Monday, July 23, 2012

Weather Wits and Science Snickers by Steve LaNore

Steve LaNore, weatherman for KXII TV Channel 12 in Sherman, TX has written an eBook full of fun weather humor! Mr. LaNore is reaching out to homeschool parents to share this book and his love of learning. It's called "Weather Wits and Science Snickers" and is only $3 for the download.



You can download this book to Amazon or Barnes and Noble, and you don't have to have an eReader to do so! Check it out and be sure to let Steve know what you think.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Class Ideas for EC

Sometimes you want to teach, but you have no idea WHAT to teach! It happens to everyone from time to time. So, here are a few suggestions...and maybe these will take you on rabbit trails to more ideas! Click here to download a blank form for a Class Descriptions.
Check back often to see additional ideas!
Magic Tree House Grades 2-3 or 4-6 Assign one book to be read each week at home, and then discuss the topic in class (dinosaurs, mummies, tornadoes, etc.). Magictreehouse.com has an entire section for teachers with free printable activities and teacher notes for every book.
Magic School Bus Grades K-1 or 2-3 Easy and fun science activities can be adapted from the books or video episodes. The Scholastic website has great links to go with all the topics (bats, gravity, oceans, and more) and there are easy science experiments in the back of each book.

Home Economics is a lost art, or is it? Keep it alive with a basic skills class for high schoolers. This Pinterest board has a few links to start, or go with a program like Keepers at Home.

Unit Studies on any topic are easily adapted to Enrichment Classes. Homeschool Share has an extensive list of Unit Study topics listed by age, from Preschool to High School!

Birds are fun for any age. Here are some links to all sorts of fun bird learning activities.
Crafts are always popular. Need some ideas? Here are plenty for the high school age. Make something new every week and even use them for gifts!

Preschool classes take a certain special kind of teacher! If this is your crowd, and you just need some inspiration, look no further than these links!

The ideas are endless. Read this article for more.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

2012-2013 School Pictures



PAYMENT IS EXPECTED ON PICTURE DAY. Packages range in price from $15-55.

We will have Senior portraits in February during Enrichment Classes, followed by picture retakes and group photos (of groups such as Cub Scouts etc.).  There will not be another day for Senior pictures.  If you are unable to make this date and you are a Senior, then you must contact Angela Dick, Yearbook Coordinator, so she can determine another school location for you to take pictures at.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Welcome to Gainesville

  • Morton Museum - Free. Rotating displays about Cooke County and local Texas
    history.
  • Amelia's Attic - Across from the courthouse on California Street. Great antique store. Fun for browsing or purchasing. It turned my 10 year old into an
    antiques-loving kid. It's also a great way to discuss history when the kids pick
    up something and say "What is THAT?"
  • Weises - Commerce street across from the courthouse. They sell old-fashioned Dr. Pepper WITH SUGAR at the back of their store.
  •  Frank Buck Zoo - Admission. BUT they have a great deal on an annual family pass.

Welcome to Denison

  • TX travel information center - located on hwy 75 north of Denison. Great for pamphlets, information, and kid fun. Most workers aren't real kid friendly.
  • Randel lake - take hwy 75 north watch for signs. This is the main source for Denison's water supply.
  • Eisenhower State Park- hwy 75 north exit 72 turn left and follow signs. Hiking, camping, fishing, programs, etc. Admission fee
  • Carpenters bluff bridge – Main Street, go east watch for signs. Old one lane
    bridge crossing red river.
  • Waterloo park - playground, hiking/mountain bike trail, duck feeding, fishing
    pond.
  • Eisenhower birthplace - admission fee
  • Katy Depot- railroad museum, old train, radio station, etc.
  • Historic driving tour - directions can be gotten at the Chamber of Commerce on Woodard.
  • Frontier village – Loy Lake Road off hwy 75. Historic village with museum. Museum is free, admission fee to village. Now has HUGE bust sculpture of President Eisenhower out front that can be seen from the hwy. Drive around behind frontier village into the park area to see a old very large tower (used to be a water tank).
  • Park with ruin type pillars - north side of the old TMC. Park in parking lot
    across the street from the old TMC and walk into the park on the north east
    section of the parking lot. There is a pavilion type area back there that has
    columns made from the old Denison railroad bridges, with a brick floor made of
    the old hand made bricks that used to line Denison streets. There is a plaque
    that tells the history of it all. Take your camera! This place makes awesome
    pictures.

Books-A-Million Reading Program


For the summer of 2012, Books-A-Million in Sherman has a fun program for children of all ages. Simply read 4 Dr. Seuss books to earn a free lunch bag!



This program is only offered at the Sherman, Texas location. Drop by their store to pick up the form and get all the details.

Children who are not yet readers may participate when a parent reads the books to them.

25 Years of Homeschool Freedom in Texas

by Nicki Truesdell


In April 2012, Texas homeschoolers celebrated 25 years of freedom to educate their children without restriction. The amazing opportunities that your children have through EC are only possible because of those who stood up for your right to homeschool.  

Each homeschooling family has chosen to homeschool for reasons very important and very personal to them; you no doubt felt convicted that this was the best option for their family. And Texas is one of the best states in the country to do just that. 

This freedom has always existed, but it was threatened severely in the 1980’s. According to Tim Lambert with the Texas Homeschool Coalition, “…the 1980s were a perilous time for home school families all over the country, but especially in Texas. More than 100 families were prosecuted by the state for teaching their children at home in those years. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) had taken the position (reversing almost 70 years of policy) that home schools were not private schools and therefore students being taught at home were truant. Everyone who decided to teach their children at home in those days understood they were taking a chance and that they had to be involved in the political process to protect themselves.”

The following is an excerpt from the Handbook for Texas Homeschoolers by Tim Lambert, President of the Texas Home School Coalition:

Home education has been an accepted method of education since the days of the Texas Republic. The state department of education, the Texas Education Agency (TEA), had never attempted to regulate, oppose, or discourage home schooling in Texas until 1981. In that year, the TEA issued a policy that stated, "Educating a child at home is not the same as private school instruction, and therefore, not an acceptable substitute."

The matter did not come into open conflict until the much publicized case of the State v. Short, (Dallas County, 1982). In this case, Richardson ISD took the Short family to court for educating their daughters at home. Dave Haigler, the lawyer for the Shorts, was interviewed on the CBS evening news after the judge had ruled against the family; however, the next morning, the justice of the peace reversed himself and ruled in favor of the Shorts. The legal argument of vagueness of the law became the standard defense used by home schoolers all over the country.

As a direct result of the change in the TEA's policy, over 100 families were prosecuted by school districts for violation of the compulsory attendance law. In those days, the attitude of most home school families in Texas was one of fear. At home school meetings, people did not give out their addresses or phone numbers and the thought of a list of the group getting out to the public created much anxiety and apprehension.

In March 1985, attorney Shelby Sharpe, along with several home school families and curriculum suppliers, filed a lawsuit against all the school districts in Texas on behalf of all home educators in Texas. In what became known as the Leeper vs. Arlington class action suit (Leeper v. Arlington I.S.D. No. 17-88761-85), home educators asked the court to give a declaratory judgment on the question of whether or not the legislature had intended home schools to be private schools when they enacted the compulsory attendance statute in 1915. The basic question was, are home schools private schools?

In the Leeper court proceedings, one point that was established and never challenged by the state was that in the early 1900s, when the compulsory attendance law was passed by the legislature, over 70 percent of the students in Texas were being taught at home. Lawmakers would most certainly not have enacted a law that would have had over half of the population in violation of it. It seems that home education was the norm in Texas even in the early 1900s.

While the Leeper case was pending, Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox was seeking to negotiate with the lead attorney in the case, Shelby Sharpe, to get him to drop the suit in exchange for regulations or rules passed by the TEA. The case was not dropped. Finally, the attorney general encouraged the TEA and the State Board of Education (SBOE) to set up a new accreditation agency within the TEA. This agency would accredit private schools. The purpose of this was to settle the issue of what is a private school by defining it as one accredited by this body.

The SBOE held a public hearing on this issue in April of 1986 in Austin. To the shock of the TEA and SBOE, approximately 6,000 people appeared to testify and protest what they perceived to be government intrusion into private education. This rally came to be known as the "Austin TEA Party."


 Several legislators testified that neither the TEA nor the SBOE had any authority to deal with private education because the Texas Legislature had not given them that authority by statute. The Texas Education Code applies only to public education. The SBOE finally passed a resolution asking the Texas Legislature to define private schools or give them the authority to do so. The legislature refused to do either.

In January of 1987, the class action lawsuit finally came to trial. The trial lasted for a week and a half and included expert testimony from such national figures as R. J. Rushdoony, Raymond Moore, and Sam Blumenfeld. On April 13, 1987, presiding Judge Charles J. Murray issued a decision (binding on all 1,100 school districts) which was a complete vindication of the rights of parents to educate their children at home in the State of Texas.

I was at the Austin TEA Party, at the age of 14, with my parents. When my mom and dad got wind of this hearing we, along with three other homeschooling families, traveled from Collinsville all the way to Austin.  

There was a lot fueling this mad dash to the capitol: 

1) My mom and dad had been completely dedicated to homeschooling from the start. There was never any talk of "trying it out" or going back to public school later. They were sold. 

2) My parents had already been arrested for homeschooling, and they wanted to be sure that wouldn't happen again. 

Add caption
3) Our family was prone to exercise our right to free speech. This was not the first march, and it wouldn’t be the last. 
March against pornography when 7-11 and the Southland Corporation started carrying pornographic magazines in their stores.

March against abortion in our tiny hometown of Terral, OK.

As with most homeschooling families, we survived on one income, and had little extra. But we packed our tents, sleeping bags, and camp stove and took off. We camped at a KOA campground and ate sandwiches from a cooler.

The group of kids from Collinsville at the Capitol in Austin, April 1996.

Why? Well, I’ll tell you:

Some of you have heard my story, about how my parents were arrested for homeschooling. But the story doesn’t really belong to me; it belongs to my Mom and Dad and to my aunt, Kari Davidson, whom many of you know. They were the homeschool parents who experienced a literal rude awakening early one morning in October of 1983. This arrest took place in Oklahoma, and was the result of an anonymous complaint.

Police officers knocked on our door at 7:00 that morning. A very apologetic deputy informed my parents that they were under arrest for truancy, and he needed to take them to the Jefferson County Sherrif's office. (Three days before, my dad had been fired from his job in this very office without warning and without explanation.)

My parents immediately called our Pastor. The Pastor went to inform my aunt Kari, who lived across town, that the deputy was on his way to her house, since she didn't have a phone. He arrived at the same time the police showed up, so it was a complete surprise to Kari.  She grabbed her Bible, a toothbrush, and a sweater, because for some reason she remembered hearing that it was cold in jail!

All four of us kids stayed with the pastsor’s wife, while the pastor followed the offenders to jail in his own car.

Mom and Daddy were members of Home School Legal Defense Association, so phone calls were quickly made. John Eidsmoe, who was a professor of law at Oral Roberts University at the time, took Kari's case at no charge, since she was a widow. Michael Ferris, John Whithead, and Charles McLaughlin were all involved.

The legalities of homeschooling were a big deal at this time, as homeschooling had begun to grow in popularity. At the time, there were 7 homeschool defense attorneys in Texas. But no one expected a problem in Oklahoma. Oklahoma was, and still is, one of the best states for homeschooling, so this was unheard of!

Bail was set for $200, which our Pastor graciously paid. So Mom, Daddy, and Kari were fingerprinted and processed, but never locked up. They spent the day in the Sheriffs office while the attorneys were contacted.

The court date was set for January of 1984. Meanwhile, John Whitehead called the Oklahoma Attorney General and the State Legislature. Kari had a phone installed at her house in order to keep up with the case. We visited with the attorneys handling the case. Our families even went to the home of Kirk and Beverly McCord (whose name you may recognize as the founders of the Home School Book Fair). We, the children, were questioned privately to prepare us for the court proceedings.

In December, Kari received a phone call from another Oklahoma homeschooler who said that 300 other homeschoolers were planning to march at the courthouse where the case would be heard. She was so happy just to know there were other families actually homeschooling in Oklahoma!

Just days before the case was to be tried in court, the Terral School Superintendent dropped the case. He even came to our home and apologized to my parents for the inconvenience. Kari, however, did not receive a letter or an apology.

I was 11 years old when this happened. My sister was 8, and my cousins were 7 and 4.

Here we are with a local church member who came to perform a weekly "chapel" service for us.

I remember the fear of having police officers knock on our door so early in the morning, and finding out that they had come for my parents. I also remember spending the day at the Pastor's house, waiting for my parents to come home. I did have some worry that they might have to stay in jail. We had only been homeschooling for just over a month, so it was scary to think they had done something really wrong.

As far as my Dad remembered, they were the first to be arrested for homeschooling in Oklahoma.

(As a side note, homeschooling in Oklahoma has been legal since it’s statehood in 1908. All it took for an arrest was the perfect mix of an uniformed school district, a compliant sherriff’s office, and brand new homeschoolers with no knowledge of their rights. Unfortunately, this still happens all over Texas and the United States.)

My family’s story, although quite dramatic for us, is a simple one compared to many others. There are numerous families who have been through worse. Thanks to the good people at Home School Legal Defense Association and Texas Homeschool Coalition, much is being done every day to protect this very basic parental right. Arrest may not happen to you, but your support of these organizations will help protect families whose rights to homeschool are in danger.

In all the history of the world, freedom has never magically appeared. Battles for freedom of any sort had to be fought…sacrifices had to be made to win and keep freedom.

 People who did not consider themselves “politically active” in any way suddenly found themselves speaking out against, fighting against, and even dying because of threatened tyranny. The United States of America would not exist without the willingness of brave families who gave up everything and risked everything to seek freedom for themselves and generations to come. The Pilgrims, who first fled to Holland from England and the tyranny of the King, left their second home, and in their desire to raise their children away from the dangers of the culture around them, they picked up everything and braved a 6 week ocean voyage, wilderness, Indians, and the great unknown. They had very little knowledge of this new world, its weather, terrain, people, vegetation, or possibilities. But it was worth it to them to protect their children and save their souls.

I, for one, am humbled by their sacrifice and thankful that they were willing. They suffered many hardships and losses, but they also produced some of the greatest men and women in history. 

The American colonists did likewise. They did not simply wake up one morning and decide to start a revolution; they recognized the threat to future generations and took it upon themselves to do something about it in their lifetime.

John Adams said, "I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy."
You do not have to be an activist; you should be knowledgeable and aware. All homeschoolers need to be willing to act on information regarding threats to our freedom.

"Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people."
John Adams
The threats still exist, at the local level, the State level, and the national level. Make no mistake: parents who take responsibility for the upbringing of their children are a real threat to the liberal agenda.

 The Occupy Wall Street movement has listed among its many demands to “ban the private ownership of land” and “make homeschooling illegal because religious fanatics use it to feed their children propaganda.” This movement has the public support of President Obama and other Democratic leaders in Congress.

The freedom to educate our children is vital to the future of America. We can thank the pioneers of the modern homeschooling movement for standing up for that freedom. But it is our responsibility to keep it.

Texas Homeschool Coalition has played a vital part in preserving the freedom of Texas Homeschoolers. They work closely with the Governor and the State Legislature, closely examining every piece of legislation for threats to families who educate their children.

In closing, I would like to thank my mom, Debbie Barnes, my Dad Andy who passed away in December, and my aunt Kari for the legacy that they have given to me and everyone here. These pioneers in the homeschool movement paved the way. Now it’s up to us to keep the way open for our children and grandchildren. 


Save those empty ink cartridges!


Red River Enrichment Classes has joined the Worklife Rewards program with Office Depot. This program allows us to recycle 10 empty printer ink cartridges each month for Office Depot reward of $2 each. We use this money to pay for copies and supplies (class descriptions, handbooks, nametags, etc.)

So, please save your ink cartridges and bring them to EC for recycling, and help EC at the same time!

College Prep - Homeschool Dual Credit



If you are looking for another dual credit option, consider the College Prep program from College Plus.

"CollegePrep is a one semester dual credit and collegiate preparation program for homeschool high school students ages 14-18. CollegePrep does not require your student to increase their workload, take additional classes, or force you to buy extra curriculum.

Through CollegePrep, your student earns high school and college credit, at the same time, for what they are already learning, using curriculum you already own. And, this counts as an honors course on your student’s high school transcript.

During your student’s one semester in CollegePrep, they can earn 12 accredited and transferable college credits, which are also worth 2 high school credits, for what they are learning in subjects like History, Science, Math, and Literature."

 College Prep Website

Monday, June 4, 2012

Red River 4H


Red River 4H meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month, September through May, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Gainesville, TX.

Children may take part in a variety of activities, such as clothing projects, food shows, volunteer opportunities, agriculture, Share the Fun, and much more.

The Red River 4H group is led by a fantastic RRCH mom!

For more information, contact:

Katy Smith 817-980-0147

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Enrichment Class Outlines

In January 2012, Red River Enrichment Classes celebrated its 12th year! We are so excited about what God has done for us, and look forward to the future.

As we grow, the need for increased structure and accountability increases. To that end, EC teachers will now submit a Class Outline Form with each class proposal. This additional information will not be included in class descriptions printed for distribution, but the form will be kept on file.


The Class Outline Form will afford teachers an opportunity to consider class goals and material in advance. This is a good thing! The goal is not to increase anyone’s burden, but rather to benefit teachers, parents and the board as we work together to bless the children we’re so privileged to instruct. 
 
Classes will not be considered without this form.

Examples follow below. You’ll notice that some classes (Games! & etc.) lend themselves to a very informal format, while more academic classes call for a bit more structure. 
 

If you have any questions about this form or classes in general, please contact an EC Board Member. To download a Class Description Form, click here.

Sincerely,

Nicki Truesdell
Dainah Blalock
Nichole Hackney
 

{ Example 1 }

 Class: Backyard Science                        Grade: Pre-K

What are your goals for this class?

My goal is to make preschool students more aware of God’s incredible creation and teach them how to learn and discover the exciting things in nature for themselves. We will have a notebook to show parents at the end of 10 weeks.

Please give a basic 10-week outline for accomplishing these goals:

Weeks 1 & 2 – introduce field guides and teach students to look up animal tracks, wildflowers, and insects. Take walks outside as weather permits.

Week 3 – Read about the life cycle of a plant; plant lima bean seeds in a cup

Week 4 – discuss trees, the change of seasons, and make a leaf rubbing

Week 5 – read about rocks and minerals and examine rocks found in the church yard

Week 6 – read and talk about weather; make a tornado in a jar

Week 7- read and talk about snakes and lizards

Week 8 – read and talk about insects

Week 9 – read and talk about spiders

Week 10 – show and tell; class party with nature themed snacks

Please list materials used in this class:

  • Usborne book of Rocks and Minerals
  • Trees and Seasons
  • Spiders
  • Magic School Bus Explores Plants
  • printed materials from www.homeschoolshare.com to make lapbooks
  • various field guides
{ Example 2 }


 Class: Board Games                            Grade: 9th-12th

What are your goals for this class?

To have fun! I want to provide an hour of relaxed social time where kids interact with each other through the fun of popular board games. I will also encourage good sportsmanship and teamwork.

Please provide a basic 10 week outline for accomplishing these goals:

Every week we will just play board games and have fun.

What materials will be used in this class?

Popular board games, like Clue, Boggle, Scrabble, etc.
{Example 3}

"Build it Big" class

Goals for the Class: To use the principles of science and teamwork to solve various tasks using household items.
Outline:


Week 1: Marshmallow Tower (Structures)
Week 2: Balloon Columns (Structures)
Week 3: Tower of Coins (Forces and Energy)
Week 4: Bubble City (Design It)
Week 5: Balloon Car (Forces and Energy)
Week 6: Roller Coaster (Design It)
Week 7: Parachute (Design It)
Week 8: Moving Cans (Forces and Energy)
Week 9: Paper Bridge (Structures)
Week 10: Cup Tower (Structures)

Materials Used in Class: balloons, marshmallows, coins,bubbles, straws, books, marbles, soda cans, paper, cups, plastic bags, water,etc.
Back-Up Plan: The Cup Tower or Paper Bridge Activities canbe easily led by anyone.  I will have supplies and directions for both ready at the beginning of the semester so I can hand them off to someone if need be.
 {Example 4}

"The Hobbit" class

Please give a basic 10-week outline for accomplishing these goals:

Week 1: Chapters 1-2, history and characteristics of Dwarves and trolls
Week 2: Chapters 3-5, studying Elrond, Imladris, and Elves; Goblins (Orcs); Gollum; the Ring
Week 3: Chapters 6-7, studying wargs, Eagles, Beorn, Mirkwood
Week 4: Chapters 8-9, studying Wood Elves, Sting, King Thranduil
Week 5: Chapters 10-11, history and maps of Lonely Mountain, Lake Town, the Secret Door
Week 6: Chapters 12-13, the Arkenstone, Smaug and dragons, Mithril, Thror, Dunland, Cram
Week 7: Chapters 14-15, the Bard,birds, Carc, Roac,
Week 8: Chapters 16-17, Dain, return of Gandalf, Thorin, Gobblins, The Battle of Five Armies
Week 9: Chapters 18-19, the Return Journey and the Last Stage
Week 10: Wrap up- quiz, questions,and games
What materials will be used in this class?

  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien 
  • The Atlas of Middle Earth by Karen Wynn Fonstad 
  • The Tolkien Companion by J.E.A. Tyler 
  • Finding God in the Lord of the Rings by Kurt Bruner & Jim Ware 
  • The J.R.R. Tolkien Handbook by Colin Duriez 
  • Unfinished Tales by J.R.R. Tolkien 
  • The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

We hope these examples will give you a clear understanding of the kind of outlines required for class submissions.

Thank you to all of our wonderful EC parents for your creative and fun classes!

Sample Class Schedule

Below you will find the complete class schedule for Red River Enrichment Classes Fall 2014 semester. Each semester the choices change, but they are always varied and exciting!

This is just a sample of what our schedule looks like.


The amazing thing about our program is that classes are always submitted by volunteer parents on a variety of topics and grade levels. The Board issues a call for classes mid-semester, parents submit their class descriptions, and it all falls together into a unique schedule! EC parents are always surprising the Board with their talent and knowledge!

For info on the upcoming semester, contact a Board Member at redriverenrichmentclasses@gmail.com.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Enrichment Classes - Basic Guidelines

For general info on Enrichment Classes, click here.

Now we get down to the nitty-gritty! Before you join EC, you might want to be sure that it's for you. Here are some basics. (When you register for your first semester of EC, you will receive the EC Handbook, with the rules of operation. All of this information is discussed in detail at Orientation, .)


Supplies

All students are required to come to EC with basic supplies. They are:

 Nursery SuppliesBackpack/diaper bag

             Diapers, wipes, cup/bottle and change of clothes (LABELED with baby’s name)

 Basic Class Kit - 3rd grade and under

Pencil

Scissors

Jumbo Glue Stick (or 2 regular glue sticks)

Crayons

Basic Class Kit - 4th grade -12th

Pencil & Pen

spiral notebook or notebook paper


Cleaning Crew

Our cleaning crew is made up of non-teachers. As a new participant, you will be included in this crew. Here’s how it works: 


There are approximately 7 different cleaning jobs that must be performed each Friday after the last class ends (at 2:30). Jobs are divided evenly among the crew. These jobs are very basic and include cleaning classrooms (vacuuming, sweeping, and garbage cans), restrooms (wiping down counters, cleaning mirrors, cleaning floors), and cleaning the gym and entry. Each job takes 30-45 minutes to perform. You will be assigned to clean approximately 5-7 times during the semester.

 After registration, the cleaning schedule is made with all assignments. You will know in advance the dates you are scheduled to clean. A walk-through of the cleaning process will take place during Orientation to familiarize all new families.  


This is an important part of Enrichment Classes, as we have an agreement with our host church that we will leave the premises clean each Friday afternoon. Please be sure you are able to commit to this before registering for Enrichment Classes.

(You will have the opportunity to teach classes after one full semester with EC; teachers do not work on the cleaning crew.)
 
Dress Code

Our dress code applies to 4th grade and older (boys, girls, and adults).

We believe modesty is appropriate for this setting, and since we have many people with different views of modesty we will spell out what acceptable for Red River Enrichment Classes.  If you bring visitors, please be sure they are aware of these guidelines as well.
1. Shorts, skirts, skorts, and dresses must be no shorter than 4 inches above the knee while sitting.

2. No skin tight clothing, midriffs (tummy showing), see through clothing, tank tops, halters, fish net tops, plunging necklines, underwear showing (bras or otherwise) or clothing that advertises immoral items or acts.  If they show, the clothes are not appropriate.

3. No facial piercings or visible tattoos.

Anyone not dressed in accordance with these guidelines will be asked to go home and change.

All participants from 4th grade to adult will be required to sign the Dress Code Agreement before participating in EC.


For all questions regarding Enrichment Classes, email a Board Member at redriverenrichmentclasses@gmail.com.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

June Busy Bag Swap

Is it almost June?  ….You know what that means in Texas?  HOT.  VERY VERY HOT!!! 

By the middle of June, we will be desperate for indoor activities to keep our little ones busy during the heat of the day. 

So for our next swap, we will be kicking the summer off to a great start with a SUMMER theme!  Think ice-cream, popsicles, flowers, garden, bugs, nature, camping, etc. 

Here are a few ideas to get your wheels turning:

  • Sorting
  • Patterns
  • Matching
  • Sequencing cards
  • Word cards
  • Labeling
  • Play dough mats (you can google “printable play dough mats”, but THIS website has tons!)

Homeschool Creations & 1+1+1=1 have some FREE printable packs – you could easily use some of their printouts to create an activity (I LOVE the Read, Build, Write cards).

Please check-out our [Busy Bags] board on pinterest for sample activities & suggestions to choose from as well.

**Our next Busy Bag Swap will be Monday, June 4 at 2pm

at the Gainesville Outlet Mall FOUD COURT.**

This swap will be open to 20 participants and the activity you bring is up to you.

To join, you must leave a comment on this post, stating the name of the activity you plan to make by Monday, May 21. 

*Please confirm your post went through & be sure to read the previous posts to insure no else is planning on doing the same activity as you are.  We will send out a confirmation e-mail to all participates on May 23.  If you do not receive an e-mail, please contact us a.s.a.p.  You also must be able to attend the swap personally or send someone (other than the swap coordinators) in your place.

Contact Tiffany Scott at (rockinc@ntin.net)  if you have any questions.


What's a Busy Bag Swap, you ask?

It's a very easy way to collect up to 20 "busy" activities for your preschooler.

On those crazy days when you have lots going on and a very inquisitive preschooler nearby (this is every day, right???) you simply pull out one of these activity bags and get yourself a possible half-hour of peace and quiet!

All you need to do is make one activity, and duplicate it up to 20 times,
bring it to the swap, trade with the other participants, and go home with
up to 20 different busy bags
.

This activity is not limited to parents of preschoolers. Grandparents,
aunts, Sunday School teachers, babysitters, gift-givers; if you need some
preschool activities, you are welcome to join the swap. A stack of 20 busy
bags would make a great birthday gift!

Each activity needs to meet the following criteria:
· *Self-contained:* This way, you can just grab a bag and GO (without
having to add a number of supplies to the bag in order to make it useful).
· *Transportable: *Yes, they will definitely be used at home, but
parents might want to be able to grab a few bags to take to a restaurant, a
waiting room, plane trips, car rides, etc.
· *Convenient:* None of the bags will have supplies that require
major set-up *or* clean-up: (no paint, watercolors, liquids, sand, dirt,
etc.)
· *Inexpensive:* Don't spend too much money on this project!
· *Easy to Make: *Don't spend hours and hours and hours making your
activity.
· *Re-usable:* I want these activities to last a while so that our
other children can use them in the future. Therefore, avoid activities
where you would have to buy new supplies to re-stock the bag. This is why
lamination is important for some of the activities. Use a FREEZER bag for
durability.
· *Include instructions:* Make sure the activity has a clear name or
instructions for use. Laminate this if possible, or write on Ziploc bag
with a Sharpie.
· *Preschooler appropriate*: The activity needs to be appropriate for
ages 2-4. Every child is different, so busy bags may be simple and some
will be more advanced. That's okay. Variety is the spice of life!

If you're not sure if you can handle the expense or the time investment at this time, you might want to wait for the next swap. There will be more!

*If however, you do sign up with full intentions of participating, but then realize that for some reason you are unable to continue, please let me know right away, so that we can contact someone else who would love to be involved.*

Try to invest *no more than about $1 per bag*. (Use those Michaels, Joanns, & Hobby Lobby coupons!!)

Also keep in mind your schedule AND your budget. Some of you may have more time than money, vice versa. If you have the time, you might be willing to print and cut and
sort flash cards or felt shapes. If you don't have the time, but have a few extra dollars, you might be willing to purchase manipulatives that just need sorting into bags.

RRCH Freezer Meal Exchanges

How it works
Each member brings enough main entrees for each of the other people in the group (between 4-6).
-You pick a freezer recipe you like or that sounds good and multiply it to make however many are needed. Then we get together and swap. For example: if there are five people in the exchange group, each would bring four freezable meals to give to each member. Each member will have five freezer meals (including their own).

The deadline to sign up for each swap is (loosely) the 1st of each month.  To sign up e-mail Tiffany Scott @ rockinc@ntin.net & provide the following information:

  1. What you would like to make
  2. The size of your family *by portion size) (ex. 3 adults, 3 kids)
  3. If you would like to be included in more than one group (we do groups of 4-6, so if you would like potentially 10 meals, then you would be included in 2 groups)

We meet (typically) meet @ 7:00pm on the last Monday of each month to exchange meals.  Location for the swap varies.  

**Guidelines**
~Stick mostly to main dishes.
~Make enough to serve at least 2 adults and 4 kids. *If you family is bigger no problem just let the host know when you RSVP so they can accommodate in the count.
~Bring food in disposable tin with saran wrap over the top or use a freezer bag (may want to double bag soups).  *Dollar store is great place to get these.
~Label & date your meal
~Freeze the meals prior to exchange (that way nothing is left to sit at room temp for any amount of time & they stack better)
~Include a recipe card
~Budget is usually between $6-8/meal.

Lots of helpful freezer info & meal ideas can be found online.   Check out our RRCH Pinterest Board for great freezer meal ideas & tips!

Be sure to “LIKE” our RRCH Facebook page for updated information.

For more information contact Tiffany Scott @ rockinc@ntin.net

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

May Activity Swap

RRCH will be hosting its THIRD Busy Bag exchange! (Click here to see the first swap).
This swap will be open to 20 participants and the activity you bring is up to you.
To join, leave a comment on this post, stating the name of the activity you plan to make.
Contact Nicki Truesdell at (400things@gmail.com) if you have any questions.
IMPORTANT DATES:
  • Sign-up Deadline: April 23
  • Exchanges: May 7

What's a Busy Bag Swap, you ask?
It's a very easy way to collect up to 20 "busy" activities for your preschooler.
On those crazy days when you have lots going on and a very inquisitive preschooler nearby (this is every day, right???) you simply pull out one of these activity bags and get yourself a possible half-hour of peace and quiet!
All you need to do is make one activity, and duplicate it up to 20 times,
bring it to the swap, trade with the other participants, and go home with
up to 20 different busy bags
.
This activity is not limited to parents of preschoolers. Grandparents,
aunts, Sunday School teachers, babysitters, gift-givers; if you need some
preschool activities, you are welcome to join the swap. A stack of 20 busy
bags would make a great birthday gift!
Each activity needs to meet the following criteria:· *Self-contained:* This way, you can just grab a bag and GO (without
having to add a number of supplies to the bag in order to make it useful).
· *Transportable: *Yes, they will definitely be used at home, but
parents might want to be able to grab a few bags to take to a restaurant, a
waiting room, plane trips, car rides, etc.
· *Convenient:* None of the bags will have supplies that require
major set-up *or* clean-up: (no paint, watercolors, liquids, sand, dirt,
etc.)
· *Inexpensive:* Don't spend too much money on this project!
· *Easy to Make: *Don't spend hours and hours and hours making your
activity.
· *Re-usable:* I want these activities to last a while so that our
other children can use them in the future. Therefore, avoid activities
where you would have to buy new supplies to re-stock the bag. This is why
lamination is important for some of the activities. Use a FREEZER bag for
durability.
· *Include instructions:* Make sure the activity has a clear name or
instructions for use. Laminate this if possible, or write on Ziploc bag
with a Sharpie.
· *Preschooler appropriate*: The activity needs to be appropriate for
ages 2-4. Every child is different, so busy bags may be simple and some
will be more advanced. That's okay. Variety is the spice of life!
If you're not sure if you can handle the expense or the time investment at this time, you might want to wait for the next swap. There will be more!
*If however, you do sign up with full intentions of participating, but then realize that for some reason you are unable to continue, please let me know right away, so that we can contact someone else who would love to be involved.*
Try to invest *no more than about $1 per bag*. (Use those Michaels, Joanns, & Hobby Lobby coupons!!)
Also keep in mind your schedule AND your budget. Some of you may have more time than money, vice versa. If you have the time, you might be willing to print and cut and
sort flash cards or felt shapes. If you don't have the time, but have a few extra dollars, you might be willing to purchase manipulatives that just need sorting into bags.
Need ideas? Google Activity Bags or Busy Bags or check out the RRCH Pinterest Boards by clicking on the red Pinterest button on the right sidebar.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sports Opportunities

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Homeschooling families in our area have formed the Red River Rattlers Athletic Association.  
While the RRRAA is new, the Rattlers have been competing for many years. Read about it all here.
The new RRRAE website is currently a work in progress. 
All the information you need about basketball (for boys and girls) is there.
Keep checking the Rattlers website for updated information!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Busy Bag Swap

The RRCH Preschool Busy Bag Swap was a success! There were 13 participants, so each family went home with 13 great new preschooler activities.
See all the great activities?


From top left:
Rainbow and Bubble Gum pom-pom sort
Numbers with pony beads
Shape and color match
The Color Match Game
I Spy Bags
Build-a-Cupcake
Links for colors and sequencing
Pony bead sorting and counting
Shoe lacing
Assorted card and activity games
Lacing shape match
ABC Wheel with matching clothespins
Paper clip and color swatch matching
Popsicle memory






It was like Christmas opening all the goodies!
If you are interested in participating in the next Swap, please contact Nicki at 400things@gmail.com. Ideas are in the works for preschool, toddler, and even lower elementary.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

RRCH Busy Bag Swap Sign-Up & Important Information:


UPDATE:  Due to a fantastic response to the swaps listed below we have decided to open up “copycat” swaps.  The details are all the same . . .
RRCH will be hosting its second Busy Bag swap!  (Click here to see the first swap)
This exchange will have 4 swaps to choose from (*you may join as many as you like) & each swap will be limited to 5 participants.
  1. Big Kids
  2. Easy Felt
  3. Make a . . . Kit
  4. Felt Food
The swaps are listed below with 5 preselected activities to choose.  You will find a sample picture, materials list, & brief instructions.  **Please make activities specific to the details given.
To sign-up leave a comment under the swap of your choice. 
Contact Nicki Truesdell at (400things@gmail.com) if you have any questions.
IMPORTANT DATES:
  • Sign-up Deadline:  March 26
  • Exchanges: April 9 at 7 & 7:30pm

What's a Busy Bag Swap, you ask?
It's a very easy way to collect up to 20 "busy" activities for your preschooler.
On those crazy days when you have lots going on and a very inquisitive preschooler nearby (this is every day, right???) you simply pull out one of these activity bags and get yourself a possible half-hour of peace and quiet!
All you need to do is make one activity, and duplicate it up to 5 times,
bring it to the swap, trade with the other participants, and go home with
up to 5 different busy bags
.

This activity is not limited to parents of preschoolers. Grandparents,
aunts, Sunday School teachers, babysitters, gift-givers; if you need some
preschool activities, you are welcome to join the swap. A stack of 20 busy
bags would make a great birthday gift!
Each activity needs to meet the following criteria:·       *Self-contained:* This way, you can just grab a bag and GO (without
having to add a number of supplies to the bag in order to make it useful).
·       *Transportable: *Yes, they will definitely be used at home, but
parents might want to be able to grab a few bags to take to a restaurant, a
waiting room, plane trips, car rides, etc.
·       *Convenient:* None of the bags will have supplies that require
major set-up *or* clean-up: (no paint, watercolors, liquids, sand, dirt,
etc.)
·       *Inexpensive:* Don't spend too much money on this project!
·       *Easy to Make: *Don't spend hours and hours and hours making your
activity.
·       *Re-usable:* I want these activities to last a while so that our
other children can use them in the future. Therefore, avoid activities
where you would have to buy new supplies to re-stock the bag. This is why
lamination is important for some of the activities. Use a FREEZER bag for
durability.
·       *Include instructions:* Make sure the activity has a clear name or
instructions for use. Laminate this if possible, or write on Ziploc bag
with a Sharpie.
·       *Preschooler appropriate*: The activity needs to be appropriate for
ages 2-4. Every child is different, so busy bags may be simple and some
will be more advanced. That's okay. Variety is the spice of life!
**

If you're not sure if you can handle he expense or the time investment at this time, then maybe you should pass this time around.
*If however, you do sign up with full intentions of participating, but then realize that for some reason you are unable to continue, please let me know right away, so that we can contact someone else who would love to be involved.*
Try to invest *no more than about $3-4 per bag*. (Use those Michaels, Joanns, & Hobby Lobby coupons!!)
Also keep in mind your schedule AND your budget. Some of you may have more time than money, vice versa. If you have the time, you might be willing to print and cut and
sort flash cards or felt shapes. If you don't have the time, but have a few extra dollars, you might be willing to purchase manipulatives that just need sorting into bags.

Busy Bag Swap “Easy Felt” Group #1


**This Swap is FULL**
Choose one of the following activities & leave a comment in the comment section of this post. *Be sure to check that it has not already been chosen. 
You will need: 
  • Felt in at least 7 different colors   Cream/white felt for backing
  • Needle & thread or fabric glue
*Requires sewing/or fabric glue


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You will need:
  • 1 string
  • 15-20 clothespins
  • Felt or fabric pieces (colors & patterns of your choice)
*you can download the pattern here.

toddler-busy-bags-final-10
You will need:
  • Felt in at least 6 different colors
  • A long piece of ribbon
  • A button
  • A needle and thread
*Requires light sewing.

shape memory game
You will need:
12- 1 1/2" wood discs
Wool felt in 6 different colors (ROYGBP)
Heat N' Bond


a
You will need:
  • Felt in at least 6 different colors (ROYGBP)
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Markers
  • Needle & thread/or fabric glue
*The popsicle sticks have the color labeled on both ends of one side (once written in the corresponding color for a hint) and the other side is labeled with the "flavor" and a colored swatch of the corresponding color for another hint.
You will need to make 5 bags of the activity you have chosen.  Please be prepared for the activity swap on April 9 at 7pm.  *Location to be announced
The deadline to sign up for this swap is March 26.