Friday, December 14, 2012

Book Reports and Planning Meeting

Well, 3 of my kids were up most of the night coughing, and no one's said she's coming, so I'm going to go ahead and cancel this week.  The next one will be Dec. 28th, and if you're interested in the co-op, let's have a planning meeting after book reports.  We'll go upstairs and put on an old musical for the kids and try to hash out what needs to be done and who's going to do it (and maybe have some secret Mommy hot cocoa and cookies while the kids eat popcorn).

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Book Report Day

Is anyone planning to come this Friday?  I know it's close to Christmas, but we're game if you are.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Book Report Day

We had a great time at our first Book Report Day.  We hope you'll join us for the next one, this Friday, the 30th at 3:30 at the corner of Muddy String and Dana in the old creamery.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving wishes

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope all of you have a blessed day with your family and friends!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Great day!

I love days like this!!  It's amazing to me when you see a skill that you've been working on a long time "click".  B and I have been working on alphabetizing for at least two weeks.  Last week we were on vacation so I thought we'd be starting over.  She seems to remember it better than she did before the break.  This made my whole day!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


    My husband and I have been dreaming of moving to Star Valley for several years now. We're so grateful to be here and to be living in our dream-home-in-progress, but of all the people and things we left behind in California, the one I have been really mourning is our piano teacher. Eve and Sadie have only been taking lessons for about two years, but their teacher was truly one in a million. She read music like I read a stop sign, she lived to play and to teach, she demanded and received excellence from all her students, and she spent nearly a decade studying piano and musical education. I knew before we ever left, that even if we could find a teacher like her in Wyoming, we could never afford her without the charter school funding we received in California. I asked around in Thayne, sat in on a lesson, watched the ladies playing in church, and settled on a teacher for this year. She plays beautifully, the kids love her, and she is wholeheartedly dedicated to my girls' success at piano, but I was still pouting a little that I didn't have a virtuoso to teach my kids piano. 

    Then Eve and Sadie had their first recital. Their teacher has only been in the Valley for a couple of years, so none of her students are amazingly accomplished. I was pouting a little more, thinking about the nearly austere formality of our California recitals, a formality which signaled to parents and students alike that piano is more than a passing hobby, but serious brain work, and worthy of our time and effort. Here kids were crawling under the chairs, some students forgot to bow or announce themselves (including mine), even the venue was unknown until the last minute. I'm used to bringing the loud family, but I felt like we were the staid and boring ones this time, even though we arrived 10 minutes late. 

    But halfway through the Old McDonald's and Jingle Bell duets, our teacher and her best friend (who also had students in this recital), sat down to play “A Child's Prayer,” together. The music was moving, and watching these two women play together made me misty eyed. Both of them have young children at home, they organize the annual Star Valley Music Festival, they sing in the choir, they play organ and piano at church, they're involved in their kids' schools, and they participate in community events. These two are all about their own families, and yet, they somehow find time to serve my family too. These are the role models I want my girls to emulate. I want all my kids to pursue excellence in music as in the rest of their education, but I want them to have their priorities straight like their teacher, Angela, and her colleague, Cecily. These women put family first, and they still make time for music and their community. They are living proof that you can practice every day and work hard on your recital piece and still bring your cat in a box and let your kids play under the chairs. These are women who know that substance is a higher object than form, that it's better to jettison ancillaries like formality than to give short shrift to the important work of family, music and community. I want my kids to learn these lessons from Angela, because they're just as important as scales.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Monthly Schedule

Hi Everyone! I don't know if anyone else wrote this down, but I wanted to post this here as a reminder and also so I'm not responsible for it! ;)

Here's who is in charge for the rest of the school year:

November - Tiana
December - Becky
January - Megan
February - Laura
March - Amber
April - Jenn
May - Micki

Friday, September 28, 2012

Field trip information

Hi Everyone!
Hope you're school year is going well.

I finally got a field trip scheduled although not the one that I'd hoped to do.  The National Museum of Wildlife Art will be putting on a "history through art" workshop entitled "Plains Indians and the Bison".
I'm excited about it.  We are scheduled for Friday, October 26, 2012 at 1:30.  There is no charge.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Camp out information from Laura

I have just a few details to work out still and will send out all the details later today, but just wanted to let everyone know we are still on for the  Get-to-Know-You campout this weekend up Jackknife, and I hope many of you will be able to come.  Weather has been great, and if it continues it will be a pleasant camping experience...

Briefly, we will plan to have a potluck (bring your own drinks and meat/main dish for your family then salads, sides, and desserts to share with everyone) at 7 pm.  I hope we can have a campfire to visit around, although kids tend to play night games and have a lot of fun all around...! 
Breakfast together the next morning of pancakes, scrambled eggs, orange juice, and hot chocolate in the morning.  I will send out a sign-up sheet for each family to choose what they will bring.   If anyone has any suggestions, please email me immediately so we can incorporate them.  Also, please RSVP quickly if you are coming so we know how much food we need to bring.


I just found out that the Powell college rugby team will be in the valley for a tournament in Alpine on Saturday which starts at 10 am and will go most of the day, and they may camp out in our yard Friday night as our son Michael is on the team.  Other rugby teams from colleges around the state will be here to compete.  We will be going to some of those games and you may want to take your family to a rugby game as it is a novelty.  It is similar to football but Michael explained the differences to us one night.  You may want to check out the rules of the rugby game so it will make sense.  Don't know where in Alpine it is but Michael will let us know later...

I need to check on fire regulations...Will be back in a few hours with more details.  Let me know if you are coming soon if you get this message...Laura

Yes, we can have a campfire.  We are still checking out whether the bow hunters will take up all the space we need.  However, just as I typed that I got the call from my good neighbor up there who says it is totally empty.  We will take up a couple of tents and a sign tonight to unofficially reserve the area, as it cannot be officially reserved through the forest service...

The only water is a small creek that is really low this time of year (great for kids to play by) so all drinking water needs to be brought in, and I will have a couple of buckets we can fill with water from the creek to keep near the campfire for fire safety and putting it out cold Saturday.  Plenty of trees, bushes, and hillsides for the kids to play in and on while getting to know one another...

We will bring wood for the fire Friday night and Sat morning and a couple of porta-potties and a tarp to provide privacy.  If you have your own, it wouldn't hurt to bring it, but unless everyone comes we should be okay with 2...

DIRECTIONS TO FIND IT:  One mile north of Etna turn left onto CR 111.  Continue going west at the 4-way stop about another mile or so. Just past the last house on the right (Rex Wolfley's) turn right (I will put a sign there) and go about 1 mile north. Right where the road curves around to the left is where I hope to camp.  I will put out a big sign there, also.  If you have questions my cell is 307-880-9111, but cell phone service is limited up there.

If someone who is coming has a nice campstove, it would be nice to have several if we get a lot of people coming.  I have some small ones and plan to construct a brick rocket stove or 2 to use to heat water and possibly cook on.

People can arrive as early on Friday as they would like.  Weather forecast looks really good.  Tents as well as nicer accomodations such as campers and RVs would be fine :). No cost for camping there as it is not an established campground.  No electricity unless you bring your own generator (the current bushes don't work too well...) 

Dinner Friday night:  Bring your own drinks and main dish/meat for your family
                              Potluck side dishes, salads, and desserts to share would be nice.
                              Bring your own dishes and camp chairs (I will bring tables for serving)

Breakfast Saturday morning about 8 am to 9 am: 
                             Plan to have pancakes/butter/syrup, scrambled eggs, orange juice,
                                    and hot chocolate as a group.  Those who may have special
                                    needs may just bring what they want for both meals, of course,
                                    and please bring your own dishes for breakfast, too.  Other
                                    breakfast foods would be fine, too, if you want to bring them.
                           I will plan to bring everything for wholegrain pancakes for about 25
                                   people and some syrup and butter.  I will also bring water and a
                                   big pot for hot water for hot chocolate.

                           If we could have people volunteer to bring:

                                    Orange juice (maybe 3 gallons?)

                                   Hot chocolate (about 50 servings?)

                                   More syrup and butter

                                   Pancake ingredients and everything to mix them up for
                                   another 25 people...

                                   3 to 4 dozen eggs for scrambling and a griddle or frying pan to
                                   cook them.

So far I know that Amber's family will be gone for hunting camp (we will miss them) but figure if we plan for about 50 we should have enough? 

Please let me know if you are coming and what you would like to bring.  We can reduce the amounts if there will be less people.

Anyone is welcome to just come for dinner on Friday or for breakfast on Saturday without camping overnight, if they would like to.  Please let me know, though, if you want to come for breakfast and if you can bring something so we can plan for your family.

We will be camping at the foot of the road that goes north up and up and up to the satellite towers and antennas.  From the gate near the top you can have a view of the entire north end of the valley, the Narrows, and some of the South End, as well, on a clear day.  It is one of my favorite drives.  A normal car or van can make it fine if you are careful and it is only about 4 miles up and up and up...Coming down you want to have good brakes :) .  The only way for a better view is from an airplane, IMO.  Once the gate was unlocked and we continued up to the actual towers, another 2 miles of "interesting" mountain road (not for the overly cautious) that is still drivable with normal vehicles.  The view from the very top by the towers is even more amazing.  Just something to consider doing before the dinner on Friday or after breakfast...

Keep in mind that even if the weather is good, coats and sweaters (and lots of bedding) would be nice after dark and early in the morning.  The camp fire feels really nice in the best of weather...When we were camping there a month ago there were no mosquitoes, so I don't expect any now, either, but they are a possibility.

People can stay longer, come earlier, or leave whenever they need to.  With our son playing Rugby with his college team in Alpine at a tournament, we will be leaving fairly soon after breakfast about 8 and will come back to get our tent and stuff later when it is dry.

Main thing...Come ready to get to know one another, both adults and children, and to have fun!  I find that camping is the best way to truly get to know others...Please call me at home 873-9111 (208 if using a cell phone) or my cell 307-880-9111 with questions or volunteering to bring stuff or you may email me, also...Looking forward to a fun weekend!  We won't be there until about 6 as we have dental appt in IF, but will get there as soon as possible when we get back.  We only live 3 1/2 miles from there and have friends even closer so if anything is forgotten we can run and get it...Laura

PS If you see anything I have forgotten, PLEASE email or call me...LL

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Field trip

Hi everyone!  I am working on a field trip to the Teton Raptor Center in Wilson, WY.  I need a head count of those who are intrested.  They have a strict limit of 30 people per session due to safety issues with the birds.  Sorry, I don't have a date.  We're at their mercy  for the date.  Please let me know ASAP if you are intrested in this.  Thanks!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Day

We had our first day of school today!  It was actually fairly smooth.  C had the new experience of using a computer program for his math.  He's using Switched On Schoolhouse for Algebra I.  Hopefully this will give me a little help where I need it too.  He will also be using SOS for English.  I'm having a hard time believing that I have a high schooler.

B and T picked up where we left off last June.  That helped keep things going smooth as there program, Heart of Dakota, is skill based rather than graded. 

I can say all my kids are officially in school now as K started Kindergarten.  She is so excited to have her own school books even though they are a little worn from previous use.

I hope each of you have a great time in your homeschool this year!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book It!

Here is the link for the Book It reading program from Pizza Hut. The deadline is September 1.

Back to school planning meeting

It's back to school season! We had a great turn out for our planning meeting. Thanks everyone! We have some fun activities planned for the upcoming school year. I'm excited to see growth in the group and it's fun to have new families joining!

Sara is in charge for the month of September. She will be getting details to everyone about an activity she is planning. Also, Laura is planning a camp out on the 7th and 8th. More details to come from her soon.

I'm excited to have this blog as a place to inform, support and inspire each other.

Star Valley Home Educators

Welcome to the blog of Star Valley Home Educators!