Author: Blair Lee

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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30 Travel Tips from a Worldschooler

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” Susan Sontag Travel is a big part of our homeschooling journey. My husband and I want our son to be a global citizen. We want him to understand that many different cultures have looked at situations and come up with equally viable answers, one not necessarily better than the other. We want him to experience and appreciate different cultures and this big beautiful planet he lives on. We started traveling with Sean when he was two years old. Over the past 14 years he has been to 15 countries and...

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Using RSO Biology 2 for High School Biology

There is a planned level 3 book that will use the Level 2 book with added material in each chapter and in each unit. In the mean time, I am getting many requests for how Biology 2 could be brought up to the high school level. Some parts of it, like the microscope section, are already at a Level 2 and 3. This is not as complete as the level 3 book will be, but like these suggestions, the level 3 book will use Bio 2 and add to it. Before I get into the specifics of how to do this, I would tell you...

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Be Naturally Curious

Be Naturally Curious specializes in science mini-courses. Each of these mini-courses focuses on a different scientific concept written by a different Naturally Curious expert. Each mini-course includes a beautifully illustrated story, a craft or manipulable, a game, and an experiment or outdoor field activity.     Subject Area: Science Type of Course: Unit Study each expected to take your child 5 to 10 hours. Age Range: K – 5 Format: PDF Cost: $9.99 each   Titles in the Series Take Off with Airplane Science! Amazing Animal Migration A Butterfly’s Evening Adventure The Adventures of Carbon Life in the Desert Discovering...

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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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Handcrafting High School: Year 2: Month 1: On the Road: Sinks Canyon, WY

8/23-24: Sinks Canyon State Park Early in my relationship with Jim I had to establish a rule. We can only drive so far before stopping. Jim is one of those people who will drive as long as it takes until he gets there. He loves to drive places too. After a couple of trips like this, early in our relationship, I told him either he did a better job of stopping and enjoying the journey, or I would only go places with him if we flew there, so now we stop after a set amount of time. When we...

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Handcrafting High School: Year 2: Month 1: On the Road: Custer State Park, SD

I think the year you study geology and environmental science, you should spend time outside looking at the subject of your studies, so we did. I did not keep a daily journal, because I had writer’s block. Something I had never experienced before. It gave me insight into what happens for kids who have good ideas but can’t get them onto a page. My writer’s block made me feel like my brain was constipated. I had so many ideas running around in my head I had trouble getting anything out at all. It made me scattered and feel a...

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