Why is it…. I may…

Why are there no secular blogs for homeschoolers? Likely because there are very few atheists, agnostics, humanists, or otherwise who have decided to create a healthy blog that avoids bashing Christianity. Christian blogs are popular for some obvious reasons: the majority of homeschoolers are religious (of some sort); there is a large support structure in place, both online and off; and it is easier to conform to being a christian blogger than anything else (personal perspective).
Why are there no online sites for spiritual atheists? Likely because atheists have not broken that code yet. Props to Christian groups who have cornered the market for telling people how to be whole, and showing them how. Atheists who feel empty despite a strong disbelief (often with a strong rejection too), may avoid sites with a strong spiritual atmosphere becuase it is often associated with religion.
As I cannot find a secular site with spirituality
I may…
Create my own site just for this purpose. Again, props to Christians for cornering the market, especially for raising kids to be healthy, fulfilled and happy, but I may be breaking out into the market with my own brand real soon.🙂

I hope the Atheists enjoy!🙂

Taking the Leap

This month is dedicated to my weird ideas. From making my own homeschool books for learning, to doing nothing but taking afternoon naps on the lawn under a shade tree. I will be posting my adventures regularly to inspire you to take the month off to do what you love, or for the things you wanted to do, but never take the time to do them!

The Turtle is Gone!

Unfortunately our new ornate box turtle, who we determined is female and around 102 years old, has decided that she likes other pastures. Greener pastures? Calmer pastures? Isolated pastures? I don’t know for sure, but she has decided to wow us with her toughness by climbing out of her box, through the mesh screen-no less, and leaped off of our deck, which is about 10 feet off the ground. I have not found a dead turtle (thank heavens!) and I will still keep looking for her, and set out a soaking pool for her in our unfenced side yard, in case she feels the need to stop by occasionally. We wish her the best!

Top Ten “Must Haves” for Homeschool

Here are our top ten must haves for Homeschool:

1) Our curriculum books.  Not many have this listed on their blogs as a must have, but for me, I am so new I use the information in these books as a guide to what to teach.  Not all curriculum books are created equal, however.   One brand, BrainQuest, has great graphics, interesting worksheets, but they fall short on explanations.  For example, in the Language arts section, defining the parts of speech is missing.  Linking verb, helping verb, adverb, conjunction, article or preposition and why?  What defines a word into a category in a specific use or usage?  The Civics section is about the same.  After a page of information on what kind of government the U.S. is, the depth of information falls short by the time the kid gets to the question.  For example, ‘the Bill of Rights protects freedom of speech, religion, press, and (so on and so forth).’  Q: How did the framers of the Constitution ensure Americans will always be free?  This is a concept that takes leaps into concepts that were inadequately explained.  So our other book has the definitions, but less fun graphics, so we use both in a segment of learning. 

2) Audio books.  I can only speak for so long before two things happen, I lose my voice, or the kids stop listening.  The narrators put some serious effort into making the characters come alive and being different from each other.  I find myself dreading the time when we have to turn it off and do something else, but it definitely holds the kids’ attention, and that is gold!

3) Library card.  Midas touches things to earn money, but we are not that fortunate.  I am glad we can check out 50+ books if we want, or just one on how to become a (pirate, wizard, marine biologist….). 

4) Community Group.  At first there was one friend, then another, and soon our group came together, and we even hang out on Friday night moms night out.  Each parent brings to the table something new and interesting.  One mom brings experience, another toughness of spirit, another patience, and I’d like to think I bring zombie apocalypse training survival skills.  The kids all now know how to shoot a paintball gun and hit a marauding squirrel. (tee hee)

5) Apple Apps.  Star falls, Aliens versus Presidents, state stacker, even angry birds for patience, all have a way to teach the kids without falling into the abyss that is the internet.  And they are easier to stop in the middle of instead of the computer games that require a lot of time.

6) Pinterest.  For those random times of boredom when I say, hey, I just found something really cool that we should try that is science related.

7) Art Supplies.   We are really working on our stash and our book collection, but this is the one thing our kids have asked to do every single day, “mom, can we paint?”  We are working on making things paint proof, and everyday we do something artsy that has required at least one trip to the store!  So build it up people!

8) A Sports Team.  Right now I am the coach for soccer, and we will move on to nature hikes, but this is something our kids have found important for themselves to determine what kind of person their friends are, and how to deal with the downs of sports.  Really important stuff, especially if your mom is willing to tell you to drop and give her ten (push ups), and the other kids realize that you have it worse at home than they do.🙂

9) E-Reader.  If mom is on her computer, dad on the iPad, and siblings are hogging the iPhones and all you want to do is read the next book in a series without going to the library, an e-reader does the trick nicely.  Better than lugging around 5 of your favorite books!!

10)  A routine and space. Some use the kitchen table with a book shelf nearby, some have dedicated spaces, but there is a place learning usually happens.  A routine goes far in the way of beginning the day.  Getting into the mood.  The kids know what to expect, and prepare to cooperate.🙂

New member of the family

Tuck, from the wonder pets, has decided to live with us and be our classroom pet. For the time being I am going to wrap my head around how to take care of a box turtle, instead of a painted turtle, and the infinate number of care instructions I have to go through and implement to ensure the health and safety of this new family member.

Ocean Front Property in Arizona….

During our recent Homeschool Business Fair, my daughter sold something to everyone who even looked at our booth.  She was so enthusiastic that these total strangers could not help but to be drawn in and ready to have a cookie, lemonade or a couple of potted plants.  Of course she spent as much as she sold, but this was such a great experience for her.  She came up with products to sell, made signs, labels, and completed the work.  Then she packed up and off we went!  I am so proud I would buy ocean front property in Arizona, if she had it.🙂