• Homeschooling Styles

    by Published on 07-27-2015 05:32 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Secular Homeschooling,
    3. Homeschooling Styles,
    4. General Homeschooling
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    As a former high school English teacher in a traditional New England classroom, a current online elementary and middle school ...
    by Published on 07-20-2015 09:54 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Secular Homeschooling,
    3. Homeschooling Styles,
    4. General Homeschooling
    Article Preview


    To interact with the original thread on the From Soup to Nuts forum, click here.

    Whenever I mention that I homeschooled my kids all the way through high school, I get looks of disbelief. The most common response is, "I could never do that. I have a hard enough time helping them with their homework. We'd kill each other!" From other homeschoolers I hear, "By the time we hit middle school, I knew I couldn't teach all those subjects, so we sent them to school."

    My response is always, "It's not that hard! It's not bringing the classroom into your home, it's following your child's lead and staying out of the way." Then I get blank stares like I'm speaking a another language. They nod politely and move along.

    I hope I can demystify this type of homeschooling for you and show you just how easy and effective it really is.

    What unschooling?

    John Holt is the go-to man on this topic. He defined it as "not school." We need to erase the school model from our brains and think clearly about how children learn.

    From Holt's book How Children Learn:

    "This is also known as interest driven, child-led, natural, organic, eclectic, or self-directed learning. Lately, the term "unschooling" has come to be associated with the type of homeschooling that doesn't use a fixed curriculum. When pressed, I define unschooling as allowing children as much freedom to learn in the world, as their parents can comfortably bear. The advantage of this method is that it doesn't require you, the parent, to become someone else—a professional teacher pouring knowledge into child-vessels on a planned basis. Instead you live and learn together, pursuing questions and interests as they arise and using conventional schooling on an "on demand" basis, if at all. This is the way we learn before going to school and the way we ...
    by Published on 06-29-2015 09:03 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Curriculum,
    3. Secular Homeschooling,
    4. Homeschooling Styles
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    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 02-04-2015 11:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Curriculum,
    3. Secular Homeschooling,
    4. Homeschooling Styles,
    5. General Homeschooling
    Resources and links for celebrating and learning during Black History Month

    February is Black History Month and a great opportunity to teach about issues and actions of people who have helped shape the world.
    Whether speakers, inventors, artists, actors or authors....Black History Month will give you a chance to learn about them all!
    Here is a collection of resources that I have put together to help with that! If you have others, please let us know as well!
    Understand as well, that all parts of this may not be 100% secular!



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