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    by Published on 03-20-2020 01:28 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Field Trips
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    Don’t let being stuck inside get you down. Just because your local school has closed, kids are home--and starting to drive you batty--you can still have fun. Seriously! Secular Homeschool has collected and compiled a list of Virtual Field Trips that are just for you. From the comfort of your couch, you and the kids can explore museums, zoos, the ocean, and national parks. Social distancing at its finest.

    Turn Virtual Field Trips into Lessons

    I am sure you are wondering what a free virtual field trip can do for your newly founded homeschooling adventure. It can do a lot. It can provide new insight and set your homeschooler off on a research adventure to learn more about what they have seen. This teaches them research skills, reading, writing (note-taking), and so much more. Choose a trip that’s tied to one of your core subjects and have it count as the day’s assignment. You can have them write in a journal about what they saw. What was their favorite part? What would they like to have seen? Practice geography by finding where the venue is located on a map and discuss the methods to get there from where you live. Math skills can be added by figuring out what it would take to get there; the cost of gas, mileage, etc. Consider a future real-life family field trip to see it in person. Save all this research as it will be useful.

    Homeschooling, whether for a short time or a lifestyle, allows you as a family to learn together and adjust anything you are doing to become a learning experience. Virtual field trips, baking a cake, walking around the block, planting a garden, or even something like FaceTime’ing the grandparents. Every activity can be educational. It just depends on how you look at it and use it.

    On bad days, days where you are just done. Kids are loud, they are not listening, you can’t understand their math problem and you just need a break. Stop! Pull up one of these virtual field trips and take a journey as a family. I can guarantee it will help. ...
    by Published on 02-28-2020 12:23 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling
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    Welcome to our first Science Project of the Month Series! Each month Secular Homeschool will feature a science project that you can do with your homeschoolers. Whether you are “sciency” or not, these will be easy, fun and perfect to do as a family. I will include several fun facts that coincide with the featured project, so for homeschool, we can pull double duty and learn something while we do science. February is Dental Health Month, so naturally, we are doing a dental health experiment for kids.

    February is all about hearts, valentines, and chocolate. It always struck me as hilarious that it is also dental health month. I wonder if dentists voted it in because of the vast amount of candy given and consumed on Valentine’s Day? Dental health is no laughing matter. Our teeth are important for more than just chewing. Talking, smiling, laughing all work better with teeth. Teeth are also connected with the rest of our body and issues within our body can show up in our teeth and vice versa. Pretty amazing how connected the human body is! Check out how different things we drink affect our teeth below using our Tooth Health Science Project of the Month.


    Science Project: Tooth Decay Experiment - Egg Scrub


    Age Level: Preschool-High School
    Items Needed:

    • 1 cup soda/cola/pop (whatever you call it in your neck of the woods!), make sure it’sdark brown such as root beer or a cola
    • 1 cup vinegar
    • 1 cup water


    • 1 cup fruit juice (more acidic such as orange juice or lemonade work better)
    • 4 hard-boiled eggs
    • 1-4 toothbrushes (you can wash and reuse the same toothbrush or have a clean one for each liquid)
    • 4 plastic cups (make sure they are deep enough to hold a whole egg and liquid with the egg 100% submerged)
    • Toothpaste or baking soda
    • Paper towels
    • Egg carton or egg holder


    Directions


    1. Fill each cup with each liquid. Do not overfill; remember to leave room for water displacement with the egg addition.
    2. Put 1 egg in each cup carefully so you don’t crack the shell. Make sure it is completely submerged and covered by the liquid.
    3. Leave this overnight. Be aware that some liquids (vinegar for example) can start to dissolve the shell the longer they are left in but that is another experiment for another day.
    4. Remember to note which liquids are in which containers, though you can probably use your senses to figure this out.
    5. While you are waiting, hypothesize what will happen with each liquid. Write these down. You can do as a group or have each child make their own hypothesis and then compare.
    ...
    by Published on 02-27-2020 12:37 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling
    beating-homeschool-burnout-jpg

    Break out of the February/March homeschool slump with a few easy ideas from Secular Homeschool.

    Why Do We Get Homeschool Burnout?

    February/March is upon us and along with overcast skies, rain, sickness…. comes the homeschool slump. Yes, the slump. It is a real thing. January brings us back from Winter Break, refreshed, renewed, and ready to jump into it. February/March brings the slump also called homeschool mom burnout. We have been cooped up, whether from weather or sickness. We are missing the fresh air and sunshine. We are all tired. The curriculum has lost its bloom. Parents are tired of fighting kids who would rather be attached to a screen.

    Most homeschoolers get it. It may happen in February, it may happen in March but it happens. We lose that zest for homeschooling and just want to be done for the year. It happens in our house all the time. You would think that I would be used to it since we have been homeschooling since 2008… but nope. Usually the first few days of grumpiness, I assume they are getting sick or extra tired. Or that I have an attitude. Then I remember what month it is. Slump month. *Sigh* ...
    Published on 02-20-2020 11:19 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Curriculum,
    3. Homeschooling with Technology,
    4. General Homeschooling
    free-minecraft-resources-kids-secular-homeschool-jpg


    As humongously popular as Minecraft has become, it’s not surprising that people are cashing in on everything from subscription-based servers to themed accessories to homeschool curriculum. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of Minecraft-related goodies out there with no price tag. That’s right... this list is for highlighting all the completely FREE Minecraft resources for kids, broken down by category.

    Free Minecraft Servers



    Free Minecraft General Education Resources

    ...
    by Published on 02-17-2020 01:08 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling
    arts-crafts-projects-jpg


    Arts and Crafts Project of the Month February Edition:

    No Cook Chocolate Playdough Recipe

    Welcome to our first Arts and Craft Project of the Month Series! Each month Secular Homeschool will feature an art or craft project that you can do with your homeschoolers. Whether you are artsy or not, these will be easy, fun and perfect to do as a family. I will include several fun facts that coincide with the featured project, so for homeschool, we can pull double duty and learn something while we craft. This month let’s explore Homemade No Cook Chocolate Playdough. We’re using a DIY no cook method which makes it easy and safe for any age level to get involved.

    Who doesn’t love the smell of chocolate? The sensory aspect of chocolate alone has proven to be memory inducing, and what a great memory to give your children! We all associate February with Valentine’s Day. Chocolate and Valentine’s seem to go hand in hand. So we’ll kick off this Arts & Crafts series with a seasonal flavor: chocolate! That’s right, this is a scented playdough recipe. If you don’t love chocolate, no worries. I will include a substitute below.

    Ok, here’s how to make our homemade playdough!


    No Cook Chocolate Homemade Playdough Recipe

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup salt (does not matter if iodized, plain, etc.)
    • ½ cup of cocoa powder
    • 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil (FYI: 4 tablespoons is the same as ¼ cup)
    • 1 cup boiling water (you can use cold water but you will not get as smooth a mix; it tends to stay drier)
    • 1 teaspoon food/flavor extract (optional)
      • Use options that pair well with chocolate like vanilla, mint, lemon or raspberry

    • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar (optional) - used as a preservative and only needed if you are storing long-term. (I don’t plan on storing mine. House of sick kids means it is a one-and-done batch for me.) If you are wondering how to store this playdough, I recommend an air-tight zip top bag or plastic container with a lid.

    ...

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