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.

Socialization … for moms

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Written by Amida at Journey into Unschooling. She has met a lot of friendly moms at park days.

Socialization seems to be a sort of taboo subject among homeschoolers. More often than not, when questioned, we get defensive and rattle off a whole list of opportunities that meet our child’s social needs.

Most veterans I know scoff at the notion that there even is an issue. After all, they argue, my kids have ample opportunities to meet with a wide range of people and ages in a natural, organic way. They aren’t just limited to their peer-group.

It’s the way friendships work in the real world!

It’s been my experience, however, that socialization, and specifically, friends, don’t always come easily when you don’t have a ready-made peer group. Sure, your kids may have a knack for talking up the local postman or supermarket clerk, but, I also want my kids to grow up with friends their age.

Fortunately for you, the rumors are true. Kids do make friends almost effortlessly. Just throw them in with other kids and eventually, even your shy wallflower has a good chance of clicking with someone.

It’s the moms I’m worried about here. Certainly, your career-minded best friend isn’t going to understand your survival mechanisms for 24-7 mom/chauffeur/teacher/housekeeper duty.

You need another homeschooling mom.
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The importance of having a cheat day

amidapicmo

Contributor amida blogs at Journey into Unschooling. She could definitely use a cheat day today.

Let’s face it, homeschooling is hard work: you’re with the kids 24/7, with the responsibility of their entire educational experience and academic success, not to mention their emotional and physical needs — and if you’re real lucky, the state of your house — resting on your shoulders — every single day.

That’s a big load for anybody and, without proper breaks, could quickly lead to burnout.

That’s why, like any successful diet plan, it is so important to have built-in cheat days, when you can veer off the regularly scheduled programming and give yourself and your brood permission to take it easy.
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Raising chickens and the art of project-based learning

eggspicmo

Contributor Amida is currently obsessed with chickens and often blogs about them at Journey Into Unschooling

This summer, I decided to ditch the school work and focus on a more natural learning style, allowing our interest to dictate which topics we would explore. For my three-year-old, it was the different structures at the playground and figuring out daredevil ways to get the most play out of them. My teenage son had a newfound interest in knives and began his personal research on the various types and their pros and cons.

For me, it all boiled down to chickens.

Project-based learning is something I’ve always believed in and aspire to integrate in our home learning environment.

For years, I’ve dreamt of the perfect summer project. The opportunity finally came when we met a couple of chicks facing eviction from the community garden, where they had set up residence without permission.

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Real summer learning

Amida1picmo

Contributor Amida writes for Journey into Unschooling.

I had big plans this summer. Big Plans. This summer, I decided, we were going to catch up, tie up a few loose ends, and get ahead.

My preschooler would learn her letters while my grade-schooler memorized her times tables and conquered those reading comprehension exercises. My middle-schooler was going to master Latin, guitar, and algebra. And finally, my high-schooler was going to read volumes of summer reading books, write reviews for them, and complete his geometry requirement at the local community college.

All this (and more!) was to be completed by August. No problem.

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How to pack for anything

How to pack for everything

Contributer Amida writes for Journey into Unschooling.

Sometimes I think mothers are born packers.

Starting with that homecoming bag from the hospital delivery room, we have been prepping for our kids’ every away-from-home need.

When my own kids were younger, I had filled the car with all sorts of emergency supplies: emergency diapers, emergency wipes, emergency change of clothes and blankets (to this day, a friend of mine keeps her teenage kids’ baby blankets in the car for emergencies).

We always had snacks on hand or books and toys to keep a little one occupied. These days, I have children ranging from 3-15 and many days which we seem to spend on the road or waiting out a class. Along the way, I’ve learned a few strategies to help get us out the door, fed and occupied. Hopefully, some of these ideas can help you as well!

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