Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On our Christmas party and sharing the fun with the greater SC community

Hello Moms!

So, I have had a very interesting exchange today via emails with the local Santa Cruz Homeschool Yahoo group (my main source of info for all things homeschool in this area--which I why I occassionally quote good stuff from the group here, for the benefit of you all).  As most of you know, when we have a special "Vintage Homeschool Group" event and I tell you all to invite friends, I also send an invite to all the families on the Santa Cruz Homeschool Yahoo group.  This is usually for the "Back to School," "End of School," "Valentine's Day," and "Christmas" parties.  Do you remember Hilary who came a couple of times with her son, or Zan who came a couple of times with her son and daughter, or Susan who came once with her young son and daughter?  These are just some of the people who have visited our parties from the greater SC homeschool community to be friendly and join in the fun.  I am so glad they did, and I hope they felt welcome. 

Well, today I posted a group-wide invitation to our Christmas party.  What follows are the emails that came as a response this afternoon.  I'll explain at the end why I am sharing this dialogue with you all, but I think you will be able to figure it out:

Hello all!

Our Vintage Homeschool Moms group is having our annual Christmas party next Monday, Dec. 19 from noon until 2:30 there at Vintage Faith Church in S.C.

All familes are welcome!

Please check out this link for more details:

Hope the rest of your week is a merry one! : )

lisa c-------


I was wanting to find out more about the Vintage Faith Church a
while back when some friends were talking about the Abbey
coffeehouse the church runs, and was very disappointed to find out --
from the web site and from reviews of a book by the pastor -- that
they are anti-gay. Would "All families are welcome" really apply to
all the local two-mom homeschooling families and LGBT homeschooling
teens I know?

In general Santa Cruz has a lot of LGBT-inclusive and welcoming
churches and other houses of worship -- just for one small example,
it is my experience as a person who has danced in both the Downtown
Santa Cruz Holiday Parade and the Santa Cruz Pride Parade that the
latter has a lot more churches in it -- so yes, it was an unpleasant
surprise that a church that seems to want to make a big deal of
having a hip coffeehouse would not be included in that number.

I hope we will all remember that homeschooling families are a
diverse group.

T--- T------


Hi T---,

Thanks for your honest and sincere email response to my invite.  The Vintage Homeschool Moms group is just that--a bunch of moms who enjoy getting together to have fun and encourage one another in our homeschooling and parenting.  The Christmas party is not a church-sponsored event, but we routinely use the Vintage Faith Church classrooms for our gatherings, since they have such great facilities (like a bathroom in the classroom, the gym for the kids to run around in, etc.).  We call ourselves "Vintage Homeschool Moms" just because most of us happen to be, but we have families from other churches join us, and have welcomed Jewish, agnostic, and atheist parents as well.  I am the organizer for most of the gatherings we have, and I love to invite new people--you never know who might really want to get their kids out of the house for a fun, casual event with other homeschool kids, or what mom might be struggling and need a few kind words. : )

So, we do not claim to represent the overall Vintage Faith Church, and I am sure all of us moms in the group have different opinions about all aspects of life, just like all of us here on the homeschool group forum do.  I can't speak for any of the other moms (or dads, who are welcome and sometimes come too!), but I personally welcome any homeschool family who feels comfortable with us.  What I can speak for the other moms about is that yes, most of us are trying to live as followers of Jesus Christ, and believe each and every person is a unique, valuable creation worthy of love and respect. 

You are right that this will not be an all-inclusive gathering, in the sense that we will be celebrating "Christmas" and not "the Holidays" and God might very well come up in the conversation as moms chat.  ; )  I posted the invite with the assumption that anyone who wants to avoid such things would simply disregard it.  But it will not be a religious gathering in nature (i.e. other than the fact that Christmas is what it is, we are not out to convert you), and so I invite anyone who is comfortable with such a dynamic to please feel free to join us.



Wow, thanks for doing the research T---. I'll look into this too. I've been to The Abbey twice to knit with a friend, just assuming they were friendly.  As another lesbian mom, I won't be spending my money there anymore.



Hi Lisa,

 I was confused by some parts of your reply (below), so I was hoping you could clarify a few things:

- Is T--- correct that this church has an anti-gay theology?  I understand that your group is not church-sponsored, but some might consider this information relevant in deciding whether to attend an event at their facility. 

- You said that most of the members of the group are in fact members of the church.  Does the group have an explicit understanding that gay families are welcome and will not be subjected to anti-gay attitudes?  If not, a reasonable person might assume that the stance of the church is the (unspoken) stance of the group.

- Statements like "every person is a unique, valuable creation worthy of love and respect" are often code for "hate the sin, love the sinner."  Is this in fact what you meant to convey?

We are indeed a diverse group, and should be free to announce gatherings etc. that would not suit all of us.  I do think, however, that accurate information about the nature of a group would be helpful.

Thanks in advance for clarifying,



Speaking as an all inclusive mom, I feel that you both are being very unfair with your expectations and judgements. I also feel the tones of your reply/comments are very negative and unaccepting themselves. Let us keep our personal feelings aside and ask objective questions with the expectation of a reasonable answer.
Sent from my LG phone

[no name given]


If you are referring to my comment, I don't see how declaring that I won't spend money in a cafe that funds an anti-gay church is being unfair to anyone, least of all Lisa, who wasn't representing The Abbey. I want all homeschoolers to feel welcome posting here, but I also want to be reasonably informed about the politics/religious leanings of any group or event I choose to attend, so I welcome the discussion that has followed Lisa's posting.



Hi M--,

Your questions are reasonable.  I was trying to avoid speaking for the overall church, for several reasons.  Mainly I don't feel qualified to speak for the church, so hope all of you who are really interested in knowing the church's stance on such issues will go directly to the source, and call and set up a meeting with one of the pastors.   D-- K------ is the pastor who I think T--- was referencing in her email, and he is a very sensitive man who is always available for such discussions.  If you would prefer to speak with a woman, K------ J----- is not a pastor, but is one of the members at the heart of the church.  I understand why some of you want to know the church's stance on gender identity, GLBT families, etc., esp. in regards to the Abbey coffeelounge, since we all want to support business (or in this case, non-profits) that align with our personal values. 

I tried to be clear that I was not speaking for the other moms/families in the Vintage homeschool moms group, but you are raising an excellent question about whether or not the other moms would welcome gay/lesbian families.  To be candid, I don't know.  What I do know is that they have welcomed every other family who has come, and I will never invite the greater homeschool community to an event that is specifically religious in nature or at which they might not be welcome.    

I do want to address your question about whether my statement "every person is a unique, valuable creation worthy of love and respect" was code for "hate the sin, love the sinner."   While every single word I chose is loaded with meaning, and intentionally so, please take them together in their most beautiful, person-affirming way.   I personally respect people of all faiths, cultural backgrounds, etc, and hope those of you who know me even a little in person would agree that I live out these beliefs.  (I feel like I am supposed to whip out my "diversity portfolio" at this point, or show you my gay and lesbian parent personal references. ; ) 

I am not offended that you are asking, esp. since I am sure others are wondering at this point, although it is certainly uncomfortable.  I enjoy being a part of this homeschool group because it represents the whole broad spectrum of our greater Santa Cruz area, and in fact do not choose to participate in groups that purposefully exclude a variety of world views.  But within this group, I hope there is enough room on the spectrum of ideas for mine too.   It is healthy and wise for such a group to avoid entangements that come with seeming to promote certain views above others.  I have been sharing only those events and ideas that seemed to be relevant to the greater homeschool community. 

So, everyone, do my clarifications and assurances here suffice?  Do we all agree with M--'s statement that "We are indeed a diverse group, and should be free to announce gatherings etc. that would not suit all of us"? 

Ironically, I have to run to church now. ; )  But please feel free to email again if we need to further the dialogue.



That was all the emailing that happened today.  If more views come forth, I will add them to this post, because I think this is an important dialogue that you all should be aware of, since it concerns you specifically. 

Tonight when I was at the kid's choir practice, I had a chance to share some of this with a few of you, and was so glad to get the response I expected from you, which was that you were unhesitatingly willing and even glad to open our special events to all homeschool families, and only hoped that any who came would be as willing to tolerate our views as we would be willing to tolerate their views. 

I think it was actually really cool that such a conversation happened in that public forum--that people were talking about churches being welcoming or not, Christians being loving to others or not, esp. those with whom they might disagree.  I am sure not only the parents who participated in this dialogue thought about the implications, but surely so did all the parents who just read the responses and did not chime in. 

I want you all to have the same chance, to think about these things, and what response we as a body of believers in Jesus Christ should have to our surrounding community. I do hope that us Christian homeschool moms (wherever we are!) would genuinely welcome any family who we encounter--that we can love them without fear, from the fullness of Christ's love for them. 

Since the SC Homeschooling group has been given this blog link for the information about the party, I have written this with the expectation that some of the readers might be more curious about us after the email exchange and might stop by this blog.  I hope whatever we say here will reflect who we really are, and we will be seen for the friendly bunch we are.  So, please feel free to comment, and "let your gentleness be evident to all--the Lord is near." : )

much love to you all,


The Old School Monday Christmas Party is ON!

Hello all you Vintage Moms!

Ok, so I got permission from the church to use our usual classrooms next Monday, December 19.  So please come join in the holiday fun!  We will meet the usual time, from noon until about 2:30.  We will chat and play and do a few ornament crafts. 

We will also have a Christmas cookie exchange!  Here's how it works: 
--each child who wants to participate should bring one dozen cookies on a plate.
--we will place all the plates of cookies out when everyone is there
--each child who brought a plate of cookies gets to go through the cookie buffet with an empty paper plate, choosing a dozen cookies, whatever strikes his or her fancy.
--so this means every child leaves with the same number of cookies he or she brought, but gets the fun of trying other family's favorite holiday treats.  : )
--and of course our children will share with their siblings and daddies and mommies, right? ; )

I'll bring the empty paper plates, so here is what you may want to bring:

--one dozen cookies per child (IF you want to participate in the cookie exchange)

--lunch for your family (IF you want to), including drinks*

--one non-sweet snack to share with the group

Please feel free to invite friends!

*Remember, we would like to make our gatherings as waste-free as possible, so if you could bring your own reusable cups, little plates, etc. that would be so helpful!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Homeschooling and the S word (Socialization)

I received some emails today from a local homeschool yahoo group that were just too good not to share with you all!
Since you may be having conversations about homeschooling with relatives this weekend, you might be interested and share the following article and research findings below. (Thank you to Dale for sending this website!)

Wishing you a warm, fun and gratitude-filled time with family,


Social Development

A common concern voiced about homeschooled children is they lack the social interaction with peers that a school environment provides. Many homeschooling families address these concerns by joining numerous organizations, including independent study programs and specialized enrichment groups for PE, Art, Music, and Debate. Most are also active in community groups. Homeschooled children generally socialize with other children the same way that school children do: outside of school, via personal visits and through sports teams, clubs and religious groups.

Some homeschooling proponents have argued that homeschooling actually enhances the student's social development. Arguing that the school years are the only time in a person's life that he or she will be artificially segregated into chronologically-determined groups, these advocates assert that homeschoolers have a more normal interaction with persons across the age spectrum. This, in turn, results in more influence on the child from adults, and less from other children, leading to more mature youngsters.

In 2003, the National Home Education Research Institute conducted a survey of over 7,300 adults who had been homeschooled (over 5,000 for more than seven years). Here are some of the study's findings:

"Homeschool graduates are active and involved in their communities. Seventy-one percent participate in an ongoing community service activity (e.g., coaching a sports team, volunteering at a school, or working with a church or neighborhood association), compared with 37% of U.S. adults of similar ages."

"Homeschoolers are more involved in civic affairs and vote in much higher percentages than their peers. For example, 76% of homeschool graduates surveyed between the ages of 18–24 voted within the last five years, compared with only 29% of the relevant U.S. population. The numbers of homeschool graduates who vote are even greater in the older age brackets, with voting levels not falling below 95%, compared with a high of 53% for the corresponding U.S. populace."

"Of those adults who were homeschooled, 58.9% report that they are 'very happy' with life (compared with 27.6% for the general U.S. population). Moreover, 73.2% of homeschooled adults find life 'exciting', compared with 47.3% of the general population."

ERIC, the Education Resources Information Center of the U.S. government, has published multiple articles on homeschooling. Here's an excerpt from one which examined several studies on homeschool socialization:

"According to the findings, children who were schooled at home 'gained the necessary skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed to function in a rate similar to that of conventionally schooled children.'

"The researcher found no difference in the self concept of children in the two groups. Stough maintains that 'insofar as self concept is a reflector of socialization, it would appear that few home-schooled children are socially deprived, and that there may be sufficient evidence to indicate that some home-schooled children have a higher self concept than conventionally schooled children.'"

Email #2, from Nancy:

And read more here: article on the research:

And this article from Homeschool Review has appeared on these lists before:

Here is HSLDA's brochure in pdf form on homeschooling and socialization/citizenship, etc., with charts to show the research results, with homeschoolers having much higher scores.

My favorite part of the studies is that everyone talks about the 'real world' vs. homeschooling but I can't think of anything more real than children and teens who hang out together with their parents, their friends' parents and friends siblings, and actually talk and have fun as opposed to children who have endured the artificial segregation at most schools.  I found that my children's friends in traditional schools felt uncomfortable speaking to us parents or their siblings. 

And something you might also want to do is to write a daily log of your activities (whether it is academic, cooking from scratch, making a giant tube contraption for the pet rat, or searching online for greek word roots) and then compile that log into a few paragraphs for each "subject area" at the end of the month (for your consultant teacher and/or your own records) and then review it at the end of your year and write a one-page summary for that time period.  I know it amazed me to see what we accomplished when it didn't seem like we were doing enough "school" stuff.  Then if you like, mail it (with love and intent to share) to the grandparents - like I did - (especially if they are doubtful about homeschooling merits) and hopefully they will share it with the doubting aunts and uncles also.  They might just be amazed at how many books your child has read, the interesting volunteer experiences they had, how many group activities they did, and the unique things they studied, and tell you that they had no idea that homeschooling was like this. 

- Nancy

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Free Charlotte Mason materials in need of good home

Hey everyone!

Are any of you interested in a small stack of printed materials on Charlotte Mason homeschool ideas/practices?  I have some materials to pass along, so please spread the word! 

Please let me know ASAP.  : )


Monday, November 14, 2011

Reminder--Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Party THIS FRIDAY

Hello all!

Anyone interested and planning to join us, please scroll down to re-read the post I made a few weeks ago, where you can find all the details you need to know--what to bring, etc.  And please feel free to bring friends!

*Also, don't forget you can pre-pay for your box online, and then be able to have your box tracked as it is shipped and handed out!  TOTALLY the way to go if you and your kids are studying world cultures, geography, etc.

ALSO, if you received this post today in your email inbox, would you please leave a comment to this post?  That will help me know not only that the post notifications are back up and running, but also that the comment feed is running.  Thanks!

Hope you all have a great week!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

HEADS UP, locals, the library is changing its policies

Ok, this is something I had not heard, but which is realllllllly important for all local homeschool families to know about!  I'm too lazy to re-state this, so I will just quote Heddi and Vaiva and Suki, three local homeschool moms who are always in the know, from a yahoo group discussion:

Hey, just a heads up to everyone:  Starting October 16th, the Santa Cruz
libraries will no longer have a 7 day grace period.  Fines will begin
the very first day a book is overdue.  They are extending the checkout
time to three weeks, however.

With the cost of fines having gone up, and the number of books we check
out as homeschoolers, this could add up VERY quickly!  Also, no more
phone renewals.  It must be in person or online!

But at least they will give us a heads-up:
    You will receive a pre-due reminder notice 3 days BEFORE an item is    due. You will continue to get an email notice when an item is 3 days    overdue. However, with the new 3-week loan and no grace period, that    notice will be sent when the item is actually overdue (with fines).    We hope the 3 day pre-notice will help remind patrons to return    their items.

    I always wished they would warn me before my books were overdue!

I'm so relieved that you read that fine print, Vaiva. I was just realizing I was going to have to redo our entire approach to library materials, which presently is: wait till I get an overdue notice then renew! But it sounds like I'll still have three days, which is enough breathing room for me....

that was my method, too,- there was no other "warning" system! I    nearly freaked out when I got an email from me about the no grace    period policy, because the email did not indicate if there would be    a new notification system.  I probably would have to stop using the    library - I just wouldn't be able to afford it!!!     This new    system actually gives us more warning because you only had one day    to renew after the grace period (I think). 

And those of you not yet on the local yahoo homeschooling group, I highly recommend you do so!  I actually don't remember how you join--perhaps go to and then search for "santacruzhomeschooling"?  Anyway, much of the info I share here comes from that source!

lisa c.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

getting kids to think about stuff

A great web resource for getting kids to think about where their "stuff" comes from, and where it goes when they are done with it. . .

I am definitely checking this one out with my kids--perfect for discussions about material goods, mindful consumerism, recycling, downcycling, stewardship, etc.

Operation Christmas Child party!

Hello all!

We have been collecting little things for Operation Christmas Child for a long time (since we do this at every birthday party in lieu of gifts) and it is time to have a party and get together and fill shoeboxes!  This fun event will be open to any and all homeschool families and friends.  We can even make it a little holiday themed party, where we talk briefly about being Thankful and Giving in the name of Love. : ) 
We can all pool our resources, so feel free to bring a packet of pens, or a collection of combs, for example, and we will share them in our boxes.   (In fact, that's why I am announcing this plenty early, so you can keep your eye out for special deals on erasers, pencils, little things that are perfect for these boxes.)

So, everyone interested, please bring:

--empty, clean shoeboxes (if you have extra, we can use them!)--some people use plastic shoeboxes.

--small new items to put into them (see the Operation Christmas Child website for ideas)

--cheerful wrapping paper and tape, if you have it on hand.

--$7 for each shoebox your family makes, to help pay for the cost of shipping the shoeboxes.***

***I strongly encourage any of you wanting to be part of this fun project to visit the OCC website before the party, so you can see a new feature--paying for the cost of the shoebox shipment online, and receiving a tracking number for your family's shoeboxes so you can find out where they went!  We are SO going to do this!  Perfect for a lesson not only in compassion and sharing, but also in geography and world cultures!

****Please do still come and help make shoeboxes even if you don't have the $ for the shipping donation.    If all you can bring is an empty shoebox, great!  The main thing is putting these together with one another. : )

These shoeboxes really go to the hands of children around the world who don't have much--can you imagine the feeling the child might have, to realize that loving people somewhere else in the world put together a box full of fun and useful things just for them?  We have seen this in action!  We help support an orphanage in India, for boys who are orphans due to HIV.  When my in-laws visited the orphanage, they were so surprised to see that there was a special cupboard in the orphanage, in which were each boys' cheerfully wrapped Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes!  The boys are well cared for, and loved, and have all their basic needs met, but those boxes and their clothes were all they had for their very own. 

(For more feel-good moments, you can also look up youtube videos to see kids in other parts of the world receiving their boxes!)

WHEN:  Friday, November 18, noon-2:30

WHERE: the preschool classroom there at Vintage Faith Church (children's ministry building)

WHY: to spread love, help our kids learn about the world and to clear out our over-accumulated gift bins!  (ok, maybe that last part is just me)

Please leave a comment if you have any questions, and please spread the word!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

local art classes, taught by a Vintage Mom!

Two moms from Vintage Faith Church have daughters in these classes, and they praise them highly. 

All I know is that I have long been impressed with the work of 4 year old Analise, one of the students:

From her mom Nini's blog.

Those pictures do speak louder than words!  The classes must be so fun for the kids.

Here is the site:

Storytelling with Jim Weiss

Some of us did this last year, and the kids really enjoyed it!  Is anyone interested in going again this year?  (this is strictly an Ocean Grove event)


Contact your ES if you wish to attend.
CP22339 - Jim Weiss- Storytelling      Friday, October 14, 2011                  10am-4:30pm
Registration opens September 19th and closes September 30th at 4:30pm.
Mr. Weiss is a nationally renowned storyteller who will give our students a day of storytelling and storytelling skills. He will concentrate on stories for K-5 from 10:00 - 12:30 and 6-12 from 1:30 - 4:30. Lunch is on your own form 12:30 to 1:30pm. It is recommended that students bring sack lunches with which to picnic on the grounds of the Resource Center, fast food options are limited in the area.
Location - Ocean Grove Resource Center, 16900 Highway 9, Boulder Creek, CA, 95006
Cost - To Be Determined (The cost of the event, $950, will be distributed among the students. 10 students = $95, 100 students =$9.50. Last year the cost was $11 per student)
The scheduled sessions will not exclude the other age groups, but are for parent knowledge and preparation. Parents with pre-school age children may attend, but are asked to remove children who become restless. There is a play area on the premises.

Pine Mountain Arts FYI

Lisa here--

Another email from my inbox, sharing what sounds like a FABULOUS class.  I don't think the program would accept Ocean Grove funds (but I guess it would never hurt to ask), but it sounds just so cool!  And the woman who posted it is interested in carpooling!

(Even if none of you want to do the class right now, I strongly urge you to check out their website below, so you know what they offer. SO COOL.)

I would like to send my son to the Wednesday class (descried below) for 9 to 12 year olds. They need just three more students, bringing it to the minimum 5 students to make a class. Is anyone interested, but hesitant because of the drive? Let's talk about carpooling, we're in Soquel.

Let your child become one with the beauty of nature, we not only experience the journey through changing elevations and micro climates, but are immersed in the mysteries of nature itself. As we explore the different regions, build observation shelters, hunt mushrooms, pick berries, track and observe wildlife, we become aware of the daily and seasonal changes in nature and in ourselves.

In these 8 week courses your child will participate in several activities each day the class meets, such as archery, forging copper or iron in an iron age forge, working with stone, wood and bee keeping. Drawing and modeling of objects in nature are also part of the activities. The exact course content is worked out in accordance with the need of the individual students and the group. Some activities change during the course of the year / seasons. In occasional parent meetings, Bodo Langen will give feedback to parents and discuss plans for activities. Social activities include building consensus for decision making, sitting at times in council  to practice active listening and expressing ones feelings and thoughts. This practice may also be used to resolve conflicts or plain misunderstandings. Working as teams or in partnership will be practiced as well.

In this 8 week course, your child will also learn archery, bee keeping, copper smithing, forging, stone arts, clay arts, wood arts and jewelry making. We will meet every Thursday from 9 to 2:30 in Davenport. The classes are styled in 8 week blocks and are taught by teacher Bodo Langen, a Waldorf Teacher with 28 years of experience teaching arts and practical arts to students grades K-12.

This class is available to children ages 6 to 8 1/2. A class for children ages 9 to 12 will be on Wednesday.

We're planning on having an introductory meeting with the parents, during which we will also talk about the structure of the first block (8 weeks), once we have a group of 5-7 children to start the class. We hope to start this class between middle and end of September.

For more information about Pine Mountain Arts, go to

and for more information about joining the Wednesday or Thursday Homeschool Day, contact:

Paola Rodarte
223 5690

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Handwriting resource online

More from my inbox:

Here's a nice resource from Handwriting Without Tears-- some letter
formation charts for both print and cursive.  They show the letter in
various stages of being formed and use the vocabulary for describing the
strokes that HWT uses.

Heddi (of the Discovery Learning Center)


The Mad Molecule Science Store


The Mad Molecule Science Store is pleased to announce a new after-school science program. Every Monday young scientists will participate in exciting and instructive lab activities. On the second through fifth Mondays in October, we will explore the periodic table and a variety of chemical reactions including spectacular color-changing chemicals, huge eruptions, and many more amazing experiments. Ages from 5 to 14 are welcome. Older and younger students will be organized into separate groups.
Labs will be led by Steve "The Science Guy" Heuer.

Labs will be held at the Aptos Grange from 3:30 to 5:00 starting October 10 and continuing through October 31. One low tuition fee of $75 (plus $20 lab material fee) covers the four October sessions. The Aptos Grange is conveniently located near Cabrillo College at 2555 Mar Vista Dr., Aptos. Call The Mad Molecule Science Store at 688-ATOM (688-2866) to sign up.

The Mad Molecule Science Store
275 Center Ave., Aptos, CA 95003
688-ATOM      688-2866


Just in case anyone out there has been wanting to add a cat to the family, here is something that came to my inbox today:

I am a volunteer at the SPCA and right now they are having a special promotion. All adult cats (ages 6 months & older) are FREE!!
The Monterey Co SPCA is in the process of building a new shelter facility, so they are trying to find FOREVER homes for as many of these animals as possible, before the big move in December.
All adoptable animals are vacinated, microchiped, spayed or neutered; they even come with a 10lb bag of Science Diet.
There are also feral cats available, so if you are interested in these animals be sure to ask.
The FREE cat promotion is ONLY til the end of September, btw.
Follow the Adopt link & then search adoptable animals:  cats/kittens to see available cats.  (The feral cats are not listed on the website, btw)
Thank you all for your patience :o) Stephanie in Seaside

Monday, September 12, 2011

online chemistry resource

Another email that came to by inbox, from Suki (another local homeschool mover and shaker):

Hi all,

I'm doing middle school chemistry with my kids and happened upon an excellent, free resource. ChemMatters magazine, which is written at a MS/HS level, has many of their articles/issues archived online and downloadable for free!
 was planning a bit of work with thermometers, and I searched and found a great article on thermometers, how they're used, the history of thermometers, etc. Totally cool.


Susana (Suki) Wessling

Free comic strip generator, with idea for a comic diary

Here is the text of an email I received today from Heddi, over at the Discovery Learning Center:

Heddi writes, Here is an idea from Make Beliefs Comix about using their free comic
making site.  I thought it might be interesting to homeschooling families!

If you're looking for an exciting new literacy activity for the new school year why not start a daily 20-minute comic strip segment during which your students create a comic diary about something they learned or read or experienced that day? Creating such daily comix diaries provides a way for students to digest and integrate key material that they are taught as well as to reflect on their lives and experiences. And what better way for all students, including English Language Learners, to improve writing, reading and storytelling skills!

 To help educators,, the free online comic strip generator, has launched a Daily Comix Diary Page offering many ideas at
 Students can also draw their own comics with pencil or crayons and use stick figures or pictures cut from magazines. By making their own comic strips, students will realize that they can create stories and make art. They will learn that they, too, are capable of generating their own learning materials, their own memoirs, and that their `'take'' on the world is so very special – everyone sees things differently.

What to draw and write about?
For starters, why not have students create autobiographical comic strips about themselves and their families or summarizing the most important things about their lives? Let each student select a cartoon character as a surrogate to represent him or her. They might also summarize what their individual interests are or some key moments in their lives.
Maybe students create a comic strip with a new ending for a book that they've read, or an extension of the story, or a deeper exploration of a character in the book.
Maybe theirs is a comic strip using new vocabulary learned that day.
Maybe their comic is about a concept they learned in science or in social studies.
Maybe their comic captures an interesting conversation they overheard.
Maybe their comic is about something sad or bad that happened to them, such as someone bullying them. Or about something special, such as a birthday wish.
Maybe their comic is about something fun or wonderful that they or a friend experienced – perhaps an adventure they had. Or, about a great or important memory they will never forget.
Maybe their daily comic contains a joke they heard or something funny a parent said to them recently.
Maybe they're exploring a problem at home that's bothering them, such as a sibling who's driving them crazy.
Maybe their comic strip is a fantasy story that came to their imagination.
Or, how about creating a political comic strip commenting on some new development in government or a news event?

Now, imagine the student's comic-filled sketch book or folder containing daily diary entries created over the course of a year that will trace each child's thoughts and learning, that will reflect what was important to her or him. They'll have composed a comic book diary that they will treasure for the rest of their lives.

Most important, the 20-minute-a-day daily comix diary challenge offers students the chance to become creators as they find their voice, rather than just passive learners. What better gift can you give them?

Bill Zimmerman,

Articles debating the value of homework

Ok, ladies, prepare for the onslaught.  I have been coming across so many interesting articles on education in general, on project ideas, on local events you might want to know about, etc. that I will be posting a lot this week.  You have been warned.

First, two articles on homework that came my way this week.  I wonder if there is a movement beginning in the intellectual/theorhetical realm of educational that would eventually trickle down to better practices involving homework in the nation-wide educational system. . . here's hoping!

#1: Rethinking Homework by Alfie Kohn.

#2: The Trouble With Homework by Annie Murphy Paul. Enjoy! If you like reading about educational movements, that is.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Eye-dropper art

I just saw this really cool demonstration over on etsy for making portraits with eye-droppers and ink--this idea would translate so well to a homeschool art project!  (With  washable ink, for those that need it!)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ruth Korch is now an OG vendor!

Hey Moms, Ruth is a lovely woman and very skilled artist, who sometimes writes and speaks for SoulKitchen Bible studies and women's retreats!  I wish I could take a class with her myself!  But if any of you are looking for an art teacher, she would be wonderful, and you would be supporting someone related to the Vintage community. : )

lisa c.

RUTH KORCH, Artist & Teacher
Learning to paint with watercolors is a skill your children can enjoy the rest of their lives. Because it's fast and easily transportable they can paint quick scenes out in nature or on vacations. It's equally suited to detailed or loose expression. It's one of the purest mediums we can use, but it also can be one of the most challenging. In this 6 week course your child will be introduced to secrets that make watercolors "sing". They will learn basic techniques, followed by projects that offer opportunities to use them in a fun way.
Cooper, our shaggy white dog, is my mascot and loves to welcome children to our home where they will learn in a safe and happy setting. This class for ages 9 & up will meet Wednesday afternoons, 3:00-4:30 for 6 weeks. Class size is 3-8 students and runs September 7, 14, 21 & October 5, 12, 19.
Private Lessons (1-2 students) $45/1.5 hours
Group Lessons (3-8 students) $30/1.5 hours ($180/ 6 wk introductory course)
Materials Fee: $25 (once children have some of the basic supplies, materials fee will go down in future classes)
Children love animals and this 3 week class offers an opportunity for them to create a 16 x 20 acrylic painting of their favorite animal. The course teaches drawing, canvas preparation and painting skills.
Wednesdays: 3:00 - 4:30, Nov 2, 9 & 16
Cost: $90 and $25 materials fee (total - $115)
I have a degree in Fine Art and currently teach art classes at Live Oak Academy, a home school co-op in San Jose. I am a working artist doing commissions and exhibiting in Santa Cruz Open Studios. I also teach calligraphy classes at Palace Arts in Capitola. You can see my work at>. I welcome your thoughts and questions:>. For enrollment, please contact both me and your ES.
Ruth Korch. 130 Eastridge Court. Santa Cruz. 95060

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Vintage Homeschool Moms Back to School Party!

Hello all!

So, it is that time again.  Can you believe it? I thought it would be fun again to have a party/open house to celebrate the start of the new school year.  Since most of us can no longer make Mondays, I was thinking we would have it there at church on Friday August 26th instead, at our normal time of noon-2:30. 

I am checking with the church to make sure we can use the building at that time.  But even if the church classroom is not available, let's keep the time and date on our calendars and we will make it a park date instead, ok?  Check here for any changes, but if you don't see an UPDATE to this post, that means the original plan to meet at church is a go. : )

So, either place we meet, bring a lunch for your family and a food item to share with the group! 

Also, talk to your kids about your goals for this Fall, and have each kid come up with one learning goal they have that they can share with the group (or one thing they are going to be learning about that they are excited about, like dinosaurs or handwriting or something). 

And please spread the word and invite your friends!

lisa c.

Addicted to Distraction

Came up on an interesting little article today:

Makes me feel a little better about our family not having iAnything. : )

lisa c.

Monday, August 8, 2011

2011 Aquarium Homeschool Days

From my wonderful ES, Terry:

Just a reminder that tomorrow is the day to sign up for a FREE homeschool day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  Every family must sign up individually on their website.  All the information is below.  

2011 Home School Days

Thank you for your continued support for our Home School Day program.  We are writing to provide important information regarding Home School Days 2011.     

 The Home School Days dates for 2011 are:
Monday, October 17th
Monday, October 24th
Monday, October 31st
Monday, November 7th
Monday, November 14th
As with other education groups, home school families are eligible to participate in only one free visit each school year.

Online reservations for Home School Days 2011 will open on Tuesday, August 9th at 9:00 a.m.  Each Home School date will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.Home School Day information and the online reservation link will be found on this School Programs page on August 9th at 9:00 a.m.  Home school families are welcome to make individual reservation for up to 10 participants (youth and adults combined).  Home school youth are students between the ages of 3-17 years, and home school adults are 18 years and older.  Children under 3 years are admitted free of charge and should not be included in your reservation.

Due to frequent discrepancies in group numbers and arrival times, we are no longer accepting group reservations for Home School Days.We encourage group leaders to communicate the new reservation process to their home school family members.Group leaders may encourage their member families to make reservations on the same date and, if desired, may plan a meeting location for the group inside the Aquarium after families have arrived.  Group leaders should communicate this information directly to their member families.

The theme for Home School Days 2011 is "Open Seas".Home school families will be able to enjoy the newly-renovated Open Sea exhibit (previously the Outer Bay) which will showcase sharks, tuna, turtles, puffins and plankton!

Our Discovery Lab classroom will be open for drop-in home school family activities from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.   Here you and your children will be able to interact with live ocean animals, examine Aquarium articfacts and resources, and get crafty all while learning more about your family's personal connection to ocean conservation.

There are a variety of Aquarium Adventures programs in which you and your family can participate during your visit.  You will find more information about available program on our website at this Aquarium Adventures page.  Note that the programs have age requirements and additional costs that are not included in your complimentary admission to Home School Days.  We strongly recommend that you pre-register for all events as space is limited.

Thank you for your cooperation with our Home School Day process.  We look forward to welcoming you and your family to the Aquarium this fall! 

Education Programs Staff
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Phone:  831-644-7538

Monday, July 25, 2011

Annual Learn Nothing Day

Have any of you heard about this before?

Brilliant!  But we missed the official day.  Well, I guess it is never too late to "not learn." ; )

Actually, on a more serious note, reading what parents were saying on this page about their families' "failures" in celebrating Learn Nothing Day made me step back and see anew my own schooling approaches as of late.  I think I have been too much separating "school" from "non school" and I wonder if that is hindering this overall family value we have of "life-long learning" or "learning as a lifestyle."   As a family value, this just makes sense for us.  And yet, have I been actually sending the opposite message through how I break down the day into "school" vs "non school" time. . .

I have been processing a lot of ideas like this as I think about how I need to revamp our homeschooling approach/schedule for this upcoming year.  Whatever I end up writing about I will share with you all here!  : )

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

FYI: Monterey Bay Birding Festival

July 14, 2011                                                                        
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                       
Contact:  Christina Glynn, 831.425.1234 ext.112
Photography available upon request

SEPTEMBER 22-25, 2011

On-line registration now available for events, presentations, outings

WATSONVILLE, CA – Are you ready to join the fastest-growing outdoor activity in the United States?  This fall, the Watsonville-based seventh Annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival will take place Thursday, September 22nd through Sunday, September 25, 2011.  

The festival offers expert-led field trips, specialized birding outings for beginners, “slough safaris” of the Elkhorn Slough via kayak and pontoon boat, a pelagic trip on the Monterey Bay to view sea birds, a trip to Pinnacles National Monument, vagrant chasing at the Carmel River mouth, pelagic trips of the Monterey Bay, excursions to the Ventana Wildlife Society’s Discovery Center at Andrew Molera State Park in scenic Big Sur and other activities.  A stellar line-up of expert birders leading day trips as well as evening presenters are sure to please even the most discriminating birders.  This year’s theme, The Evolution of Birding - From Field Guides to Hi-Tech will celebrate the bygone days of John James Audubon to the modern days of hi-tech innovations in birding.

On Thursday evening, a special presentation by birder and naturalist Steve Shunk will explore The Names, Namers, and Naming of North America Birds.  On Friday and Saturday evenings, the popular Owls of Robinson Canyon excursions will take birders on a search for Great Horned Owls, Spotted Owls, Western Screech-Owls, Northern Pygmy-Owls, Northern Saw-whet Owls and other types of this mysterious and nocturnal bird.

The Santa Cruz County Visitors Council’s free Birding and Wildlife Watching guide will be available during the festival.  The 44-page guide is designed for use by visitors to communities adjacent to the many birding destinations throughout the county.  The guide includes information on a variety of habitats, from sandy beaches to lagoons, wetlands and river mouths, as well as descriptions and photographs of the some of the area’s most commonly seen birds, wildlife and the best times of the year to view them. It also provides maps of birding and wildlife hotspots, points of interest, and itineraries.  According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 31 percent of Americans engage in wildlife watching as a hobby or recreational activity, an increase of 13 percent from a decade ago.

The free guide is also available at the Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council’s main visitor center at 303 Water Street #100 in Santa Cruz, via mail by request, or by calling 800.833.3494.

Registration can be done on-line at or via mail.  Registration is available for the entire festival, individual days or select evening activities.   The registration fee for the four-day festival is $40; one-day registration is also available and pricing for a variety of activities starts at $10.    

The Birding Festival Web site, provides a registration and ticketing, full festival schedule, description of events, and other information. Visitors can log on to help plan their trip.   

FREE online learning styles workshop

For those of you who don't know, Heddi is one of the creators of the local Discovery Learning Center.  I have seen the paper version of this, and it is really good!--lisa c.


Hi, everyone. As you may know, I often do homeschool workshops in the area or at conferences, but I know it often works out that not everyone can attend who wants to attend. I'm currently working on a project to put my workshops in an online format that homeschoolers can access any time! I had five great testers try it out (thank you, testers!) and now I'm ready to share it with all of you!

My first FREE workshop is ready on Learning Styles. It includes online lectures broken down in to manageable bits, interactive forums, links to online resources, and suggested activities.

If you'd like to check it out, go to Homeschool Workshop at:

You will need to create a user account and password using the Login box on the left side of the page. After you login, click on the "What is Your Child's Learning Style?" workshop. You will be asked to enter a one-time key, which is "free" (without the quotations). Then you are ready to start the workshop following the directions provided.

I'm announcing this a little at a time and you all get to be the first!

Feel free to pass this message on to other homeschoolers. If you have any questions or problems, feel free to email me at

Hope you find the workshop helpful!



Thursday, July 7, 2011

FYI: Reading program that gives free tickets to Six Flags

Hello all!

Just heard about this program:

Kids can earn a free ticket to Six Flags for 6 hours of pleasure reading. (Sheesh--we do that in one week!)

The program is closed for this year, but of course I would never remember to blog about it when it is starting, so if you are interested just check the website for details about when the next year's program starts up. : )

Saturday, June 25, 2011

the party is ON! This Monday

This Monday, June 27, in the first floor classroom there at Vintage Faith Church, corner of Mission and Highland in SC, 12:00 noon until 2:30.

Please bring:

1) an eatable to share (if we get a good blend of healthy and decadent, then it's lunch! I'll bring the dark chocolate brownies)

2) something to share with the group that you and/or your child is proud of that you made/accomplished/did this past. Let's inspire and encourage and celebrate with one another!

We had a request for meeting at the church rather than the park, so there you have it!  We will meet in the classroom but make sure the kids get plenty of time to run around in the gym. (In fact, I'm thinking we need a couple "party" games. . . let me know if any of you coming have brilliant ideas)

Please bring friends too!

Questions or comments, please leave them in response to this post. : )

Friday, June 17, 2011

Beautiful piece on homeschooling--must read!

This is a link to a wonderful, eloquent blog post about homeschooling, which I think you will all enjoy. 

I have to admit, about half-way through my eyes were glazing over her words,  with jealousy, because I could not get over the amazing photos of her homeschool space.  All those gorgeous retro school aids and tools!  Enough wall space for huge maps and art!  In fact, such an overabundance of unused wall space that they can line up their books side by side on a rail?!!!!!  Oh, I admit, I have big time envy.  BIG TIME.  Those of you who know my teeny tiny space I'm schooling in. . . this almost makes me want to cry, and I so full of lust.  So, I will finish reading the article when my eyes have cleared and God restores my heart. ; )

But still, read the post!  Be inspired by a home environment that perfectly incorporates learning and living and style and beauty of what's real.  In all senses of the word. : )


and a wee little tool for remembering a couple of letters

I don't have a rhyme for remembering how to write the letters of the whole alphabet, but most kids don't need it.  But some letters, like b and d and p and q are tricky.  Usually if my early readers come to a letter and they don't remember what it is, we just pause on that letter and sing the alphabet song while tapping on the letter until we get to the right one.  They get to the point where they can do it themselves when they get stuck, and stop when they recognize the correct letter. 

It is hard for the little ones to remember which of those four letters face which way, so I did come up with a little mnemonic device to help with remembering b and d:

You have to look at the alphabet in a line to understand this:

a     b     c     d     e
You see,
b is for baby
and c is for cookie
and d is for daddy.
The baby and the daddy are sharing the cookie,
and daddy has taken a big bite!

; )

I mean, it's not like a poem or anything, so if you just explain it however you think conveys the idea most clearly to your child.

Any of you  moms have little tricks and tools to share?  Please do!


Number Parade--little tool for learning to write numbers

This is a little thing, but something that I just used this morning with Bronwyn and thought it was worth sharing.

Years ago, when I was helping Gwynneth learn how to write her numbers, she had a hard time remembering which way each number was facing, and would often write them backwards.  So I came up with a little poem to help her remember, and it has helped all three girls.  It might only work well with kids who are already visual learners, but if your child tends to write letters backwards, it might be worth trying.

Point to the numbers as you read them aloud.

1    2     3    and       

say "Come on everybody, let's march some more!"

5     and       

say "We feel sick."  (sad voice)

    and      8    

say "We feel great!"

9     and     10   

say "Let's march again!"

See, for a visual person, the numbers 1, 8, and 10 look like they are facing the reader.  2, 3, 4, 7, and 9 look like they are facing left.  5 and 6 look like they are facing right.  So, if we pretend there is a parade and all the numbers are marching to the left, only 5 and 6 look like they are turning in the other direction, like they don't want to march.  I show this to my kids and teach them the rhyme, and then they can more easily remember which way to write the number.

Just a little silly thing, but thought it could be useful/fun for some of you. : )


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Welcome Summer Party--feedback request

Ok, Moms, since no one responded to the post about the end of the school year party, so let's just plan on having it at our next OSM, which is scheduled for June 27.  Let's plan on a fun time of hanging out and playing--have to make sure our kids are properly socialized, right? ; ) 

Let's each bring a yummy snack to share, and have show and tell, so you and your kids can show off something you did this past year that you are really proud of, or think others would enjoy hearing about.
And let's do it at our normal meeting time--12 noon to 2:30.

Do we want to meet at church, or do we want to meet at a park?  Now anyone who wants to join us MUST post a comment!  After I picked walking to Harvey West on what turned out to be the hottest day in decades, I don't want the responsibility of choosing.

Ok, ok, if NOBODY makes a comment, I guess I'll pick. ; )  But please comment!

FYI: geography app

Hello Vintage Moms!

One of the blogs I read just made a post about what sounded like a really fun application for the iPhone.  Doug and I don't have iAnything, so this is moot for us, but thought some of you more technologically-savvy homeschool moms might like to know about it.  It is called 'Stack the States," and fits in right with our OSM states learning we did this past year! : )  So if you are interested, follow the link.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

you must be homeschooled if. . .

Found on another email group. : )

You Must Be Homeschooled If...

1. Someone asks what grade you're in and you're not sure.

2. You sometimes go to school in your pajamas.

3. You sleep till 9:00 am on school days, but get up early on Sundays.

4. Your favorite author is Jane Austen (girls) or Robert Louis Stevenson


5. Your birthday is an official school holiday.

6. You don't get to stay home from school when you're sick.

7. Your favorite activity is reading.

8. You know what a unit study is.

9. You have attempted to teach yourself physics.

10. You know the scientific names of dinosaurs from A to Z.

11. Watching a movie means you'll have to write a report comparing the

film to the book.

12. You dress up as historical or literary characters for Halloween.

13. You exchange e-mail Valentines with your homeschool pen pals.

14. You can get science credit for going to the dentist or doctor.

15. You go to the park for P.E.

16. You check out at least ten books every time you visit the library.

17. You get books and science kits for your birthday.

18. Your board games all have names like "Bookworm", "Scrabble",

"S'math", "Game of Knowledge", and "Name The State".

19. Your home library is arranged in Dewey Decimal order.

20. Your favorite place to study is outside, under a tree.

21. You memorize math formulas and Latin root words for fun.

22. You never get nervous on the first day of school.

23. The only bully you ever run into is your big brother.

24. You are unaware of the current fads, fashions, and slang terms.

25. You have no idea what rock bands are currently popular.

26. You don't have to worry about forgetting your lunch or your schoolbooks.

27. You don't have to remember a locker combination, just your computer


28. There are only nine students in your class - but all of them are

your brothers and sisters.

29. Your school bus is a nine-passenger van.

30. You can get extra credit for cleaning your room.

anyone care to add more?  do so in the comments! ; )

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

End of the Year Party! Let's Set a Date

Hello Moms!

Let's get a date and place scheduled for our end of the year party.  Do we want to have it at a playground?  If so, which one?  What day of the week works best for everyone?  Please give your input in the comments below.  If I don't hear back from everyone, I'll just pick a time and place and hope a lot of us can come. : )


Cute Preschool Printables

Just found this website that has some printable units for preschoolers. I have not yet looked at them, but heard at least some of them have a Scripture verse at the end. Sounds perfect for summer school. : )

LitWits 2011/12 Schedule - and there's still room in Heidi June 9!

Hello all! Many, many thanks to all of you who helped make our first year of LitWits such a big sucess. My sister Jenny and I have so loved working with such great kids, such fabulous books, and of course each other! What a dream, to be doing everything we love to do with people who make it so easy and fun. If you are interested in what we've been up to, check out our website for descriptions of our sensory immersion experiences and photos of kids having a blast with classic literature. We'll be holding our last spring workshop on June 9th - Heidi, by Johanna Spyri; there's still room, if you're interested -- then spending the summer getting ready for next fall.

The 2011/12 schedule has been posted on the website - wait 'till you see what great books we are going to explore next year! I am drooling (in a literary sort of way) just thinking about it! As much as we loved indulging in some of our personal childhood favorites last year, we've decided to broaden our definition of "classic" to include mid-twentieth-century books, a broader range of cultures and, by popular request, some workshops just for older kids.

We're always glad to hear from you, so please send us your thoughts, suggestions, recommendations, ideas and, most of all, your wonderful kids!

Hope to see you all soon,


Hi All,

Just wondering if anyone happens to have the teacher's Guide for Handwriting w/out Tears first grade book--the yellow one "My Printing Book". I just need the answers to page 67.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Change of normal schedule--NO OSM this Monday

Hello Moms!

Due to most of our regular families not being able to come this next Monday to our normal Old School Monday gathering, we will not have it this month. Instead, we will schedule an "End of the School Year" party for a different date!  So if any of you like this idea and want to request a certain day that works for you, please let the rest of us know in the comments, and we will get the ball rolling on that.

Sara Greco, since you will be moving away (boo!), please let us know if there is any chance you would be able to join us for one last event, and we can all say goodbye.

Hope you all have a great week.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Family Park Day--tomorrow!

Hello Vintage homeschool moms!

There is a family park event planned tomorrow at Harvey West park, from 10-1.  We will be there, and it would be fabulous to see you all!  Bring a picnic lunch for your family.  (We will come after we drop the girls off at martial arts at 10:30 at Laird's nearby)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Poetry in the Redwoods--TOMORROW (Friday)

Hello Moms!

I cannot believe I forgot to post this sooner--it's been that kind of week!

If anyone is interested, I will be leading a guided poetry hike in the redwoods tomorrow.  So far I know it will be my family and the female Kimballs--some other homeschool families might show up, don't know who.  We will meet at the Henry Cowell nature center at 11:45 and start our nature walk at noon sharp.  We will be doing the Redwood Grove Trail, in case you are a little late, just come catch up.

Bring notebooks and writing tools--I'll provide the poetry prompts that even young kids can do. Mothers are welcome to do the writing for our kids! : )

If you want to join us for a picnic, just come a little earlier, as we will be lunching there on the deck by the nature center.

So, very sorry this is short notice--anyone who would like to come and can, we would love to have you.

lisa c.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Naturally-dyed Easter eggs

Just in case any of you have the inclination to try this!

--no artificial dyes
--great homeschool lessons on color and chemistry

Our Next OSM--let's finalize the day, please?

Hello Moms!

Our next OSM is scheduled to be at the usual 4th Monday of the month--but this month, that means we are scheduled to have it the day after Easter. 

I would like some feedback, please!  Will everyone be around and able to come that day?  It is an important gathering, as it is when we will be assembling our "What's Above" books, AND learning more about Japan.  At least, that's what we had said we might do--Laura, the books we will assemble immediately, so most of the gathering time will be available for learning.  Do you want to finish sharing your Japan studies with us that day?  If not, let me know!

So all you moms, please tell me if you would come Monday the 25th to OSM from noon to 2:30 or if we should reschedule.  Thanks!

lisa c. 

Musical Mondays play "The Sound of Music" this Sunday!

Hello everyone!  Jan reminded me that the final performance of "The Sound of Music" is this Sunday, at 3:00 at the First Congregational Church on High Street.  Very convenient for those who are coming from the 11 a.m. Vintage service--just grab lunch downtown and then drive over. : )  Jonathan from Old School Mondays will be playing Captian Von Trapp!

Book project on the human body--from the archives

Hello Moms!

I was looking through old TWIOC posts, and it looks like I never shared with you all something Becky and I did for the preschool kids one time when she and I were in charge of childcare for the morning SoulFood Bible study.  Since we were going to have our kids with us, we decided to make the most of those hours every week by doing a unit on the human body.  I just wrote about it on my blog, so if you are interested, please feel free to hop over and take a look. : )

lisa c.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Free paper from Staples

My wonderful ES Terry just sent me this email:

I have attached a coupon for a free ream of multipurpose paper from Staples. $5.99 with a rebate of the entire amount. Their rebates can be applied for on line and the check arrives in the mail about 6 weeks later.  It is easy, and I saved over  $100 using their rebates at the beginning of the school year.

I will try to put a link to the coupon here, but if it does not work, just leave a comment that you want me to pass it along to you via email!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Our collective book project! The Instructions Post


So sorry, ladies, that I took so long to post this. It was a C.R.A.Z.Y. week, and then I got sick!  Now I have a whole day at home, finally, and my head feels good, so here you go!

As we were talking about at our special OSM last Monday, our theme for this year's book project is "What's Above, What's Beneath."  The idea is to brainstorm things you have been studying this year so far, and come up with an idea that can be developed into a triptych.  The three panels of the triptych will be the same size, and will be stacked horitontally.  The fourth panel is for an accompanying haiku or senryu.

Here is the format of the overall page:

Your job until the next Old School Monday (on the last week of April) is just to have your child complete the art and poem that go inside the four panels.  We will assemble the pages together at our next OSM gathering. **if you want to complete the colored border of the panels before we next meet, great!  But the content itself is what you must bring completed to our OSM.

First, the triptych panels:
The top panel is for "what is above," the bottom panel is for "what is beneath" and the middle panel explains itself. ; )  So you and your child should brainstorm several good ideas, and talk about what you could put in the panels.  I had my girls brainstorm three different topics, and then pick their favorite one, so we are confident in our ideas and have them planned out pretty well before we start the art itself. 

Don't limit yourself/your child to thinking vertically.  Think about all the different ways we can layer, even symbolic ones.  Here are some examples we came up with at our OSM gathering:

If the topic is the human body, you could do:
ABOVE:  head
MIDDLE:  torso


ABOVE: skin
MIDDLE: bones
BENEATH: organs


ABOVE: hair
MIDDLE: skull
BENEATH: rainbows and images and things to represent feelings and thoughts

As a class we also brainstormed ways you could do this with redwoods, and with a ship in a storm at sea.  Think creatively, and encourage your children to look at things and layers from as many points of view as possible.

*Each of your school age childen may make a page, or you can all work on one together.  If  your child gets really inspired, she is welcome to do more than one page!  But let's encourage all the kids to do their best work, ok?

*Remember, ideally this project would support learning you have already done, or are in the middle of.  We are finding it does not work as well to get a brilliant idea but not know about that subject, and then struggle with what do draw or say.  (but then again, if an idea gets the kid wanting to learn about something, great! run with it!)

*Have your child sketch out his idea on scratch paper first, so he knows how it will fit into the allotted panel dimensions. obviously horizontal images will work best, unless your artist would like a lot of negative space in her panels.  ; ) So encourage your kids to be thinking of this when they sketch their ideas.

*When it comes time to do the final art, I recommend the parent drawing out the rectangle (exact specifications below) on a larger sheet of paper, and then letting the child do the art, then cutting out the rectangle for the child so the lines are neat, and the child's art can easily go all the way to the edges of the panel.  (In other words, I would not recommend cutting out the panels first and then having your child do the art on them. Unless of course you are gluing sand or something to the panel that you would not be able to cut through later.)

*The art medium the child uses for the triptych is up to him and you--as long as the paper is strong enough to hold it, it should be fine.  So 3-dimensional art is fine, like a glued mosaic, but keep in mind this is to go in a book, so don't make the panels too heavy or have too much depth.

*Typically, the more detailed the art, the less emotion will flow through them.  Encourage your child to think of how the "above" "middle" and "beneath" can be shown with simple images. 

*Don't think of the triptych as a cross-section of something--encourage your kids to move past realism and into representation.  For example, if you were doing the first idea of the human body given above, the torso would not continue where the head/shoulders left off, and the bottom section of the body continue from there.  (your child is welcome to do this, but given the size considerations of each panel, they might just end up frustrated and their art cramped)  Instead, let's say the child draws the crown of a head, with its artistic swirls of hair for the "What's Above" image.  Then draws a tummy and bellybutton for the "Middle" image.  And then draws feet for the "What's Beneath" image.  Letting go the need for consistencies of perspective and literalness will allow for so much more creativity. 

*As the latter example illustrates, consider with your child how a large subject can be broken down and conveyed clearly through small parts of it.  The texture of bark would fill that middle panel beautifully for someone working with the topic of trees.  Or the overlaying shapes and colors of leaves filling the top panel for the tree tops.

Then, the haiku or senryu:
Please take a few moments to look up both these terms online, to best familiarize yourself with them before starting the writing part of the page with your child. 

But basically, both the haiku and senryu have the same three-line structure:
5 syllables in the first line,
7 syllables in the second line,
5 syllables in the third line.

Where the two poems differ is in their focus.  A haiku is traditionally about nature, while a senryu is traditionally about people. 

*The poem should respond to the art, or help explain/illuminate it.

*Humor is welcome, if it fits your child's subject!  In fact, many traditional haikus use the last line of the poem to bring the first two ideas together in juxtaposition, which is often purposefully humorous. 

*Have your child write at least three poems, and then have her pick her favorite one for the page. 

*Ideally the final poem would be written out neatly by your child's own hand.  A good time to practice spelling and printing!  Use marker or dark pencil or pen to make your child's words stand out.

Panel dimensions:
*Each of the three art panels should be approximately 8" x 2 1/2". 

*The fourth panel should be approximately 3" x 2 1/2".

*If you choose to go ahead and glue your panels to the construction paper, that's great.  The upper box will be appromimately 9" x 9 1/4" and the lower box will be approximately 4 1/2" x 3 1/2".

*I think it is appropriate for the parents to do the cutting and assembly, so that the art and poetry really get the focus of the page, but those who have older kids who want to cut out and assemble their own, fine!  This should be a kid-focused project, and let's make sure the resulting works reflect them more than us. : )

I am excited about this project!  Anyone who is a part of the Vintage Homeschool group is welcome to participate, even if you can't regularly come to OSM.  Just contact me about how to get your child's work to me in time for  to be added to our book before the Author's Fair.  

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Not on the Test

Oh, moms who just suffered through STAR testing, this one is for you.

(and for you, Stacy--for Monkey)

Not homeschool specific--but important info for keeping our familes safe

Hello Vintage Moms--

I know a lot of us have fancy-schmancy phones that we use to take pics of our kids--if you have not heard of the predatory danger in doing this, please watch this video and learn how to protect yourselves and your kids (and other people's kids too!):

Lisa C.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

LitWits Smile Train Benefit Recital - April 16th!

Hi everyone! Just wanted to give a last minute heads up about the benefit concert LitWits is sponsoring! This is not a contest, but a confidence-building opportunity for your child to showcase his or her memorization and performance skills in front of an appreciative audience. Our goals are to put smiles on the faces of your child, the audience, and the beautiful children whom Smile Train serves. 100% of the profits will go to this top-rated organization that changes the lives of children born with cleft palate in 78 of the world's poorest countries. Refreshments will be served, and each participant will recieve a ribbon. Please invite everyone you know! There is no cost to the audience, and we'd like to pack the house for the sake of your child and the many other children who'd love to be able to smile. More information can be found at Deadline for reservations is this FRIDAY, April 8!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

live webcam--baby eagles!

Just came across this link, and it is really engaging--a mama Bald Eagle hatching a brood. It looks like two have hatched and one egg remains.

great article: Yes, My Grown Homeschooled Children Are Odd — And Yours Will Be Too!

A must-read.

On homeschool parents: "We’re either deliberate, accidental, or reluctant social misfits who imbue our children with a set of values and beliefs that resist the siren songs of government schooling, pop culture, and social engineering."

(Unsure whether or not I'll share this one with the in-laws! Not sure they will get that the article is saying GOOD things about not being fully "socialized" ; )

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Info on upcoming Author's Fair


You are receiving this email because you have contacted us this year about the Authors’ Fair or because you participated last year.

We are delighted to have your children enter books in the Fair to be held on April 30 from 10-4:30 at the Capitola Mall. We have attached the Guidelines provided by the Fair Coordinators. If you have other questions after reading the Guidelines, please contact us.

Our OG student authors loved displaying and having their books admired last year. The books are not judged, but each participant receives a certificate of participation. In addition, we provide post-its so visitors can comment on and encourage the authors. The children also have the opportunity to read their books from the Author's Chair for an audience. They are "interviewed" about their book and then read it.

Over 30 schools participated last year, and there were 100s of books on display. Our table had over 25 books last year, and large schools had 100s. The tables receive much attention from mall shoppers, and many people will look at the books.

The books which were entered last year ranged from poems on decorated paper plates to intricately designed and professionally bound books. The books may be imaginative narratives, poems, non-fiction, etc. The materials, design, and content can be anything that interests and sparks creativity in your children. These links will provide ideas and instructions for making some fun books.

We will be setting up the display at 9am on April 30 and the Fair runs from 10am - 4:30. You may bring your books that morning or get them to us before then. All the ESs will be meeting on the week of March 14th, so your ES could bring the books to one of our meetings if you cannot come on the morning of the 30th. We ask parents to help staff the table during the day in one or two hour shifts if they are able to do so. Please consider which hours you will be able to help.

Please let us know the names and grades of your children so we can make their certificates, and the name of your ES so we can be in contact with her/him also. We will be sending reminders as the date approaches.

Please forward this to any Ocean Grove family that you think might be interested in participating. We look forward to hearing from you, meeting you and your children, and seeing their books!

Kim Evans and Terry Cleary

Student Authors' Fair Coordinators for OGCS

Special Old School Monday--THIS MONDAY

Hello Vintage Moms!

We are quickly approaching the 2011 Author's Fair (I'll give all the info I know in a following post), and so all those interested in being a part of our community book project, please come!  We will meet in our normal classroom this upcoming Monday, April 4 from 12-2. 

Just like we did last year, we are going to put togther a book with a common theme, but each child/family can tailor their page(s) to their abilities and what they have been studying in their homeschool time. 

The theme of the book is "What's Above, What's Beneath."  I'll explain more about this theme on Monday, and we will brainstorm ideas and even make practice pages, so the kids (and moms!) get a feel for what the final product will be.  Each child's page will feature his/her artistic response to something he/she is learning.  Each page will also have a poetry component, and we will talk about this on Monday as well, and write some practice poems!

So we will start the project on this Monday, each family will take their pages home and complete them, and then bring them back to our official Old School Monday on April 25, where we will assemble them into the final book.  The Author's Fair will be the Saturday of that week, and I hope we can schedule a time for us all to be there to present our book like we did last year.

I hope a lot of you are able to make it on Monday, and share in the beginnings of this fun project!  If you can't come on Monday but still want to be part of the book project, please leave a comment or send me an email and I'll give you the info you need.

In fact, if you are planning on coming and participating in the project on Monday, would you please leave a comment and let me know? Thanks!

lisa c.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Old School Monday--THIS Monday!

Hello Vintage Moms!

Just a reminder that our next OSM gathering is this upcoming Monday, March 28 from 12-2:30 pm.  We are going to finish talking about China, and start learning about Japan--Laura is going to lead us in our Japan studies, and I think she is going to share some about the tsunami and ways we can help.  Please join us!

As always, please feel free to bring your lunch along, and since we have recently been frustrated by some of the supplies there in the classroom, we might want to bring back the Monday Boxes--everyone bringing their own craft kit with scissors, glue/gluestick, tape, markers, etc.  We will still use what the room offers, but it seems like often what we expect to find easily is nowhere in sight!  : )  I'll continue to bring the supplies we need for more specific projects.

Hope to see you all there!

lisa c.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Two resources I thought I would mention--multiplication and US history

Hello moms!

I just thought I would mention a couple of things we have been using in our homeschooling that our kids have really enjoyed:

1) Timez Attacks

Multiplication game you can download, in which your kid battles big ogres in underground tunnels (his character uses his multiplication skills to defeat them ; ).   The basic download is completely free, although you can pay for different "levels"--basically different scenery, maybe different characters to battle.  My kids are happy with the free version.

2) Liberty's Kids

Basically Saturday morning cartoons that teach kids about US history, specifically the American Revolution.  I like how they try to get a broad range of perspectives in the episodes, like showing how the British soldiers might feel, and what was going on with Benedict Arnold to make him a traitor.  At the moment they are instant downloads available via Netflix, which makes them really convenient. 

(If you have been holding off on getting Netflix, they have changed their plans, so now it is even more affordable.  We do the plan that is $8 a month, for which we get unlimited instant downloads and one DVD out at a time.  If you have the internet connection to support it, it is a fantastic educational support--so many excellent documentaries.) 

Please do share your favorite resources here too!