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Welcome to my blog!

This is a relaxed homeschooling blog, an eclectic homeschooling blog, an Oak Meadow homeschooling blog, and a secular homeschooling blog in one. It's full of homeschool curriculum reviews, hands on project and activity ideas, homeschool outing, field trip and educational tour ideas and photos, occasional recipes, articles I've written, helpful and informative links, useful forms and information particularly for Pennsylvania homeschoolers, and fun extras, such as a thorough and detailed list of books featuring homeschooled characters and educational quotes (just start exploring the sidebar over to the left to see most of these things).

But mostly, with each daily entry consisting of text and photos, it chronicles our day to day lives as relaxed, secular homeschoolers as we go about our business of living and learning using the Oak Meadow curriculum.

If you've been looking for secular homeschooling blogs, I hope that you find this one enjoyable, informative, and encouraging. And I hope that if you are new to the world of homeschooling, you find yourself able to relax.

This is supposed to be fun. :)

Who I Am...and Who I Am Not

I'm probably not the kind of mom who comes to mind when someone first thinks "homeschooler." First of all, I'm a secular homeschooler. I'm not particularly religious, and I don't homeschool for religious reasons. I'm 38 years old and pretty liberal, my husband is a tattoo artist, I live in jeans, we listen to hip-hop music in the car, we watch lots of TV, we play computer games, we joke around a lot, we socialize... we're regular people. ;)

I'm a pretty relaxed homeschooler. I don't "unschool," nor do I replicate public school at home. I picked a reasonably fun curriculum which incorporates hands-on activities, living books, interesting discussion and doesn't consist of dry, boring textbooks and a thousand worksheets, I supplement it with interesting things as desired, and we revolve it around our lives, rather than revolving our lives around school. So when interesting things come up, we go out and experience them, dropping "school" for the day when need be, because I understand that there are lots of ways to learn aside from what happens while sitting around our kitchen table with a pile of books in front of us. (See "Oak Meadow" under the "My Reviews" section at the sidebar to the left to get an idea of what our main curriculum is all about).

I love our style of learning. I love that we're doing it together, I love that we're having fun with it, I love the freedom we have to do it our way.

I haven't always homeschooled. My oldest daughter, Melissa, has special needs and attended school her whole life (currently as a 20 year old in a special needs school/life skills class). My younger daughter, Alexa, went to preschool followed by public school for Kindergarten and 1st through most of 3rd grade. Back then, homeschooling wasn't even on my radar. But there were just so many things about the school system I couldn't stand while she was there that I finally had enough and started looking into homeschooling. I ended up pulling her out toward the end of her 3rd grade year (in March of 2009) and never looked back. We've been happily homeschooling her ever since, and my only regret is that I didn't think of it sooner. My son, Ben, is 6 years old, and he's the only one who's never been to any sort of preschool or public school...he gets to be home with me from the beginning and has made it very clear that he wants to be homeschooled his "whole life."

We've been at this just about three years now and it's going well. I don't have any specific plan for the future. I don't know if we'll do it all the way through or if the kids will end up back in school at some point. We're playing it by ear. Right now we're enjoying it, the kids are thriving, and we're all happy.

For more of my philosophies on the dynamics of homeschooling, life, and education, you can check out some of the articles I've written over on the sidebar to the left. I'd especially recommend "What Does A Homeschooler Do Every Day?" for my outlook on "typical" homeschooling days, "What About Socialization?" for those still worried about the "S word," and "A Kindergarten Dropout" if you tend to worry about whether your four or five year old is "doing enough" by way of school.

For more of what our day to day lives as homeschoolers is like, just start taking a peek at my recent entries by clicking on where it says "Home's Cool" up near the top left of this page, just above the picture of the books. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

~Nance,
January, 2012

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
May. 18th, 2014 12:08 pm (UTC)
Homeschool in PA
Hello, my husband is thinking of moving us to the Ft Indiantown Gap area of PA. Wondering if you are from that area and if you can recommend a certain town for us. We are also homeschoolers and would like to be in a safe town with plenty of activities available, such as a good park and rec and maybe even a YMCA. Thanks!

-Stephanie
nancextoo
May. 18th, 2014 02:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Homeschool in PA
I am not from or familiar with that area, sorry! But there is a Yahoo group/email list called PA Home Educators and you could inquire there!
Nance
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
THINGS YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW ABOUT:


THE FAMILY:

Shawn - 40, Husband, Dad, Tattoo Artist, Body Piercer, Business Owner, Saltwater Aquarium Enthusiast, Cook, Mr. Fix-It.

Nance - 41, Wife, Homeschooling Mom, Bookworm, Writer, Field Tripper, List Maker, Planner, Chauffeur.

Melissa - 22, Special Needs. Is in a sheltered workshop/life skills day program. Likes music, movies, shopping, and reading.

Alexa - 14, Left public school in March of 2009 and has been home since, happily homeschooling with Oak Meadow and an eclectic mix of other things. Currently in 8th grade. Enjoys reading, writing, arts and crafts, Girl Scouts, Judo, singing and music, doing her nails, and sleepovers with friends.

Ben - 8, Has never been to any outside school. Currently doing 3rd grade at home. Enjoys computer, video and board games, especially Minecraft and shooter games, silly jokes, soccer, rough-housing, and occasional cuddling and reading.

Adelaide - 13 months and my little ray of sunshine. :)

We are a relaxed/eclectic, secularly homeschooling family living in Pennsylvania and thoroughly enjoying Life Without School!

CURRENT CURRICULUM/MATERIALS:

Alexa is using: Oak Meadow 8 Civics; Oak Meadow 8 English; Oak Meadow Basic Physical Science; Story of the World Middle Ages; and Teaching Textbooks Math Pre-Algebra.

Ben is loosely using the Oak Meadow 3rd Grade curriculum (minus the math), Teaching Textbooks Math 3, and Reading Eggspress.

I've always been a fairly relaxed homeschooler. While I've buckled down more this year with my 8th grader, in general we do school around life, not life around school. We use mainly a fun, hands on curriculum that isn't overly time consuming and isn't dry or textbookish, and we're always willing to drop it for the time being if something fun, interesting, or educational comes up outside the house. Living is learning!


ABOUT ME & MY BLOG:

Welcome To My Blog!


MY ARTICLES, ESSAYS, & RAMBLES:

The ABCs Of Relaxed Homeschooling

A Perfect Day

Affidavits, Objectives & Samples, Oh My!

A Kindergarten Dropout

Homeschooling, A Year Later

Preschool Or Not?

I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way

A Day In The Life Of A New Homeschooler

Homeschool Poem

What Does A Homeschooler Do Every Day?

What Does A Homeschooler Do Every Day Part 2

What About Socialization?

Why Homeschool?!

Dear Judy Molland

What I Really Mean When I Say I Homeschool


MY REVIEWS:

Funnix Beginning Reading Program Review

Getting Started With Spanish Review

Growing, Growing Strong Review

Insect Lore Negative Review

Life of Fred Math Review

Little Passports Review

Meet The Masters Review

Movie Review: Snowmen

Oak Meadow Review

Sentence Composing For Elementary School Review

Story Of The World Review

Teaching Textbooks Math Review

Times Tales Review

Typing Instructor For Kids Platinum Review


OUR BOOK LOGS:

Alexa's Third Grade Book Log

Alexa's Fourth Grade Book Log

Alexa's Fifth Grade Book Log

Alexa's Sixth Grade Book Log, Year 1

Alexa's Sixth Grade Book Log, Year 2

Alexa's Seventh Grade Book Log

Ben's Pre-K Book Log

Ben's Kindergarten Book Log

Ben's First Grade Book Log

Ben's Second Grade Book Log


SCHEDULE SAMPLES:

Oak Meadow Kindergarten Schedule Sample, With Pics

Oak Meadow 4th Grade Schedule Sample, With Pics

Oak Meadow 5th Grade Schedule Sample, With Pics

Our 6th Grade Stretched Over Two Years Plan

Some Of Our Most Fun/Interesting Projects & Activities, Oak Meadow 5th Grade


USEFUL FORMS & THINGS:

Homeschool Affidavit

Homeschool Objectives, Elementary and Secondary Level

Homeschool Portfolio

Summary, To Include With Portfolio, Example 1

Summary, To Include With Portfolio, Example 2

Standardized Test Results


MISC:

Books Featuring Homeschooled Characters, Titles A-I

Books Featuring Homeschooled Characters, Titles J-R

Books Featuring Homeschooled Characters, Titles S-Z

52 Books In 52 Weeks, Mom & Daughter Style, 2011

Homeschooling Quotes & Funnies

Our Fresh Air Fund Experience

Funny Things Alexa Has Said

Funny Things Ben Has Said

My Favorite Links

How I Got Alexa's Eczema Under Control!

My TTC, Pregnancy, and Miscarriage Saga, PART 1

My TTC, Pregnancy, and Miscarriage Saga, PART 2

UPDATED!My TTC, Pregnancy, and Miscarriage Saga, Part 3UPDATED!

The Family Who Wouldn't Change The Toilet Paper

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