Tuesday, October 10, 2017

STEM Competition

On November2nd John Carroll’s STEM program will be hosting a middle school engineering competition. Here is a link to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/middle-school-engineering-challenge-tickets-38225943827

They would love to have some homeschool students compete.  

Middle School STEM Engineering Challenge
Presented by the John Carroll STEM Program
November 2nd 5:00 – 8:30 PM
Join us and compete in three different engineering design challenges. Bring your problem solving and critical thinking skills and go head to head against your middle school friends and rivals.

Teams of 2 – 4 members can enter, schools may enter as many teams as they like.

Cost:           Free - All tools and building materials will be provided
Teams:       Open to all 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students, teams may mix grades
Format:      Round Robin of 3 different design challenges of approximately 45 
                   minutes in duration:
1) Throw this thing as far as you can (think Catapult or Trebuchet)
2) How high can you go? (Design and build the tallest structure)
3) Rubber band Rover (See if you can engineer a vehicle to travel the longest distance)

Teams will be judged on creativity, following instructions, and successful execution of each challenge

Awards:     Trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams, team members will also receive individual medals

If you have any questions, contact 
Michael T. Monaghan  STEM Coordinator, John Carroll High School, 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

FCA Cross-Country Meeting

Information night for the FCA Falcons, boys' and girls' cross-country teams!
The FCA Falcons is a Christ-centered team that exists to glorify God by giving a full varsity level sports experience to homeschooled students and students at small private schools that don't have their own team. The Falcons held their inaugural cross-country season in the fall of 2016. We are holding an information night for the fall 2017 season.
Date: Thursday, June 1, 2017
Time: 7:00PM
Place: Coach Dan's house, comment below or e-mail danbreeze00@gmail.com for address
Who: All interested cross-country athletes and their parents
RSVP: Helpful, but not necessary; e-mail danbreeze00@gmail.com

Thursday, January 12, 2017

HS Girls Soccer

High School Girls Soccer
Our registration and information meeting will be Monday January 16th at Beachmont Camp in the Akehurst room on the first level of the gymnasium at 7pm. This is a must meeting for new and returning players. One of the most important topics covered will be arranging  carpools and logistics for practices and games. Our team, season and expectations will be covered in detail.  Attached is the updated schedule. Our first practice will be Wednesday February 15th indoors at NERRC. If you know of any other players interested please have them contact me. For any questions prior to the meeting you can contact me at 443 324 3914. If you will not be a part of the team this 2017 season please indicate and I can have you removed from the group list. I look forward to our meeting and a very competitive and blest 2017 season. Coach Tim

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Thoughts on Reviewing with the County or an Umbrella

When I started this site ten years ago, I was a new homeschooler--having only gone through PreK and K with my oldest daughter.  Those first few years feel like a very long time ago.  Yesterday, I was reading a discussion on Facebook about what to expect from a review with a Pupil Personnel Services Worker in Harford County and what records are recommended to be kept.   The county and each umbrella requires different things so it can seem confusing sometimes.  But, when it comes down to it, the law is the same.  As homeschoolers, we are required to show that our children are receiving regular and thorough instruction.  The law does not specify hours per day.  It does not require that certain curriculum be used.  It does not require that our art materials not be located in the room that we use as a classroom.

Over the years, I have heard some interesting things said by people who review with the counties (Baltimore, Cecil, and Harford) about what records we have to keep or don't have to keep.  Several years ago, one mom shared with me that there are curriculums her reviewer said she could and could not use.  This isn't true.  The same reviewer told her she was required to keep all of her child's work for the past five years.  Again, this is not true and is not in the law.  If you choose to report to the county, they cannot require your children to be present at the review.  They cannot require you to leave the room while they speak to your children privately.  They cannot require you to use an hourly daily schedule (and post it on the wall) instead of a routine, as most homeschoolers I know use.

A planner and work samples are usually required by both umbrellas and the counties.  One commenter on Facebook mentioned a field trip list being required.  This is where umbrellas and the county diverge.  Salem Christian's umbrella a reading list of books students have read over the course of the year and 75 hours of volunteer work for high schoolers.  Churchville Christian's umbrella asks for a portfolio review to show that work has been completed--which can include the workbooks and journal or a reading list, but they are not as specific and do not explicitly require to see a planner.  On the other hand, some county reviewers ask to see things like a list of field trips or pictures.  County reviewers require 2-3 reviews a year, but umbrellas only require 1 at the end of the year.

I have heard from many people who have had a good experience reviewing with the county, but also from others who find it to be a tough experience.  Why do people choose this route?

1.  For religious reasons--a desire not to teach religion as some umbrellas require.
2.  Because it is Free.  This is the primary reason I have heard from most families I've known who have chosen to report to an umbrella.
3.  Because the umbrella system may seem complicated.
4.  Because someone might think they have to and not know that they have another option--to go with an umbrella.
5.  Because it is one of the few services our public schools provide for homeschoolers.  The other services homeschoolers are eligible for are speech therapy at the schools and to take the state standardized tests (if you wish).  There is a law in Maryland that homeschoolers are not allowed to participate in any public school activities or classes.
6.  Because the records and proof the county reviewers ask of families push them to push themselves.

I've heard each of these reasons from different families.  Every family makes their own decisions about whether to belong to an umbrella or report to the county.   If you choose to report to the county, you may want to join HSLDA so that you can contact HSLDA for legal counsel if you have questions about what the state can and cannot require of you.  On HSLDA's website, there is information about the laws in Maryland about homeschooling.

For more information about the umbrellas available and how they work, click on the pages on this website for more information.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Salem Homeschool Conference

Monday - October 17 – 6:30 pm
Salem Christian School is hosting a Homeschool Conference on October 17, 2016, at 6:30pm, at Salem United Methodist Church in Upper Falls, MD.  We will cover homeschooling for both elementary school and middle/high school families. This is intended for all homeschoolers ~ both new and experienced!
Getting Started - for new or 'thinking-about-it' homeschool families:
·        Is socialization an issue? 
·        What forms do I need to fill out?
·        Should I enroll in an umbrella program or let the county/city review me?
·        What subjects do I need to teach?
·        What kind of documentation do I need to keep?
·        How do I keep a journal?
·        Do I have to have a classroom? 
·        How long should my school day last? 
·        What is a co-op, and would joining (or starting) one be good for my family?
·        Home School Legal Defense Association  (HSLDA)
Elementary Curriculum - Or Not 
·        Curriculum resources
·        Unit Studies & Field Trips
·        What is 'unschooling' and how does that work? 
·        Testing resources.
·        Tips on Teaching the Struggling Learner
Q & A for Elementary Students / Refreshments, Bathroom Break - 10 minutes
Parents who wish to continue discussing elementary school subjects are invited to remain in Fellowship Hall instead of moving on.
Reaching the Middle School / High School Years - Families need to be thinking about these years a bit differently than when their students were in elementary school, so we'll be addressing the following: 
·        What makes up a high school credit?
·        How many credits are needed to graduate, and in which subjects? 
·        Can I earn credit before 9th grade? 
·        Do I have to use a standard curriculum, or can I make my own courses? 
·        Curriculum resources
·        ‘Outside-the-box' credit options
·        How about Work Study credits?
·        How does the P.E./Health credit work?
·        Co-op class credits?
·        What makes up an Elective credit?
·        Do I have to have my student finish high school in 4 years?
·        What if I have a special-needs student
Middle School / High-School Athletics
·        Varsity Sports
·        NCAA Scholarship money
Headed for College:
·        Dual enrolled students - earning college credit while still in high school
·        SAT's / ACT
·        Getting into college.
·        Funding for college.
·        CLEP testing - the least expensive way to get college credits!
·        Transcripts!
·        Diplomas!
Q & A time:  Our panel of speakers will be available to answer any questions or concerns you have about homeschooling!  We would love to help you make this journey - or should I say ADVENTURE? -  easier for you and your family.
Some of our speakers:
·        Carol Kramer
·        Ana Rivera
·        Phyllis Harden
·        Tim Hines
·        Suzanne Sniffen
·        Gina Rodriguez
This event is open to all homeschooling parents.

Several people have expressed interest in just coming for the high school portion of the evening.  The best guesstimate is that this portion will begin around 8 pm.  
Enter through the far right side door of the church and go upstairs to the fellowship hall.  Please wait until the break to come into the church and join in. 

  In order to have enough handouts and refreshments, we would like to get an idea of how many people will be attending. If you can, please reply to salemchristianschool@comcast.net and let us know how many people to expect. We encourage you to invite other homeschooling parents to this informative event. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Music Instructors or Academic Tutor Listings

If you know of a music instructor or an academic tutor (ie. tutors children with dyslexia) that would like their contact information listed on this site, please ask them to email me at lovetopaint.blogspot@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Free Upcoming Homeschool Conference

Mom’s Day Out’
Homeschool Conference 2016
Saturday, March 19th 9am-3pm
New Covenant Presbyterian Church

Come enjoy a wonderful speaker, curriculum swap, break-out chat groups, and a complimentary lunch!

The speaker is Carol Robb ~ Her online business website is http://findingchristthroughfiction.com/

( If you would like to bring curriculum to sell, please come a little early to drop off your books. Also, please bring small bills for any purchases.)

Bring a friend!