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.