Printers Fair

Traveling to events is what homeschooling is all about, right?! This one is in Carson, California, only 130 miles from Yucca Valley. Ok, maybe it’s a bit far, but it looks SO interesting! The Printers Fair isn’t until October 13-14, so you have plenty of time to make a plan.

Check out their website HERE for details. A day like this is a lot of learning packed into one family outing. History, science, language arts, social studies, and fine arts. Get the kids involved in planning out the trip, mapping, and managing the cost, you’ve got just about every school subject covered in one fell swoop!

Farm Camp!

I found something exciting while driving down the 10 freeway. A billboard for Farm Camp in Cherry Valley! This week-long camp runs from the end of June and into July. There are day camp weeks and overnight weeks available.

The cost is $375 for the day camp and $550 for the overnight one. Wait! Before you balk at the price, remember what you are getting. A whole week of things to do that your child will never forget and such a great experience too, living and working on an organic farm! That’s $110 a day and it includes meals (that you won’t have to buy or make). We can easily spend that at an amusement park, water park, or the mall. And it’s nothing compared to sending your kids to a private school. This is why we work so hard throughout the year saving money by not having to buy school uniforms, expensive curriculum, and participate in school fundraisers. Things like this are worth the money!

If you’re having a hard time coming up with the money for this year, plan ahead for next year! If you set aside $50 a month until next year, it’ll be sitting there waiting for you next summer! Involve the kids that want to attend and show them how a budget works. The intrinsic rewards in that alone are worth the effort. And don’t think of it as an “extra-curricular” activity. For private homeschoolers, it’s all part of a well-rounded education. What better way to explore social studies, science (physical and biology), health education, life skills like cooking and caring for others, and more, than through a weeks’ worth of farm work?

Check out their website for details…FARM CAMP!

If you’re not sure if this is the kind of thing your child will enjoy, there’s an open house in April and May to come check out to the place and talk to the instructors! Click HERE for details.

Annual Passes Worth Every Cent!

There are two annual passes we have bought every year that I highly recommend, the “Forest Adventure” pass and the “America the Beautiful” pass. You can buy them online at My Scenic Drives.

The “Forest Adventure” pass is $30 and a second is only $5 more, so share with a friend! It allows you to park anywhere in the forest. Yes, there is controversy here. Does the money really go to keeping the trails nice and the bathrooms clean? Who knows?! And do they give tickets for parking without one? Occasionally. And I’ve heard the fine is the same as the pass. But…I’m trying my best to teach civics here as well and the law of the land is to have a parking pass, so we get one and leave it at that.

The “America the Beautiful” pass is $80 and gets you into all the National Parks. Of course, if you don’t plan on leaving the immediate area this year,  you can always get an annual pass for just Joshua Tree National Park for $40, but we’ve found that we usually get up to other parks in California at least once a year, so the $80 one is a deal for that.

When I lived in Orange County as a kid, I rarely went up to the mountains. My parents worked regular, Monday through Friday type, jobs, so we only had weekends and holidays to make the trek. Those are crazy busy times! I just assumed it was always like that, so I didn’t take my kids up there until we moved out to the desert and were looking for fun stuff to do during the week while Dad worked. That’s when I fell in love with Big Bear!

We’ve been making the hour drive up there about once a week for years now. We’ve explored mountain trails, hiked all over, gone fishing (another permit, of course, we ARE in California), looked for geocaches, played in the snow, ate (a lot), mountain biked, gone to the zoo. There’s so much to do up there! And during the week it’s so NOT crowded!

Here are a few links to places we love!

Fishing – Take Me Fishing is a good place to start if you’ve never been before! You can get a license there and look up the myriad of rules. I also love Big Bear Lake Sporting Goods. You can get a license there and everything else you need. Ask all the questions you like, they are nice people!

Mountain Biking – Check out Mountain Bike Big Bear for trails and such. And the best bike shop ever is Chains Required! Great prices, great people, they have everything you need. You can even rent a bike for a day and see if you enjoy the sport!

Hiking – AllTrails can help you find the best trail for you. Add Geocache to your phone and find those on the way!

Big Bear Discovery Center

Big Bear Zoo

And my favorite tip, we always stop at the Village Visitor Center first for a bathroom break and to re-group after the drive. It has saved us many times. I’ll also admit that we stop there before we leave as well. Lunch, ice cream, bookstore. They even have an awesome music store!

What does this have to do with home education? Everything. This IS education. So much science, history, PE, even literature. This isn’t a day off for adventuring. The adventuring IS the education. We had a backpack of snacks, water, and tools we took with us everywhere. We took pictures of things we found, made maps of where we went, looked at things with microscopes and binoculars. We had a notebook to draw in, a nature guide, a bandana (for everything), and a first aid kit. We even brought a book with us and read out loud while we picnicked at the top of the hike, alongside the lake, or in a grassy meadow. Go explore!

Desert Christ Park

Have you ever been to Desert Christ Park and walked through the statues? It’s very pretty even if you aren’t a Christian. I recommend checking it out. Also, they have a few events there each year. On December 3rd, there is a Christmas Treasure Hunt. Sounds like fun!

“Science Behind Pixar” in Los Angeles

The California Science Center in Los Angeles opens its new “The Science Behind Pixar” exhibit on October 15th! Tickets are on sale now and they strongly suggest you pre-order tickets before you arrive due to the popularity of the exhibit. Tickets run from $13.70 to $21.45 and include the Endeavour AND IMAX show. Group tickets are available for groups of 15 or more.

The rest of the science center is free and there is LOTS for kids of all ages to see and do. Also, the Natural History Museum and the Rose Garden are right next door to explore, not to mention The Coliseum! My sons had me take a picture of them in front of it and they love it when they see it in movies and TV shows.

Friday’s at Desert Rocks Indoor Climbing Gym

Come climb with a great group of Homeschool families every Friday from 11am – 1pm. All ages are welcome to come with a parent.


Only $10 per child for climbing and equipment!


Desert Rocks Indoor Climbing Gym
19160 McLane Street
North Palm Springs. (760) 671-1101
climbdesertrocks.com

Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert

I took my boys here once when we first moved to the desert but they were already a little too old for it. I loved it, though, and wished we had known about it sooner! It’s located in Rancho Mirage and has lots of stuff to see and do. They even have a special space just for toddlers! Go check them out! Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert

The cost is $9.95 per person over 1 year old, so if you like it, I highly recommend getting a Family Membership for $100 a year. It’s much cheaper if you plan on going more than twice a year, and if you have little people in your house, you will want to go more than twice!

Hi-Desert Nature Museum – Yucca Valley

If you’re looking for something fun to do with your younger kids that won’t cost much, check into the Hi-Desert Nature Museum! There always a lot going on there that homeschoolers can definitely use.

Brown Bag Lunch Lectures aren’t really meant for homeschooled kids but they sure are interesting! If your kids think the subject is interesting, take them, but to be respectful of others, sit towards the back of the room so you can scoot out and visit the other parts of the museum if they are being disruptive to the other guests.

The “Framed: Step Into Art” Exhibit closes on September 24, so be sure to go see it!

And for some great music, be sure to get tickets to see “Encelia Chamber Ensemble & Friends” on October 8 & 9.

“The Secret Garden” at Theatre 29!

A performance of “The Secret Garden” runs through September 24 at Theatre 29 in Twentynine Palms. This was one of my favorite books when I was a kid! Besides the obvious “performing arts” subject you’d find here, you could also tie this whole month into the performance. History, Language Arts, Art, Science, Social Studies, you name it! Here are some links to a few great lists of things related to “The Secret Garden”. I didn’t even know there was a movie!

Activities for The Secret Garden from The Chaos and The Clutter

For $4 you can buy a Lapbook printables set and unit study from Confessions of a Homeschooler

Of course, you’ll need to get the book somewhere! You can buy the book just about anywhere for under $5 and I highly suggest you have the book in your library instead of borrowing it. It’s one of those books you read over and over again!

 

Calico Ghost Town’s 50th Calico Days!

Calico Days at Calico Ghost Town
October 1 & 2, 2016

This looks like loads of fun! Did you know they do school tours as well? Even if you can’t make it to Calico Days, consider making a day of Calico Ghost Town. It’s all my favorite parts of Knott’s Berry Farm (from when I was a kid) without the high ticket price and crowds!

CalicoDays