Chores and Our Typical Unschooling Day

The other morning, after we’d done the morning chores and said prayers together, I asked my girls what they wanted to do.

“Can we go to the post office?” asked Gemma-Rose. “I want to post my letters.”

My eleven-year-old daughter has been writing a lot of letters recently. They’ve all been written in cursive handwriting, Gemma-Rose’s latest interest. There was a time when I doubted she’d ever learn to do ‘running writing.’ Several years ago, I tried to teach her, but she dug in her heels and refused to cooperate. But a couple of weeks ago, I found my two youngest daughters sitting side-by-side writing together.

“Gemma-Rose was admiring my handwriting,” explained Sophie. “She wanted me to show her how to do cursive writing.”

Once Gemma-Rose had decided she wanted to learn, it took 4 days for her to conquer this new skill. She filled up her notebook with handwriting, and I had to buy her a new one. She’s filling that one up too. And she’s writing lots of letters.

So at 9 am, on that particular morning, Sophie, Gemma-Rose and I put on our coats and headed out the door. Nora, our dog came with us. It was rather cold and, as we began the walk up to our village post office, I searched my coat pockets for my gloves.

By the time we were on the return journey, after posting our letters and visiting a couple of shops. the day had warmed up a little. My gloves were back in my pocket and I was enjoying the feel of the sun on my skin. As we strolled along, I looked at the girls and the dog, the gum trees rising high above the houses, and the sun in the clear blue sky, and I felt so thankful. I imagined school children working at their desks, and structured homeschoolers sitting around their tables with their work spread out in front of them. And what were we doing? We were outside enjoying the pleasures of an early spring morning.

I talked about this typical unschooling morning in this week’s podcast. I also talked about typical unschooling days in last week’s episode. After I published that episode, I decided I hadn’t said enough. I hadn’t given a clear enough picture of what we actually do each day. So I had another go!

In this week’s podcast, I also answer the following questions

  • Are our unschooling days really as ordinary as I made them sound in last week’s episode?
  • Do all unschoolers have similar typical days?
  • How can we get kids to help with the chores?
  • Can we encourage kids to do more than their fair share? Can they become generous without counting the cost?
  • Do I sometimes get fed up of being a good example? Do I sometimes fail?
  • And what resources do I share this week?

Podcast Notes

Blog Posts, Videos and Podcasts

About Chores

About Our Typical Unschooling Day




3D Animation

Geography / HSIE

You might find episodes on Youtube
We haven’t viewed all episodes. Some viewers may object to seeing the Hairy Bikers in their traditional Norweigan knitted undies, in the Norway episode. Gemma-Rose said, “That wasn’t necessary!” Could she be right? You could always skip over that particular moment!
The Hairy Bikers’ Bakeation articles on OpenLearn
You might find episodes on Youtube


Thank you for listening!

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  1. Reply

    It is amazing how quickly children can pick up a skill when they are ready and willing.

    1. Reply

      An Almost Unschooling Mom,

      I agree! It's such a battle and waste of time when kids aren't ready to learn. When I saw Gemma-Rose writing cursively I couldn't help smiling!

  2. Reply

    That is so great that your girls like writing letters, Sue. One of the ladies I know from the Down to Earth Forum has also been doing a lot of mail art recently where she draws/paints on the envelopes. She said it is very popular on Pinterest.

    1. Reply


      I haven't heard of mail art. It sounds like something my girls would enjoy very much. I shall do some browsing on Pinterest. Thanks for sharing the idea!

  3. Reply

    I've just discovered Pixar in a Box (along with Khan Academy's other partner content) and I LOVE it! So excited to hear this podcast!

    1. Reply


      Yes, Pixar in the Box looks very interesting! I also noticed the other partner content. I haven't had time to take a good look but I want to! Thank you so much for stopping by to comment. I always love hearing from you!

  4. Reply

    Thank you once again for an interesting and informative podcast! Gemma was quite interested when I mentioned that Gemma-Rose had been doing some cursive, perhaps she will feel like giving it another go after her last, somewhat unsuccessful attempt πŸ™‚

    1. Reply


      Maybe Gemma and Gemma-Rose will write to each other cursively next time they exchange letters! It might become a shared interest. Thank you so much for listening to this week's episode!

  5. Reply

    Another enjoyable podcast. My biggest take-away: "Helpfulness begets helpfulness." Definitely an aha! moment for me when I heard that. I think it is twofold: when I have a helping attitude, others return in kind; when I have a helping attitude, I form a habit of helpfulness within myself that helps me be more loving to others. Thank you!

    1. Reply


      I can't believe how long it took me to realise "Helpfulness begets helpfulness." Maybe for a long time I didn't really want to know. It's such a simple idea but so hard to put into practice!

      A two-fold effect… Oh yes! We shouldn't want to do things just so other people help us. I have noticed that the more I push myself to help others, the more I enjoy it. I love loving others!

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, and also for listening to my podcast!

  6. Reply

    Just listened to the podcast. The Hairy Bikers ~ Si King is from the North East so not too far from our holiday destinations the past two years in Northumbria. The dialect is almost sing song πŸ™‚

    Dave Myers is from mine and Dave's home town of Barrow -in-Furness, Cumbria! I lost my home town accent when I was at university and Dave when we moved away after Em and Kath were born. The Barrow accent might be a bit difficult to understand but as a small town by the sea and hills it is a very friendly community.

    If you want a funny accent to listen to then try and find John Shuttleworth on YouTube.

    Love to you

    San xx

    1. Reply

      Look for the link popular John Shuttleworth of which there are 38 videos :-). The backstory is John Shuttkeworth and all the other characters is played by a chap called Graeme Fellows. John is a musician and has an agent called Ken Worthington. The humour is definitely northern x

    2. Reply


      Oh yes, Si King's accdent is definitely sing-song! Thank you so much for telling me about the Hairy Bikers' accents. I'm going to look up the places you mentioned.

      I'm also going to look up John Shuttleworth. I bet my husband Andy would enjoy his humour. Andy was born and bred in Birmingham. He doesn't have a Brummy accent, but he sometimes puts one on to amuse us. His mother was very Brummy and I couldn't always understand all her words. Toughie sounded like toffee to me!

      When we were a lot younger, Andy used to enjoy the humour of Jasper Carrott who is from Birmingham. He actually went to the same school as Andy. Not at the same time though. Jasper Carrott is older than us. That must mean he is quite ancient by now!

      I've really enjoyed chatting about accents with you. Thank you so much for listening to my podcast! xx

    • Lex
    • September 22, 2015

    Hi Sue
    Thanks so much for all your podcasts and blog posts. I'm a mum of three (5yrs, 2yrs and 4 weeks old) and I appreciate your wisdom so much. From not fretting about learning when we have a new baby to accepting it when the things I strew are rejected, you just remind me to put 'first things first' (thank you Mr Covey). My older two are so much happier when I just let them be and don't interrupt their work to make them do some random thing I've decided they should be doing. And much more likely to accept an invitation to try something new if they know they are allowed to refuse or change their minds later. Congrats on marriage of your son! Regards, Alexis

    1. Reply


      I'm glad you're finding my podcasts useful. Thank you for listening!

      I enjoyed reading about your children. Congratulations on the birth of your baby. What a busy time your family must be having at the moment but so very special. Enjoy!

      I just looked up 'first things first'. Stephen Covey! I've read a lot of his books (and enjoyed them) but not this one. It sounds interesting!

      Thank you so much for your congratulations and kind comment. I'm very glad you stopped by. I hope we can chat again another day!

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