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.

5 things I’ve learned in kindergarten

Written by Amida of Journey into Unschooling

When I started homeschooling, some 15 years ago, my focus was very much on academic achievement. Like many before me, I had a long list of subjects to plow through and an even longer list of concepts for my kid to master.

Not only did we closely follow the school curriculum and state standards, we added in Great Books, Classic Literature, Memorization, Art Study and Latin for good measure.

We accomplished many amazing projects (like Monet-inspired paintings), as well as shed many, many tears.

Looking back, I’m surprised we survived the grade school years, let alone continued the journey with three more kids!

Luckily, homeschooling turned out to be my calling. Despite the constant stress, the never ending housework, and the 24/7 with kids, I rather liked it.

I loved hearing my children read aloud. I relished seeing them read to themselves. I delighted in the doodles that came with every sheet of paperwork they completed and even the incomplete weather logs.

It was all good and brought purpose to my life. I was the one who taught them how to write their first letter, read their first sentence, and add their first group of plastic bear manipulatives.

This will be my fifth year repeating kindergarten, and I must say, practice does make it easier. I now know exactly how much to push and when to back off.

In fact, here are five things I’ve learned through (teaching) kindergarten to my kids:

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Doing it all: The hardest part of Amida’s homeschool year


Written by Amida of journey into unschooling.

Homeschooling should be a piece of cake. Spend time with the kids. Surround yourself with books and educational materials. Go places. Learn together, every day, 24/7.

But sometimes, let’s face it — filling in all those hours is a drag.

Kids have the uncanny ability to drive you nuts, the laundry never seems to end, and the house is never clean enough. Add to that the pick-up and drop-off schedules of every person in the family, the inadequate food supply (because teenagers eat everything), and the never appropriate question of what’s for dinner (just stop asking and eat).

And oh yeah, you are totally responsible for educating them at some point in the day. No pressure.

I find that the hardest part of homeschooling is the expectations, real or otherwise. In addition to all the other household responsibilities, I feel I always have to be in learning mode, especially when someone directly asks me “what did you do for school today?”

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Eating better as a family in two easy steps


Written by Amida of Journey Into Unschooling.

A few years ago, I had the most horrible rash known to mankind. It started as a small, itchy patch that I took for bug bites. But then it grew bigger and other patches started popping up until my whole body was covered with it.

I went to the doctor, who quizzed me and determined that I was allergic to the new dog living in my home.

I went to the allergist, who examined me under a microscope, and declared I had scabies.

I went to the dermatologist, who took one look at my arms, and he said it was obviously eczema. While they all prescribed me ointments (I declined the scabies treatment) that offered relief of my symptoms, not one of them offered any long term solutions to the problem. I was still breaking out and scratching myself bloody. Something had to be done.

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5 things kids really want to know about homeschooling


The following is a post by contributor Amida of journey into unschooling.

So, how do you homeschool? This by far, is perhaps the most asked question regarding our schooling.

One day, upon learning that my children are homeschooled,  a group of elementary school kids instantly bombarded them with questions concerning their education: What do you have to do? How long does it take to finish? Do you get recess? What do you eat at your homeschool? Who is your teacher?

I found it all very amusing, especially my son’s brief responses — everything, until we are done, yes, anything, Mom. I thought I’d take this moment to elaborate for him.

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Conquering clutter for homeschoolers


Written by Amida of Journey into Unschooling.

Chinese New Year is just around the corner and for me, it means a massive purge session. Something about the upcoming New Year always brings on the urge for me to clean, clean, clean.

Out with the old and in with the — well, hopefully, nothing!

This time around, I am determined to keep the Stuff at bay and out of my house.

Just seeing the amount of things that have snuck in and filled up all corners of my home is enough to make me think twice about my spending and acquiring habits (because in actuality, a lot of things enter in the form of gifts, freebies, and deals-too-good-to-pass-up).

Want to join me in cleaning out the clutter?

If so, grab your gloves and 30-gallon heavy duty bags and favorite playlist. It’s time to purge!

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