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VaHomeschoolers Update March 7, 2006

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  • Amy Wilson
    VaHomeschoolers Update March 7, 2006 From The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers: your fully inclusive, all volunteer, member-directed state homeschool
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 8, 2006
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      VaHomeschoolers Update March 7, 2006

       

      From The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers: your fully inclusive, all volunteer, member-directed state homeschool organization.  Since 1993, VaHomeschoolers has worked to protect and promote homeschooling through action in legislative work, assisting homeschoolers on an individual level, and providing information, speakers, events and resources.

       

      Join VaHomeschoolers in a snap at http://www.vahomeschoolers.org/about/join.asp

      Visit VaHomeschoolers's web site at http://www.VaHomeschoolers.org

       

      VaHomeschoolers is a non-profit private charity with 501(c)(3) status.

      In this Update:

      1.  DOES QUITTING HAVE TO BE FINAL?

      Susan McGlohn takes a different look at the idea of quitting in this classic from the VaHomeschoolers' newsletter archives.  She explores the questions:  Isn't quitting a bad thing?  Won't it make children lazy, self-centered, and unfocused?  Shouldn't children be made to finish what they start, even if they don't want to?

      2 EVENTS

      Winchester: Virginia Youth Ballet Performs “Snow White”; March 10.

      Fairfax:  Alfie Kohn Speaking at George Mason University; March 17, 7:30 p.m.

      Springfield:  Volunteers Needed to Mark Storm Drains; March 18, 10 a.m.

      Newport News:  “How Things Work” at Jefferson Labs; Mar. 21; 7 p.m.

      Worldwide:  GLOBE at Night Star-Hunting Party; March 22-29; 7-9 p.m.

      Lorton:  Gunston Hall Annual Kite Festival; March 25; 12-5 p.m.

      Norfolk:  Science in a Room Without Walls at Norfolk Botanical Garden; April 7, 9:30am-1:30pm.

      Gettysburg, PA:  2006 Historic Gettysburg Homeschool Graduation Ceremony; June 10, 2:30 p.m.

       

      3. CONTESTS & OTHER OPPORTUNITIES

      Write On!  Wetlands Challenge 2006 (Grades 7-9)

      Reflections on Virginia’s Waters Creative Writing, Art and Photography Contest (K-12)

      Young Naturalist Awards (grades 7-12)

      4. FREE RESOURCES

      Wetland 101

      Project F.L.O.W. (Fisheries Learning on the Web)

      GEOEC Lesson Plans

      5. WEB SITES, GROUPS & E-MAIL LISTS

      LD Online

      PBS TeacherSource

      Cave Biota

      National Geographic EDNET Resource Library

      Marine Photobank

      What Bird?

       

      VaHOMESCHOOLERS IS NOW OFFICIALLY NON-PROFIT!

      VaHomeschoolers is officially a non-profit private charity with 501(c)(3) status! This means that membership dues and donations are now tax-deductible. To read more, go to http://www.vahomeschoolers.org/about/nonprofit.asp . To make a tax-deductible donation, go to http://www.vahomeschoolers.org/about/donate.asp

       

      1.  DOES QUITTING HAVE TO BE FINAL?

      Susan McGlohn takes a different look at the idea of quitting in this classic from the VaHomeschoolers' newsletter archives.  She explores the questions:  Isn't quitting a bad thing?  Won't it make children lazy, self-centered, and unfocused?  Shouldn't children be made to finish what they start, even if they don't want to?

       

      From the article:

       

      “One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is that it allows our children to explore the entire world, to pick activities and look at them, and if they don’t fit just right, put it down and try another.”

       

      Read the entire article at:

      http://www.vahomeschoolers.org/pdf/quitting.pdf

       

      SHARE THE LOVE WITH VAHOMESCHOOLERS GEAR!

      Visit The VaHomeschoolers Café Press store! Now you can show your support by ordering a VaHomeschoolers t-shirt, mug, license plate frame or one of the many other items for sale. A small portion of the purchase price goes back to VaHomeschoolers. Check out http://www.cafepress.com/vahomeschoolers

       

       

      2. EVENTS

      Newport News:  “How Things Work” at Jefferson Labs; Mar. 21; 7 p.m.

      Jefferson Labs offers this free lecture by Dr. Louis Bloomfield of the University of Virginia.  “An introduction to the physics and science in everyday life. We will examine objects from our daily lives and focus on their principles of operation, histories, and relationships to one another.”  For more information, see:

      http://education.jlab.org/scienceseries/currentseries.html

       

      Fairfax:  Alfie Kohn Speaking at George Mason University; March 17, 7:30 p.m.

      This is a great opportunity to hear Alfie Kohn speak for free on the topic of “Unconditional Parenting:  Beyond Bribes and Threats."  This event is sponsored by the Northern Virginia Writing Project (http://www.nvwp.org/), and will be held in the Johnson Center Cinema at GMU.  Advice for raising children typically comes in two flavors: threats (known euphemistically as consequences) and bribes (positive reinforcement). Either we make kids suffer to teach them a lesson, or we dangle goodies in front of them for doing as they're told. This presentation, by the author of the book Unconditional Parenting, will show why carrots and sticks are not only ineffective but actually counterproductive over the long haul. To raise children who are good learners and good people requires us to abandon strategies that do things to kids, in favor of an approach in which we work with them. Alfie Kohn has been featured on hundreds of TV and radio programs, including the Today show and two appearances on Oprah; he has been profiled in the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, while his work has been described and debated in many other leading publications. To learn more about Alfie Kohn, visit http://www.alfiekohn.org . Please RSVP to 703-993-1168.  For directions and a map, see: http://www.gmu.edu/welcome/Directions-to-GMU.html

       

      **If you’d like to hear more of what Alfie Kohn has to say, he will be speaking the following day, March 18, at the 2006 Language and Learning Conference, also sponsored by the Northern Virginia Writing Project and hosted by GMU.  His topic that day will be “Performance vs. Learning:  The Costs of Overemphasizing Achievement.”   The conference runs from 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and costs $95.  For more information and to register, see:

      http://www.nvwp.org/conferences/langlearn2006.pdf

       

      Springfield:  Volunteers Needed to Mark Storm Drains; March 18, 10 a.m.

      Friends of Accotink and Friends of Accotink Creek are seeking volunteers to help mark storm drains and protect the watershed at Lake Accotink Park (7500 Accotink Park Road in Springfield).  The event begins with a short educational at the park office, followed by the storm drain marking work.  (Rain date March 25th)  For more information, call (703) 569-3464 or see 

      http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/accotink/

       

      Worldwide:  GLOBE at Night Star-Hunting Party; March 22-29; 7-9 p.m.

      Students and families are encouraged to participate in a global campaign to observe and record the magnitude of visible stars as a means of measuring light pollution in a given location. Public contributions to an online database will document the visible nighttime sky during March 22-29, 2006. Students and families can learn how to locate the constellation Orion and that stars have different magnitudes of brightness in the night sky. This activity helps students and families understand how latitude and longitude coordinates provides a location system helping us to map and analyze the observation data submitted from all around the globe.

      As the campaign progresses, check this Web site to see the mapped results. Running totals will be displayed as the observation data is submitted. If you enjoyed this activity, your family may be interested in doing multiple observations by selecting a new location to enter a report. The new location should be at least 1 km away from your original observation location. Observations may be conducted and reported any time during 7:00-9:00pm local time and for any evening between March 22 and 29, 2006.  For complete details about this project, including a downloadable activity packet (to be available soon, the website promises), see:

      http://www.globe.gov/GaN/index.html

      (click on the menu items marked with telescopes at the top of the page)

       

      Lorton:  Gunston Hall Annual Kite Festival; March 25; 12-5 p.m.

      Bring your own kite or buy one at our Museum Shop to fly in the pasture.  A puppet show, hands-on colonial activities, exploration of a modern-day fire truck, hearth cooking demonstrations, and engaging costumed characters make it a full and playful day.  Food service is available for a picnic on the grounds.  $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $4 for ages 6-18, free for kids under 6.

       

      Norfolk:  Science in a Room Without Walls at Norfolk Botanical Garden; April 7, 9:30am-1:30pm.

      Make Science fun as you explore the garden, a living museum with no roof or walls. Visit the Explorer stations scattered throughout the garden to learn about various aspects of the natural world. Each child will receive a science journal and plant a biosphere to take home.  Cost: $8 per child & one parent (siblings 4 and older $5 each); $4 per child & one parent for NBG members.  Registration deadline March 31.  To register, call 757-441-5838 .  For more information, see:

      http://www.norfolkbotanicalgarden.org/education/programs/children.shtml

       

      Gettysburg, PA:  2006 Historic Gettysburg Homeschool Graduation Ceremony; June 10, 2:30 p.m.

      The 8th Annual Historic Gettysburg Homeschool Graduation Ceremony is designed to give graduates an extra-special commencement experience that they will always treasure. All homeschool seniors are welcome to participate regardless of what program or curriculum they have used or the source of their diploma.  The historic Gettysburg Presbyterian Church once again will be our host location. This is the church Abraham Lincoln visited after delivering the Gettysburg Address; the original pew he sat on that day has been preserved. It is also the church that President and Mrs. Eisenhower joined as members after retiring to Gettysburg.  This is not an ordinary high school graduation ceremony! It is a living history celebration! Our historical speaker once again is nationally-acclaimed Lincoln historian and portrayer, James Getty, who will speak to us as America’s beloved 16th President. Civil War-era music will be performed by professional period re-enactors in historic outfits.  Cost is $35 per family.  Registrations must be postmarked by April 10.  For details, see:

      http://www.theexcelsioracademy.com/events.htm

       

      For other event listings, view VaHomeschoolers' Events Calendar at http://plus.calendars.net/VaHomeschoolers  

       

      CHECK OUT OUR NEW LOOK!

      VaHomeschoolers.org has a new look! As part of our ongoing dedication to bringing you the most current homeschooling information at your fingertips, we are giving the website a facelift. Our goals are to make it even easier to find the homeschooling information you need, when you need it. Check out our new look at http://www.VaHomeschoolers.org

       

      3. CONTESTS & OTHER OPPORTUNITIES

      Write On!  Wetlands Challenge 2006 (Grades 7-9)

      Environmental Concern Inc. of St. Michaels, Maryland, is sponsoring this two-part contest for the second year in a row.  Part one is the writing competition, open to all students in grades 7-9. Once the winning manuscript is chosen, a call for artists will be made, inviting elementary aged students to illustrate the story's words.  The theme for this year’s contest is “A Wetland Adventure.”  Think about a favorite trip that you have taken to a local wetland. What did you do?  What (or who) did you see?  Use your imagination to build your story; your adventure can be fiction or non-fiction.  All submissions must be received by April 1, 2006 (the illustration contest for grades K-5 is slated to begin in May).  For complete contest rules, see:

      http://www.wetland.org/EC%20main/edu_writeon06.htm

       

      Reflections on Virginia’s Waters Creative Writing, Art and Photography Contest (K-12)

      The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the James River Association are sponsoring this contest, which is open to Virginia youth ages 5-19 (specifically including homeschooled children).  This statewide creative writing, photography and art contest is designed to encourage school age youth to reflect upon the important role and functions Virginia’s waterways provide in our lives. Ribbons and other awards will be offered in three categories (creative writing, art and photography) for three age/grade divisions (K-5, 6-8 and 9-12).  The official contest rules state, “Entries should focus on the student(s) memory of or reaction to a watershed or water related educational experience which may include science lessons and labs, hands-on activities or learning games, field trips or investigations, research projects, literature reviews, thematic music or drama.”  The deadline for all entries is April 28.

      For complete contest rules, see:

      http://www.vanaturally.com/reflections.html

       

      Young Naturalist Awards (grades 7-12)

      This is a fieldwork, research and essay contest sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History.  Addressed to students in grades 7-12, “The Young Naturalist Awards program invites you to plan and conduct your own scientific expedition, one that will provide original data, questions, and observations on a topic in the natural sciences.  You are not expected to make a new scientific discovery.  However, your expedition should provide you with a new understanding about the question you investigated.  Tell us about your expedition in an essay that includes artwork and/or photographs that help to illustrate your findings.”  Homeschooled students are specifically included in the contest, and the contest deadline has been extended to May 1, 2006.  For complete rules and guidelines, see:

      http://www.amnh.org/nationalcenter/youngnaturalistawards/?src=kf_h

       

      EASY WAYS TO SUPPORT VaHOMESCHOOLERS

      Now you can support VaHomeschoolers through your regular grocery shopping! VaHomeschoolers has recently qualified for several give-back programs at places like Safeway, Food Lion, Harris Teeter and Ukrops. For details on how to register and a comprehensive list of qualifying stores and programs, click on http://www.vahomeschoolersorg/giveback.html

       

       

      4. FREE RESOURCES

      Wetland 101

      Get ready for some outdoor spring adventures with this website from Environmental Concern Inc.  The site offers a free wetlands course and quiz, a World Wetlands Day fact sheet (We just missed it on February 2, but why not celebrate now?!  The spring peepers will be out soon!), a wetland glossary and an email address to ask a real, live wetlands educator all of your wetlands-related questions.

      http://www.wetland.org/edu_101.htm

       

      Project F.L.O.W. (Fisheries Learning on the Web)

      “Fisheries Learning on the Web (FLOW) is a comprehensive curriculum about the Great Lakes ecosystem. Lessons are geared toward educators who teach upper elementary and middle school students. Each lesson is aligned with national and state curriculum standards for science and social studies and features a hands-on classroom activity.”  Even though this site is specifically geared toward teaching about lakes that are geographically distant for us Virginians, there are some great FREE lesson plans, complete with hands-on activities, that are applicable to learning about wet ecosystems everywhere.  Check the link and see what you think:

      http://www.projectflow.us/

       

      GEOEC Lesson Plans

      The Global, Environmental and Outdoor Education Council (GEOEC) website offers downloadable, free unit and lesson plans (Grades 1-9) designed to help teachers integrate environmental themes into their curriculum.

      http://www.geoec.org/lessons/

      5. WEB SITES, BOARDS, GROUPS & E-LISTS

      LD Online

      This website, sponsored by WETA-TV (Washington, D.C.’s PBS television station), describes itself as “The leading Web site on learning disabilities for parents, teachers, and other professionals…Launched in 1996, it was the first and is by far the most visited learning disabilities site on the web. LD OnLine features thousands of helpful articles on learning disabilities and ADHD, monthly columns by noted experts in the field, a free and confidential question and answer service, active bulletin boards, and a Yellow Pages referral directory of professionals, schools, and products. LD OnLine is often the first destination for parents and educators seeking information on how to help children and adults with learning disabilities.”  There’s a great deal of material to peruse here, including recent research related to learning disabilities, a calendar of events of interest to families dealing with LDs and material by and for kids.

      http://www.ldonline.org/

       

      PBS TeacherSource

      If you haven’t ever visited PBS TeacherSource, it’s worth checking out.  The site offers free lesson plans and activities (indexed by grade level and topic) that tie into PBS educational programming.   You can subscribe to an email newsletter and get tips on upcoming PBS programs that might be of interest for your family.  Check under the “Get Local” tab at the top of the screen, then go to the bottom of the page and see if there’s a link to your local PBS station’s K-12 educational website.  There are a number of stations in Virginia.  (And of course you can find neat stuff on websites sponsored by PBS stations across the country, too.)

      http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/

       

      Cave Biota

      This website is described as “an evolving ‘webumentary’.”  It is a collection of video clips created by nature/environmental filmmakers that relate to the variety of life forms found in caves.  There are three categories:  bats, frogs and fish.  The site also includes a link to a National Public Radio program, “Living on Earth,” on which the website’s filmmakers are interviewed. 

      http://www.cavebiota.com/

       

      National Geographic EDNET Resource Library

      This National Geographic community page provides a wide variety of teaching materials and resources, including grade specific lesson plans, news articles, classroom companions, photos, videos, and more.

      http://www.ngsednet.org/index.cfm

       

      Marine Photobank

      Marine Photobank is a free resource of ocean imagery that highlights pressing ocean issues and includes accompanying downloadable Photo Stories. Some subjects covered are Marine Pollution and Trash, Fishing Methods, and Reefs in Peril/Coral Bleaching. http://www.marinephotobank.org

       

      What Bird?

      The ultimate online bird guide for identifying birds of North America . Use the visual search engine to identify birds, create your own bird field guides, and consult with an expert.

      http://www.whatbird.com/ 

       

      Did someone forward this message to you?  Skip the grapevine!  Sign up to receive VaHomeschoolers Biweekly updates by joining the VaHomeschoolers Announce List Yahoo group.  Be in-the-know for free!

       

      Join online: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VaHomeschoolersAnnounce

      Or via email: VaHomeschoolersAnnounce-subscribe@yahoogroups.com 

         

      © 2006 The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers.  Permission to forward this e-mail in its entirety for non-profit purposes is hereby granted.  Any other use requires specific written permission.  For questions, submissions or comments, email Updates@... 

       

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      VaHomeschoolers is a non-profit private charity with 501(c)(3) status.

       

       

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