Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Radical New Approach to Education

Great article. Very much like unschooling with a computer around:

Monday, October 7, 2013

Homeschooling As A Single Parent

Recently I read on a message board on Facebook a question by a single mom desperately trying to figure out how to work and get all the subjects properly covered. Her son loves science, but she was feeling that science was taking up too much time and other subjects were suffering because of it.

These were some of my comments:

The love of learning is extremely important and the more you unschool - letting the child delve as deeply as possible into the topics they enjoy - really helps with that. Its not always easy and it often requires help.

I would enlist dad's help if possible in reading some science or suggesting they visit some science museums or something. Dads aren't always up for that type of thing.

Perhaps seeing if he could tag along some days at another homeschool house would also help.

We are heavy into media in my home. My son watches endless science documentaries on netflix, youtube, and other online locations.

I purchased a subscription to It is geared towards high school. I taught him how to use Evernote and open two windows. He watches a documentary in 1 window while taking notes in Evernote in the other. It accomplishes writing, typing, reading, science education, and a whole lot more.

I think typing is something they need to learn early.

A program like Time4Learning is something he could do on his own even when you are not there. I'm sure there are others. All you have to do is teach him how to use it and a great deal of his education could be done without your direct input. I'm sure he is not by himself when you are working, so whomever is taking care of him could be instructed to get him started and assist when necessary in using something like Time4Learning for say an hour each day or one module in 2 or 3 different subjects - however long that might be per day. There are quizzes and you can print out a report of what subjects the student studied and how well they did. So its easy to see if he is actually learning or needs to go back and review some things. We used it through the 4th grade and my son really enjoyed it. After that he lost interest.

One of my friends was in a similar situation. She is a single parent with sole custody and zero interaction with the father. She worked nights. He is very science oriented and she was able to make it work.

Best of luck!

Find out about many other curriculum choices at my homeschool website:

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Dolphin Parenting

Wow is that me!

I'm one of the dolphin and whale experts scheduled to speak at Cetacean Summit Hawaii 2014 in March on the Big Island.  You can find out more about that here:

I came across this article about parenting like a dolphin and boy does it resonate:


Return from Dolphin Parenting to the Homeschool Resources Online home page

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Extraordinary Talent and Homeschoolers

Wow - that's all I can say.

My son is now 14 and completely self directed in his educational pursuits. He is dedicated to his academic studies and is very sure of who he is and what he wants.

We began homeschooling from the very start because when he was three someone asked him where he was going to go to school. He looked at the person with all seriousness and said, "My mom is going to teach me." Out of the mouth of babe's I guess. Homeschooling was not something I was familiar with and it certainly wasn't ...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Free Day at 1,400 Museums and Events on September 28th

Just saw a post by the Smithsonian that on September 28th, 2013, over 1,400 Smithsonian and Smithsonian-related museums and event venues will be free.

Visit this link to find a museum near you:


Monday, July 8, 2013

New to Homeschooling and How to Choose the Best Homeschool Curriculum For Your Child

How to choose the best homeschool curriculum for your child can be tricky at first. 
Younger kids tend to like Its inexpensive and online.

I always went over everything in the books "What Your ________ Grader Needs to Know." You fill in the blank with First, Second, etc. I think they have books through the 6th grade.
There are tons of curriculum choices. You can check out my website: for more ideas.
One of the best resources is also a way to save money: I get lots of things through this site. has a bunch of freebies listed for the summer. You can find out more about them here:
Abeka and other similar curricula are decidedly Christian in nature. If that is the type of education you want for your child, then I've heard its a good one. There are many other options that leave religion out, or they talk about all religions, not just one, and are much more similar to the topics they would receive in public school and need at the college level. You will find many choices at the links above.
The beautiful thing about homeschooling is that you can pick and choose the method and format that works best for each child. What works well with one is completely wrong for another. Only you know your child. If you are like me, and many of the other homeschool parents I've talked to over the past 9 years of homeschooling, at first it is a trial and error thing. You try something and see how it goes. Does your child learn better by reading, watching, listening, or doing? Are they highly tactile, needing to hold things and act things out? I highly recommend that you not go out and spend tons of money on a curriculum that may not work until you have discovered the methods and rhythm of your child.

Our education has changed immensely over the years. Time4Learning was wonderful for us for the first 4 years, then it was no longer the right choice. Somewhere around the 6th grade, my son decided on his main area of interest and what we have done to make sure he is ready when he gets to college has shifted a lot because of it. We use a combination of tutors, online programs, books, and live classes. So we don't get one of those out of the box, covers every subject, type of systems. That would really not work for us.
Best of luck,

Friday, June 21, 2013

Nature Works Everywhere - Another Great Science Homeschool Resource

From Nature Conservancy:

They offer lesson plans and videos for 6th through 8th grade.

What I have previewed looks quite good.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer Homeschool Free Resources and Other Freebies


Many freebies are listed on the freebie page right now--and more are added every day.
Just some of the freebies include-- Events this Summer and Fall

I recently got this notification from History Classroom at


As the school year comes to a close, I wanted to update you on some upcoming events on HISTORY® Classroom to look for this summer and fall. The following events will be of interest to teachers, students and parents who love history. Libby O'Connell- Chief Historian
National History Day Awards Ceremony, Live Webcast, Thursday, June 13th starting at 8:30am. Tune in to to watch our live webcast of the ceremony. It is always fun to see students cheer each other on and take home awards for their outstanding work.
A New Birth of Freedom, a free live webcast in honor of 150th Anniversary of the battle at Gettysburg, will air online on from on Sunday, June 30 at 8pm ET. This commemoration will feature a keynote
  address by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, a performance by Trace Adkins, and a dramatic reading of eyewitness accounts of the battle. Also visit us at to learn about our Give 150 campaign to help save Civil War sites and stories.
This August, people worldwide will look back on one of the major events of the Civil Rights Movement as we observe the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. HISTORY will feature classroom resources including links to online video clips, special curriculum guides, and more.
Our Take a Veteran to School Day program continues to grow from year to year. This heartfelt initiative provides resources for schools to honor veterans and thank them for their service. Register now at to receive 30 colorful wristbands which will ship out this fall.
Finally, I want to wish everyone a healthy, safe, and fun summer. We appreciate your interest in our on-air and classroom programs and we look forward to keeping you up to date about new ways to make history relevant in your classrooms.

Questions? Email us at
Best Regards,
Libby O'Connell
Libby O'Connell, Ph.D.
Chief Historian
SVP, Corporate Outreach

If you are not yet a subscriber to email, all you have to do is visit this link to be added: You can sign up for the newsletter in the left navigation bar on that page.

Have a great day,

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Free Mythology Books for Kindle

Just came across this list - thanks to a friend on Facebook.

There are so many more books available for free download online. Visit this page on my blog for a list of sites with millions of free books to download:

Have a fabulous day,

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Self Directed Homeschooler

This post is meant as an encouragement for anyone who has a younger homeschooled son or daughter who doesn't want to learn or resists doing lessons.

My son, Jess, is now 14. He is an only child and we have always homeschooled - first in New Mexico and now in Virginia. I'm divorced. He lives with me.

If you've ever read my article about homeschooling (its on the home page of my homeschool website), you have read that Stanford and several other top schools actively recruit homeschool students because they have maturity, self-reliance, and self direction that is hard to find in publicly educated students.

I used to read those words and compare it with what we were experiencing at home. It was like pulling teeth to get him to study. "Doing" school was really a struggle and certain subjects caused so much tension and stress for both of us that we ended up having to get a tutor. I literally thought my kid just didn't fit the "norm" of the self-directed homeschooler. I love him and felt obliged to accept him the way he is - even if that meant he was not very self directed or driven to succeed. Since I'm extremely driven, it wasn't always easy.

Then I took him to Fiji and we lived aboard a yacht for 6 weeks. He was given crewing duties and was expected to do the work asked of him. He was only 11 and I was very proud of how he completed his tasks and took to sea life. While on the trip, he was introduced to the show, The Big Bang Theory, and the topic of physics. He became almost obsessed with the subject. 
He has now decided that he wants to be a physicist and for the last year and a half or so, he has been completely self directed. He has taken up studying Latin completely on his own, as well as high school chemistry and biology. He reads books about physics and watches tons of science documentaries. He assigns himself lessons and spends hours each day completing them.

The change I have seen in my son borders on the miraculous. I don't think you have to take them to an island or to live on a boat. I think you just have to expose them to enough things that they can find the one that turns on the light and makes them excited to learn. 
I feel the greatest things we can give our children is love, appreciation, assistance with high self esteem, and help in discovering their gifts and interests. Then it seems we can just get out of the way and let them shine - whether its as an artist or an astronaut.

Have a fabulous day,
Bestselling author of Peering Through the Veil: The Step by Step Guide to Meditation and Inner Peace

Friday, March 8, 2013

Women's History Month from the History Channel

This just in from the History Channel also for Women's History Month

Women's History Month Programming:

Mothers of Invention
Monday, March 11th, at 6am/5c

Mothers of Invention explores the role of female innovators in American society. Despite many barriers, including unequal access to the education system and the patent process, women designed and helped produce a wide range of items, from refrigerated rail-cars to cosmetics to rocket devices.

You will also find valuable background information and video clips at the BIO Women's History site, located online at

View a timeline of women's history.

Women's History Month on Biography Channel

Just got this link from the Biography channel. Has some nice videos to commemorate Women's Day - today. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Learn all about U.S. Presidents

 I just got this by email from the History Channel. Thought you would appreciate knowing about this great resource.

The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents
Tuesday, January 15th, through Friday, January 18th, at 9/8c (4 parts)

The office of President of the United States is one of the hallmarks of the American experiment. Those who have served in the nation's highest office have been from different personal and political backgrounds, with vastly differing philosophies and personalities. The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents explores the lives, decisions and unique contributions of the men who have served as U.S. President, from George Washington to Barack Obama.

Organized chronologically, The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents is an engaging eight-hour series that looks at each leader and the challenges, expectations, and responsibilities they faced. With commentary from historians and unique visuals, this series is a journey into the heart of the American political system told through the prism of the nation's foremost leaders. Students will see how each individual president has shaped the executive office and will gain insights into the ways leadership has changed those who have held this prestigious position of power.

Curriculum Links:
The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents would be a good fit with American history, politics, civics, and government courses. It is appropriate for eighth-grade students and above. Teachers may want to use specific segments of this program to align with their course units and lectures on particular eras of U.S. history.

Read more about the U.S. Presidents.

Watch a short video about Presidential Fun Facts.