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A couple of weeks ago, I emailed the subscribers of my unschooling newsletter with a question:
... what do you think about a 'typical unschooling day' feature? Would it be interesting to read about each other's days? Of course, we're not going to judge one another. We won't say such things as, "That's not my idea of an unschooly day." We're just going to enjoy seeing things from different families' perspectives. So will you write about your day? I could sprinkle a typical day or two into each newsletter...
A few kind people did write about their typical unschooling days. As I was adding these contributions to my newsletter draft, I wondered if I ought to write something too. Should I add my last typical unschooling day post or write something new?

Typical unschooling days do change according to the season of the unschooling year as well as the needs and interests of our children. I decided it was worth sharing a new typical day.

So this week's podcast is about our current unschooling day. While I'm chatting about what our day looks like, I head down a few sidetracks as I discuss the reason behind the things we do. I talk about sharing our faith with our kids, exercise, strewing, sibling relationships and more.

Here's a summary of what I discuss in episode 76:
  • Is there such a thing as a typical unschooling day?
  • Do our days change over time?
  • Is it time to share a new typical day?
  • How can we share our beliefs (Catholic or otherwise) with our kids?
  • Do I force my kids to say family prayers and go to church?
  • Does the Church force me to attend Mass?
  • Do my girls exercise because I make them?
  • Do I ever follow my girls' good example?
  • Can we strew verbally?
  • Do sibling relationships change over time?
  • Does position in the family affect relationships?

Show Notes

The Real Jane Austen 

Victorian Farm

Edwardian Farm

Wartime Farm

Tudor Monastery Farm

Periodic Videos

Podcast 34: Encouraging Kids to Write (and the Youngest Child in the Family)

Other typical unschooling day posts

Podcast Music: 60's Quiz Show by Podington Bear(CC BY-NC 3.0)

Images: I took these photos last week when my son Callum and his wife Casey came home for a visit. We went to the lake for a picnic.

You can find more episodes of my Stories of an Unschooling Family podcast on

and here on my blog.

Please feel welcome to stop by to comment or say hello. Perhaps you could share what you enjoy most about your typical unschooling day!

Thank you for listening to my podcast!

I'd love you to be part of my unschooling newsletter community. (I publish links to my podcast notes in each edition.)

And please join me on Facebook!

My daughter Imogen's latest music video features her three younger siblings, Charlotte, Sophie, and Gemma-Rose. The four girls sing the Enya song, Wild Child.

When I watch this video, it's not the singing that I enjoy the most. I'm not thinking, "Oh wow! Aren't my girls talented?" Yes, the singing is okay (and I guess it needs to be if Imogen is going to fulfil her dream of becoming a successful online musician!) but for me, that's not the most important aspect of the video. It's the evident love between siblings, as they interact together on camera, that warms my mother's heart.

Making videos together allows my daughters to share their skills and help each other. They also have a lot of fun while they're working. But they don't just make videos. My girls spend a lot of time together as they enjoy other passions such as writing novels, exercising or taking photos. Sharing skills, working with each other and spending a lot of time in one another's company has resulted in very close sibling relationships.

I wanted to talk about siblings for this week's podcast, so I invited Imogen to join me. I thought it would be interesting to hear about her experiences of working with her sisters. Perhaps we could also talk about music and writing.

So these are the questions and topics we discuss in episode 75:
  • Is it possible for siblings to teach siblings?
  • What special challenges are involved?
  • What benefits are there to siblings sharing their talents?
  • Can siblings work together on a single project? Is it possible to make everyone feel part of the team?
  • Imogen talks about the piano and singing lessons she gives to her younger sisters. 
  • We chat about her last music video which features her three younger sisters who all sang as well as helped make the video.
  • We talk about writing and the upcoming Camp NaNowriMo event. Is it too late to join in? Do you need a novel plan before signing up?
  • Imogen tells us about the Writing Circle Meetings she, Sophie and Gemma-Rose have each week. 
  • And how she'd like to turn these meetings into a formal online course to help and inspire other young writers.

Show Notes


Imogen Elvis' Facebook Page

Imogen Elvis' Youtube Channel

Imogen's writing blog: Gossiping with Dragons

Camp NaNoWriMo
Camp NaNoWriMo is a virtual writer’s retreat, designed for maximum flexibility and creativity. We have Camp sessions in both April and July, and we welcome word-count goals between 30 and 1,000,000. In addition, writers can tackle any project they’d like, including new novel drafts, revision, poetry, scripts, and short stories.

Images: I took these photos while the girls were filming the Wild Child video. I might have messed up the behind-the-scenes video recording, but I did manage to snap a few photos!

You can find more episodes of my Stories of an Unschooling Family podcast on

and here on my blog.

Do you have any sibling stories? Perhaps your children share their talents with each other. Do you think unschooling has led to closer relationships between your children? I always love hearing from readers and listeners so feel welcome to stop by and say hello!

If you haven't signed up for my unschooling newsletter, please do! I'm gradually adding my podcast notes to each edition. I'll be publishing my next newsletter (which has some wonderful content from other unschoolers) in a few days' time. Please watch out for it!

Thank you for listening to my podcast!

"Do you remember when we used to pretend the baby bath was a boat?" asks my daughter Imogen. "We used to climb into it, and then try and move it over the ground using sticks." Her eyes glow. "That was the best game!"

It was just as well I never needed that bath. I preferred washing the baby in the laundry sink.

"Do you remember when we used to build cubby houses under the pine trees?" asks sister Charlotte.

"Oh yes! Do you remember the day when Callum looked at our cubby house and said he could build a better one?"

"He pulled it apart and rebuilt it..."

"... and it ended up looking just like the one we made!"

The girls take satisfaction from the fact that their older brother failed to improve their cubby house design.

"Do you remember..."

My children often talk about the fantastic games they used to play together when they were younger. Their faces light up. They smile. And my heart feels warm as I listen. My children have so many happy memories of playing. My young adult children look back, and I know they remember their childhoods as a special and extremely happy time. And because of that, I am very glad I let them play for hours on end.

Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the games my kids used to play when they were younger. I didn't get my camera out and snap pictures of their cubby houses or the baby bath boat or the tricycle that used to hurtle down the hill carrying more children than it was designed for. I wasn't a photographer in those days.

These days, I do have a good camera, and I love documenting our lives by taking photos. But my blog isn't full of attractive pictures of my children involved in their play. That's because they no longer go outside and make mud pies. You won't find them swinging from the trees. There are no pine tree cubby houses, or even bed sheet ones, waiting for me to photograph. No, I can't make my blog attractive with images of unschooling children absorbed in free play. But that doesn't mean my kids don't play. They do but not in a way that's so easy to capture with a camera.

In this week's podcast, I talk about play. I discuss the following questions:
  • Do adults need to play?
  • What about teenagers? 
  • What happens if we don't play?
  • Is it okay for kids to spend all day playing?
  • Do kids need time to play without a parent's involvement?
  • What are the benefits of play?
  • What are the best toys?
  • Should we let kids play games that involve risk?
  • Are our kids in danger of losing their childhoods?
  • Why am I very glad I let my kids play?
  • Should parents be daring and adventurous?
  • How can we increase our enjoyment when playing with our kids?
But before I talk about play, I talk about those difficult days I'm sure we all have:
  • Should we condemn people, including children, who are having a bad day? Or can we help them?
And I end this week's episode with some thoughts about Facebook:
  • Should I choose content for my page, so it matches up with the Facebook algorithm?
  • Or should I choose content I think will interest my followers?

Show Notes

Free to Learn by Peter Gray

Beautiful Faces by Jane Davenport

The Psychological Case for Adult Play Time by Jared Keller

Podcast 73: Helping a Child Discover Her Talents with Imogen

Podcast 70: Trust, Respect, and Love Unconditionally with Sophie

A Raw Files blog post: Do You Make Time for Play?

Do you play? And if you do, what do you enjoy doing? And what about your kids? Are you happy for them to play for as long as I like?

Please feel welcome to stop by and comment or just say hello!

If a child has a talent won't it just appear without any encouragement? If you're meant to be an artist, it will be very evident. The same with being a writer or a musician or even a fireman. Surely, a talent can't stay hidden? Or maybe it can.

When I was growing up, I didn't think I had any talents. I was an unremarkable child. I was rather ordinary. I used to dream about being someone special without realising that I already was special. (All children are.) I just didn't know it.

As an adult, I have discovered I do indeed have many talents. So why didn't I find this out as a child? I don't think I experienced the right conditions for my talents to become obvious.

The other day, I watched a Ken Robinson video on Youtube. It's called Life is Your Talents Discovered. Ken Robinson said: "Talent is often buried. You have to go looking for it, and create the conditions for it."

I used those words as a starting point for this week's podcast. In episode 73, I explored how we can help our children discover their special talents. I invited my 21-year-old daughter, Imogen to join me so she could share her own experiences and thoughts on this topic.

In particular, we discussed the following questions:
  • Do children's talents need the right environment in order to be discovered? 
  • How can parents create that environment? 
  • How can we support a child's talents?
  • Should we be worried if a teenager doesn't know what she wants to do as a future career?
  • Do we put too many pressures on teenagers?
  • How can we help children who seem to have no interests?
  • What if children don't want to do anything but watch TV?
  • What if they don't want to do anything but play?
  • Is play valuable? How has it helped Imogen as a musician and writer?
  • Do parents feel pressured to offer their kids impressive learning experiences? Do they feel pressured to show others that their kids are doing impressive things? Are we all too competitive?
  • How did we cope with multi-aged kids, including babies and toddlers, while homeschooling?
Towards the end of the podcast, I told Imogen about a new idea I've been thinking about. If I post my podcast on a Monday, perhaps for the next few days, I can post something to do with the podcast topic on my Stories of an Unschooling Family Facebook page. I can add links to blog posts or videos or books. Maybe people would like to comment. And then when I get my smartphone (it will happen, one day, I'm sure!), perhaps on a Friday, I could do a Facebook Live session where we could discuss any questions or points leading from the podcast. What do you think? Would that be a good way to continue the conversation?

Show Notes

Imogen Elvis' Facebook Page

My Stories of an Unschooling Family Facebook Page

Life is Your Talents Discovered: Sir Ken Robinson

Images: If you've watched Imogen's latest music video, The Sound of Silence, you'll know I took these photos during the video shoot!

If you haven't already joined me on Facebook, please do! And watch out for some extra links this week which will relate to the topic of helping kids to discover their talents.

Also, feel welcome to stop by to comment or just say hello. I'd love to hear from you!

Thank you listening to this week's podcast!

Every day at 10 am we drop everything and have morning tea. But we don't always drink tea. Sometimes we have coffee or hot chocolate or even a cold drink. Confusing? If you have a morning tea custom, you'll understand!

Today I'm inviting you to visit me for morning tea. You don't need to bring anything to eat. Sophie has made some of her special sugar-free chocolate cakes. Will I make tea or coffee? Will it be real coffee or instant? Tea bags or a pot? I keep the tea and coffee in the pantry and the milk (of course) in the fridge. But what do my pantry and fridge look like? Will I show you?

While we sip our drinks, I'm going to show you a few books that I borrowed from our last library trip. Will you accept my invitation? Will you visit me? Yes? I'll fill the kettle!

Show Notes

The Matilda Saga book series by Jackie French:

A Waltz for Matilda
The Girl from Snowy River
The Road to Gundagai
To Love a Sunburnt Country
The Ghost by the Billabong

Poetry by Banjo Paterson
Waltzing Matilda
The Man from Snowy River
The Road to Gundagai
Clancy of the Overflow (To Love a Sunburnt Country)

Poem by Dorothea MacKellar
My Country (To love a Sunburnt Country)

The Billabong book series by Mary Grant Bruce
A Little Bush Maid
Mates at Billabong
Captain Jim
Back to Billabong

Ken Robinson: books
Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative
The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life

Ken Robinson on video
Do Schools Kill Creativity
Bring on the Learning Revolution
Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative
The Element
How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Wouldn't it be lovely if we really could sit down together and chat over a hot drink? What would you choose? Tea or coffee or hot chocolate or something else?

When you're looking for photos of yourself to post on your blog or Facebook page, do you ever reject any? And if you do, what don't you like about them?

I often reject photos that show too many of my wrinkles. "That one makes me look old," I say.  I also don't like photos of myself with uncomfortable smiles. They make me look old too. Yes, I'm very picky when it comes to photos. I'm concerned about my image. I want people to think I'm youngish and not-too-bad looking. (Unfortunately, there's no fooling my 'real life' friends. They can see me as I really am.)

I wonder if most of us have at least a few concerns about our appearance and how others perceive us. Or perhaps it's just me.

I'm thinking about my appearance and what other people might think of it because I've been making some videos recently. I've been putting myself in front of the camera where everyone can see me just as I am. And that's a bit scary. "Do I really want to do this?" I asked myself just before I did it. "What will everyone think when they realise I'm getting old? Will they not want to know me anymore?"

But I'm trying to let go of such worries. I realise that if I do worry about what other people might think, I could miss out on all kinds of interesting experiences... like making videos.  I'm really enjoying being in front of the camera. It's a new challenge. What does it matter what I look like? Anyway, probably viewers aren't thinking half the things I imagine they're thinking. Sometimes our worries only exist within our heads.

I talk about ageing, appearance and associated insecurities in this week's podcast.

In episode 72, I also talk about:
  • video making
  • Facebook
  • Livestreaming
  • resources which might spark off some new learning experiences if life is a bit quiet
I also ponder a few unschooling questions such as:
  • Are some kids so resourceful they have no need of basic skills?

Show Notes


My It's Not a Periscope videos

Imogen's video: The Sound of Silence


Imogen's Facebook page: Imogen Elvis
My Facebook page: Stories of an Unschooling Family


Blog post
How the Girls and I Take a Weekly Trip Overseas

Iceland and Volcanoes
Ultimate Journeys: Iceland
BBC - Volcano Live, Iceland Erupts: A Volcano Live Special
National Geographic Kids: 17 explosive facts about volcanoes!

Bedtime Math
A Fast 500 Miles:   The Indy 500
Whatever Floats That Big Boat: The Harmony of the Seas

Yummy Math

Camp NaNoWriMo

Podcast Music
60's Quiz Show by Podington Bear, (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Images: Sophie took these photos of me on my last birthday.

You can find more episodes of my Stories of an Unschooling Family podcast on

and here on my blog.

Please feel welcome to stop by to comment or say hello. Perhaps you could share the country you'd most like to visit either in real life or on Youtube.

Thank you for listening to this week's podcast!

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