Posts Tagged ‘homeschool community’

Homeschool Resource Fair in Elk Grove

March 27th, 2013
Information for participating (and attending):
Each year we invite a wide variety of organizations to display their offerings for the homeschool community. From co-ops to museums, specialty classes to park district events, support groups to clubs.
We would love to have you join us for this event which will be held Tuesday evening, April 23 at the Elk Grove Village Public Library from 7-9pm.
Vendors: For a nominal $5 fee you will receive a reserved spot and table space at the fair and be part of our contact list which will be distributed to all participants of the event. To register, please click here. You will be contacted within a few days with a confirmation.
We hope that you will join us this year. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. We look forward to another successful event!
Thank you.
Amy Burnha
Beacon Homeschool Support Group
**please note that curriculum will not be sold at this event. Our curriculum sale will be held in May.

For homeschoolers – check out what’s new!!

Crystal Lake Park District’s homeschool classes

January 3rd, 2013

Kathy Wentz shared this tidbit over at her blog, Wentz Educational Services:

Winter Session classes at the Crystal Lake Park District begin soon!

At the Crystal Lake Park District I am offering a 6 week Junior High and High School Genetics class on Monday afternoons and Math & Science Club classes for the younger set on Thursday afternoons. The winter session’s Math and Science Club “over view” topics will be oceanography and decimals.

To register for these classes and many more (including Cooking, Art, and Karate) please visit the Crystal Lake Park District web page.

It is definitely worth checking out the classes they have available. If you are near but not in Crystal Lake even their non-resident rates are reasonable and the variety they have available is amazing! Be sure to take advantage of these if you are nearby.

And, if you aren’t familiar with Kathy Wentz, make sure you check out her site as well with the many services, resources, and information that she shares with the local homeschool community.

Product review: Spanish for You!

May 14th, 2012


I can’t tell you how many foreign language products I have used temporarily over the years. A workbook here, an old cassette tape there, a full program, an online resource. I’ve tried a lot! Some highly recommended, some just cheap alternatives.

The reason I have tried so many is because I really want to learn Spanish and teach my kids to speak Spanish, but I can’t do it on my own. Foreign language is not a skill you can pick up casually. I need to have a curriculum to help me in this area. So, when Debbie Annett approached me about her brand new curriculum, still in the works at the time, I could not resist.

She comes with years of experience in Spanish and teaching in the homeschool community in particular. She has created her curriculum with homeschoolers specifically in mind. I find this a huge benefit as you are not trying to tailor a program geared toward a traditional classroom or the business traveler (the two main targets of language programs, it seems). She made this for you to use at home with your children, or possibly in a co-op setting.

Product: Spanish for You!

Details: (excerpts from their site) Spanish for You! is a flexible, unique self-study curriculum for grades 3 through 8 that establishes the foundations for learning Spanish with just a short lesson each day. The set includes the Spanish for You! Estaciones Book (teaching the seasons — another set teaching fiestas should be out summer of 2012), 24-27 Week Lesson Guides for grades 3-8 (PDF), Self-Checking Worksheets for grades 3-8 (PDF), and Audio Download of entire book (MP3 format)

Cost: $65 for the whole set

Some of what we liked:
- The diversity of target ages. This is an all in one curriculum that someone with minimal Spanish knowledge could pick up and use with all of their school age kids. Even though the target range starts with 3rd grade, my 1st and 2nd graders were right in there picking up basic vocabulary as well. (I think 3rd grade is a good starting place, I just generally include all of my kids when teaching if possible).
- Abundance of materials. Worksheets, audio files, teacher’s guide, lesson plans, activity ideas, visuals, pronunciation guides, etc. This program is well fleshed out with lots of built in resources. The lessons include pictures in the book, audio files to hear the vocabulary properly pronounced, worksheets for individuals to do on their own, activities to do together, and ideas for review and further teaching.
- Lots of built in review. Without becoming redundant, the lessons review, reteach, and repeat the words the kids need to learn. They do not get bored since it is always presented in a new way and language study is such an interactive discipline that everyone stays involved and learning. The lessons are also on the shorter side so they won’t take up a lot of your day, but they will get the job done efficiently.
- The audio is at a great pace for learning. It is not rushed through. The words are clear and  easy to understand. I do like my kids to hear a more conversational (fast!) pace as they get more comfortable, but for beginners this is a non-intimidating step into the language. Anyone can learn these words with Mrs. Annett’s gentle teaching.
- Adaptable and reasonable time commitment. This program is a gentle introduction to Spanish for younger kids, and a more focused beginners’ course for older kids. While foreign language is better done frequently throughout each day (the lesson plans are mapped out for use 4 days each week), you could easily condense the lessons to 2 times each week, and then try to pepper it in throughout the day as well. You will find you are both quickly learning a new language.

Some considerations for potential buyers
- While the curriculum is for multiple grades, it teaches the grades differently. So, beyond the first few days, you would likely go through the material more quickly and to greater depth and mastery with older kids, so you wouldn’t actually teach the class the same way to a 3rd grader and an 8th grader. Just take that into consideration when determining how much time is needed to teach each lesson. Review could still be done together, and kids of different ages could study together, but the teaching times would most likely be separate, or at least branch off after starting together.
- Some of the audio, especially early on, seems to be a little light on the Spanish accent. I think especially of “calendario” and “martes” among others in the first lesson. Later lessons do not have this issue, but as students get used to pronouncing these foreign words, they might notice that some sounded a little American at first. This actually seems like another way to gently transition kids into the Spanish language.  You might want to be aware of it, and even point it out, but also be sure to encourage a stronger accent along with the audios as you and your students gain confidence in your new found language.
This curriculum is very user friendly and can be used by someone comfortable with Spanish or someone who really needs a solid Spanish teacher to rely on. You can do this! As a poster in my high school classroom said, “Stamp out foreign languages — learn one!” This program will start you on the road to doing just that.

Disclaimer: This product was given to me in exchange for my personal,  honest review.

Looking for music instruction in or around Oak Park?

February 28th, 2011

Jeffrey Cappelli of the Cappelli Institute for Music contacted me about getting the word out about his school in the central Oak Park area. He founded this  institution in 1980 and holds many degrees and honors within the music community. They offer lessons on a variety of instruments as well as voice.

They are excited about making their services available within the homeschool community, so please feel free to contact them about various daytime opportunities for lessons and music instruction. Jeffrey Cappelli also offers piano tuning and repair throughout the Chicagoland area.

Contact information for the Cappelli Institute of Music:

Address:  1053 Lake Street, 2nd Floor • Oak Park, IL 60301

Phone: 708-445-8460

Fax: 708-445-8488



Contact information for Chicago Piano Service:

Phone: 1-866-SERVE-88 (1-866-737-8388) or 708-771-8388


Homeschool encouragement from Jackie Wellwood

April 13th, 2010

Check out this great opportunity open to the homeschool community to drink in some encouragement as we quickly approach the summer months:

Teaching Homes for Christ invites you to join them for an evening of encouragement with Jackie Wellwood, author and veteran homeschooler.  Jackie will share stories from her experiences—dealing with life’s challenges and finding joy and purpose in the journey. An experienced public speaker and entrepreneur, Jackie is the author of The Busy Mom’s Guide to Simple Living and two books of devotions for homeschool moms. She has been homeschooling for nearly twenty years and is the mother of seven.
Date and time: Monday, April 26th from 7:15 to 9 p.m.

Glen Arbor Community Church
204 Church Street
West Chicago, IL  60185

RSVP to Nancy McGinn,
(appreciated but not required)

Homeschool Resource Fair in Elk Grove Village

March 16th, 2010

The BEACON Homeschool Group is hosting their 4th annual Resource Fair .

Date: Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Where: Elk Grove Village Public Library

When: 7:00-9:00pm

The public is invited to come and browse and talk to the leaders of various organizations about the many different opportunities available to the homeschool community. Representatives will be on hand from various co-ops, enrichment programs, horseback riding programs, field trip opportunities, art classes, roller skating, park district programs, academic programs and much more.

The first 75 attendees will receive a resource booklet to take home with additional information.

For more information, check out their website:

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