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    by Published on 02-17-2020 02:08 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling

    no-cook-chocolate-playdough-3-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.


    Instructions

    Total Prep Time: 10 minutes



    1. Add flour, salt, cocoa to a medium bowl, whisking together. Add cream of tartar at this point if you choose to use it.
      no-cook-chocolate-playdough-jpg
    2. Carefully add the oil and extract (if using) to the hot water. Stir to incorporate. (I added vanilla because that is what I had on hand. Next time I want to try mint.)
      no-cook-chocolate-playdough-9-jpg
    3. Pour the hot water mixture into the dry ingredients.
    4. Stir together. You can add an additional teaspoon of oil if needed (I did). I then tossed my wooden spoon and used my hands to mix it more into a solid mass.
      no-cook-chocolate-playdough-5-jpg
    5. Remove from the bowl, place on a floured board and knead until a soft, elastic dough forms. This takes several minutes. Now, I am not gonna lie, it doesn’t look appealing. It smells great but it looks like, well, cow manure. I ended up adding 2 more teaspoons of oil while kneading as mine felt dry. When done, I put it in a gallon sealed plastic bag to rest until playtime. I would personally recommend this--let it sit for at least 30 min. It got more pliable as it rested.
      no-cook-chocolate-playdough-4-jpg
    6. Use as you would regular playdough. You can decorate with Valentine sprinkles, cut into fun shapes or anything your imagination desires.
      no-cook-chocolate-playdough-7-jpg
    7. Not recommended for eating, despite that it smells yummy. Don’t worry if someone does consume some. All ingredients are safe and used for baking. It tastes very salty and unappealing.


    Personal Note: We sat down to play with it, approx. 4 hours after it was made. It had resided in the sealed plastic bag the whole time. It was slightly crumbly, so I added more oil, kneaded in and handed it off to the kids. I think next time, I will add more oil and knead it in 1-2x before we play with it. Just to prevent the crumbles.
    no-cook-chocolate-playdough-8-jpg
    no-cook-chocolate-playdough-2-jpg



    Non-Chocolate Substitution

    • Omit cocoa powder (CP)
    • Substitute the ½ cup CP with a mixture of flour and ground cinnamon to equal ½ cup. Adjust to your likeness. Reminder: cinnamon can be strong to the senses so less is better. I suggest adding a little at a time. You can always add more to the kneading flour if not strong enough.
      no-cook-chocolate-playdough-6-jpg


    Fun Facts About Chocolate

    • Chocolate has been around about 2,000 years, though many historians think longer as evidence suggests closer to 4,000 years.
    • Chocolate is made from the fruit of the cacao trees. (Does this mean chocolate is a fruit, and therefore can be counted in my daily diet?!LOL) The fruits are called pods, each pod contains about 40 cacao beans. These beans are then dried and roasted to create what we know as cocoa beans. This is NOT the chocolate we are used to eating and in fact is quite bitter.
    • Hot cocoa as we know it, was not how it started. Think more along the lines of black coffee using cocoa beans. It was dark and bitter and used for rituals, preparing for war and an aphrodisiac. Not my cup of cocoa.
    • Cortes brought it to Spain and they mixed it with sugar and honey, therefore starting the path towards chocolate we know and love.
    • 1828 the chocolate pres was invented, giving us the ability to separate the cocoa butter and leaving behind cocoa powder.
    • Most known kinds of chocolate are milk, semi-sweet, dark and bittersweet.
    • White chocolate is not actual chocolate. It contains cocoa butter but no chocolate solids.


    Fun Facts About Play-doh

    • Play-doh was created in the 1930s as a wallpaper cleaner. Yep, you read that right. Weird!
    • It was reworked and marketed to schools in the late 1950s.
    • It premiered at the 1956 educational convention (Educational conventions were a thing even back then, cool.) and was picked up by several prominent department stores.
    • In 2003, it was added to the “Toys of the Century” list put out by the Toy Industry Association.
    • More than 2 billion cans were sold between 1955 and 2005.
    • Sold in 75 countries.
    • According to Hasbro, it mainly consists of salt, water, and flour with a few other preserving ingredients.
    • As demonstrated in the recipe above, you can create homemade playdough in both cooked and no cook form. Check out our Pinterest board for more recipes and ideas!


    We hope you enjoyed this Arts-and-Crafts of the Month demonstration. If you create this, please share how it went for you in the comments. Add a photo if you can, or better yet, share on our Instagram page tagging @SecularHomeschool.

    I welcome suggestions for future Arts-and-Crafts of the Month ideas! Drop me an email at [email protected] with your ideas. I love hearing from members.
    by Published on 01-24-2020 05:51 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Curriculum,
    3. Curriculum Reviews

    homeschool-resources-1[908]-pngThanks to Our Sponsor Calvert Homeschool!

    It is HERE!!

    The 2020 Secular Curriculum Top Choices List is here. It is like Christmas for curriculum. Secular Homeschool created this list to better assist you in your curriculum choices. Picking curriculum can be hard, we personally know this. So many choices with very little input. We have done the hard work for you. Below you will find our top picks in many categories, along with several reviews. So grab a cup, sit back, relax and find your new curriculum for the 2020-2021 homeschool year.



    TESTING AND TEST PREP

    Triangle Education Assessments - a one-stop shop for all of your nationally standardized achievement and cognitive testing needs.

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    LANGUAGE ARTS
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    Time4Learning - provides a preschool to 12th-grade online homeschool curriculum using an approach that takes advantage of today’s technology and the internet. I have taught almost every grade level of Time4Learning since we started our homeschool journey! It quickly became a family favorite and my kids not only learned but advanced. They passed every State required test above their grade level. I love the ability to keep track of my kiddos learning with parent reports!

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    Time4Writing - Everything from grammar to essays is taught by our team of certified teachers who assess each student’s writing and provide encouraging feedback on every assignment.

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    Calvert - an online, private academy for grades K-12. Each student receives an individualized learning plan based on their goals, their current academic standing, and their style of learning. A personalized academic support team of teachers, advisors, and counselors is then selected to ensure your student has a strong foundation for achievement.
    Please visit our Calvert Homeschool Review.


    Timberdoodle - Our goal is to offer unique and innovative homeschooling items that are fun for kids and parents.

    eTap - provides homeschool teachers & students with all primary and secondary school course of instruction, plus college entrance exams, test prep and more.

    Starfall - Starfall’s emphasis on phonemic awareness, systematic sequential phonics, and common sight words in conjunction with audiovisual interactivity has proven effective in teaching emergent readers. Free with some paid upgrades.

    Write from the Heart - an online program designed to teach composition and literature.


    MATH

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    Time4Learning - provides a preschool to 12th-grade online homeschool curriculum using an approach that takes advantage of today’s technology and the internet. I have taught almost every grade level of Time4Learning since we started our homeschool journey! It quickly became a family favorite and my kids not only learned but advanced. They passed every State required test above their grade level. I love the ability to keep track of my kiddos learning with parent reports!

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    Time4MathFacts - What students experience as they play games to practice math facts is an immersive world of fun characters, rewards for improving their recall, and confidence-building feedback showing them their progress.

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    Calvert - an online, private academy for grades K-12. Each student receives an individualized learning plan based on their goals, their current academic standing, and their style of learning. A personalized academic support team of teachers, advisors, and counselors is then selected to ensure your student has a strong foundation for achievement.
    Please visit our Calvert Homeschool Review.

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    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University –Features dual-enrollment for homeschool high school students with onlinecourses and two campus options.

    Timberdoodle - Our goal is to offer unique and innovative homeschooling items that are fun for kids and parents.

    eTap - provides homeschool teachers & students with all primary and secondary school course of instruction, plus college entrance exams, test prep and more.

    Starfall - Starfall’s emphasis on phonemic awareness, systematic sequential phonics, and common sight words in conjunction with audiovisual interactivity has proven effective in teaching emergent readers. Free with some paid upgrades.




    SCIENCE AND STEAM/STEM

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    Time4Learning - provides a preschool to 12th-grade online homeschool curriculum using an approach that takes advantage of today’s technology and the internet. I have taught almost every grade level of Time4Learning since we started our homeschool journey! It quickly became a family favorite and my kids not only learned but advanced. They passed every State required test above their grade level. I love the ability to keep track of my kiddos learning with parent reports!

    calvert-logo-400x400-horizontal[1023]-png

    Calvert - an online, private academy for grades K-12. Each student receives an individualized learning plan based on their goals, their current academic standing, and their style of learning. A personalized academic support team of teachers, advisors, and counselors is then selected to ensure your student has a strong foundation for achievement.
    Please visit our Calvert Homeschool Review.

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    Kinderlab Robotics - offers KIBO – A hands-on STEAM learning toy that engages young students to be producers and creators with technology.

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    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Features dual-enrollment for homeschool high school students with online courses and two campus options.

    Timberdoodle - Our goal is to offer unique and innovative homeschooling items that are fun for kids and parents.

    eTap - provides homeschool teachers & students with all primary and secondary school course of instruction, plus college entrance exams, test prep and more.


    Sciplus - offers an eclectic range of products, many with a science or educational tilt to them, others simply handy or amusing. Great place to buy science equipment!



    EARLY LEARNING

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    Time4Learning - provides a preschool to 12th-grade online homeschool curriculum using an approach that takes advantage of today’s technology and the internet. I have taught almost every grade level of Time4Learning since we started our homeschool journey! It quickly became a family favorite and my kids not only learned but advanced. They passed every State required test above their grade level. I love the ability to keep track of my kiddos learning with parent reports!

    homeschool_photo[910]-jpg

    Kinderlab Robotics - offers KIBO – A hands-on STEAM learning toy that engages young students to be producers and creators with technology.

    Timberdoodle - Our goal is to offer unique and innovative homeschooling items that are fun for kids and parents.

    Starfall - Starfall’s emphasis on phonemic awareness, systematic sequential phonics, and common sight words in conjunction with audiovisual interactivity has proven effective in teaching emergent readers. Free with some paid upgrades.




    SPECIAL NEEDS


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    Time4Learning - provides a preschool to 12th-grade online homeschool curriculum using an approach that takes advantage of today’s technology and the internet. I have taught almost every grade level of Time4Learning since we started our homeschool journey! It quickly became a family favorite and my kids not only learned but advanced. They passed every State required test above their grade level. I love the ability to keep track of my kiddos learning with parent reports!

    Timberdoodle - Our goal is to offer unique and innovative homeschooling items that are fun for kids and parents.

    Starfall - Starfall’s emphasis on phonemic awareness, systematic sequential phonics, and common sight words in conjunction with audiovisual interactivity has proven effective in teaching emergent readers. Free with some paid upgrades.

    eTap - provides homeschool teachers & students with all primary and secondary school course of instruction, plus college entrance exams, test prep and more.

    Colllins Academy Therapy Services - occupational therapy with a focus on homeschooling.




    MULTIPLE SUBJECTS

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    Time4Learning - provides a preschool to 12th-grade online homeschool curriculum using an approach that takes advantage of today’s technology and the internet. I have taught almost every grade level of Time4Learning since we started our homeschool journey! It quickly became a family favorite and my kids not only learned but advanced. They passed every State required test above their grade level. I love the ability to keep track of my kiddos learning with parent reports!

    calvert-logo-400x400-horizontal[1023]-png

    Calvert - an online, private academy for grades K-12. Each student receives an individualized learning plan based on their goals, their current academic standing, and their style of learning. A personalized academic support team of teachers, advisors, and counselors is then selected to ensure your student has a strong foundation for achievement.
    Please visit our Calvert Homeschool Review.

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    Grace and Grit - Grace & Grit is a company that teaches girls essential life skills and confidence through customized lessons. I really like their concept and focus on providing girls with life skills for REAL life.


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    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Features dual-enrollment for homeschool high school students with online courses and two campus options.

    eTap
    - provides homeschool teachers & students with all primary and secondary school course of instruction, plus college entrance exams, test prep and more.

    Timberdoodle - Our goal is to offer unique and innovative homeschooling items that are fun for kids and parents.

    American School - American School’s innovative paper-based and online curriculum offers something for everyone in grades 6-12.




    TECHNOLOGY AND CODING

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    Kinderlab Robotics - offers KIBO – A hands-on STEAM learning toy that engages young students to be producers and creators with technology.

    de_logo_navy[934]-png
    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Features dual-enrollment for homeschool high school students with online courses and two campus options.

    Timberdoodle - Our goal is to offer unique and innovative homeschooling items that are fun for kids and parents.

    Sciplus - offers an eclectic range of products, many with a science or educational tilt to them, others simply handy or amusing. Great place to buy science equipment!




    ELECTIVES AND FOREIGN LANGUAGE

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    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Features dual-enrollment for homeschool high school students with online courses and two campus options.

    Timberdoodle - Our goal is to offer unique and innovative homeschooling items that are fun for kids and parents.

    Duolingo - free foreign language site with over a dozen languages available

    Bilingual Together -
    Everyone ​learns best when having fun. ​Our ​site is full of tips and tricks for making ​language learning exciting and fun for the whole family.




    HISTORY, SOCIAL STUDIES, AND GEOGRAPHY

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    Calvert - an online, private academy for grades K-12. Each student receives an individualized learning plan based on their goals, their current academic standing, and their style of learning. A personalized academic support team of teachers, advisors, and counselors is then selected to ensure your student has a strong foundation for achievement.
    Please visit our Calvert Homeschool Review.

    gng-image-400x400-1[912]-jpg

    Grace and Grit - Grace & Grit is a company that teaches girls essential life skills and confidence through customized lessons. I really like their concept and focus on providing girls with life skills for REAL life.



    Timberdoodle
    -
    Our goal is to offer unique and innovative homeschooling items that are fun for kids and parents.

    eTap - provides homeschool teachers & students with all primary and secondary school course of instruction, plus college entrance exams, test prep and more.
    by Published on 01-11-2020 01:09 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Secular Homeschooling,
    3. Parenting

    shscareerday2020-jpg

    Hello SHS’ers! Over the course of 2020, I will be doing featured articles on careers. While Secular Homeschool is mainly for parents, this will be an article(s) that you can share with your homeschoolers who may have an interest in that career.







    What do I need from you? I would love to chat/PM with members(or spouses or partners or ?) about their career, whether past, present or studying for future. From THAT info, I would create an article featuring you and your career.
    It would contain

    • a short bio about you
    • basic information about that career
    • several questions I would ask you personally(for example: Why did you choose this career? What is your favorite thing about it?)



    It literally will take you 10 minutes or less to answer my simple questionnaire. You may include a photo of yourself at your career or I can choose a stock photo in case you are camera shy like me!LOL


    I would love to feature 1 career per month, 2 if we get enough responses. You can be a tradesman, a crafter, an artist, a writer, a teacher, a SAHM(yes, this IS a career!), a sales clerk or even an astronaut. I don’t care, I would just love to feature you and your career on SHS for 2020. And hey, if you have a graduated homeschooler attending college, interning or in a career field already and they would love to do it, send them along! THAT would be awesome!

    Let’s show homeschoolers that they can be ANYTHING they set their minds to!
    I have several sign-ups already and our first article will be featured SOON! If you want to sign-up, comment below that you are interested and I will shoot you a PM. Look forward to hearing from you and getting our 2020 Career Day started!

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SecularHomeschool.com was created to provide information, resources, and a place to share and connect with secular homeschoolers across the world. Secularhomeschool.com aims to be your one-stop shop for all things homeschool! We will be highlighting information about wonderful secular homeschool resources, and keeping you up to date with what is going on in the world of secular homeschooling. But that is only the beginning. SHS is your playground. A place to share the things that are important to you. A place to create and join groups that share your interests. A place to give and get advice. There are no limits to what you can do at Secular Homeschool, so join today and help build the community you have always wanted.

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