What is a day in the life of an unschooler like?
To put it in a nutshell, unschooling days are like great days of summer vacation. They can be anywhere from filled to the brim with activities or they can be laid back leisurely days of watching clouds (or playing video games ;-) )
You can read about ordinary days on unschoolers' blogs. Sandra Dodd has a list at her Thinking Sticks blog, Blogspot keeps the list ordered with the most recently updated at the top.
If I tell my wife that I want to try this unschooling approach starting tomorrow, then what would we do at 8 AM?
Sleep? Eat? Watch TV? Go outside and enjoy the sun shining through the trees? Read a book?
Would my son choose when he gets up?
Unless he stops breathing, he's always weighing his options and making choices. They may not be the choices you'd want him to make. But, what if you knew your wife had an agenda for you and there were "right" choices in her eyes and "wrong" choices and you knew she was observing you and weighing the choices you were making against her idea of "right" and "wrong" and judging the quality of your choices? How would that affect your relationship? I assume there are some things you each do to please the other, but they are still choices. The more pressure someone feels from the other to make the choices the other wants them to make, the more strain there is in the relationship.
I need to read a book about the day and the life of an unschooler in my spare time.
Actually a day in the life of an unschooler looks a lot like summer days and weekends with an attentive parent. Unschooling isn't so much in what unschoolers do as in their attitude towards life and learning and how they're intertwined. Our conversations are our lessons without being lessons. Every time my daughter spontaneously asks a question or tells me about an observation, that's a "test" that shows me unschooling is working. She may not be learning a set group of facts that others think are important and can test, but her questions and observations show she's thinking about what she's learning. For example, it's not so important that she learn that sound waves bounce off things because that can go in as a factoid without any real meaning or understanding behind it, but it is important that she bounced a ball off a wall and said that was like a sound wave. She's making connections.
Would he choose what he wants to learn? Should we let him mess with the Star Wars games on the computer all day? I am going to go out on a limb and guess you would say that he would eventually get bored and look for something else to do or that I should keep offering interesting tidbits he couldn't resist?
Yup. If he's interested, he's learning. It may be hard to see how what he's learning relates to what is "important" in life. In fact, it may only be relevant to his life right now. But it is relevant. It's nurturing the person he is now. I think we concentrate too much on moving kids along to what they should become and preparing them for that.