• General Homeschooling

    by Published on 04-01-2020 12:58 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling
    science-month-jpg


    Welcome to the second installment of our 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 “science-y” or not, these will be easy, fun, and perfect to do as a family. The fun facts included will supplement the science lesson, so be sure to check those out as well.

    Stuck indoors? Us too. Yep, as homeschoolers, we school at home but we are also used to going where we want, when we want. We are all in the same boat. Stuck at home and silently going bonkers! Kids are being a little crazier daily, and you are about to lose it. You need a science project to distract them. I have just the thing! Not only will this project keep them busy today, but they will need to observe and care for it for the next few weeks. Science experiments are an opportunity for you to create a learning unit.

    Create A Unit Study

    If you are new to homeschooling and unsure of how to create a learning unit or have no idea what I am talking about, let me explain further. Yes, this can be a 1-day science project. But you can expand on it and create a unit study. Take this lesson further by:

    • Reading: Students should read about the life cycle of each vegetable you will be regrowing.
    • Math: Create charts of the days and measure the growth of the vegetables.
    • Science: Observe daily what is changing and log your theory on the reasons why.
    • History: When did humans begin to cultivate vegetables? When did romaine lettuce first appear?
    • Life Skills: Growing your own food and reducing waste.
    • Spelling: Alphabetize the names of the plants you are regrowing; have the students study up for a spelling quiz.
    • Socialization: Create a video to share with friends or relatives of what you are doing.


    See how easy it is to turn something as simple as regrowing what we would toss in the composter into a lesson or two? Homeschooling is about turning everything you do daily into a lesson. Kids are sponges and absorb everything around them, all the time. They are constantly learning, so make use of that.
    ...
    by Published on 04-01-2020 12:40 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling
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    Welcome to our second installment in our 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 or not you are artsy, these will be easy, fun and perfect to do as a family. I will include several fun facts that relate to the featured project, so check the bottom of the page for learning opportunities as you craft.


    Our world has changed a bit in the last few weeks; many of us are stuck at home kids are starting to get a little cabin fever and drive us bonkers. Our Arts and Crafts Projects of the Month is here to help you. Not only will it give you something to change up your homeschooling day, but it can be used with stuff you already have around the house. No need to run to the store. Stay home, stay safe and craft with your kids.


    This month, because kids of all ages are home, I am giving you several ideas of things to create. Create one, create all--that is up to you. Have fun, get messy and adjust any of these as needed based on the supplies you have on hand. Let’s get crafty with some homeschool art projects.

    Project 1: Fork Flower Painting

    Level: easy
    Good for all ages but great for younger ages with adult help because of scissor use.

    Supplies


    • Copy paper
    • Paint (think flower colors; blue, yellow, orange, pink, etc.): tempura, acrylic, fingerpaint (any paint will do, just remember not all is washable once dried)
    • Plastic forks (real forks can be used, just be sure to use washable paint)
    • Markers or crayons
    • Green construction paper, if you have it
    • Scissors
    • Glue or glue stick
    • Disposable plate for paint


    Instructions:

    1. Take your disposable paper plate. Place small dabs of paint on it. Make sure to leave room between colors so they don’t mix.
    2. Lay out your sheet of copy paper. You can tape the top edge down to stop it moving around.
    3. I suggest 1 fork for each color unless you want to work on color mixing.
    4. Use the back of the fork to lie in the paint and then place it on the paper. Depending on the fork, you may have to rock it to coat it with paint completely.
    5. You can create flower shapes such as a tulip with a single fork pressing, repeated fork pattern to create a daisy, multiple layers to create a mum. Use your imagination. There is no wrong flower. Let dry.
    6. Take your marker or crayon and draw stems, grass, leaves.
    7. You can also use green construction paper and scissors to create 3-dimensional leaves, gluing them in place.


    Personal Note
    : The younger kids needed more assistance to get a good pressing. The older kids wanted to decorate their page more with sky, clouds, birds.

    Fun Facts:

    • Several centuries ago, in Holland, tulips were more valuable than gold. My yard must be worth a fortune!
    • Broccoli is actually a flower. And tasty steamed with some cheese!
    • The largest Flower in the world is the flower of the Puya raimondii, which has a potential overall flower height of 50 feet tall and bears over 8,000 white flowers. Now this, I would like to see. WOW!

    ...
    by Published on 04-01-2020 12:29 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling
    shs-march-jpg


    Use writing prompts to get those reluctant writers writing. It really works!


    So, your homeschool is buzzing along through lower grades, things are going smoothly. Your kids bump up to middle school level and suddenly writing is required. More than a few sentences or a silly story. Actual writing. Prep for high school and eventually college. If you have a reluctant writer as I did, this turns a simple task into a WWE match. Seriously. The main homeschool fight on a daily basis with my youngest was over writing.

    Surviving the writing journey.

    He is a very literal thinker. Write a story about going to the store and buying milk, results in; I walked to the store. I bought milk. I walked home. *sigh Ok, what did you do in between? What did you see? Who was at the store? How did you pay? Did you talk to anyone? You need to elaborate. Which usually resulted in a screaming WHAT? You didn’t say that. You said write going to the store to get milk. I did, but... And continue this conversation for at least 15 more minutes, to which he would usually just get told to do his other work and I let it drop. I was tired of the battles. Was that good parenting? Probably not, at the time, but pick your battles. And in the meantime, work on some solutions that take it out of MY hands and put the writing back in his hands. He still has to do it, but has some control over it. Here is how I accomplished that.
    ...
    by Published on 03-17-2020 12:14 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling
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    Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. The thing that is everywhere, physically and literally. Facebook groups, the news, chat rooms, emails and pretty much everywhere you look or go: coronavirus, better known as COVID-19. And I don’t know about you, but as a homeschooling family, we go into learning mode and have not only been following the progression of this virus but constantly updating each other on new information as we find it. Being informed is the best way to win the war against germs.

    COVID-19 started in Wuhan, China in late 2019. It has since progressed to over 100 countries and climbing daily. Numbers within countries are climbing hourly. Why are we so concerned about this virus? I mean, it is just a virus after all. A cold is a virus. So what is the big deal? The big deal is that COVID-19 is a whopper of a virus. It is unknown how it actually came to be. There are several theories out there; who knows which one is correct? That is a debate for another day.

    We do know that it is transmitted easily. YUCK. Scientists and doctors are still learning how it can be spread, how to prevent it, how to stop it. It is a virus. It is not bacterial and therefore cannot be stopped with antibiotics. Currently, the virus seems to be affecting the elderly and immune-compromised more than anyone else.


    Wash Your Hands

    The best prevention is hand-washing. Sounds silly but it is simple. Wash your hands. Wash your hands after the bathroom, wash your hands before preparing food or eating, wash your hands after changing a diaper, wash your hands after dealing with pets. Cover your cough and sneeze. Not with your hands, with your elbow or shoulder. Limit contact. Don’t shake hands, even though that is our ingrained social norm. Right now, people will understand. Wave, fist bump or just say hi. Limit large gatherings. Many states have put bans on large gatherings. Why? Because large masses of people coughing or sneezing within close distance of each other is not good for the public health. ...
    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
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    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* ...
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