You’ve no doubt heard the old adage, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. As parents, we are often left wondering where this mythical village is, and why we weren’t invited. As new parents, we’re consistently offered help, and told to just let friends and family know what we need, as if telling will […]
Wednesday, December 2, 2015, TH Homeschoolers joined hundreds of public schoolers for a break from study to enjoy the ballet. The theater presented Babes in Toyland with dancers from across Southeast Texas. As children of all ages began to fill the theater, they were greeted with small ballet dancers dressed as elves passing out programs. The place was filled with festive decor and holiday music.
Upon the start time, four teens and lead dancers introduced themselves and their accomplishments. The cheers were explosive when each one announced their city of residence. The ballet opened with the introduction of fairy tale characters from Little Bo Peep to Mother Goose. Jane and Alan, the main characters of the ballet eluded their Uncle Barnaby at their stops in The Magical Forest, Ice Mountain, Toymaker’s Workshop, and Candy Shop as they ventured towards Toyland, where their fortune awaited. Barnaby sought to oust them so that he may have this fortune. They met many interesting and helpful characters, as they journeyed onward. Eventually, Uncle Barnaby succumbs to the spirit of Christmas, and the family members made amends and celebrated their joyous occasion in Toyland.
This ballet was a nice break from regular homeschool activities and a great first event to get us all pumped up for the holiday season.
Our group happily waiting for the show to start
Every month, our group hosts a social studies club, focused on a single country or region. For the month of December, our country of focus was Japan. The kids all do a project of their choice. I love this format, because it means that all the kids can participate; it’s not limited to any grade level or ability. They also get to choose whatever area of study they want to work in, so the projects can be whatever strikes their fancy, from history, to current events, culture, politics, daily life – whatever they’re interested in.
In addition to their project and presentation, we also bring food from that culture. Today, we had several really great recipes, including: rice bowls with chicken breast and bell peppers in oyster sauce, rice noodles with spring veggies, nama chocolate maccha, and sunomono (cucumber salad). Yum!
Each year, Triangle Homeschoolers chooses a charity to volunteer with. This year, our charity is Southeast Texas Atheists Helping the Homeless.
In preparation for the SETX AHH December event, which will take place this Sunday at Weiss Park in downtown Beaumont, our students got together to make fleece scarves, using a couple of simple designs that even our youngest members were able to help make. TH families will be in attendance on Sunday to help provide warm clothing items and other necessities to those in need.
Each month during the school year, our local library system hosts a homeschool book club. It’s broken into two days, with three different age-groups. Since my boys are older, we participate in the ‘teen’ book club, which includes kids from 12 and up. The great thing about our library system (and our librarian, Ms. Robin) is the flexibility. Not only are younger siblings welcome, they’re encouraged to be part of the group.
The format of the club is great. Rather than a traditional, single monthly selection, Ms. Robin chooses several books, one from each of several different categories, including historical, best seller, award winner, classic, etc. The kids are also allowed to choose any book from the College Board Recommended Reading List… but if that fails, any book your student has read can be adapted for discussion.
The kids have a list of questions to consider regarding their book, and to make recommendations to the other students for that book, or others that they’ve read. It’s great listening to the observations and thoughts the students have about the books they’re reading.
One of the selections for December’s discussion was ‘The Hiding Place’ by Corrie Ten Boom. It’s about a girl who, among other things, survived a Nazi concentration camp. One of the moms in our group is a descendant of a survivor, and brought a rock from the Dachau Concentration Camp that’s been in their family since 1965.
Babes in Toyland – Southeast Texas Ballet Company – December 2015
This week, our group gathered at Claiborne Park in Vidor to celebrate Thanksgiving. For the past few years, we’ve collected food for the Southeast Texas Food Bank, and this year, we managed to fill one of the small barrels with donated non-perishable food items. We had a lovely afternoon, filled with good food and fellowship, and reflection on the things that matter most to us.
We’re hoping your holidays are filled with family and friends!
If you’re interested in joining us for next month’s Social Studies Club, be sure to find us on Facebook!
This year, our homeschool group has started a couple of new things that we think are pretty cool. One is the teen social that I wrote about a few weeks ago, and the other is the Social Studies Club. Geared towards upper middle and high schoolers, but open to all ages within our group, it’s organized fairly loosely with a focus on both a project or visual aid and a presentation. Our turnout for this particular class was small, but we had a great afternoon and it was great seeing how much work the kids all put into their projects.
Our collective topic and location was Holland. The kids had pretty much free reign as far as what aspect of the country or how they wanted to develop their topic. I thought that was a great way to set it up, because there are so many different things to cover –…
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