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Mug N Muffin

Mug N Muffin

Mug N Muffins are discussion based gatherings to discuss various topics of interest to homeschoolers. They are held roughly once a month while LEAD is in session and are open to both members as well as non-members who are interested in homeschooling.

Children are welcome, though it's recommended that parents bring something to keep them occupied during the meeting. 

Find information and resources below from past Mug N Muffins as well as a survey to submit future Mug N Muffin topics.

Homeschoolers and Record-Keeping - May 7, 2019

Thanks to Alice Dukes and Carolyn Cook for stopping by to share their experiences in handling record keeping and transcripts for college and portfolios. 

Click each speaker's tab for notes from their talks.

Both Alice and Carolyn are available to answer questions or for further clarification:

(Thanks to Tama McGee for providing notes from the Mug N Muffin)

Alice (Anthony’s Mom)

Keep track of what you do / journal with your calendar

Keep track of conversations you have with your child

Can be listed as “Self-directed course”

Follow child’s interest to find groups/schools/classes/organizations in the community that meet their needs.

Look at requirements for various programs online.

Keep track of any programs your kid participates in and activities that they do.

Practice SAT or ACT online. Alice had the scores sent to herself first to make sure they didn’t need/want to take it again. Then she shared the scores with the colleges Anthony was interested in. When requested, it took the SAT folks a very long time to send the scores to the colleges.  Make sure to check deadline dates so that you don’t miss it.

Anthony went to Clayton State and they weighed the SAT scores more heavily than GPA / grades.

Duel Enrollment helps get college credits cheap. (Move on When Ready)

MOWR doesn’t cover everything. Check to see what expenses you still need to pay. Check what HOPE scholarship will pay. Your child can do Jr and Sr years, if they meet the requirements.

How did they decide whether to take ACT or SAT?

Alice had heard that ACT was better for creative/less science minded.

Transcripts - You can find templates online. You’re the teacher and admin. You are the one who assigns grades. If your child takes classes at LEAD, etc. you can include those teachers’ names. Can do classes through HS groups but also through the library, etc in the community.  Can be listed as educational even though it’s not a “class” or typical subject.

How did you assign a grade?

Alice assigned “homework”, assignments, research/conversation,…

If he understood the concept, could explain to someone else, could do his own research/find someone who knows, … she assigned a good grade.

Recruiters called him for their college based on his Archery skills/competitions. Might be able to negotiate with the schools that do.

Carolyn (Emily’s Mom)

Went to GA Tech and got 4.0 and dropped out. She’s in WI working on soil testing / sustainable agriculture.

Philosophy: preparing kid for life not college b/c it lasts longer.

Emily did participate in duel-enrollment program. Had to pay books and fees but otherwise paid for. Got some college credit. (Went in as a Sr.)

Kids are always learning. Figure out what category field trips or activities fall into. (History, English, etc.) Keep a list. Emily took classes at LEAD (sometimes recommended / encouraged strongly by mom). Tried to do Classical HSing and it just didn’t work. Butting heads too much. Played a lot of games and that worked really well. (Games for Learning, Games for Reading, Games for Math, etc. Giftwords) Took a topic (for example “Rome”) and applied it across all “subjects”.

How did you keep it all organized?

Carolyn kept 3-ring binder for every year. Did it for herself not b/c other people would be checking behind her. Helped her notice all of the things Emily was actually doing. Helped her feel more calm in the moments where she wasn’t sure she was doing enough. Listed subjects and just took notes on the specific activities they did that day. Included examples / assignments from classes she took.  Used some Great Courses. Wrote an end of year report based on all the information in her notebook.

Emily was very behind in math for years. Once interested in GA Tech, went onto Kahn Academy and caught up in a few months.

Carolyn convinced Emily to let her type up her writing (Emily dictated) IF Emily let her mom teach her math and that worked for a while.

Carolyn used the book Homeschooling Year by Year, by Rupp. Helped take what they were doing and matched it up to what was being done in typical classroom.

Other recommendations to check out based on the conversation:

  • Mindset (book)
  • youcubed.org - about math and how to be successful in math (good for math phobia - how to get beyond)
  • Danica McKeller’s website [Her websites caused my virus detector to have a fit. -editor]
  • Beast Academy (Story/comic based)

Make sure kid is aware that IF they want to go to college there are certain requirements so that transcript is “true”. Once Emily decided that she wanted to try college, they looked at the list, figured out what she already had, and then made a list of what needed to be done still.

Your method should be the thing that works for your family. Looking at the whole family and making sure that it works. Carolyn was homeschooling herself at the same time. Read lots fo different educational writers and did research and used that. Found that learning doesn’t happen well under circumstances of stress, anxiety, etc. Learning by doing is what would stick with her daughter. Trust your gut! You know your child.

If you have a tutor, Alice listed parent as “teacher name/tutor name” on transcript. Carolyn listed the tutor as teacher. Online videos / classes, listed website name, etc.

Seeking scholarships:

Fastweb - website to search for scholarships

Things to Do in Atlanta and Georgia - February 12, 2019

Thanks to everyone for sharing a nice list of places for homeschoolers to visit in Atlanta and the surrounding area!

Click the List tab to see.

Homeschooling For Free (or Cheap) - December 18, 2018

Thanks to all the homeschoolers who talked about their favorite free or cheap ways to homeschool! The information in these tabs are not exhaustive but simply notes from this particular Mug n Muffin with the inclusion of resources in the forum thread dedicated to this Mug n Muffin.

Click on one of the tabs (math, languages, etc) above for the subject you are interested in.

Khan Academy  - Other subjects available in additon to math

Crash Course - Youtube channel - many educational topics covered

Dekalb Library - Tucker Branch - loads of resources for homeschoolers and Elizabeth the librarian is AMAZING. The system as a whole has many passes available to check out, including Zoo Atlanta.

The High Museum of Art has free admission on the second Sunday of the month.

MEP Mathematics  -- a full curriculum used in schools, but free to homeschoolers

Khan Academy  -- Other subjects available in additon to math

youcubed -- Lots of math resources, with a focus on growth mindset and problem solving

Numberphile -- Youtube channel with focus on numbers and math concepts

Duolingo - Free with many language options

Salsa at PBS-- free videos for learning Spanish at the early elementary level

Mango Languages online at Dekalb and Gwinnett County Libraries

There are animated books summaries on Youtube by various channels that can help students with understanding the concepts. 

GPB Education - Lots of educational videos on a variety of subjects

NASA Sally Ride Earthkam - Sign up to use the camera on the space station to take picture of Earth

National Geographic Education  

Discovery Education - Lots of resources, has a fun word puzzle maker program

Institute of Play - Has some fun science and math lessons/games to download for free

Seterra Geography  - Online geography quizzes

iNaturalist - Plant and animal identification website and apps for both Apple and Android. Citizen Scientist. 

Bradley Observatory at Agnes Scott College. Free monthly open houses.

iCivics - Games and curriculum units for various civics topics

Fernbank Science Center  - Various exhibits, Planetarium, Observatory 

Homeschooling 101 - August 16, 2018

Thanks to all the homeschoolers who provided information on various styles of homeschooling! The following information is not exhaustive but simply notes from the discussion that happened at this particular Mug-N-Muffin. Please see our Homeschooling Basics page for more "Getting Started" information.

Resources from the session:

Homeschooling Law Info in Georgia

There followed a discussion on various Homeschooling Styles. The notes for Montessori, Charlotte Mason, Waldorf, and Unschooling are accessible via the tabs to this section.

Montessori is a child-centered approach to education.  Every child is eager to acquire knowledge.  With Montessori, the teacher (guide) provides an environment that facilitates the child’s learning. Montessori in the home does not have to look like it does in the classroom.  You can educate your child with the Montessori philosophy without purchasing all the materials.

If you are interested in this style, it is important to read about the philosophy and have an idea of scope and sequence.  Manuals are extremely helpful.  There are some free ones.

If you like the Montessori philosophy, but feel it is too overwhelming to use all of it, try using just the math and the “Great Lessons”.

Elementary Resources (Ages 6-12).  There are so many resources!  These are a few of the ones I’ve used.

Facebook Groups

  1. Montessori 101 (lot of members are focused on primary; but the admins are trained and often answer questions related to older children)
  2. Montessori Homeschooling
  3. Tackle Box Montessori – Guided DIY Materials – Homeschooling & Parenting (Suzanne provides a lot of free printables and she also has a website.)


What Did We Do All Day (began Montessori-inspired, now Charlotte Mason)

Elementary Manuals

  1. Montessori Teachers Collective (free albums) 
  2. Wikisori.org (free albums)
  3. Garden of Francis Montessori -- (She is a person of faith, but her academic manuals are secular.) 
  4. NAMC (North American Montessori Center) – Expensive but very thorough.  Sets of manuals cover 3-4 years at a time.  There is a homeschool discount, but you need to call and request it. 
  5. Montessori Research and Development – Cheaper alternative, not as many photos as NAMC, but very thorough. 


  1. Montessori for Everyone 
  2. Montessori Print Shop 
  3. Montessori Materials
  4. Livable Learning Montessori – this site is affiliated with Tackle Box Montessori


There are online courses available.  If you are interested in being trained in person, there are local Montessori training schools and they may offer one-off courses for different subjects. Here are three in the Atlanta area.

  1. International Montessori Training Institute
  2. Montessori Institute of Atlanta
  3. Montessori Teacher Education Institute of Atlanta


  1. Literary Education: A Charlotte Mason adaptation for modern secular homeschooling by Emily Cook


  1. AmblesideOnline
  2. Ursa Minor Learning

Oak Meadow Waldorf Curriculum is a great way to use Waldorf at home. Can be used either as a stand-alone curriculum or in conjunction with an Oak Meadow teacher.

Main websites:

  1. John Holt - Growing Without Schooling
  2. Peter Gray - Unschooling Advocate - Alternative to School and his blog, Freedom to Learn Blog 

Other blogs/websites:

  1. Joyfully Rejoycing
  2. The Natural Child Project
  3. Sandra Dodd - Great guest articles 
  4. Alliance for Self-Directed Education 
  5. Unschooler Blog
  6. Living Joyfully w/ Unschooling
  7. Childhood Redefined Summit
  8. GAUnschoolers - Yahoo group that includes local unschoolers?
  9. No-Woo RU - Facebook group (Tama is an admin for this group. Freethinking/Science Based Radical Unschoolers. This is a closed group)


  1. The Book of Learning and Forgetting - Frank Smith
  2. Reading Without Nonsense - Frank Smith
  3. How Children Learn - John Holt
  4. Teach Your Own - John Holt
  5. The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education - Grace Llewellyn
  6. The Unschooling Unmanual - Jan Hunt
  7. Parenting a Free Child: An Unschooled Life - Rue Kream
  8. John Taylor Gatto - Dumbing Us Down, The Underground History of American Education (I included these because of their message against forced schooling)

Youtube Videos:

  1. Unschooling: making the world our classroom
  2. Hackschooling makes me happy 
  3. Learning Through Unschooling
  4. Skipping School 
  5. How will I educate my children
  6. New experiments in self-teaching

Real world resources that can be used for education:

  1. PBSKids 
  2. Starfall 
  3. Roblox
  4. Open Culture 
  5. Carschooling 
  6. DIY 
  7. HarvardX - (Free online courses from Harvard)
  8. Open Learning (Harvard)  
  9. Khan Academy
  10. Meet Up 

Unschoolers take advantage of the MANY other resources in the community! Museums, the Zoo, Botanical Gardens, History Center, Aquarium, etc. Many of these offer Homeschool Days and educator discounts.

Children’s choirs, art lessons, dance studios, climbing gyms, martial arts, gymnastics, library classes or meet-ups, etc. offer children experience finding and/or following their passions.

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