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Archive for April, 2011

Homeschool Football!

April 30th, 2011

Just crossed paths with a coach from this football team. I have heard lots of great things about this organization and this team in particular. If you are looking for some activity for a teenage boy, you will want to check this out. It is based at Crossroads in Big Rock, but they hope to have practice in the Naperville or Aurora area. I know people are coming from all over for this, so if you are interested, get in touch with them. If you are looking for some training and physical conditioning, or an actual team sport, this will be of interest to you:

Beacon Homeschool Used Curriculum Sale

April 24th, 2011

Big sale coming at the Beacon Homeschool Group.

Register if you are interested in selling at this sale (priority is given to members, but others are welcome as well). Loads of things to choose from for less than new cost!!!

When: Tuesday, April 26 7:00-9:00pm
Where : Elk Grove Village Public Library

Everyone is invited to come out and see the great finds!
For more details, check their website. www.beaconhomeschool.org

Beacon is a non-denominational Christian support group for parents who home educate their children. Their membership is open to any home schooling family for support. The goals of Beacon are to provide fellowship, encouragement, field trips, workshops, and resources for our members to benefit from.

TOS Crew Review — See the Light

April 22nd, 2011

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I am not an artist by any stretch of the imagination. I can sometimes appreciate fine art when walking through a gallery, but I cannot begin to draw much more than a stick figure. So, our art instruction for our kids must come from elsewhere. I can handle the macaroni frames of early elementary years, but after that they lose me.

Fortunately, I don’t have to do this on my own.

Product: See the Light Art instruction DVDs

Details: A 9 volume DVD set with a total of 36 lessons taught by Master Artist Pat Knepley. Each lesson takes about 15 minutes and are designed to be watched once a week with follow up activities engaging the student until the following lesson.

Price: $99.99

What we loved . . .

  • Great for beginners of all ages. As I mentioned, I am not an artist, but I enjoy doodling and attempting to make nicer looking stick figures. Well, this DVD series brought us well beyond that. Even just in the first four lessons, which include a lot of introductory material, we all learned some new techniques and perspectives that improved our sketches. We watched this as a group from my kindergartner through my eighth grader and myself as well. Her teaching style seemed  a little “young” for my eighth grader, but the content of the teaching itself was suitable for his level. It seemed perfect for my fourth and sixth graders especially.
  • Biblical integration. Pat Knepley did a beautiful job of bringing Scripture and scriptural concepts naturally into the lessons. Her passion for art meshes easily with her faith and she shares both in this video series.
  • Perfect for once a week use. The 15 minutes of instruction in each lesson teaches a new concept and then gives the students ways that they can practice mastering the technique until the next week’s lesson. My kids really developed a greater enthusiasm for drawing while watching these videos and  have spent quite a bit of time outside of what I required of them practicing what she has taught.
  • Not a lot of supplies needed. She sticks to the essentials early on. All we needed was pencil and paper. We did also pull out a couple apples and a shoe, and there were other supplies that she discussed, but most lessons all you need is a pencil and paper. I can do that. :)

Some considerations . . .

  • Full year is costly. For all 36 lessons it would set you back around a hundred dollars. That is a lot of money. However, I did really like this resource and it is probably worth that to actually have an artist in your home teaching for 15 minutes each week. You can’t ask her questions, but you can see her work and watch and re-watch the episodes as often as necessary.  And, when you compare the price to a local art class or co-op class you really can’t beat the price.
  • Sometimes I felt like she went a little too fast. While most of the time I felt her pace was right on, or even a little slow, when she was adding the finishing touches to her pictures I felt like I looked down to compare it to mine and hers went from a rough contour line drawing to gallery worthy material and I’m not quite sure how she did it with so little effort. I watched it again of course, but realized that good art requires an eye for it as well.  We need a lot more practice to get close to her level, and we need to realize that she has spent a lot of time and has a natural ability that allows her to see what she needs to create a great finished product. Some of that is learned, but I don’t know that all of it can be. So, maybe it was a matter of a skill gap not necessarily the speed of her teaching.
  • Short lessons. With only 15 minutes to cover the daily lesson, she doesn’t cover much in any one lesson. This is good because you can really take your time practicing one technique or habit at a time, but some kids might get bored having such a small task to work on for a whole week. I would almost like her to show each technique a couple times in each lesson using a different subject each time, but there is enough there to build from for the most part.
  • Uses mostly her own art samples. It was encouraging to see her great work as examples and know that we were learning from someone that knew what they were talking about, but we also like to incorporate art appreciation into our art lessons. If we continue with this I would need to continue to seek that out on my own.

See the Light has put together a great program that is really well suited for the beginning artist. If you have struggled to find an easy way to bring a great art program into your home, I would encourage you to check out these DVDs and maybe even take time to give their free samples a try.

For more TOS Crew reviews on this product, check out the TOS Crew blog.

Disclaimer: This product was provided to me free of charge through See the Light as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and sincere thoughts.



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Find the golden egg!

April 20th, 2011

Received via email:



Are your Kids off school on Friday April 22?  Come to SciTech for the Easter Egg Hunt, stay for the FUN!
The Golden Eggs are Hidden!  Find one and Win a PRIZE!

SciTech Museum is the place for Fun on the Friday before Easter.
Regular admission is all you need to enjoy:
  • Activity Tables with “Egg-Tastic” Hands on Experiments! 10:30- 4pm
  • See the Easter Bunny and have your photo taken with him. ($5.00 ea.) 12-4 pm
  • Participate in the Easter Egg Hunt and Find the Golden Egg for a Prize! 10:30 am – 12 pm
  • Two age groups for the Hunt: 5 and under and 6-12 yrs.
  • Over 200 exciting interactive Science exhibits!
For more information just call 630-859-3434 Ext. 218
SciTech Museum 18 W. Benton, Aurora, Il. 60506
Don't Miss out! There's no end to the fun this Friday at SciTech!
And someone in your family may find the Golden Egg!

Writing Resources and more

April 19th, 2011

Company Name - Company Message

You can expect to hear more from me about this site that author Jan May recently emailed me about.

I have girls, three of them to be exact. As much as I love my boys, I feel an extra dose of responsibility to raise my girls and prepare them for adulthood. I’m the mom they will try to emulate (or sometimes not). I’m the 24/7 example of a wife for them to see. I feel the weight of this on a daily basis. And, as they will attest, I am constantly seeking out new resources to help me in this job.

This newly discovered site won’t necessarily help them as future wives and moms, but it does have a heart for nurturing godly growth in girls in the 8-12 age range. If you have girls that fall around those ages, I would encourage you to take a look as well.

The site — “Wonderful website for creative writing resources.
Free creative pages, crafts, recipes for girls ages 8-12. Homeschool
links for writing contests and helps. Creative Writing Curriculum that
guides the student to create a character while creating her as a paper
doll.”

Enjoy this site which promises resources targeting boys in the near future –  NewMillenniumGirlBooks.com

Chicagoland Homeschool Expo

April 18th, 2011

In August the Chicagoland Homeschool Expo will return to the area.The following information is taken from their website and includes links to their site for further information:

2011 Chicago Homeschool Expo

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER $20 per person

$25 for Husband & Wife

Chicago Homeschool Expo August 5-6, 2011

Schaumburg Convention Center (Chicago), IL

1551 N. Thoreau Dr, Schaumburg, IL 60173

Chicago Homeschool Expo Registration
Includes Homeschooling for Excellence 101, Worldview Teen Tract AND KidsZone
August 4-6, 2011

At the door registration is also available at the door the day of the Conference.  Payment accepted at the door includes cash or checks only.

REFUND POLICY – There are no refunds, just as there are no refunds for tickets to events such as concerts, sporting events, etc.


College Fair admission is FREE with ALL ticket purchases including Homeschooling 101, KidsZone, Worldview Teen Track, and Chicago Homeschool Expo.

New movie coming to the IMAX

April 17th, 2011
Teachers!  Take your class to see African Cats, opening on April 22nd, Earth Day.


For more information on the movie, African Cats, download Educator and Activity guides, or to book your group, click here!

Classical Conversations Practicum in Chicago

April 13th, 2011

Thank you to Jennifer for passing along this information:

I wanted to let you know we will be hosting a free parent practicum on May 23-25th at Moody Church.  This 3-day event seeks to encourage homeschool families while equipping them to use the classical model at home.  There are also wonderful low-cost academic camps available for your kids during the practicum.  The registration is open and families can sign-up at www.classicalconversations.com and go to Equipping Events. Parking is available at Piper’s Alley for $12.

Chicago, IL 3-Day Practicum
From Monday, May 23 2011 -  9:00am
To Wednesday, May 25 2011 - 4:00pm
Every day
Improving Your Vision for Homeschooling
May 23-25
Moody Church

Childcare:
Nursery: 0-2 years old
Playcamp:  3-5 years old
GeoDraw Camp: 6-8 years old
Debate Camp:  9-14 years old

Tutor Training:  Foundations and Essentials

***Please Note:  Parking is $12 near Moody.***

Location: Moody Church, 1635 N. LaSalle Dr,
Country: United States
Training for contracted directors and tutors available for: Essentials, Foundations
Camps Available on event

Camp name: Nursery Seats availables: 4 Cost: $33
Camp name: Play Camp Seats availables: 15 Cost: $33
Camp name: GeoDrawing Camp Seats availables: 13 Cost: $33
Camp name: Communications: Public Speaking Seats availables: 35 Cost: $33 Required Resource: Beginning Debate

Scholastic Book Fair

April 11th, 2011
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Scholastic Book Fairs - Warehouse Book Sale Big Event
Our Biggest Warehouse Sale of the Year Offers You Up to 80% Savings!

Join us for our special book sale, exclusively for school and district employees, home schoolers, Book Fair chairpeople, and school volunteers. You’ll find BIG savings on books for home, school, and classroom libraries.

Most items discounted at least 50%!
Hundreds of items for $2.00 or less!
Get more, save more with Build-a-BOX! (Participating locations only.) Fill a Build-a-BOX with books from a great collection of pre-selected clearance items. Pay ONLY $24.95 for each box you build! Locations participating in Build-a-BOX are identified with this symbol.
Find a Sale Near You &
Get Discount Coupons!

Book sale season . . .

April 9th, 2011

Teaching Homes for Christ

Annual Used Curriculum Sale

April 29th

Where: Faith Community Church
910 Main St.
West Chicago, IL 60185
(East of Rt. 59 near Prince Crossing Rd.)
When: 4-8 p.m.

Save on curriculum for next year!

This is a great opportunity to save money by buying used curriculum from fellow homeschoolers.
Do you have used curriculum you would like to sell, contact our coordinators to arrange to sell. Click Here to Contact the Coordinators



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