Events- DFW & North Texas

Events- DFW & North Texas

Fort Worth Home School Day: Thursday, October 3, 2013

All home-schooled children and their families are invited to a fun-filled educational day in the wilds of the Zoo. Learn amazing facts from our zookeepers at more than 20 Wild Encounters and enjoy asking Zoo staff your best animal questions around the Zoo’s world-class exhibits!

Raising an Olympian–The Homeschool Way

Came across this video about Gabby Douglas and thought I’d share with you.


Tebow Bill/ was Texas Legislation (proposed) affecting homeschoolers

Tebow Bill/ was Texas Legislation (proposed) affecting homeschoolers

LEGISLATION ALERT: This bill may be voted out of committee tomorrow 3/28 and pushed along towards adoption by the legislature. Be informed. Feel free to forward this to your friends. Let’s start a trail of discussion.

 Click on this link and then on the Part II from yesterday, March 26, 2013 in re: the Tim Tebow bill SB929 THSC is working hard to get through the Texas Senate Education committee.
Discussion goes for about an hour. I transcribed longhand as much as I could take down before starting dinner tonight. I think I got most of the key points. I am including some highlights below.
***Also, I am trying to find the amended bill language that Tim Lambert said in committee that THSC worked with UIL on concerning the new testing requirement to have home schooled students undergo Nationally Normed Standardized Achievement testing in the first 6 weeks of the school year if  they wish to participate in UIL activities. ***Anyone have a link?***
TRANSCRIPT-rough draft excerpts
Sen. Paxton reading: A homeschooled student who participates in a UIL activity is subject tot he same standards and relevant rules as a public schooled student within the context of the activity. The home schooled student must demonstrate grade level proficiency on an exam in  the first six weeks of the school year. To qualify for participation, the student must score within the average of their peers in the same grade level. This test qualifies the student to compete within the calendar year. The parent or legal guardian is responsible for verifying the student has a passing grade for each course the student is taught for the remainder of the school year. If a student withdraws from a public school to become home schooled, the student is ineligible to compete in UIL events during the remainder of that particular school year.
There was discussion with a Mike Motheral, the superintendent of schools for Sundown ISD who also was representing the Texas Association of Community Schools, the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Association of School Boards and the Senate Education Committee members who were present. Mr. Motheral suggested repeatedly that the ‘rigor’ of academics was ‘not there’ in homeschooling of certain kids and he expressed his worries. The committee members countered with their position that they felt kids whose parents chose a different educational option were being discriminated against and that there was no level playing field for kids to be able to participate in sports. There was also discussion that the homeschooled students would have to jump through extra hoops and that could even increase the ‘rigor’ of their educational accountability. In addition, the door was clearly left open that if the UIL participating kids ended up not performing academically, the door was open to revisiting the whole topic.
Sen. Campbell, Sen. Paxton, et al… all discussed the ‘substitute’ bill (to SB929) and that the ‘new testing requirement’ was on page 2, but I have yet to find text for that ‘substitute’ bill.
Several parents testified opposing the bill for a variety of reasons. One key thing that was brought up by Jeremy Blosser (sp?) was that the bill was full of undefined terms that would undoubtedly need to be ‘defined’; words such as ‘verification’; ‘passing grades’; ‘satisfactory progress towards academic advancement or promotion’. He also pointed out that the TEA would undoubtedly want to get involved in additional rulemaking. He also pointed out that if Leeper v. Arlington was argued today with this language existing, it would likely have been decided and worded differently.
Tim Lambert defended the bill and the ‘risks’ pointing to states like Arizona and Idaho. Sen. Patrick rebutted Mr. Blosser and other parents saying as long as he and others like him were in the legislature, we (homeschoolers) were safe and didn’t have to worry about future legislation or regulation. Tim Lambert pointed to the fact that the high regulation states are more difficult for homeschooler but that he’s not as worried about Texas since he sees our state as a low regulation atmosphere. But that’s just it. I personally don’t want to have to gamble that people who agree  with me on this will remain in power in our state government. Elections have a funny way of surprising us sometimes.
The Deputy Director of UIL, Jamie Harrison, said when asked that UIL would be satisfied with parental verification of ‘passing grades’; but he added that he was not so sure that other public schooled parents would be so willing to trust or be satisfied. Sen. Paxton queried whether or not Harrison thought the testing in the bill would be helpful in addressing those trust issues. THSC’s Tim Lambert took the reply on this. “Our (THSC’s) response in actually responding to this concern from a number of legislators was to adopt this language of using Nationally Normed Standardized Achievement Testing. And the requirement there was that they (home schooled kids wanting to participate in UIL) score at the average, which is 50% or above.”  So that’s where my jaw dropped. That Tim and THSC would work with UIL to legislate testing of homeschooled kids at any level is mind boggling to me. Slippery slope anyone? ~deep breath~~
So that’s when Sen. Lucio took off on a tangent. He asked of Tim… “Not related to the bill but somewhat for information purposes, are you aware of any statistics that would allow us to know how homeschoolers are doing based on whether or not they finalized their studies at home? In other words, are there any dropouts along the way who don’t fulfill their total school requirements at home? Or can you.. you are… that’s what you are involved with on a daily basis? What can you tell us about? IS it a 100% passing grade? 50? In terms of whether or not they’re fulfilling their school studies at home?” Sen. Lucio followed that line of questioning with an inquiry about what THSC is doing to provide outreach to those homeschoolers who drop out or haven’t completed their studies. And then Sen. Lucio asked about how many special needs students are home schooled.
It’s clear that there are legislators who don’t know much about homeschooling, but once the topic is brought up, they wonder if perhaps the state shouldn’t be more involved. Not good.
Oh. And stats Sen. Patrick offered… there are
5 million public schooled kids in Texas
150,000 in public charter schools
225,000 in private schools
300,000 in home schools
I know this takes lots of time to wade through, but these are your homeschool rights we are talking about.


HMNS Science Classes for Homeschoolers
Homeschooling by the Numbers.
Convention Commando

Convention Commando

Well the title of “How to get the Most out of a Homeschool Conference” was already taken, so I had to think of a new way to discuss homeschool conventions.  But like a Commando, who goes in, gets what they need and then gets out, you too can survive a convention.

Should I write about how to have fun at a homeschool conference? No one ever thinks of that since those 2 days (or usually one day) at the conference is the hardest day you will ever work as a home educator. You have the workshops, the demos, the aisles of vendors with toys and books and whirly gigs. Hopefully you are at the conference with your dear hubby, and the two of you are using this as a time to talk, really talk, about your goals, your dreams, and your thoughts on each of your children.

Once you receive your goodie bag at registration, STOP. Yes, just stop and go over the information in the bag. Check the booth specials, the workshops you don’t want to miss, the vendors you MUST see, and check for gatherings of similar homeschoolers (either groups or fellowships depending on the conference).

Now, once you have your plan of attack, be like Nike and JUST DO IT!
Some of the gear to take:

  • Pain relievers, unless you run marathons and can walk 5-10 miles without an ache or pain.
  • Walking shoes (see above)
  • Over the shoulder bag with almost nothing in it (belive me things will jump into the bag as you go through the aisles)
  • cell phone to call dear hubby if he is not with you, some decisions need to be made together
  • water bottle,
  • protein bars,
  • and cash for lunch and parking.



Field Trips with Apple

Apple Stores welcome kids via Field Trip

http://feeds.tuaw. com/~r/weblogsinc/tuaw/~3/417091121/

Apple is inviting groups of up to 25 students for the hour-long programs, which can feature a big-screen presentation of work that the students have already
done in class (Keynote/PowerPoint, movies & more) or hands-on creation sessions that allow the kids to make new projects in the store. Parents and
friends are welcome to come watch the fun.

http://www. apple. com/retail/fieldtrip/
We offer Field Trips from September 22 to November 21. You can request up to three date
options. A Specialist will contact you within 48 hours to confirm the details of your event.

Things Ike Taught Me!

Things Ike Taught Me!

*_Things Ike taught me_*

Coffee and frozen pizzas can be made on a BBQ grill.

Hot pockets taste pretty good deep fried on the outdoor cooker!

My car gets 23.21675 miles per gallon, EXACTLY (you can ask the people
in line who helped me push it).

*He who has the biggest generator wins.*

There are a lot more stars in the sky than most people thought.

*TV is an addiction and the withdrawal symptoms are painful.*

A 7 lb bag of ice will chill 6-12 oz Budweiser’s to a drinkable
temperature in 11 minutes, and still keep a 14 lb. turkey frozen for 8
more hours.

*There are a lot of dang trees around here.*

Flood plain drawings on some mortgage documents were seriously wrong..

*People will get into a line that has already formed without having any
idea what the line is for.*

Cell phones work when land lines are down, but only as long as the
battery remains charged.

Hampers were not made to contain such a volume.

If my store sold only ice, chainsaws, gas and generators… I’d be rich.

Waterfront property can quickly become someone else’s fishing hole.

Tree service companies are underappreciated.

I learned what happens when you make fun of another states’ blackout.

MATH 101: 30 days in month, minus 6 days without power equals 30% higher
electric bill ?????

*Drywall is a compound word, take away the ‘dry’ part and it’s worthless.*

I can walk a lot farther than I thought.

A MUST for all blackouts with kids… GLOWSTICKS! Cheap, fun, no mess!

A skateboard and a sheet make a great “sailboat” before the rain starts.

It is a great time to teach the children the fine art of gambling (penny
ante poker).

You can never have too many gas cans!

*If you fill the bathtubs with water, the water will not go off.*

7 dogs that do not normally live together still do not get along during
a hurricane. They have no comprehension of sharing.

5 gallons of sweetened iced tea a day is not enough for 9 teenagers.

*Neighbors are much more sociable when they are sharing a generator.*

Two-year-old canned beets taste better than you’d think.

Just because it is dark and you are in the privacy of your bedroom
doesn’t mean we can’t hear what you are doing in there because our
windows are open too.

*What looks acceptable by candlelight in your bathroom will scare you
when you look at yourself in the mirror at the office.*

Coffee is possible without Starbucks.

*Rather than campfires, you find families huddled about tiny
battery-operated televisions to watch The Simpsons.*

Peanut butter and jelly is a perfectly acceptable meal for breakfast,
lunch and dinner in the same day.

*Don’t shun those who use Tylenol PM or Advil PM to get through 11-hour

*That neighbor who knows how to use a chainsaw is your new best friend.*

Ice is a form of currency.

It’s OK to let the kids keep their stick fort until the debris-pickup
crews start rolling in.

Coming home from work with a pizza and a charged-up laptop so the kids
can watch a DVD makes you a hero.

You run out of things to barbecue after Day 2.

We don’t want to hear rehashes of ball games we missed or be reminded
that we may miss the season premiere of Dexter at 8 p. m. Sunday on

Hair can dry without a blow dryer, but it may not look the way you planned.

The storm treasures your kids are finding really belong to your neighbors.

When George Noory’s Coast to Coast AM returns to KTRH’s late-night
lineup, we sleep better.

*Baseball caps go with any post-hurricane ensemble.*

*You can’t train yourself not to flip on light switches when entering a

Lukewarm is the new cold.

You have neighbors.

It’s easier to ignore a dirty floor when you can’t see it.

*A new opening phrase when seeing someone: “Got lights yet?”*

TAMU Chemistry Open House

TAMU Chemistry Open House

October 25, 2008 10am-3pm
College Station, TAMU

The 21st annual award-winning Chemistry Open House and Science
Exploration Gallery will be Saturday, October 25, from 10am – 3pm with
the highlight being three presentations of the popular Chemistry Road
Show and afternoon public Physics talks.

Free and open to the public. No reservations required.
For further details visit: