Homeschooling 11 Subjects In One Day

[long post][homeschooling] I started today with a goal in mind: I wanted to see if I could hit every single homeschooling subject required by the state of Washington in one day
while unschooling

Keep in mind, I'm not usually this concerned about checking off boxes.
How unschooling works is you support your child's interests and know that the learning will happen best when it's valuable to them. But I wanted to see if this could work - you know, like an unschooling experiment.
FIRST I made myself a big cup of coffee. Then I looked at my list. I figured we'll just start at the top: READING. I asked my kids if they wanted to read or if they wanted me to read to them. They just kinda stared at me ... So I asked instead, "what do you want me to read to you?" while I looked at our bookshelf. (This post contains affiliate links. Read why I'll never try to sell you anything on my disclosure page.) Phoebe and Her Unicorn was next to Aria, so she asked me to read that to her.

I wish I had started reading then and there, but I opened up Facebook to type this out. (I like to type notes in fb and set them so only I can see them to save for later when I don't have access to my laptop). Anyway, I got distracted. That's something I need to work on. THEN the baby pooped, so I went to the bathroom to clean her up then I found some messes the girls made so I had them clean up (soapy water spill on the bathroom floor, water spilled on the kitchen floor, half a bag of popcorn sitting on top of the garbage can). By this time, the kids were hungry. So I heated up all our leftovers. We had eggs, bacon, one chicken strip, one grilled chicken thigh, grilled asparagus, and Popeyes biscuits for brunch.

Capyboppy was sitting on the table. I grabbed it and asked the girls if it was okay if I read that instead of Phoebe since the pictures are bigger and they could all see it while I read to them during brunch. I read about a third of it, then saw the kids were slowing down eating. So, I stopped reading so I could finish some of the leftovers. Then the girls and I cleaned up the table. I put away the clean dishes that were on the drying rack and the girls washed the dirty dishes together.

Side note: We are currently working our way through the classic Winnie the Pooh book, reading a chapter per night as our bedtime story. We only have a couple chapters left and the girls are sad it's almost over. I told the girls that there is a movie based on the book with a lot of the same stories and that we could watch it. We were gonna watch it last night but, unfortunately, it's not on Netflix.

So, while the girls were washing the dishes, I tried to find the Winnie the Pooh movie on Amazon prime video, Hulu, or YouTube. I found it but it was gonna cost at least $2.99 to rent. So, I checked my local library's online catalog and they have it! Unfortunately, I couldn't place it on hold since I don't have a library card yet. So I reported back to the kids. On another day, we'll go to the library so we can borrow the movie. They weren't happy about having to wait but I explained to them that we could borrow the movie and other movies as often as we want. They were okay with that.

Whilst all of that is going on I am loudly singing something loosely based on the song Cheap Thrills. Bailey asks if I can please stop because it's getting kind of annoying. I stop but after a few seconds I say, "Ugh, I wanna sing SO BAD!" Bailey said I can sing a different song. I didn't know what to sing so I start a Pandora station based on the song Hills and Valleys by Tauren Wells. I'm totally counting this as MUSIC APPRECIATION.

THEN my hubby calls to let me know he got off early BUT the car won't start. He ended up being able to flag someone down for a jumpstart to get home. The two older girls and I volunteered to go to Walmart auto center so we could also pick up dish soap. (One downside to having the kids do the dishes is that they go through a lot of dish soap.) Hubby volunteered to stay home and put baby down for her nap.

On the drive to Walmart, I heard Bailey say she thinks she caught the flu from Aria. I held my tongue. Aria then said, "But I don't have the flu." We all talked about how one catches the flu or the common cold and what the difference between them are. HEALTH? Check.

When we got to Walmart, they said it was gonna take them a couple hours to get to us. I checked in with hubby and the girls and we decided that would be fine. The girls were excited to look at all the toys and maybe buy something with some money they earned. Well, it turns out Walmart doesn't carry the battery for our car! So, the kids were disappointed that they wouldn't be able to look at the toys but I said they could look for 15 minutes while work on this blog post. They were cool with that. Aria bought bubble guns for herself and Bailey, then I let them pick between lemon or orange scented Ajax dish soap. I'm totally counting Aria's purchase as MATH by the way.

While I was driving down the street to AutoZone, Aria found out the bubble guns didn't include batteries! So I told her to check the package to see what kind of batteries they need. She said there was too much to read so I told her to just skim the package for the info. She asked what skimming means and I explained it to her. She found that it needs "a a" batteries. I told her I think we have some at home.

There was a little wait at AutoZone because they were busy with other customers. I decided we could knock out occupational education while waiting. I asked the girls what daddy's occupation is - to make sure they knew was occupation means. They answered quickly and correctly. Then I asked them if they could of the occupations of anyone else they encountered today. They listed off some of the workers at Walmart. I offered proper titles for their jobs like restocker, cashier, manager, etc. I asked them what they think these workers' responsibilities are. I also reminded them of the people working in the auto care center of Walmart and the man changing our battery at AutoZone. We also talked about Spanish, who knows it, who we know who knows it, and the advantages of knowing a second language. OCCUPATIONAL EDUCATION and LANGUAGE? Check!

So, we finally get the battery situation taken care of and get home. And it's already time to get dinner ready! But first we get some "a a" batteries in their bubble guns. They run off to play while I make dinner. Then they decide they want to take a bath ... with their bubble guns. I hear daddy explain that they can't take their guns into the bathtub or they will break. I yell from the kitchen, "Ooh, ooh! Give them a SCIENTIFIC explanation why they shouldn't bring their guns in the bath." I hear them talking about electricity, circuits, and conductors. They talk about why the water short circuits electronics because it's a conductor. I remind them that the human body is a conductor too! My husband adds in that's why some people kill themselves by putting a toaster in the bathtub. Oh my. All in the name of education. Right? So .. SCIENCE? Check.

The girls were still bathing when dinner was ready so hubby and I ate together without them. I told him how I was trying to do all the subjects today and my idea for how I'm gonna get all the rest of the subjects in just one more activity for the day.

The girls get out of the bath and eat dinner. I put pens and paper in front of them, and tell them to write their name and date (so we can keep and look back) and at least one thing that happened today. So, they do. Then I tell them the reason I asked them to do this is because Washington wants me to teach them about history. "Do you know what history is?" I ask them. It means what happened in the past. I ask them ways that we know what happened in the past. One way, we agree, is that we find things that people wrote down a long time ago - just like the kids did today. Then I tell them a secret I've been keeping from them. I tell them that I've been writing down everything we've done today since we woke up! They ask to hear what I wrote so I start reading it aloud. "It's a lot different than what you wrote. Isn't it?" I ask. They nod their heads. I explain that's the case with history too. We talk about how it's important to look at multiple versions of history. (Unschooling is cool like that because I didn't learn this until I was in college, but my kids will probably understand this concept way before I did.) I try to ask them a lot of questions to get them talking too. I tell them, the case is the same for things that are happening today - not just things in the past. WRITING, SPELLING, HISTORY, and SOCIAL STUDIES? Check, check, check, and CHECK! I also told them not to stress out about mistakes on their papers, because we can revise them tomorrow for "school". 

I learned a lot by doing this. I think we probably learn more than I realize most days. Not until documenting it all did I realize how much I really engage my children in real conversation. (I didn't even write about everything that happened today - just the stuff I felt was relevant to this post!) I think I could stand to relax a little bit about trying to make learning happen, and get better at noticing it happen on its own (but remember to write it down on the checklist!). I would be open to doing this again but definitely not everyday! It was fun but I didn't like being on my phone to type it out so much. I do check my phone often and read a lot, but this felt different. I felt kind of harried. Plus, I don't think this is a good way to unschool. We know that most learning happens naturally - maybe not all 11 required subjects a day but learning does happen best when it is not controlled by an outside party.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading about our unschool adventures today! Let me know if you liked this and if you want me to do something like this again sometime! Thanks!


  1. Wow!11 subjects in one day is v quite impressive.

  2. Thanks! I don't plan to do that every day but it was a fun experiment!

    1. Thanks for sharing with us at Love to Learn. Pinned. :)