Stopping What You’ve Started

Written by contributor Amida of  Journey Into Unschooling

Recently, my kids wrapped up their science lesson from the previous weeks. They had a little mad science action going on as they mixed different substances to see if there was a reaction, both with specific combinations and ones of their own choosing. I think this particular lesson went a little too long (three sessions) and for the most part was a bit redundant, as far as what they already knew.

One of the moms in our co-op had acquired a complete chemistry curriculum with almost all the materials necessary for a middle-grade class. It included everything from textbook, experiments, lab books, and even teacher resources that told you exactly how to teach the class — all of which seemed very exciting but  was, in actuality, a little on the dull side.

Which of course, leads to the question, why was it so dull? They’re sitting around out in the beautiful sunshine (mostly), hanging with their best friends, and learning about what promises to be an engaging, well thought out exploration of chemical reactions. They get to conduct experiments, fill out lab books, and learn state-aligned science standards! What was wrong with these kids?
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Amida’s Biggest Homeschooling Mistake: Saving Projects for a Rainy Day

Written by contributor Amida of Journey into Unschooling

I used to be a hoarder, stashing away all sorts of goodies for a rainy day. Sometimes, these were fabulous books I had found that I wanted to look over with the kids. I’d read them (in private) and put them away for that perfect time to share. Or I’d acquire some new art supplies, and then store them away for that next great project.

Other times, they were more ordinary things such as math manipulatives or even interesting paper. A big component of my secret collection were the science kits for every subject imaginable, from owl pellets to solar models, carefully hidden away in the garage.

Unfortunately, the rain never came and my wonderful resources just collected dust. Sometimes the perfect opportunity presented itself but I either couldn’t find the time to share the item, forgot where I had stored it, or worse, forgot it even existed.
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First Day of School

Written by contributer Amida of Journey Into Unschooling

By now, a lot of you have probably started school again. If you took the summer easy like we did, you might have found it a little difficult to jump start the ol’ school bus. Sure, we knew the day was approaching but even so, it caught us off guard and totally unprepared.

I wasn’t the only one. One friend decided to postpone the first day all together, starting next week instead, and the others downright ignored it. Between bites of my sourdough toast and sips of coffee, I decided to jump right in.

While the kids finished up breakfast, I announced our plan for the day and did a quick mental list of what I wanted them to tackle this morning.

Our day went something like this:
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Moms Just Wanna Have Fun

Written by contributor Amida of Journey into Unschooling.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

Some days, we don’t do any school-related work at all.

These aren’t planned in advanced and they aren’t penciled in on the calendar. These days are brought on by my own inspirations and happen as spontaneous as those thunderstorms in the middle of summer. I can feel it creeping up on me, just not sure when it will hit.

Maybe I’ve been leafing through some really cool craft books, or surfing a little too late into the night, and something pops out at me that I just have to make. Then out comes the sewing machine, cutting board, and the kitchen table becomes sewing central.
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Making Summer Goals

Written by contributor Amida of Journey into Unschooling

It’s the last day of school for us, which brings us relief and freedom from the shackles of “required learning,” materials we need to cover to satisfy the school requirements. But what to do with the two-three months ahead?

Usually we have a somewhat relaxed homeschool during the summer, continued learning, but at a much easier pace, with a lot more outdoor activities and playtime thrown in.  I don’t want them to go completely cold turkey on schoolwork because that would make August that much harder.

At the same time we could all use a break, so this year, I’ve asked the kids to come up with a few summer goals of their ownwhat they would like to accomplish schoolwise and otherwise?
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