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!

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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.

 

NOAA Sea Turtle Laboratory – August 4, 2016

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Today, our group took a trip to Galveston to visit the NOAA Fisheries Sea Turtle Lab. If you’ve never been before, this is a really cool place to visit!

NOAA Fisheries, also known as the National Marine Fisheries Service, is an office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration within the Department of Commerce. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act, NOAA Fisheries works to recover protected marine species while allowing economic and recreational opportunities. Their sea turtle lab is part of a conservation/research and development project to create turtle-safe fishing nets. The facility in Galveston hosts a class to help educate the public about sea turtles, and offers a tour of the lab where the turtles are housed for two years as they grow, to be released back in the location they were taken from.

 

 

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!
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TH Art Guild – Toulouse Latrec – March 9, 2016

 

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Each month, we get together for our Art Guild. We’re using the book ‘Discovering Great Artists‘ as our guide, and so far, it’s been great! Several of our families have the book, and work lessons into their personal curriculum during the interval between art classes. This month, we’re studying Henri Toulouse Latrec, and the kids made event posters inspired by his style.

If you’re interested in joining us for our next class, visit our group on Facebook!
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March Teen Social – March 4, 2016

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We called this one ‘Mix Tape & Chill’. Each kiddo sent a list of 5 songs to our fantastic organizers, which were put into a playlist on YouTube to play during the event. All the kids were given a paper with the songs, and tried to match the song to the person who picked it. The person with the most correct matches won a GameStop gift card. Everyone brought games and snacks, and they spent a pretty low-key afternoon socializing.

The theme for the day was ‘games people play’, and they spent the afternoon doing just that, from video games, to ‘lines and blobs‘, to the pantyhose bowling game, and wrapping up with LARP style sword-fighting, which ended up paving the way to planning a LARP-based homeschool PE discussion in our group’s discussion list for later this month.

If you have a homeschooled tween or teen, and would like to join us, contact us on Facebook!

Teen Homeschool Book Club – February 10, 2016

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Every month during the school year, the Beaumont Public Library hosts a homeschool book club. The club is divided into three sections on two days, based on age/grade. The Children’s Book Club is usually on the second Friday of the month, and the Teen Book Club is on the second Wednesday. Each month for the teens, Librarian Robin Smith chooses a selection of books for the students to choose between. Her selections represent several categories, including contemporary fiction, sci-fi/fantasy, humor, and classics. They’re also allowed to choose a book from the College Recommended Reading list.

At the discussion, the kids have a list of questions that are generic and applicable to any book, dealing with the setting, plot, thematic elements, conflict and personal opinions. Sometimes after, sometimes before, we team up and play a game to break the ice. Mind Trap was this month’s game, but we’ve played Apples of Apples, Mad Gab and others as well.

Since we’re so close to Valentine’s Day, one of the moms brought cupcakes and toppings, and had the kids decorate their cupcakes to represent something from the books they read.

 

For more info on the book clubs, please contact Robin Smith, children’s librarian at the Beaumont Public Library.
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TH Art Guild: Picasso – January 2016

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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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Public Speaking – December 2015

unnamed This month’s public speaking assembly was great! There’s always a bit of a dip in participation during the holidays, but a few of our students still had their noses to the grindstone even with Christmas cheer in the air.

One of the cool things about out public speaking assembly is the range of materials that the students choose to present. From personal pieces, to historical reports, literary selections and poetry, over the course of this year’s classes, we’ve covered a huge range of subject matter.

We host our public speaking assembly every 6 weeks, and it’s open to students of all ages. If you’re interested in joining us, check us out on Facebook!

 

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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