We started our own podcast!

I never thought I’d be able to do it…but over time I realized that I just had to start my own podcast!  The more I looked for current homeschool podcasts, the more I realized there just weren’t many! There’s only a handful that are actually current on iTunes, and the rest have long since podfaded (died away). And of those that ARE still producing content, only 2 do I know of that are not completely religious in content. The Wired Homeschool and The Sociable Homeschooler (both definitely worth checking out! I really like them both!)

So out of frustration, and the belief that someone needed to create something like what *I* wanted to hear (a secular homeschool podcast), I asked a friend if she’d like to make one with me.  She said yes!!

There’s more to the story than that, but you’ll have to head over to Savvy Homeschool Moms to hear all about it. I talk about it in episode #1. :)  You can also find us on iTunes.

This all brings me to this…not that anyone really reads this site…but just in case….I’m going to take any valuable content info from this site (minus the actual podcast download links) and put it over on HomeschoolRealm.com, my other homeschool site. And I’m going to point this domain name to Savvy Homeschool Moms, so we can hopefully get more traffic for our podcast. :) (It’s a good domain name!)

This might take me a little bit to get to, since I’m swamped right now, but I wanted to leave a note here to let people know what was happening.

The Sociable Homeschooler: Host-Vivienne McNeny, Guests-Dawn Prochovnic and Christie Jenkins, Topic-Sign Language

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vivienne This is an episode of “The Sociable Homeschooler”, hosted by experienced homeschooler, Vivienne McNeny, from Toginet Radio.

On this episode, Vivienne interviews 2 sign language experts and they talk about how useful sign language can be for hearing people, and especially for children.

RELIGIOUS CONTENT NOTE: Vivienne’s show does contain some religious content, as she is a devout Catholic and always begins and ends her show with religious quotes and thoughts. But it is such that I, as a non-Christian, consider very minor, as the main content of this episode (and nearly all her shows) is usually not strongly religious in focus. The exception only being when she has very religious guests…this sign language episode is not one of them.

Next she talks about her recent trip to Costa Rica, and then reads an excerpt from her book, (VERY good book, I must say! Since I’ve heard all the excerpts so far!) which talks about her many years of experience homeschooling her 4 (now grown) children, and does also contain religious content.

If you’d like to skip to the sign language content, fast forward to 17:38.

LAST NOTE: There are also commercials within Vivienne’s show, as that is the format of Toginet Radio.



Dawn Prochovnic, founder of SmallTalk Learning, a training and consulting company specializing  in teaching sign language workshops to children and their grownups. She is the author of “The Big Blue Bowl” (shown below) and 7 other children’s books in the “Story Time with Signs and Rhymes” picture book series.



Christie Jenkins, “Idea Entrepreneur“, created the first video for teaching sign language to the general public called “How to Talk to a Person who Can’t Hear“. Today it’s sold as a dvd under the new title “Sign Language for Everyone

From this episode:

A deaf person will never construct a sentence the way you and I do, because they don’t hear. They don’t need all the extra words. They don’t need “the” “and” and “buts.”…Learning sign language is actually easy. It’s very fun. Kids pick it up instantly, MUCH faster than their parents, although the parents do come along….It’s such a wonderful, fun language.

An analogy I use with many of my students, both youth students and adult students, is that we are borrowing some tools, if you will, from the ASL American Sign Language toolbox. And as a result, we’re going to be very skilled in “building a bird house.” We’re going to learn how to use a hammer and nails and some scraps of wood. And we’re going to put those together and we’re going to build a house that a bird will be quite happy and safe to live in. Now by being exposed to that, we might also develop an interest in “building a bigger structure”, but it doesn’t mean that we have to be able to “build a condominium complex,” learn the entire American Sign Language vernacular, syntax, sentence structure…to be able to borrow from this very beautiful language that the deaf community created and used. We can borrow those tools and use them to enrich the learning experiences for children and adults.

Stay tuned for a bunch more podcasts!

I just received permission yesterday from another podcaster to upload her homeschool podcasts here…and of course I already have Rebecca Kochenderfer’s permission to upload hers from Homeschool.com. (Still working on that…got off-track recently, woops!)

My goal for this site is to make it easy to find high quality secular homeschool related podcasts all in one place. Without having to dig through all the content on iTunes. I LOVE iTunes but it can, at times, be very overwhelming! And a search for the term “homeschool” sometimes turns up dead accounts and podcasts that never posted anything and even nonrelated podcasts, not to mention the podcasts that are just garbage. This wastes time, and I like things to be clear and concise and convenient, so that is why I am making this website.

In order to do this, I’m having to do a lot of digging and research to find all that is out there, weeding out the lower quality, and then getting permission to post the good quality here. There isn’t a ton of homeschool related podcasts out there, in the scheme of things. Particularly not ones that aren’t highly religious. So this is very doable.

This is a quest of mine: To find secular (or tolerably religious) GOOD QUALITY homeschool podcasts.

And, I might add, I am simultaneously also working on my other new site: HomeschoolRealm.com.

So bear with me on this journey. I plan to also create Facebook and Twitter pages for this site, as I have with my others, to help keep people informed on things here.

If you have any suggestions on homeschool related podcasts, please let me know by emailing me at sunflowermom38(at)gmail(dot)com or posting a comment here!

Homeschool.com Radio Show: Host-Rebecca Kochenderfer, Guest-Helice “Sparky” Bridges

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Many more shows by Homeschool.com can be found on their podcast page, as well as on iTunes.

This is an episode of Rebecca Kochenderfer of Homeschool.com‘s radio show. As well as being owner of Homeschool.com, Rebecca is a long-time homeschooler and author of several homeschooling books.

The first half of this show covers Chapters 5, “Customize your Curriculum” & 6, “Get Organized” of Rebecca’s book “Homeschooling and Loving It”, specifically how you can design your own curriculum for your children, based on your children’s specific goals. Also included is a quick and easy organization system for getting all your school supplies in order.

The second half of this show is an interview with Helice “Sparky” Bridges of BlueRibbons.org.  Helice talks about how to make a difference in the world by honoring other people and letting them know that who they are makes a difference.

Homeschool.com Radio Show: Q&A w/Rebecca Kochenderfer, authors R.A. & Geno Salvatore

*Right click on the word “download” above and choose “save as” or “save link as” to save this show as a file.*

Many more shows by Homeschool.com can be found on their podcast page, as well as on iTunes.

This is Rebecca Kochenderfer of Homeschool.com‘s first radio show. As well as being owner of Homeschool.com, Rebecca is a long-time homeschooler and author of several homeschooling books.

In the first half of the show, she answers questions from homeschoolers that call in.

My favorite quotes from this part of the show:

“Homeschooling is much faster than classroom learning…In the classroom there is so much time spent on roll call, passing out papers, getting books out and disciplining students that studies show that only about 10-15 minutes out of every hour is actually spent on learning, is actually on-task. When you are homeschooling, about 50 minutes each hour is spent on learning. Plus the learning materials they are using match their interests and their learning styles. So the learning is deeper and more meaningful.”

“…the average elementary aged student can get a rich education with just an hour a day of what you might call structured or book work. Have-to work.”

–Later in the show she goes into more detail on this, in response to a caller’s question on “Are they learning enough?”-in regards to her 3rd and 5th grader…

“…For your age children, remember it doesn’t really take that much…it doesn’t take 6 or 7 hours a day. At that age you could do an hour of what might be called book work. Of either handwriting or writing, and then if the rest of the time their spent doing you know, fun science experiments or reading books or doing art…Just the kind of the normal fun stuff that you would probably do with them anyway…You’d be surprised, they’re going to be doing fine.”

“Grade level expectations are all over the place. They’re really very random. For example, each state has their own grade level expectations. And Montessori schools have different expectations than do Catholic schools or Waldorf schools. So when it comes to grade level expectations, there really is no one right level that everyone agrees on.”

–In response to a homeschooler who has “a couple of dawdlers” and wants to know what type of consequences Rebecca recommends…

“…My goal, my dream is to help you set up your homeschooling so that it isn’t about have-to work and consequences. So really, my desire is to help you set up the homeschooling schedule that works with your family, because it should never be unhappy, there should never have the kids chained to the table, crying over their workbooks. So I think when it comes to that, you need to kind of take a step back. In other words, if you’re forcing it on them, they might as well be in school.(emphasis mine) So I want to help you over the course of these calls, develop the curriculum that’s based on your children’s goals…”

In the second half she interviews NY Times best selling author R.A. Salvatore and his son (and co-author) Geno Salvatore.

Thomas Jefferson Education

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TOPIC: “Give your child a Thomas Jefferson Education”

HOST: Rebecca Kochenderfer of Homeschool.com

GUEST: Author Oliver Demille 

of the book “A Thomas Jefferson Education

Learn more at his website at TJEdonline.com.