Enrichment Club Schedule – Yucca Valley

Enrichment Club Update – Thanks to those who came and helped plan our next couple months of meetings! It’s so much fun to work with you guys and come up with exciting stuff to do with our kids. Here is the outline we came up with! Mark your calendars! Reminders will come out weekly on Tuesday on the Morongo Basin Homeschoolers Facebook Page and in the Friday Newsletters.

September 28 – No class – McCallum’s “Chinese Acrobats” is playing.

October 5 – 11am to 3pm “Little Free Library” project build!
This gathering is essentially free but donations will be accepted to cover building expenses. Annie and Tony will be leading the kids in building a small box for our little library. The box will be planted at the Yucca Mesa Community Center and listed on the “Little Free Library” website and app. We’ll be accepting donations of any books as well! If you’re interested in the details of the project please visit Little Free Library.

October 12 – 11am to 4pm
11am Cooking with Jordan
12:30pm Felting with Katie
1:30 Science with Ronda and Eli
2:30 Creative Movement with Tiffany

October 19 – No class – There is a free Homeschool Day at the La Brea Tar Pits! Get together and carpool! Details are on their website here.

October 26 – 11am to 4pm
11am Cooking with Jordan
12:30pm “Gratefulness” project with Christa
1:30 Science with Ronda and Eli
2:30 Creative Movement with Tiffany

October 27 – Halloween Potluck/Party 5:30pm to 8pm
Costume parade? Bobbing for apples? Bounce house? Everyone pitch in where they can on decorations, food, and games! Let’s have an old-fashioned (small child-friendly, read “not too scary and gory”, sorry) Halloween Party! An “Event” will be created to RSVP!

November 2 – 11am to 4pm
11am Cooking with Jordan
12:30 Fabric Art with Loisa
1:30 Science with Ronda and Eli
2:30 Creative Movement with Tiffany

November 9 – 11am to 4pm
11am Cooking with Jordan
12:30 Fabric Art with Loisa
1:30 Science with Ronda and Eli
2:30 Creative Movement with Tiffany

November 16 – 11am to 4pm
11am Cooking with Jordan & Fun Napkin Folding to show off at Thanksgiving!
12:30 “Thanksgiving History” with Christa
1:30 Science with Ronda and Eli
2:30 Creative Movement with Tiffany

December 7 – 12 to 4pm – Winter Holiday (politically correct to include everyone) Potluck and Crafting Party!
We’ll be building “gingerbread” houses so bring some candy decorations, graham crackers, gingerbread walls, and frosting to share.
Also, we’ll have crafting stations headed up by our awesome parents so that kids (and parents) can come around and learn how to make something cute for the holidays. If you’d like to have one of these tables to share at, chime in on the event page when it comes up!And then we’ll be taking a LONG break from each other until after New Year’s Day!

And then we’ll be taking a LONG break from each other until after New Year’s Day!

As per the Homeschooler Creed, all times are approximate AND the day will be generally free flowing and organic. The best thing to do is bring a lunch, some toys or games to share, and expect to be there all day. Kids flow in and out of activities as they have interest and are welcome to play in and around the property as they wish. You are responsible for your own children’s behavior and we all need to be aware of what our kids are up to so that we don’t damage anyone else’s person or property. This is not a “drop off” activity.

The  cost for these events is as follows.

$35 per family if you pay all at once, this includes all 7 days!

$6 per family if you just want to drop into a few of them.

This covers the cost of renting the room for the day but not the materials. There may be additional costs for each class or requests to bring supplies with you. Personally, I think it’s a pretty sweet deal!

Email info@californiadeserthomeschoolers.com with any questions, including the exact location. We hope to see you there!

Learning Together

Do you do things with your kids or do you take them to do things? I’ve found there is a big difference. As homeschoolers, we have many opportunities to take our children to classes and events that are “good for them” or that we expect them to learn something from. The kids do get something out of those activities but I’ve found that they get so much more out of it when we put aside the ideas of school, put aside the notion of an “educational” activity, and just experience something together.

Take for instance a field trip to the zoo. Which do you think your child will get more out of, an organized field trip with a bunch of children grouped together and led by a docent of the zoo or a spontaneous trip the zoo with the family? I think it’s the latter.

When we attend a “field trip” with a group the parents tend to flock together and chat while someone else leads the group of kids. We can’t help it. Parents want to socialize as much as the children do. We crave it. So when a child needs extra attention, isn’t interested in what the docent is talking about, or just needs to do something else, we don’t notice. We’ve created “school” in a homeschool environment, with the same problems as the local public school.

When we take our kids to the zoo, we are more involved. We can follow our child’s interest, answer their questions (thank God for smart phones), and be there to notice when they’ve found something to pull them into the deeper waters of learning. And the best part is that we are doing it ourselves, right along with them.

We aren’t educators when we homeschool. We are fellow learners with more experience, communications skills, a driver’s license, and some cash. We ask questions. We find new interests and expand our minds. We’re there to show our kids what real life-long learning looks like. It’s so much more than school.

The next time you think about attending a field trip or class, consider attending with your child as if you are the student as well. Show your child through your actions what giving yourself an education looks like. They will be learning so much more than what the tour guide is leading you through.

Homeschool Activity Workshops Starting Soon in Yucca Valley

Our planning meeting this week went extremely well for a first meeting and we’ve got some pretty exciting things lined up!

There is a “Not Back to School” party being planned for the end of August! Details will come up soon as we confirm dates!

Activity Workshops will start on September 7th and run Wednesdays from 10am to 4pm, at the Yucca MESA Community Center on Balsa and Aberdeen. The cost will $30 per family (with one to two children) and $35 per family (with more than two children), per month if you pay in advance. If you’d like to pay each week as you come, the cost will be $6 per child, per day. The fee covers the cost of renting the building. If a parent is offering an activity that requires extra materials, they may ask for a couple dollars extra to help them cover the costs. We’ll be sure to let everyone know if there will be extra costs before you sign up.Parents that are leading an activity for the month will not be charged for their children that month.

Each month we’ll change what we’re offering as more parent offer their time and kids express interest in learning something new. This year we’re going to add a special time for families with preschool age children. I’ll post details each week but to get you excited about coming, I’ll give you September and October’s line-up!

In September, we’ll be offering the following schedule.

10am to 11am – Preschool Storytime & Craft (hopefully presented by some of our older kids)
11:30am to 1:30pm – Cooking with Jordan –  Back by popular demand2pm to 3pm – Fiber Arts with Katie
3pm to 4pm – Beginning Sketching with Michelle

In all of our workshops, parent participation is required. Parents are expected to be nearby and helping if they see a need. There are no drop-offs permitted.

In October, the tentative schedule will be,

10am to 11am – Preschool Storytime & Craft (hopefully presented by some of our older kids)
11:30am to 1:30pm – Cooking with Jordan –  Back by popular demand
2pm to 3pm – Creative Movement with Tiffany
3pm to 4pm – Outdoor Skills with Rhonda and Eli

Shoot me an email at info@californiadeserthomeschoolers.com if you have any questions. More information, as well as event postings that you can RSVP to, will be coming out in the coming week!

CrossFit Littles Summer 2016

Starts Monday, July 25th at CrossFit Yucca Valley!

13584649_916559371789630_1846157435309845539_o

It’s never too early to see if kids are interested in sports. And this has a double advantage. It may give you the chance to check out what CrossFit is and maybe give it a try yourself!

Music Classes in July – Yucca Valley

Local music teacher, Debbi, will be offering two classes in July! For more information, please email info@californiadeserthomeschoolers.com. I will forward your message to her as soon as I get it.

1) Introduction to Music
This class will offer basics in note reading, rhythm and writing your own songs.
Kids will get an opportunity to try out several instruments such as violin, piano, ukulele, flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone and drums.
Age range: 6 and up
Goal: To introduce music and inspire kids to find their inner musician.

2) Introduction to Ukulele
Easier and cheaper than guitar, ukulele is a good introduction instrument to chords, singing and strumming.
We will learn to read basic tabs, some note reading basic chords, to inspire playing your own songs and some simple favorites.
Ages 6 and up

Cost for the 4 week session of each class is $50 per child. ( $12 per class plus $2 for copies/music).
You need to bring your own ukulele to this class.

Thank you and looking forward to a fun time of music making!

29 Palms Creative Center & Art Gallery

There’s all kind of art going on out at the 29 Palms Creative Center & Art Gallery!

“The Creative Center offers a wide variety of art activities for children, adults and groups to celebrate birthdays, ladies-night-out and school field trips.”

A Highlight

I was at Walmart yesterday buying some things for today’s Drama Club and the man in front of me at the register asked if I was doing an art project. I told him no, the stuff was for a homeschool drama club we started. He smiled and said “That’s something the schools don’t do much of anymore, the arts.” I told him that’s one of the great things about homeschooling, when we want something we just create it. He agreed that was pretty cool.
 
It was refreshing to hear someone’s first response to homeschooling be a positive one. And it made me think . That really is one of the best things about homeschooling. We don’t need to petition anyone or get any bureaucracy to go along with an idea. We don’t need permission at all. We just see what we need and make it happen, either in our own homes, at the park, or wherever!

Hi-Desert Nature Museum

I love our little museum in town! There’s a little something for everyone in there. Recently I opened our Recreation Newsletter to find that they have a display of World War II posters called “Convincing a Nation” right now. We’ll be checking that out for sure. It will be another great bit to hang on the WWII hook in their minds. We’ll have hours of conversation about it. Hopefully Dad will have time to come with us.

They also have small critters, books, rocks, and local information all year around. They have classes, events, and tours for groups, too. Go check them out and often! If you’re coming from outside Yucca Valley, it’s a great place to stop and check out on your way to Joshua Tree National Park.

Hi-Desert Nature Museum