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.


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 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.

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

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, .)


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



Jumbo Glue Stick (or 2 regular glue sticks)


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

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 (  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,
· *Inexpensive:* Don't spend too much money on this project!
· *Easy to Make: *Don't spend hours and hours and hours making your
· *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
· *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 @ & 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.  

~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 @