Tag Archives: homeschooling support group

Fall Festival and Party Games


Tonight is our local homeschool group’s family night and the theme is “Fall Fest”!  Our families are encouraged to bring a DIY carnival type game.  Complicated construction or expensive materials are just not necessary for great games!  Recyclables and dollar store materials combined with a little creativity is all it takes for fantastic festival fun!

I found lots online resources as I looked around for some ideas, and I’m passing the best ones on to you for your fall parties or just some seasonal play activities for you to make with your children.

Wonderful collection of activities and games! Pumpkin Golf,  Can Game, Pumpkin Bowling, and Candy Corn Toss are just a few of the easy to make and easy to set up game ideas  offered here  http://spaceshipsandlaserbeams.com/blog/party-games/21-halloween-party-games-and-activities

We decided to take this Spider Launch game to the party.  There’s other awesome ideas from this assortment of  25+ Simple Carnival Games   http://frugalfun4boys.com/2015/10/07/carnival-games-kids/

Z’s working on a variation to this Marble Maze STEM activity.  It’s going be a fun challenge to make and play!  We’ll be substituting the marble with a gum ball and using orange and black loops and licorice track to  transform it into a “fall” theme  http://buggyandbuddy.com/paper-plate-marble-maze/

This Paper Plate Pumpkin memory game is super easy to make and set up.  You could attach it to a poster board to hang on the wall if floor space is an issue  Scroll down a little because there’s also a link that takes you to 10 more Simple Halloween Games  http://www.pleasantestthing.com/pumpkin-memory-game

Substitute fall colors and themes with these fun and easy to make DIY Carnival Games that are sure to entertain and challenge  little kids, teens, and grown ups  http://www.mamaslikeme.com/2013/02/diy-carnival-party-games.html

Adorable and fun Fall Carnival Games  to make if you have the time and materials  http://sophie-world.com/blog/six-fall-carnival-games

This Ring Toss Game using a pumpkin and glow sticks is the perfect solution for a last minute, super simple activity.  I’ve seen some interesting gourds at the grocery store that will work marvelously for this idea, too.  If time allows, carving or painting would add a little extra decoration, but certainly not required!

0bc48daeecd772a0fdf3c5898fe020f4Do you have a favorite DIY Fall Festival game?  Please share it!  It would be great to add your ideas to these!

betty jo



A New Kid, Birthdays, and Year End Events

It’s been a few months since I’ve actually written a post about our family and our homeschool.  Normally, that would mean that all is just mundane and not blog or photo worthy.  However, that’s not what my blog absence has been about,  I haven’t been able to find the time to share about all that’s been going on.  Today, I’ll try to fill you in some.

First, let me introduce you to MJ!  She’s our family’s new job.  Actually, she is a homeschool girl who is with us four days a week for tutoring while her grandmother works.  These photo are of her and Z at the last homeschool fieldtrip of the school year, Stewardship Day at Shawnee National Forest.

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We have a new chalkboard wall mural that goes along with our Lewis and Clark, Oregon Trail, and Westward Journey studies.


We’ve been working on improvements to our key hole garden.  The stone looks wonderful and made the best Mother’s Day present!  The flowers are quite nice, too.

10352584_636762289738960_4574333442912914450_n 1920199_636762126405643_399865237555379097_nThis next photo is E and B with SALT, (our homeschool support groups drama co-op) at the final performance of the year.  And, it’s sad that this was E’s very last performance with them.  Now that she’s graduating, she’ll not be in the troop.  Being involved with creative ministries and drama certainly has been one of her favorite activities of her homeschooling career.


And, here’s a few of the pics from the spring formal.

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Both of my youngest boys had birthdays!  Z turned 9 and J turned 11.

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These next photos are of Silver Lining (homeschool color guard) at their spring show, “Storms of Life”.  Though, this was E’s last performance with them, she is planning to stay involved with the group as an assistant coach.

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1625591_628980850517214_1221519875084586621_nAnd Silver Lining’s honor and awards banquet


There’s just one more event to add to this year’s homeschooling year, graduation and achievement night.  The plans are set and all will be ready for the big night, this coming up Friday.   I’ll be sure to share those photos then.

betty jo




Our Homeschooling Week Ending 11/16

Our weather has turned much cooler this week but that has not kept us indoors.  Our beautiful maple tree is loosing it’s yellow leaves and has created an opportunity for work, nature observation, and play.

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Our garden science project from this past spring is still amazing.  Even though we have had a few frosts, and nearly everything we had planted is finished, the peppers and onions are still producing!  And weeds are coming up like crazy.  We are hoping to get the remnants of the tomato vines chopped up into mulch this coming up week.


Our lessons this week focused on the establishment of the Plymouth Colony, this day in history and science, and adding Montana, Washington, and Oklahoma more states to our board.  (We add a state every time it’s statehood anniversary comes up on the special days calendar.)

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After a week of word games and random drawing, we started on a new mural for our chalkboard wall.  It should be finished next week.

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Our homeschooling support group held a Pre-Thanksgiving cooking class.  E and I taught  cornbread cranberry stuffing and acorn treats.  The kids also learned to make rolls (regular and gluten free), butter, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, and turkey carving.  Kitchen skills and safety with a little science and history thrown in made for a great school day!  The class was followed by our monthly family night with more friends and more food!

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For more about our garden science project click here https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/04/14/homeschool-gardening/

For photos of past chalkboard wall murals click here https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/one-of-our-favorite-things-the-wall/

For more about our local homeschooling support group click here  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/02/23/what-do-you-get-when-you-cross/

The printable resources for our year long state study come from here  http://www.homeschoolshare.com/connections__usa.php

For more about our Plymouth Colony study and the links we are using click here https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/11/08/thanksgiving-unit-study-ideas-and-resources/

For the special days listing for November click here  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/10/29/special-days-in-november/

It was a busy, but good week for our family.  I hope yours was good, too!

betty jo

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Our Homeschooling Week Ending June 7

The highlight from our week was Graduation/Achievement Night.  My daughter and I were on the decorating committee for our homeschooling support group’s year end celebration.

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We had an expected head count of 120 guests for the reception.  We planned for more, which was a good thing because we had close to 200 guests attend!

SALT (homeschool creative ministries) and Silver Lining (homeschool color guard) performed for the night’s entertainment.

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As part of this celebration, families set up display tables featuring awards, photos and projects from the year.  This was our homeschool’s display.

971711_461016027313698_1140299628_nAlso, as part of the celebration, parents present their kids with awards for something well done during the year.  These are the ones my husband presented to our kids.

He gave our homeschool a history award for our unit studies of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

970432_468957796519411_2101113680_nE17 received  Honor Roll and Supergirl awards.

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B15 was awarded for “Scriptural Character Studies and Application”.   J10 earned the “All Around Improvement” award.

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Z7 was given the “Independent Study” award.  I wasn’t left out of the awards.  My family gave me one too, “Computer Achievement”.

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Saturday morning we awoke to a flash flood!  Our front yard looked like this.

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Our back yard was worse.

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The water poured into our cellar and flooded our garage.  Thank goodness we had access to a pump.  It took nearly 6 hours to get the water out from under our house.

944286_468262039922320_1872947432_nWe were quite concerned about our garden when we saw it. Our pepper plants were partially uprooted and leaning over. The box floating away in this photo was our homeschool’s weather station.  I’m still not sure where it ended up.  We found some of our yard things in the empty lot on the next street over, but not the weather station.

972020_532695726788562_1251817401_nBy Sunday afternoon, all looked fine.  The yard barely even had a puddle left in it.

970153_468262373255620_998148550_n The garden recovered from the down pour.  We even have some baby tomatoes and peppers growing now.

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Monday and Tuesday we put summer school on hold to dry out some of our things we had stored in the garage.  Our Christmas books got the worst damage, but most will be alright.  We feel blessed not to have had more ruined.


June 5 was the anniversary of the first hot air balloon flight (1783).  Last year as part of our summer school calendar studies Z,  J, and I decided to learn everything we could about hot air balloons.  Last year’s lapbook made a good review for us this year.

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We are hoping for the upcoming weekend and next week to be uneventful and peaceful.  And maybe we’ll start a new art project for our chalkboard wall.  We erased the last mural and now our kitchen/school room looks very plain.  I’m thinking we need something summery and fun, maybe a summer camp scene?


Here’s the links to related posts:

Year End Celebration  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/06/04/year-end-celebration/

Homeschool creative ministries  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/05/20/salt/

Homeschool color guard  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/03/16/silver-lining/

Homeschool Gardening  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/04/14/homeschool-gardening/

Our one day study on Hot Air Balloons  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/06/05/hot-air-balloons/

Our chalkboard wall murals  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/one-of-our-favorite-things-the-wall/

betty jo

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Night of the Living Teens

E-17 wants to call it “Prom”.  So we call it “Prom”.  Some of the other parents in our homeschooling support group do not like all of the negatives associated with the word “Prom” and prefer to call it “Teen Night”.  So we call it “Teen Night”.  Some prefer to call it “Prom Alternative”.  So we call it “Prom Alternative”, too.   I’m thinking “Night of the Living Teens” works for me.  We are just blessed to have such a special night that the title of it doesn’t really matter.

We started the evening early at one of our local parks for photos.

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E17 and Batman.                                              374345_4432889555189_1540265411_nThe Cupid Shuffle!
(That’s me in the yellow.)


Some worn out girls at midnight!

419606_455337387881562_596139955_nThis momma is worn out too but happy!

For another post about our special night click here  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/05/17/girls-and-flowers/

betty jo

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Girls and Flowers

flowers 1  E17 had a few of her friends over to our house last night.  What fun!

Tonight is our homeschooling support group’s prom (alternative) and the girls NEED corsages.  A variety of fresh flowers, greenery, wire, tape, sequins, rhinestones, glitter, feathers, ribbon,  and hot glue mixed with some craftiness and laughter, and presto – beautiful corsages for their big night!

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This is E’s corsage.

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Of course they didn’t forget about the guys.  The girls made boutonnieres for them out of the leftovers.

Here’s another post about our homeschool support group’s special night for the teens  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/04/05/spring-formal/

betty jo

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Stewardship Day

The Dixon Springs Agriculture Center, in Southern Illinois’ Shawnee National Forest, teams up with with environmental and conservation experts every year for a week of educational programs for school children.  They have been hosting this event for over twenty years, and I think our homeschooling support group has been attending for about that long, too.

We had an excellent turnout of  both young children and teens for our day of Stewardship Week even though it was quite cool and cloudy.

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Our first class of the day was The Three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle).

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Our second class was Wildlife Management.  We learned about the area habitats and the animals who live there.  Also, our teacher explained illegal poaching and trapping.  He passed around the pelts of animals that he had found in traps.

ag ctr 4Even though this was rather sad, it gave the kids a chance to touch, feel, and study several of the forest’s residents.

ag ctr 3Our third class was Wetlands Birds and thankfully it was under a tent because it had started to rain.

ag ctr 2Instead of having our picnic lunch outside, the rain continued so we ate in our cars.  After lunch, the kids went to the Activity Center.  Here they stocked up on coloring pages, stickers, and worksheets to do later.  They also made necklaces.

ag ctr 6The rain decided to stick around as did the cool temperatures, forcing cancellation of the rest of the Stewardship Day classes.  We were disappointed, but also ready for some dry, warm clothes.

Maybe the rain will stop sometime over the weekend so we can plant the Red Oak saplings we brought home as souvenirs.

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Next year we will try this field trip again, and hopefully the sunshine will try to show up too.

betty jo

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World Water Day

waterGenesis 1:9-10

“9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.”

With today being World Water Day, our homeschooling support group toured our local Coast Guard Headquarters.  The kids found it interesting that the Coast Guard is both military and police of our ocean coasts and rivers ways.  C Gc g 7c g 3c g 5Our group was so large that we had to split into a big kid group and a young kid group.  I stayed with the Z7 and the younger ones.  Our guide was great with them.  Touching some equipment  and trying on gear was ALLOWED!  The kids even got souvenirs to take home.

If you live near the coast, or like us, live near riverways,  you should see about a Coast Guard Headquarters field trip.  These are some wonderful people.  I do not think I realized how much they do for us.

Also for World Water Day or really anytime:




betty jo

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