The View from the Classroom Window

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Packing Party!

Hello Vintage Homeschool families!

(And anyone else who is interested in joining us!)

We have had Operation Christmas Child shoe box packing parties many times before. This year we are going to have a

WHEN: Friday, November 13, 6-8 pm
WHERE: Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz
Children's Ministry Building 
(Classrooms on the second floor)

This year we are making the event a DOUBLE blessing--not only will we be packing shoe boxes to bless kids around the world, but we will also be raising funding for children sponsored by Compassion International!

Here's how it will work:

Most years we all go shopping in advance and then bring what goodies we have found to the party and pack our shoe boxes together. This allows us to buy items in bulk and share the bounty with other packing families so we can buy at good prices but still have a variety of items in our boxes.

This year we're going to come to the party with empty shoe boxes--and full piggy banks! We're going to "shop" at tables hosted by kids!  All items for sale will be between 5 cents and 2 dollars. All the proceeds the kids raise at their tables will go toward Compassion International children.

By the end of the night, your shoe boxes should be mostly full, and for so much less than the usual cost of buying the items at a store!  And every penny you will have spent will go straight to help other children in need. It's win-win-win!  Then you will have the next week to get anything else your family wants in their shoe boxes and drop them off at one of the two local OCC collection sites.

We will also have a free card-making station and a station for wrapping and decorating shoe boxes!

Your children do not have to host a table--they can just come and participate in the fun! Just bring your shoe boxes and plenty of spare change and dollar bills!  (Please don't expect the kids to be able to break large bills at their tables. : )  Bring friends too!

**We've never done this before, so I have no idea how many people are going to show up. So if you know for sure your family would like to come to the party, would you please be so kind as to RSVP in the comments below?  Right now we have the "big room" in the upstairs of the Children's Ministry building reserved, but if we get a bigger crowd than that room can hold we might be able to use more rooms!  So please RSVP by this upcoming Monday night, November 9th.

(And if you are not sure now, but decide to come at the last minute, that's great too!  Come! : )

If your kid/family wants to get in on the fun of table hosting:

There will be three kinds of tables kids/families can host: selling tables, crafting tables, and treat tables. 

Selling Tables
Kids who want to host a selling table should think about what items people would want to put into a shoe box (what kids want to receive!) and then either make or buy items to sell.  Do they have crafting skills?  Some ideal things they could make for shoe boxes would be:
* washcloths (knit, or cut from larger (new) towels and hemmed, etc.)
* decorated pillowcases
* scarves (decorative or functional--t-shirt jersey, knit, etc.)
* tie-dyed items! 
* potholders
*  jewelry
*  hair bows
* pillowcase dresses
***Bags with handles so the children who receive their shoe boxes can easily carry them home. Sometimes the kids must walk for miles carrying them, often while also carrying a younger sibling!

But selling tables are not just for the crafty kids!  We would also love to have tables selling bulk goods.  Some ideal things they could procure for shoe boxes would be:
* toothbrushes
* toothpaste (please be sure the sell-by date is well into the year 2016!)
* soaps
* combs
* socks
* pencils
* erasers
* notepads
* gum
* candy (no chocolate or anything that might melt in transit. Your kids can assemble candies into little ziplock baggies--or, even more fun, have a "penny candy" store and buying kids can bag their own!)

Potential sellers:
1. You get to set your own prices. Just remember to keep your prices low so people can fill their shoe boxes!
2. All prices should be between 5 cents and 2 dollars.
3. Please visit the Operation Christmas Child shoe box packing list, so you can make sure that what you are selling is appropriate.

Crafting Tables
Any kids/families who want to host a craft table are also most welcome!  This is a really fun way to add to the party fun while helping families fill their shoe boxes.  You pick the craft and prepare it, and kids pay you to participate in the activity, which they complete at your table. Just please choose a craft that is easy, low mess, can be finished quickly, and would be appropriate to put in a shoe box. Some ideas for such crafts:
* yarn wreath ornaments
* washi tape crafts
* origami birds or "balloons"
* button & wire flower bouquets
* flower-ended ball-point pens
* yarn tassel angels
* stamping cards & envelopes
* easy jewelry
* paper-cutting crafts (snowflake ornaments, etc.)

Potential crafters:
1. Please remember to chose crafts that are quick, easy, and don't make a mess.
2. You provide all the things someone would need for the craft, and people will pay you when they make the craft.
3. Please visit the Operation Christmas Child shoe box packing list, so you can make sure that what you are crafting is appropriate.

Treat Tables
Kids who want to make snacks to sell to the people at the party are most welcome!  Cookies, brownies, whatever you think people would like to eat!   If anyone wants to make a lemonade stand (or even better, a hot cider stand!) that is fine too!

Potential treat vendors:
1. Finger food only please--nothing that requires utensils to serve.
2. Don't forget to provide your customers with napkins if your treat is a sticky one. : )
3. Gluten-free & "healthy" baked treats will likely be well received. : )

**Any child/family hosting a table:
1. Leave a comment here on this blog post to request table space.  Anyone who wants to use a table for any reason must RSVP to reserve table space in advance, so I can make sure we have enough tables for everyone. The deadline for table RSVP is Monday, November 9th. 
2. It is a good idea if you say in your comment what you are planing on selling or crafting, to avoid duplication.
3. I will set up a table for you to use (which you may be sharing). But you can bring decorations for it if you like!
4. Every table host should bring some kind of container for holding the Compassion money you earn. It can be a jar, a mug, a box--whatever works!--and should be labeled "Compassion Fund."  If your family is already sponsoring a Compassion child, then please do bring a picture of your child for your table! If your family does not have a Compassion child, that is fine!  Your kids get to choose if they want to put their earnings into children represented in the room, or if they want to give it to me to send to Compassion International.
5. Your child does not have to prepare a whole lot of product to sell. If they make 10 potholders--great!  Or five adorable beaded necklaces--great!  Or one plate of cookies--yum!  This is a very kid-friendly, low-pressure event. : )

If you are new to Operation Christmas Child shoe box packing, then I urge you to visit their website and read all about them. There are videos you can watch, and stories you can read about children whose lives were changed for the better because of receiving shoe boxes!

I also recommend you purchase your packing labels online through the OCC website: this will allow your family to track your boxes and see where in the world they ended up!

Did I forget anything? Any questions?  Please ask them in the comments below so everyone may benefit from the dialogue.

I'm very excited about this event, and know that it does not matter who shows up as long as they come with enthusiasm and big hearts. Big event or small, it's going to be fun. : )

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Old School Christmas Party! Friday!

It's the annual Vintage Homeschool Christmas Party!
We'll keep it short and sweet. ; )

WHERE: The usual downstairs classrooms there in the Children's Ministry building at Vintage Faith. 

WHEN: This Friday, Dec. 19 from 12:00 noon - 1:30. 

WHAT TO BRING: a finger food snack to share, a wrapped "white elephant" gift for each of your children who want to participate in that game. 

If you have your own water bottles and travel plates, please do bring them!  And as always, you are welcome to bring a lunch for your family if that makes coming to the party any easier for your family needs. 

For the white elephant game: just choose (or have your kids choose) something you already have around the house to bring. Wrap it up, or put it in a paper sack--you can't do it wrong, and it's always fun!  Just be sure to bring one item for each kid in your family who wants to participate. 

And please feel free to invite friends!

Questions? Please leave them in the comments here, so that everyone may see the answers. : )

Hope to see you there!  If you get a chance to RSVP, please do either here or on facebook. We'll start the party activities right at 12:30. : )


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Packing Party 2014--This Friday

Hello all!

It's time for the annual packing of the shoeboxes!

Where: the Downstairs right-hand classrooms in the Children's Bldg. at Vintage Faith
When: This upcoming Friday, Nov 7, from 11-1

Bring your own boxes to stuff, and bring goodies to share in the boxes!

If you are new to this event, or have questions about what can go in a box, please visit this link to the official Operation Christmas Child website.

I recommend paying for your shoebox shipment online, so you can track where your boxes go!

Is anyone willing to volunteer to deliver the boxes to our local drop-off location after the event? In this past this has been at Santa Cruz Bible Church. If we do not get a volunteer, then everyone will be responsible for dropping off their own boxes. If we do get a volunteer, then be sure to either pay for your box online or bring $7 per box to cover the shipping fees.

I do have a few extra shoeboxes in the homeschool closet there at church, which anyone may decorate and use for this event. Or you can stop and pick up the free boxes from the local drop-off place.

Any questions?  Ask here in the comments so everyone may benefit from the responses.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Scary Math Party--THIS Friday, Oct. 31

image from this blog, which looks like it could be a fun math read!

What:  Scary Math Party
Where: the Upstairs classroom, Children's Building, Vintage Faith Church
When:  This Friday, October 31, 11-2 pm

Come and have fun with your kids playing some math games and finding out math is not quite so scary after all.  

Let's make it a party!  So please bring a finger food item to share--something that can be served on napkins. But because of all the sugar our children are likely to be consuming that night (and the next day, and the next day. . . ), please consider bringing a non-sweet food to share. : )

We will have a Math Hall of Fame display, so if any of your kids want to participate in that, have them bring an example of their math prowess, and they can share it during circle time. 

We will also have a fun craft activity, but *only for those who RSVP by Weds night. This craft will also have a fee of $2 per child who wants to participate, since I'll be buying supplies for it. (We are going to make creatures from gourds, which the kids will then measure and weigh--and name, of course!)

So if you are coming to the party and would like to participate in the craft, please RSVP in the comments below. 

For those who might want to know--this is not a Halloween party, so I'm not encouraging kids to dress up, but if your kids want to just because they are excited about the day, then that is your call, Mom. : )

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Old School Monday: Back to School 2014

Old School Monday Back to School Party!

When: This upcoming Monday, September 29 from 11:30 - 2:00.
Where:  Vintage Faith Church, first floor classrooms

Yes, most of us have been officially back in school for at about a month now, but it is never too late to celebrate the transition into a new school year! 

This gathering's theme is Show and Tell.  Your children are invited to bring something they have done or learned so far this school year, or they can share something special they did last summer.

As always, you can eat before you come, or bring your lunches to eat while we all catch up on how summers went and how school is going so far. : )  And please bring a finger-food snack for the group to share!

Invite your friends!

Anyone want to volunteer to lead a gym game afterwards? I'm thinking HORSE, or something that involves lots of running. : )  If you are inspired, just let us know in the comments!

Hope you are all having a great start to the school year, and I look forward to catching up.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon : book review

This is one of my favorite books that I have read this year. There is just the right balance between fantasy, magic and adventure. The main character is a little girl named Minli, who goes to find the Old Man in the Moon, to see if he can change her family's fortune. She meets many magical creatures along the way.  The story also includes a lot about Chinese culture and old folk tales.  I love the colorful artwork that goes with almost every chapter. The author really entices you to read more and finish the book. If you are looking for an exciting book to read, I encourage you to read this one.

By Asia, age 11

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Life of Fred

I cannot believe I forgot to mention these books in my list of fun and potentially inspiring math story books:  The Life of Fred: "Math As Serious As It Needs to Be."  The first title in the series is "Apples."  We borrowed it from a friend once and thought it was really engaging and definitely stimulating.  Some people use these books for their math curriculum, but I think they are best as "fun math" for days when I want to introduce a new concept, or get the kids interacting with ideas more independently, or just to have a break from "regular" math and do something different and fun. 

Alas, the library does not appear to have any of them, and I believe we can no longer use Ocean Grove funds to purchase these books. : (  But ask your ES if there are any at the resource center.

Or, if any of you Vintage homeschool parents have any Life of Fred books and don't mind sharing, please let us know in the comments below!

I found a site that allows you to download a preview of many of the Life of Fred books.  Here's the download link to the "Apples" book (let's see if that works--not sure if I can link to a pdf).

Here is the link to all of the previews.