Happy Independence Day, Homeschoolers!

Most homeschooling families will celebrate the same as everyone else. For the more patriotic-minded, some will explore the historical background of July 4th, while some will actually get to go to museums within their city or historical sites in the nation that relate to our country’s beginnings. Above all these, we hope that all homeschoolers have learned why July 4, 1776 is called “Independence Day” and which day the Declaration of Independence was really signed. Come read the document that set our country free – here and take the Declaration Quiz.

Declaration of Independence
Declaration of Independence

This weekend is a great time to get out and have some fun with family, friends, neighbors, and even acquaintances such as your town’s immigrants and international students. These people, as well as new citizens and refugees, are usually quite curious about American traditions and holidays. Ask them how their country’s independence is celebrated and what the colors and symbols on their flag mean. And while you’re at it, why don’t you give them a reason to enjoy their stay while being away from their homeland? Invite them to watch the parade, go to a cookout, and especially to watch the fireworks – Almost every town in America will have them!

Naturalization Cake
Naturalization Cake

For the outgoing homeschoolers, we might also be more involved in this holiday than most students. We enjoy soaking up the knowledge, organizing events, performing in front of hundreds, and creating new ways to have fun. Did your home school co-op get together this weekend? Did you lead a game, recreate an ancestor’s special recipe, or visit some place new? Here’s some trivia: Did you know that one of Austin’s homeschool families not only owns a fireworks business but specially makes each firework and sets up shows? Visit Starlight Fireworks and give ’em a try!

Fireworks in Austin
Fireworks in Austin

Here in the Austin Metro, there will be LOTS of 4th of July parades. Some start the day before, but there are still plenty to be experienced on the 4th. There will also be tons of Fourth of July fun – some will be of the more traditional type, horseshoe tossing, 3-legged racing, and eating contests, while others will be more modern like the bouncy houses, splash pads, and movies. All of the festivities include loads of both traditionally American and separately Texan food, as well as plenty of patriotic music! Can you name the three most popular Independence Day songs you’ll hear this weekend? What are three other traditional patriotic songs?

Remember, our forefathers and military went through a lot of hullaballoo to gain our country’s freedom, so thank a military service person, thank a veteran! Be thankful today, have fun, and be safe. Check out the day’s line-up here: Austin 4th of July Events.

Note: Not all links used in this article are the views of atxhomeschool.com, but rather are used as means to research the topics indicated.

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A Prom for Someone Like Me

Homeschoolers participate in the same activities as public-schooled students, such as the Prom. They’re just a little different. 😉

Yes, even Homeschoolers get to have a Prom! Some are called “Spring Formal”, but they’re Proms nonetheless. They have a theme, music, dancing, dresses, suits, decorations, photos, and food. Of course since the home school culture is vastly different from that of the other schooling choices, there are plenty of differences from the one the local ISD or private school is sponsoring. The biggest differences are that it’s truly fun to be with everyone there and it’s safe.

Gathering of Homeschooled Girls in Prom Dresses
Group of young homeschooled women dressed for the Prom. Photo courtesy of Munchins On The Path Blogspot.

You’ll notice right away that the whole atmosphere is light and jovial. These kids want to be there and they know most of the other students already, as well as the parents and siblings. Not only will you see young adults enjoying their evening (you know a real smile when you see it) and making sure each guest gets to dance, but chaperones who happen to be some of the students’ parents (since they’re the teachers too) are actually appreciated and sometimes drawn into the soirée. Continue reading “A Prom for Someone Like Me”

You Might be at a Homeschool Wedding if…

Wonderfully said! Many joys are yet to be had in our home.

Pahlow's English: Global Classroom

alex & josh pic Tomorrow best friends Alexandra Garcia and Joshua Germenis, two former English 5 students, exchange their vows. Bless you both for your commitment to the LORD and His plan for marriage. To your peers, you are an example; to us moms, you are our hope.

The only thing better than a homeschool graduation is a homeschool wedding. For those just starting their homeschool journey, these should be attended as often as possible. For us moms already in the trenches, these are nothing less than a kiss on the cheek from Jesus Himself.

For the uninitiated, however, these events are bound to be odd. It would certainly be helpful to know what you are getting into ahead of time, so you can mentally prepare. Without any further ado, you might be at a homeschool wedding if:

  • The decorations, while elegant and thoughtful, are always homemade. Envision an assembly line of moms and…

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The Rodeo’s Coming! – “Where Weird meets Western”

Have you ever been to the Austin Rodeo? Did any of you brave the cold to attend the Cowboy Breakfast this morning?

It’s full of events to fit everyone’s style: music, contests, ranch animals galore, not to mention the good ol’ hometown carnival an’ cookin’! This year it’ll be March 14-28, 2015 at the Travis County Expo Center, 9100 Decker Lake Road, Austin, TX 78724. It’s even gonna be on t.v., well, YouTube that is, on “RA TV” – Rodeo Austin TV, so you don’t have to miss a thing. There are videos there to check out from last too.

Willie Nelson & Family perform for Rodeo Austin 2015.
Willie Nelson & Family perform for Rodeo Austin 2015.

Since we’re in the Live Music Capital of the World, let’s start with the Live Music, in order of appearance. Austin Rodeo will have main stage performances by:

Willie Nelson & Family, Dwight Yoakam, Eli Young Band, Panic!At the Disco, The Beach Boys, Randy Rogers Band, Joe Nichols, Turnpike Troubadours, Lorrie Morgan & Pam Tillis, Tyler Farr, Boyz II Men, Sublime with Rome, Martina McBride, Lee Brice, and Kevin Fowler.

Continue reading “The Rodeo’s Coming! – “Where Weird meets Western””

Play is Vital to Education

Play is the Highest Form of Research - Albert Einstein

Many articles are out there on the benefits of playing as a way to learn. One website, the Alliance for Childhood, lists several researchers, articles, videos, and even conferences, all encouraging young children to play, and in many cases, to play more. Even people from several countries agree.; Wales and Brussels in particular are mentioned on the AC website.

We recently spoke with a soon-to-be Texas public school teacher and mother of school children who told us that their school district is taking a field trip to the Netherlands to explore this very notion. It appears that the Netherlands are now the top-ranking country in the world for best-performing students. Their explanation – they incorporate plenty of playtime at school. In the lower grade levels, students play between every subject.  In fact, the go outside to play, getting the added benefits of fresh air and sunshine.

Sound familiar, Baby Boomers? This adage was once common in America too, but somehow lost its appeal. Unfortunately that lack of plenty of fresh air and sunshine, combined with a lots of play, is one of the factors that has led to the current demise of the American educational system.

What’s YOUR take on this? What do you know about the amount of time spent playing vs. “in the books”?

Enjoy the Summer, FREE!

Everybody loves something fun to do, especially homeschoolers! 

Catch the latest list of what’s fun to do for FREE this weekend in the Free Fun in Austin site:
This weekend you can make a free sundae, watch a pooch parade, catch the Formula Sun Grand Prix and more!Weekend Top 10 FREE Events –>

Afterwards, tell me in which event you participated.

Which one was worth repeating?