Stronghold Camp and Retreat Center in Oregon, IL
Stronghold Camp & Retreat Center‘s new Executive Director, Dr. Danny Pierce would like to invite your home school group to Stronghold for outdoor education, team building courses and to tour our castle. Dr. Pierce recently came to Stronghold after being a professor in Outdoor Education and Physical Recreation in Tennessee. For years, Stronghold has proudly offered a flexible curriculum to meet every class’ needs and desires.
More information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s some info from their website:
Stronghold’s outdoor education curriculum, supported by challenge education and field experience, helps young people to discover their role in the ecosystem.
The outdoor education program is experience based, offering a balance of physical activities and academic exercises. Topics can include Nature and the Arts, Astronomy, Field Science, Birds of Prey, Water/Soil Conservation, Geology, and Orienteering with Maps and Compass, and many more. The curriculum is tailored to meet your class/objectives and meets Illinois State Learning Standards in all seven areas: language arts, math, science, fine arts, social studies, foreign language, and physical education.
Our professional staff will help you to create a multiple-day schedule specifically designed to meet your curricular needs. There are 20 classes from which you can choose. A few of our featured topics include astronomy, field science, bird and animal studies, water and soil conservation, and map and compass use, plus cooperative games and teambuilding. Day programs are also available.
Lodging options for your students and staff include wooded retreat lodges, campsites, or the Castle.
Our dining room provides a variety of child-friendly entrees, including meatless options for lunch and dinner, along with soup and salad bar and dessert choices. Beverage bar with milk, juices, hot cocoa, coffee, and tea is available during all meals. Breakfast includes hot and cold cereals, fresh fruit, and egg and meat selections.
Dietary restrictions are easily accommodated with advance notice.
Prepared sack lunches containing a sandwich, fruit and dessert are available from the Stronghold kitchen. Beverage service can be arranged.
Stronghold offers an outdoor education experience designed specifically for you and your students! Located in Oregon, Illinois, the beauty of nature exists in a variety of environments, all along bluffs overlooking the Rock River.
Volleyball in Sugar Grove
Received via facebook:
Dear Home-school Families,
We want to invite all the home-school volleyball players out there (ages 10-18) to a couple hours of volleyball training from 9-11 A.M. Saturday, March 26, 2016 at Village Bible Church (847 N. Rt. 47 in Sugar Grove). It will be an All-Skills Clinic, run by Coach Kathy Evers. We will be covering passing, setting, and hitting and get some scrimmage time in.
Please RSVP to Kathy Evers, email@example.com, if you are able to attend. There is no cost for the clinic.
If you have any questions please contact Kathy Evers.
Incorporating Science naturally into your home(school)
Guest post from Jamie Strand of Scicamps.org
Photo from Pixabay
3 Fun Lesson Plans for Kids Who Love Science
When parents foster a love of science in their children, they grow up observing, questioning, experimenting, thinking critically, and reasoning. These kids love to hypothesize, figure out why things work the way they do, and experiment while playing. Sometimes, it is more difficult to teach science to kids who already love it because they know so much about it. The basics won’t cut it with these kids because they already have a good understanding of fundamental science concepts. That’s why it is important to use fun, unexpected science lessons with kids who love science. Here are a few options:
1. Construct a Bird’s Nest
Most kids have peered up into the branches of a tree and seen a bird’s nest, but they may not realize just how much work the construction of one requires. Having them construct their own is a fun way to experiment, explore building materials, and gain insight into the amazing world of birds to appreciate some of nature’s most clever builders!
Start by going on a nature walk in a wooded area to get a real look at birds’ nests up close, being mindful not to touch or disturb them. Look closely and make a list of all the materials you observe: twigs, straw, leaves, grass, etc. Look out for any man-made materials — birds often use newspaper and stray pieces of cotton or cloth they’ve found to cozy up their homes.
Next, have the kids gather the kinds of materials they saw used in nests during the nature walk. Make sure there are enough supplies for everyone to build. Don’t forget a small bucket of mud to help hold the pieces together!
Head inside and give everyone workspace protected with newspaper. Have the kids use the materials to construct their own bird’s nest. Help them test to ensure they’re sturdy and hold together. Test them out by placing them outside in tree branches, a hidden corner of the fence, or anywhere else they think a bird may want to call home. Discuss what materials made the strongest nests, what extra substances they added for insulation or camouflage, and all the trials and error involved in the process.
2. Dancing Oobleck
Kids may understand the three states of matter: gas, liquid, and solid. But, they may not realize that there is a strange fluid, called Oobleck, which is a solid and a liquid. You’ll begin by making thick Oobleck with two cups of cornstarch and one cup of water. Allow kids to play with the Oobleck for a bit to realize that when it relaxes it is a liquid, but when they push on it or move it quickly it becomes a solid.
Now is a good time to talk about why the Oobleck changes its state; it is a pressure-dependent substance, like quicksand, that is a liquid when it moves slowly because the cornstarch particles have time to separate but a solid when it moves quickly because the particles are forced together.
To begin the Dancing Oobleck experiment, you’ll need a subwoofer, a thin metal cookie sheet with sides, an MP3 of an audio test tone, and food coloring. Place the cookie sheet onto the subwoofer’s speaker and pour in the Oobleck. Search online for Subwoofer test MP3s. Experiment with various tones to see which works best, and be prepared to turn the volume up fairly high. (The three frequencies that typically work the best are 40Hz, 50 Hz, and 63 Hz.) Kids should make observations of the Oobleck at each frequency.
If you don’t mind a bit of a mess, or stained kids’ fingers, allow kids to add a few dots of food coloring to the Oobleck and test the frequencies again. It is fun to see how the colors mix and it helps kids visualize the ways in which the Oobleck moves by watching the colors mix and form shapes.
3. A Day in the Life of…
There are all kinds of science careers that revolve around animals, but do your kids know about their options?
Have a discussion about different animal-related fields and careers, covering everything from veterinarians, zoologists, marine biologists, animal trainers, and animal behaviorists. Let each child pick their favorite career, then write a “Day in the life” story. They can research it online, in books, or even interview someone in the field. (If you can swing guest speakers for most or all of the careers, even better!)
After they’ve written their stories, ask them to present to them. Have them explain why they chose that career and then read their story aloud. Would they interact with animals directly? What kind of skills are required? Did the research live up to the initial idea they had of the career, or was it different?
Building a bird’s nest, dancing Oobleck, and picking animal-based careers are just a few lessons that will excite kids who love science. Challenging kids who love science with lessons and experiments like these, which take their assumptions and basic knowledge to the next level, is a great way to get them to love science even more.
Jamie Strand loved being homeschooled. Today, he teaches at a local community college. He created SciCamps.org with a friend in order to make it easier for kids throughout the U.S. to find science and math camps in their area. In addition to teaching, Jamie loves spending time with his wife and young daughters.
Suzuki in Western Springs
Received via email:
The Western Springs School of Talent Education
enthusiastically welcomes homeschool students to our program!
We have openings for new students on weekday mornings and early
afternoons for families who would like to schedule lessons during the
normal school day.
The Suzuki Method also emphasizes several techniques which often
coincide with the goals of homeschooling parents. Visit wsste.com for
This looks super fun! Received this via email, but haven’t tried it myself.
Brief Description: Circus Classes and Open Gym
Mondays from 11-2pm
January 25 – March 28
Join CircEsteem and connect with your homeschool community while engaging in a dynamic open gym space on Mondays. Open space available for your children to play while a variety of curricular circus classes* are held for an additional cost each hour concurrent with Open Gym.
$100/Family (You will be charged the $100 family fee after your registration is complete) – DISCOUNT: $65/family if you sign up for curriculum classes as well!
Circus Curriculum Classes:
1:00 – 12:00pm Tumbling/Mini Trampoline Aerials (Silks, trapeze)
12:00 – 1:00pm Partner Acrobatics Structured Group Games (no class enrollment necessary)
1:00 – 2:00pm Intro to Circus (juggling, tight-wire, gym wheel, plates, rola-bola) Gym Wheel
1:30 – 2:00pm Circus Tots
Classes for 4-8 grade at Judson
Received via email (we have personal experience with these classes and have really enjoyed them!):
A Special Invitation!!!
Dear Parents of Home School Students:
I am an instructor in the Teacher Education Department at Judson University
and would like my pre-service teachers to have an opportunity to work with a
multi-age group of students. I would like to invite you and your fourth
through eighth grade home-school students to come to two special
science/math learning experiences.
Three of my pre-service teachers will be preparing hands-on integrated
science, mathematics, and language arts experiences. Parents must attend
with their students. (Please do not bring children who are younger than fourth
Where: Judson Teacher Education Building – (Creekside)
Located at the bottom of the hill on Jerusha Street, Elgin, IL
2:30-4:30 Monday, March 14
2:30-4:30 Monday, March 21
Please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org. I need to know the dates you can
attend and the number and grade levels of the children who will be
attending with you. It is not necessary to attend both sessions but I think the
experiences would be very beneficial for all learners. (Please include the
names of all participants as well as a phone number.)
Feel free to call me with any questions of clarification.
Dr. Linda Figgins
Christian Student Athlete Scholarship
Received via email:
Scholarship for Christian Student Athletes!
Accepting Applications: September 1, 2015
Application Deadline: February 1, 2016
The SportQuest Playing With Purpose Scholarship Program is a national
program that honors and encourages high school student athletes who
excel athletically, academically and have committed their life to
following Christ. Through scholarships, college exposure, community
and national recognition, and more, we want to see them succeed and
make a difference in this world.
The Playing With Purpose message encourages athletes to serve rather
than being served, to lead with humility and engage culture. Please
help us recognize and reward the outstanding young men and women in
your school and community.
For more information please feel free to contact us:
Office: 317-270-9495 or Email: email@example.com
Fermilab Science Adventures — September – December 2015
Received via email:
The Fall Science Adventures classes are open for registration on our website. http://ed.fnal.gov/sciadv
In addition to many favorite classes, look for these new adventures:
October 24, 2015 — How Can That Be? for grades 2-5
December 12, 2015 — What Makes You So Special? for grades 4-6
For teachers, parent volunteers and library staff
September 23, 2015 — STEM Family Night Planning Workshop for grades K-8
Gain knowledge about many free resources to help you plan your own school or library Family STEM Night. Become qualified to borrow the Fermilab Hands-on Science equipment.
Get to Know the Lederman Science Center
Explore Fermilab science from a kid’s point of view! Bring your family for a guided tour of Lederman Science Center exhibits on the first Saturday of each month from 10:00 AM to noon. No registration is required. Recommended for children ages 10 and up.
Spread the word to your friends.
To be added to our e-mail notification list, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fermilab Science Adventures is now a Facebook Group.
If you are a Facebook member, go to the top search box and search for “Fermilab Science Adventures” to join. As a member, you can read and post questions and comments and have online chats with members of this group.
Contact Program Staff
Susan Dahl, email@example.com
Andrea Cox, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nature programs in Joliet
Joliet Park district is offering home school Fridays at Pilcher Park Nature Center.
What: Ecology, biology, and geology topics
Cost: $50 / $55
When: Every Friday, September 4th – September 25th 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Another session will run October 9th to October 30th and November 6 to November 27th.
Who: Kids ages 6 to 12 years old.
For more information visit www.jolietpark.org or call 815 741-7275