmallows, syrup, rice cakes and chocolate spread,) and began to mix them together in a variety of different ways. They presented them gourmet food style in a constant stream of endless dishes.
This endeavour was interspersed with trips to the trampoline and playing Just Dance on the wiiU.
Meanwhile, my youngest continued to make models with the polymer clay. She had envisaged a creative idea to make a backdrop scene for her to play against with her dolls.
So, imagine if you will, laptops and board games out on one table. Polymer clay for three available at another large table. Each with their own work mat, modelling clay in an array of colours, moulds and modelling tools across the table, and their creations lying ready for baking. The kitchen counters and floor covered with food items, packaging, crumbs, as well as bowls, chopping boards, knifes, spoons, and plates. Whilst Just Dance plays happily in the background.
If I’m honest, this is quite tame. It could easily be expanded to include messy play, scooters, other toys or water play in the garden. It could easily have included dolls, soft toys, dressing up, or small world play in the bedroom. There could easily have been a salon set up with nail varnish, make up, and hairdressing accessories in the bathroom too.
The key is that we don’t hold the busyness in higher value than the seemingly inactive. We recognise the importance of intense activity and peaceful reflection. We begin to understand both the active and passive states of learning and carve unlimited access for either into our children’s lives. We facilitate and support our children in their own natural learning pathways as indicated to us by them. This is enabled by us listening to our children and being in tune with what they need.