Been in iTunes today collecting sounds and music for our Halloween neighborhood bash. Here’s the list I have so far. Oh! Interesting! Did you know if you hit command-t when playing your iTunes you get a light show that bounces around in time to the music. Another command-t gets you back to your playlist.
Welcome to Day 3 of the first EVER International Homeschool Spirit Week! A to Z Homeschool’s Cool is proud to be the official host of Wednesday, September 26th: Crazy Sock Day!
How awesome is it that Homeschoolers don’t have to wear shoes all day if they don’t want to? Today, we’re going to celebrate that fact with Crazy Sock Day! So, take off those shoes (if you’re wearing them) and show off those crazy socks. Have some white tube socks and some fabric markers? Make your own! Or, just find the craziest socks you can and roll up those pant with pride. Still wearing shorts? Who cares? Pull those crazy socks up to your knees and show your crazy sock spirit!
Don’t forget to download your FREE spirit week resource from Geography Matters by visiting CurrClick.com, the official host of International Homeschool Spirit Week.
We encourage you to share your crazy sock fun with other homeschoolers in the following ways:
• Tell your co-op and your homeschooling friends what you are doing and get them involved.
• Hit the message boards and tell everybody about the fun you are having participating in International Homeschool Spirit Week.
• YouTube a video of your family schooling, comfy cozy style! Be sure and use the keywords, tag A to Z Homeschool’s Cool, Geography Matters and Homeschool Spirit Week when uploading.
• Take a picture and Instagram your fun to Facebook! Be sure and tag A to Z Homeschool’s Cool, Geography Matters and CurrClick.com‘s Facebook pages so we can take a look at your pictures.
• Tweet about what you are doing, using hashtag: #homeschoolspiritweek
Discover unique learning opportunities at the Newseum, an interactive museum of history in Washington, D.C.
- Learning Center classes on journalism, history and the First Amendment.
- Free online teacher resources such as lesson plans and self-guided tours through the museum.
- Educator-led gallery tours.
- Professional development for teachers.
- Unique learning plans created just for you and your group.
Visit Newseum.org/education to learn more.Homeschools receive the school group discount when they visit the Newseum.
Students on a teacher-lead organized field trip from public, private and homeschools grades 1 through university in the DC metro area receive free, general admission through the generous support of The Washington Post and WTOP. More information on the free admission program.
For schools outside of the area, the school rate is $10 per student. One chaperone for every 10 students will receive free admission. Additional chaperones over the required 1:10 chaperone ratio will be charged $15 each.
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Maggie Crawford, Education Coordinator, at (202) 292-6663 or email email@example.com
The Newseum is located at
555 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20001
Free time was once the hallmark of childhood. But these days, many parents feel it’s their duty to keep their children busy. This mindset can be found in parents who both work outside the home and need somewhere for the kids to go during off-school hours, parents who compete with other parents regarding whose child is the most “well-rounded,” parents who want to give their children every so-called “advantage,” and parents who believe their children will fall behind or get into trouble unless their schedules include every activity that can be crammed into each day.
The result is a generation of children who are so accustomed to organized activities that they don’t know how to entertain themselves (unless there’s a television or video game nearby). They’re the total opposite of the kind of workers needed to grow our economy in the future. America needs creative innovators, not passive participants or couch potatoes. So if you want to encourage your children’s natural creativity, reduce the amount of time they spend in scheduled activities, and give them more free time instead.
What is free time? It’s unstructured. It’s not directed by adults. It requires that children move through boredom in order to arrive at the place where the innate creativity of the child kicks in and comes up with something to do. But many parents dread the thought of free time for their children, because they know it will be a matter of moments before the “I’m Bored!” chorus begins.
If you have children whose time has always been planned out for them, they won’t know what to do with a lot of free time—at first. But if you stick to your guns and require them to entertain themselves on a daily basis, they will (perhaps out of desperation) figure it out. See “Boredom” (Appendix A) for more about this.
So what will they do with all their free time? They can make things and work with their hands. They can use their imaginations to come up with games, structures, even toys. In the absence of planned activities and formal schedules, children are incredibly good at learning from their play. They just need enough time to do so.
Children also need time to be alone so they can think. In this frantically scheduled world we live in, even adults find they don’t have time to just sit and think. But quiet introspection is important for everyone, young and old. It’s particularly important for those who create things. Much solitary thought is required for pursuits such as writing, painting, inventing, etc.
Free time isn’t only a necessity for small children; older children and teens need plenty of it, too. Many extremely creative people are late-bloomers (as Edison was). They need ample time alone as they grow older and discover what their gifts are, and how they want to use them. Unfortunately, parents and schools tend to increase the outside activities of teens just when they really need their personal time.
Tightly scheduled lives are detrimental to creativity. In 1996, Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile, an expert on creativity and business innovation, led a research project to study creativity in the workplace. Amabile and her team pored over almost 12,000 journal entries from over 200 people working on creative projects in a variety of different companies. One of their most important conclusions was that time pressure actually decreases creativity. While many people (myself included) feel that working against a deadline makes them more productive, it may not make them more creative. It takes time for creative ideas to grow and develop in our minds. The Amabile study found repeatedly that creative people on a tight time schedule found their creative abilities hampered not only up until their deadlines, but even for a few days afterward.
What this means for our children is that they need regular free time in order to feed the creativity and spirit of innovation they were born with. It takes time to get deeply involved in a creative pursuit; as parents, it’s up to us to make sure our children get that time.
Copyright 2012 Barbara Frank/ Cardamom Publishers
Excerpted from Thriving in the 21st Century: Preparing Our Children for the New Economic Reality, (Cardamom Publishers, 2011). Barbara Frank homeschooled her four children for 25 years. You’ll find her on the web at www.barbarafrankonline.com and www.thrivinginthe21stcentury.com
Calendars.com is having a huge up-to-75% off sale on their 2012 calendars. Who needs a calendar when the year is about half over, you might ask?
Well, those of you doing unit studies might like to find a calendar for about $4-6 that is full of large photos entirely on topics your children love. Use them for art projects and science boards and such. Just click on “Categories” and look for subjects of interest.
Those of you who like to organize all activities will probably like one of their “Mom’s Organizer” calendars to track where everyone is going.
If you have to keep attendance records, any old calendar will do for the fall. Why not get one you’d like to look at anyway?
I like the “Large Print 2012 Pocket Planner.” Cost $0.74 and Goes from August on through 2013. Perfect for keeping homeschool and family plans where everyone can see what’s going on. Has pockets for adding flyers and invitations and maps. I know, I use an electronic calendar. But I like these pocket calendars when I must keep things straight such as tickets and other papers needed for an activity.
There’s an Historic Maps weekly journal with maps of old towns, I assume 52 of them. There are calendars with photos from the Civil War. All for about $4-5.
Search on your city or state name, and with any luck, you’ll find a calendar with great ideas for field trips. Add the word “travel” to find interesting destinations. Taking a vacation to another state this summer? Get a calendar for use on your trip!
Got a boy who likes trucks, the bigger the better? CAT has calendars there!
Have fun with this!
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