Off to a Late Start – January 2018

Normally, we start our school year the last week or so of August; about the time that the public schools in our area begin their fall semester. This year, however, I was out of town the week we’d originally scheduled our annual ‘Not Back to School’ Party (which is the first official Triangle Homeschoolers event for the new school year), and we’d planned on having it the following week. Little did I know I would be returning home right into Hurricane Harvey’s path.

We have three main organizers who plan events for our group. Heather Thomas  (that’s me) is the administrator and oversees most of the group’s day to day operations, including facilitating the discussion groups on Facebook, interacting with new and interested families,  and (occasionally) updating this website; Kandi Champion plans and hosts events for bigs, and Heather Mullin plans and hosts events for the littles. All three of us lost our homes and virtually everything our families own in the flooding during Hurricane Harvey. For all intents and purposes, Triangle Homeschoolers was closed for the fall semester of the 2017-2018 school year.

After much discussion between the three of us and the other members of our meet-up group, we decided that a good target for possible back-to-normal(ish) operations would be January 2018, but that was honestly a shot in the dark. The recovery process is far from over; in addition to the losses to our three families, several other members of our group suffered damage up to and including losing their homes as well. Those who didn’t suffer any damage had their hands full with the cessation of city services in the weeks following the hurricane, and then helping friends and family with their recovery efforts.

It’s been a very long few months, but we are happy to report that our January target wasn’t too far off the mark. We’d originally planned for our big Meet-&-Greet Park Day to be last week, but the unexpected (second!!) snowfall, ice, and week of frozen temperatures pushed it to this week. We had a respectable showing from our regular members and are happy to welcome a handful of new families to our group as well.

We are still not quite back up to our normal weekly schedule, but we’re getting there. Our High School co-op started the second week of January, and orchestra class resumed the same week. We have a Teen Social and Mom’s Night Out planned, and are working on getting the weekly events on the calendar. With today’s discussion, we’ve also added the possibility of a Middle School co-op, and there was interest in planning another Elementary co-op session soon. Things are slowly getting back to normal, despite our late start!

If you are interested in joining our group, but weren’t able to make it to our event this afternoon, we’ll be hosting another Park Day that is open to the public in February. You can join our discussion group on Facebook to find out details.

Happy Homeschooling!
TH

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2017 Spring Semester

Our Spring Semester for the 2016-2017 school year has come to an end, and we wanted to share some of the highlights from our group’s events over the last several months. Our last update was in December, with our Christmas Concert. In January, after a bit of recovery from the winter holidays, most of us were back at work with kitchen table work and field trips every week. Our high school students had their usual teen social events every month, and many of them continued with THINK High School Co-op, enjoying a new series of classes with the Spring semester. Our THINK Elementary Co-op also held their second round of classes, with a six-week long series designed for the younger set.

Texas Aquatic Science lesson (January 2017)

THINK Elementary Co-op January 2017

THINK High School Co-op – Sculpture 101 (January 2017)

We visited the Houston Museum of Fine Arts to see the Ron Mueck exhibition, which was simply amazing!

Our teens joined other homeschoolers in Southeast Texas for the 2017 SETX Homeschool Prom at the MCM Elegante. Their theme was ‘Masquerade’, and they had a great time! We also visited the Houston Health Museum to see the Body Worlds exhibit.

2017 SETX Homeschool Prom

Houston Health Museum – BodyWorlds 2017

Houston Health Museum – BodyWorlds 2017

THINK Elementary Co-op – Spring 2017

At the end of the school year, we put on a Spring Concert & Talent Show for the residents at Pelican Bay Assisted Living Community. Many of our younger performers got stage fright, but some of them put of a great show despite the butterflies!


Towards the summer, we went to Shangri-La Botanical Gardens for a tour of the marsh and grounds.

THINK Orchestra practice 2017

During the summer months, our families have spent time on the beach, gone on vacation, spent time with friends and family, and many of them have continued school through it all. Our 2017-2018 school year officially begins at our next Not Back to School Party, which will be coming up on August 28, 2017. If you’d like to join us this year, send a message through our Facebook Page, and be sure to join our chat group!

Happy Homeschooling!

TH

 

 

 

2016 Fall Semester

th-2016-fall-eventsIt’s been a busy school year so far!  Rather than post several individual posts, we decided to do a re-cap of this year so far. We’ve had quite a few new things added to our schedule this year, including the formation of our two new co-op groups, THINK High School Cooperative and THINK Elementary Cooperative. We’ve also had our usual weekly field trips and clubs. Here’s a look back at what we’ve been up to this school year. Enjoy!

The first official event for each Triangle Homeschoolers’ school year is our annual ‘Not back to School’ party. This year, we also held a mini-conference to help those new to homeschooling find support and community. We also started a dedicated Aquatic Science Class for upper elementary, middle and high school students. We also decided to start hosting ‘mom’s night out’ type events and kicked off the year with a murder-mystery dinner!

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In September, we had an Art Guild class focusing on the art of Georgia O’Keefe, and our first co-op classes began. We also had a Teen Social at a local coffee shop, and visited Seawolf Park in Galveston. Our Public Speaking group met, and we also hosted a Mom’s Night In Painting Nite with the Art Sherpa on YouTube.

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October started off with NASA’s Johnson Space Center Homeschool Day and our Teen Social. We planned a haunted house theme for our Halloween Party, so several times during the month of October, we got together to work on crafts and decorations for the party. It was a huge success, with multiple themed rooms and our students practicing their acting skills as they set the tone in each room. We’re missing the big group picture (but will edit this and post it later) – it was a fantastic turnout though! Our THINK Elementary Co-op ended in October, but will begin again in January, while our THINK High School Co-op continued throughout the month.

 

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just a few of the littles in our photo-booth!

In November, er started the month by attending the Texas Renaissance Festival School Days, a low-key Teen Social with cartoons and card games, and our first visit to the Houston Gem & Mineral Society Education Day. Our THINK High School Co-op continued with the beginning of Home Ec classes, and the students learned to crochet and to knit. We also hosted our third annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, benefiting the South East Texas Food Bank.

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December hasn’t been quite so busy as the rest of the month, but we’ve still been pretty active! Our Teen Social for December saw the kids roasting hot dogs and s’mores over a fire before the rain chased us all indoors. We spent some time practicing for our Christmas Concert and a day creating Christmas Cards to send to veterans who won’t be able to visit their families this holiday season. Our Christmas Concert went off without a hitch! We had a fantastic and enthusiastic group of carolers to sing for us, and it was a great opportunity for our THINK High School Cooperative orchestra students to show off their hard work.

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Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year!
TH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TH Art Guild – Nevelson – Aug. 17, 2016

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Every 6 weeks, our group meets for Art Guild, a hands-on art class based on the book, ‘Discovering Great Artists‘ that provides easy to do art projects in the style of the artist the lesson is focused on. This month, our subject was Louise Nevelson, whose massive monochromatic found-art sculptures are both interesting and inspired. We took a page from her book and gathered all kinds of junk, from paper and plastic tubes and bottles to keys and other bits of metal and bric-a-brak. The kids used a combination of school glue, hot glue and tape to create a single, stand alone work of sculpture and then spray-painted it to mimic Nevelson’s style. Once all the pieces were painted, we assembled them all into a somewhat uniform larger piece. Though our work was not quite as impressive as Nevelson’s, it was a great introduction to modern art, and hopefully gave the kids a glimpse of what is possible for their own experimentation with art.

 

TH Yearbook Committee 2015-2016

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The first official meeting of our Yearbook Committee went GREAT! Thanks so much to everyone who was able to come.  We’re really looking forward to seeing how this project progresses 🙂 If you’re interested in learning more, of having your student participate in our Yearbook Committee (which will afford opportunities for photography, editing, writing and more), join us on Facebook!
TH

TH Art Guild: Picasso – January 2016

TH ART GUILD

This year, we started an art-focused class, held every 6 weeks, based on the book Discovering Great Artists by Kohl and Solga. This was our first class, and we had an awesome turnout! The kids brought their completed self-portraits, and after the lesson on Picasso’s life and style, the kids (and a couple of the moms) cut the pictures apart and re-assembled them, Picasso-style. After embellishing them with other craft supplies, we called them masterpieces.

Our next lesson will be on Toulouse-Lautrec, and impressionism. If you’re interested in joining us, check out our Facebook group and plan on joining us at our next Park Day!

 

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Making Scarves for the Homeless – Dec. 2015

SETX AHHH

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.

For more information about TH, please contact us. For more information about SETX AHH, you can visit their website or Facebook page.

 

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Homeschool Teen Book Club – Nov/Dec 2015

teen book clubEach 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.

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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.

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