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VaHomeschoolers Update, August 1, 2006

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  • Rebecca
     VaHomeschoolers Update August 1, 2006 From The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers: your fully inclusive, all volunteer, member-directed state
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2006

      VaHomeschoolers Update August 1, 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/join.html

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

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

      In this Update:


      Step 1: Know the Law

      2. EVENTS

      Charlottesville:  International Youth Democracy Summit Opening Ceremony, Tuesday, August 8, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

      Waynesboro:  Wildlife programs at The Wildlife Center of Virginia, ongoing

      Lovettsville:  Beat the Clock SAT Essay Workshop, Thursday, August 17, 10:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

      Statewide: Staples Teacher Appreciation Day, August 19, 2006

      Arlington:  Arlington County Fair, August 17-20, 2006


      Red Vines Drawing Contest

      Reader's Digest National Word Power Challenge

      Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology



      Get Your Blog On

      Doesn't it seem like everyone has a blog these days? Well, we do. You're the last one not to. Get yours for free. Now.


      Carnival of Homeschooling

      The Truth Laid Bear



      Not the same as your old co-editor 


       Get a jump start on the Conference! Attend the FREE Resource Fair Preview on Friday, August 25th. Shopping early leaves you more time on Saturday for chatting with speakers and new and old friends. And as an added benefit, we will also be offering a free Beginning Homeschool session that afternoon. This session will provide potential and new homeschoolers a place to have their all their questions answered.


      Hotel Update: The host hotel, Comfort Inn and Conference center, is completely booked. Haven’t made your reservations yet? Don’t despair! There are still rooms available at the overflow hotels…but don’t wait too long! The VaHomeschoolers blocks will be released in early August. For details, see:



      For detailed information on registration, speakers, vendors, the Used Resource Fair and more, see the official Conference web page:


      Learn * Discover * Rejuvenate




      The first part of advocacy is knowing what you're talking about--helps to keep you from freezing up when you're doing the fun part of advocacy (e.g.: calling your representative or staffing a booth). Celeste Land gives you more reasons to know the law in the first part of her series on homeschooling advocacy.



      Then come show it off at the Talented Kids and Krazy Kone Party on Friday, August 25th!



      Cap off Friday evening with a Talent Show and Art Exhibition at the host hotel, where you can meet the VaHomeschoolers Board of Directors, the featured speakers and talented home schooling families from across the state. Put faces with all those homeschoolers you email with or the members you read about.


      If your child or family has a talent you would like to share or art you would like to display, please email our Party Coordinator at party@... to let us know!

      2. EVENTS

      Charlottesville:  International Youth Democracy Summit Opening Ceremony

      The Opening Ceremony for the International Youth Democracy Summit will be held at the University of Virginia on Tuesday, August 8, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Featured speaker will be Karen Hughes, US Department of State Undersecretary of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. The event is part of the year-long celebration of the founding of Jamestown. The International Youth Democracy Summit features 300 high school students from around the world discussing the importance of involvement in civic life and how serving the community is an important legacy of the Jamestown Colony. Tickets are free and are available by emailing your name, names of guest(s), and the address you'd like the tickets mailed to 



      Waynesboro:  Wildlife programs at The Wildlife Center of Virginia

      The Wildlife Center of Virginia offers five educational programs for school groups, including homeschoolers. Current offerings are "Critters Don't Need Litter," "You Are What You Eat," "Wildlife Myths: The Truth Behind the Tails," "Whoooo's Awake in the Night," and "A View From the Top." Programs cost $175 and have a maximum group size of 300. You pick the day and time for your group, and the center will have the program of your choice waiting for you. Mention receiving an email about end of summer programs and receive a 10% discount on your program. For more information on programs and making reservations, see:



      Lovettsville:  Beat the Clock SAT Essay Workshop

      Intimidated by the new SAT essay? Come to this 4.5 hour workshop on Thursday, August 17, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and learn the ins and outs of essay writing. This class is for high schoolers and middle school students (and parents who want to brush up on their own skills). Cost is $50, $45 for siblings, and $15 for parents who "audit" the course. Participants receive a 30-page booklet on essay writing. To reserve your space or for more information, email Kathryn:



      Statewide: Staples Teacher Appreciation Day, August 19, 2006

      You know you want yet another goody bag! Staples is hosting a Teacher Appreciation Day on Saturday, August 19, at stores statewide. The first 200 participants at each store receive a free canvas tote bag, teacher planner, and coupons (while supplies last). For more information and to find out the hours of the events near you, see:



      Arlington:  Arlington County Fair, August 17-20, 2006

      The 30th annual Arlington County Fair comes to South Second Street in Arlington. Featuring games, rides, animals, and "creative efforts from hundreds of Arlingtonians," the fair promises a lovely weekend of family fun--and with free admission on top, how can you not go? For more information, see:




      It's time to reactivate your shopper programs at your local supermarket. In the month of August, Harris Teeter will give VaHomeschoolers double the contribution from select items when you shop with your linked card. Food Lion is also restarting its program for the 2006/07 school year, and Giant stores will restart on August 14. What a great way to give back to VaHomeschoolers by doing something you'd do any way!

      Encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to select VaHomeschoolers, too!

      Find more information on these programs and our school codes for different supermarkets at our website:


      Red Vines Drawing Contest

      When I worked as an editor on my college paper, I always had a big bucket of Red Vines on my desk. Kept the minions happy. Do you have an equally fun story about Red Vines? Share it in art project and you could win the $5000 educational certificate (or a trip for four anywhere in the US) grand prize or the cash first, second or third prizes. The contest judges work in three age categories (Kids 6-12, Teens 13-18, and Adults 19+), must be done in a single color, feature the Red Vines logo, and be 10 x 2.8". Entries are due by August 31. For more information, see: 


      Reader's Digest National Word Power Challenge

      It pays to increase your word power! Reader's Digest National Word Power Challenge is a vocabulary contest for children in grades 4-8, and includes homeschoolers as participants. Get together a group of at least six vocabulary-mad students in the same grade-level, and you've got what it takes to begin the competition. The contest operates on four levels: classroom (that group of six kids), grade, statewide, and the national competition in Orlando, FL. The cost of the contest is $50 per school, and the top prize is a $25,000 scholarship. Schools must pre-register, and all contest materials are covered by the $50 fee, including posters, stickers, and a 1-year subscription to Reader's Digest. For more information, see: 


      Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology

      Budding scientists, engineers, and mathematicians take note: it's Siemens time! The annual competition for high school students features the best upcoming ideas in the sciences while encouraging students to pursue the sciences as a career path. Entries for this year's competition are due by October 3, 2006, and may be submitted by individuals or teams. The entries are evaluated by a panel of judges, and 300 projects will be selected as semi-finalists and proceed to the Regional Finals round. From these rounds, six projects will be selected as finalists and will compete at the national level for the grand prize of $100,000 in scholarships for the winning team.  For more information, see: 



      Sell it at the VaHomeschoolers Used Resource Fair (to be held during the VaHomeschoolers Conference and Resource Fair). There are 3 ways to participate: you can donate items for VaHomeschoolers to sell, consign items or just come and shop.


      For more details on how to donate items, entering items into our database, pricing guidelines and more, go to our Used Resource Fair webpage:




      Get Your Blog On

      Blogs (short for "weblogs," or online diaries) are such an invaluable tool for homeschoolers. I honestly can't remember how I lived without homeschooling blogs. Blogs offer a real-life look at homeschooling (and not always the "good stuff" homeschooling that we pull out for the relatives!). Let folks know what's going on in your neck of the homeschool universe--start a blog.

      Blogger -- http://www.blogger.com

      Probably the grand-daddy of all blogging sites, Blogger will have you up and running with your own blog in minutes. Free templates, a WYSIWYG editor (what you see is what you get), and photo hosting make this the on-ramp to the Blogosphere for first-time bloggers.

      WordPress -- http://www.wordpress.com

      A lot like Blogger, it's where the "cool kids" hang out.

      HomeschoolJournal -- http://homeschooljournal.net/about/

      Homeschool Journal is a homeschooler's paradise. The site is run by a couple of Canadian homeschooling parents who thought it would be neat to offer free blogs to homeschoolers and their kids.

      You've got your blog--now who's going to read it?

      Carnival of Homeschooling
      Carnivals pop up in the Blogosphere all the time--we do love our fun out there in the blog universe. Joining a carnival is a great way to get traffic to your blog. Carnivals take bits and pieces of information from all blogs on a single topic (those that get submitted to them, that is!), and compile them into one readable post. Melissa Wiley at Lilting House is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling (the 30th one, if you can believe it), and she has an awesome Schoolhouse Rock theme going. Peruse the carnival at:

      And for information about joining the next Carnival of Homeschooling, see:

      The Truth Laid Bear
      Another way to get folks to your site to read your words of wisdom is to join an online community. The Truth Laid Bear offers several communities, including one set up just for homeschoolers. The site also ranks popular blogs based on their traffic. Fear not--I am still "an insignificant microbe" on the web ecosystem, too.

      Adding tags to your blog (think of them as keywords) can boost you up in the search engines. Try this: go to Technocrati and type in "homeschooling" in the search box. Maybe you're an unschooler with a passion for geology. Add those tags to your blog and meet other homeschoolers with the same interests.

      Hi there, I'm Rebecca Besbris, your new VaHomeschoolers Update co-editor. I'm starting my fifth year of homeschooling my daughters Mara and Daisy with my husband Dave. I'm a Waldorf-inspired homeschooler in Reston, and this is my first time sticking my neck out volunteering for VaHomeschoolers. I hope to add a little sass to your bi-weekly Update, and look forward to bringing you the best of articles from the VaHomeschoolers website, awesome events, and free web stuff. Want to get your stuff into the Update? Send your chocolate--wait, that doesn't travel well through email. Drat. Send your info to me at updates@... (and maybe a promise of chocolate?) and I'll do my best to get you in here.

      Did someone forward this message to you?  Lucky dog! Next time, 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@... 


      Subscribe to VaHomeschoolers Updates by sending a blank e-mail  to 


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


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