We have lived in very small houses and still live in suburbia.
What do we do with our days? What did we do when all the sons were young?
Well…. We have always done a lot of park visits, library visits, putting posters in libraries and notes in homeschool newsletters for other homeschoolers to meet us at these visits.
We have done and still do regular ice skating arena sessions with other homeschoolers and lunch at the park or even Macdonalds together ( free rein on the equipment!).
Cleaning up every few hours hasn’t been a bad thing for us. We have just put some things aside or in a box to resume after meals …we still do! Even I have a work basket….or we have used the clean up as a time to change an activity or change direction eg craft in the morning and park visit or DVD or computer in the afternoon.
And asking some friends to join us for the craft or DVD or computer games… Mums chat, littlies make a mess with Lego and toys and biggies enjoy the computer game camaraderie.
I like to question routines… Life doesn’t have to be a certain way, we can change things up to suit us.
For example, meals don’t have to be eaten at the table.. We often had picnic meals on the patio or on a blanket on the floor and we could sit together or read a story there.
Or take it to the park.
Or spread the tablecloths on the floor and watch a movie together while eating.
We can have breakfast for dinner .
We can start our day with art as we did one season .
Or start our day with a walk around our suburbs or a walk to the shops or to the park, as we did many times.
We can go to the library and get an armload of books and play at the park on the way and visit new shops and come home and chill out with books and listen to music CDs.
We can go to the video store and come back with a pile of DVDs and games.
We have joined toy libraries and brought home new toys and games.
We have gone to op shops (charity shops and secondhand shops) and brought home interesting cheap stuff to look at and play with and take apart. And cleaned it up in the next peg of cleaning.. Or said hang it, leave the mess and get some pizza for dinner!
We have rearranged furniture and made rooms look different. I love this. It gives a different feel to a room and especially to a small house!
We have done museums and art galleries very often, again always followed by a play in the park and with or without others .
A beach trip and walk even in winter.
A nature walk in our suburbs and collect finds or take a million photos .
Set up a container garden.. We currently have a mini lemon tree and a mini mandarin tree in pots that we planted two years ago in those same pots in our last house. These bore fruit this year!
We have always done and still do a lot of cooking ( and you get to eat the results!).
Cooking and playing with playdough.
Small pets like fish and birds and a cat.
Visit a pet shop .
Get out dress ups.
Buy foam balls for in house volleyball.. Over the sofa! My kids favourite.
One of those indoor small boouncy trampolines were popular here and the boys still love run inside and outside games with nerf guns.
Or take water pistols to the park.
They also liked turning the kitchen table or the sofas into cubbies with blankets and pillows and playing there for hours… Eating there too so no cleanup till getting ready for dinner .
Or if we were doing schoolwork do it in mum and dad’snbedroom.. Leaning against or on the bed together, littlies in and out with toys, lie on the bed together and read. Just last week I and four sons sat and lay on the double bed or balanced on the foot and hung out and chatted.
Go on a bike ride and skateboard ride around the neighborhood.
Go on park crawls and skateboard park crawls.
Visit new shopping centres and new libraries.
Stop to look at landmarks or signs.
Visit historical houses.
Organize these sorts of outings with other homeschoolers.
Visit other parishes and churches. Pop in for a visit and prayer. Read the history.
These are just a few of the things we did and do, living your average unschooling suburban life.
It’s a beautiful life…