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All rights reserved by Everest Academy
Everest Academy is a ministry of Everest Family Church in Hayden. We offer freedom along with quality resources, information, activities and support to those homeschooling in Alabama. We believe that the parent has the best interests of their children at heart. We believe that the parent is the first and only teacher that a child needs. In keeping with this philosophy, we wish to be a very hands-off cover school and allow the parent to lead and guide their children in the direction and at the pace they feel is best suited to their children. We ask only for what the law requires while offering support along with quality resources to aid families in their efforts.

Bham: Aviation Explorer's Post

Good Morning,
AE POST 2491 Members!!

We hope that you and your families have had a GREAT SUMMER VACATION!  It's almost time to start our AE POST Meetings!  We look forward to seeing you all soon!!

We have confirmed the 2013-2014 meeting location for the Aviation Explorer's Post 2491 - (Birmingham, AL).

Meetings are being scheduled for the 1st & 3rd Tuesday's from 6:30pm until 8:00pm.

Once again the AE Post 2491 - BHM will meet at the Atlantic Aviation FBO West Ramp (2nd Floor) Conference Room located at  4243 East Lake Blvd., Birmingham, AL 35217.
Directions:  (From I-59 take the Tallapoosa exit towards Tarrant, turn right onto East Lake Blvd, go approximately one-half mile Atlantic FBO will be on the right)


Below you will find the TENTATIVE AE POST 2491 BHM meeting dates:

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013      Post Advisor's & Officier's ONLY Meeting (Focus Meeting)
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013    Post Meeting (Advisor's, Officier's & Current Post Members)

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013    FIRST NIGHTER MEETING!!! (TENTATIVE)
Tuesday, September 17th, 2013
Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
Tuesday, December 17th, 2013


Tuesday, January 7th, 2014
Tuesday,  January 21st, 2014
Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
Tuesday, April 1st, 2014
Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014
Annual Dues will be $25.00 per student.  Make check or money order payable to BSA - AE POST 2491 BHM.

AE POST T-SHIRTS $12.00 each.  Make Check or money order payable to Post Advisor, Lani Myers.
Also, we welcome Parents and/or Guardians who would like to volunteer and as Post Leaders.  Please let me know if you are interested.

Again, looking forward to seeing all of you very soon!
Lani Myers

Aug. 31 Deadline: ANC Paddling Photo Contest

ANC Paddling Photo Contest
We want to see your kayak or canoe skills in action this August!

Take your best shot, and post it on our Facebook page.

Click here to post photo. 
Deadline for submissions is August 31. The ANC staff will announce the winner September 1 on our Facebook page, and the winner will receive a free Family Club Pass to the ANC!

Aug. 13, Bham: Know any young community activists? Nominate them for our August seminar

50th logo - small

This year, we celebrate 50 years of progress in Alabama. The historic movement of 1963 triggered an era of social change that revolutionized the world.

And that charge was led by Birmingham's youth.

Young foot soldiers marched when their parents were unable to leave their jobs or feared retaliation. Young minds brought innocence and hope to a callous community.

Their bravery urged the nation to take action. Today, that legacy lives on. Birmingham's young people have inherited a spirit of activism and are tirelessly working to make our city a better place.

How are today's teenagers rebuilding Birmingham? Are they meeting the expectations of themselves and their elders? What role does technology play in fighting injustice?

We're inviting Birmingham's teens with a heart for community service to join us Tuesday, Aug. 13 from 4-6 p.m. at the Alabama School of Fine Arts' Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre for "The Next Movement: How Birmingham's Youth Are Leading The Way ... Again."

The discussion will feature two college-aged co-hosts and four Birmingham teenagers that will share their stories of service and activism.

Hear what our Birmingham's most decorated youth servants have to say about issues like civil rights, school safety, privacy and the changing demographics of our country. And, most importantly, what are they doing about it?

Please use the form below to nominate yourself or someone you know (ages 12 to 18 only) to attend this free event. Four attendees will be selected to be featured on the panel. It's a great chance for Birmingham's young activists to make key connections.

Our community continues to move forward on the heels of its youngest members. We look forward to seeing you Aug. 13.

Oct. 12 - 15, Gatlinburg: Colors of Fall "Leaf & Learn" Smoky Mountain Getaway

Join us for our Colors of Fall "Leaf & Learn" Smoky Mountain Getaway! There's nothing like the magic of Fall in the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina! Located in the middle of one of the premier outdoor activity areas in the world, Fontana Village Resort is nestled in the Nantahala National Forest on the southwestern boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

The Village has a wide range of accommodations, restaurants, a general store, massage & fitness center, disc golf course, pools, marina & ship store. 

SOA Fall 'Stay & Learn' Getaway "Premium 3-Night Family Package" includes:
- 3 nights at beautiful Fontana Village Resort 1 bedroom cabin
- Scenic excursion aboard Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
- Entrance to Smoky Mountain Trains Museum
- Sunset Cruise on Fontana Lake 
- Exclusive SOA Edu-Cations Group Amenities 

Optional add-ons include
- Oconaluftee Indian Village, Cherokee, NC
- Junior Ranger Program at Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Museum of the Cherokee Indian
- Peanuts Pumpkin Patch Express
- ZipLine Canopy Tours
- Whitewater Rafting

PLUS endless fall photo ops & some fabulous "leaf peeping" from great mountain destinations including...
-Great Smoky Mountains National Park
-Cherohala "Mile High" Sky-way
-Blue Ridge Parkway
-Mountain Waters Byway
-The infamous "Tail of the Dragon"
-Nantahala Gorge
-Fontana Lake & Dam

There's something for everyone.... gorgeous mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, scenic by-ways, group activities... AND plenty of free time to relax or explore on your own!

Our "Premium 3-Night Family Package" is a great vacation value for less than $650 (plus taxes) and includes the above listed accommodations & excursions for two adults and two children (12 and under) . Limited Availability.
Reserve your cabin NOW with just a $200 deposit.

Packages are completely customizable & price will vary based on package inclusions. Two & three-night packages available, with choice of one, two & three bedroom cabin. Please contact us for specific pricing. 

For more information contact: Events13@Seasonsofadventure.com 
or call (205) 540-4979 to speak with a SOA Travel Specialist.
Please indicate if you're currently working with an SOA Agent. 

Imagine yourself there with Seasons of Adventure...... imagination unleashed.

Aug. 30 Deadline, Bham: McWane Homeschool Labs


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Registration for the 2013 - 2014 school year ends August 30th, 2013.

To register for the labs please contact McWane Science Center’s Reservations Department at205-714-8414.

McWane Science Center Home School Labs are designed to supplement what you are teaching at home.  Students will be able to use equipment and take part in experiments that are not easily executed in the home classroom.  Our labs fall within the standards of the Alabama Course of Study as well as National Science Standards.

Full payment for all labs is required at time of registration.  Maximum enrollment for PK & K labs is 16 students; maximum enrollment for 1st – 12th grade labs is 20 students.  

The deadline for registration is August 30th

3rd/4th grade class is full!

Kathy Fournier
Vice President of Education
McWane Science Center
200 19th Street North
Birmingham, AL 35203

Birmingham Basketball Academy

Homeschool Admins/Parents/Teachers/Coaches:

Robert Burdette and I have launched the Birmingham Basketball Academy. We’re aware that you guys are constantly seeking quality activities for your children, so we want you to be aware of what we’re doing. Please see our website http://bhambba.com/ for details.

Our intent is to offer high-quality activities for basketball players (male & female; grades 1-12)—the most important component being INDIVIDUAL SKILLS TRAINING. However, our young model is constantly evolving—so we’d like to develop a database of home-school folks to stay in touch with. We’re only limited by our imaginations on this! We guarantee that the experiences will be extremely high-quality ones.

Please let me know if you are aware of coaches, parents, and players who might have interest in working with us. Help us spread the word!

Please feel free to contact me by email or phone.

Bill Ivey
Birmingham Basketball Academy

Gardendale: Art Classes

Homeschool Art Class, alternating Fridays, Gardendale area, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Melissa Pritchett is our teacher, classes are $12 for the first child, half for additional children. Classes are from 12:30pm-1:30pm for younger children, K-3rd, and 1:30-2:20 for older children, 4th grade and up (tentatively, depending on interest). Classes start August 23rd.

Please contact Melissa Pritchett at cor13v3@gmail.com for more information and to sign up!

Auburn: Rebecca Miller

Auburn - Rebecca Miller

We moved to Auburn in 2007 when my husband got a job teaching at Auburn University. We had very young kids at that time, and we had not thought about homeschooling. Before they were school age, we met lots of great families that homeschooled, and we decided it might be right for our family also. We have never looked back! 

We enjoy the flexibility of a homeschool schedule because we like to travel and do lots of hands-on learning. In Auburn, I will be working to plan field trips for younger homeschoolers - kindergarten and elementary age mainly - while Nancy Melkerson coordinates trips for older kids. I am looking forward to getting to know even more homeschoolers in this area!

Rebecca's Contact Information:

Forestdale: Ballet & Irish Dance

Westwood Irish Dance provides a fun, rewarding and healthy experience for all our students, regardless of age, ability and interest level. Our dancers are taught a solid technique foundation followed by both traditional and modern material. All dancers are taught proper, competition-quality technique from the very beginning, even if they only seek a fun hobby, exercise or the occasional performance. Improper technique, once learned, is not only extremely difficult to unlearn later, it also raises the risk of injury. Irish Dance involves a tremendous amount of body movement without the aid of the arms. This makes proper lower body technique exceptionally important.

Once one master’s basic technique and the structure of the music, Irish dance is very hard to give up. It is a phenomenal form of exercise and promotes good cardiovascular health. When danced with proper technique on proper flooring it offers much less impact to the joints and lower risk of injury than many sports. As is such, Irish Dance is enjoyable by people of all ages and truly provides a lifetime of enjoyment.

Thank you for providing this site for all homeschoolers.

Cindy Best

July 27, Bham: 12th Annual Math & Science Fun Day

12th Annual Math & Science Fun Day

July 27, 1-5 p.m. | This year's theme is "Science is Corny" and will focus on the methods humans use to make plants into food and other products. Families will have the opportunity to roam among various exhibits and explore with hands-on experiments. Several science professionals will be available to help & teach everyone. This event is free and designed for students ages 5 to 105. Parents must accompany all participants. Five Points West Regional Library (BPL) | Free | 205-226-4017 |bplolinenews.blogspot.com/2013/07/12th-annual-math-and-science-fun-day.html

Odenville: Family Dance

Not homeschool specific event:

Hi Deb,
Was wondering if this is an event you would like to list?

We have a band and will be performing July 20th in Odenville.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Traylor 8-Piece Band 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
At Odenville Middle School / Purser Ray Hall.
$5 admission children under 12 free.
Light snacks available and drinks or bring your own, No alcohol no smoking.
This is a family entertainment or all ages.
We play a variety of dance and listening music. Line-dance, waltz, chacha, two-step, swing, bop, old rock'n roll, country, ballroom.
For more info and directions
Dolores Traylor (205) 629 - 6815
First dance July 20th this Saturday, then Aug. 3rd. Then every 1st Saturday of the month.

Dolores Traylor


Birmingham Track Club
Open to anyone interested in physical fitness through running.  Weekly runs.  Details:  879-5344 or www.birminghamtrackclub.com

About the BTC

The Birmingham Track Club, a non-profit organization of the RRCA, manages over 15 races in the Birmingham area each year.

BTC Mission Statement

The primary purpose of the Birmingham Track Club (BTC) shall be the education and training of individuals
in and around the community of Birmingham, AL, as to the benefits of jogging, running, and
walking for fitness, health and recreation.

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Please join us on the Alabama Homeschooling Facebook Page!!!

Gardendale: B-Dubs Gardendale Running Club

The B-Dubs Gardendale Running Club is a brand new running group starting in July 2013.

This running group wiil start on Tuesday, July 16 and meet every Tuesday at 6 PM on the patio of Buffalo Wild Wings Gardendale. There will be 1, 3, and 5 mile routes. All paces and experience levels are welcome. Stick around afterwards for food & beverage specials.

This is not a homeschool specific club.

For more information, contact bwwgardendale@gmail.com.

Dual Enrollment Online at Bluefield College

Bluefield College, a regionally accredited, private Christian college, offers an extensive dual-enrollment program for high school students (formerly called the Challenge Program). Online classes are available to students as early as the tenth grade, making it possible for a diligent student to earn an associate’s degree during high school. At the same time, it is also possible for a student to simply take a class or two to see what college courses are all about. The best news of all, classes cost only $130 each.

A dual-enrolled student must be at least a sophomore in high school, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above, and have the written permission from the homeschool parent.

Apply online at www.bluefield.edu/applynow (Non-Degree Seeking Application). See the website for more information.

Huntsville Homeschool Football & Cheerleading

Huntsville Homeschool Football & Cheerleading

Middle School & High School Teams

Good Morning!

Let’s play FOOTBALL!

I am contacting you to see if any of your high school students are interested in playing tackle football. The Freedom Academy Cowboys is a tackle football program for Homeschool and Private School students in North Alabama.  We have kids that have never played, kids that have played a little as well as experienced ball players.  We also have a cheer program for girls. We are located in Huntsville and practice in the Research Park area.

Our Football program is for boys age 13-19. We started practice this week but it’s not too late for kids to sign up. Our game schedule begins in late August.

Below is a link to our website that will tell you more about the Cowboys (Also see the attached brochure). Please call me directly if you or your families have any questions about our program. Please forward this message accordingly.  Parents are welcome to come check us out and watch practice and meet the coaches and kids. We practice M, T, TH, F from 5:15 to 7:30.


Coach Kevin Gokmen
Freedom Academy Cowboys

July 22, Huntsville: CCA Homeschool Volleyball Fundraiser at Shaggy's

CCA HS Volleyball asks for YOUR support

The CCA High School volleyball players are fundraising to attend the National Christian Homeschool Volleyball Championship in Missouri this October.  CCA opens it's arms to all homeschool girls and we have several different covers represented in our high school and middle school teams.  We would greatly appreciate you spreading the word on this fundraiser and encouraging friends and family to come out and support our ladies!! Emoji
When:   Monday, July 22, 2013
Where:  Shaggys Burgers and Tacos:  1267 Enterprise Way Huntsville, AL 35806 (Behind Super Target on University Drive)
Time:     4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Please tell Shaggy's that you want to support CCA Volleyball and they will donate 20% of your check total to the CCA Volleyball Team. 
Thank you so much!!

July 21, Bham: P.E.A.C.E. Birmingham

P.E.A.C.E. Birmingham

High Schoolers - Interested in joining a group of teens from all over the metro area? P.E.A.C.E. Birmingham, P.E.A.C.E. (People Engaged in a Cultural Exchange) is a monthly dialogue among teens from different neighborhoods, cultures and faiths that builds bridges of communication; encourages racial, religious and cultural awareness; develops leadership skills; and creates mutual respect and understanding among group members - plus we have fun! 

We will meet Sunday at 2 pm at the McWane Center to tour their exhibit, "Race." If you'd like to attend or get more info on the group, email Linda Verin at lindav0327@gmail.com

During the school year we meet one Sunday afternoon each month and occasionally take trips. There is no cost to you. You'll make friends and learn a lot.

Aug. 24, Cullman: Farm Ya'll Festival

Ag statistics are out…Cullman is still the #1 agriculture county in Alabama and we think it is high time we celebrated that fact. 

August 24th the first annual “Farm Y’all – Farm to Fork Festival” will be held at the Festhalle Market Platz – Farmer’s Market in the warehouse district of downtown Cullman. The festival will begin at 8:00 am and last until 3:00 pm. 

The “Farm Y’all – Farm to Fork Festival” will feature a giant pumpkin and watermelon competition with growers coming from several southern states to show off their mammoth fruit. Last year a local farmer, Trent Boyd shattered the Alabama state giant pumpkin record with his 885 pound monster. We could see a ½ ton pumpkin this year. Local farmers will be on hand with a good supply of local fruits and vegetables and vendors will have BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, tomato sandwiches and homemade ice cream.

Several regional and nationally celebrated chefs including Frank Stitt of Highlands Bar and Grill, Cliff Holt of Little Savannah, Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club and Dyron Powell of Dyron’s Low Country and local chefs including, Matt Heim with All Steak Restaurant, Blue Moose CafĂ© & Brew Pub and Rumors Deli, will be preparing dishes featuring local foods for people to sample. The chefs will hang around and autograph books and answer questions. 

Come enjoy great bluegrass and country music, cow pie bingo, and let the kids participate in some of the old timey games.

The Cullman County Museum will be open and the Cullman County Extension office will be conducting several seminars on everything from making baby food from the garden, to cooking local and starting your own fall garden. 

Several sponsors will be exhibiting their products including our title sponsor Tri-Green Equipment who will bring some beautiful John Deere equipment.

Aug. 19, Mobile: A Very Merry UNschool day at the SKATING RINK

A Very Merry UNschool day at the SKATING RINK
Date: August 19th 10a-12p
Dreamland Skate Center
5672 Three Notch Rd
Mobile, Alabama 36619

August 19th is the first day of school for Mobile county.  What better way to spend the day than a private homeschoolers skate party! Event will be FREE as long as we have 75 people attend. No outside food or drink allowed, snack bar will be open!!  Come out and see us!  Questions??  Call Erin Wainwright 251-377-3627

Activity Participation

Hey Homeschoolers! 

I am working on making a resource for new homeschoolers where they ask the questions and veteran homeschoolers give the answers. My goal is to provide advice, resources, and most of all to show that there is more than one way of doing things. 

Please contact me with your answer to the following question. I have already included answers that folks sent me on Facebook. Please let me know if you do not want me to include your name in the posting. Please give as much info as possible including links, details, explanations, etc... I will add your answers to this page so that new homeschoolers will have a resource to refer back to again and again.

You can contact me at everestacademy1@gmail.com with your questions and answers. Please put "Blog Challenge" in the subject line. 

Deb Spradlin
Everest Academy Administrator

Question: What kind of activities do your children participate in outside of the home? Examples would include: church groups, choir, athletics, music lessons, co-ops, teen groups, etc...

My Answer: My response from a few years ago: We have slowed way down this year, and I am so glad! We had gotten to the point where we were on the go all the time. When my kids say they don't want to participate in something now, I am good with that. This year we are participating in church activities, Yoshukai two nights a week, Martin Hames mentoring program for Dae once a month, Fresh Air Family outings once a month, American Girl Club once a month for Dae, Teen Scene usually twice a month for Dalton, Art Appreciation Club once a month, park days twice a month, and usually a field trip or so a month. This month we will be participating in the swim sessions on Wednesdays at Jasper Natatorium. Both of the kids opted out of art classes, swim team, and McWane classes this year which opened up a lot of our time. It usually averages out that we have something going on about twice a week (not counting church and karate) and is a good break to get out of the house and a break in routine.

One piece of advice I would definitely give to new homeschoolers is to not over schedule yourself. It can definitely not only burn you out but also your children. It can become very overwhelming and more of a chore than a delight. It took me a long time to decipher what was important and not important and when to say "no".

My sons regularly attend Culture Kids at the library. We try to make the monthly Skate day and GRACE Meetings. My middle sons plays baseball and soccer. My oldest sons plays piano and basketball. They both attend AWANAs at church at love it. We enjoy outdoor activities and camping.

I've never thought it was a good idea to over-schedule children. So we've always tried to maintain a balance of school and activities that allows for a lot of free time. I think that two regularly or frequently scheduled activities is the limit for our family. Right now Bree only has one frequently schedule activity, figure skating.  We do take part in some of the TeenScene activities and we are involved in a Shakespeare class at the moment - but figure skating is Bree's current passion. Getting to and from the rink, lessons and practice sessions take up 3 - 4 days a week right now so there's not really room for another activity. Which is fine for now.

My daughter participates in Upward Sports at Church, and we are just now trying to go to a few things that we see posted on different homeschool group sites. This is our first year and it has been very hard.

My girls both have piano lessons once a week and YMCA homeschool P.E. twice a week. Grace has archery lessons every Saturday morning and Katie will likely start violin lessons at the end of summer. We also participate in the Outdoor Adventure Group once a month, Grace is in an American Girl Club that meets once a month, we do at least one activity with TeenScene each month, and usually one or more planned field trips.  We keep an eye out for activities, lectures, exhibits, etc. at our library, art museum, botanical gardens and Sci-Quest and typically do one or two a month. This year and through spring of 2010, we're making an effort to see much more of Alabama as we study our state.  After our first few years of homeschooling, we learned to keep more days open to spend at home or we just get burned out. This year, keeping Monday and Wednesday freed of commitments has worked well. If there is a field trip on a Mon. or Wed., we just keep another day free that week.

Mostly we just plan playdates/fieldtrips with other HS'ing families! I do plan to start my 3yo DD in Gymnastics and my 6yo DS in TKD soon.  He has done soccer, basketball, tee ball, gymnastics and choir previously.

Every morning we walk, workout or do yoga. Tuesday nights we sometimes do yoga at Graysville Library, Wednesdays we have guitar lessons, run some errands, have nature study at the Botanical Gardens with some friends from church, and have Bible Study that night, Tuesdays and Thursdays, we watch a video lecture with our cousin and aunt(or sometimes art lessons), Fridays and Saturdays could bring field trips, movies, weiner roasts, birthdays, dinners out, church meetings, weddings, concerts, shopping trips, mini vacations, yard work, etc. Sunday is church--we have morning and afternoon service with lunch in between; we have Grandmother with us,see family and friends and we usually get home around 3:30 or 4:00, pleasantly exhausted. Most days, there's Facebook friendships going on as well.

I made the decision a long time ago to just let my daughter be a little girl, without having too many demands on her time and energy.  I want her to develop her imagination and have plenty of free time to pursue whatever she wants to do (there's that unschooling creeping in!!:-). I want her to spend time hanging upside down from trees, lying in the grass watching cloud pictures go by, and having long conversations with her cat. (The dog is not a good listener! :-) I don't want her having any "performance pressures" unless she chooses to have them. I want her to be able to entertain herself, and enjoy her own company, and not be dependent on any one else for anything. If and when she expresses an interest in more organized activities, we will decide what is right for us.  One of the main reasons I chose to homeschool many, many years ago was to allow my child to become the very best person he/she can be, without outside pressure or influence. I know that lessons and activities can be beneficial, and I am NOT saying children shouldn't be involved in them, nor am I "putting anyone down" for enrolling their children. Please don't send hate-mails!!  What I am saying is that I know way too many parents who have their children involved in things that they (the parent) want them to do, or because "everybody else" is doing it. When I hear that "everybody else" is doing it, that is pretty much a guarantee that I don't want any part of it!! If a child is taking part in outside activities, it should be because they WANT to be, because it is their PASSION (at least for this week :-) and not because they feel they must. I'm sure that many of you on this site follow your children's lead when it comes to "joining up", but I have definitely known homeschoolers who forced their children to take part in sports or other activities when they truly didn't want to. Kids need to be kids. There will be plenty of time for forced activities when they grow up!

Really, the only regularly-scheduled activity we have participated in this year was the homeschool science class program at the B'ham Zoo. The boys' enthusiasm would come and go, but they never complained once they got to class....it's the typical getting ready and getting there issue that was always a problem! :-/  We started out the year doing a pottery class, but by 1/2 way through the year, the boys seemed to be tired of it. When she went up on prices, we took advantage of the situation to bow out. For some excercise, fresh air, and socialization, we regularly attend park days twice a month, and the boys always enjoy meeting friends for monthly skating & bowling.  In addition to various fieldtrips, we attended all of the Bham Children's Theatre performances, the AL Symphony Orchestra's Young Peoples Concerts, and the Alys-Stephens Center's Meet the Artist performances. I think this will be the last year for BCT as the boys have decided they are "too old for it". We will also begin being choosier in which ASC performances we attend (some of those are too "babyish", too).  Most of the time, we're hanging at the house. The boys spend lots of time jumping on the trampoline, riding bikes/skateboards/dirt bikes, taking care of animals, playing army or having a Star Wars battle, romping in the woods or the pasture with their cousins....basically, just being boys!  Given the present economic situation (i.e. lack of money--LOL), we are unsure what the next year will bring. The boys say they want to play sports, but when they played soccer in year's past, they always burned out by 1/2 way through each season....don't think we want to go that route again. Maybe just some regularly scheduled "unorganized" sports days once or twice a month! Yeah! That sounds great! I've never been too crazy about one particular activity monopolizing the calendar like so many organized activities tend to do.

Mamie has co-op for 3 hours every other week. We try to go to as many plays and performances as possible because she loves them. We go on maybe one or two other field trips per month. Through April and May we also have softball and soccer. So these two months are pretty busy. Though we still make sure to have at least a 2 - 3 days each week to not have to leave home. During the summer she takes a drama day camp for one or two weeks. She loves to do such a variety of things. She used to be in gymnastics but it was more structure than she liked. She really wants to be in a play. We have a children's theater group locally and she will be old enough to enroll this summer - so we may do that. I don't know if she will like it, once she sees the discipline needed but if she wants to try then we probably will. My husband and I never got to do anything like sports or the arts so we let her do pretty much any activity she wants to try. When the newsletter has things we could do I read to her about them and let her decide if it is something she wants to do. I want her to have every opportunity to find her passion.

In our house we had a one activity per child rule, but Alex wanted to do some other things besides just his one and of course I said yes. Mostly because he has a very big love for Boy Scouts, he loves the outings and camping, summer camp, hikes. He loves every aspect of it and has done this since 4th grade, never asking for another activity until about 8th or 9th grade. All the activities the kids are involved in are activities they want to do, that is the only activities that we do. Both kids have piano once a week, Alex has scouts once a week, Alex is also involved in karate twice a week, then there is church activities, youth group and Joy Belles. Now if I had a say and my son was not so head strong I would LOVE to see him participate in the drama team at church with our youth, this was my passion as a young girl, but it is not my sons and I have learned to live with that. I do think; however, Bri may get involved in it, as she has been very upset with the Children's Dept for not choosing her for roles in their drama group. Anyway, we also participate in park days twice a month, both kids love this activity. Bri also takes art lessons once a week, which I believe right now is her biggest passion. She also has a passion for dance, but took a break this year; I loved the break, but she is counting down until she can go back. We have also participated in Art Appreciation once a month this year which both kids have LOVED. We are also involved in the Everest Outdoor Group once a month. Then there is the field trip once or twice a month. Oh and we are also in American Girl and do teen scene events, when we can. Sunday is our day for church, we go to the morning service and that is it. I do get flack, but usually reminding them that even God said no and used the 7th day as a day of rest, not because He could do no more, but because He chose not too. I think this is an awesome example to us as humans that we need to rest for the sake of our health and well being. These afternoons could be games, movies, or just a nap for me. I'm very protective of Sunday afternoon, just ask anyone who tries to plan anything for us on that day, I don't like it, and will rarely show up.  Okay stepping off the soap box now. We do have a full calendar, my kids enjoy all these activities and each year we re-evaluate what we want to do for the coming year and what we may want to continue. I do not coax, beg, or prod, unless it is to try and cut something out. The kids are actually pretty good at letting me know they don't want to do something or are feeling a little too overwhelmed and we will stop and look at what we could change to make things better. My kids LOVE their outside activities, probably much more than mom, who is actually the homebody, but that's okay they drag me along anyway kicking and screaming sometimes.

Well, we aren't obligated to anything. After about 10 years of constant running with PS events I put the brakes on and sat down and I enjoy it..LOL We do attend church and try to make an Everest park day here and there, and FAF outings are fun. Jamie would like to begin piano lessons and has decided to wait and add it to her schedule next year. She would also love to play softball (anyone have a team that needs a great 2nd baseman?). Nate would like to play football somewhere (he'd make a great lineman).

Both of our girls are involved at the YMCA with sports-soccer and swim team. They both have so many friends there that went to their school before (plus new friends) so I think that makes them pretty happy to see some familiar faces. They also play at the Y in kidzone when I go there to work out. Outside of that, we take them to parks, playgrounds, fishing and art galleries....since I show in an art gallery, they always go with me to deliver work and visit the gallery. They have all of these ideas of things they want to make and put in the gallery too :)  The only scheduled activities are the YMCA ones, we try to leave alot of open time so we can have plenty of flex.

Nathan was taking guitar lessons. We need to find a teacher now that we're moving to Arab. He has been in the Junior Ambassador class at Fresh Air Family, but I'm finding that it is a pain to drive over there on the weekends, and he isn't really getting much out of it for the price, so I think we're going to stop that.  In general, regularly scheduled events are a pain to keep up with, especially since I work full time. I think we'll stick with whatever field trips we may find or just going out with friends on our own schedule. I was looking at some week-long summer camps/classes at Sci-Quest in Huntsville. Daily for a week is much easier than 1-2x/week for however many weeks. I think my mom is taking him to Disney and Mobile over the summer too.

We attend church on Sundays and Wednesdays. We also take Dance classes, but right now the school year for dance classes is over until September. They will probably be bored unless I can find them something to do over the summer!

Aug. 30, Theodore: Homeschool Sock Hop

Let's Go to the Hop
Date: August 30th, 6:30-9:30
Location: Azalea Hall 5949 Bourne Road, Theodore AL. 36582

Join us for a family homeschool Sock Hop dance! 1950's costume and dress is encouraged! Please wear socks. We will learn to Twist and do another surprise dance. Cost is $5.00 for ages 5 and up, family max 25.00 (parents included). Be sure to sign up for a snack or drink to share. Contact Heather at hjhitchcock@gmail.com with any questions.