Wednesday, December 19, 2007

All Kansas Area Homeschoolers are Invited!

Great Wolf Lodge: February 26 & 27, 2008

The dates are on the calendar!

Send me an email at goobmom23 AT yahoo DOT com for reservation requirements. If you can let me know where you heard about the gathering and what part of Kansas (or surrounding areas) you are coming from, I would appreciate it.

At this point, we are the only group with plans at the Great Wolf Lodge for these dates. Feel free to share this information with your local homeschool groups.

February 26th $129.00 plus tax
February 27th $103.00 plus tax

LOFT SUITES (sleeps 8) - RATE
February 26th $209.00 plus tax
February 27th $169.00 plus tax

Deadline for reservations is January 15.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me!
goobmom23 AT yahoo DOT com

I look forward to meeting you all again (or for the first time!) at the Great Wolf Lodge in February.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mind The Gap

Article by Diane Flynn Keith

So, why are you minding the gap? What is it exactly that you are afraid your child will miss? Reading? Writing? Arithmetic? Building missions with sugar cubes? Face your fear. Give it a name. Make a list. Then really look at that list and determine what is most important in order to give your child the educational foundation that will allow him or her to become an autonomous, self-directed learner. If that is your goal, following a curriculum and agenda created by the state (or anyone else) is counter-intuitive.

Thanks, Tracie, for the link.

Expanding the horizon for home-school students

Expanding the horizon for home-school students
The Boston Globe
December 6, 2007

The home is no longer where all the action is in this new wave of home schooling. Although some instruction takes place at home, parents now choose from an increasing number of options that allow their children to interact with and learn alongside other home-schooled peers. The opportunities for socialization are numerous - swim lessons at the YMCA, staging a play with like-minded friends found over the Internet, or any of myriad academic courses offered at cooperative schools in the area.

Thanks, Shelley, for the link.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Show and Tell: Art by Kaisha

submitted by Kaisha, age 17

All Kansas Homeschoolers are invited to submit items for Show & Tell. Email goobmom23 AT yahoo DOT com.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Halloween Parade ~ 2007

There is still plenty of time to email your Halloween Photos to Kansas Homeschool Network. Just email a digital image to goobmom23 AT yahoo DOT com before the end of November.

Tori, the witch (age 12) and Joshua, the camo boy (age 5)

Evie, the Witch (age 11)

Maddie, the Pet Vet (age 9)

Kaman, Luke Skywalker (age 6)

View the 2006 Halloween Parade.

Interactive Online Periodic Table

I'm going to try to start posting more links to good websites. Thanks to Lettie Thomas for alerting me to this site.

WebElements Periodic Table

She recommends the "scholar" link at left.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Unschooling Voices #10

is up at An Unschooling Life.

Lots of good reading!

If you want to participate in Issue #11, the topic is:

Issue #11 (will be out on December 1)

Unschooling through the ages: How, if at all, does unschooling look different as your child ages and grows. Is it different now than it was a few years back? What role does age play in unschooling?

If you don't have a blog or website, I am more than happy to post your entries here.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Day in the Life of...

submitted by Kandy Crosby-Hastings

Everyday in our house is different. For instance, yesterday we had a playgroup that I started for the boys where we looked at an "I Spy" book, had snacks, made art out of recycled materials, and played with the other kids. When we came home, my sons had fun with an art project. Then my four-year old surprised me by writing his name. He's never written more than just random letters without tracing. His name is Taliesin. He wrote "Tali," then told me he needed me to write the "e". I wrote "e" and he finished "sin". It really surprised me. I'm excited that he's starting to see that letters go together to make words. Then last night, both of my sons decided they needed to paint. We had just let each of them chose a
color of tempera paint at the hobby store. They had a lot of fun.

I believe that learning takes place all the time, not just during the school year, Monday through Friday, from 8:00-3:00.

I was homeschooled when I was younger. (Still am, I guess. I'm finishing my degree through an online college). I knew before I even planned on having kids that I would homeschool them. My reason for homeschooling was religious - that still is the main reason. Now,however, since I've been reading more John Holt, I have to agree with a lot of his philosophies that, in general, the home and activities out and about in society are the best environments for learning.

The most difficult part of homeschooling for me was learning not to structure things. I tried when we first started to structure everything - 20 minutes for this, 10 minutes for that. My four-year old taught me that this would not work for him. Then I found Home Education magazine at the public library. It talked about "child-directed" learning. I was amazed.

Someone I worked with told me about something called unschooling. I did an internet search, and the rest is history. :^)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Disney Homeschool Days is back in session!

Anybody looking for a vacation destination in January?

Dear Homeschool Educator,

Thank you for dedicating your life to being a Homeschool educator. As a parent, we know that seeking innovative approaches to learning are important for your children. We would like to invite you and your students to experience out-of-this-world learning with Disney Homeschool Days at Epcot® January 14 & 15, 2008. With hands-on interactions and eye-opening experiences around every corner, your students will be inspired to really soar.

Disney Homeschool Days welcomes homeschoolers. Parents and extra guests can also join in activities designed specifically for you.

Disney Youth Education Series (Y.E.S.) Programs are back by popular demand! -- Disney Y.E.S. Programs are interactive educational workshops that use the Walt Disney World Theme Parks as the classroom. Open enrollment in Disney Y.E.S. Programs being offered:

NEW! Disney's Ocean Discoveries - Monday, January 14 & Tuesday, January 15
Dynamics of Technology - Monday, January 14 only
Everyday Chemistry - Tuesday, January 15 only
Synergy in Science - Monday, January 14 & Tuesday, January 15
Disney Speaker Series — We are taking our Speaker Series to a new level! You won't want to miss our line-up of Professionals. Check back for more information!
Disney Homeschool Days packages are available. Book today as space fills up quickly.

Disney Homeschool Days Package includes admission to Epcot®, self-guided materials and the Speaker Series for $43.15

Add-on a Disney Y.E.S. program for $24.00. Programs offered: Dynamics of Technology, Everyday Chemistry, Synergy in Science, and Disney's Ocean Discoveries.
Plus, groups receive one complimentary ticket for every 10 Disney Homeschool Days Tickets* purchased!

Book your experience today by visiting or by calling toll-free at 1-800-950-0472!

*Complimentary tickets are not valid for Disney Y.E.S. Programs.

Un-School Days

Un-school Days, by Cindy Webb was in the October 2007 issue of Tulsa Kids.

...unlike other traditionally home-schooled children, Matt had no formal schooling at all until he was 16 years old and requested it. He then attended TCC taking algebra and calculus through a concurrent enrollment program offered to high school age students. But just because Matt wasn’t formally schooled doesn’t mean he wasn’t educated. Matt’s parents chose a different educational approach known as “unschooling.” Matt’s mother Leslie, a child development major in college, hadn’t planned on such a non-traditional approach to education for her children. “The first homeschooler I met happened to be an unschooler,” says Leslie. “Her children had such a fire for learning. I wanted my kids to always have a passion for learning.”

Thursday, October 18, 2007

October Site Updates & News

Starting in November, the website will no longer be available. Instead, please bookmark this location for current news and updates (including the upcoming Great Wolf Lodge Gathering in February)!

In the coming months, I will be moving all the great articles and resources from the former website to this blog. Please keep visiting. Your contributions continue to be welcomed and appreciated.

Scroll on down for this month's Show & Tell. We have quite an art gallery with contributions from Megan and Jenny. Also check out Nathanael in the newspaper!

Show and Tell ~ Art by Megan

Sketches from Megan, age 14

Show and Tell ~ Art by Jenny

Drawings by Jenny, age 12

Show and Tell ~ Nathanael made the Paper!

Nathanael, age 2, was pictured in the Salina Journal at the Not Back to School day hosted by Salina's A Walk in the Park Unschooling Group.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Science City Home School Days

Home School Days
November 6-9, 2007

All Home School families pay a reduced rate for admission to Science City and Extreme Screen movies during this week. Special facilitated programs are available each day.

Tuesday, Nov 6
10:45 am Planetarium - Sky Tonight
$3.50/per person

Wednesday, Nov. 7
10:45 am Planetarium- Planetary Adventure
$3.50/per person

1:00-2:00 pm Discovery Area Programs
$8.00/per person (includes General Admission)

Micronauts, ages 6 to 9
Design Studio, ages 10 and up
CSI, ages 14 to 18

Thursday, Nov. 8

10:45 am Planetarium – Sky of Day and Night

Friday, Nov. 9

10:45 am Planetarium - The Big C

1:00-2:00 pm Discovery Area Programs
$8.00/per person (includes General Admission)

Kinderlab, ages 4 to 7
Gross Science, ages 6 to 9
Dino Hunter, ages 10 and up

Advance reservations are required for planetarium and Discovery Area programs. Space is limited and a minimum number is required. Early reservations are recommended.

Please call (816) 460-2020 to make your reservation
Additional information about the above programs can be found at

Kansas City Museum

November 6-9, 2007


Tuesday November 6th
10:00- Wonders of the Night Sky
11:00- Little Pioneers
11:30- Lunch
12:15- Soda Fountain Tour (includes free ice cream cone)

Wednesday November 7th
10:00- Stormy Skies and Starry Nights
11:00- Lunch
11:30 Frontier Science
12:30 Soda Fountain Tour (includes free ice cream cone)

Thursday November 8th
10:00 Wheel in the Sky Star Show
11:00 Lunch
11:30 Secrets of the Mansion Tour
12:30 Soda Fountain Tour (includes free ice cream cone)

Friday November 9th
10:00- Planet Patrol
11:00- Settling of Kansas City Tour
12:00- Lunch
12:30- Soda Fountain Tour (includes free ice cream cone)

Prices: $6/child for an entire morning of programs. No reservations necessary. Pay at the Museum on the day of program.

Adults are required to accompany children during all Museum programs. Lunch room space is available.

Please call (816) 483-8300 for specific information about programs
The Kansas City Museum is located at 3218 Gladstone Blvd.

Monday, October 01, 2007

In Defense of Constant Learning

An essay in the Chicago Beacon-News, September 30, 2007

To us, school is about the love of learning. We rarely define any moment of the day as "doing school." Equal importance is given to "formal" teaching and teachable moments. One day, we invited homeschool friends over to just dig in the yard. Our younger kids transplanted bulbs and found worms. Our older children built a "bug house" by laying down rocks, putting up a canopy of twigs, laying out leaves as decorations to entice the creatures, and putting out some spiky-looking branches to deter the birds.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Musing of the Month

Musing of the Month:
"Everything is beginning to look like cotton candy."
~Caleb, age 11
Kuddos via email:
We can't wait for the 2008 Great Wolf Lodge Trip!! Thanks for setting this up and doing the site!!! We love both!

Thanks, Claudia.
Details about GWL will be out in a couple of months. I've enjoyed organizing it and getting to know families from across the state.
~ Tracy

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Show and Tell ~ Triplets & Quadruplets!!

Holden and Mackenzie learned a bit about Photoshop from their aunt this summer. Boy was mom surprised when she ended up with quadruplets and triplets!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Friday, September 07, 2007

Food for Thought

Trashing Teens, Psychology Today, Mar/Apr 2007

Psychologist Robert Epstein argues in a provocative book, "The Case Against Adolescence," that teens are far more competent than we assume, and most of their problems stem from restrictions placed on them.

The factory system doesn't work in the modern world, because two years after graduation, whatever you learned is out of date. We need education spread over a lifetime, not jammed into the early years—except for such basics as reading, writing, and perhaps citizenship. Past puberty, education needs to be combined in interesting and creative ways with work. The factory school system no longer makes sense.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Unschooling Unmanual

From The Natural Child Project:

School is out. Unschool is in!

Our newest booklet, The Unschooling Unmanual, by Nanda Van Gestel, Rue Kream, Mary Van Doren and Jan Hunt, will be published this fall. Through engaging personal stories, examples, and essays, the writers offer inspiration and encouragement for seasoned and prospective unschoolers alike.

The booklet can be pre-ordered at a discounted price of $12.

Read Chapter One of "An Unschooling Adventure"

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Kansas Homeschool Network is planning the
Fourth Annual Area Homeschoolers
Great Wolf Lodge Get-Away

Mark your calendars for February 2008.
Details will be posted here as they become available.

Quick KS Area Blog Tour:

From Life Is Learning, Learning Is Life, Year-round: Reasons We Homeschool:

The academic individualization is our most publicly known reason. However, my DH and I love to travel around the US on vacation. We were married 10 years before kids and really enjoy vacationing in Sept/Oct and April, when all of the families with school kids AREN'T on vacation, too. So the family flexibility is
a biggie for us. DH likes the idea that every vacation can be "educational". I try to remind him that we don't have to make it like "lessons" when we go somewhere, just going and experiencing the new places and things is educational
in and of itself.And my other reason seems selfish, but I suppose it isn't really: I like my kids and I want to spend time with them. I don't want to miss out on their joy of learning.

Here's a cool resource from Jill at Praiseworthy Things.

I've just returned from a trip to another state for my brother's wedding. On coming home I saw this fun tool on Visited States. This would be fun to do with your kids and a nice lesson on geography as well.

Some comforting words from heymom at Thoze Amazing Crazy Dayz

I want to begin by saying that the fact that she is dreaming and thinking of her life as "her" life, is, in itself, a huge step forward. Only a few short months ago, she was so easily swayed by the opinions and actions of others. She had so little dreams of her own.While she talked to me, she seemed to be so at peace with the life around her and the way that it is going. This again, in
stark contrast to the way she felt...always swimming upstream, always fighting the world and herself...not that long ago.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Show and Tell ~ Earrings

by Evie, age 11

I made some earrings today here are some pics:

Here is a pic of the earrings I made M, they were the 2nd pair I made.

Here is a close up of M's earrings.

This is the pair I made for myself.

Here is a close up of the earrings I made for myself, they were the first pair I made.

This is the pair I made for my mom.

Show and Tell ~ Stepping Stone

Josh, age 5.5, shows off his stepping stone (complete with creepy crawlies!). He is also showing off some Pokémon figurines he bought at a garage sale.

Show and Tell ~ My Chemical Romance Box

Tori, age 12, painted this box. It's about her favorite band, My Chemical Romance.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Contemplation for the day


Contemplation for the day:

"What does nothing look like?"
~Kaman, age 6


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Salina Area Homeschoolers

A Walk in the Park Unschooling Group will meet bi-weekly, every other Tuesday, beginning August 21. On August 21, we are having a picnic/park/swimming party beginning at 11:00 a.m. at Oakdale Park. Everyone should bring a brown-bag lunch and prepare to have fun! We are celebrating the Not Beginning of School. If anyone has any questions, they can contact or 785-342-9823.

Our group is a no-cost compassionate unschooling group.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Show and Tell ~ Photos for the Fair

These are some of the pictures I might take to the 4-H Fair.

Maddie, age 8

Show and Tell ~ A Visit to Western Kansas

Spearville Wind Farm

Holden and Mackenzie in front of some of the 67 windmills just outside Spearville, Kansas. The wind farm generates enough electricity to power 33,000 homes!

We also visited the Sod House Museum in Kinsley.
This is a picture of the kitchen area in the sod house.

We saw some of the damage from the May 4 tornado. This picture was taken where the tornado crossed Highway 50 near Macksville.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Salina Area Not Back to School Day

When: July 14
Where: Lakewood Park in Salina

There will be lots of fun activities for the kids plus information for new or upcoming homeschoolers about homeschooling and unschooling. Everyone is welcome to come. Kids can play at the park, explore the nature trails and create their own lapbook.

For more details email.

Unschooling Voices Reminder

I'm slow to post the notice, but there is still time to submit entries to the Unschooling Voices July Carnival.

July '07
Two questions again - please remember they're always optional. First, what advice would you have given to yourself early in your unschooling journey? Second, ask your kids to take pictures of their favorite ________ (favorite whatever; person, place, thing, etc). Don't forget to share them on our flickr group.

If you don't have a blog and would like to submit something, feel free to send it to and I will post it here.

Friday, June 22, 2007

How-To DVDs

Our family has long been a fan of Netflix, and this place rents how-to videos on a similar program. It was forwarded to me by a homeschooling family in western Kansas. I've already ordered my first video. There is an amazing selection of how-to programs; everything from home wiring and auto mechanics to computer graphics programs and oil painting. The rental price is generally $9.99 per DVD, but for an introduction to a subject you are interested in it is a lot cheaper than taking a class.

I've made an affiliate, so click the link below to view the selection. Let us know if you find any that you or your kids especially like. It looks to me like there is a little something here for everyone. But teens and adults might especially benefit from some of the videos found here. How-To DVD Rental

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Update on the Rethinking Education Conference

Register by July 14, and get a $20 per person discount.
Also, grandparents can attend free of charge!
This year's featured speaker is John Taylor Gatto.

Rethinking Education Website

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Show and Tell ~ LAHN and TAHN Field Trip


Peeper Horse Ranch & Moon Marble

In April, kids from LAHN (Lawrence) and TAHN (Topeka) traveled to the Kansas City area to tour Peeper Horse Ranch and Moon Marble Company.


"Every kid has a learning style that is going to unlock the world for them; I think some just need to get to push a lot of buttons in the process."
~Ann Vetter

Life is Good: NW Unschooling Conference

It's a long drive, but if you're looking to plan a vacation anyway:

LIFE is Good
NW Unschooling Conference

Red Lion Hotel ~ Vancouver, WA
Memorial Day Weekend, May 22 - 25, 2008
Learning In Freedom Everyday!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Arithmetic is child's play

I found this link at Wendy Priesnitz ~ Challenging Assumptions Weblog.

Press Release from the University of Nottingham.

Children are able to solve approximate addition or subtraction problems involving large numbers even before they have been taught arithmetic, according to a study conducted by researchers from The University of Nottingham and Harvard University.

The study, published in the journal Nature and undertaken at Harvard University, suggests that children do not need to master either the logic of place value or the addition table in order to perform approximate addition and subtraction.

Children's difficulty with learning school arithmetic may stem from the need to produce an exact number when solving problems.

I remember John Holt talking about this in one of his books (one of the early books I read on unschooling). It was timely, for me, as I remember witnessing this kind of innate skill in my oldest. She was probably around three at the time.

I am still impressed with the way my children trust themselves with numbers while I'm still counting on my fingers to "check" what I think I know.

Show and Tell ~ Book Recommendations

I recommend reading ttyl, ttfn and l8r, g8r. It is a series by Lauren Myracle. They are different than other books in that it is told from instant messages and texting. They are about three girls in high school and what happens to them during the three years each book is one year. They are fun books to read and they are hard to put down. I was kind of bugged by the fact that I didn't know what was going on in their school unless they explained it. But I really liked them and have read them several times. My mother has read them as well and enjoyed them too.
NOTE: there is language and sexual content.

Victoria, age 11 (almost 12!)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Show and Tell ~ Website

Evie's website This is Evie's first website. She has put it together using Yahoo PageBuilder, Microsoft FrontPage, and just the very basics of html.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Unschooling Voices #9

The June entries have been posted. This is a good place for browsing some fun unschooling blogs.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Science and Computer Camp for homeschool students

From Hesston College

I believe they have this camp every year. Article about the camp in case you have kids interested in attending next year.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Unschooling Coop Open House ~ Salina

Invite from Lea to Salina area homeschoolers:

Our first open house is Saturday, May 26 at the Salina library from 10am to noon. It will be in the Prescott Room (in the children's section). We will have snacks, unstructured activities and more info on us and what we have planned for the future. It is a come-and-go activity and is definitely optional. We will be having another one in June, possibly June 14th.

Our first group meeting will be on August 3rd at Jerry Ivey Park here in Salina. That will be a park day/picnic where we (as in everybody that comes) will discuss in detail more of what we want to plan and do as a group and a coop. The park has lots of room for outside games and has a water fountain for playing in as well as a duck pond. Our first coop day will follow at either the end of August or beginning of September. It will largly depend on what is planned at the August park day.

If you can't make it to any of these activities but you still want some info on us and to get to know us then you can check out our web page or email Lea at or rebbecca at angel_eyes_becca_ and_hannah@

This is a co op where everybody is involved in the planning, participating and hosting of coop days. It is secular in nature and our goal is to not exclude anyone while at the same time keeping harmony among our members.

I'm really looking forward to meeting and talking with more unschoolers in the area (or even really far away if you're willing to drive).


Friday, May 18, 2007

The latest trend in education: Unschooling

from Minnesota Public Radio

Unschooling isn't a new idea. Thinkers from Socrates to Jean Jacques Rousseau have touted the benefits of letting a child's interests lead their education.

Helping vs. Co-creation

I just came across this gem at Scott Noelle's

Q: How do you know when it's appropriate to offer your child help/assistance?

His most excellent answer can be found here.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Learning Outside the Lines: Homeschooling in Kansas

...from the Lawrence Journal-World

More Kansas parents are choosing to home school, convinced they can provide their children a better education than public or private schools. Whether motivated by religion, scheduling flexibility or an aversion to bureaucracy; these families say home education thrives in a state where few regulations govern what and how they teach.

The above link will take you to the list of articles. I like the variety of opinions being expressed here. I will go ahead and point out a few specific pieces.

Rain Quinlan deals with home school stereotypes

Sarah Sobonya says unschooling led to creativity

Homeschoolers say socialization not a problem

Former home schoolers transition to college, work

I had not heard this before (and I'm curious, is it accurate?):
Starting in 2008, home-schoolers at state universities also will be required to pass the GED for admission.

Also want to point out this article by HSLDA.
Scott Woodruff explains Kansas home school laws

Hot pockets of stubborn opposition to home schooling occasionally arise in Kansas, but the forecast for the future is excellent. There is nothing like individual ownership to improve the way something is cared for, and home school families take full ownership of their children’s education.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Moms of Show & Tell


Welcome to our special Show & Tell edition.

Ann has an article coming out in this month's issue of Live Free Learn Free.

Claudia shares photos of a recent crafty project. “This is a shirt I made for my daughter for her favorite band (mcrmy is the website the fans get together on and talk). It may not look like it, but it took a while! I was trying to keep the letters all the same size and legible. I like doing crafty stuff like that. I have made drapes for several rooms in our house and a couple of skirts. I am best at straight line sewing. My next project is painting our hallway.”

Jan is working on a scrapbook for her in-law's 35th wedding anniversary.

Nancy, Pezmaniac, says... “I'm a PEZhead. Many places online I go by “Pezimaniac”. That's from my combination of liking PEZ and the Animaniacs. I started collecting in 1995. I put up my first PEZ webpage in April 1997. It still exists but has not been updated since November 2005. (It has many broken links and is somewhat awkward to navigate, but you can see some of my PEZ there.) Both my webpage and my collecting have been neglected (but not forgotten) since I became a mom. I go to PEZ collector conventions, and I buy and sell on the internet. I haven't counted my PEZ in years, but I am sure that I have over 1000 in my collection. I still get excited when I find a new PEZ at a grocery store or an old one at an antique mall.”

a picture of the Pez collection from June 1996
Brita Velveeta (a normal sized traveling PEZ)and some of my giants
the "PEZ corner" in my living room now - those on the wood shelves are for playing with and giving away (not the kid, of course ;-)

Tracie shares her artwork.