Sunday, June 24, 2007

Virginia Homeschool Conference with Family Programming

The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
2007 Conference and Resource Fair

Science Museum of Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
July 20 – 21, 2007

Family Programming sets the VaHomeschoolers Conference Apart!
The VaHomeschoolers Conference and Resource Fair is not designed around families but for families. We begin by choosing a location that has built-in family fun and learning - the Science Museum of Virginia.

Then we add exciting activities and sessions to entertain kids of all ages. This year’s program includes Passport to Adventure, an interactive “tour” of countries around the world “visited” through displays, crafts and games.

In addition, families can experience the cultures of other countries through both musical and dance programs, as well as a professional puppet show by Barefoot Puppet Theatre.
Register now!

Friday Evening – The Fun Begins!
“Tropical Treats” Talent Show, Art Exhibit and Ice Cream Social
Friday, July 20th 7 p.m.– 10 p.m.
Holiday Inn Crossroads – Host Hotel
2000 Staples Mill Road

Grab your passport, your grass skirt and come to the tropics where we will enjoy the talents of the Virginia Homeschooling Community. Along with the entertainment, you can enjoy the ice cream sundae bar, which includes dairy and non dairy choices as well as gluten free toppings.
Come relax with your homeschool friends from across the Commonwealth, including the Board and Conference Committee from The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers. If your kids or your family has a talent to share, be sure to sign up for the talent or art portion of the evening. To participate, you must register with the party coordinator, Kelly McCants by emailing
There is no fee for this party, but tax deductible donations are welcome and an RSVP is required.

Saturday - Prepare to Tour the World!
Family Programming Schedule:

Passport to Adventure
Ongoing from 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Grab your passport at the VaHomeschoolers Booth and visit Japan, India, Ghana and many other countries as you travel around the world through games and crafts.
Throughout the museum, various countries will be represented at different stations. Each country (station) will share information on the culture of that country with a game and/or craft. After completing the activity in a “country”, your tour guide will stamp your passport and you can move on to visit another country. Upon traveling completely around the world (visiting all stations), return to the VaHomeschoolers passport office to receive an acknowledgement
of your world travel and to be entered for a grand prize drawing. All entries for the drawing must be in by 4:30 pm and the winner will be posted at the Passport Office at 4:45 pm.

Sessions, Sessions, and more Sessions
Check out the family programming sessions we have lined up for you!

International Dance Performance and Workshop - Session 2 10:20 – 11:20 am
Tour the world of dance! Professional dancers Will Sterling Walker and Lawanda Raines, will be joined by homeschooling dancers Marisol, Antonio and Nicolas Betancourt-Sotolongo and Lauren Mort in performing dances from India, Africa, Spain, France, Brazil, the Caribbean and the United States. Audience members will be invited to participate and learn various steps throughout this world tour.

Trickster Tales – Puppet Show – Session 3 12:40 – 1:40 pm
This session does require pre-registration
Anansi the spider is up to his old tricks again in this show that brings to life two traditional West African stories: Tug-of-War and A Story, A Story. Colorful scenery, original music and lots of puns create a wonderful backdrop for the antics of these expressive rod and hand puppets. It’s a high-energy show with fun for all ages!

Following the performance, audience members will have an opportunity to see the puppets in action, ask questions of the puppeteers, learn how the Rugg family combines touring and homeschooling and hear a bit about using puppetry in your homeschooling.

Stomp, Clap or Tap World Rhythms! – Session 4 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Take an interactive journey, exploring African, Caribbean and Latin rhythms and instruments. Learn, see and hear the difference between bongos and congas, and many other hand drums as well as the traditional rhythms performed with them. Everyone gets to be a part of the fun in this show where participants will stomp, clap or play various instruments throughout this presentation.

Snickerdoodle Storytime – Session 5 3:45 – 4:15 pm
Fun in a nutshell! Former kindergarten teacher and award-winning Virginia author, Clare Grosgebauer will share her “Snickerdoodle” stories (for kids 3-7) about a tiny superhero who thinks big and uses humor and imagination to solve giant-size problems. Kids can also hear the “Snickerdoodle Rap” on the CD and create their own rhythms. Free stickers for kids and lesson plans for parents.

All Day fun in the Science Museum of Virginia
Every registration includes free admission to the museum where you can see rats play basketball, “walk” on the moon, or form crystals.
In addition to all the permanent exhibits at the museum, visit the traveling exhibition, Savage Ancient Seas which features more than 50 prehistoric marine skeletons, including actual specimens and casts mounted on the floor and suspended from the ceiling.

Peer into the mouth of the largest aquatic reptile known to man – a 45-foot-long Bunker Tylosaurus. Walk under the Lock Ness Monster’s ancient ancestor – a 42-foot long plesiosaur. Check out Archelon – a 17-foot-wide sea turtle. Hang out with a school of vicious carnivorous fish called Pachyrhizodus.

With the purchase of a separate ticket, you can see the Dinosaurs Alive! Or the newest Harry Potter at the awe-inspiring IMAX experience in the Ethyl Corporation IMAX DOME & Planetarium, the biggest movie screen in Virginia.

Please note the latest in the Harry Potter series, “The Order of the Phoenix” will be playing at SMV ’s IMAX theater on the conference weekend. These and all IMAX showings require an additional ticket purchase. The Group Rate is available for conference registrants — be sure to request it, if you pre-order your tickets. Tickets for “Harry Potter” will go on sale June 15. For more information, visit

The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
Your Resource. Your Voice. Your Association.

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Cathy said...

I've read your blog, and wonder how homeschooling is an option for parents who are not well-off enough to have the mother (or father) stay home. I'm putting my husband through full-time studies, so work full-time. My son will be going to public school because we are not rich, and I can't be home.

I appreciate that you are a champion for homeschooling, but I feel hurt that people like you make the rest of us, not of sufficient means, feel lousy for doing the best we can under the circumstances.

I love my son no less than a homeschooler loves her/his children. I'm glad you have the opportunity to homeschool -- you and your kids are blessed. Don't judge those of us who have to struggle, rent apartments instead of buy houses, live on a shoestring, and love our kids dearly. I participate in my son's learning, and feel that he'll do well because of it.

Don't underestimate the power of a parent who cares. It can make up for a lot that's lacking in the world. Your kids will not be superior to mine. They are just blessed in a different way.

Silvia said...

Hi Cathy,

Thanks for letting me know how you feel, what you think about my post. I can understand how you might feel that homeschoolers (especially the more vocal of us) may have an attitude of doing better for our children. I'm certainly not judging you or your choices or situation. I don't think most of us are trying to make others feel bad for not homeschooling.
I recognize that most parents are doing their best for their kids. We certainly aren't "well-off" and have made lots of sacrifices in order to have me stay home with the kids. If something were to happen to my husband's wage-earning (accident, illness, death), I would probably be forced to put my kids in school, at least for a while. But lack of money isn't really the main reason to not homeschool.
I'm not trying to imply that homeschoolers love their kids more. I do think that we tend to think more about the kind of education we want for our kids and we do try to do it ourselves, so we really do have to put thought into it. We don't always succeed. Not every hs'ed kid will go to Harvard or be a Spelling Bee champ. Most won't. That's not my goal, and that's perfectly fine with me. I just want them to come out ok at the end of their time with us.
And I agree that a parent's care can make a huge difference, all the difference, in a child's life. If I said or implied my kids will be superior, that wasn't the intent. A child in public school who has a parent as their champion, to make sure they are being educated to the best of the school's ability, not being pushed aside or labeled inaccurately and/or harmfully, not only gives that child a better education, but it tells the child they are important to their parents. Schools aren't always right.
I think that one reason homeschoolers tout (or brag aobut) hs'ing so much is because we're in the minority--maybe just 2% of all school-aged kids are hs'ed. We've got to be vocal, and we've got to support each other. The rest of the world doesn't do things our way and that can be hard.
I don't even think homeschooling would be the right or best choice for every parent or every child. I just wish there were more educational choices out there than there are now.
I hope you understand where I'm coming from, and why I post about homeschooling. It's what we do, it's important to us, and I want to support other homeschoolers, and really other parents who are looking for ways to help their children with their education. Not all learning is done in a school.
Anyway, I hope you'll visit my blog again and maybe take something positive from it.