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Archive for January, 2013

Fermilab Open House

January 31st, 2013

Fermilab Family Open House

Sunday, February 10, 2013

1:00–5:00 PM

Directions to Fermilab

This is a party for children who bring an adult with them to learn about the world of physics. (There’s plenty for the grown-ups, too.)

Events include:

  • Watch Mr. Freeze’s fabulous cryogenics show
  • Explore physics concepts with hands-on activities
  • Ask a scientist your physics questions.
  • Take a tour!
  • And more!

The Open House is most appropriate for children in grades 3 and up. The event is free.

Register only if you wish to go on a tour (minimum age 10). Otherwise, you do not have to register.

The Open House is funded by Fermilab Friends for Science Education.

Free Webinar from the HomeScholar

January 31st, 2013

Free webinar on Grades, Credits, and Transcripts!

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/818822129

Webinar Registration

Free Class!

Join The HomeScholar for a free LIVE presentation:
“A Homeschool Parent’s Guide to Grades, Credits and Transcripts”
Gain confidence! Get questions answered!

Our online presentation will be held on:
February 4th, 2013
4:00 PM Pacific Time

Find your Time Zone Here
Hawaii-Aleutian….2:00 PM
Alaskan……………..3:00
Pacific……………….4:00
Mountain………….. 5:00
Central ……………..6:00
Eastern …………….7:00
Atlantic………………8:00

Sometimes homeschooling high school can seem like a long and daunting journey.  There are dangers and challenges at every turn:

How do I evaluate my children?
How can I give grades that colleges will believe?
How should I assign credits?
Where can I get the answers I need?

You don’t have to be frightened because in this one-hour training webinar I will answer all these questions and ease your fears.

As a special bonus for registering, I will provide you a free subscription to our monthly email newsletter, The HomeScholar Record.  Our newsletter comes out on the first of every month and is filled with helpful articles, tips, calendar reminders and encouragement for homeschooling high school.  You are going to LOVE it!

Speech and Debate Tournament

January 30th, 2013

I LOVED speech and debate when I was in high school. I think the critical thinking skills and the necessity to respond in the moment are life skills that are difficult to learn elsewhere. If you would like this type of opportunity for your student, here is an opportunity to build their enthusiasm and get an inside look at a speech and debate tournament.

From Lisa Lueken the NCFCA Illinois State Representative:

Speech and Debate Tournament – University of St. Francis


On March 4-6, 2013 several hundred homeschool students will gather at the University of St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois, for a three day speech and debate tournament.  We need several hundred judges! Our students love to have homeschool parents as judges because you give excellent feedback!  It’s a 2 1/2 to 3-hour time commitment which includes a brief orientation, the speech or debate round and refreshments in our hospitality room.

To register go to www.ncfca.org and click on “Judges” in the upper right hand corner.  You should see a link for “Best of the Mid-West” after clicking on the state of Illinois. If you have any questions please contact Mary Vilim at mjvilim@gmail.com or (630) 466-0117.  Also, please feel free to invite a friend!  No experience is necessary.  We are training our students to talk to people of all walks of life.

If you are a homeschooler who is considering having your student participate in speech and debate at some time in the future, we encourage you to come judge at our tournament and see what we’re about.  Children who are old enough to sit still for 1 1/2 hours are welcome to come and observe.

Looks like a fantastic opportunity to jump right into this effective skill building experience.

Jump into the Civil War in Rockford

January 24th, 2013

Civil War Hands-On History

Midway Village Museum – Rockford, IL- History Museum

April 30, May 1, 2 and 3, 2013
9:30 am – 2 pm each day

This award-winning educational event is specially designed to meet the curriculum standards for students in grades 5th through 8th. Midway Village Museum’s campus makes this an exceptional field trip destination with more than 25 historic buildings and from 40 to 50 different living history sites offered each day. Groups will visit the sites that they choose.

The program is open to public, private or home schools from northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. In 2012, approximately 5,000 students participated in this program, but space is limited and advance registration is required.

Examples of sites that students can visit:

  • Meet famous people – President & Mrs. Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Clara Barton, General U. S. Grant and many others
  • Experience being a soldier, including marching and drilling
  • Learn how to operate Civil War era artillery
  • Talk to soldiers from both the North and the South
  • Learn about lady’s fashion of the 1860s
  • Square dance in a barn hayloft
  • Sing along to popular music of the times
  • Visit the 1850s Barn to learn about the Underground Railroad
  • Experience school lessons in a one room schoolhouse
  • Learn about the art of blacksmithing
  • Learn the early rules of base ball and how the sport became popular because of the war
  • Meet lady spies for both the North and the South
  • Learn about Civil War doctors and medicine
  • Meet women soldiers
  • Learn about Civil War era photography
  • Show your knowledge of the times by playing Civil War Jeopardy

Cost is $7 per student and $1 per adult chaperone.

Download our reservation form for the Civil War Hands-on History Program in PDF format »

For registration information, contact Jessica MacDonald, Special Events Coordinator at 815 397-9112, ext. 104 or jessica.macdonald@midwayvillage.com.

For all the details and to register, check out the Midway Village’s website.

If you are unable to make this event, you might still be interested in some of the other opportunities for homeschoolers in particular to enjoy the museum.

New Homeschool Gym Class in St. Charles

January 23rd, 2013

The homeschool mom that worked to get this going submitted info about this new opportunity: http://www.facebook.com/SportsplexHomeSchoolGymClass

This is cut and pasted from the facebook page:

This group was created to share information about a Home School sports class being offered in St. Charles.
Day: 2nd & 4th Friday of the month
Time: 1:30-3 pm the 2nd & 4th
Cost: $30 (per student) for a 3 month class
Age: 5+ (to optimize the coaches time we need to keep this class for school aged children K-12th grade range)
Class info: The facility has the ability to teach many sports including – Flag Football, dodge ball, t-ball, kickball, soccer, capture the flag.

HOW TO REGISTER:
Log onto www.sportsplexstc.net.
Click on Registration. Families will have to set up New Membership accounts in order to register.

Once they are New Members, click on Register across the top. Choose the following for each child:
Register— Pull down and select child. It will only allow children ages 3-18.
Pull down Program Type and select “Classes & Camps”
Pull down Season and select “Home School Classes Spring 2013″
Pull down League/Group and select “Home School Spring Classes”

At that point, the class information will pop up and you can click on the blue “Register”
You will be asked if there are medical concerns for that child. Click “Continue”

At that point, you will go to checkout, and a list of all dates/times will be shown. It shows that you are paying for 6 classes at $5.00 each, but it is not possible to pay for fewer than 6 classes at this time. If you miss, you miss. The $20.00 Membership Fee is waived for your families for this class.

Each participant MUST sign a liability waiver on their first visit to Sportsplex. We will have a stack of them and your guests can sign them when they arrive. If parents want to play too, they can pay $5.00 the day of.

I love that parents can play, too.  :)

Choosing a co-op

January 22nd, 2013

For most of our homeschool years we have not involved ourselves in a co-op. However, there have been certain seasons when we have found them a helpful addition to our curriculum.  As we enter into a new year, many people find themselves beginning planning for next school year. Since we are still teaching and running a household the planning can be a long process, and it is beneficial to take your time and digest the resources, information, and opportunities that surround you.

Sharing from personal experience, I thought it might be helpful to put into writing some of the important considerations in choosing a co-op.

The top three I think are the most important — schedules, cost, and family fit.

Scheduling – Take some time to consider all of the scheduling ramifications of a co-op. You will be committed, each week on a certain day and time to be somewhere, whether it is all day or just an hour or two. This can be a great thing, but make sure it fits in your daily routine and your weekly schedule. Make sure you understand the commitment before jumping in. And, can you back out at the end of the semester if it isn’t a good fit? Especially if the co-op requires volunteer hours or the teaching of a class, all of those will fall on you as well.

Cost - Be sure to add up all the expenses — class fees, books, registration fees, per semester costs, etc. At one point I realized that instead of my child taking one class I would rather spend a little more on what we were doing at home and just enjoy staying put.

Family fit – What are your kids’ ages? Do they have programming available for everyone? Are you kids interested in the classes available? Are you still juggling naps? Consider each child and their needs and developmental ability to make sure it is a workable fit.

Reasons to skip it (at least for now)

Takes you away from each other – One of the huge joys of homeschooling is time together. Some homeschoolers spend much of each day in the car chasing opportunities for different children. Not wrong to take advantage of a beneficial time of learning, but sometimes you might find the greater benefit in staying home. Sometimes.

Immaturity and other issues- Another one of the many reasons that I homechool is that some of my kids would not have fit well into a classroom at the state designated age for kindergarten. They needed to run a bit still. Different kids at different ages will benefit more or less from a more structured class environment. Most co-ops are a little more flexible than a traditional classroom, but it is still important to consider the suitability of the situation to your child’s personality and level.

Husband’s perspective- Always seek unity. I don’t rush into anything without talking it over with my husband. Sometimes he leaves the choice to me and is fine either way, but other times he has a stronger opinion about our participating, or not, in a particular activity. I always value his perspective on the situation and want to make a decision that we both are comfortable with.

Other considerations –

Accountability - I think I hear this the most often for why people joined a co-op. They just wanted someone else on a regular, but not daily, basis keeping them and their child on track. Other homeschoolers are in exactly the same place as you and there is something wonderfully enlivening about seeing them once a week and knowing that the rest of the week they are grinding away at the assignments as well. Academic excellence is an important goal and if the co-op will gently keep you on that path, then that is a great reason to join.

Tough subjects — whether it is a subject you hate or one you just plain ol’ don’t understand, a co-op can be a real life saver in certain subjects. Whether it is high level math, speech, writing, or high school science (Physics played a role in our co-op consideration), you might find a co-op a great fit for filling your teaching gap.

Educational philosophy- They might not have to agree with your completely, but you will want to at least be compatible. Be sure you understand their approach and how it affects their classes (worksheets and books chosen, topics of study, class structure, etc.)

Time commitment – you will usually be required to assist, teach, or fill volunteer roles. Don’t forget about transportation times. This will cost everybody’s time if you have other kids at home that you are teaching.

Doctrinal statement – This may or may not apply to you, but this was a significant factor in our decision. Do they have one? Must the teachers agree to it? Must the families agree to it (one parent or both)? Are classes taught from a clear, stated worldview? Do you fit with it, or are you just “ok” with it?

Size and experience- Pros and cons both ways here. I prefer small and personal, others prefer large with lots of choices. Some might like fresh and innovative, others might prefer established and with a track record.

Behavior expectation- what do they expect in class and how do they enforce it? This is important to know if your child happens to be the one that struggles in a new setting or if he might be influenced by the “other kid” who does.

And, a few NOT good reasons to join a co-op :

(these may be way down on your list somewhere, but they will hopefully never be the driving force behind your decision to seek out a co-op)

Socialization - Hopefully you are as sick of hearing this as I am. Your kids need you, not a group of peers to show them how to relate in this world. Yes, they need to work that out with others at times, but you don’t need a weekly commitment to a co-op to accomplish that.

Default -Everyone’s doing it. Um, if everyone jumped off the cliff . . . ;)

Insecurity - Do seek out other homechool moms that can encourage you in your journey, but don’t assume that you need someone else teaching your child for them to get an adequate education.  There are lots of resources that you can use right at home in a subject that you struggle with.  Trust who God has made you to be and His wisdom in placing these children under your care. You can do it!

There is not one perfect co-op and even amazing co-ops don’t necessarily make a suitable fit for every family. Take your time and get to know the co-op, the leadership, some of the members, and even the facility. It does not matter if they worked well for others, what matters is if it will improve your homeschool or take away from it.

I know my bias comes through in this post and as much as we love what we have received and been able to offer through our current co-op, I am more of a non-co-op person. I just love being at home with my kids learning and living life together. But, I also know what an amazing tool a suitable co-op can be in your homeschooling arsenal, so weigh the decision, and enjoy another year of homeschooling whether it’s all under your roof or a little here and a little there.

Homeschool Ski Days!

January 17th, 2013

Despite the extreme lack of snow again this winter, it is winter, somewhere. They are making snow for skiing not too far north of us and they have some deals for homeschoolers on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Check out their flyer with all the details on their website: http://www.wilmotmountain.com/groupsales/2012-13homeschoolflier.pdf

WILMOT MOUNTAIN, INC.
11931 FOX RIVER RD.
WILMOT, WI 53192


PHONE: 262-862-2301

Home School Tuesdays & Thursdays!

From their website:


Bring your home schooled children to Wilmot Mountain on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the 2012-13 Season! Enjoy our special discounted prices and let them enjoy our outdoor snow sports first hand! All you need is your home school identification for you and your child to ski/snowboard all day, all night at these excellent prices. Don’t forget to use your complimentary group lesson available for anyone 8 years and older!
- Groups of 15 or more MUST book at least 48 hours in advance. Please check out the Group Sales
page at www.WilmotMountain.com to find our official booking form and download our
Group Leader Handbook for step by step instructions and answers to frequently asked questions!
- Group Ski/Snowboard Lessons are available through our Snow Sports School at 11 am and 7 pm daily.
They are available for ages 8 and older. Private lessons are also available for an additional charge
anytime from 10:30 am til 7pm upon request. Ask our Snow Sports School for details!

Ski and lift rates start at $10 for kids under 6 and $28 for people 7 years and up.

Virtual Curriculum Fair

January 14th, 2013
Homeschooling Hearts & Minds Virtual Curriculum Fair Button

A number of homeschool bloggers are sharing their thoughts on various subjects each week in January.

This week the topic was math and science and you might enjoy some of the posts below:

Delight Directed Middle School Science?  by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
http://homeschoolheartandmind.blogspot.com/2013/01/delight-directed-middle-school-science.html

The Hardest Part of Math by Kristi @ The Potter’s Hand Academy
http://www.thepottershandacademy.com/the-hardest-part-of-math/

A Tour Through Our Math and Science Life by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
http://unexpectedhomeschool.blogspot.com/2013/01/vcfmath.html

What Works for Us…Math by Piwi Mum @ Learning & Growing the Piwi Way
http://piwiprincess.blogspot.com/2013/01/what-works-for-usmath.html

Math Art – Geometry by Julie @ Highhill Education
http://highhillhomeschool.blogspot.com/2013/01/math-art-geometry.html

It’s Math-magical by Missouri Mama @ Ozark Ramblings
http://oramblings.blogspot.com/2013/01/its-math-magical.html

Virtual Curriculum Fair: Fun and Games with Math by Tonia @ The Sunny Patch
http://thesunnypatch.blogspot.com/2013/01/virtual-curriculum-fair-fun-and-games.html

Discovering Patterns by Lisa @ The Golden Grasses
http://goldengrasses.blogspot.com/2013/01/discovering-patterns-how-to-teach-
math.html

Math for the Natural by Erin @ Delighting in His Richness
http://delightinginhisrichness.blogspot.com/2013/01/math-for-natural.html

Virtual Curriculum Fair~ Discovering Patterns by Karyn @ Teach Beside Me
http://www.teachbesideme.com/2013/01/virtual-curriculum-fair-discovering.html

Too Many Math Programs or Not by Linda B @ Homeschooling6
http://training6hearts4him.blogspot.com/2013/01/too-many-math-programs-or-not.html

Virtual Curriculum Fair:  Math and More!  by April @ Coffee, Cobwebs,
and Curriculum
http://coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com/2013/01/virtual-curriculum-fair-math-and-more.html

The post where I admit I was wrong by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset
http://sunrisetosunsethomeschool.com/2013/01/14/the-post-where-i-admit-i-was-wrong/

High School Math – Beyond the Textbook by TechWife @ A Playground of Words
http://playgroundofwords.blogspot.com/2013/01/high-school-math-beyond-textbook.html

Discovering a World of Logic and Order by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
http://homeschoolingforhisglory.blogspot.ca/2013/01/virtual-curriculum-fair-discovering.html

2013 Virtual Curriculum Fair- Discovering Patterns: Mathematics,
Logic, and Science by Leah C @ As We Walk Along the Road
http://courtneysix.blogspot.com/2013/01/2013-virtual-curriculum-fair.html

The Plans of Mice and Math (My Math in Focus review) by Chelli @ The
Planted Trees
http://theplantedtrees.blogspot.com/2013/01/virtual-curriculum-fair-2013-plans-of.html

Rightstart Math is right for us! by Leann  @ Montessori Tidbits
http://www.montessoritidbits.com/2013/01/rightstart-math-review-games.html

Our Favorite Homeschool Math Curriculums by Wendy @ Homeschooling Blessings
http://wendy-homeschoolingblessings.blogspot.com/2013/01/our-favorite-homeschool-math-curriculums.html

Author: admin Categories: Homeschool tips Tags:

Free museums!

January 12th, 2013

We rang in the new year with a doosy of a flu in our house, but now we are through it, settled back into our school routine, and even looking for a fun day outing! Fortunately, there are lots of opportunities to enjoy museums in Chicago for FREE this month:

(Hat tip to Free things to do in Chicago)

The Adler Planetarium:January: 14, 15, 16, 17, 28, 29, 30, 31

The Art Institute of Chicago - January: Every Weekday from January 7 – January 31

Charnley-Persky House Museum - FREE guided tours are offered every Wednesday at 12 Noon. Tours are limited to 15 guests, first-come, first-served.

Chicago Children’s Museum - FREE for all visitors every Thursday, 5-8 pm. FREE on the first Sunday of each month (January 6) for children 15 and under.

Chicago History Museum - January 21free chicago museums in january 2013

Clarke House Museum – CHICAGO’S OLDEST HOUSE – Wednesdays

DuSable Museum of African American Art – Sundays

Field MuseumJanuary 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 28, 30

Glessner House Museum: – Wednesdays

Jane Addams Hull House Museum – Free every day

Loyola University Museum of Art - Tuesdays

Museum of Contemporary Art - Tuesdays

Museum of Science and IndustryJanuary 14 – 18, 21 – 25, 28 – 31

Museum of Surgical Science - Tuesdays

The National Museum of Mexican Art - Free Tuesdays to Sundays

Notebaert Nature MuseumJanuary 17, 24, 31

Shedd Aquarium -January 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 28, 29

Smart Museum of Art at University of Chicago – Free every day

Pirates of Penzance at Wheaton College

January 11th, 2013

What an amazing opportunity from Wheaton College just for homeschoolers. Check this out and be sure to share this event information with others! Spread the word. :)

We’d like to share a special invitation to the homeschooling community to attend a preview of “The Pirates of Penzance” at pre-performance prices.

Wheaton College’s Opera Music Theater will perform popular Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera January 16-19 at 7:30 p.m. On Tuesday, January 15 at 7:30 p.m. the dress rehearsal is open to our homeschooling friends at the half price cost of $5 a ticket.

All performances, directed by Andy Mangin, will take place in Pierce Memorial Chapel, located on the southeast corner of Washington and Franklin streets in Wheaton. Tickets may be purchased at the door.  For more information, call the Conservatory of Music at 630.752.5098.

Sincerely

LaTonya Taylor, Director of Media Relations

Lori Hart, Media Relations Assistant
Wheaton College
501 College Ave. | Illinois, 60187
Office: 630.752.5015
Wheaton Experts
www.wheaton.edu
For Christ and His Kingdom

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