Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Great Sunflower Project

Hi everybody! Just received this email from another homeschooling family and thought it may be of interest here.



Recommended Website:
The Great Sunflower Project

The Great Sunflower Project is on for 2010! Join this nationwide endeavor to help biologists reach their goal of documenting bee pollination in the US and developing strategies to protect and restore native bees where they are threatened. To participate you simply:

  1. Sign up at the website.
  2. Get and plant "Lemon Queen" sunflower seeds.
  3. Once your plants have flowered, count the number of flowers on your plant with pollen.
  4. Use the instructions and data sheets provided at the website to record the number of bees that visit your sunflower over a period of 15 minutes.
  5. Enter your data online at the website.

The parameters have changed slightly for 2010, and the folks at The Great Sunflower Project are in the process of modifying the data entry form on the website to reflect the changes. It isn’t quite finished, however, that shouldn't stop you from getting your seeds in preparation to plant as soon as night temperatures stay above 55 degrees in the area where you live.

Last year, The Great Sunflower Project distributed free Lemon Queen sunflower seeds. Due to increased costs, they are asking people to get their own Lemon Queen sunflower seeds at a local nursery or store, or pay $3.00 (covers padded mailers and shipping) to order them directly from The Great Sunflower project.

That said, you can still get FREE SEEDS for children in kids' programs and school groups who participate in the project. I contacted the "Queen Bee" (who goes by the name of Gretchen LeBuhn) and asked if homeschoolers qualify for free seeds. She wrote:

I love having homeschooling families participate. The real issue is the cost of mailing. So, if they can group together [i.e., request on behalf of a homeschool support group], I'd be happy to send free seeds. Individual homeschool families can also send a business sized, self-addressed, stamped envelope (with first class postage stamp on it) to:

Gretchen LeBuhn
The Great Sunflower
Department of Biology
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132

Include a note that explains you are a homeschooler who wants to participate in The Great Sunflower Project, and Gretchen will put seeds in the envelope and mail it back to you. You STILL have to sign up to participate online at the website, where you'll also find instructions for planting the seeds and caring for your sunflowers.

You'll also receive the free eNewsletter with updates on what the researchers are learning about bees.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Valentine's--the Old School Way

Those of you who could not come, we missed you! : )

Time for a Book/Curriculum Swap!

I am thinking it is time to lug out all the books, workbooks, materials, etc. that we know we don't need and bring them to one of our gatherings to see if anyone else wants to use them. I have loads of awesome stuff, esp. a box of new Abeka (?) books that were given to me and I know I will not use. So I propose we do the following:

1) bring our things and swap at the next Old School Monday--March 22.

2) lay them out in one of the adjacent classrooms, so moms can go look but the kids are not getting into them

3) invite other homeschool area moms to come participate!!!!

This could be one of the fun opportunities we have to share who we are and what we are doing with moms outside of Vintage--and maybe God will bless them as He has blessed us. : )

What do you think? Please leave comments here or email Lisa C!

never too late, right?

I have been meaning to post this photo for a loooooong time. Like since before Christmas, when it might have been helpful to you. (Whoops!)

Remember those wreaths we made from autumn leaves we had collected way back at one of the Fall OSM days? I hope you enjoyed that project--we enjoyed ours until it was time to get out the Christmas decorations, and then my oldest daughter G had a great idea--she took off the autumn-hued ribbon, pulled as much leaf as she could from the cardboard forms, then gathered redwood leaves and cones from our backyard, glued them on, put on a more Christmassy ribbon, and voila!

It looked fantastic there against the wood wall, don't you think?

So this was just an idea in case any of you still have those cardboard forms we used, or if you liked the idea to try again for a different season of the year. : )

OH! what if the kids did this with jelly beans for Easter??!!! how cute would THAT be?!


Clearly you can let your imagination run wild with this idea. : ) If any of you had pics from the wreaths we made together that you want to share, please upload and post them if you are an author, or email them to me.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Old School Monday--TOMORROW!

Hello moms!

Sorry I did not post about this sooner! But just a reminder that tomorrow is our Old School Monday for the month of February. And we are going to have a belated Valentine's party! So please bring a snack to share, and have your child bring Valentines (or we will make them all together at a couple of art stations). : )

We will be doing some easy schoolish things, but mainly this one is going to be a fun day. Hope to see you there! As always, 10-1 there at Vintage Faith.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Worldwide Adventures of the Flat Sisters!

Hi Vintage Moms!

Remember way back when we had our "kick off" for the Old School Monday 2009-10 homeschool year? It was at the end of the summer, and some families brought displays of what they had done that summer? (hint: we will do this next year too!) And do you remember we started doing some geography at OSM and I was introducing the idea of "Flat Stanley" and suggesting we all consider doing them to help our kids continue the whole travel/adventure/geography thing?

WELL! I never did. I wanted to do it, and just kept putting it off. Until now! A few weeks back a new cousin by marriage sent us HER flat stanley, and that was the impetus I needed to get us underway! So, without further ado. . .


I am posting this in the hopes that it may be inspiring to you all as well. Look at the fun things you can do with this project! The Flat Sisters have their own travel blog!!! Not only will I be posting pics of the Flat Sisters on their worldwide adventures--I am hoping the blog will encourage people to send pics to us!--but I will also be encouraging the girls to write stories about adventures the Flat Sisters are having, and post them on the site too. (Had the idea last night when we were in the car for several hours and G told us a story about the Flat Sisters going to Haiti!) I also might have the girls make little reports about the different places the Flat Sisters visit, and then post them there too. The idea is just to make it fun and interactive!

So, this is your opportunity to jump in on the fun! Please consider starting some travelling flat people with your kids this Spring--it is not too late!

If you want to share the Flat Stanley books with your kids, I am sure the library has them, or we were just given the whole set and can share!

Here is a great website to read before you make your Flatties.

And if you want any help making a blog (free!) for your Flatties, I would be glad to walk through it at some OSM.

Jump on into the adventure!

Volunteer for FREE Disney Tickets!

This sounds AWESOME! I am SO going to do it--since we will be traveling all over the state this Spring finishing learning about CA and its history, and we thought it would be fun to end up at Disneyland--if they get events that fit our family that we can sign up for ASAP, since I am sure the million tickets will go more quickly than we think!

So, tell your friends about it! But don't, like, tell strangers on the street or anything. ; )