• General Homeschooling

    by Published on 08-23-2019 01:45 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling
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    While book learning is fun and shows that you are doing something with your preschooler, in a physical sense. Children, ages 2-5 are geared for play, not workbooks and sitting still. Don't fret if you have one this age and planned on doing homeschool. You can still teach them and they will still learn, through ...
    by Published on 08-01-2019 12:38 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling
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    Start your homeschool year off by checking out the results of our 2019 Secular Homeschool Back to Homeschool Curriculum Awards. Participants listed in order of most to least votes.









    READING:

    • Reading Eggs





    World Book’s Early Learning books, such as Learning Ladders, help instill a lifelong love of
    learning. Our trustworthy, accurate content complements our typical course of study to guideyour child’s educational journey.




    Reading Kingdom is an online reading program that gives you the solution to teach your kids the life-changing skill of reading! Created by a world-renowned reading expert, Reading Kingdom has
    a proven “phonics-PLUS” approach that works! Reading Kingdom teaches your child everything they need including reading, writing, spelling, and comprehension


    • Learning Dynamics





    SPECIAL NEEDS:



    Time4Learning is an award-winning, online curriculum for PreK-12th. Their learning system teaches and grades lessons, tracks progress, and works with a variety of learning styles. The comprehensive curriculum includes lessons in math, language arts, science, social studies and more. Students also have access to printable worksheets and the ability to advance at their own pace. Time4Learning's elementary curriculum provides engaging online lessons that kids love!

    ...
    by Published on 07-30-2019 01:18 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling

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    So, we have all been there. Spent the good portion of a week or two combing the curriculum sales, decided the next school year’s curriculum. Plotting and planning on paper what we will do, emptying the bank account because we NEED that science book…. We are so pleased with ourselves that we have created an awesome school year. Your kids will be thrilled, you will get parent of the year award.

    Curriculum arrives, you set it up and start the school year and within a week, you realize you hate it. Your kids hate it. It isn’t working. This sucks. But you paid for it, you planned the year for it, you are using it. You will push through.


    DON’T!!!
    I cannot emphasize this enough. I have been there. I did that. We usually use Time4Learning as our core curriculum. I decided one year to create my own. I am not a stupid person. I followed many groups and boards. I had a long list of great curriculums that would work for us from years of notes. I broke out the credit card and ordered it ALL. I bought a planner. I bought special colored pens. The laminator worked overtime. School year starts at our house in August and by end of Septemeber, I knew. UGH I had made a horrible mistake. The boys hated it. I hated it. But I had spent a lot of time, energy and brain cells creating this. We were NOT giving up. We pushed through. We made it to Thanksgiving before I admitted this was dumb. It was a daily fight. They would not do their work. There were tears and a lot of them were mine. I admit it. What do I do now? I tossed it all. We stopped doing it. We took a LONG break until after the holidays. I knew we needed it. It was basically a mini version of deschooling.

    Did I buy new curriculum? Nope. We went back to Time4Learning. I am great at the fun supplements my boys want, but NOT planning a whole curriculum and enforcing it. I boxed up what we had and gave it away to other homeschoolers. Use what you want, pass along the rest. Pay it forward. I could have sold it. I could have listed it on a homeschool SWAP site. I just wanted it gone and knew we had several families within our homeschool group that were on strict budgets.

    So, what am I saying… I am saying that if you buy or inherit curriculum and you hate it, the kids hate it, it is a daily fight… DON’T USE IT. Homeschooling is meant to be fun, educational and the ability to change as we see fit. It isn’t worth ruining an entire school year because you bought curriculum you really don’t like.

    by Published on 07-29-2019 04:41 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling

    pizap-com15646929268891-jpgWelcome to Secular Homeschool's first Book Review! Hoping to be able to do this off and on with more books that would appeal to Secular Homeschooler's as a stand alone read OR use in a homeschool setting!









    Book:
    Britfield and the Lost Crown
    Author: C.R. Stewart
    Age Level: 3rd/4th grade to adult
    Pages: 383

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    I was given the opportunity to read this book and write a review of it for Secular Homeschool. Not only that, I was lucky enough to host the author at the Homeschool Connect Booth in June at the convention. He is extremely passionate about his books. This is book 1 in a series of 5 and while we have to wait until Fall 2020 for Book 2, I saw the potential cover art and learned a bit about Book 2. SO EXCITING!

    Like any other Mom out there, my personal book reading time is limited and I must admit I did not get to this until I was headed to the airport for the convention. I usually have a spare 5-10 minutes before bed to read a page or 2 and books now take me forever to finish. While I would love to read more, I also need sleep!LOL

    I have to say, this book is AWESOME! I was able to read it quickly because not only did I have the time on the airplane but it GRABBED me. I had to get to the next page, the next chapter and so on. C.R. Stewart’s use of history is impeccable. As a history buff myself, I expected some of it to be fabricated. It was not!

    Without giving away the entire story, orphans Tom and Sarah go on an epic adventure across England. Battling villans, solving crimes and pulling us in with their tales! They visit historic sites such as Oxford University and Windsor Castle in great detail. So much so, you feel like you are there with them.

    This book is 100% secular. They do stop in at Canterbury Cathedral but it is as a historic site vs. a religious one. It isn’t worth dismissing a great story, because of this. The also have an upcoming Academy and Explorer’s Club, which you can find out more about on their site.
    You can read this as a family and then take it to a whole other level in your homeschool with this study guide and teacher resources, be aware there are both secular and christian versions: Britfield Institute.

    I personally cannot wait for Book 2 and am sad that I have to wait over a year. I get it, but still the waiting will drive me bonkers! My son is now reading this book as he is an avid reader AND a big history buff like his Mom. Looking for a fun Summer read for the family or a new book to add to the homeschool lessons this year? This is it!


    You can check out the Britfield site here: Britfield and the Lost Crown
    And the book is also now available on Amazon: Britfield and the Lost Crown
    by Published on 07-24-2019 04:54 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling

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    When you are a kid, you can’t wait to be a grown-up. Once you become a grown-up, you wish you were a kid again. Why? Because being a grown-up is hard, period. Bills, jobs, kids, homes, laundry, decisions and on and on. Being a kid is care-free, fun and no worries. I think that is a detriment to our kids. Especially today’s kids. Life skills are gone from classrooms. No more wood shop, home ec, economy classes.

    Now, I am not saying that kids shouldn’t be kids. They should be given that freedom for as long as possible. But I think kids need to learn life skills from day 1. And as I get older, I realize I didn’t teach my boys enough life skills. Homeschooling usually offers a better chance at life skills than public school kids because, #1, we are HOME with our kids. We are teaching them at HOME. They are more often given chores, taught to do laundry, clean up after themselves and others as part of life. Work as a family and a team.

    I don’t think there are enough life skills lessons out there, to help us, help them. Things like taxes, home ownership, opening accounts, filing your papers, keeping papers, applying for jobs, applying for loans. I thought I had prepared my boys. I really did. I bought several workbooks with forms and instructions on filling them out. I created real life scenarios to go with these forms. I have had them sit with me while I did their basic taxes and walked them through step by step. Heck, I thought I was prepared. I am 48 years old. I have done my taxes for 30 years. I own a business. I run our household. My Mom was a teacher and involved with my learning. I thought I had life skills.

    Then we decided to be REAL grown-ups and buy our first house this year. WOW. Guess what. The whole family basically went back to school. Yes, it is my husband and myself buying the house. But, why not use this learning experience as one for the whole family. I mean, filling out these extensive loan forms, collecting the proper paperwork, uploading images of everything. Then dealing with a realtor and inspections, appraisal, earnest money, title companies, liens. It has been a rollercoaster past few months and it isn’t over yet. But along the entire way, I have involved my boys. When/If they ever decide to purchase their own home, they will have experience under their belt. They will have better knowledge than I did of what this involves. Homeschool 101, no matter what it is, use it as a learning lesson.

    That being said, I am now on a mission to find or create life skills lessons. While the workbook was great, I think more real life skills curriculum needs to be out there for homeschoolers. A short class on doing taxes or purchasing a home. With a basic outline of what it entails. Now, I am not saying your 3rd grader needs to know how to do her taxes or registering to vote. But your high schooler certainly does. Your 7th grader wants to mow lawns this Summer and create their own business. Teach them the life skills of owning a small business. Take their earnings and put pen to paper to show them what it would be like if this was a big business, paying taxes, paying employees, writing grants, etc.

    This house buying business has made me realize that while I did a great job homeschooling my boys, we have some gaps. Heck, Mom and Dad have had gaps in their life skills education. While my boys are young adults and taking courses online, working their jobs and living their lives. We will be backtracking to go over more life skills I think are imperative. You are never too old to learn new skills. Once a homeschooler, always a homeschooler.

    If you have any questions, input or suggestions for some life skill courses, curriculum or just want to chat, feel free to email me at: [email protected]
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