The New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition News September/October 2010 Volume XXII Number 1

Coordinator’s Report, September, 2010

I hope you enjoyed your summer and had a chance to make some wonderful memories with your family. As usual, I ran out of summer before I ran out of projects.

I am pleased to report that our first Transcript Workshop held a few weeks ago in early August surpassed our expectations. Seventy?two people attended the workshop to hear from our experienced homeschooling panelists: Kemlo Aki, Wendy Bisbee, Jenny Courser, and Stefanie Marsh. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Thank you to the Nackey Loeb School of Communications for letting us use their wonderful meeting room and to our exceptional panelists for sharing their expertise.

It is my pleasure to report the results of the special election for the Portsmouth area: Julee Katzman is the newly elected district representative. The Portsmouth area district includes the towns of Brentwood, Durham, Greenland, Hampton, North Hampton, South Hampton, Hampton Falls, Kensington, Kingston, East Kingston, Lee, Madbury, Newcastle, Newfields, Newington, Newmarket, Newton, Portsmouth, Rye, Seabrook, Stratham, and Winnacunnet. Please join the Coalition board in welcoming Julee.

The next Coalition board meeting will be on Saturday, September 18, 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 have any questions about volunteering with the Coalition, please let me know or contact one of our district representatives.

Respectfully submitted,
Jane Grady

The 10th Annual Homeschoolers Not-Going-Back-to-School Celebration at Short Sands Beach in York, Maine

The 10th Annual Homeschoolers NOT-Going-Back-to-School Celebration at Short Sands Beach in York, Maine will be held Friday, September 10. Any and all homeschoolers and their families are welcome!

There is plenty of parking (meters - bring your quarters), a great playground, and of course The Goldenrod, a salt water taffy shop where you can see the antique taffy machines at work:o). There are usually great end-of-the-season sales there that week as well ;^)!

Take-out-food in the immediate area is limited, so packing a lunch is advisable. Arrive when you feel like it and stay as long as you like:-). We'll be there from about 10:00 'til 3:00. We usually try to gather somewhat in a group, but tend to get a little spread out. Chances are if you see people there w/kids they are part of the homeschool gathering (everyone else should be in school by then;^). If the weather is questionable in York, I'll email a change by 8:00AM for a rain date for the following week. Best to check your email before heading out even if it looks good in your area.

Directions: Interstate 95 to Exit 7, "The Yorks", in Maine (not New Hampshire). Left on Route 1 North for 1 mile to traffic light. Right on Old Post Road. Travel 1 mile and take a left on Ridge Road. Travel 2 miles to the stop sign at the end of Ridge Road. Take a right at the stop sign to next stop sign. Take left on Ocean Road to Short Sands Beach. Beach and parking lot will be on your right.

Let's celebrate our gearing-up-for-our-homeschool-year tradition that has kept us gathering for TEN YEARS at the Beach!

Report from The Home Education Advisory Council

The Advisory Council does not meet in July or August, so there is little to report until after we meet on September 14. A few of us, however, did meet with Deputy Commissioner Paul Leather on August 24 to discuss some details of future rules revisions. The DOE would like to see the due process language clarified, and there are other areas that could use improvement. For instance, the rules now in place give participating agencies 21 days to send the letter of acknowledgment, but the law was changed a few years ago to make it 14 days; when the State Board adopted minimum changes to the rules earlier this year, that one was not included.

Chris Hamilton brought it to our attention that the DOE's website posting of the home education rules is missing, in the section dealing with Advisory Council membership, the language specifying the appointment of legislators who are now part of the Council. Paul Leather said he would notify Mary Mayo.

I've heard of a few problems with districts requesting curriculum information with notification, or sending out outdated versions of the rules. If you have any doubts about what your district tells you, please let us know. Council meetings are the second Tuesday of the month, September through June, from 3:30 until 5 at the Department of Education. Visitors are always welcome.

Abbey Lawrence

Insurance Coverage Changes for PDD or Autism

HB569, which was signed by the governor on July 23, 2010, requires health insurance policies sold in New Hampshire after January 1, 2011 to provide coverage for treatment for children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Autism. This requirement is separate from services school districts provide under special education requirements. Districts are not required to provide special education services for home educated students. This coverage provides a method for homeschooling parents to pay for services obtained through a private provider. Coverage limits are $36,000 per year for children 0 to 12 years of age, and $27,000 from ages 13 to 21, and the cost of services may not apply to any other maximum benefit unrelated to these specific services.

This does not affect policies that are issued in neighboring states (MA, ME, VT), or insurance coverage where the employer is self-insured and operates under federal rules. If you have any questions, NH Family Voices (an affiliate of the Parent Information Center -, 1-800-852-3345, x4525), the N.H. Insurance Department, your insurance carrier, or the Human Resource department at your place of employment may be able to help you.

Chris Hamilton

Book Discussion Group in Wolfeboro

High school homeschoolers and their parents are invited to join our Teen Book Discussion Group held in Wolfeboro on the third Tuesday of the month at 7-9 p.m. This will be our tenth year reading classic books found on college and college-prep reading lists. This is not a class, but an opportunity for students who are reading books of this type to share their thoughts and learn to discuss opinions and ideas in a comfortable setting.

Our planned books are: October--The Chosen, Chaim Potok; November--O Pioneers!, Willa Cather; December-- A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen (a play, also translated as A Doll House); January--Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen; February--1984, George Orwell; March--Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe; April--short stories (to be selected); May--A Separate Peace, John Knowles.

Meetings usually involve about one hour discussing the book and a second hour of socializing. If you are interested, please get in touch with Stef Marsh,, 569-6382.

Courses at MIT

The MIT Educational Studies Program (ESP) offers classes for students in grades 7-12, ranging from SAT and AP prep to extracurricular classes like "Airplane Design," "How to Write a Sonnet," and "Balloon Animal Bonanza!"

This fall, MIT ESP will be offering Delve (AP classes), SAT Prep, and Splash. Online registration for Delve and Fall SAT Prep will remain open online at until September 15 and September 5 respectively; Splash registration will open in early November. We also encourage fans of MIT ESP to check out our sister program, Harvard HSSP. For more information, visit

Special Opportunity to Care for Animals at Stonewall Farm in Keene

Several helpers are needed to care for small animals at Stonewall Farm. Most visitors are able to only observe our small animals; being a small animal chore volunteer, however, allows you physical access to our animals, as well as access to learning about the care of the animals from their dietary needs, space needs, and grooming (such as with the rabbits). The chores take about twenty minutes to complete, but they can always take longer if you choose to learn to groom one of our rabbits, or visit a bit longer. You can also visit our dairy barns, gardens, greenhouses, and woodlands to expand your child’s classroom! We currently have two angora rabbits named Harvest and Storm, a small flock of laying hens, and a Khaki Campbell duck named Henrietta. Come spring we will have a few sheep living on the farm for the summer.

We have several slots available for chores. If you are interested or have any questions, please call Stonewall Farm’s Small Animal and School Program Coordinator, Sarah Antel at 603-357-7278.

New Classes for the Fall

We have many new listings on our classes page, , including:

In-depth Nature Classes in Barrington. Students will be doing everything from carving out a canoe to using fish for fertilizer just like the Native Americans did in the past.

Layne Case offers four separate programs, each include story-telling as a means of engaging children in the enjoyment of reading and writing.

Parent & Child Small Group Spanish classes in Deerfield Area and neighboring towns.

Broadway Kids for Homeschoolers--dance, sing and speak roles from popular Broadway musicals.

Teen Group Starting Up Again

Home Schooled Teens Together, a parent/teen group that meets once a month in the Concord area, will be starting our fourth year. In September the kids vote on the nine activities that we will do for the year. In the past we have done nighttime capture the flag, nighttime snow tubing, laser tag, Christmas party, big ball and candlepin bowling, indoor winter picnic, Halloween masquerade party, day at the ocean, miniature golf, swimming pool party, ice skating, board game marathon, and indoor rock climbing; last year we had a membership of about 90 teens with parents in tow. If you are interested in finding out more about the club, email me at and please put Teens in the subject line so that I catch it quickly. We will be starting up with a get-to-know-you party, and vote for the year's events, in September. Hope that you join us!


We Asked Homeschoolers

Have you put together a mission statement or homeschooling philosophy?

Our homeschooling philosophy/mission statement is "Living and Learning in Freedom". In fact, this is the title of my son's portfolio every year. Our entire unschooling philosophy is based upon our joy and freedom as a family, pursuing what we love, what enriches us and what nourishes us holistically.
Laurie A. Couture, mom to Brycen, 16

For our next issue, we want to ask homeschoolers…

Do you use a particular system for assigning chores to your children? Do you give an allowance or other reward? What has worked for your family? Please send your responses to Abbey Lawrence,

Ice Skating for Homeschoolers in Rochester

Homeschoolers' ice skating times start Tuesday, September 21 from 1:15-2:45 at the Rochester Ice Rink on Lowell Street, and run until sometime in April. There will be no skating on the weeks the Rochester school system has no school. This is an open skate so there is no need to pre-register. Please dress warmly as the rink is always cold!

Participants can purchase a punch card for $30.00 which is good for 10 skates. Children under 4 skate for free and the rink allows strollers on the ice for moms who wish to skate, too. Skate rentals are available.

Information About the National Geography Bee

From Chris Hamilton.

2) Who can participate in the National Geographic Bee?

Bee registration is open to schools and homeschool associations with students in grades four through eight who have not reached their 15th birthday on or before September 1, 2010. A student must be enrolled in a school or homeschool association that is registered with the Bee. Also, students of the eligible grade levels must be following a school schedule and academic course load comparable to the majority of the student's grade-mates and age-mates. A student may not be enrolled in more than three academic courses at the high school and/or college level during each school year of the competition. A student is eligible to participate in the Bee for a period of five years only. We reserve the right to disqualify a student if we believe the rules have not been followed.

Schools from all 50 U.S. states, the U.S. territories, and the U.S. Department of Defense schools participate in the National Geographic Bee. Students enrolled in public or private schools may not compete as part of a homeschool association's Bee and, conversely, students who are homeschooled must participate through a registered homeschool association.

3) How do schools register for the Bee?

In early September, principals may write a letter on school letterhead and enclose the registration fee of U.S. $90 requesting that their school receive the contest materials. Heads of homeschool associations (made up of support groups) may register to conduct a Bee for support groups in their area or county, in the same way. If there is no homeschool association in the area, we may allow an official support group to register and conduct a Bee for all interested homeschoolers in the county or area. The group is then registered with the Bee using the county name. Keep in mind that there is a minimum participation requirement of six students from the eligible grade levels in the school-level contest. Students, their parents and relatives must not have obtained, have had in their possession at any time, or have seen the contest materials. Please make sure that the contest materials are not mailed to a relative of a participating student. We reserve the right to disqualify a student if these rules have not been followed.

North Main Music

has added additional staff, will be opening a second location in Bedford, and now has Skype Music Lessons!, 603-557-2732, 120 Main Street, Nashua, NH 03062