Day in a Homeschool Life // Angela White

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This post is part of a series called Day in a Homeschool Life. This community of homeschoolers would love to hear from you about your typical learning day and how your homeschool family rolls. Head over to the Day in a Homeschool Life page for submission guidelines. It’s super easy and stress-free. Come on over and help us build community so we can all feel a little more connected on this journey! 

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ANGELA WHITE // UNSCHOOLING


 

// From Kris: I met Angela at a homeschool conference that we both presented at last year and was charmed by her relaxed nature and ability to totally trust her children in their learning process, as well as her deep respect for them as individuals. I think I’d love to be a child growing up in her home!

 

Tell us about yourself…

My name is Angela White. I am a homeschooling mom to 4 beautiful children; Gavin (11), Greysen (7), Addie (5) and Gabriel (3). We homeschool as a way of life. I co-parent with my loving husband, Michael. I truly believe in giving children the freedom to choose their own passions while being fully present to support their blossoming personalities and skill sets.

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What method of homeschooling do you practice?

Unschooling.

Do you use a curriculum? If so, which one?

We use curriculum when the need and desire in the child arises. We have used math-u-see, for example, when someone plays incessantly with numbers and wants to know how they work. We have also used The Reading Eggs App when a child has had a keen interest in learning to read.

Otherwise, we use a variety of books and resources. We love doing Pinterest projects, being outdoors, playing games and going on field trips.

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Describe a typical homeschool day for your family. Or, as you might have been asked – What do you do all day?

All four children have different sleep and wake times. We try to accommodate them all while still getting out in the community. Some regular events we have in our schedule include a yoga morning, a baking day, board games, x-country skiing, snowshoeing, and skating. In the community we have a bookclub, a homeschool group and the two older boys play on hockey teams. We strive to read together daily, and make time for everyone’s projects at least three days a week.

Addie loves art and we’ve created an art room for her. The boys day revolves around hockey, hockey stats, hockey cards etc. Gabriel is into trains and builds massive tracks around the house. Mostly, they play all day together and laugh and run and daydream and create. I try to stay out of the way, be supportive if they need something while aiming for special time with each of them on a daily basis.

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What is your favourite homeschooling resource – book, website, etc.?

The great group of friends from our co-op keeps me going. I also enjoy TUC Talks; JUAL (Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning); Sandra Dodd’s Big Book of Unschooling.

 

Greatest joy in homeschooling (can be broad or a specific moment)?

When I sit quietly in the living room with a mug of tea and listen to the laughter and games being created and played out. I am overwhelmed with a sense of awe at their creations and their relationships with one another. We truly have a solid foundation and I feel in these moments that we are doing right by our children.

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Greatest struggle with homeschooling (can be broad or a specific moment)?

Earlier in our journey, I struggled with “letting go” and trusting in my children to know what they need. I am better at this now and trust the process and them.

 

How to you manage homeschooling and regular household stuff? Any awesome tips?

I have a personal cleaning schedule and the children have chores on certain days. It doesn’t have to be done at a certain time, but it does need to get done. For example, Mondays the kids all clean, dust, vacuum their room and change bedsheets. Some kids do it first thing to get it over with and others drag it out till supper. We have lots of conversations together about what needs to get done schedule wise and what we WANT to do and we balance it from there. Everyone’s opinion matters.

 

If you’re new to homeschooling – what would you like to ask more experienced homeschool parents? If you’re a veteran, what nugget of wisdom can you offer to those starting out?

Trust your children. Support them as much as you are possibly able. Give structure when needed with a long rope of freedom. Ensure they are accountable for their actions, but let them really live life and make mistakes.

 

Readers – Please feel welcome to ask questions or share in the comments – let’s keep everything positive!

 

 

This post was shared as a part of Hip Homeschool Moms.

 


For learning resources, check out the Homeschool section in our shop – lots of free printables and more.

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6 comments

  1. Great article! I enjoy reading how others get along in this world since it is a journey I beginning as well. I am so blessed to have Angela as one of my mentors and friends!

  2. A www. Thanks, Heather. I could say the same right back at you. It is so nice to have a great group of friends to be honest and truthful with in this journey.

  3. How do you work in the acedemics portion of your day, like reading, writing, math, and science? What do you do with each of them in your special time.? Do the older children have more structured time for learning. I know the process works but just don’t understand how. Interesting!

    1. Unschooling is a world view that differs from the mainstream. In academia, the world is divided into subjects, where in the unschooling worldview, life is seen as an integrated whole. We try to live real life whereby writing, reading, math and science are not separated out into time slots. We read books because we enjoy reading, not because its time to learn to read. Another example might be one of the children playing Barbie goes snowboarding and comes to ask how ski lifts work and if we can build one. We research it, read about it, gather materials and do it; all parts of ELA, math and Science. We don’t call it that. We call it Barbie goes snowboarding. The skills gathered during projects that the kids are passionate about are real life skills that miraculously are covered in segregated subject areas in school but are learned when the learner needs them and wants them in his or her life. I do slot a time four times a week (with the hopes of getting around to three) for large projects initiated by the children. In essence, we schedule time for me to be fully present to listen to their ideas and help them in any manner they need me.

      Special time each day is at least 15-30 minutes of child-directed time with Mom. They can choose to do whatever they want with me for that time. It is a time that I can check in with them, see how they are emotionally, and just connect. Reading, hide and seek, wrestling, home-made games, conversations, cuddling and baking are all things that are regularly chosen.

      The idea is that when you have a solid foundation as a family and truly respect the people in your household in order for them to just BE, then the rest comes on its own. Whole to part rather than part to whole.

      Hope that helps.

      1. Hi Angela: I always love getting an inside peek at how another unschooling family works! I loved seeing the pics of your kiddos, and thanks for doing such a great job of explaining the unschooling philosophy.

        Big hug to you 🙂

  4. Thanks for sharing, Angela! I love how you dedicate 15-30 minutes each day for each child individually. This is a good reminder for me of how far a small chunk of undivided attention can go.

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