The New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition News January/February 2011 Volume XXII Number 3
Coordinator’s Report, January, 2011
The Coalition board members are busy planning the Coalition’s annual spring homeschooling workshop scheduled for Saturday, April 9 at the Nackey Loeb School of Communications in Manchester. The morning session, “A Homeschooling Sampler” will start with a brief explanation of New Hampshire homeschooling law, followed by a panel discussion covering homeschooling how-to’s and different homeschooling methods. There will be a round-table discussion about homeschooling students with learning disabilities during the lunch break. The afternoon panel discussion, “Homeschooling through High School and Beyond,” will cover homeschooling high school students, preparing transcripts, and equipping students for life after high school.
I hope you can join us for our workshop in April. In addition to the informative panels, we also have homeschooling catalogs and samples of homeschooling materials at our spring workshop. Registration information and other workshop details will be available at the website soon (www.nhhomeschooling.org).
The guidebook revision committee has almost completed revising The New Hampshire Home Education Guidebook. Dawn Lincoln, who graciously volunteered her time and energy to process Coalition Guidebook orders for several years, is handing over that responsibility to our Treasurer, Erin Groudas. Many thanks to both of you.
The next Coalition board meeting will be on Saturday, March 19, at 9:00 a.m. in the Elkins Library in Canterbury. All Coalition meetings are open to the public and we welcome visitors. If you want more information about the Coalition, or if you have questions about volunteering with us, please contact any board member.
Respectfully submitted, Jane Grady
Report of the Home Education Advisory Council
At our December meeting, Charles Annal and Elizabeth Foy discussed the eStart program, which offers high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to take online courses and earn Community College System of N.H. (CCSNH) college credits and required high school units simultaneously. Homeschoolers who wish to take a class should be at least 15, but the age restriction may be waived at the instructor's discretion. For more information about the eStart program and classes offered, visit http://www.ccsnh.edu/estart/index.html.
On the evening of December 9, the Home School Legal Defense Association sponsored a "webinar," an online panel discussion about current homeschooling law in New Hampshire and possible changes to it. Given the new legislature, changes are nearly inevitable. HEAC member George D'Orazio observed that a parental rights amendment to the New Hampshire constitution would be a more reliable protection of homeschoolers' freedom than legislation.
On January 14, Chris and I made a presentation to the Senate and House Education and Finance Committees, at the request of Senator Nancy Stiles, who chairs the Senate Education Committee. There were also presentations from Commissioner Virginia Barry, State Board Chairman John Lyons, and representatives from charter schools, VLACS, UNH, and the community college system. I talked briefly about the requirements of the homeschooling law, the growth in the numbers of homeschoolers, and the duties of the Home Education Advisory Council; Chris talked about the abundant resources--support groups, email lists, workshops--available to homeschoolers. There were many questions for the other presenters, and none for us, but I doubt not that the coming months will give all of us plenty of opportunities to talk about homeschooling with our elected representatives.
The new roster of all House and Senate members, which includes their addresses, phone numbers, and committee assignments, will be available sometime in February. The same information is available online, of course, but for those who like it in booklet form, this makes a handy resource. A check for $2 should be made out to Treasurer, State of New Hampshire, and sent to:
Room 318, State House
Concord, NH 03301
We Asked Homeschoolers
What kind of math program do you use? Have you had success with hands-on materials, online drills? Do you and your children prefer a traditional textbook? Here are some of the responses:
We use MEP math from the UK. It's very logic based, spiral, up to grade 12 and best of all it's free! You can print the books or do the interactive online pages. The only caveat is that the UK is approximately 2-3 years ahead of the US. There is also a Yahoo group associated with this program.
My son is in 7th grade and is advanced in the subject of math, so I literally custom-create his curriculum week by week. We are focusing on algebra this year, and I tried several books only to find that most were not helpful at all. The only book I use for reference is Josh Rappaport's Algebra Survival Guide. It covers each concept clearly and concisely; I can take the idea, explain it to Ian, and then jump right into real world applications. My main resource, however, is Khan Academy online. If you haven't seen this website, you HAVE to check it out! I don't have Ian watch the videos himself, though; I actually use to determine the order in which I will teach concepts – and to refresh MY memory on how to do the math!
http://www.khanacademy.org/ (This site teaches a lot more than math, and all levels – well worth looking into!) As for practice work, I write all my own word problems, which is really fun because they're more engaging. Oftentimes I'll write a word problem about something that interests Ian, and it will lead him to do three more problems on his own – just to satisfy his curiosity! You just can't beat a custom curriculum at this age. You can write practice problems that address the concepts where your child needs practice, you can spend as many days as you need on a concept that comes slowly, and you can move quickly though the easy stuff! It may seem time consuming, but it's far more efficient than you may think! Time well spent! Kristen Palleiko, Rollinsford
My oldest son likes getting workbooks from various sources. Right now he is working on the Brain Quest workbooks, but has used several other companies. Using the workbooks, he self teaches himself math and then will rewrite the book at least once coming up with his own problems and solving them (of which we check to make sure they are correct). Using this method, he started doing 4th grade math this summer and he just started 3rd grade if you go by his age. Francine
For our next issue, we want to ask homeschoolers…
Can you offer some tips on how to put together a portfolio for an end-of-year evaluation? We’d especially like to hear from you teachers who do evaluations. Please send your responses to Abbey Lawrence, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Hampshire Supreme Court Hears Case of Homeschooled Girl Ordered to Attend Public School
In September of 2009, a ten year old New Hampshire girl, homeschooled for the previous four years by her mother, was ordered to be enrolled in the local public school by the Laconia Family Court in accordance with the wishes of her father. The parents have been divorced since 1999, and while the mother has primary physical custody of the child, there is regular visitation with the father, and the parents have joint decision-making authority. On the sixth of January 2011, the New Hampshire Supreme Court heard oral arguments in an appeal of that 2009 decision, "the matter of Martin F. Kurowski and Brenda A. Voydatch."
What did the Laconia Family Court say about the girl’s religious beliefs and their effects on her interactions with others? How did the Court characterize the academic merits of her homeschooling? What did the Court say about the “group interaction” issue and the value of public school for exposing children to “a variety points of view” and opportunities for “social problem solving"? What questions did the five New Hampshire Supreme Court justices ask the mother’s and father’s attorneys in their thirty minute hearing of the case?
The Laconia Family Court decision. being appealed to the New Hampshire Supreme Court and the Supreme Court’s video recording of the oral arguments in the appeal are available online.
Read more on the legal news page at the New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition website.
Proposed Legislation That Affects Homeschooling
The following bills have been proposed for the upcoming session. Chris Hamilton, NHHC member of the Home Education Advisory Council, follows the bills on her website here http://webpages.charter.net/beaverlodgehs/legislation/legislation2011/in.... A link to the text of the bills will be added when it’s available.
2011-H-0013-R; title:repealing the department of education's rulemaking authority for home education programs; Sponsors:(Prime)David Bates , Marilinda Garcia, Paul Ingbretson, Ralph Boehm, Sharon Carson, Fenton Groen, Jon Richardson
2011-H-0755-R; title:amending the compulsory school attendance statutes to permit parent-directed instruction programs and repealing the home education statutes; Sponsors:(Prime)Laura Jones , Andrew Manuse, Seth Cohn, Raymond White, James Forsythe, Jim Luther, Alfred Baldasaro, Carol Vita, Harry Accornero, Kevin Avard, Stephen Palmer, Tyler Simpson
2011-H-0827-R; title:amending the home education statutes; Sponsors:(Prime)James Parison , Paul Mirski, Charles Sova, Raymond White, Sharon Carson
2011-H-0828-R; title:amending the school attendance statutes; Sponsors:(Prime)J.R. Hoell
Agriculture and Food Careers
Agriculture and Food Systems Career Day at UNH--January 22. The day will include an over-view of UNH degree options and programs for students interested in pursuing a career or studies in an agriculture or food systems industry. There will be a tour of UNH facilities, lunch catered by the culinary arts department at the Thompson School, and additional hands-on activities in the afternoon, all for $5.
“Connecting Youth to Careers in Agriculture,” a special career development reception-- February 5, 10-noon, at the Center of New Hampshire Radisson Hotel, 700 Elm Street, Manchester. The event is being held in conjunction with the annual N.H. Farm & Forest Expo (www.nhfarmandforestexpo.org).
For more information about the reception or the N.H. Agriculture and Food Pioneers Network, contact Michael Young at 679-5616 or email@example.com. Also visit www.nhagricultureandfoodpioneers.org.
Learn to Play Hockey in Hooksett
Homeschoolers 4 to 10 years old are invited to learn hockey at the Tri-Town Ice Arena in Hooksett for an 8-week session Thursdays from 1:40 to 2:30, February 3 through March 24. The cost is $59.00 per player ; a 10% sibling discount is available. FULL EQUIPMENT IS REQUIRED: skates, shin pads, hockey socks and pants, shoulder and elbow pads, helmet with facemask, stick, gloves and neck guard (optional). Skills taught will include proper skating technique, shooting, passing, and stick handling.
For more information, contact Jeremy J. Vega, Assistant Program Director of the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs, at 270-1024 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Archery Course in Concord
A basic archery course will be taught in Concord on five consecutive Monday nights February 7- March 7 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. The class, for ages 10 through adult, will be taught by Mike Colby, Brandon Reed, and Craig Rennie using Genesis Bows. Cost is $40 per person. Held in the activity room at Trinity Baptist Church, 80 Clinton Street, Concord, NH. Contact Marge Dockham at 603-410-4138 or email@example.com
African American Studies
The African American Studies Program at Boston University invites home-schooling parents to apply to be a part of a week-long summer workshop on African Americans in Massachusetts: From Slavery to Today, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The workshop will be offered twice in the summer of 2011: from June 20-24 and again from June 27-July 1. Each week-long workshop will begin on Monday morning and end on Friday evening and will enroll a total of 40 summer scholars. All participants in the summer workshop will receive a $1,200 NEH Summer Scholar taxable stipend. Stipends will be paid at the end of each residential workshop session and are intended to partially cover transportation and accommodation expenses for the workshop. There is no fee to attend the workshop itself.
Additional information about the program, faculty, and application process can be foundaat www.bu.edu/nehsummerworkshop. The application deadline for all summer scholars is March 1, 2011.
Scholarship Opportunity for Young Women
The goal of the Zonta International Young Woman in Public Affairs program is to encourage more young women to participate in public affairs. To further this goal, the local club in Concord sponsors a scholarship. The application of the local winner is then sent to the Zonta District governors, who submit one application to the Zonta International Headquarters. The Zonta International Board provides awards to five recipients. For more information, visit www.zonta.org, or contact Carolyn Andrews at 224-0185 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media and Communications Classes in Manchester
The six-week session of Wednesday evening classes at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications in Manchester runs from Jan. 12 – Feb. 16. Most classes are free to students of all ages. The winter lineup includes: Broadcasting, First Amendment, Advanced Social Media, Newswriting and the school’s newest class, Cartoons and Illustrations. Registration is available at www.loebschool.org or by calling 627-0005.
January 12 – February 16 (Wednesday evenings)
• First Amendment Law – Atty. Greg Sullivan (6-7:30)
• Social Media – Judi Window (5-6:30)
• Broadcast Journalism – WMUR team (6:30-8)
• Cartoons and Illustrations – Ron Plante (5-6:30)
• Newswriting – Meg Heckman (6:30-8)
March 5--Workshop – Social Media for the Fun of It – Judi Window 9-noon or 12:30-3:30 ($30 fee)
March 9 – April 13 (Wednesday evenings)
• Sportswriting – Jim Fennell (5-6:30)
• Public Relations – Jayme Simoes, Brett St. Clair (6:30-8)
• Photoshop Elements 6 for beginners – Debi Rapson (5-6:30) ($50 fee) ($25 18yrs. and under)
• Photoshop Elements 6 – Beyond the Basics – Debi Rapson (6:30-8) ($50 fee) ($25, 18 yrs and under)
• Multimedia – Don Himsel (5:30-7)
March 26-- Telling Your Family Story ($50 fee)
April 8-- Police/Media Relations ($50 fee)