Snaps From Our Unschooling Week

Throughout this post you’ll see snaps of our unschooling week that I recorded using the app Snapchat.

Unschooling on Snapchat - 3D drawing

Unschooling on Snapchat - learning lines

My daughter’s scout troop leaders are a whizz on social media. When the scouts are off on camps we enjoy vicarious adventures thanks to a stream of messages and photos they send on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

When Cordie joined Scouts I didn’t know how to use any of those apps. Scouts gave me a reason to learn. (Though I confess I still don’t really understand what Tumblr’s all about.)

On their last summer camp the scout leaders branched into Snapchat stories. Their tongue-in-cheek blog warned us:

“The scouts are absolutely appalled that their parents have set up Snapchat accounts in order to see our stories there. The last thing they need is you on their social media of choice. They’re demanding that we tell you not to friend them on there. Just view our stories from the camp and then delete your account, delete the app, and throw away your phone.”

(I tweeted back, “Tell Cordie she’s safe. Every time I open Snapchat I’m convinced I’m going to send the world a picture of my nostrils.”)

Unschooling on Snapchat - Spanish pairs

Unschooling on Snapchat - playing Monopoly Empire

Snapchat lets you annotate, filter and share photos and video clips (snaps) over a 24-hour rolling period.

If you’ve ever looked over a teen’s shoulder and wondered in bafflement why she looks like a dog in all her smartphone photos, you’ve seen Snapchat in action.

Unschooling on Snapchat - trigonometry

Unschooling on Snapchat - blowing into red cabbage water
“What happens when I blow carbon dioxide into red cabbage indicator water?”

Photos and videos are deleted from your Snapchat story after 24 hours, so your story’s always up to date. You can choose to save your snaps to memories, though.

Unschooling on Snapchat - Creative Constructions with Geometry

Unschooling on Snapchat - balancing equations with polymods

These days I can safely navigate my around Snapchat (there were a few nostril shots on the way). And – with a bit of tween help – I’ve even made some Snapchat stories of my own.

Unschooling on Snapchat - Reading Harry Potter

Cordie and Jasper were left to their own devices for much of this week while I recovered from a headache. Thanks to Snapchat I was able to record some of what was going on around me. Looking back over my snaps, I was reminded that unschooled kids can not only cope with a little benign neglect now and then – they can thrive on it.

Unschooling on Snapchat - Hama Bead maths
Jasper explaining the maths of his Hama bead design

I know most of you don’t use Snapchat, so I thought I’d share a few of our Snaps here.

Unschooling on Snapchat - vegan pancakes and The Elements book
No eggs? Make vegan pancakes!

Instagram recently released an alternative to Snapchat – Instagram Stories. I think a few more homeschooling parents are probably on Instagram so I’m going to have a play with that next.

Unschooling on Snapchat - reading the Angles of Gum Tree Road
An exciting new book arrived this week 🙂

Do you unschool on Snapchat or Instagram?

Do you share your homeschooling life using Snapchat or Instagram stories? If you do, leave a comment with your username – I’d love to follow you. Find me on Snapchat and Instagram as lucindaleo.

I’ll leave you with a 10 second video snap of Cordie singing and playing a song she taught herself. You can see the full version over on YouTube.

Have a great weekend!


I’m appreciatively linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers’ Weekly Wrap Up.

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12 thoughts on “Snaps From Our Unschooling Week

  1. I’m sorry that you suffered from a headache. I get migraines, so I can relate to the misery they can put you through. While I’ve ‘heard’ of snapchat and received a few snaps from others, I don’t have that app. It sounds interesting, though. I do think that it’s good to keep up with technology and learn beside our children. I am on Instgram — so I’ll look you up 🙂 My IG is @beautyfullslow.

    I love ❥ homeschooling! It’s an integral part of me now. RYC: The flattened orange map is really not that hard. The key is to use a little mandarin orange (or Cutie). Yes, I drew a world map freehand with a Sharpie and then cut and peeled off in sections carefully to lie flat together. They key is to get the equator drawn and some general land forms. Mine is really off as far as the world goes, but it explained the concept we needed to make in regards to map makers and dilemma they have to get a round world in a flat map.

    1. Thank you – yes, headaches are horrid, aren’t they? I think mine are sinus headaches which are bad enough – I can’t imagine what migraines must be like.

      And thanks for the mandarin flattened map explanation – I’m definitely going to try that. I might have to buy a few to practise on! Perhaps my children will join me. 🙂

      I agree with you about keeping up with technology alongside our children. It’s useful when they get to the stage of being able to explain things to us, isn’t it? I find it fascinating how they use technology differently from us.

      Your Instagram photos are beautiful! Such gorgeous colours. My feed is rather random so far but I’m looking forward to sharing more of our unschooling life when I try out Instagram Stories after our autumn break next week.

  2. Hope you’ve recovered from the headache now. It’s lovely to see both Cordie and Jasper thriving and learning so much, as usual.

    1. Hello, Hwee, How lovely to hear from you! I’m pleased to say I’m feeling much better now, thank you. Yes, Cordie and Jasper do seem to be learning – even when I’m on my sick bed, I’m pleased to say! How are you and Tiger? I hope everything’s good in your world, too. 🙂

  3. Lucinda,

    I really enjoyed seeing the snaps from your week! I haven’t tried Snapchat. I’m a bit reluctant to find out more about it because I might be tempted to join. I’ve already signed up for too many things!

    How lovely it is to see my book in one of your photos. You are very thoughtful taking a snap of Cordie looking at it and then sharing it here on your blog. Thank you!

    Please tell Cordie I enjoyed watching her video. Her singing is beautiful. It must be wonderful to play your guitars together and sing along at the same time.

    I hope you’re enjoying the weekend!

    1. Sue,

      I completely understand your reticence to learn about Snapchat. You’re so busy on all the social media you use, you can’t possibly have any spare time to explore another one!

      We were all very excited when your book arrived. Cordie hasn’t had a chance to actually read it yet because I’ve been keeping it to myself, reading a chapter each night before bed. It’s a lovely way to end my day. 🙂

      Thank you for your kind words about Cordie’s singing; I’ve passed them on to her. I’m afraid I don’t know how to play acoustic guitar, only classical. We both have classical lessons but Cordie has taught herself to play and sing acoustically from YouTube videos. I don’t know how she does it, but I do love hearing her play!

  4. How do you facilitate your unschooling? How do you make a week like the above happen without “lessons”? Would love to get my family there too!

    1. Hi. Thanks for your great question and sorry for the delay replying. You inspired me to record a podcast this week that I’m hoping to publish soon (when I’ve figured out how to do it!). In it I talk about what my kids are learning at the moment and how that came about.

      The short answer is that I talk periodically with my children about what they want to learn, find appropriate resources, and then on a day-to-day basis I offer them chunks of my time to help them learn. I suppose some people might call that ‘doing lessons’ but it feels more like learning side-by-side than teaching. My kids also get a lot of inspiration from watching YouTube (shock!).

      The trigonometry photo’d above came about because it came up during a physics MOOC my son and I were watching together (An Introduction to Physics, on Udacity.) I remembered how much my daughter and I enjoyed exploring trig together so I asked Jasper, “Would you like to find out what trigonometry is?”

      Some of their learning is completely self-initiated; but often it follows from me asking, “Would you like to [make some geometric designs together]?” (for instance). I wonder if it also helps that my kids see me passionately doing my hobbies (like blogging and playing guitar) and they know that if they don’t snap up the time I offer them, I’ll quickly move on to do something on my own!

      How do you do things in your family at the moment?

    1. Thanks, Anne! I hadn’t thought of it like that. 🙂 Reading your blog, I’m not surprised you don’t have time for technology! You sound far too busy with the important work of creating a lovely life for all your gorgeous children. 🙂

  5. I smiled throughout! I have just got instagram and my children think I must be so cool (actually they really don’t – I just keep telling them that I really am very cool – y’know one day it will go in and they will think it without any intervention on my behalf!). I don’t ‘get’ instagram though because people keep following me and I haven’t even posted one photo yet!! What’s that all about?! My children have snap chat, but my goal over the next year (‘cos, y’know, it will take a whole year) is to master Twitter. i think I could quite like this form of media….maybe…if I could just figure out how to use it 🙂

    1. LOL, I’m with you about Twitter and Instagram, Claire. Other bloggers seem to love Twitter so I really ought to give it a go. Probably best to focus like you’re doing rather than being scattered all over the place like I am. I tried Instagram stories this week but it is sooo bad compared with Snapchat, I’ve decided to stick with what I did in this post: create Snapchat stories (which I love to look back on in my Memories anyway) then paste them into a blog post. Not sure it’s what Snapchat was designed for, but it works for me!
      Of course we’re cool… our teenagers just don’t realise it yet 😉 By the way I LOVED your interview! Keep meaning to come over to you and leave a comment. So good to hear your voice after so long reading your words.

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