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 Payne15@cox.net or rebbecca at angel_eyes_becca_ and_hannah@ yahoo.com.

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 EnjoyParenting.com.

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 KSHomeschool.net 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.

Friday, May 11, 2007

A Recovering Type-A Mom

by Lisa L. Heston

When given the opportunity to share something on KSHomeschool.net, my first thought was that I did not have anything to share. You see, I don’t really have any hobbies; I don’t do crafts; reading is not my forte’; I don’t make things for my kids (besides meals); and I really am not interested in beginning anything new. My life is packed with things to do. I have always been a Type-A person. I like lists. I like to organize, schedule, and analyze. I like to be in control – and in our family I had plenty of opportunity to do just that; this leads me to my story.

Six years ago I began home schooling with visions of grandeur. I knew that the life I had chosen for my family was going to be packed with educational experiences every day. It wasn’t long before I found that the structured curriculum sets were wonderful for me, but torturous for my sons. I began to lose control and panicked. There I was a Type-A, highly organized, completely scheduled woman with not a clue of what to do. I was convinced that it was because I hadn’t planned or scheduled enough. What was I to think when all of the home schooling moms around me were perfectly happy with their educational choices?

I began to explore alternatives to the way I was “schooling” my children and ran across unschooling. The sound of freedom resonated with me but also scared me to death. It took two years of struggling with my boys until I finally changed direction and began unschooling. It turns out that unschooling has been just as valuable a journey for me as it has been for them.

When I began this journey I didn't trust myself. I felt if I trusted, I would be hurt or disappointed. In learning to trust my children I began to allow myself to trust others. I had to relinquish control of a lot of things to be able to unschool. I needed to allow my children to choose for themselves instead of telling them what to do. Trust has given me the courage to pursue things I never thought possible. I am able to discuss my ideas and dreams in large groups without fear. I can even take risks based on others opinions. I can now choose to participate in life without a set of lists to plan out my future.

When I was busy making lists all of the time, I had very little joy. I was not fun to be around because my focus was on completing tasks. My friendships have gotten deeper and more significant to me since I have let go of the task master in myself. I have a new motto to live by: “Life before lists!” This motto has allowed me to relax and slow down to smell the flowers; enjoy some time with a friend; or take some pictures in nature. It has taught me that I don’t have to know all of the answers – I just need to know how to help find them. It has let me off the hook of perfection and into a life of relationships.

Relationships are important to me now. It is enjoyable to have coffee with a friend just to chat. I no longer worry about the tasks that I am not completing. I have become a better friend while unschooling my children as I watch them communicate with their friends. I have learned that friends are important in life because without them all that I would have is tasks. When I allow myself to be with friends it reminds me that I am valued.

Unschooling is most significant in that it has given me the ability to “be cool with me”. I still don’t have hobbies. If I had to decide what my hobby is, it would be spending my time serving others. It is hard to quantify, but that is who I am. I don’t have anything tangible that I can show people, but it offers me a deep sense of satisfaction. I know that life is a long journey and that at times I will become that type-A, list focused, organized, driven woman. But I know now that I have a choice about how I choose to live. Unschooling has grown me into a better friend and person. Even though I am still a little type A ;-)

Moms of Kansas Homeschool.net Show & Tell

Part II of II

Samantha says... “Besides my kids and of course my husband, I love yarn. I'm kind of addicted to it really. I crochet it and now I even knit it. I'm learning to spin it too. I wrote a filk song about my love of yarn. You can keep up to date with my addiction on my blog, The Fiber Star, because I've always wanted to be a star and my kids taught me to start now rather than wait.

Lisa shared some musings with us on being a Recovering Type-A Mom.
We liked it so much we published it in our articles section.

Justine writes...

I have a bird watching hobby that began about two years ago with pinecones, peanut butter, and bird seed. It has, since then, developed into a hobby that I have invested a significant amount of time and money in continuing. I use many different types of bird feeders and seeds to attract a variety of birds to my yard. I also attend bird watching excursions and classes in the area. I keep a list of the birds that I’ve seen that I’ve been able to identify, and my list is up to almost 60 birds. Of course, I’ve seen many more, but am not able to identify all the birds that I’ve seen, so I don’t include them on my list. This winter, I participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count and had over 20 species of birds in my backyard in the span of about an hour!

My most recent endeavor has been the placing of a blue bird box in my yard with the hope that the Eastern Bluebird would nest there. The bluebirds began looking for nesting sights over the winter months with some of the first nesting beginning early March. In my case, my nest box was not chosen for an earlier nesting, and I had just about given up hope, until about a week ago when I noticed a pair checking it out.

The past week, they were busy building a nest, and as of today, the female has laid two eggs.

I’ll offer meal worms (which I buy at a local bird store) for the bluebirds in a tray on a small tree near their nest while they are busy incubating and eventually feeding their young.
I often write about my birding adventures on my blog page.

Rebecca is prepping for her daughter's wedding only ONE weekend away.

Tracy says... “My mom built one of the first backyard ponds I'd ever seen almost 20 years ago. She added to it year by year, but hers was eventually surrounded by stone paths and tons of flowers and a big wooden swing shaded by a beautiful grape vine. Now we have many, many family members with backyard ponds and every one of them was inspired by my mom. Most of them even have plants and maybe even goldfish stock that started with my mother. The kids and I joined the backyard pond club this year. We hope to add a little year by year, but this was our big project for spring and we've spent countless hours already watching the fish and reading by the pond.”

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Home School Week at the Kansas City Museum

From: Sherri Woodward
Account Executive, Educational & Youth Groups
Union Station Kansas City

May 15th - May 18th Admission: $8.00 (Free for Adults)

Come join us for home school week at the Museum May 15-18, 2007. Each day is different and no reservations are necessary. Cost: $8.00 per day (Adults are free) A lunch room will be available for your use in between programs.


Wonders of the Night Sky (Ages 3-7)
Tuesday, May 15th 10:00am

Little Pioneers (Ages 3-7)
Tuesday, May 15th 11:00am

Soda Fountain Treat and Tour (Ages 3-7)
Tuesday, May 15th 12:15pm


Stormy Skies and Starry Nights (Ages 9-18)
Wednesday, May 16th 10:00am

Pioneering Spirit Tour (Ages 6-12)
Wednesday, May 16th 11:00am

Soda Fountain Treat and Tour (Ages 9-12)
Wednesday, May 16th 12:45pm


Kid's Workshop Dancing! (Ages 7-12)
Thursday, May 17th 10:00am
Run by the Friends of Alvin Ailey.

Spring Skies Star Show (Ages 7-18)
Thursday, May 17th 1:00pm


Planet Patrol (Ages 7-12)
Friday, May 18th 10:00am

Secrets of the Mansion Tour (Ages 7-12)
Friday, May 18th 11:00am

Soda Fountain Treat and Tour (Ages 7-12)
Friday, May 18th 12:30pm

If you have questions or would like additional information about any of the above programs please call the Kansas City Museum at (816) 483-8300. The Kansas City Museum is located at 3218 Gladstone Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64123.

We hope to see you at the Museum in May!