• General Homeschooling

    Published on 04-03-2014 11:39 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Secular Homeschooling,
    3. General Homeschooling
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    This is a blog reprint from secular homeschooler, Tina Smith. Tina has graciously allowed us to reprint her blog post, I am a secular homeschooler. You can find this original post and more on her blog, The Homeschool Realm. Thank you Tina!


    I am a minority amongst a group of minorities.
    (Using the word “minority” to mean literally “a number that is less than the whole number”, not in any way saying I have ANY idea what it means to be a racial minority.)

    One cannot assume nowadays that homeschooler=Christian. BUT, truth be told….religious homeschoolers still very much outnumber the nonreligious. That fact appears to be changing, and changing quickly, as I see larger and larger groups of secular homeschoolers all over the net and locally as well. And I have a hope that someday we will be equally proportioned, simply so things will be easier for us secular homeschoolers that get really tired of having to wade through all the religious content on the web for homeschoolers. Time will tell.

    But for now, my kind is in the minority and sometimes it gets very tiresome. Why, you ask? Because in 2014, it is still very much assumed, by most people, homeschoolers and nonhomeschoolers alike, that we are all “believers.”

    This is coming up right now because I just had a brief interaction with a homeschool podcaster that seemed to assume that I was a fellow “believer”…The situation was this: I was listening to a recent episode of his podcast (even though his podcast is very religious, I’d been able to get past that and glean some good info from it), where he interviewed a dad who was doing some neat things with his daughter. I went looking for their videos on YouTube and found the dad’s channel and noticed that if you clicked on “videos” it takes you to not only their uploaded videos, but the channel’s “liked” videos…and I was surprised to see that the likes were all very inappropriate, sexual, scantily clad girl videos.

    ...
    Published on 04-02-2014 08:37 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Homeschooling with Technology,
    3. General Homeschooling
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    by Elfi Sanderson


    Years ago while attending an educational workshop on differentiating instruction, the speaker asked us to participate in a role-playing activity. Several participants were each given a small card listing an ailment. The speaker then announced, “The doctor’s office is open.” Each “patient” came forward to describe his/her problem to the “doctor,” who responded each time, “Take two aspirin and go to bed.”

    Initially there were looks of confusion and consternation, but as the activity continued, the point became crystal clear. No one would accept or continue to go to a doctor who prescribed the same treatment to all patients regardless of the symptoms they presented; yet in education “one size fits all” was readily accepted as the prevalent model in traditional classrooms of the day—and still remains so today for many of our gifted students.

    Now, after more than a century, the face of education is changing and morphing with online and blended learning at the forefront, providing us with opportunities to engage students in new and innovative ways. With these changes comes a renewed emphasis on the needs of the individual student and a more personalized approach to teaching and learning.

    What do we mean by “personalized learning?” In their recent publication, Mean What You Say: Defining and Integrating Personalized, Blended, and Competency Education (2013) iNACOL offers the following definition:

    Personalized learning is tailoring learning for each student’s strengths, needs and interests—including enabling student voice and choice in what, how, when and where they learn—to provide flexibility and supports to ensure mastery of the highest standards possible.

    So, what does personalized learning look like in an online environment? At first glance, an online course may look rather flat and two-dimensional. Scratch the surface of a quality online course, and you will find a rich tapestry of personalized interactions among students and teachers.

    Going back to the medical analogy, an effective doctor uses many tools before rendering a diagnosis and developing a treatment plan. The doctor puts together a profile of the patient, and based on that profile determines which treatment is most likely to be effective. Treatment options are discussed and ultimately,
    ...
    by Published on 03-13-2014 04:31 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Secular Homeschooling,
    3. Homeschooling Styles,
    4. General Homeschooling,
    5. Parenting
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    March is National Craft Month!

    And I know we have a bunch of crafty people and KIDS on this forum!
    Crafts are not just busy work! Crafts are a way to express Art, learn Art, use Math skills, learn shapes, follow directions, use Science, practice reading skills, practice writing skills, learn about History and socialize with friends!!
    Local craft stores are having special fun events this month, check yours! Some are having SPECTACULAR sales on crafting supplies! This is when I stock up! I also hunt our local thrift stores for stuff I can use all year round!! I have oodles and oodles of stuff!


    Crafting is not just for little kids or adults! It is for all ages and for both boys and girls!
    Did you know that it is said that knitting can help with Math retention? True story! New Math Tricks: Knitting and Crocheting


    Kids with sensory issues may do better when learning new things through crafting! 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism (Not for all kids with sensory issues, every child is different and you know your child best!)


    Create some GREAT family memories by crafting with your kids!


    You can teach art curriculum using crafts alongside it! What better way to distinguish between artists by creating their own piece of art for impressionism or surrealism or pointillism.


    Pinterest is a great place to find some great kid crafting ideas! Check out ours for Secular Homeschool! ...
    by Published on 01-16-2014 09:20 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Secular Homeschooling,
    3. Homeschooling Styles,
    4. General Homeschooling
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    Teaching and curriculum strategies based on your child's learning style.


    In my mind, there is a missing "homeschool manual" out there somewhere. It was supposed to arrive on my doorstep, or in my mailbox on the first day we began our adventure in homeschooling, but somehow it got lost in the mail (right along with my parenting manual, which I was expecting to be waiting for me when I brought our first son home from the hospital). As a result, I have had to learn all those necessary lessons about homeschooling the hard way - - by homeschooling!

    I imagine that on the very first page of the homeschooling manual, right after it says "Welcome to Homeschooling", is this prime piece of advice: BEFORE YOU SPEND ONE DIME ON HOMESCHOOL CURRICULUM, BE SURE THAT YOU KNOW YOUR CHILD'S LEARNING STYLE!!! Wow, would that ever have been helpful advice to have received before plunking down hundreds and hundreds of dollars on homeschool curriculum that was far from workable. I was probably about four years, and many grey hairs into our homeschool journey before I realized the importance of matching curriculum/materials to each child's mode of learning.

    This can be especially important when choosing math curriculum, because of the incredible diversity in how math products and curriculum are designed. The array of math programs available to homeschoolers is larger than ever before, and the choices can be overwhelming. But knowing your child's learning style can help you narrow down your options, and ensure that you don't waste money on items your child won't or can't use. ...
    by Published on 01-16-2014 04:37 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling,
    3. Parenting
    content/attachments/2190-pizap.com10.73509680945426231389908587596.jpg/

    We homeschool parents tend to forget to take a few minutes to ourselves! We take care of the kids, we are teachers, principal and parent all in one!

    In other words, we wear a lot of hats! And while I love, LOVE each and every one of those hats....I get TIRED! And when I get tired, I get crabby and lazy!


    And my boys KNOW this... I tend to agree to skip some work that week for them just to save my sanity! And they avoid poking the bear because they know Mom is a ticking time bomb!


    We get up early to get things done, we stay up late to get things done. We stay up late to have a few minutes to ourselves but that means less sleep and while it was great to get a few pages read of that new thriller novel, you have now made yourself even more tired. UGH! Vicious cycle....


    How to stop it? How to remember to take time for ME? I have these kids ALL THE TIME!



    • First, try to get a good night's sleep. At least a couple nights a week, make yourself stop at a certain time and go to bed. Most adults do best on solid 8 hours sleep.




    • Start turning off those electronics at a set time. TV, computer, phone, iPad, whatever. OFF! Proven fact that electronic use up until bedtime does not allow the mind to shut down

    ...
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