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    by Published on 11-23-2010 12:58 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Curriculum,
    3. Secular Homeschooling,
    4. General Homeschooling

    I admit right up front that I’m not a huge Oprah fan. I’m totally happy for her success in the self-help entertainment genre, and certainly don’t begrudge her even one corner of her empire, I’m just not personally that impressed with her. However, with that said, I also need to admit that there is one annual Oprah show that I try very hard not to miss. It’s the “Favorite Things” episode...you know, the one where she gives away ridiculous amounts of senseless material goods to all those unsuspecting audience members??!! Good golly, I love that episode!! Watching those people jumping up and down and crying and squeezing the stuffing out of the stranger in the seat next to them just warms my cockles every time.

    Having recently viewed the final Favorite Things episode of Oprah’s tv career, it made me a little nostalgic. So much so, that I thought it would be fun to create my OWN favorite things list for SHS.com. Now granted, skint as I am, I can’t possibly give away these goodies to all of you, but I hope you will at least get pencil and paper ready so you can make notes for Santa. I hear that he is still recession-proof, so he might be your best bet for finding some of these fun items under the tree. (for those of you who don’t do the Santa-thing, l can only hope you have a sugar-daddy/mama who is willing to pretend for you this year)

    So let’s count them down, shall we? My top ten most favorite (secular homeschooling) things of 2010!!

    10. Chester Comix - If you missed our giveaway and promotion of these gems, I put you into my “I pity you” category. I really want to go back and be homeschooled myself just so I can work my way through all of this incredible history-based comic books!

    9. The Chortling Bard: Caught'ya! Grammar with a Giggle for High School -I never knew how much fun combining Shakespeare and Grammar could be until I discovered “The Chortling Bard.” REALLY prepares a high-schooler for the grammar sections of college entrance exams. (Also look out for the Middle School version)
    Published on 11-16-2010 04:28 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Secular Homeschooling,
    3. Parenting

    reprinted with permission from the blog This Adventure Life

    If there’s one area of interest that I share with Christian Homeschoolers, it’s the desire to have a strong social network of like-minded peers for my children.

    I want my kids to see other families placing importance on issues that we feel strongly about. I want them to see and hear the things that we believe reinforced in their peers’ actions, conversations and beliefs. I want my kids to know and interact with other people out there who share our world-view and mindset. I feel that this is a key point in helping my children find their place in the world.

    Unfortunately, living a secular lifestyle in the Bible Belt makes that desire somewhat challenging to fulfill. Though we have an active secular homeschooling support group, we’re far from the majority. ’Normal’ people around here attend a Christian-based church. Most people admit, and prefer, that their primary social network is deeply rooted in the church. Even people who don’t attend church regularly espouse some religious preference or bias and still tend to form relationships with people who share an affinity for their chosen religious leanings. Though religious diversity is finally starting to trickle down this far south the vast majority of people, especially in the homeschooling community, are of a Christian denomination.

    For the most part, that’s fine. Like most ‘normal’ people, our family places importance on being fair and considerate, being respectful to and of others, being a good neighbor and continuing to ‘better’ ourselves, and on other basic ethical principles. But that’s really where the similarities end.

    We don’t place emphasis on the Bible or any other ‘holy book’. We respect that other people do, but it is far from an infallible source of authority in our home. When there’s a question, we don’t

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