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Dance in Celebration of Life!
Marion Gorman, 10/25/2010

Editor's Note from Susan: I was delighted to receive this fun article about encouraging families to enjoy folk dancing (and improvised dancing!). Some of you may know that my husband Howard is an old-time fiddler and square dance caller, and we've been calling square dances for homeschoolers for many years. We just recently led a delightful evening of square dancing for a large choir of homeschool students in Lancaster County, while we're on our current testing trip. And just a couple weeks ago we called a square dance in a homeschooling family's dairy barn in western PA, with at least 6 squares going. The enthusiasm of these groups is always such fun to see-- kids of all ages jumping in, parents taking part, teens enjoying wholesome socializing, and more. I've also been delighted to see a growing number of homeschoolers taking part in 4H square dancing contests, often taking part at the annual Farm Show held in Harrisburg. Enjoy Marion's to integrating dance into your family's life-- and know that this is definitely a great form of *exercise* for all ages, too, besides being a wonderful way to celebrate special life events.

            Gather a group of children, turn on selected music, and observe the reaction. We are created to respond to music. Dance is simply a structured way of using a natural reaction as a means of expression. What an enjoyable way to communicate! Folk dancing is a way to celebrate, express ourselves, learn of our heritage, exercise, and have fun.

Dance in Biblical Times

From the beginning of time, dance was recorded in the Bible. Psalms 149:3 says, “Let them praise His name with the dance.” Ecclesiastes 3:4 allots, “a time to mourn and a time to dance.” When the Prodigal Son returned home, the celebration included dancing. Dance was part of the formal Christian service and liturgy until the 12th century A.D., when theologians felt it was too distracting and worldly.

Origins and Purpose

The origins of these timeless folk dances are mostly unknown.  They have been passed down through the generations. The full spectrum of human emotion and.... 


Comments: 8

Katherine Patterson to speak in Pittsburgh-- family event, with special 'school rate' extended to homeschoolers!
Carrie O'Connor, 10/11/2010

Master storyteller, Katherine Paterson, will be the first guest of Black, White & Read All Over, Pittsburgh’s premiere family book series. She will be talking about the stories behind her books for children. This is a family event that is designed for children but also welcomes teachers, librarians and fans of all ages. The single ticket price is $10, but we offer a discount for school and community groups of $5 each. I hope you will consider offering this opportunity to the families of Pennsylvania Homeschoolers. I’d be happy to answer any questions about the program or the series.


Carrie O’Connor

Director, Ticketing Operations

Project manager, Black, White & Read All Over

Main: 412-622-8866

Direct: 412-622-3128

Katherine Patterson “Read for your life,” declares the new Ambassador of Children’s Literature in praise of the power of the story. Paterson’s own award-winning stories of friendship and struggle have readers laughing and crying, sometimes at the same time.

Katherine Paterson is a two-time Newbery Medal winner, holds a Newbery Honor and two National Book awards. Some of her books that have touched readers of all ages include Bridge to Terabithia, Jacob Have I Loved, and The Great Gilly Hopkins.


Comments: 7

Homeschool Literary Quarterly-- new online publication for student writing, from WriteGuide
Susan Richman , 10/6/2010

I just received word today about the new project that WriteGuide, a company that offered individualized online writing instruction and tutoring especially for homeschool students, has  just begun. Here's what their website says:

The Homeschool Literary Quarterly (see: http://www.homeschoolliterary.com/ ) is an online, quarterly literary magazine published and sponsored by WriteGuide.com, a Company Devoted to the Teaching of Writing.  

Our purpose is to

(1) Promote the literary arts within the homeschool community.

(2) Provide a place where homeschool writers can showcase their work, and receive intelligent commentary from readers.

(3) Assist homeschoolers who are considering a career in publishing or writing.

They'll accept poems, short stories, personal essays, book reviews, and more. I hope to see lots of Pennsylvania homeschool students taking part in this good opportunity-- I know I'm going to tell my Writing Club about this option for publishing their wonderful work to a wider audience! Right now they are accepting works for their Winter issue, and will be specially looking for seasonal and holiday pieces.

Here's info on submitting your work, taken from their website....


Comments: 11

Fall Testing Registration fee goes up to $35 per student on October 8th online-- sign up now :-)....AND free helps for the Science and Social Studies sections!
Susan Richman, 10/6/2010

On October 8th, the Fall Testing registration fee goes up to $35 per student-- so we hope you can remember to register *now* and get in on the $30 rate :-). We look forward to seeing each of you at one of our testing sites-- check the 'map' in the testing section of the our site to see all the varied locations.

And for ideas on how to approach testing and help your child feel comfortable and ready, do check out the articles in our 'archive' on testing. And remember, we do have 'Scoring High' test preparation books for all levels (book 1-8), and many kids find these a great help in gearing up for standardized testing.

Many parents wonder just what they need to *bring* with them to the testing day. We provide the testing materials (of course :-) ), scratch paper, and a cardboard ruler for the math section. We also have plenty of extra pencils, though most kids prefer bringing their own (any #2 pencil is fine). If your child is 5th grade and up, they are welcome to bring a *calculator* for the math problem solving (word problem) section-- this is NOT required, and no problem requires a calculator, but they are *allowed*. We do not provide any calculators for student use. Many kids appreciate having a quick and non-messy *snack* or water bottle with them for the breaks between testing sections.

Many wonder about taking the Science and Social Studies subtests, something we offer as a *option* for famlies. First, you do not need to let us know in advance if you plan to stay on for the afternoon science and social studies sections-- and you can even decide that day if you want to stay on.

There is no special preparation exercises in the 'Scoring High' books for these subtests-- and I know many wonder just what types of questions are included. Fortunately, there are many great links online...


Comments: 14


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