• General Homeschooling

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

    ...
    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:

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    a proven “phonics-PLUS” approach that works! Reading Kingdom teaches your child everything they need including reading, writing, spelling, and comprehension


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    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.

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