Amida’s homeschool day in life (with a 4-, 8-, 13-, and 16-year-old)


Written by Amida from Journey into Unschooling.

Another year, another day in the life! I can’t believe I’ve been writing these for the past four years!

Choosing a day to represent your homeschool is no easy feat, but this time around, I thought I’d share how a typical day went when I was uninspired and just winging it (and I’m sure we all have our moments).


The day started off very slowly. I knew I wanted my 8-year-old to get some work done, but was just very unmotivated to get started.

Then I spotted some left over origami paper from the bookmark projects we had worked on a few days ago (nothing ever gets put away around here) and got totally distracted and started making dolls.

Hey, they were pretty fun! I shared my procrastination funk with my friends online and they were very motivating. “That’s art! And culture! And math!” they said.

Sure, except I was the one doing all the work, and well, I kind of graduated 3rd grade years ago.

Luckily, my daughter had her own plans. While I was busy working on the second doll, she busted out the markers and crayons and drew the first doll I had made. It was so stinkin’ cute!

I love that she added on the dango and traditional sandals, details she had no doubt logged in from our many trips to Japantown. That was definitely art and culture right here.

It was just the jump-start we needed.

After that, we went straight into math, completing about three lessons in one sitting. We learned about arrays, three times tables, and functions.

We even squeezed in some language arts and she wrote out some silly similes — this one being my favorite: Reading is as enjoyable as raising chickens. It was a reference, of course, to our new backyard pets, and totally suited the assignment.

Finally, she did some reading practice, though I must say, she isn’t really into Judy Moody. Or Nancy Clancy. Or any typical “girl” books.

And I for one, can’t stand Ivy and Bean and Junie B. Jones.

But she totally humored me and went along, with the promise of better reading material later. We never did find out how Judy Moody’s day went past chapter 2.

I later realized that my whole problem with finding the perfect 8-year-old girl book was that the 3rd grade selection was too limiting.

As an experiment that night, I gave her the choice of listening to Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryNancy DrewMy Father’s Dragon, and Journey to the Center of the Earth for bedtime.

To my surprise, she chose the Jules Verne story and excitedly read it to me.

It was a great ending to what started out as a very slow unmotivated day. We plowed through reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic, with a little art and culture thrown in.

I was so proud of all we had managed to accomplish on the fly.

Are most of your homeschool days planned out or do you also make it up as you go?

How the days have changed:

About Amida

Amida is the mom to three darn kids. She used to stress about state standards and test scores but has since come to her senses and enjoys blogging about her family's journey into unschooling.


  1. Your dolls were cute! I plan our lessons out but am not afraid to change them if she chooses an interest in something different. My daughter is seven, and my only bird left in the nest. The other day, she asked if we could learn poetry…the request came after I had sat and planned the week’s lessons, but since a happy child is easier to teach, I added poetry to our lessons (hand writing and English).
    She wasn’t crazy about Haiku poems or limericks, so hoping that I can catch some interest again with another style. My daughter normally hates writing, so I have been using letter writing to her older sisters and cousins in other states be her assignments and not pressure her too much. She has learned how to properly address an envelope and that if you give the mail person an envelope with proper change, they will put a stamp on it for you. She has even used her own change, a few times (math lesson).
    Plan lessons but allow freedom and even freedom for those days that she can’t sit still and needs to play…an hour trip to playground and then she is ready to learn! Happy kids learn more! 🙂

  2. I was just trying to explain to a non-homeschooler how much of what we learn is very organic and interest-led. (And whatever we feel like for the day!) And, it always works out. So, no, we never plan what we’re going to learn, but I am amazed at how much we do learn. I love how your day started with you sitting down to work on a project, then your child followed suit. So much more effective, I think, then telling her to work on history and art while you (and I mean I, not you!) get on my phone ;).
    Amy’s latest post: Learning to Trust

  3. My daughter never liked those books either. She has always been big on the classics.

  4. I so appreciate that you selected a day where you were lacking motivation, and I love how you just rolled with one moment, and then another, and then another. It’s amazing what learning happens… just happens. Thank you for sharing your day with us. As a rookie homeschooler, I’m delighting in these posts and look forward to them daily.
    Cait @ My Little Poppies’s latest post: Kindergarten Registration Reservations

  5. Ooooh! I love made-up days! This was a great post.
    Camie’s latest post: Weekly Nutshell

  6. Hi Amida, could i follow your unschooling blog? I found your posts here and they are great, but the blog looks like its by invite only. I’m interested in unschooling and feel like you explain it in a way that makes sense to me. I tried it briefly and my oldest son really wants to try it again, but I felt lost for any support or good advice and we gave up. You can reach me at keelydwilson at gmail dot com if you are willing to let me read your blog please let me know, thanks!

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