Category: Handcrafted Journeys

The Renaissance of a Handcrafted Education

From the time I was pregnant with Sean until he was a toddler, if you had asked me what I wanted him to be when he grew up, I would have told you I wanted him to be a Renaissance man. To me, the term Renaissance man means a person (male or female) who has a deep and nuanced knowledge over a broad range of fields. It refers to a person who is literate and can express oneself through writing, speaking, or both; a person who is a creative thinker; someone who is not necessarily an athlete but who...

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Project Based Learning: through the Lens of Politics and Activism

Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. http://bie.org/about/what_pbl         This year we used Project Based Learning, PBL, for one of the most dynamic and exciting years of all the 10 years we have been homeschooling. Several times this year, my son told me he had never been so proud of himself. Our journey through homeschooling has had highs and lows. What happened this year to make it such a high?         What...

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Introducing SEA Homeschoolers LGBTQ

Teaching social justice fosters compassion, tolerance, and respect for others. I hear from other homeschoolers that this is important to teach. I agree. For my 16 year old, Sean, I do this by weaving books about relevant topics through each academic year. This past year Sean has read Words will Break Cement the Passions of Pussy Riot, Beloved, 1984, Catcher in the Rye, Blood Meridian, March, Persepolis, the Last Lecture, and Becoming Nicole. I read through these books with Sean, and we discuss them. (Several of these were read in the SEA Homeschoolers Teen book club.) The book Becoming Nicole...

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An Eclectic, Academic Approach to a High School Course of Study

What does an eclectic, academic course of study look like for homeschoolers in the high school years? It can take a variety of different forms depending on the teen and their strengths and weaknesses. It can also develop differently based on their interests and the resources available to them. Regardless of these differences, a rich eclectic, academic study will be one in which the student learns at a meaningful level through a variety of resources and opportunities. At the beginning of my son’s high school years he became very interested in astronomy, and his natural curiosity about the subject...

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Homeschooling a Special Needs Child

by Christina Keller MA I am a huge advocate for families homeschooling their children with special needs. I believe schools are high stress, low engagement, and very punishing environments for children who learn out of the box. Parents are vested in the overall well-being of their children and know their children the best. This makes parents who can manage it, the best educators for these children. It is easy to become overwhelmed, though, when your job extends from parenting to include educating. In the years I have worked in education, I have applied the following methods in both home and classroom,...

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Homeschooling the Twice-Exceptional Student – There Will Be Gaps and That’s OK

This young man is incredibly creative and he is twice-exceptional. He makes movies, writes stories, animates, composes, records original songs, and works on other creative endeavors all day long. He is never idle, never bored. My son works from the moment he wakes up, which is usually before 7:00, and stays busy until around 10:00 at night when he finally tires out and heads to bed. Sleep usually comes an hour later when his mind finally calms down. Most days I am in awe of all he does. It really is amazing. But it is also incredibly frustrating, and at times,...

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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 from a Grandparent’s Point of View

I have eight grandchildren five of which are homeschooled and three of which are in public school. They have all blossomed, each in their own environment, and are continuing to find their place for the future. However this article is for the parents and grandparents of homeschoolers. I hope this helps. When my daughter asked me to write an article on homeschooling from a grandparent’s point of view, I guess I was somewhat prepared for her request. I’ve been on the periphery of homeschooling for 12 years by observing her. Had she asked me this a few years ago...

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Five Tips to Revitalize Your Homeschool in the New Year

It’s a brand new year, which for the homeschool parent means it’s time for an overhaul. It’s also verging on burnout season; that time of year when many homeschoolers feel ready to throw in the towel and give up. But before you give in to homeschool burnout, consider these tips to revitalizing your homeschool. 1. Reevaluate Your Routine Chances are good that your daily grind has gotten a little stale. This is a great time to work out those kinks that are keeping you from having the homeschool of your dreams. Maybe you realize that your child is a...

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Learning Through the Holiday Season

Looking back over the years, December has always been one of the most difficult months for homeschooling. Right around the end of November, my children just seem to lose the ability to focus on their lessons. Unfortunately, it isn’t just the children who lose focus – my schedule tends to get a little busier this time of year too. Distractions range from shopping, baking, extra housework and decorating, to preparing for company – there is a lot to do in December! The easy way out is to just take the whole month off of formal school work. When the...

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