New look for Homeschoolbuzz

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I finally started the process of changing the look of this site with the new image at the top of this page. Let me know what you think in the comments.


Momma’s New Blogs

Kathy (AKA Mrs. Homeschoolbuzz) has started 2 new sites!

Life-verses is provides an inspirational quote each day with hundreds already posted on the site. The site grew out of a idea Kathy had to offer her patients quotes printed on little cards after their visit. The patients are always amazed at how each quote seemed to speak to them personally.

The second site, davisfnp is Kathy’s personal blog where she shares her experience about being a Family Nurse Practitioner, practicing addiction medicine, health, parenting, homeschooling and what ever she feels like.

Take a look, leave a comment, bookmark them and check back often.

Carnival of Homeschooling – Saintly Edition

SaintsWelcome to the Carnival of Homeschooling. Today is celebrated by some Christians as the Festival of All Saints. This likely began as a Christian response to the Pagan Halloween tradition (which also has been co-opted by Christians as the Festival of all Souls or more recently, Harvest parties). It’s been a time-honored but controversial strategy to counteract the popularity of pagan rituals by Christianizing them. Although it’s a stretch to weave all these posts into some kind of saintly theme, at least I’ll decorate this carnival with some righteous artwork.

Our own children sometimes are saintly but not always. Kathy shares a bit about our struggles with our son in her review of Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner here at

Many (myself included) consider their mothers as saintly. Mrs. White shares The Legacy of Home: Mother’s Labors posted at The Legacy of Home.

Laura Grace Weldon presents Fun Theory via Laura Grace Weldon.

Cristina shares College after Homeschooling, Part 2 at Home Spun Juggling.

Tisha Tolar gives Tips for Curbing a Non-Stop Tween Talker from Parenting Squad.

Maggie Wells presents an interesting history in Celebrating Day of the Dead With Children via Parenting Squad.

I knew there would be at least some saint-related posts this week as Tiger’s Mum presents Medieval Stained Glass via The Tiger Chronicle.

nak explains Science Narration Journals at Sage Parnassus.

Susannah tells Our Island Story Lapbook -part 1 at The Five of Us.

e-Mom shares the sotry of Family: The Pumpkin Patch Parable via C h r y s a l i s ღ.

Pamela reveals A Different CSI at Blah, Blah, Blog.

Kendra Fletcher asks How Do I Possibly Keep Them Busy? via Preschoolers and Peace.

Melanie Krumrey asks if You’re Still Homeschooling Your High-School-er? at Gluten Free Krums.

Nissa Gadbois offers Toward a Home Education: Tips for Beginners via The Gadbois Family.

Andrea is Getting Carried Away with AP? via Notes From A Homeschooling Mom.

Gina Clifford shares: Kid Creates Lego Stop-Motion Animation Videos for Good: A 9 year-old homeschooler creates stop-motion Lego animation movies to inspire other children to use their skills for good. His first video in the series, entitled Tolerance, encourages youth to create their own videos about fighting hate and intolerance. His goal is to build a community of youth video makers (under 18) to fight hate in the world –
via SpottyBanana

Julie asks When did you last ‘not’ miss out on something? at Homeschooling Ideas Blog.

Richele shares Teaching Shakespeare to Young Children at Under the Golden Apple Tree.

Wayne S. Walker reviews Country Kids Pumpkin Patch, Hoyleton, IL at wswalker310.

SaintsAlisonBarry compares Occupy Wall Street vs. The Tea Party: Happymess Investigates at Homeschool Happymess: A Naturally Inspiring Approach to Education.

Laurie Bluedorn shares some great stories regarding Ron Paul, Davy Crockett and Mother Teresa via Trivium Pursuit.

Katherine Collins says "It’s open house as the homeschool career of our oldest child possibly comes to an end, I realize that we have given him an excellent foundation for sucess." via No fighting, no biting!

Linda Dobson crafts The Art of Education: Part 1 of 4 at PARENT AT THE HELM.

Jamie helps with Avoiding the Pitfalls of Educating Online – Blogs – Parent Community and Forum at Parent Community and Forum.

Dr. G shares Homeschooling Moms Exercise via Mom FITNESS.

Annie Kate shares Learning from Real Writers at Tea Time with Annie Kate.

Chris Shaw compares Which is Right For Your Children? Home School vs Public School? via

Janine discusses Drop Out rates for high school and how this problem effects all of us, even homeschoolers. Why Homeschool

Bethany LeBedz lays out The Master Plan at Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom.

Lisa inspires Creativity & Imagination at Golden Grasses.

Denise describes More Than One Way to Solve It, Again via Let’s Play Math!.

Angela Gray offers More Finger Games – Team Gray! at team Gray!.

Cindy West is Teaching Computer Skills at Our Journey Westward.

That’s it for this week’s edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling. We hope you’ve enjoyed the many posts and found a few new blogs to follow. Next week will be hosted by Under the Gold Apple Tree.

My WordPress Plug-in

I just released my first public WordPress plug-in Affiliate easel for Amazon.

The purpose of the plug-in is to allow WordPress bloggers to easily insert images, data and prices from and to use affiliate codes to make some money. It enables individual items, whole categories and a search widget to be added to any WordPress site. (It’s very similar to the Amazon links on this site. In fact. it’s based on it. This site needs some changes before I replace this links with my widget however.)

Here’s an example, using the plug-in to display book info:

Amazon Error.

I hope that review sites and niche sites will find this a good, helpful tool. If you are a WordPress user, please download it, try it and rate it.

Minuteman Lobbyist

Henry Cate, of Why Homeschool blog and founder of the Carnival of Homeschooling has a new project! Minuteman Lobbyist purpose is to get busy people to contact their representatives on a regular basis and being more involved in politics regardless of political views.

It should be really interesting to see how this project evolves as time goes on.

Minutemen contributed to the colonists’ victory in the American Revolution. These men were the early response team of the local militia. Minutemen were trained to react quickly. The success at Lexington and Concord was due in part to the rapid mobilization of minutemen, citizens who cared about their rights and opposed the dictatorial degrees of the king.

I recently came to the conclusion that I am a Minuteman Lobbyist. Read more…

HomeschoolBuzz Reborn

Okay, I’m sure most of you didn’t notice any big changes here. However, the past few days I have been struggling to change my blog from Blogger to WordPress. Blogger recently announced they are no longer allowing FTP which would indirectly mean lots of the cool bells and whistles I’ve developed over the years would no longer work, or I’d have to change some of the URLs here.

I tried to make the wordpress version of the blog look much like the old version. This is because much of this site (the books, blog buzz, reviews, etc.) was custom coded and would never work inside wordpress or blogger. A redesign will perhaps come at a different time.

Yes, I realize a few things are missing such as the blog buzz preview at the top of the news page and some other things. I do plan to restore those things but first I needed to get the blog working again.

Much Improved Blog Buzz Widget

Much Improved Blog Buzz Widget

Those of you brave enough to try the beta Homeschool Blog Buzz widget had a few issues. I now improved the widget.

  • Does not require javascript on your site (WordPress and Typepad!)
  • Will not slow your site down
  • Widget appearance is now more consistent across sites.

Copy the code below and add it to your website today.

UPDATE: How to add the widget to WordPress

If you have an up-to-date installation of wordpress, this should work.

  • Go to your wp-admin dashboard and click on the Design tab, then click on Widgets.
  • In the list of widgets, scroll down to the Text widget and click Add.
  • On the right column, you should see a Text widget appear. Click on Edit and paste the code above in the box.
  • Click Change to save the widget and Save Changes to update your blog template.

That’s it! Visit your blog to see the change.

Get the Blog Buzz Widget (beta)

Get the Homeschool Blog Buzz Widget (beta)

Since we added Homeschool Blog Buzz to back in 2006, it’s become one of the most visited areas on our site. We hope it’s helped introduce new visitors to the many contributing blogs and further the “buzz” about homeschooling.
Some have asked me to provide a graphic for links but more recently Jocelyn suggested a widget. Although I’ve been unable to find the motivation to create a graphic, the widget was the kind of challenge I enjoy. So here is a cool widget anyone can put on their blog. It displays the most recent 10 headlines from Homeschool Blog Buzz.
I don’t have a suite of 40 computers to test this on various operating systems and browsers so we’ll call this a beta and I’d appreciate it if you tell me if you run into any problems. I know it works for Mac OSX with Firefox 2.0 and 3.0, Safari. Windows XP with IE6 and Google Chrome.

UPDATE: Sorry about the hiccup. It seems to work now.

Simply copy and paste the code below into your blog template html.

Homeschool Blog Buzz grows to 135

Homeschool Blog Buzz grows to 135

It’s been too long since we added any new blogs to Homeschool Blog Buzz. So tonight I finally got around to adding all these: Bona Vita, Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom, Frugal Homeschooling, Homeschooled twins,, Learning to Amble…, Loves School, Song of My Heart, Thinking Out Loud and Tree of Life Musings.
That brings the total blogs roll to 135. Your blog can be part of the fun too if it’s mostly about homeschooling and somewhat interesting. (Yes, sometimes it takes months for me to answer and you might have to ask twice.) Visit homeschool blog buzz…

Facebook welcomes homeschoolers

Facebook welcomes homeschoolers

Way back in February I posted a story about how Facebook inadvertently discriminates against homeschoolers. Now they finally changed their account creation process to allow minors join without listing a school affiliation.
From the facebook blog:

We’ve been working on ways to solve this—we want minors to use Facebook safely above all. Today, we’re happy to announce that we’ve recently come up with a way for homeschoolers to join. We’ve created a new verification system—one that doesn’t depend on being in a high school, but still provides the level of security we believe is required. So welcome, everyone, to Facebook. Read more…

Hat tip to Spunky for first posting about this yesterday.

Carnival of homeschooling: Visions of the future

Carnival of homeschooling: Visions of the future

Welcome to the April 29, 2008 edition of carnival of homeschooling.

Where’s my flying car?

When I was a kid, the future was promised to bring us flying cars. I suppose we have only ourselves to blame. After all, we were the kids who grew up and created the present day world. Despite the mundane transportation, there are quite a few cool innovations since we were kids. Your kids will grow to create the next future. Some of us may live to see the era of flying cars. Until then we can only teach our children well.

There are plenty of bloggers this week with advice on teaching, family and othe realated topics. Enjoy this week’s carnival of homeschooling.

USS - a portfolio of probabilities _05 syd mead Hypertrophied Disney-Galaxy USS - a portfolio of probabilities _11 Syd Mead's USS - a portfolio of probabilities _10 VEX Thermal venting. Living in the Eco-Torus

Dawn Adams presents Another Day, Another Homeschooling Critic

Summer presents How To Hate On Homeschoolers Properly “A sarcastic how-to for writing the perfect anti-homeschooling rant.”

Alasandra presents Increase the educational choices for all Instead of trying to limit educational choices we should all be working to increase the educational choices for all.

Heather Johnson presents 2008 eLearning Symposium

Dana presents Homeschooling cuts children off from oversight

Cristina Payne presents Home Spun comic strip #216 Distractions we face in homeschooling, and why they may not be a bad thing.

Elena LaVictoire presents Ben Stein’s Expelled My review of Ben’ Stein’s movie, Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed and how I think it connects to education. I think this is a must see for homeschool parents and high school students.

Amanda Dixon presents A Homeschool Senior?s Favorite Resources The favorite resources of a homeschool senior.


Maria presents A review of a high school geometry course with Geometry: A Guided Inquiry with Geometer’s Sketchpad and a Home Study Companion.

Rose presents Trendy, green, frugal, and homeschooling

Eric Koshinsky presents How to Teach Speaking

Overwhelmed Mom presents How can you find anything in this mess? This post discusses different learning styles and how they are perceived.

Sheri presents The Ocean

Debbie Phillips presents Henty I only started my blog on Sunday the 20th. So far on my blog there is an article on G.A. Henty, links and info about the UHSE, photos of flowers, and a video of a ballet that is great.

Jacque Dixon presents Gardening 101 – You *Can* Teach Your Children!! Gardening is one of the easiest ways to homeschool, especially throughout the summer!

Henry Cate presents a Book review: Bootstrapping Your Business saying: Do you have a budding entrepreneur? Teaching your children to manage money and start a business is just as important as academics

Mrs. C presents Homeschooling With Lotsa Kids Yes, you *can* homeschool if you have younger children as well. It just takes time!

Barbara says I Should Have Known saying An urban agrarian family with a popular web site reveals its homeschooling past.

Bettina Colona Essert presents Homeschooling in North Carolina Bettina explains how to homeschool in North Carolina.

The Tinker Box suggests Putting aside broken mechanical and electronic devices for kids to take apart later.

Rebecca presents The Orioles Are Coming! Bird watching can be a fun homeschooling activity. Here’s how to attract Orioles and how to track their migration north with your kids.

Ramona presents No Screen, No Fun.

Book of Life My son has been devouring biographies lately, and he wanted to recommend a few of his favorites.

Who Is This Kid? My workbook-hating son astounds me by suddenly deciding to do ten Singapore Math 1a lessons in one sitting, with his own special boyish twist.

Hands On = Brain Off? Sebastian at Percival Blakeney Academy reacts to a report that math manipulatives may not improve learning.

Renae presents How to Add Art to Your Blog

Orlandrea Wilson presents Help For The Frazzled Homeschooler

Nancy Sathre-Vogel presents Roadschooling My husband and I will be taking off soon to ride our bikes from Alaska to Argentina with our 10-year-old twin boys. In this post, I talk about how we deal with the boys’ education on the road.

christinemoers presents Those unschoolers are smart little cookies Take a bite out of some unschooling. It’s quite delish!

Tim Power presents Classical Education, Logical Fallacies, and Mushrooms I recently came across a critique of Classical Education (specifically, the Trivium model), and take a stab at debunking it. In the process I wind up enmeshed in a debate with an Objectivist about Religion, Objectivism, Faith, Reason, and the nature of reality.

Melissa presents Books: Using Your Resources

Denise presents Non-metric measurements, and poetry Two great ways to teach non-metric volumes (read the comments for #2!), and math poems in honor of National Poetry Month.

ChristineMM presents I’ve Been Learning About Convergence Insufficiency (an Eye Tracking Problem) ChristineMM shares some information she has learned about an eye tracking problem after one of her children was recently diagnosed with convergence insufficiency.


Janice Campbell presents TV Turnoff Week: Fast, Cheap, & Easy Life Enhancement! posted at Janice Campbell- Taking Time for Things That Matter, saying, “TV Turnoff Week is a holiday that ought to be celebrated for much longer than just a week. Doing and being, rather sitting and staring is a quick, easy way to enhance life. Extend the holiday, and just do it!”

Malia Russell presents The Easily Distracted Child » Homemaking 911

Melitsa presents Tip: Sound communication

Jennifer in OR presents A Strawberry Tea Party Hosting a fun tea party, including a bit of the history of tea.

Elisheva Levin presents We Found It on Chupadera Mesa…! A weekend get-away leads us to a four-year plan for sustainable living.

Jocelyn @ A Pondering Heart presents Homeschool Boutique

Activities Coordinator presents New Horizons .

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of homeschooling using our carnival submission form. The next carnival of homeschooling will be hosted by Melissa’s Idea Garden.


New Blog Buzz Contributors

New Blog Buzz Contributors

We’ve added a couple new blogs to Homeschoolbuzz Blog Buzz.

Visit Blog Buzz…

The Famous Cates

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The Famous Cates

I just noticed a picture of Janine Cate (and girls) of whyhomeschool blog in an article on the Pueblo Chieftain. It turns out this interview (and sometimes picture) have been showing up repeatedly both in the Cate’s local paper, AOL and USAToday. Henry posted about it on their blog a week ago.

Notebooking Blog

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Notebooking Blog

I just added yet another new blog to Homeschool Blog Buzz: Notebook Learning They have notebooking pages every day, as well as other homeschool related posts.

Blog Buzz grows again

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Blog Buzz grows again

I just added a bunch of new blogs to Homeschoolbuzz Blog Buzz. I get a few requests a week and I really should add them weekly. They are all cool and some very unique. I wish I had the time to describe each one.
Topsy-Techie, TheNotebookingCorner, Supercharged Science, Homeschool Insider, MamaBugs, My Quivers Full, The Daily Planet, Lesser Road Academy, The Sojourner, Homeschooling Hints,
A Woman On Purpose, Homeschool Savings Blog & Homeschool Help Web – Homeschool

10 Geeky websites

10 Geeky websites

GeekParenting has this list of 10 websites for geeky kids. (HT: Wired: GeekDad)

Though my kids have yet to do anything with my computer other than rip off the shift keys, I do try to keep my eye out for cool sites for children. I actually write for a few, so I make a mental note whenever I see something interesting.
Mind you, this list is far from exhaustive and I urge you to suggest more below, but these are my picks for the top 10 Websites for geeky kids. Read more…

Still More Blogs to Buzz

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Still More Blogs to Buzz

Yes, we’ve been at it again. Blog Buzz now has two more blogs in the mix. Homeschool Help Web and Gifted HomeSchool. Visit Homeschool Blog Buzz…

More Blogs to Buzz

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More Blogs to Buzz

I just added 3 new blogs to our Blog Buzz page. An Organized Mess, Choidahye’s Homeschool – Learning Freedom and Life Nurturing Education.
It’s like a big party for homeschool bloggers – and it helps introduce new readers to those sites. I’m always looking for more, so if you have a great homeschooling blog let me know.
UPDATE: I also just added Spotty Banana.
Visit Blog Buzz…

New Homeschool flavored search engine

New Homeschool flavored search engine is launching a Homeschool flavored, Google custom search engine. What is homeschool flavor? Some say it tastes like chicken but it’s actually a Google custom search limited to only homeschooling related sites and pages. You can search hundreds of homeschool sites, blogs, articles, vendors and resources to get search results with a homeschool focus.

If I left out some of your favorite sites, it was unintentional. I can only add a site if I know about it. I want them ALL! That’s where you come in…
Leave a comment to tell me about the homeschool sites I missed. You can also send a list of sites yourself. I’m sure there are hundreds of them. The only requirement is that the site is homeschool focused or an educational resource that could be used by homeschoolers. The list is not limited by politics, religion or educational philosophy, only topic. (Search for the site’s name to see if it’s included.)

(NOTE: Earlier, I requested contributors but this is hard for me to manage so please comment to leave info about sites you want included. I usually add them quickly.)
Homeschool Search plug-in
I also implemented a search plug-in for Firefox or ie7.
Google provides a way you can put the search box on your blog or site or add it to your Google homepage (iGoogle).
Try it out. Tell me what you think.

Teaching as Indoctrination

Teaching as Indoctrination

Philosopher Daniel Dennett wants to force all parents, even parents who home-school their offspring, to give up their children to educators like himself. For what purpose? To expose the children, Dennett argues, to “uncontroversial” facts about the world’s religions. Listen to Dennett make his case in a short segment from our recent debate in Boston, and then you can hear my answer to him. Read more…