• General Homeschooling

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    2. Homeschooling with Technology,
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    4. General Homeschooling
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    Homeschoolers are underutilizing their local libraries. No, really. Libraries are a free resource that not many of us have really explored the breadth and depth of yet. And I donít just mean what you can check out with your library card - - although donít get me wrong, you can check out a lot of cool stuff.

    Free Homeschool Stuff in Your Library

    Yes, you can get books. Libraries are often the place to find that allusive book that you can't seem to find at the bookstore or thrift store. And, if you look in your libraryís catalog and donít see it, you shouldnít give up. Thatís because most libraries subscribe to this miraculous invention called the ďInterlibrary LoanĒ service. Are you able to locate the book you need by searching for it on WorldCat? Then itís very likely your library can order it up for you via interlibrary loan. Now, my library recently added a charge for this service. Itís now $2 per interlibrary loan. But unless itís a book Iím certain we want to keep forever, I still consider this a bargain.
    Yes, you can get movies. It always amazes me how quickly our library gets in new releases. But beyond the entertainment value, there are so many movies, documentaries, and tv series that weíve watched for educational purposes in our homeschool, thanks to the good old local library.

    Yes, libraries have reference books. Have you truly explored all the amazing reference books available at your local library? Beyond the outdated almanacs, encyclopedias, and yearbooks are a vast wealth of eclectic manuals and helps including: career guides, Whoís Who biographies, government documents and statistical reports, nature and wildlife guides, specialized dictionaries, themed atlases and maps, and so much more.

    Often, libraries have computers. When ours has been on the fritz, we have been saved over and over by heading to the library to finish a specific homeschool project or finish an online assignment. Recently, our library even began loaning out Amazon Kindle devices as well for reading on the go!

    But, one of the most underutilized resources sitting right inside your library isnít a book, a movie, or a device. Itís a real live breathing person - - the librarian! If you are lucky enough to have a dedicated childrenís/teenís librarian in your local library, even better. Librarians have some kind of super-human computer like brain or something because they always seem to know where to find what you are looking for. Donít hesitate to ask questions when you are there. As a double bonus, our childrenís librarian uses that super computer brain to remember people, as well, so when weíve been looking to network with other homeschoolers, sheís been helpful to connect us with other families. We love our librarian!

    More Free Homeschool Stuff with Your Library Card

    Beyond all the amazing stuff you can walk around and get in the four walls of your library building, is a vast world of things that your library card and a computer can offer. I am always amazed every time I go to our libraryís website because it seems like theyíve added yet another new subscription to some cool service or resource. And ...
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    2. Secular Homeschooling,
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    4. In Other Words
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    With Summer approaching, that means more outside time.More outside time does not mean learning has to cease! There are SO many ways to learn for all grade levels! And there is no better way to continue learning all summer than by creating your own garden!

    Whether you live in a house, apartment or property you can grow a garden! Where you live and how much you want to grow will determine how involved you are. The kids can be involved in all aspects of the creation, too, from the planning to the planting to the harvesting.

    A garden plan for the whole family

    The following are all things you can talk through and plan (which will all involve math, reading, and science!):

    • calculate size/space needed
    • what plants work best for your area?
    • what exactly do you want to plant?
    ...
    by Published on 05-17-2016 07:40 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Homeschooling with Technology,
    3. General Homeschooling
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    To interact with Jennifer's original forum post, click here.

    Teaching science is one of the hardest subjects for most homeschoolers for many reasons, one of which is that the parent feels inadequately prepared to teach science because it was so hard and/or boring when they took science in school. This is exactly why I hate teaching English/grammar/Literature and unfortunately my hatred for writing has rubbed off on my oldest. But you are not too old to learn science along with your children, and with the resources available on the internet, particularly youtube, it can be very entertaining. When people ask me if I feel like Iím wasting my degree in physics staying at home with the kids, I say NO! Iím still learning, in my first year of homeschooling alone, I learned more history than I ever learned in school. Iíve also learned Japanese, some basic piano (before my child shot past me on the learning curve), and a whole lot of science which I did not know 10 years ago.


    Even though I have a degree in physics, that does not mean Iím equally comfortable teaching biology, earth science or chemistry. So last year when I taught high school biology using a college textbook, I was basically one week ahead of the kids. I had never had biology in college and my high school biology class??? I guess I had one but I have absolutely no memories of it. So I was learning as I went and youtube was my hero. The text we used was really good and I understood most of what I read, but it was nice to go to Youtube and watch Hank Green, the Amoeba sisters or Khan Academy explain the concepts as well, not to mention its more fun to watch Crash Course than to read a textbook. Youtube is also a gold mine when looking for labs, especially labs you canít or donít want to do in your kitchen. We actually did quite a bit of dissecting in our biology class and I would watch ...
    by Published on 05-04-2016 08:48 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling
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    When I was a little girl, I overheard a conversation between my mom (who had two children) and our neighbor (who had three). The neighbor mentioned that, for her, parenting was new and exciting when she had one child and manageable when she had two. When she added the third, she felt outnumbered! If she and her husband went out, there were only two of them to wrangle three children. If she went out alone, she only had two hands.

    As a working, homeschooling mom of six children (single for the past five years), there's no doubt that I'm outnumbered. I've learned a few survival skills along the way.

    Rallying the Troops: Nope, I don't play Reveille at 6 AM (although I've been tempted). Hot cocoa is more my style (and I never learned to play a trumpet). No one in our house wants breakfast first thing in the morning, but I've found the smell of Mom's homemade hot cocoa can entice sleepyheads from their beds, especially if they know all they need to do is throw on their robes, grab a cup, and lounge around the living room, listening to a read-aloud. My
    ...
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