10 homeschooling stereotypes (& their rebuttals)

classroomWritten by contributor Amida of Journey into Unschooling

So you’re thinking about homeschooling. Here are a few basic items you need to get started:

  • A designated school room, where you gather to teach the kids their lessons every day.
  • A schedule, obviously, so you know which topics to cover every day.
  • A curriculum, so you know what to teach them every day.
  • A degree, preferably in education, so you are qualified to teach them every day.

Got everything? Good. Let’s get started…

This seems to be the general idea of what goes on in our house daily. I probably thought the same when I first researched homeschooling, and while it may hold true for some, this type of environment and structure doesn’t work for us.

Since I get asked a lot about our personal experience, mostly on the hows and whys, I thought I’d share some of the most common homeschooling stereotypes I’ve come across along with my rebuttals.
[Read more...]

TV will rot your brains

he-man

Written by contributor Amida of Journey into Unschooling

I grew up on a lot of TV. The first show I remember ever watching was a cartoon called Xiao Tian Tian. I had lived with a lot of other kids and every dinner, we’d all grab our bowls of rice, leave our families, and gather around the tiny screen to watch. I don’t recall a single dish I ate, but can still hear the theme song in my head…

We got our first TV set when I was around five. It had turn dials, rabbit ears, and no remote control. The first show that came on was Wile E. Coyote trying to catch his Road Runner.
[Read more...]

Amida’s homeschool day in the life (with a 2-, 6-, 11-, and 14-year-old)

Contributor Amida writes for Journey into Unschooling

Homeschoolers as a whole, I think, are quite fascinated about other homeschoolers, specifically their schedules. I know I am. “What are you doing for school?” is one of the most frequently asked questions among my friends.

The answer, of course, depends on many factors — time of the year, grade level, and energy level. For the most part, we work around a cycle of accumulating school work and not really doing school.

Our schedule is very loose and mostly made up as we go. The only constants are the extracurricular or otherwise outside classes, so almost everything else gets scheduled around them. As such, our days will differ depending on the day of the week.

Usually, my kids work best without distraction, so when there is an afternoon class, we try to squeeze in some schoolwork before then, when their minds are focused and alert.

For the most part, we have three typical schedules, depending on the time of the outside classes. On a busy day, we do something like this:
[Read more...]

So, how do you homeschool?

Written by contributor Amida of Journey into Unschooling.

“You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.”

~Galileo Galilei

When people first find out that I homeschool my children, their first response is inevitably, “Wow — That’s great!” followed closely by, “How do you do it?”

They wonder if there is a set schedule with a set curriculum. To them, “homeschool” translates to “school at home”. They comment on how hard it must be to keep four kids under control or even hint at my brilliance for being able to “teach” them everything they need to know.

Usually, I just shrug it off and say it’s not really anything extraordinary. It’s all we know and very much just a part of our lives. If anything,  I find the act of getting kids to and from school and extracurricular activities, in addition to making sure they complete all their homework everyday to be an amazing feat all its own.
[Read more...]

Finding your inner calm

Contributor Amida writes for Journey Into Unschooling.

A note from Jamie: Subscribe to this blog and get my new ebook, Secrets of a Successful Homeschool Mom FREE! Head here for details.

After almost a decade of use, we finally chucked our old phones and upgraded to a new cordless set. It is nothing exceptional save for one new feature: the intercom. We live in a two story house and had spent many a time yelling up and down the stairs to whomever is on the other level.

Now, with this new phone, I jokingly remind the kids that, rather than screaming for someone to turn on the printer or come to dinner or what have you, they ought to find their “intercom” and speak calmly and in a more tolerable volume.

The funny thing is this little joke has leaked into other areas of our lives and has become a sort of motto: don’t stress, find your inner calm.
[Read more...]