Homeschool Science Blog!

I saw this come through my Facebook feed over the weekend and I thought I’d share it with you. It looks like something my kids would love to explore! There are several pages of great science experiments, links, and explanations all written by another homeschool Mom. This is the kind of thing I love most about the internet, regular folks having a cheap and easy way to share what they know with the world. And here we are probably a thousand miles away, reading and learning from them for free. Kinda makes you think, doesn’t it? What can you share with the world?

Have some fun checking out the site – Homeschool Science Geek!

New General Resource Page

I’ve created a new General Resource Page that includes home education sites and online general curriculum guides! It’s by no means complete but I’ll continue to add to it and share when I find awesome resources during my online travels.

New Science Page

I created a new “Science” Resource Page for this site! It’s short and sweet right now but I’ll be adding to it as I find (and sometimes remember) great books, websites, games, and yes, curriculum. Go check it out at Science Page!

Fiction and Biology

I just finished reading Isaac Asimov’s “Fantastic Voyage” and couldn’t help but see how I could have used this book as a jumping off point for a couple of great education adventures. Personally, as an unschooler, I already did that for myself. I’d like to watch the movie as well, read more about the Cold War in the 60’s, and learn more about what we know about the human body. If I had found this book when my boys were younger, I would have read it to them chapter by chapter over lunch and followed up with some of the movies, printables, and reference books I found. I wouldn’t assign them to the kids, though. I would have gone on the adventure myself and invited them along for the ride. I’ve listed some sites and leads I found below. Go get the book! It’s a great read-aloud even for younger kids! Although, remember “Journey Thru Inner Space” at Disneyland? It’s very similar and that ride scared me to death as a kid.

Free “Human Biology” class at Khan Academy

Human Biology Printable Book at TeacherVision (subscription required – 7 day free trial, $40 per year, $7 a month)

Anatomy for Kids list of great books and toys on A to Z Home’s Cool

Another topic that you could discuss and/or read about would be the Cold War. This book was written during the Cold War in 1966. It reflects many sentiments at the time about the race for weapons and “mutually assured destruction”. This would be a great way to lead into a study of this era and an expansion of the idea. These are a few ideas I had while reading the book.

Wikipedia Article about the Cold War (1962-1979) 

Cold War Books and Lesson Plans

10 Best Movies List

Homeschool Advocate Groups

This is just a short post to remind you that becoming a member of statewide and national homeschool advocacy groups is important, not because you personally get something by being a member like you would if you subscribed to a magazine, but because your money helps support groups that keep their eyes on what legislation is being put out there that may have an effect on your ability to legally homeschool.

Homeschooling has not always been legal, accepted, or as easy to do as it is now. As with any right, we all need to pay attention to what’s happening in our government and statewide groups help us do just that!

Home School Legal Defense Association

Private & Home Educators of California

Christian Home Educators of California

California Homeschool Network

Homeschoolers Association of California

 

The Education Secretary’s Comments

Have you seen the articles written in regards to the Education Secretary, John B. King’s comments about homeschooling in the U.S.?

Here are a couple of articles that I found interesting.

“U.S. Education Secretary Says He Is Concerned About Homeschooled Kids” from Caffeinated Thoughts

“What Obama’s Education Secretary Got Wrong About Homeschoolers” from The Daily Signal

I have some serious thoughts about it myself, but I’ll only comment on the one line that stood out to me most. This one, “King said he worries that ‘students who are homeschooled are not getting kind of the rapid instructional experience they would get in school’—unless parents are “very intentional about it”.”

I believe most of us have left the education system because we did not desire the “rapid instructional experience”. Real, whole-life learning and education is not rapid or instructional. Relating real education with school is holding so many citizens of this country back from greatness. Homeschool families are very intentional about giving their children all the advantages of a personalized education that no government school can create.

I highly recommend the two articles above and remind everyone that homeschooling remaining a legal option in the United States is not guaranteed. We all need to remain vigilant and support those groups that help us navigate the government waters and keep our rights secure.

Who Files The Private School Affidavit (PSA) And When?

It’s that time of year again, folks! The annual “Filing of the Affidavit”, or what I like to call “Homeschool Independence Day!”

Who needs to file the Private School Affidavit? All private school owners that have students currently enrolled in their school.

How does that apply to “homeschoolers”? In California, there is no special law for homeschooling. Our kids are all either enrolled in a public school, a private school, or being tutored by a credentialed teacher. One option is for a family to create it’s own private school and enroll their children in that school. It’s a relatively simple process and gives parents the most freedom in choice of education style and content. If you have chosen this option, you are required to file that Private School Affidavit with the State of California’s Department of Education.

If you have enrolled your children in something else, like a public charter school, a district independent study, or a private school satellite program, you should not file this form. Basically, if you filled out an “enrollment” form, you are enrolled in someone else’s school. You are a customer of that school and they will do the administration part of the job.

When and where do you file? All private schools file the Private School Affidavit with the Department of Education each year between October 1 and 15th. You can find the link here. The statewide advocacy groups, CHN and HSC have links on their sites that give you detailed instructions on how to fill out that document.

What is the Private School Affidavit? It’s a way for the State of California to know how many private schools are operating in the state and how many children go to them. It is not permission or a license to operate a private school. It’s done in October and not September so that generally people have settled down into the schools for the year and they can get a more accurate count. Filing the affidavit does not create your school. When you decide on a name, create the required documents, and enroll a student, you are creating a school. The PSA is usually after the fact that your school is created.

I might want to pull out of the school my kids are at later this year. Should I file now, just in case? No! There is no need. If you did, your kids would be counted twice, once in the school they are attending and once in the school you are creating. You don’t want that and you don’t need to. Just wait. The link to file is up year round. Yes, the filing period is October 1-15, but if you create your school in November through June you can still file that form then. It’s just that generally schools are formed over the summer and it helps them to try and get everyone to file at once.

So, that’s about it in a nutshell. I hope this helps clear up any confusion about who should be filing the PSA. Now it’s your turn. Go file your PSA and then do something special with your kids to celebrate your independence!

One more thing, if you are in the Yucca Mesa area and would like help filing, please email me at info@californiadeserthomeschoolers.com We can take some time going over it at the Enrichment Club on October 5th!

Happy Homeschool Independence Day!

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!

“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.

Fall/Winter Activities in Yucca Valley

The city’s parks and recreation department has posted it’s Fall/Winter activity guide! There are lots of great things to do in town. Octoberfest, Gourd Festival, Halloween Party, and lots more.