• Homeschooling Styles

    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 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!



    ...
    by Published on 09-01-2014 12:01 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Homeschooling Styles,
    3. General Homeschooling
    Article Preview

    Happy September and Back to Homeschool!

    As public school kids head off to their institutions, many homeschoolers are also starting their school year! Bring on the PJ's, comfy couches, snuggly blankets, corner of pillows or dining room tables! Reading to the dog, laying upside down on the bed while practicing spelling words, listening to music while learning calculus, chilling in front of the computer or watching a science experiment on YouTube in the car...

    No matter how you do it, what works for you is one of the greatest joys of homeschooling!

    And then you have the meltdowns.

    The "I HATE SPELLING" or "I can't think of what to write" or "WHY does a+b=c because I think this Math is STUPID". The tears, the storming off or the collapsing at the table because something isn't working! And insert Mom or Dad rolling their eyes as they sip coffee and think 'here we go again!'

    We are bringing back Instagram this month at Secular Homeschool.

    We want those 1st day of school pics! ...
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