Watching the Birds – Homegrown Science

Birds enjoying homemade suet on porch

Birds enjoying homemade suet on porch

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology appreciates homeschoolers. They cater to them, along with school educators.

From the BirdSleuth website:

Parents, welcome to BirdSleuth for Homeschool!

Getting outside to explore the birds in your neighborhood is an inexpensive and fun way to facilitate science learning in young children. We have developed a full kit and a free downloadable resource especially for homeschoolers:

  • Science Investigator’s Kit for Homeschoolers was developed for young readers (approximately 7-11 years old) and provides fun, flexible, accurate, and engaging resources that are developmentally appropriate yet challenging.  Activities can be done independently, in a group, or as a family. By observing the birds at their own backyard feeder and recording and submitting Citizen Science data, children can learn STEM skills and content! Seasonal membership in the Project FeederWatch citizen science project is included with your kit purchase.
  • The Homeschooler’s Guide to Project FeederWatch is a free eight-page document contains ideas that will be useful for families who already participate in Project FeederWatch. These brief activities will inspire new and creative ways to learn through citizen science participation.

Check it out!  It’s great science and the best part is it’s not out of a boring textbook.

Kansas Senate Committee Passes Tax Incentive

It’s that time of the year.  Lots of drama in Topeka.  The House Appropriations Chair resigned because he felt his party leadership wasn’t offering enough government funding for charter/virtual public schools.  They’re compromising along the way.  Another interesting aspect is the Senate Ways and Means Committee offering property tax credits for families using private schools or homeschooling.
With the Common Core awfulness bringing kids to tears, private school tax incentives could take parents over the edge and out of the public school.

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Homeschool Athletes Get Attention from the Chicago Tribune

Homeschool athletes were spotlighted by the Chicago Tribune.  The big game is at the United Center tomorrow.

Home-schoolers right at home at McDonald’s All-American Games
By Paul Skrbina

There isn’t much wiggle room in the wardrobe this week for Justin Jackson or Reece’ Caldwell.

The two home-schooled teens from Texas are dressed as McDonald’s All-Americans, which means mostly casual warmups, shorts and jerseys.

Not to mention a lot of jokes.

“The main one is if I do school in PJs,” said Jackson, a 6-foot-8, 200-pound guard/forward headed to North Carolina.

“Do you?” Caldwell asked. “I do.”

“Not all the time,” Jackson replied.

Nothing better than doing your work in your pjs growing up.  How many people dream of that?

Justin Jackson will be playing college basketball in North Carolina.

New homeschooler – Reece’ Caldwell – offered her reason for home education:

“It’s an academic thing,” said Caldwell, who added that she’s taking an advanced placement English class that will count toward her college credits. “It turned into me working on myself. It wasn’t a big transition.

“I feel like I made the right decision. It’s getting me ready for college, just real-life stuff that I wouldn’t have learned in high school.”

Both Texan teens have these opportunities without Tebow Bills stemming from Austin.