• General Homeschooling

    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. Stewartís 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 isnít worth dismissing a great story, because of this. The also have an upcoming Academy and Explorerís 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 canít 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 todayís kids. Life skills are gone from classrooms. No more wood shop, home ec, economy classes.

    Now, I am not saying that kids shouldnít 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 didnít 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 donít 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 isnít 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]
    by Published on 06-21-2019 01:10 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling

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    Online learning doesnít have to cost an arm and a leg! Honest! All it takes is a little research to find free online learning sites! Here are my 5 favorites! Great to bookmark for those times you need a little something to fill in or supplement daily homeschool learning!




    • Vocabulary Spelling City - they have basic FREE membership
    • Khan Academy - great FREE online videos and tutorials on different subjects - we utilized it for MATH!
    • Printable Worksheets - looking for some worksheets for rainy days, sick days, etc. Yes, you have to print them out but they are great to have on hand.
    • Duolingo - FREE online foreign language. If your kids want to try French and hate it, it was FREE and they can try a different language!
    • Learning Games for Kids - Everything from typing/keyboarding to learning the States is available in fun gaming form.
    by Published on 06-21-2019 12:59 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Homeschooling with Technology,
    3. General Homeschooling
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    So, when we became accidental homeschoolers eons ago, it happened literally overnight. My oldest went to a normal day at public school, to coming home at the end of the day with a suspension for defending himself when attacked. He was suspended, the other 2 kids were not. This was the straw that broke the camelís back with public school for us. And poof, we were suddenly homeschoolers.


    I liken suddenly becoming homeschoolers to suddenly quitting your job. It felt really good to do it. Then you get to angry mode. And doubt mode. Then panic mode. It was during panic mode that I realized I had NO PLAN! NONE. I was capable of teaching toddlers(I run a childcare/preschool). Not a 6th grader. We barely survived the math he brought home the week before. OMG! BreatheÖ.


    GOOGLE TO THE RESCUE!

    I googled the heck out of homeschooling. How to homeschool. Homeschool laws in my area. Creating your own curriculum. Online curriculum. Online public schools. Homeschool co-ops. Homeschool groups. Types of homeschooling. It became one of those moments where suddenly you are 27 pages deep. I was so deep, I donít know where I started! LOL But, I did feel more confident about our homeschooling decision. ...
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