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    Published on 06-13-2015 09:56 PM
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    Click here to view ALL our slideshows full of links to free resources and info for secular homeschoolers.

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    Free Weekly Homeschool Planner
    You know the drill. There are 100 faith-based homeschool planners out there for every 1 planner without religious undertones. So, we didn't want to let another homeschool year come and go without offering you SHS'ers a free, customizable, and completely secular weekly homeschool planner.

    I've long felt that Google Drive is built for homeschooling. It simply works like a charm for everything from creating quizzes to tracking grades to creating transcripts. it's available on desktop, tablet, and smartphone. And did I mention the FREE part?? If you can use a word processing program or a spreadsheet, then you can use Google Drive. (And honestly, even if you can't do those things, Google Drive Help tutorials will basically walk you through anything you need to know).

    So to make the new SHS weekly homeschool planner work for everyone - - and I do mean everyone - - all you need is a Google account and a link into Google Drive. From there, here are the instructions for importing the SHS Weekly Homeschool Planner into your own Drive account....
    by Published on 06-08-2015 11:50 AM

    My five-year old can catch tadpoles better than any adult I know. He’s better at spotting them, and once spotted, he’s mastered the swish and flick, just a little ahead of the tadpole, so it swims into his net. Once he’s caught it, he lifts it gently, careful not to squeeze too hard, and drops it gently into a collection tank. He shuts the lid and watches the animal swim and squirm. He looks for legs and a tail, tries to figure out how far it is to a full-fledged frog. Sometimes we can work together to identify the species - bullfrog tadpoles are easy, with their evil eye and spotted body. After we’ve watched him for a while, my son carefully opens his tank. At water level, he pours the animal back into the pond or stream. Then he goes hunting for another amphibian.

    This is how we find school in wilderness.

    In “Last Child in the Woods,” Richard Louv says that, “An environment-based education movement--at all levels of education--will help students realize that school isn't supposed to be a polite form of incarceration, but a portal to the wider world.” And so we keep school focused on science and nature as much as possible. Many prisons dictate that inmates get at least two hours of outdoor time a day; many kids get less than an hour outside. Our children deserve better than our prisoners.

    We try to focus our school on science and nature as much as possible. Obviously, this can be hard; reading curriculum at the early levels is mostly you-get-what-you-get, as is math - and we don’t have the luxury to go to full unschooling. But for everything else, we focus on science and nature. We make field guides part of our kids’ bookshelves; Birds of America is a particular favorite. We read from them the way some families read Dr. Seuss. Since everyone’s into dinosaurs right now, our shelves are stuffed with dinosaur books of all levels, from preschool to Ph.D. We make nature available indoors, since we can’t be outside all the time.

    But when we can be outside, most importantly, we let the kids mess around.

    There’s a lot of pushback against this messing around. People think it’s useless, or worse, a waste of valuable time. But child-directed learning works best. ...

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