VaHomeschoolers Out and About - February 2008
The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers www.VaHomeschoolers.org Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association.
VaHomeschoolers Out and About - February 2008
Welcome to the February 2008 Out and About - a publication designed to connect homeschoolers to activities and events across the Commonwealth!
Happy Valentine’s Day! Out and About continues to grow each month, and February offers up some great opportunities. Statewide, several competitions are up for grabs. New Market, and Williamsburg have several battlefield educational opportunities to offer, and the chance to help the Chesapeake Bay is offered for those of us close to Richmond or Alexandria. Make Valentine's Day cards or learn about robotics in Washington DC, and those near Burke and Chesapeake have the chance to see and play some outstanding chess. Finally, VaHomeschoolers is giving new homeschoolers the chance to gather in Herndon to learn more about the homeschooling journey. Enjoy the fantastic options available in the Commonwealth this month.
As always, if you are interested in having an activity or event included, please see the submission guidelines included after the event listings.
In This Issue
- FeederWatch Bird Counting
- Picture Book Writing Competition
- Middle School Essay Contest
- New Market - New Market Battlefield State Historical Park Homeschool Day
- Harrisonburg - Outdoor Adventure Classes
- Richmond and Alexandria - Grasses for the Masses
- Richmond - Virginia Aviation Museum Homeschool Aviation Adventures
- Williamsburg - Jamestown Settlement & Yorktown Victory Center Homeschool Days
- Williamsburg - Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Home Educator Experience
- Williamsburg - REACH Homeschool Formal
- Portsmouth - Outdoor Sculpture Competition
- Hampton - Virginia Air & Space Egg Drop Competition
- Newport News - Mariners' Museum "Captive Passages" Classes
- Chesapeake - Indian River Spring Scholastic Chess Tournament
- Montross - Westmoreland State Park Project Wild Outdoor Education
- Herndon - VaHomeschoolers Beginning Homeschooling Seminar
- Reston - GIFTSNVA Teaching Social Skills to Special Needs Kids
- McLean - Farm Skills at Claude Moore Colonial Farm
- Burke - Virginia Scholastic Chess Championship
- Washington DC - National Postal Museum Programs
- Washington DC - National Museum of the American Indian Programs
- Washington DC - National Building Museum Discover Engineering Family Day
Homeschool students across North America can learn about science and have fun while they count birds and record information that scientists need to understand the movements and abundance of feeder birds. Project FeederWatch, a citizen-science project from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada, is a perfect fit for the homeschool curriculum. The Homeschooler’s Guide to Project FeederWatch is now available online at http://www.feederwatch.org/.
Sign up by calling (800) 843-2473 or by visiting http://www.feederwatch.org/.
Second Annual Picture Book Writing Competition for Homeschool Students
Sylvan Dell Publishing invites you to participate in the second annual Picture Book Writing Competition for Homeschooled Students!
Sylvan Dell owners, Lee and Donna German, homeschooled their three daughters and, inspired by their own experience, wish to continue nurturing creative freedom among homeschooled students. This competition is open to any homeschooled student at the high school level. The winning author will receive $200 and serious consideration for publication.
Students wishing to submit manuscripts should follow the submission guidelines posted on the Sylvan Dell Web site, http://www.sylvandellpublishing.com/HomeschoolingComp.htm . Submission e-mails should be sent only to MaggieStuart@... between March 1 - March 31, 2008, with "Homeschool Writing Contest Submission" and the manuscript title in the subject line.
Virginia Middle School Essay Contest
The American Council of Engineering Companies of Virginia will hold a Middle School Essay contest, open to ALL middle school students (6th - 8th grade) across Virginia. Cash prizes will be given to the top 3 winners in each school district on the topic of "Sustainability". Online Registration Deadline (no exceptions!) - Friday, February 22, 2008. Essay Entry Deadline - postmark by Monday, March 31, 2008.
All Virginia 6th - 8th grade students are eligible to participate. Win cash prizes and learn more about engineering!
Please contact Nancy Israel at nisrael@... or (804) 673-1229 if you have questions about the competition. The guidelines, requirements, and registration are now available online at http://www.acecva.org.
New Market - New Market Battlefield State Historical Park Homeschool Day
New Market Battlefield State Historical Park offers its Homeschool day on Wednesday, March 26, 2008 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Activities include interactive guided tours, military drill, black powder demonstrations, 19th century crafts, storytelling, cooking demonstrations, games and period dancing. This event is free but does require advance registration, and it is held rain or shine.
For more information on the Homeschool Day and directions, contact the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park at (866) 515-1864 or visit http://www4.vmi.edu/museum/nm/index.html.
Harrisonburg - Outdoor Adventure Classes
WILD GUYde Adventures offers Outdoor Adventures for Homeschoolers grades 2nd - 12th,beginning in May.
The natural world gives us a marvelous setting in which to find this adventure, as well as experience God's beauty, learn new skills, and make friends. This spring, WILD GUYde Adventures will be providing several outdoor experiences for home-schooled students and their parents. Activities like rock climbing, canoe paddling, hiking, and caving will provide outdoor opportunities for families to experience exciting fun with friends, physical skill learning, and fitness apart from traditional team sports. Students in Grades 2-3 will have three half-day trip options (2 hikes, and 1 canoe day); students in grades 4-6 will have four day-trip options (hiking, rock climbing, paddling, and caving); and students in Grades 7-12 will have four day-trips (hiking, climbing, paddling, and caving), coupled with an environmental study topic for each.
Check out the website for specific dates, prices, medical forms, and previous participant feedback: http://wildguyde.com/2005adventureclassroom.htm.
Richmond and Alexandria - Grasses for the Masses
You can help restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay and Virginia’s rivers by participating in Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Grasses for the Masses program. Volunteers in the program grow wild celery, a type of underwater grass, in small tubs in their homes for 10 weeks, then help plant the grasses in local rivers to boost the population of this critical Bay resource. Combined with efforts to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution and soil runoff, the program helps improve the Bay’s health by increasing the amount of grasses in the Bay.
Attend a Grasses for the Masses workshop to receive a growing kit, seeds, and instructions ($30 fee, which includes a year of CBF membership).
*Richmond - February 13, 23 (6:30 p.m.)
*Alexandria - February 19, 26 (6:30 p.m.)
To reserve your spot, please sign-up on-line. Contact Jess Barton at or (804) 780-1392 if you have any questions. More information can be found at http://www.cbf.org/site/PageServer?pagename=act_sub_restoration_grasses_masses.
Richmond - Virginia Aviation Museum Homeschool Aviation Adventures
Homeschooled students fly high at the Virginia Aviation Museum! Join the Virginia Aviation Museum on the third Monday of each month (fourth Monday in February) at 9:30 or 11 a.m. for an amazing aviation adventure! On Monday, February 25, 2008 February's topic: Black Wings. March's topic: Female Flyers. Fee: $1 per student plus museum admission.
Call (804) 236-3622 or e-mail Dave Reisenwitz at vameducation@... today to reserve your Homeschool Monday adventure!
See the website for other great programs: http://www.vam.smv.org/education/home_school.asp.
Williamsburg - Jamestown Settlement & Yorktown Victory Center Home Educator Program
Jamestown Settlement & Yorktown Victory Center offer History is Fun! for Homeschoolers from February 21 - March 4, 2008. Your homeschool students will love discovering the sights and sounds of the 17th and 18th centuries while learning about their nation's history. And you will love the variety of curriculum-based education programs offered for a range of grade levels - all taught by trained museum educators.
Programs are available for families and kids of all ages.
Find complete information here: http://historyisfun.org/pdf/Youth-Programs/Home_Educator_Program08.pdf.
Homeschool admission tickets are available for online purchase at http://www.historyisfun.org. For more information about homeschool programs, contact Group Reservations at: group.reservations@... or call (757) 253-4939.
Williamsburg - Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Home Educator Experience
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundations offers the Home Educator Experience from February 20 - March 5, 2008.
Events of the 1770s pushed Williamsburg and its residents into Revolution and Independence. Yet, while politics raged, domestic life and work as well as commerce continued. Learn about running a household and preparing foods, colonial diversions and pastimes as well as education and apprenticeships at the Benjamin Powell House. This original 18th- century site will open exclusively for spring participants in our Home Educator Experience. Explore our shops of our various tradespeople, such as the Blacksmith, Cabinetmaker, Silversmith, Milliner, and Tailor, to find out what kind of work you might have done once you finished your apprenticeship.
Other Upcoming Special Programs: African American Programs: February 1-29, 2008
For more information, call (800) 280-8039 or visit http://www.history.org/history/teaching/groupTours.
Williamsburg - REACH Homeschool Formal
THe REACH Homeschool Formal will be held at the Great Wolf Lodge on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
This annual Formal is for all teens 13 and up. It is limited to 150 teens and 25 chaperones.
Before February 20, the cost is $45.00 per teen. This includes food and door prizes.
From February 21 - March 15, the cost is $50.00 per teen.
From March 16 - to April 20, the cost is $60.00 per teen.
No tickets sold after April 21.
Please email Wanda at sloper04@... for complete information.
Portsmouth - Courthouse Galleries Programs
The Courthouse Galleries, housed in the 1846 Courthouse, are devoted to offering quality educational, cultural and aesthetic experiences in the arts through rotating visual art exhibits, lectures, classes, and performances.
Outdoor Sculpture Competition February 8 - October 12, 2008 The outdoor sculpture exhibition, now in its third year, is displayed in the historic courtyard of the Courthouse Galleries.
New Revolutions - Wood-turners from Tidewater February 8 - May 4, 2008 - Entrance Galleries Featured in this exhibition are wood-turners from the tidewater region of Virginia, many of whom are members of the Tidewater Turners. Works by Bob Chiavarini, Tom Crabb, Mike Dennis, Cliff Guard, Jim Vogle, Wolfgang Voglebean and Jerry Whitehurst are offered.
To learn more, including hours and directions, see: http://www.courthousegalleries.com/about.html
Hampton - Virginia Air & Space Egg Drop Design Contest
The Virginia Air & Space Center sponsors the Fifth Annual Egg Drop Design Contest on Saturday, March 1, 2008. Registration at 9:30 a.m. The goal is to design the lightest possible container for a fresh egg that will prevent the egg from breaking or cracking when dropped from the upper floors of the Air & Space Center. Four age categories: Grades 5 & under, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, College/Adults
Newport News - Mariners' Museum "Captive Passages" Classes
The Mariners' Museum presents "Captive Passages" classes - one for K-5th and one for 6th-12th on Thursday, February 21, 2008 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. This hands-on program will help students discover how the institution of black slavery shaped the history, culture, and commerce of four continents over the course of five centuries, and how its impact is still felt today. Reproduction artifacts and musical instruments give students the opportunity to explore the transference of African culture across the Atlantic to the Americas. Through the use of maps and other teaching materials students will examine the Triangle Trade, and come to a better understanding of the role slavery played in the development of the Americas.
Students are encouraged to bring questions they may have about the history of slavery, the impact the trade had on enslaved Africans, and the development of the societies of those that enslaved them. Museum Educators will facilitate discussion and discovery in this lively program.
For information, see the Museums’s website: www.mariner.org/educationalad/homeschool/index.php
Chesapeake - Indian River Spring Scholastic Chess Tournament
Saturday, February 23, 2008 at Indian River High School
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.
Beginners are encouraged to attend.
Please see http://mysite.verizon.net/eschlich/IRHS.html for complete information.
Montross - Westmoreland State Park Wildlife Education Program
Westmoreland State Park offers Project Wild - a Wildlife Education Program on Saturday, February 23, 2008 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. During the workshop, participants will receive a Curriculum Guide and the Va. State Park's Your Backyard Guide that contains a wide variety of activities that teach about wildlife, habitat and ecosystems, along with supplementary information about Virginia's wildlife. This is a hands-on inquiry based workshop. Dress comfortably, wear walking shoes, and be prepared to spend some time outside. Registration is required.
Herndon - VaHomeschoolers Beginning Homeschooling Seminar
On Saturday, February 23, 2008 from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., VaHomeschoolers offers its Beginning Homeschooling Seminar at Dranesville United Methodist Church, 1089 Liberty Meeting Court, Herndon, Virginia. Find answers to your questions and the information you need to begin homeschooling. Learn about the legal avenues for homeschooling in Virginia, and get the full scoop on filing papers, homeschooling methods, curriculum options, common mistakes, options for testing and assessments, and more!
For more information and to register: http://www.vahomeschoolers.org/seminars/2008_NoVa_Beginning_Seminar.asp
Contact seminar@... with questions or for additional information.
Reston - Teaching Social Skills to Special Needs Kids
GIFTSNVA is a support group for those homeschooling children with special needs. The group meets the fourth Monday of each month from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m., at Reston Bible Church. This month's topic is teaching social skills; our speaker is Rachel Cherian, MSW, of In Step, home of Stepping Stones, http://www.insteppc.com/ Free. RSVP or questions to Pat Whittle or Kathy Kuhl GiftsNVAemail@example.com
McLean - Farm Skills at Claude Moore Colonial Farm
Come learn Farm Skills at Claude Moore Colonial Farm in McLean,VA. Farm Skills is a great opportunity to teach homeschoolers about skills vital to life on an 18th century farm, such as candle dipping, wool carding, wool spinning, and corn pounding. You do not need to be an expert on colonial skills already; you will be taught everything you need to know! Farm Skills is a very popular program, and is held most Thursday mornings in the spring, summer, and fall from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Homeschool parents, this is a great opportunity for you and your children to work together, learn, and teach.
Adult volunteers will be paid an honorarium of $30 for each Farm Skills day they work.
Burke - Annual Virginia Scholastic Chess Championship
March 8 - 9, 2008 at Lake Braddock Secondary School
This event is more suitable for experienced players and requires USCF membership. Beginners are still welcome to attend.
Complete information can be found at: http://www.vachess.org/scholastics/07-08%20State%20Ch/StateCh_HomePage_Final.htm
Washington DC - National Postal Museum Programs
Valentine Card Making Family Workshop Thursday, February 14, 2008 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Valentine's Day became America's first postal holiday in the 1840s. Continue the tradition by making creative cards at this workshop for all ages. Inspiration, sentiments, and beautiful materials will be provided. This workshop is appropriate for both adults and children.
Black History Family Day Saturday, February 23, 2008 12:30-3:30 p.m.
Small communities can change the world. Explore the cultural landscape-literature in Harlem, New York, the blues in the Mississippi Delta, and quilting traditions in Gee's Bend, Alabama-in stamps, stories, and heritage. Enjoy fun art, geography, and listening activities appropriate for families.
No reservations are required unless specifically noted. To join the National Postal Museum mailing list or for more information, e-mail Public Programs Coordinator Erin Blasco at blascoe@... or call (202) 633-5533. More information can be found at the museum's website at http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/museum/1b_calendar.html.
Washington DC - National Museum of the American Indian Programs
Storytelling Saturday, February 2, 2008 at 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Join Matthew Nicolai and his son David as they share the ancient art form of Airraq-ing string storytelling.
Demonstrations Chocolate Of The Americas
Saturday, February 9, 2008 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 10, 2008 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 14, 2008 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Richard Hetzler, executive chef of the museum’s critically acclaimed Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe, will demonstrate the culinary arts of the chocolatier. Smithsonian biologist Diana Xochitl Munn (Mazatec), expert on Mexico’s cloud-forest vegetation, will share the science, history, and culture of the cacao, or cocoa tree, using live plants and the fruit of the tree and cacao beans. Indigenous Chocolate Growers and chocolate makers will be demonstrating growing techniques, artisans will be demonstrating arts relating to cacao, and an indigenous dance group will be performing.
http://www.nmai.si.edu/subpage.cfm?subpage=events&second=dc for more information.
Washington DC - Discover Engineering Family Day at the National Building Museum
Discover Engineering Family Day Saturday, February 16, 2008 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Become a creative inventor, an engineer, and a mathematician for a day! The National Building Museum and the National Engineers Week Foundation welcome families to debunk the myths of engineering and to discover how engineers turn their ideas into reality. We invite you to participate in a day-long festival packed with demonstrations, competitions, and hands-on fun for all ages.
Throughout the day children and adults can:
EXPLORE the inner workings of a real race car.
DESIGN, test, and build a model railroad bridge.
BUILD an Ascender, capable of carrying a ping pong ball four feet down a zip-line.
TAKE your Polaroid picture with Digit, from the PBS series Cyberchase.
CREATE a Flinker, something that neither floats nor sinks.
MAKE your very own parachute and watch it hover.
SPECIAL this year - Meet Nate Ball, host of PBS’s Design Squad, and watch as he rappels from the National Building Museum’s roof trusses using his new invention - the ATLAS powered rope ascender.
FREE. $5 donation suggested. Most appropriate for ages 5-13. For more information, please visit http://www.nbm.org/Events/defd.html Individual registration is not required.
Out and About is a publication made available to the Virginia homeschooling community by The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers. If you have an event you would like to include, please send a brief summary with contact information to the Out and About editor at outandabout@.... Submission deadline is the 24th of every month. VaHomeschoolers reserves the right to edit submissions for length and/or format. Inclusion of an event is up to the discretion of VaHomeschoolers and does not imply endorsement or guarantee.
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