“Kitchen Table Math”?

I found a great resource for homeschool math yesterday. It’s called, “Dr. Wright’s Kitchen Table Math”. It’s not curriculum. It’s several books about games and things you can do to promote mathematical thinking. It’s stuff that we, as parents that most likely learned math at school, probably wouldn’t even see as “math”. The site also has a resource list of reading books and games. Using something like this could be used as your math resource if you are privately homeschooling. You don’t need to be doing worksheets and abstract math in elementary school. And since there are no other kids your child’s age at your school, unless you have twins, there is no “behind”.

Riley’s Stone Soup Farm Homeschool Day

There’s another Homeschool Day coming up in Oak Glen! Riley’s Stone Soup Farm & Heritage Farm has announced its own Homeschool Day, October 6 & November 9th.  For more information and to make your own reservations, click HERE!

Free EBooks?!

No. Really! Free EBooks! A friend shared a post about a site with a list of places to get free drawing books online and I love to draw so, of course, I checked it out! It looks great! This is a great way for a homeschooler to take a drawing class at home. All you have to do is pick one out, grab a sketch pad and pencil, and start learning! Have a high school age kid? Be sure to add Art 1 or Drawing 1 to their transcripts and keep a few samples if you want to have  a nice portfolio of high school work. You’ll want to keep a few samples with dates to show your progress.

The article is called “18 Sites with Free Drawing EBooks”. I clicked back to the main page and found lots of other lists of free books and where to find them. I could be here for days! Enjoy!

Next Year’s State Conferences!

Start saving your pennies folks because the statewide homeschool organizations are announcing their dates!

CHN – California Homeschool NetworkSept. 7-10, 2017 at The Great Wolf Lodge, Garden Grove, CA
Early Bird Registration is now open. This is the cheapest you can buy tickets!

HSC – HomeSchool Association of California
July 27-30, 2017 at Hyatt Regency San Francisco AirportTickets are not on sale yet. They usually start after Thanksgiving.

CHEAofCA – Christian Home Educators
July 13-15, 2017 at the Pasadena Convention Center
Tickets are not on sale yet.

These conferences are a bit pricey but you have plenty of time to plan and budget for next year! Big state conferences are not a “must have” to homeschool well but they are just about as fun as a theme park vacation weekend and the feed your soul with much more. I highly recommend trying one out at least for a day!

Printers Fair in Los Angeles

The International Printers Museum in Los Angeles is hosting it’s 8th annual Printers Fair on October 1st! Check out their website HERE for details on the fair.

The museum is only open on Saturday’s but they are open by reservation Tuesday through Friday. It also looks like they have some wonderful interactive tours! If you’d like to book one and invite people to join you to make the minimum number of students, we’d be happy to promote your tour for you here and on Facebook. Just send us an email about it to info@californiadeserthomeschoolers.com

 

“Homeschool News” is going Online!

A group of awesome people started a paper called “Homeschool News” and now their paper is going online. Kids from around the world are welcome to submit articles and artwork online. Check them out at Homeschool News!

I always loved the idea of having a group of kids coming up with a printed “school” newspaper to hand out to friends and family. How could we make that happen in our area? The Hi-Desert Star prints right here in Yucca Valley. Last year we took a tour of their shop! I wonder what the cost would be to run off a real printed paper? Would there be enough kids in our area that would like to meet regularly to come up with articles? Research and investigate? Might be fun! I started to look at online journalism classes and my brain started running around with it. I wonder if there is someone who might want to do a journalism workshop around here?

What about a family paper? Something simple, like a newsletter that each family member contributes to and sends out to family members.

“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!

 

What it means to “establish” a private school.

Summer is already coming to an end. I really can’t believe it! As the rest of the parents prepare to send their kids off to school, homeschoolers are looking to the new “year” for new opportunities to explore and learn in the world. Of course, we’re still stocking up on the school supplies at the sales since pencils, pens, notebooks, and backpacks are essential for anyone on the go! And who doesn’t want one of those awesome lunch boxes with all the compartments?!

If you have decided to homeschool privately this year, you’re starting to get a bit nervous as well. Is it really this easy to start a small home based private school in California? Is there nothing else to do but pick a name, create a few files, and enroll a student? Can I just send a letter to my child’s old school and request records as the new school?

The answer is YES! Yes, it is! There are two great places to get a walk through on creating your own private school and taking charge of your children’s education, setting your family free from the traditional school schedule and making your own way in the world. California Homeschool Network has some great pages about getting started. Along with reading “Just the Facts”, you should also be perusing their “How to Homeschool” pages that include details about record keeping and choosing curriculum. The HomeSchool Association of California also has great “Establishing Your Own Private School” pages that can help you.

I have noticed one thing that many new homeschoolers get a little confused about when they first start like this and that is the use of the term “establish.” When you establish your school, you pick a name and create the files required by law to keep. Then you enroll a student and communicate with the last school about sending the cumulative file for that student. The only contact your new school generally has with the State of California is when you file the Private School Affidavit. The filing period is October 1st – 15th, so what if you’re starting your new school in August or September?! Take a deep breath! ALL private schools file in October. It is expected that you will not have filed until then. The affidavit is not a permit or license, it’s like a statistics gathering tool. The Department of Education only wants to know how many private schools exist, how many students attend them, and where they are located, hence the legal term “private.” August and September are generally times for a lot of shifting in enrollment, so they wait until October to gather the information when things have settled down a bit.

Do you need to file now and then again in October for the 2016-2017 school year? No. You can start your school today and then wait until the filing window without any problems.

Is there a problem if you have already filed over the summer for the 2016-2017 school year? No. It’s really not a problem, only an extra step (and a very small one at that). You WILL need to file again in October, though. The one you filed online over the summer was for the 2015-2016 school year and it isn’t valid after October 1st of this year.

You are legally a private school in California the day you decide on a name, create the required files, and enroll a student, so go out and do some learning! If you’d like some help or just want to talk it over with a live person, please email me and we can chat online or over the phone. My email is info@californiadeserthomeschooolers.com

Also, you are welcome to download and use the forms I’ve used over the years located by clicking HERE!

There Is No “Behind”!

This something that is imperative to wrap our minds around as parents. Homeschoolers are never “behind”. Your children are right where they need to be. We don’t need to compare our kids with others their age. As long as you and your children are happy we are all learning! The goal of education is learning new things, opening our minds to the world around us, not checking off boxes and staying at the level of our peers. We aren’t all on the same path and our education should match our life’s mission. Childhood is for figuring our what that mission is!

Read this and be inspired to change that paradigm! Dear Homeschool Mom Who Worries About Her Child Being Behind

Online Film Classes

This looks promising! I have no future filmmakers in this house as of this moment, but my nephew was interested in going to film school and I did look into what it cost and where to get it. I found loads of information all over the internet that one could use to improve their skills and start their own film career. This website seems to put a lot of that together in one place. It’s from a Christian perspective, but I’m not sure the skills would be different from a Christian worldview as a secular one! Check it out. It’s called “Tomorrow’s Filmmakers”!

Do your kids make movies? When we were kids my Dad had a Super 8 camera that we played with for hours on end. The trouble with it was that you didn’t really know what you had on film until after you paid to develop it. And then “editing” was a whole other story! Today, even very young kids can use a smartphone to capture, edit, and post their own movies. A family could have loads of fun (not to mention education time) putting together a story, scenes, and then moving to filming their very own movie! If you’re not sure how to get started, hand your kids the camera and set them loose. While they are filming, do a quick search for “how to make a short film” and see what you can come up with.