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    Published on 07-01-2015 08:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Monthly Giveaways

    BookShark is a complete literature-based homeschool curriculum for students from kindergarten through eighth
    grade. It uses a variety of educational resources including literary fiction and nonfiction, biographies, illustrations and hands-on experiments to deliver an engaging and complete education that extends beyond textbook memorization. BookShark combines a proprietary History, Science and Language Arts offering with a wide range of math options, including Teaching Textbooks, Saxon and Singapore, to ensure you have everything you need for an entire school year.

    BookShark’s literature-based homeschool curriculum is easy for parents to teach. All of the planning and preparation is done for you, so you can enjoy learning together. Bookshark provides you with a 36-week, 4-day schedule designed to save one day a week for sports, field trips or other extracurricular activities.

    SecularHomeschool.com members could win either a BookShark Science Package or a BookShark Language Arts Package during our April 2015 giveaway! (AND if you order any of these items from BookShark in April and win the giveaway, BookShark will refund your purchase plus give you a $25 coupon toward your next purchase!)

    BookShark Science Packages are packed full of experiments and resources that keep science interesting! The 36 week school year is fully planned with an instructor's guide, multiple books, an entertaining DVD that walks you through the experiments and science kits with all the materials needed to do the experiments. All of the work and preparation is done so you can focus on teaching! (Retail value between $150 - $210)

    BookShark Language Arts is new and improved! After interviewing numerous focus groups, they found what parents wanted:
    1. They wanted to know what skills they were teaching.
    2. They wanted to know exactly what to say to their students.
    3. They wanted to know if their students had mastered the skill.

    Bookshark had classroom teachers work with homeschool moms to add these changes to their instructor guides. To address those needs, they added:
    1. Weekly overviews to ensure parents know what they are teaching.
    2. Daily lesson plan scripts so parents know exactly how to instruct their students.
    3. Weekly rubrics to help parents evaluate their student's progress.

    The Language Arts giveaway includes the Language Arts Instructor's Guide as well as the corresponding Readers. (Retail value between $150 - $210)

    Keep up with the latest at BookShark:

    To enter this giveaway, simply comment below and let us know whether you would like to win the BookShark Science Package OR the BookShark Language Arts Package (you may choose only one prize).
    You may earn up to five additional entries for this giveaway by sharing this giveaway on Facebook and coming back and commenting to let us know, by sharing this giveaway on Twitter and coming back and commenting to let us know (with your Twitter ID), by sharing this giveaway on your Google+ profile and coming back and commenting to let us know (with the URL link of your share), by pinning this giveaway post on your Pinterest profile and coming back and commenting to let us know (with the URL of your pin) or by sharing the giveaway on your personal blog or website and coming back and leaving a comment with a link to your post. (Each additional entry must be entered via a separate comment)

    Click here to view the official rules for this giveaway

    by Published on 07-02-2015 10:41 AM

    by Published on 06-24-2015 11:55 AM

    Feel free to brag below in the comments if you (or your kiddos) got a perfect score without conferring with Google.

    by Published on 06-29-2015 09:03 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Homeschooling Styles,
    3. Secular Homeschooling,
    4. Curriculum
    Article Preview

    To interact with the original FSTN forum post, click here.

    I remember the first time I encounteredCuisenaire rods in a graduate workshop. “Be sure you allow time forkids to play with them,” began the instructor, looking around at aroom full of educators turning the tiny blocks into towers andpatterns of stripes. As we knocked over towers and tried to payattention to the instructions on how to use these colorful littlethings with students, we laughed. Even the adults were drawn toplaying with their math.

    I've since learned that there are amillion ways to play with your math and hold it in your hands. It'snot a necessary step for absolutely every student, but for most, itmakes math more fun, more tactile, and easier to understand. Mathmanipulatives can be a lifeline for some math strugglers, a shortcutto understanding for some thinkers, and a means to get to a deeperunderstanding for others. There are dozens of different products outthere for both arithmetic and geometry and even an array of productsfor algebra. There are also ways to make math hands on by bringing itinto the real world in other ways.

    The simplest math manipulatives areprobably counters. Nearly all of us were born with a nice set of tenof them attached directly to our hands. You can get fancy, of course,and buy a set or you can use what you have around the house. For thesmallest math learners, going from the symbolic abstraction ofnumbers to the reality of a quantity of things sitting in front ofyou is a big step in early learning. In fact, it was a big step inour development as a species to be able to do this. If you and your kids ever want to think about just how big a step, the Terry Jones documentary The Story of 1 is a fun look at the history of how numbers became numbers. We're so used to being able to think of four chairs or four apples or four fingers as just “4” that it's easy to underestimate how hard it is for the brand new learner.

    Next comes the even harder in counting up past your fingers. Going beyond ten means beginning to see a pattern in the way we structure our numbers and understanding placevalue. This is where counters can be useful to start, but can quicklybecome tedious. Different possibilities begin to really open up. Kids ...
    by Published on 07-02-2015 05:25 PM
    Article Preview

    Ok, so this week is isn't a poll really. Sorry. Title is misleading!LOL
    But I am putting it out there because it is end of the school year for many of us. We are burnt out, tired, planning next year already and done.

    We, as homeschooling parents are with our kids 24/7 and we do it for a reasonor many reasons. And we LOVE our kids...... BUT..... there are days where we are fed up. We have had it with whining, arguing, misbehaving kids. You know what days I am talking about.
    Get a few of those in a row and we are DONE. CHECK OUT!

    Mom/Dad might need a break. Take a few minutes or a day to make time for us and hit the refresh button.
    Whether it means hiding in the bathroom for 30 minutes with a magazine or your phone, going grocery shopping ALONE, eating a meal at a restaurant with a friend or ??

    Some might need a day to recharge and some can get away with 5 minutes.

    I go in spurts as to which one I need.

    My boys love running to the store with me and while I LOVE that my teens WANT to go grocery shopping but occasionally... I want to be ALONE. I want to be able to walk through the store and avoid the game or toy aisle. I want to spend 15 minutes in the garden section looking at seeds for no reason and nobody questioning WHY. I usually grab myself a soda(a splurge for me) or a coffee if it is early and just stroll the store. I do my shopping but I do it leisurely!

    I have also been know to take 5-10 minutes in the bathroom. I may not do a darn thing except read a magazine, calm down, talk to myself, answer myself or just stare at the wall and veg.

    So.... ya can't vote in this week's poll but you can comment on how you take a little time for you! You never know, it might save another parent's sanity!

    Click here to tell us! ...

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