Monday, November 24, 2014

Respecting Rights vs. Tolerating Beliefs

That family with a lot of kids who are homeschooled and very fundamental Christian in their religious ideology has been in the news a bit lately.  There was the snafu of the '1st kiss' pictures on their facebook page where folks from the LGBT community posted their own kiss pictures with their partners and then there was the robocall the matriarch of this clan put out that likened transgender human beings to pedophiles.  As expected, facebook, twitter, etc BLEW UP with posts, comments, and memes either in support of the clan's statements and beliefs or opposing them.  I, myself, crawled out from under the evolutionary rock from which I sprang to post a comment or two, share a meme, and give rise to my ire at the offensive implication that was made toward the LGBT community.

It was through these exchanges that I was banned from one facebook page with all my comments deleted.  So many others also commented that the owner of the page felt the need to delete all such remarks, ban all who opposed the discriminatory ideology, and make this post:

..."I am finding that people are coming here attacking Christians and saying that we need to be "tolerant" of their beliefs, but not vice versa. I find it repugnant that my beliefs, faith and morals are NOT tolerated. I find it repugnant that freedom of religion continues to be trampled upon in this nation, something that was so very important to our founding fathers. I find it repugnant that the Constitution has become irrelevant and disrespected. It is beyond words that people have redefined freedom of speech to fit their own narrow definition. It applies to EVERYONE, no matter what. That is what my husband has fought for in 2 wars, and hundreds of thousands before him. I will not stand silent while his sacrifice is demeaned and my faith attacked. I will have to tolerate the beliefs of those I disagree with and demand that the same be done in return. That is civility. And so many here on FB have proven that they lack their quality."

Hey, it's her facebook page - she can do as she wants.  I have, upon rare occasion, banned a few folks from the IH facebook page.  The ones I ban are the ones that post such obscene and offensive hate speech or  just religiously repugnant ideology, that I literally can't stomach having their comments on my facebook page.  So, I support her right to delete commentary and ban people.  It's her page.  But it did get me to thinking about rights and tolerance...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Life & Experience Based Learning

 It's been a coon's age (living in the south has its effects) since I blogged.  Truthfully I'm not sure how long a coon's age is, I'll have to google that, but I know it's been months.   The time since we started 7th grade when I posted our new school year beginning and now A LOT has happened in our lives.  A LOT.  First, I was eating, sleeping, breathing, and quite honestly, shitting all things conference related.  THAT was it.  Well, that and still trying to homeschool and keep the IH facebook page and support group going.  I can't say for certain, and I don't want to check, in case I'm right, but I *think* my husband mumbled something about divorcing me if my schedule stayed the way it was for much longer.  I always said that on September 10th I would be doing NOTHING, as a well-deserved rest from all things N.A.S.H. and the conference.  What I didn't know was that 'rest' I needed required more than one day and did in fact last for longer than a week and then before I knew it, it was birthdays, Halloween, and the most major flare-up of my fibromyalgia I have ever experienced.

In the midst of all that, my father fell off a ladder - he's 83 - and had a concussion.  Then, my husband had eye surgery and then knee surgery.  Then my father fell again and shattered his femur and he's still a patient at the rehab center.  My best friend's (of 29 years) mother had a major stroke at the same time and is still in rehab and is not doing as well as we hoped.  Meanwhile my flare-up continued and continued.......most days we homeschooled from my bed and we only covered the 'necessary'.

So, that catches you up on what has been going on in our lives for the last three months and what kept me from blogging.  I'm feeling somewhat better and I actually have something to talk about that *may* be of interest, so here I am again.  With all that life continues to throw at us, often times Punky finishes her daily assignments - grammar lesson, vocabulary lesson, and math lesson - and is left asking what she should do next.  In an effort to give her the direction and suggestions she needs, yet still allow her choices in how she spends her time, I had been pondering a new method for our homeschooling experience.  As it was, so much of our days were filled with *real* life, real experiences, that it felt like any learning she was doing was coming from those real life experiences. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

School Year 2014/2015 is Here!

It's that time of year where the world sends kids to school; every post you read seems to say, "Thank God, the bus picked them up today."  Unless you're a homeschooler, that is! 
Despite any challenges that present in our homeschooling journey, both Punky and I remain convinced we are on the right path.  We both enjoy watching the school bus drive by without Punky on it.  Ok, we both enjoy the *idea* of the bus driving by with her on it since neither of us are awake when the bus actually goes by!  The pluses always outweigh the minuses for us in homeschooling!  Creating our own schedule, doing things in our own time, following the day as it unfolds rather than forcing it along remain top pluses on our 'Benefits of Homeschooling' list! 

Yet, we are entering our 6th year of homeschooling and Punky's 7th grade academic year.  We both agreed that each year of Middle School would bring an increased work load and more structured learning.  Last year Punky was required to keep a notebook, divided by subjects, and she was given a weekly schedule of assignments to complete along with deadlines.  This was met with mixed emotions.  On one hand, she liked having the outline and deadlines and on the other hand she hated having deadlines.  Ah, good grasshopper you are learning the ways of the world.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Saving the Best for Last!


Homeschool Moms!!
 Grab your best gal pal and 'Get-Away'!

You and your friend will receive:

3 night stay at Crown Point Plaza, Atlanta Airport

2 Adult Passes to the Conference (Vendors & Workshops)

Dinners on Thursday and Saturday evening
Lunches Friday and Saturday

*If you want to get a little crazy, you can purchase tickets to Friday evening's Inappropriate Homeschooler Adult Cocktail Reception!

Come on!  You've been a fan - come meet me in Atlanta!

~Mari B.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

GRAND OPENING of The Inappropriate Homeschooler Shop

Did you know?

The Inappropriate Homeschooler 
now has merchandise!

Cool stuffs that you can buy!

Check it out under the tab "SHOP" or go to:



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

3 Tips for a Hot, Inappropriate Homeschooling Marriage

Let's be honest.  
Our kids are with us ALL the tme.  
That's an upside, in my opinion, to homeschooling.  
Alas, it can cause a 'downside'.  
How do you have a hot marriage if the kids are always in the picture?

Never fear, the answers are here!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Quality Secular Resources/Books

I love Usborne!

I discovered Usborne books shortly after Punky and I began our homeschooling journey and I've had a love affair with them ever since.  The quality of the materials is excellent and the content is divine.  The fact that they are internet linked is icing on the cake!  I own almost every resource material book they have produced and I still find more to buy.

So, when Usborne offered to host a Book Party Fundraiser in support of N.A.S.H. I was delighted!  

I highly recommend you check them out if you haven't yet.  If you already use Usborne and you are planning on making a purchase for the upcoming school year, I ask you to consider doing so through The Inappropriate Homeschooler Funds N.A.S.H. Book Party.  It's super easy - you order from the comfort of your own computer and the items are sent directly to you.  The best part?  50% - yes, half - of all proceeds will go to fund N.A.S.H.

You receive quality resource materials and books and you do a little something to help the secular homeschooling community.  
How awesome is that?!?

Browse, buy, and support 
The Inappropriate Homeschooler supporting N.A.S.H.!

Usborne Book Party to Support N.A.S.H.

~Mari B.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Art of Inappropriate Homeschooling


The Inappropriate Homeschooler

Inappropriate homeschooling is the easiest of all homeschooling methods.   There's really only a few items on the check list of homeschooling inappropriately.

1.  Be Authentic. 
 There's only one way to be happy:  Be your authentic self.  That bit of wisdom is not only true for living but for homeschooling as well.  If it isn't 'for you' don't try to make it 'for you'.  Don't worry about trying to teach kids fractions while cooking if you hate to cook.  Don't worry about trying to teach your kids all about plants by planting your own garden if you hate gardening.  Don't worry about following a curriculum if you *hate* following curriculums.  Follow a curriculum if you *love* following a curriculum.  Read all sorts of blog posts and pinterest boards for fabulous ideas on homeschooling if it works for you.  If doing that makes you feel sick to your stomach, don't read them - except this one of course.  The bottom line here is be true to yourself and allow your children to be true to themselves.  Find what works for you and your kids - no matter what it looks like to anyone else - and DO THAT.  If you are pulling your hair out, constantly 'sweating' over homeschooling, or continually feeling like you are failing then you are not being your authentic self and that doesn't work.  Trust me.

2.  Be Honest

The first step to being authentic is be honest.  Be honest with yourself, about yourself and about your kids.  This is hard-core, look yourself in the mirror honesty.  Do you work well with schedules?  Do your kids?  Do you do better with curricula?  Do your kids?  How do you best accomplish goals?  Are the goals you set ones that matter to you?  (Most of us don't accomplish goals that don't either matter to us or pay some dividend so we have to do what works for us).  If you already know that planning that BIG science project and buying all the supplies is as far as you'll get with it - be honest about that and skip it.  There *are* other ways to achieve objectives.  If you want or need your child to learn a foreign language, you don't have to learn it first you just have to find a resource for your child that works for him to learn it.  The same is true for science projects, gardening, and cooking (with fractions).  The more honest you are about who you are and what works for you the easy it is to look at your kids and be honest about what works for them and then find the authentic path that is your family's homeschooling.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Please Considering Supporting N.A.S.H.

It has been a dream of mine for a bit now.  I've blogged about it, talked about it, and posted about it for almost two years.  I've been fortunate to have a great deal of support via a talented team of women taking on various positions with N.A.S.H. and an entire group of Inappropriate Homeschoolers cheering us on who believe in the idea behind The National Alliance of Secular Homeschoolers.

As we move closer and closer to the reality of N.A.S.H. I'd like to ask all the 'inappropriate homeschoolers' out there, and anyone else who support secular homeschooling, to please considering helping with funding!  

I truly believe that the day will come when homeschoolers, just like us, will have a strong voice, united in our vision, having created an alliance that provides support, resources, and a community for us all.

Thank you for any help you can give.  Any amount is deeply appreciated.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why I Believe It Matters

I've talked about my personal journey; how I arrived where I currently am.  It is how I arrived and what I endured that drives me to build the National Alliance of Secular Homeschoolers (N.A.S.H.).

We are entering our 6th year of  homeschooling.  I homeschool my soon-to-be 13 year old daughter who we fondly call Punky.  She is entering the 7th grade.  Our reasons for homeschooling are similar to many families, yet, as with all families, varied and personal.  Our journey over the last five years has been filled with some 'hits' and a lot of 'misses', yet we move forward because we still believe it is the right choice for us.  Over the course of these years, I have scoured through books and the internet looking for help, answers, resources, and anything else that even pertained to omeschooling.  Sorting through all that information on homeschooling, especially in the beginning, can feel a bit like climbing a very large mountain.  Weeding through all that to find what fits is challenging and made more so when one is looking for secular materials and resources, including real life connections.

When I first began homeschooling, everyone I met was a religious homeschooler; specifically a Christian homeschooler.  I don’t think I was even cognizant of the term Secular homeschooler.  I knew of course that public school steered clear of, or was legally required to anyway, religious instruction, curriculum, etc.  I wanted that in our homeschooling experience and so I avoided using religious curriculum.  I graduated from a religious private school and I still remember show skewed the history and science books were. 
Other than searching for non-religious homeschooling supplies, curriculum (the struggle to find history and science that was taught from a secular view point was the hardest), resources, I didn’t think there was any ‘secular’ support for homeschoolers.  Or at least, I didn’t think I’d ever meet anyone like that.  For the first part of our homeschooling year we fluttered and faltered in and around the Christian groups.  I did not like having to sign Statements of Faith.  We found one group whose SoF was their declaration of beliefs and by signing you were agreeing to not advocate against it.  I settled for that.  It was the best I could find where we live and we did meet some great people in that group – some that I’m still friends with today.  However, it ultimately didn’t work out and neither did my attempts to establish an ‘inclusive’ group.  The good thing that came from that though was finding that some secular homeschoolers who had moved to our area heard of me and that group and while many of the religious homeschoolers found me ‘distasteful’ and referred to me as a heathen or an atheist (I might qualify for the first, but not the latter), these new to the area secular homeschoolers were drawn to the ‘least religious’ thing in town and therefore…me!  It was this group of folks who formed the Secular homeschool group that I joined after leaving behind the inclusive group.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Book NOW for the 2014 Inaugural N.A.S.H. Conference and Save!

  Inappropriate Homeschooler Blog Readers Save $$

Book before July 1st!

  When you register use coupon code:  IHBlog2014

 I am the keynote speaker at this conference and this is your chance to have your voice heard as the foundation of N.A.S.H. is created in the planning and executive sessions during the weekend!  There will also be an adult only cocktail reception on Friday evening (additional cost) hosted by The Inappropriate Homeschooler!

Electronic Brochure:

Book your hotel at Crown Plaza Atlanta Airport and receive:

Discounted room rate of $71 per night (Reg. $120. Must book by July 31, 2014 for discounted rate.)
Complimentary boxed lunches on Friday and Saturday (a $36 value)
Thursday's Meet and Greet Dinner (a $26 value)
Saturday's Pizza Party (a $20 value)

Optional: Cook-to-order Breakfast Buffet
(includes a family of four) hotel rate goes up to $119.

Conference attendees not staying at the Crowne Plaza will receive complimentary boxed lunches on Friday and Saturday.

Can't wait to meet you in Atlanta!

~Mari B.

Homeschooling in the Headlines

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

N.A.S.H Moves Secular Homeschooling Forward

The Inappropriate Homeschooler

supports and endorses:

 The National Alliance of Secular Homeschoolers

Today, The National Alliance of Secular Homeschoolers announced the support of 

From their website/blog:

We are proud to reveal the new N.A.S.H. website:

N.A.S.H. wishes to thank its Volunteer Staff for their hard work and dedication!

Coming Soon! 
More exciting announcements from N.A.S.H. and Secular

As the secular homeschooling movement moves forward in the 21st century, be a part of the journey!

The Inappropriate Homeschooler is thrilled to be a part of the journey!!

~Mari B.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Inappropriate Homeschooler's Top Tips for a Better (More Inappropriate) Homeschooling Experience


1. Let go of trying to control everything. 

As parents, we already feel the urge, the need, to control our children's lives.  We want to keep them safe.  We want to keep them healthy.  We want to make sure they have a *great* childhood, a solid foundation, and that they grow up to have a wonderful life!  That urge, that need, can become more than an urge or need though, especially in a homeschooling parent.  We really feel 100% of the responsibility of raising and educating our children because we are.  There is no brightly lit building where we send our children to for 7 hours a day to 'receive' their education.  The decision to homeschool often includes sacrifice.  The sacrifice may be a financial one, an emotional one, or both. It is human nature that when we sacrifice we do so with the hopes that there will be a great return on our investment.  Nothing is more important to a parent than their child/ren.  Despite the fact that we are with our children 24/7, give or take, because we homeschool, does not mean that we can, or should, control everything.  We sweat over every choice we make from the method we are using to school them to the materials we are using to school them.  We worry over their academic and social environment.  We feel completely, totally, utterly responsible for these human beings we are raising, guiding, teaching.  But as adults we have probably already learned in our own lives, in our own daily walk, that the only thing that we can truly control in life is our own attitude and reactions. We have learned, or are in the process of learning that once we accept that, we can be comfortable right where we are, at peace and happy.  The same is true in homeschooling.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Secular Homeschoolers Uniting!

 The National Alliance of Secular Homeschoolers

The first three years of our homeschooling journey were spent with me vacillating between feeling uncomfortable and antagonistic.  I tried to fit in for Punky’s sake.  I wanted her to have friends and activities and the only available avenue was to join the Christian groups where I was uncomfortable.  The longer I tried the more antagonistic I became.  Remember, I am the inappropriate homeschooler so it wasn’t just my personal beliefs that I was trying to squelch, but who *I* was, as a human being.  The situation reached critical mass in the Spring of  2012 after being asked to step down as a teacher at the local co-op because I had been ‘exposed’ as teaching my daughter it was okay that people were gay and having adjusted the wording to the statement of faith I had been required to sign.  With this final ‘nail’ in the coffin, we were now out of options for both a social and educational homeschooling community.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Why Should I Have to Pretend?

Secular Homeschooling in the Secular Community

There has been a bit of a hullabaloo in my neck of the woods the last week or so.  In the midst of the hullabaloo was the issue of being secular.  Sadly, the issue was inside a homeschool group that carries 'secular' in its title.  One would think that a secular group, that displays the word in its title, would have a clearly defined working use of the word secular.  However, no matter how well defined, it is apparent that the word means something different to each secular homeschooler and unless the word is defined to the ninth degree, there is room for interpretation.  Who knows, maybe even when it is defined to the ninth degree there would be room for interpretation.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What Is Homeschooling?

What Does It Look Like?


Homeschooling is no longer conducted in the shadows, behind closed curtains, with the fear of 'whispers' from the neighbors.  I know there are those who still 'speak out' against homeschooling, buying into the old, and might I point out disproved, myths that can still swirl about regarding homeschooling and more pointedly homeschoolers.  The homeschooling community itself will 'poke fun' at itself by talking about being weird and unsocialized because we know it is, more often than not, untrue.  Either that or we embrace our 'weirdness' as being unique individuals raising free thinkers who will change their world.  Regardless though homeschooling is legal in all 50 states and so we can walk in the sun during school hours without fear of serious, legal retribution.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bill Nye Insults Homeschooling?

I had the chance to actually be in the moment when a homeschooler asked Bill Nye on his facebook page if he would ever consider creating a science curriculum for homeschoolers.  This was on a thread where Bill Nye asked his fans to submit questions he would answer:

"Bill Nye (the Science Guy) here, sitting by ready to take your questions (your good questions)..."

THE question:  "The homeschool community is severely lacking in real science curricula. Will you give thought to creating a science curriculum for the ever-growing number of secular homeschoolers?"

His response was less than stellar, in my opinion:

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Homeschooling, Like Motherhood, Is Not a Sprint

As I mentioned, I get questions here and there from readers of my blog, fans of the IH facebook page, or posted in the IH support group.  Every now and then I get a question from someone that I think is a concern that is worth answering as a blog post on the chance that it may help others.  The topic for inappropriate discussion today is multi-faceted.  How can we know as homeschoolers that we are doing enough to teach our kids?  How can we know that they are learning what they need to learn?  How much worry is too much worry about whether it is going 'right'?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

How To Homeschool Your Little Ones

I receive questions or inquiries for advice.  Yeah, I surprises me too.  Who am I to give advice?  I am just another homeschool mom schlepping her way through the journey one step at a time.  Nonetheless, I get questions.  There's one I get a lot.  I'm going to address it here.  "How should I homeschool my 2, 3, 4, 5 year old?"  They are looking for curriculum I recommend, structure to implement, etc.  So, here's my advice.

Friday, January 24, 2014

What I Would Have Told Myself 13 Years Ago

If I could go back thirteen years, to when I was pregnant with Punky, I would tell myself these things.

1. The less you strive to get her to submit to you, the more influence you will have in her life.

2. The less you talk, the more she will listen.