New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition News July/August 2013 Volume XXIV Number 6
Coordinator’s Report, June, 2013
Summer not only welcomes the sunshine and warmer weather, but election time for the New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition. In June, we sent out the ballots for the 2013-2014 District Representative positions using ElectionBuddy, an online election program. Election of officers has not taken place at this time. The results of the online election are as follows:
• District 1: Beth Paiva
• District 2: none
• District 3: Amy Gall
• District 4: Claudine Burnham
• District 5: Faye Grearson
• District 6: Erin Groudas
• District 7: Wendy Bisbee
• District 8: Karen Deighan
• District 9: Jennie Steinhauser
• District 10: Jessicah Seaman
• District 11: Julie Ridings
• District 12: Kathy Connors
Additionally,I would like to welcome Jennifer Avila on board as the new NHHC Treasurer and say goodbye to Jenny Courser (former District 5 Rep.) as she moves on to the next chapter of her life after successfully homeschooling her children.
Currently, the Coalition is looking for District Representatives for the Keene/Monadnock Area. NHHC District Representatives meet to discuss homeschooling matters and conduct Coalition business at four regularly scheduled meetings each year. If you, or someone you know, should be looking for a chance to support other homeschooling families, this could be the perfect opportunity. If you are interested in finding out more about serving on the Coalition board please contact the webmaster or any Coalition Representative. Email and other contact information can be found from our website at this link: http://nhhomeschooling.org/reps
Finally, I would like to express what a pleasure it was for me to serve as the NHHC Coordinator this past year. The Board is made up of a wonderful group of women who truly care about helping our homeschool community. However, after careful consideration of my family's needs, I am not seeking re-election. I wish the Board and the membership success in the next year and thank you for all your homeschool efforts.
A group of ten home schooled students from Carroll County competed in the 2013 SeaPerch Challenge on May 11 at the University of New Hampshire. They had spent four months building and testing underwater robotic bots. The team earned first place in both the Obstacle Course and the Salvage Course. Way to go!
Home School Night with the Fisher Cats
Homeschoolers are invited to take advantage of the special price of $7 per person for seats just behind the dugout at the Fisher Cats game on Saturday, August 10. Homeschoolers will also be invited to march on the field before the game. Call Stephanie Fournier at 606-4105; tickets may be purchased with a credit card and mailed to you or held at the game.
Curriculum suggestions from the Board
I have found the following resources particularly helpful:
Ancient History video shorts, very good for introduction, to supplement, or substitute for text based sources when adaptive curriculum is needed.
"Kid’s Animated History With Pipo presents The Time Compass. Journey in time through the great cultures and civilizations of human history. Join your guide Pipo, in this hilarious animated series."
http://www.mrmovietimes.com/watch-now/series/kids-animated-history-with-.... It is also available on HULU, probably with a subscription.
and for fun...
excerpt from wikipedia: "Horrible Histories is a British children's television series based on the Terry Deary book series of the same name. It aims to provide entertainment while also informing its audience about history, thereby making a stereotypically boring topic fun."
For families with autism spectrum disorders (autism, PDD-NOS, aspergers) Elizabeth Webster's email list is a fantastic source to find out about resources and opportunities. You do not have to be a client of Easter Seals to be on the list. Contact:
Autism Family Support Specialist
Easter Seals NH
Another resource is Gateway's Autism Center, more focused in Nashua area. Visit http://www.gatewayscs.org/autism_center.htm
My kids and I recently visited the Derry Public Library to register for the summer reading program and I was so excited to see that they have done a wonderful job sharing information about Ancient Egypt all throughout their Children's Room: timelines, photographs, displays, craft center. They even have a question of the week that pertains to their theme and you can search for the answer somewhere presented throughout the room and enter it into a raffle. They also did a great job decorating the walls of the room as well as the tops of the shelves on almost every aisle of the room. Since we are working out of the Story of the World Curriculum (Volume I Ancient Times) this ties in beautifully with what we have been studying and reinforcing the material. I'd recommend visiting this library to anyone who has recently studied this topic or who plans to study it in the upcoming school year.
"What Einstein Told His Barber: More Scientific Answers to Everyday Questions"
Did you ever wonder why snow is white or ponder why we see certain colors? My 11-year old son and I just finished an audio book by Robert L. Wolke and can't wait to get another of his books for entertainment as well as education. We just listened to "What Einstein Told His Barber: More Scientific Answers to Everyday Questions." The answer to the question "How do shark attacks make airplanes safer?" was of particular interest as we boarded a plane to Chicago recently. You can find the answer to that question in his book as well as learn why birds don't get electrocuted while perching on high voltage power lines and why they don't lose their grip and fall off a branch when they go to sleep.
Robert L. Wolke is nationally known for making science understandable as an author, educator and a lecturer. He is professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh and you can read his work in The Washington Post. In his book "What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained" we look forward to learning how coffee is decaffeinated and why meat is red. Our Science in the Kitchen Study will continue with the sequel "What Einstein Told His Cook 2: The Sequel: Further Adventures in Kitchen Science" but it won't end there. See Robert L. Wolke's Web page for other interesting titles http://robertwolke.com/
We joined Simply Audio Books to borrow more Robert L. Wolke titles on audio. http://www.simplyaudiobooks.com/.
Report from the Home Education Advisory Council (HEAC)
My term on the Council expired at the end of June, and I decided some time ago not to be reappointed. The youngest of my six children will attend UNH in the fall, so for the first time in almost thirty years, I am not homeschooling. Christine Mukai, long-time homeschooler and former representative to the Coalition board, has been appointed to the Council. At our June meeting I said that I will help arrange the meeting in September, and otherwise help where I can.
Report to the State Board
I gave my final report to the State Board of Education on June 13. In the questions raised by a couple of new board members I saw concerns that the homeschooling community needs to be aware of. James Schubert was surprised to learn that homeschoolers no longer submit a curriculum; although that requirement was removed in 2006, it apparently remains controversial for some. Mr. Schubert observed that the law here differs from that in Massachusetts, with which he is more familiar because, he said, his wife homeschools their grandchildren under Massachusetts law.
The other question came from Emma Rous, who several years ago was chairman of the House Education Committee as well as a legislative representative on the Council, in which capacities she tried to make New Hampshire homeschooling law much more restrictive. On learning that the evaluation is not required to be submitted to the participating agency, she wanted to know who does see it? I replied that it can be used to determine academic eligibility for participation in curricular and co-curricular offerings, but otherwise is intended for the parent's use.
Undoubtedly last year's changes to RSA 193-A have provoked some concern, and homeschoolers will need to be aware of possible reactions. The only related legislation in this year's session was a bill to restore the vote to legislative members of the council; it failed in the Senate.
Homeschoolers and College
At our May meeting, Jane Grady gave an informative presentation about a problem occasionally encountered by homeschoolers applying to college. A few colleges require that homeschoolers present either a diploma or GED, apparently under the mistaken impression that this is necessary to qualify for federal student aid; it isn't. In Jane's words: "In a nutshell, to be eligible for financial aid, only homeschooled students from states that offer government?issued (or government-approved) high school completion credentials are required to furnish those credentials as part of the financial aid application process, but homeschoolers from states that don’t offer government?issued graduation credentials [New Hampshire does not] are not required to furnish those credentials for financial aid consideration. Homeschoolers from states that do not provide graduation credentials may self-certify high school graduation."
The Council directed me to write to the Commissioner explaining this situation and suggesting that a letter to college admissions personnel pointing out this aspect of federal law might help; at our June meeting, Roberta Tenney indicated that she would be happy to make a phone call on request where this misunderstanding arises. If you are aware of such a problem with colleges admission, please contact any Council member.
2013 Summer Programs at the American Textile History Museum
The American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts offers programs for this summer, appropriate for children ages 8-12 years old, unless otherwise noted.
Make It – Engineering Program
Tuesday, July 9, Wednesday, July 10, and Thursday July 11, 9 -12
Assemble and test different types of moving parts, construct a simple machine to draw with, complete an electrical circuit, and use paper to make mechanical paper models called Karakuri. Non-member price: $100.00 Member price: $75.00 Sibling discount $90 for 2nd child
Native American Life
Tuesday, July 9, Wednesday, July 10, and Thursday July 11, 9 -12
Explore Native American history with stories, making a model of a birch bark canoe, playing Native American games, exploring artifacts, sampling foods, and creating crafts.
For children ages 5-7 years old. Non-member price: $100.00 Member price: $75.00 Sibling discount $90 for 2nd child
3-Day Fabric Design and Sewing Program
Wednesday, July 24, Thursday, July 25, and Friday, July 26, 9 -12
Create signature fabric to use for an outfit that you design. Learn to draft a top pattern as well as use retail patterns to cut out your outfit. Non-member price: $100.00 Member price: $75.00 Sibling Discount $90 2nd child
Textile Journey through the Centuries
Monday, July 29 to Friday, August 2, 9:30 - 4
Experience a textile journey from the 17th century in America to the modern day through fiber arts and crafts, period games, and a field trip in historic Lowell. Non-member price: $200.00 Member price: $150.00 Sibling Discount $180 2nd child
Textile Arts Exploration Week
Monday, August 5 to Friday, August 9, 9:30 - 4
Explore the many different styles of textile artists from crocheting and Ikat dyeing to embellishing techniques and hand rolling fabric beads. Discover the latest techniques in up-cycling and recycling. Visit neighboring art galleries. Non-member price: $200.00 Member price: $150.00 Sibling Discount: $180 for 2nd child
Take Classes Online for Free
VLACS, the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School is New Hampshire's statewide online virtual public high school and middle school. It is an approved public school with over 125 certified instructors and over 100 classes. Registration is ongoing; students can attend part- or full-time Tuition-free for all students residing in New Hampshire; out-of-state students are accepted.
Each student receives one-on-one instruction from the instructor. Learning at their own pace allows students to fully comprehend every lesson, every test and every course. Course material is accessible 24/7. Students can attend a course anytime, from anywhere, as long as they have computer access.
VLACS offers bi-monthly Virtual Open Houses for parents who are interested in learning more about VLACS.
Plan a Tour of the Court
Consider a guided tour of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, usually conducted on Monday and Friday, often in conjunction with tours of the State House. The Supreme Court tour includes watching a brief DVD, visiting the courtroom, the conference room and the law library. Often students will have an opportunity to meet a New Hampshire Supreme Court Justice and ask questions. If you would like to schedule a tour of both venues contact Virginia Drew at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to schedule a tour of just the N.H. Supreme Court, contact Laura Mitchell at email@example.com.
Summer Courses for Parents
The Center for Anthroposophy is offering enriching courses on education and development this summer in Wilton, New Hampshire. Visit http://www.centerforanthroposophy.org/ for more information or to request a brochure.
Great Resource in Gorham
The resource library at the North Country Education Services in Gorham is a free lending library with resources for both regular and special education materials. Books, kits, games, developmental toys, curriculum and software are available to all North Country residents. Items are available for preschool through adult learners. Listings are accessible in print or via the one-line catalog. Separately, a large collection of VHS tapes, numbering over 2000 titles, is available for member use or rental. Subject areas include arts, career education, children’s stories, geography, government, guidance, health, language, literature, mathematics, sciences, social studies, special needs, teaching and parenting. Additionally, they currently have text books (mostly high school) which are available for free. Contact Lisa Blais at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or visit
Fall Homeschool Day at Camp Lincoln
Homeschool families are invited to beautiful YMCA Camp Lincoln in Kingston on October 18 for a day filled with fun and adventure. There will be a variety of activities, including a high ropes course, boating, pumpkin decorating, candle making, archery, arts and crafts, carpetball, horseshoes, and field games. A BBQ lunch will also be available for an additional fee of $6/person. Registration is required and will be available online later this summer. Cost will be $15/person or $35/family of 3+.
For more information please contact Geof Harris at 642-3361 or Geof@ymcacamplincoln.org.
Problem Solving and Critical Thinking skills through Math
ThinkForFun in Nashua was founded to show students why math matters, how it could actually be fun and rewarding to do problems, and how solving a problem correctly is as much fun as winning in a video game.
For more information visit www.thinkforfun.com.
Appalachian Mountain Club Program for Students
The Appalachian Mountain Club offers a residential environmental education program called A Mountain Classroom. Students hike and learn in study groups of 8-11 students with a school chaperone and an AMC educator, convening for meals and evening activities. Design a curriculum and choose from seven destinations in New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts. For more information visit www.outdoors.org or contact Bob Holdsworth at 466-8106 or email@example.com.
Outdoor Escapes New Hampshire offers homeschooling families the opportunity to learn lifelong outdoor recreation skills on wilderness tours in every region of New Hampshire, year round. Professional guides will meet participants at a location depending on their interests and abilities—usually a local trail or waterway. We specialize in teaching backcountry skills such as remote camping, outdoor cooking, leadership, map and compass, and survival, as well as hiking, kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking, fly fishing, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. We can teach about animal tracking, behavior, and signs, and wild edibles. Day trips, multi-day packages, and custom Escapes available. Visit http://outdoorescapesnewhampshire.com/ for more information, or call Lucie Villeneuve (603) 528-0136.
NHHC Newsletter Staff
Abbey Lawrence, Editor, PO Box 97, Center Tuftonboro, NH 03816
539-7233, firstname.lastname@example.org. Stefanie Marsh, layout and web posting.
Portions of NHHC publications may be reprinted for information purposes provided that credit is given to the New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition. Contributors retain full rights to their writing, and their permission should be obtained before reprinting.