Summer Fun

Arts are alive this summer from needle felting to painting. It is all about creativity. And with the heat we have had to endure, being inside while creating some cool things is not a bad way to go.

We enjoyed  fun, themed, one day camps that were hosted at The Uncorked Artist.  ( these camps are still going on through August)

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Also offered were summer workshops with Paint in the Moment. Mobile workshops are held in around Bucks and Montgomery Counties. Homeschool group pricing is available.

http://www.paintinthemoment.com/

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My daughter also learned the joy of needle felting with Lori Odher. She offered a two-week class at Homegrown @ The Lord’s New Church in Bryn Athyn. Lori also offers classes in sewing, felting, and quilting. You can contact Lori @ 215-840-9279

https://www.facebook.com/HomegrownLNC

Needle Felting Class
Needle Felting with Lori 
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A day at the Planetarium

Today we ventured a bit out of the area…. around 90 minutes south.

 We were invited to participate in a homeschool program at the

Robert J. Novins Planetarium located in Toms River NJ.

https://www.facebook.com/Robert-J-Novins-Planetarium-134883099897134/

Although there are some planetariums that are closer, the staff at this location included some of the most homeschool friendly people we’ve met on a trip.  They engaged the kids from start to finish and allowed them to ask any questions they had. They offered humor and a lightness to the program which kept the kids engaged the whole time.

My daughter left with a smile on her face and was so happy that we had arrived an hour early ( by accident). Because of my error with the start time,  we were able to chat with the staff and check out all the fun activities they had to offer while waiting.

They have a great program for summer as well as an array of offerings for homeschoolers. They really cater to the homeschool community which is was so nice to see.

Although it was a bit far; it was a full day and well worth it.

Be sure to contact Amanda if you would like to set up a tour for your family or homeschool group.

Robert J. Novins Planetarium (732) 255-0343 

 

Local Food Choices for your family

If you are looking for a good alternative to feeding your family, why not think local and sustainable? Teaching our children that it is important to know WHERE our food comes from is one of the most important lessons we can share them with.  A great place to start is The Honest Food Club:

The Honest Food Club by Woodford Heirloom Farm is a members only private club designed with the members in mind.

Unlike traditional CSA models members have full control over what they receive since everything is a la carte. Members order their items via the farm’s online store and have them delivered their their specific drop off location weekly.

We are also working with local producers to bring you the best available local, non-gmo, in season food.

~ 2016 Memberships are now available click below to get signed up ~

<a href=”http://www.honestfoodclub.com/?page_id=374&ap_id=Thorby115″ target=”_blank” ><img src=”http://www.honestfoodclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/HFC-Banner_2.gif” alt=”” border=”0″ /></a>

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Classes for homeschoolers

This past month my daughter has been taking classes with Kristy at ArtMuse. If you have not yet been to the studio, you might want to check it out. It is located in Doylestown and is a bright and cheery place to create!.

My daughter said she has learned so much from Kristy and is eager to take more classes in the future. I can’t recommend these classes enough. The amount of time she spends with the kids and the smaller class size makes it a wonderful experience.

Be sure to check out all her upcoming classes on her website
http://www.artmusepa.com/store/c8/Home_Schools_and_Special_Programs.html

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Virtual Reality ( hands on fun)

 Today we spent the afternoon touring one of the most up to date Virtual Reality technology centers on the East Coast. Located in NJ at Rowan University, they are also one of the only VR centers that offer tours to the public. The VR Center includes a custom-designed, 15,000+ cubic-foot Virtual Reality lab. It features a 7-foot-high by 40-foot-wide curved wall of screens that provides a 3D, immersive environment for collaborative projects.

We had the chance to experience the Oculus Rift where you were right in the heart of a galaxy, amongst trees and butterflies while birds swooped above you, or in a room finding your way around. If you wanted to try out flying a simulated drone that was also available with the use of a game controller which took just a little instruction on how to operate it.

 We were also given a chance to see some amazing projects that were made from one of the two 3-D printers located at the University. I was amazed at how there was really no limit to what these printers were capable of. Although it was a bit sci-fi sounding, it is in fact happening at this time.  Kids toys being made, Homes being built,  and even a meatloaf for the elderly…yes that is what is happening.  Food and homes being made with a  3-D printer……? ( http://3dprintingindustry.com/2014/04/14/3d-printed-future-food/)

If you would like to find out more about this very fun and interesting tour, please be sure to contact the University via the link below.

http://www.rowan.edu/home/rowan-vr-center/business-or-research-opportunity-tour/field-trips

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From outer space to helping our human race…

We recently visited a location right in Southampton PA that I never even knew was there, NASTAR.  This is one of the premier air and space training centers. Although we were not able to try out any of the equipment that is used to train people who go into space, such as Richard Branson, it was all well explained. The kids were able to get an idea of what it would be like to have to endure such travel. From ejection seats, to altitude and hypoxia awareness, there are different machines where people can train to endure the effects of flight travel.  They offer camps for kids which would include a more hands on experience.

Please check out the website and contact the PA location for further information : http://www.nastarcenter.com

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We were also beyond fortunate to have a workshop on one of the most beautiful November days at The Grounds for Sculpture in NJ. The kids were invited to create a kinetic sculpture during the one hour class and at the end they were invited to present their works and explain what they came up with. A creative process that also involved a little science.

The rest of the day was spent meandering around the grounds to appreciate and take in all the amazing artwork that is both hidden, tucked away in the bamboo as well as out in the open not to be missed.

http://www.groundsforsculpture.org

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We rounded out the week with helping fill the shelves of a local food pantry in Bucks County PA. They are always appreciative of people who can spare their time to volunteer, as well as donate food to the pantry.  It helps many families in the area. I wanted to give a huge shout out to the kids and Moms that helped out .

http://www.bchg.org/food-pantries/

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PaintintheMoment.com

Fun in the Fall

When the leaves start to change colors and the first month of “school” is underway, a sigh of relief comes knowing it has all fallen into place, despite all my ( internal) worries. This year we’ve already had so many great trips and classes.

Two of which we recently participated in were through a wonderful community outreach program ,

 “HomeGrown @ The Lord’s New Church”  in Bryn Athyn PA. https://www.facebook.com/HomegrownLNC/?fref=ts

It is a wonderful community and the grounds are both breathtaking and offer a serenity that we often forget exists in today’s world. My daughter took part in a meditative painting class with Paint in The Moment where they began with a centering mediation that helped them become focused and opened their creativity. ( as if they needed help with that…. kids have an abundance of creativity) Once they started, they were off to explore the painting and interpret it whatever way felt right for them. The creations were amazing https://www.facebook.com/paintinthemoment/?fref=ts

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Enter the world of edible artwork, we also started a 6 week baking/decorating class that is being taught by fantastic teacher named Joy. The kids enjoy her fun style and are learning so much already~ In this class they will learn to create beautiful desserts with icing flowers, cake borders, and writing with frosting. Cookies, cupcakes, and more.

They started with marzipan pumkpins…!!

  HomeGrown Decorating ClassHomegrown Decorating Class

While kids are baking you can explore the beautiful grounds at LNC.  ~It is magical~

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Trip to Mercer

If you have not been to the Mercer Museum ( https://www.mercermuseum.org/event/exhibit-lego-castle-adventure/) you still have time to check out the very awesome Lego exhibit. It will run until January 2016.

We have been to the museum many times, but never seem to get enough. The  interesting displays always spark conversations about how things were done long ago, how we have progressed in some areas, and

how we might want to go back to the way things were done in some others.

There is always something fun and engaging for the kids, which makes this museum an exciting place to visit.

It seems as though  everyone leaves with a smile on their face.

Lego Dragon

Launching the Catapult

 

Lego Castle Building

 

 

Look up...always look up

Mercer Museum

Lenape Visit at The Churchville Nature Center

Today we spent a beautiful day at The Churchville Nature Center. We were fortunate to have a wonderful instructor who was able to hold the interest of the kids while moving from station to station through the Lenape Village.

Many aspects of the Lenape life that were discussed  throughout the day. It was a lot of information given in the 3.5 hours that we were there. Through our instructor’s fun and interesting stories as well as her great delivery of the information, she was able to make many things easy to remember and recall.

We started with learning about a sweat lodge and why the hunters would go in to detox prior to starting their hunt, then we were off to the hunting station. Here we learned more about the tools that were made from bones, sticks, rocks, and sheer ingenuity.

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The kids were able to take a turns at some Lenape games which always had a way of teaching or preparing the Lenape children for a task they soon would be doing that was less of a game, and more of a necessity. 

 

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After the games we learned how they would make fire, with all of friction being made it resulted in the beauty of a fire being ignited.

It was so important to maintain such a fire once it was started. After seeing all the hard work that went into getting one started, you can understand the importance of it to the village.

 

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DSCN1443DSCN1444DSCN1465DSCN1466DSCN1474We went on to learn how to make cording, pottery, gardening with tools made from bones, sticks and other animal parts. Nothing was ever wasted and when used always a thank you was offered. “Wanishi”. It was a very nice morning spent learning many things, and the kids were all engaged and having a great time.
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Getting into the groove

For many families that homeschool this is the time of year when you take a sigh of relief.

 You know you don’t have to get up early and rush your child/ren off to the bus stop,  worry about the hours of homework they will have to contend with after the already long structured day they’ve sat through. This is a comfort for most homeschool families. Except that I can now say I am part of the smaller group of families that has to experience both of these worlds at once. I can say that it has been both a positive and negative experience for me personally so far. Mostly positive for my son though, which ultimately is the most important part.

For me, I have had to relinquish my uneasiness with the fact that when my child walks through the doors of the school, I no longer have the ability to physically connect with him unless I gain “permission” through a security station. Being aware of the stress that can come from the strict herding of pupils through the day is something I have to push from my thoughts also. And to top it off, the added stress of now having to adhere to a time clock is something new to this once laid back,  easy flow family.

I can already see the outward signs of disconnect that come from being amongst thousands of other students that are your peers. The bits of information I receive that lead me to conclude the teachers are very much  aware of busy work that the kids are forced to complete, for if they don’t,  grades will suffer. Although they were informed in the first week that “even if you fail all but one or two classes, you’re good ” . Is that really the best advice for these impressionable kids entering this new experience for the first time?

I want to believe that what my child has chosen to do for the next four years is going to be an exciting  and rewarding experience that will serve him well.  I wonder if  the door may be closed on what once was an organic interest led learning approach  (although he never saw it as an opportunity). The ability to be able to learn what was truly going to serve him  at any given point in his life. The gift of learning at his own pace and knowing that he had time to figure something out or even come back to it all together if it was not clicking in that moment.

To be in the moment of learning is a gift, one you may not see until you’re no longer there. 

Learning comes in all forms. When a person wants to gain information about something they have a strong interest in, or a passion to know more about, the possibilities are endless.

Some teens that enter the school system may be getting what they are striving for most of all, which is to be with peers.

You know those homeschoolers are so unsocialized that when placed in a new environment how will they ever function? ( insert sarcasm here)

As is life, a well balance of yin and yang.  I feel mixed emotions with one, but  I am still a homeschool Mom who is so eager to help facilitate my child’s interests and  help her see the opportunities that are all around.

This week has been a non stop fun-filled week of trips, classes, and the start of  a new co-op.

Starting with a trip to the beach hanging with friends and celebrating not having to go back to school.Beach DayBeach Day ( instead of school day)

The first day of co-op meeting new friends and connecting with and old friends as well. http://www.openwaylearning.org).

 

The beginning of a fun-filled 4 week glass class where the kids will have the opportunity to make various projects consisting of different techniques and colors. ( http://www.magicglassart.com) .

 

 

Glass Class Fun

A trip with friends to Columcille Megalith Park. This is a unique and very magical place. A portion of this amazing structure was built patterned on eighth century Irish ruins.

It offered my daughter the chance to sharpen her photography skills she’s been working on. ( http://www.columcille.org)

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Photography 101

 

 

Photography 101

Photography 101

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Wrapping up with a festival where we met other families that were homeschoolers and some that were not.

We all had one thing in common, have fun together enjoying the music and activities. (http://whohill.com)

The WhoHill FestivalEnjoying new friends