Category: Homeschooling Methodologies

Science and the Secular Homeschooler

I live in Southern California. I taught science at community college, and now I write about it. Those two sentences convey a lot of information about how easy it is for me to negotiate my way through the homeschool community. Where I live in California, there are many large secular or inclusive homeschool groups. In my experience in California, unless a group states that it is faith-based, it is understood that it isn’t. With one exception, the religious homeschoolers I have met in California have never seemed put-off by my stance about science or my being secular. I once...

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Homeschooling – The Early Years

Written by Jill Harper I have been part of the online homeschool community for a number of years, and I often come across posts from a parent who is panicked about whether their young child or children are doing enough school work. Often the posts will list all the curriculum the parent has purchased and planned for the year and then go on to discuss how frustrated both the parent and the child are becoming with their school day. Sometimes the child becomes grumpy and uncooperative, sometimes the parent feels like all they are doing is yelling at the...

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A Day in the Life: Emily’s Charlotte Mason Inspired Homeschool

Every homeschooler wants to get a peek into another’s day. We’re always curious about how other mom’s manage. Maybe your homeschool tends toward very school-at-home, or classical, or project-based. We all picture every other homeschool mom as being a Pinterest-worthy super-mom, but really, we’re all pretty much the same – just doing our best to educate our children as well as we possibly can. This school year, I am teaching a 11th grader, two 8th graders and a 1st grader. My plate is FULL. I can honestly say, this has been my most challenging school year, as it’s the...

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The Best Method to Use for Learning Is the One that Works

The first time I thought about how others learn best was 40 years ago. I went to high school in Conroe, Texas, which is outside of Houston. Our Spanish teacher recruited several of us to volunteer with her church to assist migrant farmers who were illiterate and/or did not speak English. Our job was to help the men learn to read. Working with them was a powerful experience. It is rare for a young person to be made aware of how important knowledge is for adults who don’t have it. Even when parents push you to do well in...

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A Secular, Eclectic, Academic Approach for Twice-Exceptional Students

  SEA: Secular, Eclectic, Academic – What does that mean and look like? How does this approach benefit students who have been identified as twice-exceptional? Secular is obvious and I am not going to spend much time on this component. To say the least, the materials that one chooses are free from a religious worldview (to learn more about why this is important please read Blair’s post here). This is especially important in regards to science materials that one chooses to use with one’s child. Eclectic means that one draws on a wealth of materials and does not need...

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When Passion and Delight Inspire Learning

Passion ignites learning. Much has been said about passion-based learning, but to us it simply means finding or creating as many learning opportunities and experiences to which we expose our son, making sure that he is challenged and engaged in a stimulating environment. What fascinates him and what doesn’t? What does he think about a learning activity? We employ one gentle rule: “Try it once or twice and then decide if you want to pursue it or not.” This way, we communicate the message that we respect his decision in the end, but after urging him to be open...

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Modifying Curriculum for a Twice-Exceptional Child

First of all I want to define what it means to be twice-exceptional. A twice-exceptional student is a student that has been identified as gifted and identified as having a disability or condition. Another way of saying this is: “This group of gifted children are exceptional both because of their strengths and because of their limitations. Coupled with high intelligence, these children also may have one or more learning disabilities, attention deficit, autism spectrum disorder, emotional or behavior problems, or other types of learning challenges. ” (From 2E Newsletter – http://www.2enewsletter.com/topic_2e_what_is.html) There is a fairly large population in the...

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Making Our Own Eclectic Learning Brew

At five years old, our son came up to me one day and said, “Mama, I love the taste of knowledge!” I knew from then on that our learning adventure would be an exciting one. Our special blend of learning How does one customize a learning path that is considerate of the distinct personality, abilities, asynchrony, overexcitabilities and multi-potentialities that exist in each child? What do you do when no single method, program or curriculum fit your child, your family values and your overall vision of what you consider “quality education?” You make your own special and eclectic educational...

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Keep Calm and Homeschool On

For many homeschoolers the fall signifies the start of a new school year. For some this will be their first time homeschooling their children while others have been at it for a long time. Whether you are new to homeschooling or a seasoned veteran, we have some tips for you to follow to ensure a smooth and enjoyable school year: Give yourself time to get in a routine – If you have never homeschooled before it will take time to figure out a routine that works for you and your children. If you have homeschooled before but took a...

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The Charlotte Mason Method in the Secular Homeschool

“I am, I can, I ought, I will.”* If you’ve been homeschooling for any amount of time, chances are you’ve heard the name Charlotte Mason. She has made quite a name for herself in the modern homeschool movement, despite the fact she lived over a hundred years ago. Charlotte Mason (1842 – 1923) was a British educator who advocated for improving the quality of education for children. She promoted the idea of a “liberal education for all” not just those of a certain social class. If you’ve ever searched for Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum or information, you probably found...

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