Traditional Science Fair Project

One of the main purposes for our science fair is to teach homeschool kids about the amazing world God has made and how scientists use the scientific method to solve problems.  As you probably remember from your school days the scientific method includs the following:

  1. Formulation a question. (What are you wanting to learn about?)
  2. Hypothesis (What question are you wanting to answer?)
  3. Prediction (What do you think will happen?)
  4. Test (What experiment did you do to test your hypothesis?)
  5. Analysis (What did your test prove? Was your prediction right or wrong? Why or why note? Note: it’s okay to be wrong…Thomas Edison sure didn’t invent the light bulb on his first attempt!)

We have found a wonderful printable resource for your science fair poster.  Just type in your answers and print off the pages you need.

What should my child do for a science fair project? Anything that uses the scientific method will be great. For some ideas, here are some webpages/books we have found to be helpful.

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/

http://www.education.com/science-fair/

Janice Van Cleave books (found in the public library) about Anatomy, Chemistry, Science Fair, etc are great resources for those who prefer to browse through a book for ideas.

Note: Rather than a competition with one winner, our goal is to encourage all children to explore science. We look to see if kids understand what they have studied and can talk about it. We also like to see kids explain a truth about God or the Bible that can be gleaned from their projects.

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Agape Science Fair 2013

The Agape Science Fair will be held on Friday, April 19, 2013 from 6:00-8:30pm at Westwood Baptist Church The fair is open to homeschool students grades K-12. There will be two categories in which students can enter:

  1. Traditional Science Fair Project
  2. Research/Display

about a scientific topic. There is no charge for AGAPE members, but there will be a $5.00 charge per student for non-AGAPE members.(Maximum of $15.00 per family). Participants must be registered by Monday, April 15, 2013. For more information including information on science fair topics and research ideas, please visit the AGAPE homeschool blog at: https://agapehomeschoolers.wordpress.com/

Ready to sign up for the Agape Science Fair? Register here!

Research Project for the Science Fair 2013

Is your child fascinated with horses? Do your children love sea creatures? Have they developed an interest in trees, rocks or bridge construction? This category allows kids to explore a scientific topic of interest and make a display highlighting the fun things they have learned. If your kids love unit studies, this might be the right category for them! Here is a website with great ideas for lapbooks. Your child might be able to build off of one of these to make a display: Be creative!

http://www.homeschoolshare.com/

Note: Rather than a competition with only one winner, our goal is to encourage all children to explore science. We look to see if kids understand what they have studied and can talk about it. We also like to see kids explain a truth about God or the Bible that can be gleaned from their projects.

Agape Lapbooking Class Monday Sept. 10th

Do you have an elementary age child and want to learn more about combining craft time and learning by using Notebook and Lapbooking? Come to this introductory class.  Everyone will go home with a resource list and a FREE lapbook template. Kids are welcome to participate in this class with their parent.

What to bring:

  • Scissors
  • Glue-stick and regular glue (e.g. Elmer’s school glue)
  • colored pencils or crayons

Chocolate Chip Cheeseball recipe

If you happended to be at the August Agape Meeting, you may have had some of the Chocolate Cheeseball I brought. I like to call it “Not your Mama’s Cheesball”, but I must admit, my mom never made cheeseballs. Growing up in the southwest, we were a salsa and tortilla chip kind of family.

Be warned: My husband and kids won’t let me leave the house with this recipe unless I made an extra batch for them. They’ve learned I don’t come back with enough for them!

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

Summer Reading Programs

The weather has warmed up and companies are starting to send out info on their summer reading programs. Our kids can develop a greater understanding of their world, retain reading skills and develop a love for learning through reading and there are many companies eager to encourage reading this summer. Here are the programs I have found so far:

1. The Scholastic Summer Challenge begins May 1st. Kids can earn prizes by logging their number of minutes read. The website says it is open to kids of all ages.

2. Bob Jones JourneyForth Summer reading program is for kids aged 4-17. This contest begins May 15th.  Kids log a reading goal of 5 days/week for 8 weeks. Prizes are available for kids in three different age categories as well as a grand prize of a Kindle Fire. Bob Jones has an excellent reading list for kids in all 3 age categories with many classics included.

3. For Cub and Boy Scouts out there, the Boys Life reading contest asks boys to write a one page (500 words or fewer) summary of their favorite book of 2012.  Boys can win $100 in products from the Boy Scout catalog.  This contest ends December 31st. All people who enter are awarded a reading patch for their uniform.

4. The Pizza Hut Book IT! program allows students to earn a free personal pizza by reaching reading goals during the school year.  Homeschoolers can participate too!  Registration for the 2012-2013 school year begins May 1st. On their website, you can also track number of minutes read this summer (doesn’t look like there is a prize for this, though.)

5. In years past, Barnes and Nobles has also had reading contests.  So far, I haven’t seen any info on it yet.

As I find more contests, I’ll add them as well!

Happy Reading!

Win a family registration to NCHE bookfair!

Each year the NCHE has a convention for homeschool families in Winston-Salem. It’s a great time to look at books you are considering for the next school year, meet with old friends, get encouragement through the speakers and watch homeschool graduates walk across the platform. Yes, I know there is much more at this conference, but these are my highlights.

This year you can win a free family registration to the conference. To find out how click on their website: Designs are due APRIL 1st so you’d better hurry!

http://nchomeschoolinfo.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/nche-design-contest

Fine Arts in the Homeschool

My kids love art…The messier the better. While we spend quite a bit of time with glue, clay and paint, I’m also trying to instil within them a love for the fine arts. Before I began homeschooling, I couldn’t tell the difference between a classical and romantic era composer. Lucky for me, there are great resources available on the internet. Even better, many are free!

In our family, we pick a composer of the month and place their picture on our school wall along with a brief summary of his life and works.I found a great resource that I laminate to keep the composer looking good and to allow me to re-use the info at a later date. famous musicians Once we’ve read the basic facts about the musician, we listen to a story CD about the composer which I find at our local library as well as a music CD from the library with some of the composer’s works. One of my favorite story CDs is by a company called VOX. The titles of their CDs all are titled “The Story of (Composer) in Words and Music”. There is enough music interspersed among the story that even my preschoolers will listen to the CDs.

Story of Bach

Another story CD my kids have enjoyed is by Classical Kids. The theme of these CDs is fictional which entertains my kids, but the basic biography of the composer is accurate along with a good music selection.

Classical Kids CD

Classical Kids

Another great website that has programs as well games and some great activities is Classics for Kids

Lastly, my kids and I love singing the lyrics that a group called Beethoven’s Wig has made for many great songs. We love singing Tchaikovsky’s Cannonball (1812 Overture, Tchaikovsky), Kings and Queens of England (Trumpet Tune, Purcell) and Haydn’s Great Surprise (Surprise Symphony, Haydn). Not only is it great on road trips when the kids are getting ancy but it’s great for long waits in traffic. Beethoven’s Wig

Beethoven's Wig

Some picture books have also been written about the composers. Don’t forget to look for them at the local library as well.

Homeschooling in North Carolina

North Carolina is a great state in which to homeschool.  In the western mountains where I live, homeschools thrive. According to the NC Department of Non-Public Education, Buncombe County is ranked third for total number of homeschools operating in the state even though by population Buncombe is the seventh largest county. Similarly, Henderson County ranks 14th for number of homeschools but 25th in population. Perhaps this is due to the great number of resources and support groups such as AGAPE available to help families in their educational journeys.

For those thinking about homeschooling or new to the state, here are some great links to help you.
School attendance is mandatory for children aged 7-16. In NC, homeschool fall under the Department of Non-Public Education. To fill out a notice of intent to homeschool, download an attendance card or find out about current homeschooling requirements, please visit their

North Carolina Department of Non-Public Education.

While there are several state-wide support groups, one of the oldest (established in 1984 when homeschooling was still a young movement) and largest with a yearly conference in the Winston-Salem area in May is the North Carolinians for Home Education.  The conference is a great place to reconnect with old friends, watch homeschooled high schoolers graduate and buy every homeschool resource under the sun.

North Carolinians for Home Education

Congratulations! Homeschooling is not just an educational choice, it is a family adventure.