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:
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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.
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Finding your inner calm

Contributor Amida writes for Journey Into Unschooling.

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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.
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A beginner’s guide to scheduling the homeschool

Contributor Amida blogs at Journey into Unschooling

I have a confession to make — contrary to my inclination towards freestyle homeschooling, I love making schedules. For someone who also tries to keep the line between learning and schooling thin, I can spend hours on the computer, making up tables and lists for a running agenda of what I’d like to get done (or more specifically, what I’d like the kids to get done).

I have a Master List, with a year’s worth of work, broken down into assignments to be done and chapters to be completed within specific weeks, and soon, you can have one, too.

To start off, it helps to do a little brainstorming of exactly what you want accomplished.
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Celebrating high school independence (Back to School Week)

Contributor Amida writes for Journey Into Unschooling

This summer, my oldest child went off to college for the first time at thirteen.

Wearing a backpack filled with a simple folder, a couple of pencils, and enough food to survive the night if need be (two sandwiches, two fruits, two thermoses full of hot soup, snacks, a water bottle, and a dark chocolate bar), I saw him board the bus alone — his first time in one since he was three-years-old — and watched as he disappeared down the road for the next eight hours.

It was a scary moment.

For many, thirteen is no big deal. Heck, I was walking to and from school on my own years before that, as do many public school children. But most of the homeschoolers I know are somewhat sheltered in that respect.

Call us strange but we like to hang out together and do family things. I know all my children’s friends and peers and their parents (and brothers, sisters, and sometimes cousins and next door neighbor). For the most part, we learn together, and being such a close knit bunch, my children have had little opportunity or desire to be away for too long.

Granted, this isn’t the first time my son has been out of my sight. He does take and has taken outside classes on his own. Somehow though, the act of boarding the bus in the morning and not returning until evening feels like a rite of passage.
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