Category Archives: Academics

SEA Homeschoolers have tips and information for secular homeschoolers about all categories of secular academics. All the articles in this section meet the Secular, Eclectic, Academic Homeschoolers’ definition for what constitutes secular academics.

July 12th, 2019 by 

Women’s History Month: Reading List March is Women’s History Month and the SEA Homeschoolers facebook group has been buzzing with excellent book recommendations to add to your family’s TBR lists. Thirteen books to read during Women’s History Month. Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future! This unique A-Z book introduces 26 diverse women spanning several centuries and multiple professions. There are artists and abolitionists, scientists and suffragettes, rock stars and rabble-rousers, and agents of change of all kinds. Recommended Age: Elementary Students Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History …

July 2nd, 2019 by 

I’ve been leading a class that I created called Making Through History for almost two years, and it has been one of the best teaching experiences I have ever had. The class explores history and the humanities through the art and invention that expressed the values and aspirations of people in a specific time and place. These days STEM/STEAM education is all the rage, and we are told that our children can’t be prepared for the future without it. While I agree that technology and science literacy are essential to navigating the new economy, I would also argue that it …

June 7th, 2019 by 

Vetting secular science curriculum can be overwhelming and frustrating, but here are 10 tips that you can use to make sure your curriculum is secular.

May 3rd, 2019 by 

Are you thinking about how to approach history in your homeschool? Particularly if you are just starting out, it can seem like there are too many choices. Should you start with American history, or go chronologically? Should you buy a structured program or build your own, based off your child’s interests? I’ll be breaking down how to make decisions about history for your homeschool, and sharing my planning process plus a free printable chart along the way.

October 1st, 2018 by 
The 2018-2019 SEA Homeschoolers Teen Book Club list has been finalized. There is a mix of fiction and non-fiction books. Several of the books are required reading for teens in other countries. There are also books with teen protagonists dealing with serious situations that I hope lead to thoughtful and thought-provoking discussions. If you are reading this after the start date, don’t worry. You can join any time. The monthly online discussions through Google Meet have been interesting and insightful! Send an email to [email protected] with subject "Teen Book Club Signup" to join. We start the year with a rendition of The …
September 4th, 2018 by 

Lecture Series on Teaching Evolution SEA Homeschoolers is partnering with the Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science (TIES), a division of the Richard Dawkins Foundation, to offer a series of lectures for our homeschool community.  Filled with great information on teaching evolution to middle schoolers, these lectures are suitable for all ages.  Attend and ask questions from your own computer absolutely free! Visit the TIES website for tons of links to free resources on teaching evolution. This is the first time that TIES has collaborated to bring these resources to homeschoolers, and we are thrilled to be a part of it.  Spread the …

September 4th, 2018 by 

As a follow-up to the talk I gave at the SEA Homeschoolers Convention 2018, “Playing School: Bridging Play and Education for Academically-Minded Preschoolers and Kindergarteners,” I would like to share a list of some of the most-loved items in our child-led homeschool. We are eclectic homeschoolers and that definitely shows in this list. All the products on this list have been selected and tested by my kids. Some are updated versions of materials my teens loved when they were little, and others are new additions to our homeschool toolbox as I start this journey again with my youngest. (This post …

May 25th, 2018 by 
So, you’re considering homeschooling? Most of us felt nervous (panicked?) as we made the decision. Can I do this? Do I have enough education? Will I be able to work with my child? Can I balance work / family demands with homeschooling? Some reasons for secular homeschooling: You’ve always known it’s what you wanted You live in a geographically remote region Work or travel demands make it difficult to match a 9-month school schedule You move frequently You live in a district with failing or dangerous schools You live in an area where teachers are allowed and sometimes even encouraged …
May 19th, 2018 by 
It’s finally happened. Your baby has moved past ABC and 123 and on to Trigonometry and Ancient history. This is such a proud moment for us as homeschool parents. We bask in the moment and congratulate ourselves on raising a miniature Albert Einstein or Marie Curie. That’s when it hits you. I’d like to say it comes upon you gently but for me, it went something like this… Me (to myself): Oh look, my baby is going to study Biology. He’s so smart. My tiny Einstein: Mom, what is this word? Me: Mit... Mito... Mitochondria My little conduit for anxiety …
April 30th, 2018 by 

The Art of Movie Magic A Secular Homeschool Unit Study Art can take many forms, and as a young secular homeschool parent it was easy to get caught in the “paint on a canvas” loop of art education; coloring recreations of the painting masters or learning to identify some of the great works. But art is vastly broader than simply studying Picasso or Rembrandt. Art is the expression of creative skill and imagination. It can be so many things, including movies. That’s right, I’m talking about films, cinema, motion pictures. The art of storytelling on the big (and little) screen. …

April 21st, 2018 by 

Deforestation! Climate change! Ocean acidification! Pollution! Endangered species extinction! The list of things to worry about in our environment seems endless and overwhelming. For a child, understanding of these issues can also lead to existential depression and feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness. However, that need not be the case: even young children can get involved in environmental activism and make a difference in caring for our planet! Secular homeschooling families have many opportunities to get involved in environmental activism. While there are dozens of checklists, how-to sites, and green living tips out there for small-scale actions, big change requires big …

April 20th, 2018 by 

It’s spring! Or almost spring, depending on where you live. As I write this, the spring peepers are chirping, undaunted by the recent snow. It’s a lovely time of budding trees, muddy puddles, and rebirth and growth. I love spring for all the learning opportunities too. Spring is time for tadpoles, ladybugs, and nature walks. Worm farms, bird egg observations – all of that makes for great, hands-on learning. If your kids are like mine, they’re raring to raise some tadpoles into frogs, or caterpillars into butterflies. Lots of us homeschoolers live in areas where it’s impossible to go out …

April 19th, 2018 by 

Q & A on (Almost) Everything You Want to Know about Teaching the Science of Climate Change to Middle Schoolers*   *don’t be afraid to ask! When I was asked to teach a course on the science of climate change to the middle schoolers in our science group, believe me, I had some questions! As I worked to answer those questions, I gained a deeper appreciation for how interconnected everything (and I do mean everything) really is. And I got excited thinking about the many ways this course could challenge and inspire the kids with all kinds of learning…and dare I say …

April 17th, 2018 by 

By Kathy Oaks author of Homeschoolers Are Not Hermits. When we go to the gardening store or look at the seed and plant catalogs that arrive every spring, it can be hard to tell which plants are native, much less why we might want to garden with native plants in the first place. There are so many pretty flowers to make our lives brighter! But there are plenty of good reasons to make the effort to landscape with native plants, even if we have to look harder to find them. First of all, many non-native plants can become seriously invasive, taking …

April 8th, 2018 by 
Environmentally-Friendly Games Established in 1970, Earth Day was created to bring awareness to the public of the environmental hazards humans were creating. The 1960's found our nation fueled by leaded gas, oceans openly polluted by industrial waste, and air pollution was so bad in some cities that children would have a black crust around their nose after playing outside. On April 22, 1970 millions of people from all political viewpoints joined forces to say “enough!” We’ve come a long way in the last 48 years, but we have a long way to go and new threats to face down. Environmentalism …