Techie Advice For High Schoolers

Techie Advice| Are you interested in techie advice that is most important to learn, especially for kids before they leave home? What should your high schooler know before they graduate? Today we discuss Techie advice with our resident expert, Meryl van der Merwe. | #podcast #techieadvice #homeschoolpodcastTechie Advice For High Schoolers ~ Episode 372

Are you interested in techie advice that is most important to learn, especially for kids before they leave home? What should your high schooler know before they graduate? Today we discuss Techie advice with our resident expert, Meryl van der Merwe the podcaster at

Thanks to our sponsor – Reading Eggs – you can find out more information about their award-winning reading program here!

Here is Meryl van der Merwe’s website is Funda Funda Academy here.

It is never to early to begin! But, if you have an upcoming highschooler or soon to be graduate they should know the following techie advice. In fact, it is never too old to learn. (Yes, parents I’m talking to you!)

Techie Advice For Students

Computer basics: 
  1. This includes installing software, knowing how to organize files and folders, how to take a screenshot
  2. How to troubleshoot problems on your computer or electronic devices.
How to navigate online classes
  1. Should know how to submit assignments online
  2. Contact teachers
  3. Find assignment deadlines
Be familiar with Google Drive apps
  1. They should be able to use Google Docs, Sheets, Forms and Slide
  2. How to use and understand how to work with others online
Know how to find credible sources
  1. Should know about Google Scholar
  2. How to find sources they can use for research papers, know how to spot fake news
Know how to spot phishing attempts
  1. They should know what to look for in phishing emails and phone calls
  2. Be vigilant, if it sounds to good to be true it probably is.
Should know basic video and digital graphic creation
  1. They should be able to make screencast videos
  2. Do basic video editing
  3. Create graphics using tools like Canva
They should know basic coding
  1. They do not need to be proficient coders, but as coding will be part of most jobs of the future, a basic understanding is necessary
  2. Look at some of the following: FundaFunda Academy offers a Computer Applications class  – which includes digital literacy and covers points 1 – 7. They also offer programming classes, including a free 4 module Intro to Game Programming Class.
 The best ways to prepare as a highschool homeschooler for jobs in the tech field?   
  1. Make sure they are very familiar with computer technology
  2. Include basic coding in what they learn. FundaFunda Academy offers online classes in Scratch (an easy drag and drop language) and Python (which is used by many businesses).
  3. Participating in First Lego League will also teach programming skills.
  4. There are many free websites to learn as well.
  5. Coding is becoming as important a skill as reading, writing, and math.
What are some jobs that don’t have enough qualified people?  
  1. Engineering jobs are expected to increase by 140 000 between 2016 and 2026 in the USA.
  2. And software engineering jobs will increase more than 24%. You can find more info in these articles.
  3. As we live in a world where so much is driven by technology, there is an increasing need for people to write the software for the devices we are using.
 Recommended articles:



Yellowstone – Earth History

Yellowstone | ellowstone is the gateway to understanding earth history, in this episode we'll listen to Patrick Nurre as he shares information about the park and the earth. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #creationscienceYellowstone National Park – A Window into Earth History Episode 22

Yellowstone is the gateway to understanding earth history, in this episode we’ll listen to Patrick Nurre as he shares information about the park and the earth.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, Inc and the Truth Seekers Mystery.

Yellowstone National Park is America’s first national park signed into law in 1872 by U.S. Grant, 18th President of the United States.

The Park is 2.2 million acres, amounting to over 3,400 square miles of forest, mountain ranges, several lakes, 10,000 thermal features, 300 waterfalls and over 300 geysers. It is a veritable laboratory for getting a window into the past geological history of Earth. It is a testament to the Genesis Flood and its aftermath.

The origin of the word Yellowstone is unknown. Many think Yellowstone got its name from the altered and colored lava of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, most of which is colored a variety of yellow hues due to hydrothermal (or hot water) alteration within the canyon walls.

Yellowstone National Park is a small part of a much larger ecosystem. This ecosystem contains the greatest amount of fossil trees in the world, the largest fresh water lake in the US at altitudes over 7,000 feet, the largest concentration of geysers in the world, a vast glacially sculpted landscape and quite possibly the largest concentrated amount of volcanic ejecta in the world to have been erupted by volcanoes (9,000 cubic miles of volcanic material). To give you an idea of just how big that is, Mt. St. Helens erupted just .25 cubic miles of volcanic material in 1980.

Yellowstone is actually part of a greater volcanic feature dubbed a “supervolcano.” The main crater of Yellowstone is 45 miles long and 35 miles wide. Mt. St. Helens, by comparison, left a crater 1 mile wide and a ½ mile deep.

No one knows for sure what lies underneath Yellowstone. Geologists estimate that there is initially a depth of about 1-2 miles of a special type of volcanic rock called rhyolite, produced by explosive volcanoes. In addition, the temperatures just 400-500 feet below the surface are very hot.

There is no doubt that if one of these giants were to erupt today, it would have a devastating effect on our biotic globe and climate. Many geologists have proposed a sort of an ice age that would creep over several parts of our Earth.

Some ask if Yellowstone will erupt again. Despite what Hollywoood says, the official park literature states that they do not expect any kind of an eruption within the next 10,000 years. The closest eruption of any magnitude in our recent Earth history was in 1815 with the eruption of Mt. Tambora in Indonesia. 1816 has been called, “The year without a summer,” as freezing temperatures, and snow and crop failure were reported in June of 1816 throughout many parts of the world.  There have been many such eruptions in Earth’s geological past – the Mammoth Lakes Caldera in eastern California and the La Garita Caldera in southwest Colorado were two of the largest.

What would have produced this violent volcanic eruption? The Yellowstone eruption is a bit of a mystery in modern geology. It does not fit the typical plan for volcanic activity. Scientists tell us that most of Earth’s volcanoes lie along cracks in the Earth called The Ring of Fire. These cracks are labeled as the edges of shifting plates, as modern geology describes them. But Yellowstone does not lie along any edge of a plate. It is thousands of miles from The Ring of Fire. This is also true of the Hawaiian Islands, themselves made of many volcanic eruptions. Yellowstone nevertheless is a huge crack or hole in the Earth.

Many of us learned in school that volcanoes were the crucibles of creation; that our atmosphere and water and the early conditions for life on our planet came from millions of years of repeated eruptions. James Hutton, the Father of Modern Geology, in the late 1700s, viewed the Earth as having constantly recycled itself in volcanic eruptions, processes of metamorphosis and sedimentary deposition throughout untold ages. There is another way to look at this.

Genesis 1 says “In the beginning, God created the space and the Earth….” This is a far different picture of Earth history. One of the best things you can do in sharpening your worldview is to read and know Genesis 1. Very few Christians who know the Scriptural presentation of origins and the global Flood that followed.

In Genesis 1 a straightforward reading would tell us that the Earth was created by an all-knowing, all-powerful God, with purpose and design. And this space and Earth and everything in them were created over a period of 6 days. This would make the origin of the Earth a relatively recent event in Earth history, quite at odds with modern geology. At the end of day 6, the Scripture states, “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” Earth, upon its completion, seems to have been a perfect place, fashioned by the Creator for very special people – Adam and Eve. There does not seem to have been death, disease, and other crippling effects of decay. But this is not what volcanoes produce. Volcanoes produce: sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen fluoride or hydrofluoric acid, very poisonous gases, as well as dangerous amounts of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, acid rain, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid and destruction of the ozone layer of Earth. In addition, these particles of dangerous things rise up into our atmosphere and affect our climate and disrupt our existence. For example, airports are closed and crops and animals are killed through the deposits in the form of thousands of tons of volcanic ash. All in all, volcanoes are destructive to man’s existence, not creative. Looking at things from a Biblical point of view, there is another idea to consider for the creation of volcanoes: the Genesis Flood.

Genesis 7:11 very effectively describes the first day of the Genesis Flood. “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.” To a geologist, this historical statement should cause one to think of many different geological events. For instance, huge cracks and holes could open in the crust of the Earth with the eruption of all kinds of hot water, nasty radioactivity, and lavas, and the ripping apart of soils laid down just 1500 years earlier. All of Earth now exhibits these effects in the rocks, topographical scars, and billions of fossil creatures and plants over the entire globe.

Geologists estimate that there are over 50,000 volcanoes of all kinds spread out over the surface of the Earth and on the ocean floor. Rocks and landforms that were a part of the original creation would have been changed or metamorphosed for the rest of Earth history as a reminder of the judgment of God. Only a remnant of the original creation remains. But the devastation of a global flood has left its mark as a reminder that God holds all mankind accountable for its rebellion. The Genesis Flood is the only world-wide catastrophic event in Earth history, mentioned in the Scripture, that all mankind experienced. It was not a localized judgment such as Sodom and Gomorrah. Cracks all over the ocean floor and present-day faulting and earthquakes are a testament that this global event indeed did happen.

However, geologists tell us that the Yellowstone volcano erupted 640,000 years ago. How do they know this? They don’t. The age is based upon an assumed behavior of radioactivity. Radioactivity or radioactive decay can be measured in the present, but we have no idea whether this decay rate has continued unabated into the distant past. Geologists merely assume it has been constant. They assume this because they refuse to consider the Genesis Flood as anything more than myth. But if the Flood indeed did take place, as Scripture records, then all geological processes we know today would have been affected by extreme heat, alteration and mixing of materials and violent chemical reactions.

So, how old is Yellowstone? From a Biblical point of view, the answer lies in historical documents, not in science. Science can only verify what it can observe, test and repeat. The Yellowstone supervolcano erupted at some point in Earth’s history. Deciphering that is a matter of examining historical documents and eyewitness accounts. The science of Yellowstone deals with excavating its fossils and identifying its rocks. But the origin of Yellowstone is a matter of history and that is the task before us.

Christians have three main sources for determining the age of Yellowstone:

  • The genealogies and chronologies of chapters 5 and 11 of Scripture
  • The witness of Jesus Christ who quoted from the book of Genesis more than any other Old Testament book of the Bible and took all that it stated at face value
  • The signs produced by the Creator throughout Earth history and witnessed by hundreds and in some cases thousands of people

As the chronologies in Genesis chapter 5 clearly indicate that there were a little less than 1700 years from Adam to Noah, then Yellowstone cannot be any older than about 4,500 years, the date of Noah’s flood. Any evidence of a volcanic eruption prior to that would have been wiped away by the Flood.

All these historical events have been recorded and preserved in our Scripture so that we might know who created us, what happened to the human race and how man can be restored to a right relationship with his creator.

Mistakes Teaching Math

Mistakes Teaching Math | We all make mistakes teaching math but in this episode, we will learn that these can be overcome. Today's guest discusses the program Pat Murray created. | #podcast #CTCMath #homeschoolpodcast #teachingmathMistakes Teaching Math – Episode 369

We all make mistakes teaching math but in this episode, we will learn that these can be overcome. Today’s guest is CTC math spokesperson, Nadim Al Rahi.

Thanks to our sponsor CTC | Math Curriculum

Not being a great math student until I became a homeschool mom, I was interested in what CTCMath had to offer. My guest Nadim was a student of the founder. Pat Murray. Pat was Nadim’s high school math teacher. The two formed a bond and kept in touch. Years later, Nadim would work with CTCMath. Pat teaches the online courses, and there ‘is also a free trial that you can do. The trial gives the user a little bit about the different lessons, to test out the system before you buy, which is wonderful. That’s CTC, but we’re going to talk about some of the most prominent mistake teachers make when teaching math. And so you’re going to share that with us.

Mistakes Teaching Math:

  1. The biggest teaching mistake the long drawn out explanation. Sometimes as parents, homeschool parents, and teachers, we think that more information is better and it’s actually the opposite. Students can often get lost and confused in a long, drawn-out explanation. So if we can just keep the teaching to a short, concise explanation that’s best and most effective when, when it comes to teaching math, um, you can use your time. There may be twenty minutes of explanation and then ten minutes of practice problems. Well, that time is probably better spent doing five-minutes of explanation and twenty-five minutes of practice problems. Complicated explanations that show too many diverse methods is also an issue. We think that if we equip the children with more information, it’s going to lead to, better grades and a better toolkit, but often students just need the one method, the simplest method, the easiest methods for them to understand now is that first method doesn’t work. You might want to try a second method, but the risks can sometimes be that we show the students too many diverse methods and that can often complicate them. And you see it in, in advancements in the curriculum and changes in curriculum and current eyes, uh, traditionally used to be just the traditional methods that were taught. So more and more you see these popping up.
  2. Another of the mistakes teaching math is thinking rote learning is a bad idea. That students need only to use discovery learning and believing the hype around the need to discover things and conceptualize things on their own. I’m sure it has its place, at an age-appropriate time. But I always use the analogy of a Rubik’s cube. You can give a child a Rubik cube and tell them to solve it. They’re going to spend hours and hours and hours trying to work it out. And most of the time they will probably give it up. But you can show them a simple algorithm and a simple way to solve the root issue. Now, once they’ve done that and I’ve worked out how to do it using the simple pattern, you can see that confidence is lifted. They want to find a bigger Rubik Cube, and they want to go on and do more. And maybe that’s when you allow the discovery learning to take place. It is very important in the early grade levels, ensuring that students can instantly recall their math facts. It builds confidence and sets them up for later years too, to really enjoy math more. So this idea that discovery learning and children really need to, to work it out on their own, I think is, is a big hype. That’s, beating a lot of confidence in children. But I think the important thing is to learn what your child likes. And then it’s almost like love languages, you know, working out your child’s love language will work out what component of math they enjoy and really pursuing it.
  3. Math is not enjoyable. I think the feedback that we get is confidence is that their confidence is down, is that they no longer enjoy math is that it’s difficult. We, as parents and educators have to work how are we going to get their confidence back up? How are we going to try to make math more enjoyable? And often it’s through the understanding of math. When I started to understand it you will see light bulbs and the aha moments begin to click and they want to do more and more of it, then we hear from countless parents that we can’t get them off the math anymore. So it’s really figuring out how to get their confidence up, how to get them really enjoying math again through understanding.

On a side note, the homeschooling movement in Australia is wonderful and growing. The homeschool community is building and growing. The creator of CTCMath, Pat Murray, homeschooled their children.

Five Things Josh Harris Forgot

Josh Harris | This is not a show that will bash Josh Harris, a previous bestseller, Christian pastor and evangelical leader and author of books that many Christians and many homeschoolers loved. What I will do is point out the five things I believe he forgot in his journey from seeking what people thought about his book. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #ikisseddatinggoodbye #joshharrisFive Things Josh Harris Forgot Episode 368

This is not a show that will bash Josh Harris, a previous bestseller, Christian pastor and evangelical leader and author of books that many Christians and many homeschoolers loved. What I will do is point out the five things I believe he forgot in his journey from seeking what people thought about his book.

Thanks to our sponsor –

My heart grieves for Josh Harris and I will share why in a bit, but as I think about his situation there are some major points I feel he completely forgot. I have not watched his entire documentary that was filmed with clips from the people he interviewed that were harmed or liked his book, mostly it was the latter as the title is, “I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye.” He apologizes in the film and I think apologies are always good, they are freeing but he is personally taking responsibility for a movement that flamed within many Evangelical churches that he truly had no idea would happen.

Point #1 – People Have Free Will.

Sorry. God gave us free will. Each person who read your book made a decision to follow your advice or not. People need to take responsibility for their own actions – there is a lacking of this in our society.

As an author I have first-hand experience with this, having written many books from 1994 to the present day. Years ago, my daughter and I co-authored the Truth Seekers Mystery Series. These are action-adventure novels, that focus on archaeology, paleontology, and anthropology. We called them Truth Seekers because we wanted our readers to seek truth in their lives, the dialogue contained both sides of an argument with both teens and adults.

I taught my children to learn by investigating, asking questions and research from three primary sources. I didn’t want them to read someone else’s interpretation of what happened, which is why I will give a link to the statement Josh Harris made about his book. Here is his official statement.

Point #2 – Do Not Throw Out The Baby With The Bath Water

We had two books that Josh Harris wrote. The first is, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” and the second one “Boy Meets Girl,” a quick search shows the Kindle version received 366 stars on Amazon that resulted in a rating of 4.6 stars. Not bad. He had good information to share and I think what I liked about his books is his authenticity in sharing his struggle and his ultimate victory in what he believed was an ideal method for dating.

Josh wrote an apology in his statement that said, in essence, if I hurt you I’m sorry and if I helped you I am happy. But, because I think this is flawed, I’m pulling sales of the book.

We read the books and felt that parts of the books made great sense. The part, we as a family liked is that teen dating and breaking up had become an epidemic that set kids up for heartbreak at a young age. We never told our kids, you have to do this, or this is our family rule. We said, “What do you think.” Of course the twelve-year-old thought it was great advice and then as she matured and was eighteen, she asked for some leeway which we gave her.

My parents were super strict, they didn’t let me date in high school other than one prom date (that my father accepted for me) when I was a Senior in High school–and not with the person I wanted to go with, you have to read my book, One More Child to hear that story.) However, I didn’t want to be as strict as my parents but I did want some parameters and I thought Josh’s book did that well.

I would never credit him for my success or failure in parenting because I read his books and encouraged my kids to read them. I think his book contained caution for a world that is hurting. Why not put out a revised edition with some cautions? Why ax it totally? I can’t answer that question.

Point #3 – Love Comes From Above First Before It Comes From Within

The source of all love comes from above and once we know God we can have this love within and then share it with others. We have to pray and search our hearts for what God calls us to do, should we marry, go into ministry, be celibate. It is a personal relationship. I know that some people, some churches took his information as the gospel truth without looking at the gospel. A book can guide but it can not make someone do something, point number one!

Point #4 – No One In This World Can Always Make You Happy

I think a bunch of criticism is that his book taught a method that people followed and had a disastrous outcome, while some said his method worked. But the main point is that no person on earth can fill that void that belongs to God. God created us to love Him, and if we do not love Him first, we will always seek for that true love that will never be fulfilling.

Point #5 -Applying The Bible To Dating Is A Good Idea

God gave us life and we, as thankful Christians should look to the Word of God in the Bible for advice. God said, “…go forth and multiply…” He didn’t give us a direct path, but if we proceed based on the love of God and His will for our life no matter what happens we will always have God. That makes no sense to someone who is not a Christian or who doesn’t have a relationship with God. When Harris wrote the book he was committed and he loved the Lord and wrote what he felt the Lord was teaching. It is up to each individual (read point one above) to pray, discern and seek God. Even life’s rejections can be a learning tool and healing for all of us.

Unfortunately, I read that Josh and his wife are getting a divorce and for this, I grieve. I will pray for him, for her, for their children. Divorce is heartbreaking no matter who it happens to and is never a cause to rejoice or point fingers.

Friends, what we can learn is that while books are great for teaching and even sermons, teachings, podcasts, etc., it is important to have a spirit of discernment (which is free by the way, just pray for it!) and critical thinking, and making up our own decisions. I pray that a new generation of young people do not think his apology means that everything is wrong with waiting to date, to kiss and to have intimate relationships until we get married.

I’ll leave you with one thought before we point to others with blame take a hard look at yourself. Take responsibility for your own actions! Look at your relationship with God and your hopes and dreams. Do you even know what you believe? Do you have a firm foundation in Christ. If not, get on your knees and pray. It begins with one person. You. And it begins today.



How To Homeschool High School

How To Homeschool Highschool | Are you new to homeschooling, or perhaps entering those high school years? Do you wonder how to homeschool high school? In this episode, Felice Gerwitz and Vicki Tillman | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #howtohomeschoolhighschoolHow To Homeschool High School – Episode 367

Are you new to homeschooling, or perhaps entering those high school years? Do you wonder how to homeschool high school? In this episode, Felice Gerwitz and Vicki Tillman (The Homeschool Highschool Podcast) discuss how to get started and the information you need to know!

Visit Vicki Tillman and the 7-Sisters at

SO you want to know how to homeschool high school…well, you came to the right place. Today’s wonderful guest is a supercharged knowledge bank of information, Vicki Tillman!

Thanks to our sponsor CTCMath – visit for more information and a current offer of a free subscription. These offers tend to change so hurry to grab your set.

Be sure to check out Vicki’s list for high school students to discern what track they should take. | Math Curriculum

Vicki Tillman does everything homeschool highschool! Transcripts, encouragement, and everything in between. Vicki started homeschooling about thirty years ago and times have changed yet if there were not opportunities they started them. If there were enough of us moms we’d start co-ops or debate teams or cinematography teams and, choirs. We began an umbrella school that was registered with the state of Delaware so that the high schoolers could get a transcript approved by the state.

Homeschooling opens doors. What the universities have found in this early generation, especially my older kids is that homeschoolers know how to rock things. They know how to study, they know how to motivate themselves and they actually often have better social skills than their traditionally schooled peers. So they often were campus leaders in organizations. That is so true.

Yet parents have so many questions:

  1. Will this work for us?
  2. Is this something that will be longterm?
  3. Will our kids be able to get into colleges?
  4. What kind of transcripts do I need?
  5. Where can we get our books?

How do you start homeschool high school?

  1. Start by joining the homeschool legal defense organization 
    • At the HSLDA website, they have all the information for state requirements for high school.
  2. There is no one right way to homeschool. All kids are different. What works for one may not work for the others.
  3. If the student needs a transcript, they need to have a piece of paper that they graduate with that will follow them to college or even into the workforce. Employers can ask for them even ten years later
  4. Know what credits you need to graduate.
    • Typically four language arts credits, between two and four maths according to what their goals are and what the state wants. They’ll need somewhere between two to four sciences. And the same with social studies. They usually need a couple of world languages. Phys ed, usually a health and then usually a fine arts credit.
    • Every state varies. That’s why we send you to HSLDA, look at their state map for more information about your particular state.
    • Sometimes God calls some kids to go into the trades or into some kind of artisan work. If that is the case they don’t need to kill themselves doing super-duper academics in high school.
    • The college-bound kids, especially if they’re going after scholarships or going to a state or a more competitive college, will want to go to the high end of things and do more vigorous curriculum.

Overview of Four Years:

  1. Go over this with your teens. Sit down and discuss it, what you want to have accomplished by the time they graduate.
  2. Knowing how many maths, if they’re going to a competitive college, then they need all four math.
    • So they’ll need Algebra one to Geometry, Precalc or if they’re going into a stem subject, they need the Algebra in, in middle school and go for the higher math and as Statistics.
  3. For Literature. Ask do you want a free for all literature where the kids just randomly pick and you pick and you have a mixture of, of different kinds of literature? Or do you want to focus on American Lit, one year in British Lit, one year in a whole year of CS Lewis, American or World Literature? You can even concentrate on poetry for a year.
  4. There is no one right way to homeschool high school. You can focus on a student’s interests. For example the histories, etc.

Career Exploration ~

Here is a list of questions high school students can ask themselves, pray and think about, from Vicki Tillman!

  1. What are my strengths?
  2. What are my weaknesses?
  3. What is important to me? (education, just enough education, LOTS of education, working with my hands, serving my country, 9-5 working hours, travel, time for family and friends, climbing the corporate ladder, fame, predictability, time for church and volunteering, good benefits?)
  4. What things have I done in life already that are interesting? (Career-focused or not)
  5. Who are the most influential people in my life? What do they do for a career and volunteering?
  6. What has God already shown me about me? (Career-related or not)
  7. What careers might be interesting to me? (Do I already know? If not, what can I do to try on some new hats? Field trips? Volunteering at new places? Reading some biographies? Interviewing people in various jobs?)
Here’s a freebie from Vicki to get started – Visit the 7 Sisters Website for the Questionaire. 

Back To Homeschool

Back To Homeschool | Try a new back to homeschool tradition this year! | #backtoschool #homeschool

Back to HomeSchool!

By: Samantha Anne Moss

How do you feel about going back to homeschool? Are you excited, unhappy, or nervous? If you are like me, you feel all three! I am sure that you never complain about school, but for those of you that do, I have a few ideas that should make this school year easier. I will list them in a minute, along with some other suggestions, but first I want to ask you a question.

During the end of summer, do you ever get bored? Well, I do! I seem to find myself saying, “Mom, what should I do?” or “I am bored!” As I am sure you know, moms always help you think of something to do, but most of the time the ideas don’t sound too appealing! Some of my mom’s great ideas consist of things like cleaning your room or doing your chores. Naturally, I immediately find something else to do, especially if those are options for something to do and not chores! When school starts, I am always excited to be busy and learning new things… at least for the first week!

Back to Homeschool Fun!

So, once the novelty of going back to homeschool has worn off, how do you keep it fun? You may be thinking, “she is crazy.” Well, learning can be fun, but first, you must work hard on the subjects assigned and help with your given chores! Oh, great, I am starting to sound like my mom (not that that is a bad thing)!

If you complete your schoolwork early in the day, you have a better chance of having free time to do your own thing. I enjoy free time activities such as an art project I can work on each day or reading a favorite book. I know when we’ve completed our school work ahead of time our mom surprises us with an unexpected field trip! I love going to museums, parks, or historical sights and learning fun things as well as enjoying time spent with my friends.

Another reason to finish your work efficiently is to allow for time to do science experiments! No fancy kits are needed; we do lots of experimenting with around the house supplies. (My grandmother wrote a book, Teaching Science and Having Fun my mom is even the model on the cover when she was about my age, twelve! This book has home-supply lists and do-it-yourself lab kits.) My family loves to do science experiments.

My brothers favorite is making a baking soda and vinegar explosion. This is a perfect example of something that is cheap, and it is an easy experiment that almost anyone can do. If you want to bring this experiment up a notch then you might consider purchasing (or making) a fake volcano that you can dump baking soda to vinegar into, don’t forget to try different ratios of baking powder and vinegar. My siblings and I, along with our Uncle Mike, did this and had a blast! Our volcano was made of an upside-down cut, aluminum foil (on a tray) and Plaster Paris that was molded around the foil. After it hardened, we painted it! This just shows you that you can have fun and count it as school.

Homeschool Co-Ops are fun, and we have joined several during my years of homeschooling. This puts children in groups, and the activities are led by the parents. This keeps the fun in back to homeschool! Each co-op is different, and you can do many of these suggestions at home as well. There are enough people in my own family to have our own co-op!

Another fun idea is to do a STEM project! (I didn’t know they were called STEM projects until I wrote this, but regardless they are so much fun!) All you need to have on hand for this project is toothpicks and mini marshmallows! You can create engineering marvels such as building bridges, pyramids, and all sorts of other things. We did this fun building project with our co-op, and my brother insisted that it needed to be included in this year’s back to homeschool fun!

It is easy to make almost any design using these tools. My older sister Emma built a pyramid that was bigger than her head! She is very focused when it comes to these types of activities. There is one thing that always gives us a problem that requires quick thinking. The little kids (our younger siblings) tend to like to eat this experiment rather than build it. I must admit that it is not just the little kids that want to eat the mini-marshmallows necessary for this project, my friends and I ate our fair share too! Our co-ops are so much fun and educational. It is also a bonus that I get to see my friends.

I hope that this gives you a different perspective on starting your back to homeschool with a good attitude that lasts throughout the year! Also, the reward of starting and finishing your schoolwork quickly. Who has the time to complain about school work? Especially when there are so many fun things to do once it is done! I hope that you try some of these fun ideas, begin projects that interest you, and do some fun experiments. After all, learning is fun!

To see another article by Samantha Moss visit here.

About the author:

Samantha Anne Moss is a twelve-year-old homeschooler who lives in southwest Florida with her family. She enjoys reading, photography, and playing the piano. Samantha is the second oldest in a family of eight children.

Copyright 2019 – All Rights Reserved Samantha Anne Moss






Six Benefits Of Learning Spanish

Learning Spanish | With a passion for speaking Spanish, and experience as a homeschool mom, Alba Alonso shares the benefits of learning Spanish. You will be surprised at the innovation she uses and she explains more of this in this episode! | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #fitnesslatinos #foreignlanguageSix Benefits Of Learning Spanish Episode 366

With a passion for speaking Spanish, and experience as a homeschool mom, Alba Alonso shares the benefits of learning Spanish. You will be surprised at the innovation she uses and she explains more of this in this episode! Time to learn a #foreignlanguage ~ try #fitnesslatinos

Thanks so much to Fitness Latinos our sponsor! Please visit the website here: VISIT Fitness Latinos here 

An informational video about the product is here: VIDEO Here

About Alba Alonso

  • Her first language was Spanish. She lived in Colombia in South America for her first 10 years. She learned English during her middle and high school years and moved from Miami to Oregon and went on to college in South Carolina. You can say she has tasted a little bit of our US culture in a short time!

    She gave up a career as a marketing coordinator for an international architecture firm to be a stay-at-home mom and homeschooled her two children for the next 20 years. When her firstborn was eight years old her friends began to take an interest in learning Spanish. The first year her homeschool coop started with twenty students!

    Alba is the founder of an all-male Hispanic soccer league, has been an interpreter and was the co-host of Mom’s Homeroom, a parenting web show. Thirty-eight years after having moved to the US she has poured her life’s experience into her online business Fitness Latinos where she teaches Spanish and English in a practical way that will commit learning the foreign language in a personal and permanent way.

    She believes you have to define your “WHY?” before you learn to enjoy the journey. Her life’s motto is, “Transformation Through Education and Each One Teach One.”

Handout from Level 1 & 2 Syllabi and Benefits

Top Six Benefits of Learning Spanish

  1. Inspire – Your journey will inspire others to be courageous and to step out of the mundane routine of life and get to know someone new and exciting.
  2. Fun – The study of a new language helps us be able to navigate outside the tourist bubble, to connect and interact with the place and its people in a way that is typically not accessible to those without the language.
  3. Appreciate –We begin to appreciate other traditions, mannerisms, and cultures. We develop a greater acceptance of others and we learn to have empathy for humanity.
  4. Health – Highly successful people exercise because exercise keeps the brain healthy, reduces stress, helps improve memory, creativity, concentration, problem-solving skills, we can multitask better and we become better listeners.
  5. Connect – We become someone who can connect at a deeper level with others simply because we are more in tune with the differences we each possess.
  6. Challenge – Our motto is “Through language, we communicate, through actions we connect.” Our weekly challenge will encourage you to have the courage to make new friends one step at a time.

By nature, learning our native language or foreign language is elementary. The same way we learned to say hello, learned our colors, numbers, and animals in our mother tongue is the way we instruct students to learn a foreign language. Even if you have some knowledge of Spanish or English but you cannot carry or understand a simple conversation with a foreign speaker then you need to go back and master the basics. By the end of our 1st level course, you will be able to understand your GPS in Spanish or at least give someone directions.

You will understand cognates, articles, nouns, and 50 verbs. Our 2nd level will help our students have a full conversation using feelings, sports, professions, opposites, as well as learn cognates, nouns, prepositions, interrogatives, and 50 verbs. In addition, we give our students specific websites they can focus on to take ownership over their future studies. Learning how to conjugate in different tenses is more advanced and requires different examples best learned one on without stress.

It is important for students to read, write, hear and physically practice the language in a fun environment. There are 22 lessons with written instructions, a video with me pronouncing the vocabulary for the week and a challenge for the week. Some of the challenges are right in your own home and some require you to go to a local store and ask for help.

We have to live with the end in mind. No one lives a happy life without these three: love, purpose, and support. We need more than theoretical knowledge, we need to challenge ourselves to gain practical knowledge. The best way is through relationships. In each lesson’s video, I give my students tips on how to break out of that shyness, fear, lack of interest and truly experience how easy it is to learn Spanish or English. Through weekly assignments that include: family, friends and their community, they will retain the vocabulary for the week for years like my past students.

We have combined effective linear learning (as in one theme per week which is curriculum controlled) and flexible learning (where the environment is learner controlled) and coupled it with motivation to help decrease stress and master cognitive load. The weekly assignments connect our students peer to peer in their own community, something that no computer software can do. We lead the way for better relationship habits in all areas of life.


Teaching Using Wonder Bubbles

Wonder Bubbles | Wonder bubbles are a cornerstone of project-based learning, and I knew nothing about them until my sister-in-law, an amazing teacher sent me samples of her child's work! I was enthralled and asked her for an interview. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #wonderbubblesTeaching Using Wonder Bubbles Episode 365

Wonder bubbles are a cornerstone of project-based learning, and I knew nothing about them until my sister-in-law, an amazing teacher sent me samples of her child’s work! I was enthralled and asked her for an interview.

Sponsor! Overcomer Movie

Trailer URL for Overcomer Movie: 

Site URL for the Overcomer Movie

About Nikki DeSalvatore – (She is married to my younger brother, Joe 🙂

Nikki was nominated for Disney Teacher of the year award, and writing is her passion. She won several grants and loves teaching. She has taught Kindergarten to Second Grade.

Project-Based Learning with Wonder Bubbles:

  1. Choice and voice: With Wonder Bubbles, you take that topic and make it their own. A concept known as “choice and voice” – allowing the children to pick a topic and give “voice” to their opinions is easily done with this concept.
  2. Children select their topic: Through a study, of a topic that a child selects they learn about it and will embrace it more than if a teacher just assigns a project.
  3. Inspires learning: With Wonder Bubbles, the kids are so excited and it inspires the kids to learn.
  4. Implements other subjects such as science, history, reading, writing, art (drawing or diagraming), creativity, etc.

It allows for a connection that is vital. It takes a month to complete a project since there are other academics But as a homeschool parent you can make it work for you and your schedule. (Nikki uses this as a classroom teacher and uses this connection with her class to set the stage for the year. She explains it like a team-building activity.)

Exactly what is a Wonder Bubble?

A Wonder Bubble is a great way to teach nonfiction with text features. It uses topics, subjects or anything a child is interested in learning more about. It puts the fun back into the research. The idea is to wonder, and think about a topic.

  1. It gives the kids something to “wonder about”
  2. It develops open-ended questions higher order thinking questions with the child.
  3. Provides a published project, something tangible they can put up in their bedroom and show their friends and parents
  4. Accomplishment

How to begin:

  1. The kids begin with a topic or a question. (For younger children, K-2nd help them narrow down the topic or the subject then allow time for research.
  2. Begin with a question or a topic. For example, maybe the child is interested in animals
  3. Once they decide on “animals” you present them with different habitats. Once they choose a habitat, for example, oceans you can narrow it down from there.
  4. Present the child with research (library, books you may have at home, magazines, internet) about the different type of animals in that habitat until they decide on one.
  5. Then they decide on a question about this animal. Their questions may not be from a topic or a subject, but listen, what is on their mind, what are you wondering about? Some of the things that older kids have researched before would be how do flies walk on the ceiling? Can computers get faster? Are we at the limit of where we’re going to be with technology? How, how do we beat bacteria? What is consciousness? Why do we dream? (These are questions that typically an older child may have. Give them think time to come up with questions.

Charts to spark questions:

Nonfiction Feature How It Helps The Reader
Diagram with labels
  • Helps you understand the parts
Close –up use detail pictures
  • Helps you see close up
  • How it works
  • Details
Comparison You know how:

  • Big
  • Small
  • Heavy
  • Long
  • Light

Something is…

  • Helps let you see what’s going on inside
  • Shows their life in order
Fun Fact
  • Tells you all of the fun information

Supplies for Wonder Bubbles:

  1. Poser board
  2. Markers
  3. Construction Paper – make shapes or circles, “bubbles”

This is a great fit with homeschooling because you can use as a basis for presentations from information learned from units studies or a topic you are studying, and by asking questions it will get the kids really excited. Nikki shares many more details in the audio!


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Overcomer Movie

Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team’s state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest manufacturing plant in town suddenly shuts down and hundreds of families begin moving away, John must come to grips with the challenges facing his family and his team. Urged by the school’s principal to fill-in and coach a sport he doesn’t know or like, John is frustrated and questioning his worth… until he crosses paths with a student struggling with her own journey.
Filled with a powerful mix of faith, a twist of humor, and a ton of heart, the Kendrick Brothers return to theaters with OVERCOMER, their newest feature following FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF, COURAGEOUS, and the #1 box-office hit, WAR ROOM. The inspiring family film stars Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, Shari Rigby, Cameron Arnett, and introduces Aryn Wright-Thompson.

Opening nationwide on August 23, OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?

Click here to learn more!

Best of College Prep Genius: Checklist Before College – Dorm Life

checklist for college dorm lifeChecklist Before College – Dorm Life with Jean Burke

College dorm life can be scary and exciting at the same time. In this podcast Jean Burke shares her long list of things to bring and not forget.

Still preparing for the SAT Test? Visit the website for test prep info – on your phone or in person.


Show Notes – Checklist Before College – Dorm Life with Jean Burk

What can fit into a VW Bug? all right reserved, Jean Burk 2017

  1. Toiletries – personal items
  2. Mattress protector and bedding
  3. CD player – speakers
  4. Alarm clock – double set clocks
  5. Pictures from home – decorations
  6. Bring towels
  7. Small refrigerators of your own
  8. Broom of swifter
  9. Garbage container with bags
  10. Computer chair
  11. Reading lamp
  12. Drying rack
  13. Computer with wireless
  14. Printer/ paper
  15. Flash drive
  16. Food – cooking/cups, silverware, plates or bowls
  17. Sharing bathrooms – own stuff
  18. Your own stuff – soap, dish rags
  19. Portable fan
  20. Hangers
  21. Irons or iron boards – ask about permission – steamer, spray
  22. Laundry bags – pop-up baskets
  23. Detergent pods
  24. Medicine – first aid kit
  25. Microwave
  26. White and black threaded needle
  27. Shower caddy
  28. Hygiene stuff
  29. Television
  30. Headphones
  31. Wireless external speakers
  32. Duct tape
  33. Toolbox with basic tools
  34. Power strip with surge protector
  35. Bookshelves
  36. Fireproof boxes – name and address
  37. List of contacts – family members and addresses
  38. Stationary or cards


Rock Strata and Fossils

Rock Strata and Fossils | scientific basis of this and key information. | #podcast #creationscienceRock Strata and the Fossils in Geology Episode 21

Does rock strata and the fossils in geology show anything important? Absolutely in this presentation with Patrick Nurre, he’ll share the scientific basis of this and key information.

The study of rock layers in secular geology and what they mean is called stratigraphy. The study of the fossils as they appear in the rock layers is called biostratigraphy. The literal rendering of the Greek word stratigraphy is layer writing.

A good book on this subject is The Key to Earth History – An Introduction to Stratigraphy, (by Peter Doyle, Matthew R. Bennett, and Alistair N. Baxter, 1994). The whole premise of secular stratigraphy is that the physical history of the Earth is written in the rock layers. Secular geologists believe that they can discern and write the history of the Earth by studying the rock layers. Remember, however, that there are no words or dates written in the rocks. There is no history book or history revealed or recorded. The rock layers must be interpreted. And that involves human reasoning and ideas. Science is that which can be observed, tested and repeated. Science should ask the question, “Has anyone ever observed these rock layers in the process of forming? Has anyone ever seen the rock layers accumulate with petrified remains?”

Rock layers are just that, rock layers. We can tell what kind of sedimentary rock is contained in the layers, and we can often identify the fossils in the rocks. But the rock layers do not tell us how old they are or how they got that way. That deals with the realm of history. History deals with one-time unique events recorded by eyewitnesses or written documents. Secularists interpret the history of rock layers using a particular philosophical framework that they claim gives us or writes a history of the Earth.

From a secular perspective, stratigraphy is the key to Earth history. History should ask the question, “Has anyone seen this process or know of a record or eyewitness account of this process?” The Biblical account gives a fairly detailed and historical record of an event that can explain the rock layers and the fossils in them. Modern geology does not have this kind of record. The secularist constructs the story as he/she believes it happened based on a purely naturalistic paradigm. The Biblicist, on the other hand, looks at the written record of the Bible and uses it to interpret the history of the rocks and fossils. Therefore, we don’t make up the explanation as we go but frame it according to these very old written records.

These rock layers with fossils in them have never actually been observed in their formative process. Coming at the problem from a whole different perspective – Biblical history, the rock strata containing the fossils can easily be explained by a creation and global flood. It is a historical question. How the rock layers got that way cannot be solved by science because there was no observation involved.


Secular scientists believe that the rock layers containing fossils can not only be dated by these fossils but also that evolutionary history is contained in the rock layers and can be ascertained by studying the fossils. Bio means life. And it is the life that is preserved as fossils in the rock layers that secular geologists believe tell the story of evolution over millions of years.

By the late 1800s, the study of fossils and the rock layers were so thoroughly intertwined, that it is now impossible in modern geology to study one without the other. A belief in evolution tells us how old the fossils are and therefore how old the rocks are.

How did rock layers come to be interpreted as millions of years of Earth history? The Father of Modern Geology, James Hutton, is credited with developing an idea called uniformitarianism in the 1700s. Uniformitarianism has to do with uniformity of geological processes and rates operating over long periods of time.

James Hutton was a man of his time – the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment was a time of questioning and skepticism regarding the Bible and the church. Hutton was one of the Fathers of the Scottish Enlightenment. As he contemplated the sedimentary rock layers at Siccar Point, Scotland, he reasoned that these layers of rock must have been deposited and eroded over an immense amount of time, and had to be older than the Biblical timeline. The Enlightenment was a reactionary movement. If the Bible declared one thing, the Enlightenment declared just the opposite.

This is what gave birth to the word agnosticism, coined by Thomas Huxley a century later. Huxley insisted that one could not know the truth of what was declared in the Bible, because it had not been observed by qualified scientists. Of course, this is the same complaint that creationists lodge against the secularists. You could reasonably come to the conclusion that the word agnosticism was born because what had been declared in the Bible and by Jesus had been rejected. The Christian witness teaches that we can know certain things because God made them known through His Scriptures. If you take away the revelation of God, obviously it is impossible to naturally know the things declared in the Bible. But He has left us an account in the Scriptures and Jesus verified this over and over again.

If the Scripture declared that the Earth was created in six days, the Enlightenment declared that the Earth must be ancient. And it must have been formed by processes we can now observe, not as a result of the involvement of any supernatural being or god. If the Scripture declared that a Flood, lasting a year, destroyed the Earth that existed before Noah, then the Enlightenment insisted that the Earth must have been a product of slow processes of sediment deposition and erosion. This meant that stacks of rock layers represented time – lots of time. Rocks on the bottom of any given set of layers were not only older but were the oldest. This also meant that fossils buried in these bottom-most layers of rocks were the oldest biological creatures. Time took on a completely new dimension – deep time as opposed to a young Earth that the Bible taught.

The process of redefining time, the layers of rock and the origin of fossils took about a hundred years to complete. By the end of the 19th century, no scientist spoke of Scripture in terms of actual geological history. The account of the creation and the flood were relegated to myth. All of these changes were accomplished by philosophical reasoning, not by actual science. The new paradigm was set first and then used to interpret the stacks of rock layers. This is one of the reasons why secular geology is such a bewildering subject. It is philosophy dressed in scientific language.

Stratigraphy is actually a belief that the rock layers tell a history which must be interpreted by the men and women of science. In reality layers on the bottom of any stack of rocks gives us a relative positioning in relation to the rocks on top. There is nothing in the rocks themselves that tells us how old they are. If we simply lay a different template over the rock layers, the template of the historical Flood, then if the rock layers have been undisturbed since their inception, then the layers on the bottom were laid down first in relation to the ones above them. In other words, they may actually be quite young!

It falls to biostratigraphy to guide a secular geologist to interpret the rock layers as to how old they are. Biostratigraphy is also a belief. Secular geology believes that since fossils must tell a story of gradually evolving life, and life must have taken millions of years to evolve, then the fossil life in the bottom-most layers must be millions of years old and consequently the rocks are also. But again, if we simply shift our belief to a Genesis global flood which took place about 4,500 years ago, then the arrangement of the fossils are the result of burial and sorting by the catastrophic flood over a very short period of time. The rock strata are there and so are the fossils. But the age of these things must be determined not by science, but by history and philosophy.

When science speaks of millions of years (deep time), it is almost impossible to fathom. History over the last few thousand years makes sense because of commonly shared human experiences and the records that have been preserved. But a million years or even millions of years is incomprehensible. We have nothing to relate it to.

The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in north-central Oregon lately is a fascinating “other world” of badland topography, layers and interesting formations. And it is a great place to study stratigraphy. Stratigraphers have worked out the evolutionary order and timeframe for the rock layers of the John Day fossil beds. The stratigraphic column of time and the evolution for this area spans about 55 million years according to secular reasoning. It comprises three distinct geological units, which if stacked one on another, would total about three miles in thickness, each having some similar and some different fossils in them. This hypothetical column, published by the National Park System, is portrayed as a vertical column emphasizing the passage of time from the bottom-most layers to the present.

The National Parks has a road guide that helps you orient where you are. This guide shows that the same portions that comprise the Monument are the same three units that comprise the stratigraphic column. But the units are spread out and separated by miles from one another and are horizontal to each other, not vertical. In other words, the units have been humanly arranged into a vertical column on paper so that we can visualize what secular geologists believe took place.

So, how do geologists know that these units should be on top of one another? How do we know that they didn’t in fact exist together at the same time? We don’t. We must accept the premise that both the uniformitarian and Biblical perspectives are paradigms; that both are beliefs about what happened here. Secular geologists ridicule this approach as religious and devoid of understanding. That is because they have accepted their paradigm as scientific fact. The history of modern geology is filled with examples of the confusion of paradigms with scientific facts.

Secular geologists have arranged the three units of the John Day fossil beds into a time column based on the belief that the fossils found in these units have evolved over millions of years. In fact, these various sedimentary rock layers and the fossils in them could have been arranged by a catastrophic flood washing bones and mixtures of sand, silt, and volcanic ash into the area.

Stratigraphy and biostratigraphy are two foundational paradigms in modern geology. Secular stratigraphy and biostratigraphy are fundamental to education in secular geology. If you want to pursue the study of geology as a career, you will need to thoroughly understand these two important areas of study and thought.

Conclusion: The rock layers and the fossils in them were either deposited, eroded, and evolved over millions of years, or they were deposited and buried during a catastrophic global flood which has been recorded as a historical event in the Bible. Both of these are ideas. Both are paradigms or perspectives. Neither can be proven scientifically. Only one, however, is based on a historical document. One of these paradigms will destroy faith in the Scriptures and in the God of the Scriptures, the other will promote faith in the Scriptures. For the Biblicist, the whole of the Christian faith rests on the accuracy of Biblical history.

There is secular stratigraphy based on naturalistic reasoning and a rejection of the Scriptures, and there is Biblical stratigraphy based on the historical framework of the Bible. Both cannot be true.

Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Overcomer Movie

Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team’s state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest manufacturing plant in town suddenly shuts down and hundreds of families begin moving away, John must come to grips with the challenges facing his family and his team. Urged by the school’s principal to fill-in and coach a sport he doesn’t know or like, John is frustrated and questioning his worth… until he crosses paths with a student struggling with her own journey.
Filled with a powerful mix of faith, a twist of humor, and a ton of heart, the Kendrick Brothers return to theaters with OVERCOMER, their newest feature following FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF, COURAGEOUS, and the #1 box-office hit, WAR ROOM. The inspiring family film stars Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, Shari Rigby, Cameron Arnett, and introduces Aryn Wright-Thompson.

Opening nationwide on August 23, OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?

Click here to learn more!