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VaHomeschoolers Out and About - January 2009

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  • Stephanie Elms
    The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers www.VaHomeschoolers.org Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association. VaHomeschoolers Out and About - January 2009
    Message 1 of 14 , Jan 1, 2009
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      VaHomeschoolers Out and About - January 2009

      The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
      www.VaHomeschoolers.org
      Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association.


      VaHomeschoolers Out and About – January 2009

      Welcome to the January 2009 Out and About - a publication designed to connect homeschoolers to activities and events across the Commonwealth!

      Happy 2009! The start of the new year is upon us, and with it comes some amazing opportunities. You can explore your artistic side, firm up your back side, tune up your listening ear, learn to be a storyteller, or dress up like a clown. Read about preparing for an emergency or prepare to play at Disneyland. Whatever January 2009 holds for you, have a fantastic time.

      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

      • Online Resource - Ready Virginia
      • Statewide Contest - World Water Day Poster Contest
      • Statewide Contest - All Kids Can...Create!
      • Statewide Opportunity - Disneyland Homeschool Rally
      • Norfolk - Science Sleepover for Girls
      • Norfolk - Virginia Symphony Orchestra Ensemble
      • Hampton/York - Actions Arts Academy Discount
      • Newport News - Virginia Living Museum Homeschool Day
      • Williamsburg - Circus Art Convention
      • Richmond - Storytelling Opportunities
      • Lorton - Art Programs
      • Fairfax - Free Symphony Tickets
      • McLean - Young Soloists Recital
      • Ashburn - Workouts for Homeschooled Children
      • Washington DC - Event Website


      Online Resource - Ready Virginia
      Read about how to prepare for emergencies and disasters. No nonsense suggestions and questions to ask within your family help with preparation that you hope you'll never need. Visit: www.readyvirginia.gov.

      Statewide Contest - World Water Day Poster Contest
      To celebrate World Water Day 2009, an International Poster Contest with the theme "Water and Culture" is being held by Nature's Voice Our Choice.

      The entry deadline is Sunday, March 22, 2009.

      For complete details, please visit: www.naturesvoice-ourchoice.org/index.php/Newsflash/EDUCATE.html.

      Statewide Contest - All Kids Can...Create!
      All Kids Can announces "All Kids Can...CREATE!", a national call for children’s art with a submission deadline of Friday, March 6, 2009.

      The theme, “Celebrating Who I Am,” invites young people to create visual art about their interests, talents, and dreams. All artwork submitted before the deadline will be included in an online art gallery. One artwork from each state and the District of Columbia will be displayed in a national touring exhibition that will debut June 2009 in Washington, D.C.

      Please visit: www.vsarts.org/allkidscancreate for more information, including eligibility, entry instructions and a link to the online application.

      Statewide Opportunity - Disneyland Homeschool Rally
      The official 3rd Annual Not Back to School Days Rally™ at Disneyland on September 14-17, 2009, is a great opportunity to celebrate the right to homeschool while visiting one of the most family-friendly places on Earth.

      Opportunities include: - Deeply discounted group rates on park hopper tickets - Y.E.S. classes taught by Disney staff – learn concepts in Physics, Animation, History, Leadership - Conference with exhibit hall, speakers, workshops, more - Food discounts at the conference - Deeply discounted hotel rooms at Disney hotels - Homeschool Talent Show - Homecoming Dance for Teens

      To find out more about this year's rally, please visit: www.southwest-home-education.com.

      Norfolk - Science Sleepover for Girls
      Join the fun on January 24 - 25, 2008 at the Norfolk Botanical Garden. Come meet some of the great women scientists that live and work in Hampton Roads and earn your career badge! This sleepover is open for any girl in 4-6th grade and her female chaperone. Experience a night of hands-on-fun and learning while making new friends! (Participants will be sleeping in Rose Garden Hall.)

      Learn complete details here: www.nbgs.org/education/programs/family.shtml#homeschool.

      Norfolk - Virginia Symphony Orchestra Ensemble
      Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 1:00 p.m., Virginia Symphony musicians Jorge Aguirre (violin) and Janet Kriner (cello) will entertain and inspire with a selection of classical music arranged for cello and violin. Held at the Ocean View Senior Center, please visit: www.norfolkarts.net for more information.

      Hampton/York - Actions Arts Academy Discount
      Action Arts Academy would like to send a special invitation to area homeschoolers. Get one week free, through January, at any location. Just mention "Homeschool online" coupon. For more information call (757) 303-KIKN, or visit: www.actionarts.us.

      Newport News - Virginia Living Museum Homeschool Day
      On Wednesday, January 28, 2009 the Virginia Living Museum’s classroom doors will open once again for “Homeschool Students Only!” They'll be presenting a selection of fun and engaging classroom programs that highlight important Natural Science and Earth Science concepts for elementary and middle school grades.

      In addition to those learning opportunities, there will be displays by NASA, the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary (NOAA) and the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NOAA). Participants can also delve into the world of microbes in the newest changing exhibit, "Microbes: Invisbile Invaders, Amazing Allies."

      Learn more by visiting here: www.thevlm.org/programsevents/calendar/specialevents.php.

      Williamsburg - Circus Art Convention
      February 20 - 22, 2009, the Circus is coming to Williamsburg, and there's a special place for homeschoolers. A new seminar for youth, ages 10 -16 is available, called "The Little Big Top." Students will learn clown makeup, comedy magic, clown skits, balloons, and juggling.

      Learn the complete details at: www.CircusMagic.com.

      Richmond - Storytelling opportunities
      Lots of people are interested in storytelling but have no idea where to begin. Here's a great opportunity to learn. On Saturday, February 28, 2009 in Richmond, Kim Weitkamp will be part of the Saturday Storytelling Series sponsored by the Virginia Storytelling Alliance (VASA). Not only will you get to network with other Virginia tellers, but you will have a chance to try your skills in a safe and encouraging environment. There will be workshops, storytelling exercises, info on getting bookings (whether you are a professional or hobbyist) and much more!

      Lunch is included! Don't miss this opportunity to find out if storytelling is for you! Plus, if you are already involved in storytelling, this is a great event to work on new material and get feedback from your peers. Cost is $75 for VASA members, $85 for non members. If you would like more information, email kimweitkamp@....

      Mentorship Program
      Youth ages 10-17 are invited to apply for a mentorship program.

      The goal of the mentorship program is to help students reach their full potential as a youth teller.

      This is a great opportunity that may result in participation in the National Youth Storytelling Showcase which is a wonderful program that brings together youth from all over the country to compete for cash prizes and the title of National Torchbearer!

      If you are interested in being a part of the mentor program, please contact Kim at (540) 449-1458.

      (Editor's Note: Kim will be a featured speaker at the 2009 VaHomeschoolers Conference and Resource Fair on May 22 - 23, 2009.)

      Lorton - Art Programs
      The Workhouse Art Center in Lorton now offers art classes, with many offerings suited for homeschoolers. A sampling of classes available include: Tiny Hands Create Big Art, for ages 3 - 5; Art Exploration, for ages 10 - 13; The Nature of Art, ages 6 - 9; and Art Expression, for ages 14 - 17.

      For complete information, please visit: www.workhousearts.org/classes.php.

      Fairfax - Free Symphony Tickets
      The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra is offering 100 free student tickets for their concert on Saturday, January 17, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts. This concert features internationally-renowned violinist, Jennifer Frautschi.

      After the first 100 tickets are reserved, students may obtain reduced-rate tickets at $15. In addition, accompanying adults receive the special rate of $35 when attending with a student.

      Free student tickets must be reserved by visiting: www.fairfaxsymphony.org. The deadline to reserve tickets to this concert is Wednesday, January 14, 2009.

      McLean - Young Soloists Recital
      Come enjoy a free concert on Sunday, January 11, 2009 at 3:00 p.m. Held at the Alden Theater in McLean, this concert will highlight five performers from ages 8 - 17.

      For more information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library/events/aldenconcerts.

      Ashburn - Workouts for Homeschooled Children
      CrossFit Northern Virginia, located in Ashburn, invites all homeschooled children and their parents to attend a FREE Saturday morning workout (starts at 10:00 a.m.) Identify yourself as a homeschooler to any of the trainers and you'll have the chance to discuss the CrossFit method of fitness training and its benefits. CrossFit offers fitness training, off-season sports training, self-defense, martial arts, and more.

      As a special offer for homeschoolers, enroll in a membership packages and receive 30% off the published rates.

      Learn more about CrossFit here: www.crossfitnorthernvirginia.com.

      Washington DC - Event Website
      Featuring over 300 free and inexpensive things-to-do every day in DC, www.whatsoncity.net is a great way to find fun opportunities around DC. The site includes music, theater, sports, dance, history, nature/ecology, volunteer opportunities, museums, poetry, storytelling, a kids' calendar and a teen calendar.


      The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
      www.VaHomeschoolers.org
      Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association.


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      Please feel free to forward this message to other homeschoolers and homeschool groups or email lists who might find this information useful. If this message was forwarded to you, be sure to join the VaHomeschoolers Announce List to receive future updates directly.  
       
      Join online: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VaHomeschoolersAnnounce
      Or via email: VaHomeschoolersAnnounce-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
       
      The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
      www.vahomeschoolers.org
      info@...
      PO Box 5131
      Charlottesville, VA 22905
      866-513-6173

    • Stephanie Elms
      The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers www.VaHomeschoolers.org Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association. VaHomeschoolers Legislative Report - January
      Message 2 of 14 , Jan 24, 2009
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        VaHomeschoolers Legislative Report – January 23, 2009

        The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
        www.VaHomeschoolers.org
        Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association.


        VaHomeschoolers Legislative Report – January 23, 2009

        by Celeste Land, The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers, Government Affairs

        Welcome to another year of homeschooling lobbying in the Virginia General Assembly.  With the economy on everyone’s mind, homeschooling legislation is very much on the backburner in Richmond this year. However, we still have much of interest to report to Virginia’s diverse homeschooling community.

        Joint Resolution Celebrating 25 Years of Home Instruction in Virginia

        On Tuesday, January 27, 2009, representatives of Virginia’s homeschooling community, past and present, will come together with legislators and officials of the state government in the General Assembly in Richmond to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the home instruction statute, which codified the right of Virginia families to educate their children at home.  This event is sponsored jointly by The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers (VaHomeschoolers) and the Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV), and was requested by VaHomeschoolers.

        Chairman of the House Education Committee, Delegate Robert Tata (R-Virginia Beach), and Chairman of the Senate Education and Health Committee Senator Edward Houck (D-Fredericksburg) are hosting the event, and will be presenting resolutions on the House and Senate floor commemorating the event.  They will be reading joint resolutions HJ 775 and SJ 385, which were requested by VaHomeschoolers.

        You and your families can watch the presentation of the resolutions at the General Assembly on Tuesday, January 27 via live streaming video, by visiting: http://legis.state.va.us/ and selecting the “live streaming video” options. Both the House and Senate typically begin deliberations at noon, and the presentation of the resolutions is likely to take place not long afterwards.

        Read the full text of HJ 775:
        http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=091&typ=bil&val=hj775

        Read the full text of SJ 385:
        http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=091&typ=bil&val=sj385
         
        Driver Education Bill Resurfaces

        VaHomeschoolers has met once again with Delegate Hugo (R-Centreville) to discuss the implications of driver education bill HB 2605, which would move the administration of driver education programs from the Department of Education to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). As with a similar bill introduced last year, HB 2605 inadvertently repeals the section of code allowing homeschooled students to take parent-taught driver education classes, and also inadvertently eliminates additional sections of code addressing how homeschooled students earn and receive driver’s licenses.  Delegate Hugo is a longtime supporter of homeschoolers, and has supported homeschool driver education in the past.  We are hopeful that Delegate Hugo will withdraw HB 2605 from consideration in the near future.

        Read the full text of HB 2605:
        http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?091+ful+HB2605

        Educational Tax Credit Bills

        Because VaHomeschoolers' membership is sharply divided over the issue of tax credits for homeschoolers, we do not support or oppose any homeschooling tax credit legislation. We do monitor such legislation closely for its possible impact on homeschoolers, and work with the patrons to craft or amend such legislation as needed.

        Despite the recent economic bad news and projected budget cuts, numerous educational tax credit and voucher bills were introduced in this year’s General Assembly. None of these bills are expected to advance far because of the current economic climate and the lack of state money for new ventures.  
        The current crop of tax credit bills of interest includes:

        HB 1976 (Ware, R-Powhatan) and SB 1278 (Newman, R-Forest
        ) are identical companion bills which would allow parents of public schooled, private schooled, or “home schooled” students to receive a tax credit of up to $125 (individual return) or $250 (joint return) per year for school supplies. “School supplies” are defined as “including, but not limited to, books, pencils, pens, paper, markers, calculators, instructional materials and other materials….used directly for the instruction of students being home schooled.” Neither bill describes how the tax credit would be administered, or provides a definition of “instructional materials”.  

        Read the full text of HB 1976:  http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?091+ful+HB1976

        Read the full text of SB 1278:  http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?091+ful+SB1278
         
        Our regular readers may recognize the language of HB 1965 (Saxman, R-Staunton) and SB 1221 (Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg), similar but not identical bills which would create income tax credits for businesses and individuals who make contributions to educational scholarship foundations. Scholarship foundations could be established to benefit public schools, private schools, or homeschooled students. Under HB 1965, homeschooling parents would not receive a tax credit for their educational expenses, but qualifying homeschooling families could receive scholarships for educational expenses from a scholarship foundation.  Under SB 1221, the scholarships are specifically designated for students attending either public or nonpublic schools; there is no mention of homeschooled students.  

        Read the full text of HB 1965: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?091+ful+HB1965

        Read the full text of SB 1221: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?091+ful+SB1221
         
        HJ 641 (Marshall, R-Manassas) would create a special joint subcommittee to study school choice in Virginia. Homeschooling is not specifically addressed in the proposal.

        Read the full text of HJ 641: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?091+ful+HJ641
         

        To Learn More or Take Action

        Persons wishing to express an opinion on legislation should contact their own delegate or senator as appropriate.

        http://legis.state.va.us/1_cit_guide/contacting_my.html  

        For complete text of any bills, see "Legislative Information" on the General Assembly's web page or contact VaHomeschoolers for more information.

        The General Assembly’s Constituent Viewpoint office provides a toll-free, intrastate telephone message center (during session) to take calls from citizens of the Commonwealth wishing to express an opinion on legislation. Callers will be asked to provide their name, address, and the issue on which they are expressing their opinion. The message will be transmitted to the constituent's appropriate legislators. If a caller seeks additional information concerning legislation or wishes to speak directly with a legislator, the operator will provide the telephone number. The hours of operation are from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The number for the toll-free opinion line is (800) 889-0229. Callers in the Richmond area may dial 698-1990.


        The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
        www.VaHomeschoolers.org
        Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association.


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        Please feel free to forward this message to other homeschoolers and homeschool groups or email lists who might find this information useful. If this message was forwarded to you, be sure to join the VaHomeschoolers Announce List to receive future updates directly.  
         
        Join online: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VaHomeschoolersAnnouncements
        Or via email: VaHomeschoolersAnnouncements-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
         
        The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
        www.vahomeschoolers.org
        info@...
        PO Box 5131
        Charlottesville, VA 22905
        866-513-6173

      • Stephanie Elms
        The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers www.VaHomeschoolers.org Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association. 2009 Conference and Resource Fair Science
        Message 3 of 14 , Jan 30, 2009
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          2009 Conference and Resource Fair

          The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
          www.VaHomeschoolers.org
          Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association.

          2009 Conference and Resource Fair
          Science Museum of Virginia - Richmond

          Friday, May 22 4:00-7:00
          Saturday, May 23 9:00-5:00
           
          Experience Life.  Experience Learning.  Homeschool!


          Planning is underway and the 2009 Conference is shaping up to be a fabulous event!  Come join us for a weekend of information and support with homeschoolers throughout Virginia, and see how we experience life and experience learning by schooling our children at home.  This conference promises something for new and experienced homeschoolers and fun for the whole family!   

          Focus on Our Featured Speaker

          VaHomeschoolers is proud to announce our featured speaker and presenter Kathleen Melin, parent-educator and author of By Heart: A Mother’s Story of Children and Learning at Home. Kathleen will speak about “Being Our Own Education Experts”. For anyone who feels the exhaustion from the daily grind, busy schedules and pressures of not living up to our own expectations, Kathleen reminds us that we are the experts of our own lives and the best teacher of our children.  She will also speak on homeschooling children who refuse or are reluctant to write. Kathleen's third session will bring to light new and innovative ways to customize a curriculum with resources and format beyond textbooks and worksheets.
           
          In addition to her work, By Heart: A Mother’s Story of Children and Learning at Home, Kathleen’s extensive writing career includes freelancing for various local and national publications, magazine editing and teaching English Composition at the University of Wisconsin.  As a spokesperson, author, presenter and coordinator, Kathleen has done extensive work in her community for the advancement of arts programming and promoting The Natural Step for Communities.  She has appeared at countless presentations, book signings, radio interviews, and readings.
           
          Additional Sessions, Family Programming, and Shopping

          With a full lineup of sessions and panels, we’ll cover a variety of home school topics, including: homeschooling teens and college transcript preparation, reluctant readers, beginning homeschooling, struggling learners, socialization, co-ops, teaching science and history and much more.  
           
          Everyone will have a good time with our family programming line-up.  National story teller Kim Weitcamp joins VaHomeschoolers to not only spin a tale or two, but hosts a workshop to teach you how to craft the perfect tall tale.  And back by popular demand are Barefoot Puppets performing Galapagos George.  Heidi Rugg and her puppets take viewers to the Galapagos Islands to learn the story of the last giant tortoise to be found on Pinta Island!
           
          Explore the latest in homeschooling resources and materials in our Vendor Hall.  Shop our Used Resource Fair for great deals on curricula, books, videos, and manipulatives.  With registration to the conference comes a Friday night talent show/ ice cream social, day-long admission to the Science Museum of Virginia and much, much more!

          Join Today and Receive Early Registration and Conference Discount

          VaHomeschoolers members receive early registration and a membership discount!

          Not a member? Join today! http://www.vahomeschoolers.org/join/.

          Already a member? Keep a lookout for your registration booklet in the mail in February.  

          For more information or to volunteer at the conference, please contact us at http://www.vahomeschoolers.org/conference/.



          The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
          www.VaHomeschoolers.org
          Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association.


          ~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~
          Please feel free to forward this message to other homeschoolers and homeschool groups or email lists who might find this information useful. If this message was forwarded to you, be sure to join the VaHomeschoolers Announce List to receive future updates directly.  
           
          Join online: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VaHomeschoolersAnnouncements
          Or via email: VaHomeschoolersAnnouncements-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
           
          The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
          www.vahomeschoolers.org
          info@...
          PO Box 5131
          Charlottesville, VA 22905
          866-513-6173

        • Stephanie Elms
          The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers www.VaHomeschoolers.org Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association. VaHomeschoolers Out and About - February 2009
          Message 4 of 14 , Feb 3, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            VaHomeschoolers Out and About - February 2009

            The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
            www.VaHomeschoolers.org
            Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association.


            VaHomeschoolers Out and About – February 2009

            Welcome to the February 2009 Out and About - a publication designed to connect homeschoolers to activities and events across the Commonwealth!

            Welcome to Black History Month and Happy Valentine's Day! There are some fantastic chances to do amazing things this month.  Several contests invite students to present their best ideas about the environment, their communities, and great books.  There's also the chance to count birds, try out for soccer, or learn from other authors at the Writers' Conference.  Finally, learn about our country's history through Civil War reenactments or celebrating the re-opening of Ford's Theatre.

            Whatever you do, enjoy the shortest month of the year on our way to Spring!

            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

            • Online resource - Wessels Living History Farm
            • Online Resource - Wyland Clean Water Challenge
            • Online Resource - Beach Chair Scientist
            • Statewide Contest - International Young Eco-Hero Awards
            • Statewide Contest - Do Something Awards
            • Statewide Contest - Watersheds International Poetry and Art Contest
            • Statewide Contest - Write a Book Review
            • Statewide Contest - African American Trailblazers Essay Contest
            • Statewide Resource - "African American Trailblazers in Virginia History" Program
            • Statewide Opportunity - Hosting Summer Delegates
            • Statewide Opportunity - Great Backyard Bird Count
            • Chesapeake - Girls' Soccer Tryouts
            • Virginia Beach - Fast-pitch Softball Tryouts
            • Norfolk - Botanical Basics Homeschool Course
            • Norfolk - Arts Within Reach Programs
            • Newport News - Civil War Living History Day
            • Newport News - 28th Annual Writers' Conference
            • Colonial Williamsburg - Home Educators' Weeks
            • Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center - Homeschool Days
            • Richmond - Pocahontas History Program
            • Richmond - Book Talk
            • Richmond - Science and Robo Camps
            • Shenandoah Valley - WILD GUYde Adventures
            • Winchester - Homeschool Fencing
            • Leesburg - Rust Nature Sanctuary Homeschool Day
            • Northern Virginia Resource - NoVa Homeschool Swap
            • Alexandria - Web Design Course
            • Washington DC - Valentines Card Workshop
            • Washington DC - Grand Reopening of Ford’s Theatre

            Online resource - Wessels Living History Farm
            The Wessels Living History Farm Web Site has over 400 stories about the history of agricultural innovation and the history of the 20th century. One of the site's strengths is that it relies on a series of oral history interviews. These streaming media segments can bring an historic period or event alive for students today.

            Learn more here: www.livinghistoryfarm.org.
             
            Online Resource - Wyland Clean Water Challenge
            The Clean Water Challenge is an innovative clean water education experience. The Clean Water Challenge is designed to instruct and inspire young people everywhere about marine science and the conservation of water quality on the planet. Through a unique range of continually updated activities, students are offered a global view of the planet’s oceans, lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, and wetlands, and humans' relationship to one of the greatest natural resources.

            For the full experience, visit here: www.wylandoceanchallenge.org.
             
            Online Resource - Beach Chair Scientist
            The Beach Chair Scientist is for anyone with an enthusiasm for learning about the science behind life in the ocean or along the seashore. www.beachchairscientist.com is the place for answers to those perplexing questions that occur while relieving tension on vacation.

            Statewide Contest - International Young Eco-Hero Awards
            Action For Nature (AFN) is a nonprofit organization that encourages young people around the world to carry out individual environmental action projects. AFN believes young people can have a positive impact on the environment, and that they are vital in changing the way humans live on our planet.

            AFN has created the International Young Eco-Hero Awards to recognize and reward the successful individual environmental initiatives of young people ages 8-16.

            To learn the complete details for application, visit here: www.actionfornature.org/eco-hero/ecoheroawards.html. The deadline for applying is Saturday, February 28, 2009.

            Statewide Contest - Do Something Awards
            Since 1996, Do Something has honored the nation’s finest young world-changers. Do Something Award Winners represent the pivotal "do-ers" in their field, cause, or issue, and are rewarded with a huge community grant, participation in a special award ceremony, media coverage, and continued support from Do Something.

            The deadline of Sunday, March 1, 2009, is quickly approaching, so learn complete details here: www.dosomething.org/programs/awards.
             
            Statewide Contest - Watersheds International Poetry and Art Contest
            Each year, in affiliation with The Library of Congress Center for the Book, River of Words conducts a free contest for youth on the theme of WATERSHEDS. The contest is designed to help youth explore the natural and cultural history of the place they live, and to express, through poetry and art, what they discover.

            The contest is open to any child in the world, from 5-19 years of age. Older students must have not yet completed high school. There is no charge to enter. Find the entry form here: www.riverofwords.org/contest/index.html.  Sunday, February 15, 2009 is the entry deadline.

            Statewide Contest - Write a Book Review
            Write a book review—with a twist! Little Dozen Press is sponsoring a new contest for writers ages 11 and up. Review your favourite novel or other work of fiction. In your review, pinpoint a specific writing technique which the author does well, and share what you have learned about writing from reading the book.

            Entry deadline is Sunday, March 15, 2009.

            Learn all the specifics at: www.rachelstarrthomson.com/category/contests.
             
            Statewide Contest - African American Trailblazers Essay Contest
            In conjunction with the African American Trailblazers in Virginia History program, the Library of Virginia is co-sponsoring the African American Trailblazers Student Essay Contest.

            Civil rights attorney and activist Oliver Hill once said: “Our Declaration of Independence says we are all created with rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I agree with the life and the liberty. The pursuit of happiness ought to include the right to be taught and trained, to be able to do something constructive, to move toward a civilized society.” Based on this statement, contestants are asked to respond to the question, “What does the pursuit of happiness mean to you?”

            The contest is open to any Virginia student in grades 3 – 8. Entries must be received by Wednesday, February 11, 2009. For a complete list of rules and submission directions, visit www.lva.virginia.gov/trailblazers.
             
            Statewide Resource - "African American Trailblazers in Virginia History" Program
            In observance of African American History Month, the Library of Virginia, is pleased to honor eight distinguished Virginians as African American Trailblazers in Virginia for their contributions to the state and nation. The men and women featured as Trailblazers offer powerful examples of individuals who refused to be defined by their circumstances. Their biographies are a testament to the determination and perseverance displayed by extraordinary people during challenging times.

            Biographies of the honorees will be featured in an exhibition on display at the Library in February; and included on an educational Web site for students. To learn more about these individuals and to explore educational resources about their lives, visit our Web site at www.lva.virginia.gov/trailblazers.

            Statewide Opportunity - Hosting Summer Delegates
            Japanese and Korean youth ages 12 - 18 will visit the U.S. and Canada from the third week of July to the third week of August. (The majority of the delegates are 12 - 13.) They are members of one of three Japanese organizations devoted to the study of foreign cultures and languages Youth delegates are placed in homes with a host sibling of the same gender and similar age.

            4H is looking for all types of families to give delegates as broad a perspective as possible about life in the U.S. Urban families, rural families, single-parent families, older couples, singles, couples without children, and families with varies religious and ethnic backgrounds all have something to offer visitors from other cultures.

            For more information contact Janice Stegall-Seibert at clayhorse7@... or Deb Johnson at JDJOHN123@....

            Statewide Opportunity - Great Backyard Bird Count
            Bird and nature fans throughout North America are invited to join tens of thousands of bird watchers for the 12th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), February 13-16, 2009.

            Volunteers take part by counting birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the event and reporting their sightings online at www.birdcount.org. The data help researchers understand bird population trends across the continent, information that is critical for effective conservation.

            Chesapeake - Girls' Soccer Tryouts
            Girls 12 - 18, accompanied by a parent or guardian, are invited to tryout for Girls' Soccer on Saturday, February 21 or 28, 2009 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Tidewater Baptist Church. Dress warmly and bring cleats, shin guards, and water bottles.

            For more information, contact Coach Michael Improta at italiamilano2001@... or Brenda Hardison at hardisonfamily@....

            Virginia Beach - Fast-pitch Softball Tryouts
            Girls ages 12 - 18 are invited to dress warmly in layers, bring a water bottle, and come tryout for the Beach Breakers fast-pitch softball team. Held at Woodstock Elementary School on Saturday, February 7 and 14, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

            For additional information, contact: Trish Robinson at (405) 823-2896.

            Norfolk - Botanical Basics Homeschool Course
            Dress for mess on Friday, February 20, 2009. At the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, students will be studying the components of soil, creatures that depend on soil, how soil can affect plant growth, and how humans use soil as a natural resource.

            This 3 hour course is designed to serve older homeschool students working on middle school course work. Student drop off will be 8:45-9:00 a.m. and pick up is 12:30 p.m. at Baker Hall Visitor's Center. Cost is $25.00 for non-members and $20 for members.

            To learn more details, visit: www.norfolkbotanicalgarden.org/education/home-school-programs.
             
            Norfolk - Arts Within Reach Programs
            Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at 7:30 p.m., the Tidewater Guitar Orchestra will perform at the Godwin Center at Norfolk State University. The Tidewater Guitar Orchestra is an ensemble of more than a dozen accomplished guitarists who use the lush timbral resources of guitars of different sizes to explore a rich repertoire ranging from Bach to Bartok while specializing in music of the Americas.

            Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 11:30 a.m., Mount Zion Baptist Church will host the Virginia Chorale Quartet. The Virginia Chorale celebrates African American Heritage Month with special music featuring spirituals and folks songs that celebrate African Americans in music and history.

            For complete information about these and other free programs, please visit: www.norfolkarts.net.
             
            Newport News - Civil War Living History Day
            Bring your students to The Mariners’ Museum on Friday, March 6, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. as Civil War history comes to life with events focusing on the famed 1862 Battle of Hampton Roads between the ironclads USS Monitor and CSS Virginia.

            For only $5.00 per person, families will enjoy a special day that includes Museum admission; interaction with Civil War soldiers; interactive enlistment activities; behind-the-scenes tours of the state-of-the-art Conservation Facility, where Monitor artifacts are undergoing preservation; and 19th Century games and crafts.

            Register by Monday, March 2, 2009 by calling Melissa Flaherty at (757) 591-7744.

            Newport News - 28th Annual Writers' Conference
            Held March 27 - 28, 2009, the conference is a great chance for published and aspiring authors to learn from each other.

            Learn complete details at: www.writers.cnu.edu.

            Colonial Williamsburg - Home Educators' Weeks
            Here's a great chance to experience the living history at Colonial Williamsburg at a substantial savings. Enjoy the “Homeschooler Experience” with Colonial Williamsburg during February 21 - March 8, 2009.

            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 Homeschooler Experience.

            For more information about the homeschool programs: www.history.org/History/teaching/groupTours/SchoolandYouth/homeschools.cfm. For information about pre-ordering tickets see:  www.colonialwilliamsburg.org/history/teaching/groupTours/images/HomeEducatorsRequestForm.pdf. To learn more about the Colonial Williamsburg experience, visit:  www.colonialwilliamsburg.org/.
             
            Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center - Homeschool Days
            Homeschool programs will be offered February 21-March 8, 2009 at Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center. A special homeschool ticket is available, and the fee is $10.25 per family member (youth or adult) for general admission to both museums. Homeschool ticket holders can visit both museums as many times as they like during the program date range. The fee also includes optional hands-on programs and guided tours of Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center.

            Please register in advance to ensure a place in the program. Walk-ins will be accepted if space is available. Homeschool admission tickets are available for on-line purchase at www.historyisfun.org/Homeschool-Programs-2.

            FYI - The fall homeschool program at Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center has been scheduled for September 12-27, 2009.

            Richmond - Pocahontas History Program
            The Virginia Historical Society is offering a special Pocahontas and the Powhatan Nation history program for homeschool students on Tuesdays in February 2009.

            The tours begin at 2:00 p.m. with a $2.00 fee for children 5-17 and free for parents and chaperones. Museum educators will use replica artifacts to help students understand myths and truths, tools and clothing, and popular images from Pocahontas’ time. The hour-long interactive program is appropriate for children of all ages.

            Come early or stay late to enjoy additional exhibitions at the Virginia Historical Society.

            Visit www.vahistorical.org/education/education_outreach.htm to read more, or call the Education Department at (804) 342-9652 to reserve your spot. Advance registration is required.

            Richmond - Book Talk
            Law Touched Our Hearts: A Generation Remembers Brown v. Board of Education will be the book discussed on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 from noon to 1:00 p.m. at The Library of Virginia.

            This free event will feature Editors Mildred W. Robinson and Richard J. Bonnie offering an overview of the moving stories of those who attended public school soon after the Brown v. The Board of Education decision and saw the course of their lives and their society change. These personal accounts of how Brown affected them say much about race relations then and now.

            Learn more about this program and other great February offerings at: www.lva.virginia.gov/whoweare/events/index.asp?date=2/1/2009.

            Richmond - Science and Robo Camps
            Join in for a wild three days of hands-on science. Held at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Engineering on June 15 - 17, 2009, these two camps offer children ages 7 and up the chance to work on several different science projects as well as bringing activities home.

            To read the reviews and to learn complete details, visit: www.superchargedscience.com/camp.htm.
             
            Shenandoah Valley - WILD GUYde Adventures
            This May and June, 2009 WILD GUYde Adventures is offering adventure field trips (hiking, rock climbing, caving, and canoe paddling) for homeschoolers and their parents in the Shenandoah Valley.

            Day trips are for Grades 2-3, 4-6, and 7-12. New this year is Nature School Day - a day for young Nature Artists, young Naturalists (biology study day), or Frontier Scouts (firebuilding, stalking, archery, and leathercraft).

            There are also two overnight trips for young men (ages 11 and older) and their dads/mentors.

            Please go to www.wildguyde.com/2005adventureclassroom.htm for the complete details.

            Winchester - Homeschool Fencing
            Shenandoah Fencing is offering a homeschool fencing class, beginning Thursday, February 12, 2009, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. All equipment will be provided.

            Learn more at: www.shennandoahfencing.com.
             
            Leesburg - Rust Nature Sanctuary Homeschool Day
            Rust Nature Sanctuary is offering two sessions for free to give homeschooling families the chance to learn about the nature center. Offered on Friday, February 20, 2009 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., register for one of the sessions by calling Julie at (703) 669-0000 or email: julieg@....

            The registration deadline is Monday, February 16, 2009.

            To learn more about Rust, visit: www.audubonnaturalist.org/default.asp?page=515.

            Northern Virginia Resource - NoVa Homeschool Swap
            What do homeschoolers always have lots of? Homeschool Stuff! NoVa Homeschool Swap is a new email list for homeschoolers in the Northern Virginia area to sell, trade or give away their unwanted educational materials.

            To join: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NoVa-Swap/

            Alexandria - Web Design Course
            Designing their own websites is a great way for kids to express themselves and and to share their interests with others. This course will teach students ages 8 - 14 how to create websites with HTML and CSS. Students will also learn basic image editing to touch up photos and design graphics for their sites.

            This beginner to intermediate level course will be held at the Athenaeum in Old Town, and will be taught by Mindzai Learning instructors. The course runs Sundays, March 1 - March 29, 2009, from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

            For more information, visit www.mindzailearning.com or call (703) 350-3877.

            Washington DC - Valentines Card Workshop
            Create Valentine cards for friends at the National Postal Museum on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Beautiful materials and sentiments will be provided at this free workshop.

            Learn more at: www.postalmuseum.si.edu/museum/1b_calendar.html#feb.
             
            Washington DC - Grand Reopening of Ford’s Theatre
            Here are a few of the festivity options. Learn complete details here: www.dc.about.com/cs/museums/a/FordsTheatre.htm.

            Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - Official Reopening. Filmmaker George Lucas will receive the Lincoln Medal in honor of his accomplishments, which exemplify the character and lasting legacy of President Abraham Lincoln.

            Thursday, February 12, 2009 – Abraham Lincoln’s 200th Birthday Celebration. The day begins with a morning wreath-laying by National Park Service Rangers. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Ford’s Theatre will present an array of performances in Lincoln’s honor. Students will perform some of Lincoln’s great speeches, and the Federal City Brass Band will play some of Lincoln’s favorite music on Civil War era instruments. National Park Service Rangers will offer interpretive programs commemorating Lincoln’s presidency throughout the day. The theatre will be open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Free tickets will be distributed beginning at 8:30 a.m. There are no advance reservations available.
             
            Submission Information
            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.



            The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
            www.VaHomeschoolers.org
            Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association.


            ~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~
            Please feel free to forward this message to other homeschoolers and homeschool groups or email lists who might find this information useful. If this message was forwarded to you, be sure to join the VaHomeschoolers Announce List to receive future updates directly.  
             
            Join online: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VaHomeschoolersAnnouncements
            Or via email: VaHomeschoolersAnnouncements-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
             
            The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
            www.vahomeschoolers.org
            info@...
            PO Box 5131
            Charlottesville, VA 22905
            866-513-6173
              
             

          • Stephanie Elms
            The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers www.VaHomeschoolers.org Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association. 2009 Conference and Resource Fair Science
            Message 5 of 14 , Feb 8, 2009
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              Used Resource Sale is Coming to the 2009 VaHomeschoolers Conference!

              The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
              www.VaHomeschoolers.org
              Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association.

              2009 Conference and Resource Fair
              Science Museum of Virginia
              Richmond, Virginia
              www.vahomeschoolers.org/conference

              Friday, May 22 4:00-7:00
              Saturday, May 23 9:00-5:00
               
              Experience Life.  Experience Learning.  Homeschool!



              Used Resource Sale is Coming to the 2009 VaHomeschoolers Conference!

              The 2009 VaHomeschoolers Conference is coming up in just a few months and we need your help!  We need resource donations and volunteers to help store items collected for our Used Curriculum and Resource Sale.  Proceeds from the sale will support VaHomeschoolers’ ongoing programs and help defray the cost of providing services and support to homeschoolers throughout the Commonwealth.  If you have items to donate, but may not be able to make it to the conference, we will find a local volunteer to bring your donations.  Donations are tax deductible!
               
              How can you help?

              • Start setting aside your used resources to donate to the sale:  curricula, workbooks, games, puzzles, manipulatives, educational toys, textbooks, science equipment, and any other gently used items or curricula-that-sounded-good-at-the time that may be of interest to homeschooling families.  If you wonder if something would be appropriate to donate, don’t hesitate to ask!

              • Offer your home as a collection site for donated items.  We need several point people in various geographic areas who are willing to receive donations and store them in their homes.  The Used Resource Sale coordinator will make arrangements to pick up these items before the Conference.  Areas we need volunteers to collect in:  Norfolk/Virginia Beach; Peninsula; Lynchburg; Roanoke/Western Virginia; Shenandoah Valley; Charlottesville; Fredericksburg; various Northern Virginia locations.

              • Help to solicit donations from local resources across the state, including Craigslist or unsold items from other used curriculum and resource sales.  

              • Volunteer at the Used Resource Fair!  Help transfer items from vehicles to sale site or sell merchandise during resource fair hours.  

              As a volunteer-run organization, VaHomeschoolers depends on member support to make events like our Conference a success.  Volunteering to help with the Conference is a great way to form relationships with other homeschoolers from across Virginia while making this event the best that it can be!  
               
              For information on donating materials or serving as a collection point for resource sale items, please contact Nancy Clendenon at usedresourcesale@....  For more information on the 2009 Conference visit our website at http://vahomeschoolers.org/conference.


              Join Today!

              Not a VaHomeschoolers member? Join today! http://www.vahomeschoolers.org/join/.

              Already a member? Keep a lookout for your registration booklet, coming soon.  


              The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
              www.VaHomeschoolers.org
              Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association.


              ~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~
              Please feel free to forward this message to other homeschoolers and homeschool groups or email lists who might find this information useful. If this message was forwarded to you, be sure to join the VaHomeschoolers Announce List to receive future updates directly.  
               
              Join online: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VaHomeschoolersAnnouncements
              Or via email: VaHomeschoolersAnnouncements-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
               
              The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
              www.vahomeschoolers.org
              info@...
              PO Box 5131
              Charlottesville, VA 22905
              866-513-6173

            • Stephanie Elms
              The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers www.VaHomeschoolers.org Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association. A 25th Anniversary Celebration for Home
              Message 6 of 14 , Feb 17, 2009
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                A 25th Anniversary Celebration for Home Instruction in Virginia

                The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
                www.VaHomeschoolers.org
                Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association.


                A 25th Anniversary Celebration for Home Instruction in Virginia

                Tuesday, January 27, 2009, was a great day for homeschoolers in Virginia. Lawmakers, parents, and representatives of homeschool organizations came together in the Virginia General Assembly in Richmond to celebrate 25 years of home instruction in Virginia. This event, sponsored jointly by The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers (VaHomeschoolers), and the Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV), marked the passage of legislation in 1984, making Virginia one of the first states formally recognizing the right of families to educate their children at home
                 
                The celebration began on the floor of the General Assembly itself, with the reading of special joint resolutions commemorating the 25th anniversary of home instruction. The proceedings were broadcast live from the General Assembly by Internet video stream.  
                 
                House Education Chairman Delegate Robert Tata (R-Newport News), presented the resolution on the House floor, while Education and Health Chairman Senator Edward Houck (D-Fredericksburg) read the resolution on the Senate side.  Representatives of VaHomeschoolers and HEAV, along with several homeschooling families, stood in the gallery acknowledging the cheers and applause from the delegates and senators.  
                 
                Also acknowledged by the legislature were retired Delegate James Dillard II, who authored the original home instruction statute, and Delegate Robert Bell’s mother Mary Whealan Bell, who had testified in support of the home instruction statute in 1984. (Neither Delegate Dillard nor Mrs. Bell were able to attend the celebration due to bad weather conditions, but they certainly were there in spirit.)
                 
                Later in the afternoon, homeschoolers and lawmakers gathered together again for a special reception in the General Assembly Building, hosted by Delegate Tata and Senator Houck.  The room was decorated with colorful displays about homeschooling and featured a number of delectable desserts, including a colorful “Twenty Five Years of Homeschooling” birthday cake cut by none other than Governor Tim Kaine himself. Governor Kaine, a long time advocate of homeschooling, spoke positively about the importance of providing educational choices and options for families, and warmly greeted each of the homeschooling families in attendance.
                 
                The reception featured many memorable and heartfelt speeches by homeschooling advocates and lawmakers alike, recognizing the historical significance of the occasion and reminding everyone how far homeschooling has come in the past 25 years.  In addition to Governor Kaine, Delegate Tata, and Senator Houck, other lawmakers in attendance included Delegate Robert Bell (R-Charlottesville), Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-Fairfax), Senator John Miller (D-Newport News), and Delegate Paul Nichols (D-Woodbridge), to name a few.  Among the many attendees were VaHomeschoolers Legacy Circle members Shay Seaborne and Will Shaw, along with Will’s daughter Leah Shaw, a grown homeschooler who is now an assistant professor of Applied Science at William and Mary.
                 
                Many thanks to Delegate Tata and Senator Houck for making this event possible, and thanks to all the lawmakers who have worked to protect homeschooling freedoms in the past.
                 
                Here’s to the next 25 years!
                 


                The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
                www.VaHomeschoolers.org
                Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association.


                ~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~
                Please feel free to forward this message to other homeschoolers and homeschool groups or email lists who might find this information useful. If this message was forwarded to you, be sure to join the VaHomeschoolers Announce List to receive future updates directly.  
                 
                Join online: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VaHomeschoolersAnnouncements
                Or via email: VaHomeschoolersAnnouncements-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                 
                The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
                www.vahomeschoolers.org
                info@...
                PO Box 5131
                Charlottesville, VA 22905
                866-513-6173

              • Stephanie Elms
                The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers www.VaHomeschoolers.org Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association. VaHomeschoolers Out and About - March 2009
                Message 7 of 14 , Mar 9 8:12 PM
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                  VaHomeschoolers Out and About – March 2009

                  The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
                  www.VaHomeschoolers.org
                  Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association.


                  VaHomeschoolers Out and About – March 2009

                  Welcome to the March 2009 Out and About - a publication designed to connect homeschoolers to activities and events across the Commonwealth!
                   
                  At last - welcome to SPRING! This month ushers in a season of renewal and lots of great opportunities for fun activities. High schoolers can try their hand at Poe pastiche for a writing contest or work on productions of two plays.  Children of all ages can enter their artwork to be shown in a street walk or engineer and build an egg drop protection device. Plus, there are several great shows and event days this month for everyone.
                   
                  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

                  Statewide Competitions
                  "Poe: Man, Myth and Monster" Young Writers' Contest

                  Statewide Opportunities
                  Funschool Cooperative’s Homeschoolers’ Art Show
                   
                  Special Opportunity
                  School at Sea
                   
                  Regional Opportunities  
                  Central Virginia
                  Richmond – 2009 VaHomeschoolers Conference Registration Open
                  Richmond – Henley Street Theater Volunteer Opportunities
                  Richmond – Homeschoolers and Historic Houses
                  Richmond – Agecroft Hall
                  Petersburg – Pamplin Historical Park

                  Hampton Roads
                  Newport News – Mariners’ Museum
                  Norfolk – Arts Within Reach
                  Norfolk – 2009 Egg Drop Competition
                  Williamsburg – 2009 Well-Trained Mind Conference

                  Northern Virginia
                  Alexandria – Alexandria Symphony Orchestra’s Family Arts Festival
                  Alexandria – NVCC Summer Band Camp
                  Centreville – SAT Prep Courses
                  Fairfax – Fairfax Symphony Orchestra

                  Shenandoah Valley
                  New Market – Homeschool Day at New Market Battlefield State Historical Park
                  Shenandoah Valley Area – Classical Conversations Groups
                  Stephens City – Blue Mountain Martial Arts Classes

                  Outside Virginia
                  College Park, MD – Maryland Day
                  St. Mary’s City, MD – Spring Homeschool Day
                  Washington, D.C. – Friends of the National Zoo Programs
                  Washington, D.C. – National Theatre Saturday Performances


                  Statewide Competitions

                  “Poe: Man, Myth and Monster” Young Writers' Contest.
                  Presented by The Library of Virginia and the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in observance of the 200th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s birth. High school students are invited to submit poetry and short stories representative of the genres that Edgar Allan Poe popularized: mystery, science fiction, and horror. Entries are due by Friday, May 8, 2009. For more information about the contest, contact Tameka B. Hobbs, Program and Education Coordinator, Library of Virginia, at (804) 371-2126 or tameka.hobbs@....
                   
                   
                  Statewide Opportunities

                  Funschool Cooperative’s Homeschoolers’ Art Show
                  The Funschool Cooperative’s Homeschoolers’ Art Show is open to everyone who cares to participate. The show is for all ages and will feature everything from finger paintings to photos. The show is not judged; it is being held simply to provide an exciting experience of preparing for and being displayed in an art show.
                   
                  See the entry form at http://docs.google.com/doc?id=df7gdw3k_1g7fhjbfh for information on drop-off points. If your pieces are overly large or if you're unable to get to one of the drop-off locations, please contact megan.hillary@... for special pick-up arrangements.
                   
                  Homeschooling organizations may submit pieces done as a group. All participants will receive a notification letter specifying reception and presentation details. Submission deadline is Sunday, March 15, 2009.
                   
                    
                  Special Opportunities

                  School at Sea
                  School at Sea began as help with curriculum development for travelling families and has grown into an ongoing opportunity for homeschoolers to enjoy a vacation while participating in homeschool group discussions and activities. School at Sea 2009 will be visiting ports in the Western Caribbean, including Montego Bay, Cozumel and Grand Cayman. Contact Karen Hall at (866) 746-5712 or karen@... for more information about this program.
                   
                   
                  Regional Opportunities

                  Central Virginia

                  Richmond – 2009 VaHomeschoolers Conference Registration Open
                  Registration is now open for the VaHomeschoolers Conference and Resource Fair May 22-23 at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond!  

                  All VaHomeschoolers members will receive a copy of the 2009 Conference  Information and  Registration Booklet  with their March-April VaHomeschoolers  Voice.  Be sure to keep an eye out for it in the mail.

                  If you are not a member or simply can’t wait, you can download a copy of the Registration Booklet at our website www.vahomeschoolers.org/conference/. Also available on our website is detailed information on session schedules, session descriptions, family programming, speaker information, conference vendors, volunteer opportunities and much more.

                  Richmond – Henley Street Theater Volunteer Opportunities
                  Henley Street Theatre is seeking volunteers to assist with productions of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard and True West by Sam Shepard. Community service hours are available for volunteers.

                  • Rosencrantz and Guidenstern are Dead needs volunteers to assist with ushering, box office, and concessions. Spend one hour volunteering before the show and then watch it for free! Help is needed for the March 12, 14, 20,21, 27 and 28 (8:00 p.m.) and March 22 (2:00 p.m.) performances. Contact Mindi at mmontoro@....

                  • True West is looking for a stage manager, assistant stage manager, and set designer/builder, opportunities that would be ideal for high school age thespians. There is a small stipend available for each of these positions. The show will go into rehearsal on Monday, April 13, 2009 and open on Thursday, May 14, 2009. It runs three weekends with eight shows only. Contact Jacquie O’Connor at joconnor@....


                  Richmond – Homeschoolers and Historic Houses
                  Agecroft Hall and Wilton House Museum have joined together in the Homeschoolers and Historic Houses program to offer homeschoolers a day-long opportunity to explore America’s Colonial and British roots. The program will include tours of both museums,  hands-on study of reproduction artifacts, historic games and more. Cost per student is $8 (adults and children ages 8 and older); $4 (ages 3-7); and free for ages 2 and under. To register, call Jill Pesesky at Agecroft Hall at (804) 353-4241.
                   
                  Richmond – Agecroft Hall
                  Agecroft Hall
                  has many other events planned for this month and next:

                  • Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.: “The Velveteen Rabbit Puppet Show” by Applause Unlimited. $6 per person; children under age 2 are free. Advance registration recommended.

                  • Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 7:30 p.m.: “The Dancing Queen: Court Dance in the Age of Elizabeth.” Historical narrative and dance demonstrations by the costumed Richmond Renaissance Dancers. $10 per person; $7 for students with I.D.

                  • Saturday, April 4, 2009 at 10:30 a.m.: Storytime at Agecroft: “What Nonsense! Divine Lunacy! Laughter!” Riddles, silly stories and songs plus a mask-making craft. $4 per person; geared to ages 6-10.

                  Call Jill Pesesky at Agecroft Hall at (804) 353-4241 for more information, or visit www.agecrofthall.org/newsletter.
                   
                  Petersburg – Pamplin Historical Park
                  Beginning on Monday, March 2, 2009 Pamplin Historical Park will be open from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The park will continue to open on weekends by reservation only. For more information, please call (804) 861-2408 or visit http://pamplinpark.org.
                   
                   
                  Hampton Roads

                  Newport News – Mariners’ Museum
                  Wednesday
                  , March 25, 2009 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the Mariners’ Museum continues its Little Learners Series with “Lighthouse Lore.” Explore the role that lighthouses have played in helping ships safely navigate the waterways. Learn what it was like to be a lighthouse keeper and how lighthouse design and technology has changed through the ages. Lighthouses from around the Chesapeake Bay and along the coastlines of the United States will be explored in this program that uses both gallery artifacts and stories of famous lighthouses.

                  Download the registration form at www.mariner.org/educationalad/homeschool/little_learners.php or contact Armalita Holley at (757) 591-7743 or aholley@... for more information. Registration deadline is Friday, March 20, 2009.

                  Norfolk – Arts Within Reach
                  You never need a ticket to Arts Within Reach. Simply arrive at the venue 5 to 10 minutes before program start time, take your seat, and enjoy free arts offerings of 40-50 minutes in length. Visit www.norfolkarts.net or call 664-4321 for more information on these and other programs.
                   
                  • Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 6:15 p.m. – New England Conservatory Vocal Jazz Quartet is a group of graduate students who perform unique renditions of classic jazz, swing, and American songbook standards.  Chrysler Museum's Huber Court, 245 W. Olney Road.

                  • Friday, March 20, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. – Virginia Symphony Ensemble presents "Aesop's Fables" strings concert. Yun Zhang on violin and Mike Daniels on cello will set to music the time-honored tales of ancient Greece. Park Place Baptist Church, 430 W. 31st Street.  

                  • Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 11:30 a.m. – I. Sherman Greene Chorale in concert. The I. Sherman Greene Chorale was founded in 1972 by Isaac Sherman Greene, a music instructor at Norfolk's Booker T. Washington High School. It is known for its performances of the music of the great masters and traditional spirituals and is Hampton Roads’ foremost African-American singing organization. Mount Zion Baptist Church, 900 E. Middlesex Street.

                  Norfolk – 2009 Egg Drop Competition
                  The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is holding its 2009 Egg Drop Competition on Saturday, March 14, 2009 at Nauticus. The contest is open to all ages. Designed to promote engineering and science for students, the competition asks participants to build a device that will protect an egg from a second story (about 20 feet) and third story (about 40 feet) drop. Participation is free and there are prizes for winners in each age group. For more information, go to http://sections.asme.org/easternva or http://www.seva.net/~aiaa
                   
                  Williamsburg – The Well-Trained Mind Conference
                  The 2009 Well-Trained Mind Anniversary Conference is coming up May 1-2 at the Williamsburg Marriott Hotel. There will be two days of specialty workshops and panel discussions with speakers. Discounted Colonial Williamsburg tickets are available. Visit www.welltrainedmind.com/wtmconference.php for more information.
                   

                  Northern Virginia

                  Alexandria – Alexandria Symphony Orchestra’s Family Arts Festival
                  The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra (ASO) is hosting a Family Arts Festival on Sunday, June 7, 2008. The Festival will feature programs and performances that correlate to an art and music curriculum that the ASO is offering free to homeschooling families. Children will enjoy art and dance activities and have the opportunity to touch and play real symphonic instruments in the Instrument Petting Zoo. Students can also provide artwork (due by Friday, April 17, 2009) that may be selected for the video to be played during the concert portion of the event.  The Festival is open to the public and general admission tickets are $5 per person. Contact Melissa Luby, ASO Education & Special Projects Manager, at (703) 548-0885 or melissa@... for more information about the curriculum and Festival.
                   
                  Alexandria – NVCC Summer Band Camp
                  Registration is now open for the Northern Virginia Community College Summer Band Camp, being held July 13-17. Students ages 10-14 will participate in group rehearsals and attend daily classes on such topics as audio recording, jazz improvisation, and performance skills. Students will perform a final concert for family and friends. In addition, students will have the unique opportunity to perform side-by-side with professional musicians in a gala evening concert with the 257th Army Band, “The Band of the Nation's Capital.” Visit www.nvcc.edu/alexandria/visual/music/band.htm for more information.
                   
                  Centreville – SAT Prep Courses
                  Know someone taking the SAT this May? SAT Math Prep Class begins Wednesday, March 4, 2009 from 3:00-4:00 p.m., and runs for 8 weeks. This class is taught by Debbie Kolansky and offered by CHESS (Centreville Homeschool Enrichment Support Services). The cost is $80 plus a $10 registration fee. Please bring a current edition of Official SAT Study Guide by the College Board. For more information, visit http://chessclasses.org. To register, contact Tara Taylor at (703) 753-1901 or admin@....
                   
                  Fairfax – Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
                  The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra is offering 100 free student tickets to students of elementary, middle and high school ages for the next concert on Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts.  After the first 100 tickets are reserved, students may obtain reduced-rate tickets for $15. Accompanying adults receive the special rate of $35 when attending with a student. Free student tickets must be reserved by visiting www.fairfaxsymphony.org, where there is a link to free student ticket reservations. The deadline to reserve tickets is Wednesday, March 11, 2009.
                   
                  This concert features Music Director Finalist Gregory Vajda and pianist Andrew Armstrong. Mr. Vajda will be presenting a free ConcerTalk at 7:00 p.m. in the Concert Hall for anyone who would like to attend. Students and parents are encouraged to arrive early to avoid long lines at the Student Ticket Window ahead of the concert.
                   
                   
                  Shenandoah Valley

                  New Market – Homeschool Day at New Market Battlefield State Historical Park
                  Registration has begun for Homeschool Day at New Market Battlefield State Historical Park, coming up on Saturday, March 28, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This year's event will include favorites from 2008 as well as new and exciting activities. Discounted admission for homeschoolers on this day is $10 per vehicle containing 1-8 passengers and $20 per vehicle containing 9 or more passengers. Registration is required to receive these rates, and participation is limited to 1,000, so be sure to register early. You can register online at www.vmi.edu/newmarket or by phone at (866) 515-1864.
                   
                  Shenandoah Valley Area – Classical Conversations Groups
                  Classical Conversations, a community of homeschooling families who follow the classical model of education, value a Biblical worldview, and love learning, is hosting a series of information meetings about the Classical Conversations homeschool program (4 yrs – 12th grade). There will be opportunities to view materials and ask questions.  Visit www.classicalconversations.com for information.
                   
                  Stephens City – Blue Mountain Martial Arts Classes
                  Blue Mountain Martial Arts
                  is offering discounted classes for homeschoolers with a third dan black belt instructor. Classes cost $5 each and are available every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00- 9:45 a.m. for students age 4-8 and from 10:00-10:45 a.m. for students age 9 and up. For more information, please call Blue Mountain Martial Arts at (540) 869-9331.
                   
                  Outside Virginia

                  College Park, MD – Maryland Day
                  The University of Maryland is celebrating its annual Maryland Day on Saturday, April 25, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with the theme “Explore Our World!” A global village will feature international student entertainment, cooking demonstrations and samples, and a wide range of activities, exhibits and events. Everything is family friendly and admission and parking are free. There will be also free shuttle buses to and from the College Park metro station and on campus. Information and directions are available at www.marylandday.umd.edu. Email questions to mddayhelp@...
                  <mailto:mddayhelp@...> .
                   
                  St. Mary’s City, MD – Spring Homeschool Day
                  Historic St. Mary's City is hosting its Spring Homeschool Day on Tuesday, April 7, 2009.  This event is designed to allow homeschool families to explore 17th-century Maryland in their own time and in their own way.  There will be numerous opportunities to participate in hands-on activities and to see demonstrations specially designed for this event.  Staff are stationed throughout the living history sites to assist families in discovering Maryland's first capital for themselves.  Visit www.stmaryscity.org/Events/Homeschool.html or call (240) 895-4979 for more information.
                   
                  Washington, D.C. – Friends of the National Zoo programs
                  Friends of the National Zoo has a new Home Education Series.  These classes offer engaging, in-depth lesson plans that focus on animal care, conservation biology, and zoological research.

                  Dinosaur Discovery: Millions of years after their demise, dinosaurs continue to capture our imagination. Investigate the legacy that dinosaurs have left behind for curious young naturalists as you examine similar features on animals found at the Zoo. This class also includes a visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. For ages 5-7. Dates: March 4, 11, 18, 25 and April 1 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost is $125.

                  Washington, D.C. – National Theatre Saturday performances
                  The National Theatre is holding free Saturday performances. The performances feature a wide, rich range of material, including singing, dancing, and storytelling.  The March schedule includes:
                   
                  • Saturday, March 7, 2009 – Mother Goose and Her Fabulous Puppet Friends.

                  • Saturday, March 14, 2009 – Jack and the Very Green Beanstalk

                  • Saturday, March 21, 2009 – Magic and Mischief

                  • Saturday, March 28, 2009 – Galactika!

                  Visit nationaltheatre.org/saturday/saturday.htm for a full calendar and descriptions of each performance.


                  The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
                  www.VaHomeschoolers.org
                  Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association.


                  ~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~
                  Please feel free to forward this message to other homeschoolers and homeschool groups or email lists who might find this information useful. If this message was forwarded to you, be sure to join the VaHomeschoolers Announce List to receive future updates directly.  
                   
                  Join online: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VaHomeschoolersAnnounce
                  Or via email: VaHomeschoolersAnnounce-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                   
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                  The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
                  www.vahomeschoolers.org
                  info@...
                  PO Box 5131
                  Charlottesville, VA 22905
                  866-513-6173



                  ------ End of Forwarded Message

                • Stephanie Elms
                  The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers www.VaHomeschoolers.org Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association. New Homeschooling Teens Resource on
                  Message 8 of 14 , Apr 22, 2009
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                    New Teen Resources on VaHomeschoolers.org

                    The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
                    www.VaHomeschoolers.org
                    Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association.


                    New Homeschooling Teens Resource on VaHomeschoolers.org

                    VaHomeschoolers listens to you! In our 2008 Membership Survey, we received feedback requesting more information on homeschooling teens as well as requests to make the wealth of information on our website easier to find.

                    VaHomeschoolers is excited to announce the new Homeschooling Teens Resource. The teen years bring additional questions and concerns, even for experienced homeschoolers. To help answer these questions, we have pulled together existing VaHomeschoolers teen webpages, VaHomeschoolers Voice articles, book recommendations, recommended links as well as the addition of new teen-focused articles onto one easy-to-find launching page:

                    http://www.vahomeschoolers.org/teens/

                    Have a teen and have questions? Find general information about homeschooling teens, including a Homeschooling Teens FAQ, how to get a work permit, information on Driver Education as well as a discussion about whether you should start homeschooling your senior year (a question we receive often on the VaHomeschoolers Homeschool Hotline).

                    Thinking about sending your teen back to public school for high school? Read more about factors to consider and High School transfer procedures.

                    Wondering what to do about graduation? Read about diploma options available for homeschooled Virginia teens and learn more about the GED as it relates to homeschoolers.

                    Looking forward to after graduation? Learn about college equivalency exams (AP and CLEP), college entrance exams (PSAT, SAT and ACT) and read articles about preparing for college and how community colleges view homeschoolers.

                    And we are not done yet! Keep checking back for additional articles and resources as they become available.


                    The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
                    www.VaHomeschoolers.org
                    Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association.


                    ~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~..~
                    Please feel free to forward this message to other homeschoolers and homeschool groups or email lists who might find this information useful. If this message was forwarded to you, be sure to join the VaHomeschoolers Announce List to receive future updates directly.  
                     
                    Join online: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VaHomeschoolersAnnouncements
                    Or via email: VaHomeschoolersAnnouncements-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                     
                    The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
                    www.vahomeschoolers.org
                    info@...
                    PO Box 5131
                    Charlottesville, VA 22905
                    866-513-6173

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