becoming comfortable with public speaking

sharing what she learned about italy
ciao from italy

this is another gem i found on the Homeschool Activities Update*:
a public speaking class for homeschoolers.
once a month homeschoolers get together in a conference room at the Bowie Library
to share what they’ve learned about a country from the continent of the month.
just last month i had the pleasure of listening to a toga-ed four year old tell me a bit about Greece.
my girls shared what they had researched about Italy, England and Russia.
it’s an excellent opportunity to get my girls comfortable speaking in front of a crowd,
not to mention developing their research skills.

BIG UP to Melissa R., homeschooling mother of 6, and
Josie R., of the Bowie Branch of PG County Library.

*if you’re a homeschooler in the DC metro area,
getting on Angela Brown’s Homeschool Activities Update can save you a lot of
time and stress
when looking for activities, opportunities and scholarships
for all ages of homeschoolers,
as well as support groups and professional development for parents.
email hsactivitiesupdate [at] gmail [dot] com to get on what i like to call
“The Homeschooling Master List.”

practicing presentation skills
all about england

book: heart and soul

i know Kadir Nelson from all his lush illustrations in children’s books like Please Baby Please, Henry’s Freedom Box and Ellington Was Not a Street. In Heart and Soul: The Story of African and African Americans, Nelson absolutely shows off with his absolutely stunning oil paintings.

heart and soul by kadir nelson

the intimate narrative, also written by Nelson, gently carries readers along like they are sitting at their great-grandmother’s feet on a warm summer afternoon in the country somewhere down south. This story shares the pain, pride and glory of an American experience in a manner that is clear and appealing for any age.

pumpkin harvest days 2011 at butler’s orchard

our annual visit to butler’s orchard is always lots of fun.
butler’s has their annual pumpkin festival on the weekdays,
but for families and school groups that can make it during the week,
the pumpkin harvest days is the time to go.

i’ve heard the weekends of the pumpkin festival are packed not only with people,
but with opportunities for grownups to spend even more money
on face-painting, pony rides, food and etc.
during the week, however, not only are a lot less people around,
but the entry fee is less expensive
and i don’t have to go through the drama of saying “no” to all the extras
that just get in the way of pure country fun:
riding in bumpy hay rides pulled by loud tractors,
getting hay in every crevice as you jump in the hayloft,
feeding and petting the farm animals,
working through the corn, hay and burlap mazes,
having rubber duck water pump races,
and sliding down the steep slides.

front row seat on the hay ride to the pumpkin patch
picked out their pumpkins
hay maze

the final event: completing the corn maze. we take turns choosing the direction at each intersection: a 20 minute exercise in group dynamics.

good ole country fun.