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Halloween Party 2015

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Social Studies Club – Holland

If you’re interested in joining us for next month’s Social Studies Club, be sure to find us on Facebook!

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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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VFW – September 9, 2015

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Today, our group had the opportunity to tour the VFW hall in Orange, and find out about the VFW, what services they offer. There was a program about the flag, and then we had lunch at Lions Den Park in Orange. The VFW has scholarship programs, essay contests, and art contests during the year, for students to participate in.

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Teen FroYo Social – September 2014

FROYOWe’re privileged to have quite a few families who have been with our group for several years now, and as a result, those small kids who started school with us are now tweens and teens! This year, we’ve decided to start hosting a monthly social just for our tweens and teens. To put a modern spin on the traditional ‘ice cream social’, we met up at Orange Leaf in Beaumont for a ‘FroYo Social’, which our kids (and moms) thoroughly enjoyed.

We’re planning to meet on the first Friday of each month, with different tween/teen-centered activities. If you’re new to homeschooling and want to get your older child in on the fun, check out the TH Meet Up page for more information, and join us on Facebook.
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Jump World USA – September 3, 2014

One of the best things about having a Jump World USA in town is that we can totally count this is PE for the day! With dodge-ball, a giant foam pit and plenty of space to run around, the kids always have a blast when we hit the jump park.

Triangle Homeschoolers meets weekly for educationally aligned field trips, and hosts several educational and social events for our students each month. For more information, please visit the TH Meet Up page, or check out our Discussion Group on Facebook.
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Houston Zoo – Sept. 1, 2014

entranceThis week, a few of our families took advantage of the Houston Zoo’s ‘free afternoons’!

Here’s Amber’s recap of the day:
“Our most recent field trip to the Houston Zoo was especially fun! Although the rain kept some families from attending, the kids had a blast splashing in puddles as they walked from habitat to habitat. Some of the favorite animals were the lions, gorillas, and elephants. The drizzling rain kept the air cool and everyone enjoyed the exercise. The kids are already planning their next trip.”

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Our group meets weekly for educationally aligned field trips, and hosts several educational and social events for our students each month. For more information, please visit the TH Meet Up page, or check out our Discussion Group on Facebook.

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6th Annual NBTS Party

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Welcome to a new school year! As always, we kick off the new school year with our ‘Not Back to School’ party. Like many homeschoolers, the first day of school for other kids means that city parks are once again deserted and we happy homeschoolers have them all to ourselves. If you were able to join us this year, thanks for coming out (despite the heat). If you’re new, welcome!! If you weren’t able to come, but want to join us for the new school year, check us out on Facebook!

Happy homeschooling!

TH

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Public Speaking Assembly – August 2015

maxresdefaultEarlier this year, we started hosting a monthly public speaking assembly. This isn’t a ‘class’, per se, but an opportunity for the students to practice their public speaking and presentation skills, as well as an opportunity for both students and teachers to give feedback. Each month, our host posts a new tip for improving your speech. Each tip has a specific ‘thing’ that the student can work on – like fidgeting, eye-contact, and other skills that good public speakers use to connect and engage their audience.

The students have presented a wide variety of speeches, and many have presented original material. We’ve heard passages in books, poetry, recitation of famous speeches, and reading school reports on everything from birds to haunted houses and ghost ships. It’s been great seeing what the kids have come up with to present.

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Though the original target age of the class was for middle and high school students, some of our speakers have been elementary-aged students, and some of our moms have even gotten in on the practice, which has been great to illustrate that it’s never too soon (or too late) to hone your public speaking skills!

We will continue to host monthly public speaking events throughout the 2015-2016 school year.

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Animal Habitats – August 17, 2015

animal-20habitats-20posterHappy ‘back to school’! Our official ‘NOT Back to School’ party is next week, but we decided to get a jump-start on this school year with today’s field trip.

A few weeks ago, the kids each chose an animal to research. Their task was to build a habitat for the animal they chose, and to come up with an ‘information sheet’ about the animal in their habitat.

We’re planning to visit the Houston Zoo in a couple of weeks, so this is an introductory lesson to go along with that. We were both surprised and please that the kids chose to present their animal and projects to the group!

Thanks to everyone who was able to come participate today! If you’re homeschooling, and interested in joining us for weekly events, check out our chat group on Facebook.

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Galveston Pleasure Pier Homeschool Day

 

This was our first visit to the Galveston Island Pleasure Pier’s Homeschool Day event. We didn’t get many pictures, but we had a great time. They had tours and organized classes for children in several age groups. They issued a course book to each student, with STEM-oriented lessons that incorporated the incredible engineering and physics employed in building and maintaining the Pleasure Pier.  If you get the chance, check them out!

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Habitat for Humanity 2015

Each year, Triangle Homeschoolers chooses a charity organisation to work with. This year, we chose Habitat for Humanity. The kids are too young to actually work on the build site, but they’re still able to help! Our crew met at the H4H offices downtown to load up lunch for the workers. For several months, our kids helped feed the students and volunteers who came to our area to help build homes for those in need.

We’re honored to have been able to help in any way, this incredible organization.

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Human Anatomy – March 3, 2015

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This week’s field trip was hosted by one of our families, with stations set up to explore human anatomy. The kids learned about the composition of blood with a large-scale model using ping pong balls, marbles and small yellow balls representing white and red blood cells, and platelets. They got to take their pulse, and learn the differences between different heart rates (resting, normal, and with exercise), and made models of the hand and spine. They also got to make (and eat!) a ton of body-themed snacks!

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TH Science Fair 2015

This week, our group hosted our annual homeschool science fair. We had 15 students participating, with 11 projects (some siblings did group projects), with students ranging in age from pre-school through high school.

We met under the pavilion at Village Creek State Park in Lumberton, which is a great place for outdoor group events (if you’ve never been there). They have plenty of tables, a large grill and a playground all within a few feet of one another. If it had been warmer, we’d have planned lunch out there, but since it was so cold, we didn’t stay long.

The kids all bundled up and presented their projects one by one. There was quite the spectacle when it came to demonstrations, from the rainbow effect that fluid viscosity creates, to self-inflating balloons hat demonstrated carbon dioxide, dancing raisins, and non-Newtonian fluids with oobleck – they had a great time and showed off their scientist’s skills with flair.

From the older students, there was a great display of research-based thinking and psychology, from a project centered on meditation, to communicating with dogs, and several great experiment-based entries on hydrophobic sand, wind resistance and parachute design and a really cool experiment that floated water on top of water!

We were really proud of our students, and the effort and ingenuity that they put into their projects this year.

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Jumping World USA – Beaumont

logoJumpingWorldToday, we took the kids to bounce around at Jumping World USA – Beaumont! This was our first trip out there, and it was everything we’d hoped it would be.

We’re thrilled to have this facility in town; I’ve wanted to take my kids, but the closest location was Houston. Now that they’re in Beaumont,I think TH will add this to our regular rotation of events.

The kids had a blast – and got a ton of exercise while having fun. With a giant bounce pad and long trampolines (including some that stretch up the wall), the kids had plenty of room to roam. The jump coaches and staff keep the kids from getting too crazy or running over each other, and the signs to help the kids find the right age group for their activities helps, too.

There’s a huge dodge ball court (with trampolines), a water wheel (hamster-ball thingy), a bouncy basketball court and a giant foam pit to bounce into. There’s also an arcade, and refreshments (snack bar and vending machines). The place was spic-n-span (even the bathrooms were clean), too, which was really great.
If you get a chance, definitely check them out!

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Downtown Aquarium Homeschool Day 2015

10945372_10205602152194042_6555199196793916447_nThis is the first year that we’ve heard about Downtown Aquarium Houston’s Homeschool Day. We managed to get our group in about a week before the deadline for registration, and I am SO GLAD that we did! Despite a few snags, it was an amazing experience and definitely one we recommend and are looking forward to next year.

If you know anything about our group, you know that we love options, and in this, the Downtown Aquarium didn’t disappoint. Options included your choice of age groups, classes, tours, particpation, food options, and plenty of rides and carnival games. The education aspects were awesome, the staff was friendly and helpful – and most importantly, excited about their jobs and working with our kids.

Our only complaint had to do with organization – things were a bit disorganized, but according to the hostess, they had more that twice the number of participants this year than they’ve had in previous years, so a little bit of leeway can be allowed. I am so glad that this was a successful event for them – the better their turnout, the better future events will be!

Most of the Triangle Homeschoolers families chose the ‘all day’ option – 2 classes, ‘behind the scenes’ tours, full access to the exhibits and rides, a Q&A with a marine biologist, and a picnic lunch included.

Here’s a sampling of the day’s activities:


If you have a chance, please visit – it’s a full day’s worth of activities, education and entertainment. If you’d like to join TH for events like this one, join the discussion on Facebook!

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Sea Center – Lake Jackson, TX – January 2014

Today, we took the kids out to Sea Center in Lake Jackson to visit the hatchery. What we thought was going to be a ‘tour’ was actually a full behind the scenes look at just how intricate and scientific growing a million fish really is!

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When you walk in, one of the first things to see is a giant ‘touch tank’. Filled with crabs of all kinds (hermit, blue, spider and more), sea anemones, urchins and other things to feel and explore, the touch tank dominated the kids’ attention for a good long while. There’s also a table with plates to make crayon rubbings of different sea creatures, and several big aquariums to check out.

CAM01433To keep the kids interested, we split into two groups with a guide for each group – Mr. Andy for the littles, and Mr. Jerry for the bigs. We took a walk outside to check out the water systems, from the created wetlands, to the big holding pond, outdoor filters and tanks, to the indoor pump and filtering system inside. Then we went through the big tank room where there were giant tubs filled with red drum and flounder. Then we toured CAM01436the incubation room, where we learned about eggs and how the ‘fry’ look when they’ve hatched, and what they eat for the few days before they’re gathered up and brought to the grow ponds outside. We also got a run-down of what types of education the kids might need to pursue if they wanted to have a career with one of the three hatcheries in Texas.

 

 

 

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We also got to hang out on the pier of the learning pond and feed the fish – and saw a variety of giants in the water, then took a stroll down the boardwalk over the wetlands that were built to replace some that were destroyed when the hatchery opened.

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If you get a chance, call them to schedule a tour. It’s well worth the drive!
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Museum of the Gulf Coast – January 2015

Jan 2015This past week, we took a trip out to Port Arthur to visit the Museum of the Gulf Coast. If you haven’t been out there, we highly recommend it! The MotGC is a wealth of art, historical information, persons of interest, local talent and memorabilia that’s connected with Southeast Texas both past and present.

I didn’t get a picture, but the entire wall when you enter the museum is a mural timeline that shows ancient history through Spindletop. The displays (including hands-on stuff for kids) follow the timeline displayed in the mural, from animals and people that used to live in this area, to battles fought here and the beginnings of industry in Southeast Texas.

Upstairs is an incredible display of carved ivory, several cases full of shells and other sea-fossils, a gallery full of glass and gems, and three galleries for talent – music, sports and art. The kids had a great time doing a ‘scavenger hunt’ and we even found ‘Major Tom’!

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Triangle Homeschoolers Turns Ten!

October marks our tenth year as a homeschooling group, and I have to say that it’s really come as a surprise. One of the members of our group commented on our dragon mascot, and I mentioned that we’ve had the same mascot since 2004, and was struck with the realization that the group has been around for a decade!

It’s so cool to look back and see how much both our group and homeschooling in this area has changed over the years. We started on Yahoo Groups, with only 3 families. Now, 2 of those families are still with us, and over 20 more have joined us in our meet up group. Last year, we started the TH Secular Homeschool Chat list to give families who either aren’t local, are just thinking about homeschooling, or whose schedule prevents them from actively meeting up, and it’s grown to over 100 members in that time.

We are proud to represent secular homeschooling in Southeast Texas, and are so grateful to the families who are part of our groups that contribute to this incredible support organization in our area. If you’re new to homeschooling, the area or think that homeschooling might be something you want to try, we hope that you will find your home with us!

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Humane Society of Southeast Texas – January 2013

humanesocietyEvery school year, Triangle Homeschoolers chooses a charity organization to work with. This year, our charity is the Humane Society of Southeast Texas.

Each month, our students volunteer to help exercise and socialize some of the animals at the shelter. Our kids LOVE working with animals!

 

 

 

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Visiting Julie Roger’s Theater

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.

11046332_10206324992096642_4189571316656716557_nOur group happily waiting for the show to start