From the Children's Discovery Center:
"New Year's At Noon (December 31)
Rock, Roll and Ring in the New Year with Hawaii's only New Year's Eve party especially for kids. Join us for special crafts and a countdown to 12:00 noon complete with a balloon drop!"
Some of our best educational moments come from spontaneity and adventure. Still others come during times of structure and routine. Personally, I am most successful and accomplished when I am in a groove, which usually comes from a plan, a process, or a schedule. My kids, on the other hand, have an entirely different idea. So in our household, homeschooling usually occurs in a mix of both guided routine and child-led projects through which learning flourishes.
As much as we love our family and friends and value our time with them greatly, house guests can often interrupt my cherished routine and derail my well intentioned plans for our homeschool. If our kids were in a "brick and mortar" school, they would continue to go to school most days and not miss a beat while there, even while visitors are in town. But since they are home educated, when our home is filled with [loving] distractions, it can be hard to stay on track if we didn't plan for our "vacation time" to coincide with that of our visitors.
So why don't we simply plan around their visits and "take a break" from learning while we have house guests, you ask? Actually, we do. Sort of. It depends on the visitor, their length of stay, and what we need (or don't need) to accomplish during that time. We try to plan ahead and ensure that any obligations we have are scheduled before or after a visitor's time with us. We adjust our schedules and do our best to be able to cherish every moment with our visiting family or friends. But here's the thing: we live in Hawaii and our guests can be frequent and excited to be tourists, which makes us the tour guides. And here's the other thing: we love our guests and want them to visit. (It sure is a wonderful thing to be so loved and blessed that we have so many people willing to come out to see us!) So in order to maximize our opportunities with people we love and care about, we DO take breaks from our routine when house guests are with us... and then there are occasions when we find ourselves taking too many breaks and needing to get refocused on educational goals (particularly with my oldest daughter).
Even with all the possibilities of learning as we go, sometimes we still feel the need to sit down at home and focus on "school". If this happens, I simply must let our guests know that we have something important to focus on. In an effort to show them that we care, that we want to spend time with them, and that we appreciate their taking the time to visit us, we invite them to be involved in our schooling too, if they'd like. If they aren't interested, we offer to let them borrow one of our vehicles for the day, if possible. Or we try to think of somewhere we can take them, drop them off, and do our work while they take some time to play or explore on their own. It can be hard, at first, to speak up and draw the line; to say we have to "do school" (a term used more for their understanding and benefit than ours) when we have houseguests. Once we do this, once we let them know what we need, we realize that our guests are understanding and even happy to be involved in our activities OR to have time to do whatever they'd like without having others in tow. It helps keep us on track and helps me [and my type A, perfectionist, goal-oriented, structured self] keep my sanity, which is certainly a valuable thing.
How do you handle homeschooling while you have house guests? Do you take breaks? Do you incorporate schooling into your activities with visitors? A little of both? Or something else?
LOOK! I've expanded & updated the [public] events calendar on OHM!
On the calendar listing, you can also search for certain categories or click on the tags to find similar events!
AND if you know of more events that should be added to this list, please message or email me to let me know! Thanks!
Note: Local homeschool support groups (i.e. private) events are not listed because it is a public page.
We got an early Christmas present! Sort of. It wasn't really intended to be a holiday present, but it arrived today and the girls were so excited about it, you'd think it was an actual Christmas gift!
For years, I've thought about trying RightStart Mathematics. I'd read great things about it when Big Sis (my oldest daughter) was going into Kindergarten and it was among my top three choices for our homeschool math curriculum, but we ended up selecting a different program at the time. Nevertheless, the curiosity about RightStart has always lingered in my mind. So while we like the math program we have been using for the last few years, I am happy to report that we are about to embark on a new math adventure with RightStart! Yipee!
This curriculum was sent to me for review purposes and I will share my genuine and sincere feedback as we use it. I'm eager to incorporate it into our daily learning and I'm not the only one. Both my girls opened the box and squealed with excitement when they saw all the manipulatives, games, and hands-on material that will be used. Despite the fact that it was evening already, they were begging to get started right away! Even though Big Sis is in 3rd grade and we only received Level A (the beginning level), it looked so enticing and fun that she wanted to do it too. I had to inform her that it is primarily for Lil Sis, but if we like it enough, we will consider it for her future math program as well. Then again, I'm not sure if she'll be able to wait that long. While we were unpacking the box, she kept saying, "I want to do this too!" and "Can I please do some kindergarten math with Lil Sis tomorrow?" Sure she can! It can't hurt to do some review - especially if it's fun and her idea! And who knows? Maybe she'll learn something new or expand on her knowledge since this is a new (to us) curriculum. Check back with my blog in January and I'll let you know how it's going!
Note: While I did receive this product at no charge in return for fair and honest usage and reviews, I am not an affiliate with RightStart Math (i.e. I do NOT get paid a commission if you click on their links on my blog). All opinions and views expressed on this product are and will be my own or that of my family.
This was passed on to me via email from someone on Schofield. It looks like it might be helpful. It says it is free prep, but there is a $19.99 student fee to deliver the materials, as well as other paid packages available. Apparently, the word "free" is used because the $250 cost of the course is waived. If you've taken advantage of this course, please let me know what you think of it!
Please note: Oahu Homeschool Mom is NOT associated or affiliated with this offer or program in any way and I receive no compensation for sharing about it. I have I personally taken advantage of it, so please research it fully on your own and make an informed decision prior to getting involved. It appears to target military families, but does not seem to be exclusive to military. (I did not complete the checkout process, but got close to checkout and did not see any requirement to be military in that process. Please feel free to comment below if you discover any confirmation or conflicting information.)
Here are some screen shots of the PDF sent to me:
Scroll to the bottom of this post if you'd like to download the PDF for yourself.
On their website, it also says:
"*Student Fee: Streaming, Materials, and Customer Support: While the Donation project waives 100% of the retail price for the program,the student fee helps to defray the costs for streaming, technical and customer support, registration, licensure, and processing which in turn permits the Project to continue helping students in the US and around the world . 100% of all proceeds from fees is used to expand and improve the Project to reach more students. There is no profit generated by the Project."
You may also download the PDF that is shown in screen shots above.
Here's a rundown of some of the recent updates, events, and information that might be of interest:
Homeschooling doesn't have to be expensive and neither do craft projects! Big Sis (my oldest daughter) came up with the idea of using trash, bits of nature, and recyclables to make "trash collages", which later expanded to fun structures, crafts, inventions, and toys.
For the past few days, my daughters have spent hours working on trash collages. They have really enjoyed the creative process! They have gone through phases of inspiration, experimentation, passionate determination, and revelation... all from playing with so-called "junk". (It was clean junk, mind you! We were sure to only use safe and clean materials, of course. I'd highly recommend looking through and being choosy with what your child will have access to, since some objects can carry bacteria or have sharp edges.)
While their projects might not look like much, they each had quite the story to them! This pretend play and storyline held the deepest joy they experienced in doing it all. It was all child-led fun and in the process, they learned things that I never would have thought to plan out ahead of time (like some very basic principles of flight and aerodynamics)!
My youngest, Lil Sis, told me all about one of her creations: the "kitty house". Though it is not obvious to the "untrained eye", it is complete with "a cat bed which has a pillow and blanket, little mats for the kitty to play with her dolls on, a bench with people to play with, windows on the side from the hold puncher, toys, food to eat, a place to rest her feet, a water trough, a tunnel, and a feather that is a deck for the kitty to go out and relax on". I thought it was cute that she made a "deck", since that was a vocabulary word that Big Sis had learned earlier in the day. Oh, the joys of younger siblings absorbing knowledge of all kinds from their older siblings homeschool learning!
Big Sis had creative and artistic projects as well. Some of her design elements are harder to see, such as the holes punched along the side of the egg carton through which yarn was woven and bells attached, the foam she used to help stabilized the peacock feather, and the little cutout person sitting in the archway behind the peacock feather.
This would be a great project for preschoolers to express themselves, practice helpful skills (such as weaving, hold punching, cutting, gluing, etc.), and just plain have fun. Add some paint and glitter to make a glorious mess! Use lots of different types of materials - rough, soft, heavy, light, colorful, smooth, and more - for a nice sensory experience.
I imagine that older children might also enjoy making "trash sculptures", taking on STEM challenges and inventions, or even making displays to match history or social studies topics they are currently studying.
There is so much more that could be done. Get really innovative! Encourage your children to be involved! Cut out letters from packages and boxes for phonics, spelling, and word games, or other images for shape and color recognition. Utilize various recyclable materials for math counters, showing fractions, creating stencils for art, or parts of homemade games - both board game and circus/fair game style (such as ring toss). Go outside and explore or read a book and then ask your child to make a 3D representation of what they saw or what you read.
If you have any more ideas or want to share what you've done with your child with trash, recyclables, and nature materials, please comment below or email me.
Have fun and let me know how it goes!
The Family Education Training Center of Hawaii (FETCH), with the University of Hawaii, is offering another Sustainable Science Teen Internship Program next spring! (I hear that about half of their current enrollment are homeschool kids and that they've enjoyed the program so far this fall!)
It is a hands-on 14-week program that is open high school students, wherein participants "plan, build, care for, harvest, and market their own sustainable, organic farm" while learning "concepts in botany, biology, soil science, and chemistry", plus gaining experience in cooking a dish from the garden each week! There are a number of other skills also listed on the website that students will learn and utilize during the program that could be useful for future college classes and work or life in general. See below for a brochure you can download with more information and/or feel free to explore the links below to read more about the program.
Tuition is $75/semester with dinner included (prepared by the students).
They will have an Open House on January 20th, 2016 @ 2:30pm at the UHM Hale Tuahine Farm at Magood Research Station, 2727 Woodlawn Drive. RSVP is needed and the open house is free of charge.
Call 808-956-2248 or email them with questions or to RSVP.
NOTE: Since it is my goal to help make information and resources more accessible to local homeschool families, I've decided to pass on what was provided to me regarding this program.. Be advised, however, that I have NOT been involved in it personally.. This is NOT a review, recommendation, or endorsement of any kind. I am not associated or affiliated with the FETCH program or UH. Please do your own research and make an informed decision before getting involved in this, or any other program shown on my website, blog, or elsewhere.
LIVE DIVE Presentation Info (at Pearl Harbor)
... ... ...
From an email I received...
"On Dec 8, 2015, our Park Education team will partner with the National Park Service Submerged Resources Center to bring you another Live Dive presentation! Join World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument's Chief of Cultural Resources Scott Pawlowski underwater on the USS Arizona. We will answer questions live from the theater audience and Facebook. New shipboard locations previously not shown will also be featured. Our goal is to help you experience the wreck as it is today, illustrate life aboard the vessel in battle and peace, as well as understand the world-class science behind managing this hallowed ground for future generations.
The theater will open at 3:45 pm HST. The dive will start at 4 pm HST. Visitors can watch the live broadcast in the visitor center theater (150 walk-in seats), or online via Adobe Connect. There is plenty of free parking at the Pearl Harbor Visitors Center located at 1 Arizona Memorial Place, Honolulu, HI 96818.
Please go here for more information: http://www.nps.gov/v…/learn/education/learning/live-dive.htm and to register with Adobe Connect.
I'm a homeschooling mom of three, enjoying our time in Hawaii and hoping to share some of that experience with you, including ideas, reviews, resources, and information.