Squee!!

Just had to pop into T-T tonight to brag about my baby.  (No not THAT kind of baby, silly!!  When my biological clock ticks, I just open a new website!!) 

The source of my pride is SecularHomeschool.com which just reached the 500 member mark today!!  I know that in web terms, that doesn’t sound like much, but if you’ve ever tried to find other secular homeschoolers, you’ll understand that getting 500 of them together in one place is much akin to winning the lottery TWICE…in one WEEK!!

Besides the growth in numbers, though, the forum activity has just exploded in recent weeks, which has been so fun to watch.  Everyone is so supportive and helpful to each other, too…it’s like a lovefest over there.  Plus, we got a brand new header makeover today and a new logo!!

Come join us, won’t you???  Why shouldn’t you get in on the excitement, and help us get closer to the 1000 mark?!

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April Giveaway at SecularHomeschool.com

cooltext454244746 Just launched the April giveaway at SHS.com today, so head over and enter if you have (or will have) a child in 2nd-5th grade and would be interested in winning a secular-based homeschool chemistry curriculum from Pandia Press.

Giveaway at SecularHomeschool.com

 

Just want to make sure my peeps here know about the December giveaway I’m doing over at SecularHomeschool.com!  This month, there will be 2 members who will win a free 8-week writing course of their choice from Time4Writing™!! ($99 value)

These eight-week online writing courses help elementary, middle and high school students build writing skills through one-on-one interaction with a certified teacher. Students study a new topic each week through automated online exercises, lessons, readings, and written assignments. A personal writing teacher reviews and provides feedback on each assignment, the day after it is submitted.

Courses to choose from include:

  • Sensational Sentences

  • Welcome to the Essay

  • Perfect Paragraphs

  • High School Research Papers

  • many more!!

If you haven’t joined the site yet, now is a great time.  H-T has taken one of these courses and they are terrific!  So don’t miss out on your chance to get in on one!

Are You a Buccaneer Scholar?

I see those hands.

We are pretty proud of our doesn’t-fit-in-the-box kind of learning, aren’t we?  Knowing that no matter how much someone tells us “how” to do it, we are probably always going to forge our own path and create our own techniques.  (cue self-satisfied smiles)

I LOVE being a buccaneer…well, except for the fact that I don’t look good in an eye patch.

Other than that, though, I’m so excited to be going on this brand new unschooling adventure this year.  I get almost giddy watching my oldest son make incredible leaps and bounds in his programming skills, and seeing my youngest son take risks and try out chemistry experiments completely on his own! 

It’s thrilling, I tell you!

You know who would probably agree with me?  James Bach.  If you don’t know who James is, it’s time to get with the program, because James actually COINED the phrase “Buccaneer Scholar,” and has even written a great new book called Secrets of a Buccaneer Scholar, which describes how he found success in a highly technical field without the benefit or burden of a conventional education.

If you haven’t read this book, you need to, and you might not even have to buy it because I am giving away a copy over at SecularHomeschool.com this month!!  (As well as other great giveaways).  So stop by and enter, or head to Amazon via my link if you need to get your hands on it immediately.

And then keep right on buccaneering out there in homeschool land, OK??

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Loose Ends and Giveaways

I think I need to start a whole weekly meme called “loose ends Tuesday”, because every Tuesday seems to be dedicated to just that, lately.  So here goes…

new logo If you haven’t entered the October giveaways at SecularHomeschool.com yet, be sure and stop by and enter before the end of the month.  I am giving away some premium accounts at Spelling City™ and some free preschool accounts at Time4Learning™.  You need to be a member of the site to enter.

My other random giveaway-related item is from Blog2Print.  I’m thinking about taking the plunge and putting this year’s blog posts into a keepsake book.  I mean, my blog posts are pseudo journal entries, of sorts, and our family has been through lots of different things this year that I wouldn’t mind having record of. 

blog2print With Blog2Print, you can take those posts and turn them into a beautiful book layout where you get to pick the cover (hardcover or softcover), the images, the order and number of posts included, and even which comments you want to add.  You can even get just a pdf of your book!

And Blog2Print was nice enough to share a discount code with me that is good through November 9, so if you think you would like to order yourself an early Christmas present, now’s the time.  The discount code is for 20% off your finished blog book.  Here is the code: fall4b2p

I hope you take advantage of some of these opportunities! Have a totally random Tuesday everyone…

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Giveaway on SecularHomeschool.com

Ok, so if you are a Topsy-Techie reader, and you have been meaning to join my other site: SecularHomeschool.com, now is a terrific time, because we are having a site giveaway this month!!

The fine print, however, is that you must be a site member to enter, so get your cute little hineys over there and sign up today, so you can win a great curriculum prize package from Flourish Enrichment.

flourish enrichment

Description of the curriculum from the Flourish website: The Flourish Enrichment curriculum is designed to provide a robust interdisciplinary approach to teach art by teaching other subjects through the art projects. The projects cover everything from the history of Tibet and it’s struggles with communist China to African cultures and the importance of tribal masks. Each project is an in-depth look at the subject matter as well as detailed photo instructions to provide easy to follow art projects that any parent can work through with their home schooled child.

If you have been looking for a unique way to teach art to your homeschoolers, Flourish Enrichment may just be perfect for you!

And even if you don’t want to enter the contest, we’d love to have you at SecularHomeschool.com anyway!  There is constantly something going on in the forums, groups, blogs, and resource pages that is bound to appeal to you if you are a secular homeschooler (and I use that definition to mean anyone who isn’t homeschooling for religious reasons).

Hope to see you there…and best of luck on the giveaway!!

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They Like Me…They Really Like Me

Have I ever bemoaned the fact that I don’t have a good local homeschool support group here on T-T?  I seriously can’t remember. 

Maybe if I haven’t it’s because I gave up years ago even hoping for one.  I live in the Bible Belt.  Which means that most of the homeschooling support groups around here have been created by and for folks who are homeschooling for religious reasons.  Now, don’t get me wrong,  I haven’t got a single problem with people homeschooling for religious reasons.

I’m simply just not one of them.

I homeschool because it happens to be the best thing for my two children.  My faith doesn’t play into the homeschooling equation at all.  Well, o.k., I guess my faith makes me somewhat of who I AM as a mom and a person – – so maybe I could stretch it and say that it influences our homeschool – – but that would be about as far as I am willing to take it.

Most of the homeschooling groups around here take it much, much further.  Not a class, an activity, or a mom’s night out occurs without religion playing a HUGE part in it.  That would be all fine and well if everyone had exactly the same beliefs and exactly the same traditions – – but they don’t.  And that makes some of those homeschool gatherings completely awkward and uncomfortable.

So I quit trying to fit in to those groups years ago.  Figured I’d maverick my way through on my own – somehow.  But always still wishing there were someplace I fit in.  Someplace that accepted me the way I am.

Cut to – – THIS WEEK.

This week, I made a marvelous discovery.  A momentous discovery, in fact.

Right in my very own town is a fairly new homeschooling support group that calls itself “Inclusive.”  Isn’t that the most beautiful word you’ve ever heard in your life?? 

Inclusive means that they accept homeschoolers of every faith (or lack, thereof) – – every belief system – – every culture – – every color – – every difference.  Every EVERYTHING!!

So far, I’ve attended two events with this group and they have yet  to banish me because I don’t have the “secret decoder ring.”  They have a beautiful assortment of Christians, seekers, crunchy-wannabes, mainstreamers, and a mom or two who look like they could use a good vacation. (Well, ok, maybe that was just me catching my reflection in the car window)  And NONE of those people seemed to think I was the least bit out of place there. 

They smiled at me.  They talked to me.  They let me hang out with their kids.  I might even go so far as to say that some of them liked me.

Will wonders never cease??!!

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