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    Published on 12-01-2016 09:00 AM
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    2. Monthly Giveaways


    Letís start off the holiday season right with a December to remember. This month Time4Learning is offering the members of SecularHomeschool.com a chance to win an 8-month subscription to Time4Learningís award-winning, student-paced, online curriculum for up to five children!

    With Time4Learning, students have access to all the core subjects - math, language arts, science and social studies - and the option to add on a foreign language - English (American), Spanish (Latin American), Chinese time4learning-jpg(Mandarin), Latin, French, or German. One of the many reasons parents and students choose Time4Learning is because of the ability to create a learning path that is customizable to each studentís individual needs. So, whether you are using the curriculum for homeschooling or skill building, your students can quickly progress through a subject that they are good at and dedicate more time to a challenging subject. Students achieve greater balance and maintain their desire to learn!

    Signing up for Time4Learning gives you all the tools you need for your students to succeed:

    • A secure, ad free learning environment for your students to work in
    • Begin at anytime with 24/7 access to Time4Learning, anywhere at anytime
    • More than 3,000+ multimedia lessons, printable worksheets, and graded activities in a student-paced environment that brings concepts to life
    • Time4Learningís automated system grades lessons, tracks progress, and keeps reports
    • An activity planner that plans out the lessons for you
    • And many more homeschool teaching and parent support tools

    Head on over to Time4Learning and give it a try. With the ability to stop, start, or pause at anytime, you have nothing to lose!

    To enter this giveaway, comment below and let us know why your family would like to win a subscription to Time4Learning! 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 sharing this giveaway on Pinterest and coming back and commenting to let us know (with the URL of your pin) or by sharing this 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)


    by Kerry Jones

    If you homeschool and have more than one computer or device in your home, then you are about to thank me. Big time. Because today I'm going to share with you the secret of Google Drive for organizing and streamlining many of your homeschool tasks. In my opinion, there has never been an easier, better designed, or affordable (free!) way to handle some of the heavy-lifting of homeschooling, including recordkeeping and lesson planning.

    Homeschool Recordkeeping in the Cloud

    One of the nicest features of Google Drive is that it is cloud-based. That means that whether you are on your laptop, tablet, or phone, you can get to what you need. In other words, you can be at the library, the coffee shop, or on your Blackberry, and "Presto!" - - instant homeschool access.

    Here is how it works: you see, Google Drive is basically a free cloud-based Microsoft Office competitor. There is a word processor, a spreadsheet app, and a presentations application. I might share some creative uses for all of those in a future article, but for now we are going to focus on the spreadsheet application. Of course, to access any of these you will first need to sign up for a Google account if you don't already have one. (Are there people that still do not have Google accounts??!!) They are free, and relatively painless to register for. Here is the link to get started. One Google registration is all you need to get signed up for ALL of Google's many services, including Google Docs, Gmail, Google Hangouts, Google Calendar, and Google Sites. If you have a Blogger account, you are already covered. It is also very helpful to sign each of your homeschooled children up with their own account.

    If you have worked with Microsoft Office at all, Google Drive will be a breeze, because it has most of the same capabilities - - word processor, spreadsheet, and presentations. It will even upload and download in Office file extensions! For a full tutorial on how to use the Google Drive interface,this YouTube video may be helpful.

    Google Drive for Homeschool Lesson Planning

    My favorite homeschool use of the program is as a lesson planner/calendar. I create a spreadsheet grid that I use to keep track of my sons' daily assignments. The great thing is that once I share the sheet with their Google accounts, they can access my spreadsheet from any computer, make changes to it, cross things off when they have completed them, etc.

    The daily assignment sheet, in essence, becomes a collaborative effort. Even if you are unschooling, and aren't ummm...high-strung like me, Google spreadsheets are still a great way to track what your kids are accomplishing, and a place for you to provide resources and suggestions for what they are currently interested in. You and your ...

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