SOUTH FLORIDA — BOCA RATON
An ongoing series of informational entries—Educating in South Florida
Miami Seaquarium Homeschool Classes
August 13, 2018
The Miami Seaquarium as a homeschool student is amazing! Much more intimate, and we were able to ask all kinds of questions about the animals, as well as see some up close. Highly Recommend! Visit https://www.miamiseaquarium.com/node/130 for more info.
Homeschool Pre-School Resources
August 27, 2018
Homeschool Pre–School Resources
There are so many resources out there to make this easy for us now. Here are a few that I have used and enjoyed...
I know technology isn't the best choice for everything... but this one is AWESOME! I still remember trying to do flashcards and posters to have my oldest memorize the alphabet. It took forever! I have literally spent no time reviewing this with my younger children, and just yesterday at the Eye Doctor, my 4 year old impressed everyone with all of the letters she was able to read. I give all credit to Starfall.com, and maybe some older sibling help. We have it on our ipad, as well as the free version on the computer. Every day she has "preschool on the computer" time, and this is what she is learning. When they're bored and want a movie, I suggest Pre-school, and we do that first. Sometimes the movie idea even disappears!
2. Dry Erase markers and writing board
I have a huge Dry Erase board on my kitchen wall. That gets used by my pre-schooler more than anyone else. Pictures, learning to write, etc. all happen there every day, and we can compliment her on how great they are because we see them.
3. Minutes with Me
This curriculum she now has is very different from the first prototypes that I got with my oldest. However, I love them and refer to them often. As this is the new and improved curriculum that she is now selling, it's all I can recommend. She has a free downloads page that is great too.
4. 5 in a Row, and Before 5 in a Row
This is one of my favorite curriculums. It is all based around literature. I only have one of these books, but it has been well used. I would recommend 5 in a Row if you only want to get one... because the kids grow up and you can keep using it. I ended up purchasing many of the books that the lessons are about. It was quite an investment but has made a lasting impression on my kids and my home. My kids feel that those books are their friends.
5. Math Manipulatives
Saxon Math has a box of math manipulatives that you can order. That was one of the best investments I ever made. Also, there are teacher stores where you can buy more stuff like this. Tangram puzzles, Cuisenaire rods, Shapes puzzles, etc. I have 3 drawers of math and learning manipulatives that we use constantly.
6. Poetry and Skip Counting CD's.
Institute for Excellence in Writing has a poetry CD. Or Shel Silverstein is awesome.
Classical Conversations has awesome Skip Counting Songs. Or you can get the 100 Counting Sheep Soundtracks.
Good luck! You can do it!
Take your teens to Youth Court
September 2, 2018
The Youth Court program is a must for all parents to show their teens the importance of telling the truth and living an honest life. You watch a local teen go on stand for an actual offense (ex. Underage drinking, possession of drugs, retail theft). You can either just observe or be selected as a jury member and help to decide the punishment for the defendant. It is an experience that will never be forgotten, especially if two teens testify to an event individually and then actually get caught in a lie in front of the judge and the jury. The judge is amazing at giving feedback to the youth on how to turn their lives around, which in turn is great feedback to all of the teens present. Highly recommend it.
Palm Beach County Youth Court
(Ages 12+ recommended)
200 West Atlantic Avenue Delray Beach, FL
This program is held every Thursday at 6:00 pm but doors LOCK at 5:45 so get there early. You must come dressed in nice clothes. You do not need to call ahead or sign up in advance (courthouse will provide the volunteer form). Usually lasts for 1.5hrs but you get credit for 3hrs of volunteer time. Broward County also has Youth Court at different times. Go check it out!
More info on Youth Court (Juvenile First Offender Program)
Must Read Top 10 Books
September 5, 2018
I have only a few books that make into my all time "Must Read" category. In fact, I don't even have 10 books in my "Top Ten", but this book is in it. I've been a piano teacher for over 15 years, but after attending my first "Suzuki Concert" I was brought to tears. It was truly beautiful. I was amazed at the quality, the talent, and the magnitude of the event. It was in Salt Lake City, and when I flew home to Florida, I was determined to find a Suzuki teacher for my own children. (Hard to teach your own children piano lessons.) (Says the homeschooling mom.) Well, I couldn't find one close enough to make it work, so I started adapting what I saw and learned into what we were already doing. It made a huge difference. I then became aware of Dr. Suzuki's tiny book "Nurtured by Love". That has changed my view on talented children. Yes... my children can be talented, and yours can too if we expose them to greatness and the classics early on!
Summary of Nurtured by Love
by Julia Bentley
In the book Nurtured by Love Dr. Shininchi Suzuki uses his biography as an
outline for a series of examples to confirm his theory that ability is not
inherited but is taught in the same way that each child learns how to speak. He
believed that people are what they are as a result of their specific
environment, and that a baby is not born musical but can become so through
suitable environmental conditions. Throughout the book Suzuki provides
convincing evidence that, with the right nurturing, any child can develop into a
talented and exceptional human being. He firmly believed that talent is no
accident of birth and that we are all born with the natural ability to learn.
As children are mainly educated in the home, parental involvement is very important.
The purpose of ‘talent education’ is to train children, not to become
professional musicians but to be fine musicians and to show high ability in any
other field they enter. Suzuki concludes his book by declaring that we are all
born with high potential, and if we try hard, any of us can become superior
human beings and acquire talent and ability.
FREE Poster: Respectful Clothing
September 10, 2018
I'm a visual learner, and I thought I'd pass along something I made to help encourage respectful clothing at your school or homeschool co-op. Even if you're meeting just one day a week, it's important to give visual reminders of what you think is important. Hope this helps...Enjoy!
Download 8x10 Poster: http://bit.ly/Tapestry_Clothing
FREE Math Class by FAU Professors—for Middle School
September 21, 2018
FREE Math Class at FAU taught by FAU Professors for Middle School Kids!
Wow! Bet you didn't know about this one! I've been taking my kids off and on for the last 3 years to this amazing program. Wanted to pass this along to everyone else, so you can enjoy it too! Sometimes it's so hard that my kids leave with their minds blown. Other times they are so excited about what they've learned that they spend the next two weeks talking about it. Inspire them by exposing them to greatness. Why limit your kids to what the public schools say you should teach at a certain age. Expand your horizons!
From The Math Circle: We are planning to start with a new series of circle meetings, beginning on September 22, and then more or less every other Saturday. The precise dates are 9/22, 9/29, 10/13, 10/27, 11/3, and 12/1. On November 17 we will be having our Math Day for Middle School Students, in which among many other things we administer the AMC 8 test. Details provided upon request. Concerning the circle as such, all sessions will be 2:30 to 4 pm in PS112 on the Boca campus. No pre-registration is needed; just show up.
We know that students coming to our circle have different backgrounds; some have had a lot of mathematics in their life and others have had not as much. Some are older, some are younger. We will try our best to make the experience enjoyable for all.
Please let me know if you wish to be removed from this mailing list.
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NOTE: It seems we have a new parking system at FAU; it goes by license plates. To park on Saturday you must register your license plate by going to the following URL
and following instructions. You will simply be asked to enter the license plate, make of the car, and color of the car, after which you can park from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in any of the light blue parking lots; the most convenient being the light blue part of lot 4. There is a map on the registration page. I am sorry for this inconvenience, but I do not make the rules. There should be NO cost to you for this registration.
Complete 1 Year of Biology or Chemistry Labs in Two Days
October 1, 2018
Saw this cool opportunity and wanted to pass it along for those High School Homeschoolers out there... College Prep Science Website:
Opportunity located in West Palm Beach FL.
Biology: January 17-18, 2019
Chemistry: January 18-19, 2019
(Link is above in white)
Complete 1 Year of Biology or Chemistry Labs in Two Days
Available at Many Locations Nationwide...
- WV: Huntington
- AR: Little Rock
- MS: Gulfport, Jackson
- AL: Huntsville
- VA: Sterling, Fredericksburg, Roanoke
- SC: Columbia
- NC: Raleigh, Huntersville
- TN: Franklin, Memphis, Knoxville
- IN: Indianapolis
- OH: Marysville
- MI: Ypsilanti
- TX: Dallas, Austin
- FL: Polk City, West Palm Beach
- NH: Manchester
- PA: Lehighton
- IL: Elgin
- IA: Des Moines
- MO: St Louis
- GA: Marietta
- KY: Louisville
Click Here CLICK HERE for Lab Intensive Details and Photos
I've never attended this program before, nor do I receive anything for promoting it. My oldest daughter took amazing dissection classes for Biology through the Creation Studies Institute in Ft. Lauderdale. It was way more than they dissected in public school, (or so I hear). You can also order your own materials to dissect from Carolina.com. (If you're adventurous that is!)