Includes December 2016 Highlights, Upcoming Events, Homeschool Highlights and Concord Connection
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Granite State Home Educators January 2017 Newsletter

NH Nat'l School Choice Week Event Tuesday January 24: 4pm

RSVP Today! Full invitation below.

Get Involved on Facebook!

The GSHE Facebook community continues to grow. Watch the page for articles, ideas, and opportunities to meet up with like-minded families!

Best of December 2016

Thank you to all GSHE members, who are helping the GSHE community grow into a wonderful support system for all NH homeshoolers. Sharing GSHE with friends and family will ensure continued growth for the benefit of all members, far and wide! 

For many, December means friends, family, food and faith. These events can take the emphasis off new educational topics in our curriculum and provide a well needed reset. GSHE hopes that December brought connection and joy to your life. 

As we move into the new year, the GSHE Facebook group will continue to share opportunities for one time or ongoing events for homeschoolers. Some, like the Children and the Arts Homeschool Parade, have significant lead time while others are last minute notifications. As the community grows, more and more people are reaching out for more casual connections with homeschoolers in their area. Please keep sharing events, ideas and questions! Granite State Home Educators is here to support and empower parents who wish to actively direct their children's education through homeschooling. Our Facebook group is an interactive place for home educators to share educational and fun events, ask questions, and generally come together as a community.

Granite State Home Educators invites you to join us to celebrate National School Choice Week 2017!

Special Guest: Governor-elect Chris Sununu
When: Tuesday, January 24th at 4pm
Where: Currier Museum of Art, 150 Ash Street, Manchester, NH
Hosted by: Granite State Home Educators, Children's Scholarship Fund New Hampshire, School Choice for NH, NH Alliance for Public Charter Schools, NH Catholic Schools Diocese of Manchester, and National School Choice Week.

Cost: Free! RSVP at this link for tickets.

Please join Granite State Home Educators at the School Choice Week Celebration! Granite State Home Educators, partnered with Children's Scholarship Fund New Hampshire, School Choice for NH, NH Alliance for Public Charter Schools, NH Catholic Schools Diocese of Manchester, and National School Choice Week (NSCW), invites you to celebrate NSCW at the Currier Museum in Manchester on Tuesday, January 24th at 4:00pm.

This major NSCW event will be attended by charter schools, homeschoolers, private schools, online schools, parents, and school and community leaders. Special guest Governor Chris Sununu will be joining us to speak about school choice in New Hampshire!

We are so excited to celebrate school choice in the Granite State! By participating in National School Choice 2017, you will join hundreds of organizations, thousands of groups, and millions of Americans in raising awareness concerning the need to empower parents with the ability to choose the best educational environments for their children.

GSHE and School Choice for NH will present a short video highlighting how home educated students have New Hampshire and the world as their classroom and it will later be posted to YouTube!

We hope you can join us at this celebration -- this is the first time a home education group will participate in New Hampshire's event!

Looking Forward

Courses, Programs and Ongoing Events
  • Gym-Ken Gymnastics in Windham is offering a new homeschooler-focused gymnastics class on Thursdays from 11:15-12:15. The 10 week session begins January 26th and costs $175, plus an annual $30 registration fee.
  • Discover Series Homeschool Classes (ages 13-17) at the Mariposa Museum of World Cultures in Peterborough will explore one country a month. 1/26 @10am Discover Israel! 2/23 @10am Discover Japan! 3/23 @10am Discover Mongolia! 4/27 @ 10am Discover Egypt! 
  • Amherst Parks & Recreation's Artist's Notebook for Homeschoolers (grade 5/age 10+) will be held Thursday March 9th-30th from 1-2:30. $60 for residents, $65 non-resident. Materials extra.
  • Mousetrap Car engineering mini-course @ the SEE Science Center Tuesdays Jan 24th - Feb 14th, 3:30-5:30 for grades 5-8. $120/$100 members.
  • Edventure Builder Game Design Course @ the SEE Science Center, Feb 27th - Mar 3rd, 9:00-3:30, for grades 6-8. $100
  • Registration is open for "Thrive Outdoors Survival Basics for Everyday" for April 10, 17, 24, 29. The first three sessions will be held in Derry, with the final Adventure Day at a different location. The cost for the month-long program is $90, with seasonal or annual discounts available. This course teaches wilderness survival and emergency preparedness in a way that ties the skills in to everyday experiences, interactions with other and the world. Ages 8-18.
  • Mosaic Explore is a homeschool educational enrichment program that offers homeschool families in the NH and MA area an array of high quality, extracurricular and enrichment classes meant to supplement the core academic instruction at home. From the Program Director, Cristina Drondoe; "We put a lot of effort in creating a welcoming and friendly environment where homeschool students can learn, make friends and develop a sense of community. In doing so we are collaborating with highly qualified instructors who teach multiple levels of interesting, experiential classes in science, technology, languages, leadership development, theater, history and world culture, art, software engineering, Model UN and more". 
    Mosaic Explore is split into 7-week quarters that run from September through April. This year's final quarter is scheduled to begin on March 22nd.   
    There are also monthly dance evenings for tween and teen homeschool students. Our next dance event is the Yule Ball, on January 27th. To find out more and register go to
    For further information or to register for classes, please visit Mosaic Explore on-line or contact the Program Director, Cristina Drondoe, at "Like" Mosaic on Facebook.
  • A weekly Homeschool PE class is held Mondays from 10:30-11:30 at the Exeter YMCA with two age groups (6-9 and 10+), though parents are free to choose which group fits their child best. $5 drop-in fee (max $10/family) per session, free to Exeter Area YMCA members.
  • Solid Rock Homeschool Adventures meets Wednesdays in Franklin from 8:30-2:30 and offers classes for K-12. There is no fee to join, and class fees cover only the cost of materials. There are a wide variety of programs offered within the program, including mutual support in the adventure of homeschooling. The semester starts today, Wednesday January 18th. Contact Bobbie at 455-7242 to sign up.
  • Let's Play Music & Make Art in Derry offers Home School Music Lessons for children on many different instruments. Several of their teachers come in as early as 10:30am, and lesson schedule is easy and flexible with respect to home school students. They offer lessons on many instruments including piano, guitar, voice, violin, drums, woodwinds and brass with the goal of making music fun and exciting so that students practice. Let's Play Music offers recitals, rock band programs, and other creative outlets for students that make learning fun.
  • Palace Youth Theater Vacation Camps are coming up. Annie Kids: February 27 - March 3, 2017. Performance March 4th.  Disney Aladdin Kids: April 24 - April 28, 2017. Performance April 29th. Information and registration forms available at the included links.

One Time Events Possible Events
  • Creative Art Event - Tuesday, January 31st from 1:00-3:00  
    A wheel-throwing event is in the works! Wheel-throw, also known as a "potter's wheel", is used to manually shape clay. This is a one-time class which will take place at Studio 550 Art Center on Elm Street in Manchester. The class is best for students 8+.

    The cost is $30 per student for the 90 minute class, which will include unlimited use of materials, one piece "finished and fired" at the end of the session for the child to keep. Students can create as many pieces as they wish during the workshop, and pick glaze colors for those they wish to take home at an additional cost of $5/per additional piece. 

    Pre-registration and payment are required to hold a space. The class can accommodate 8 students but additional classes will be scheduled if needed. To register, or if you would like more information, please send Lauren an email:

    Studio 550 Art Center is also offering homechool art sessions. Additional information to follow.

Many more events can be found on the GSHE Facebook group! Turn on your notifications and stay up-to-date on the latest news and event postings! (Due to space and time-constraints, some events and news are not included in our newsletter)

Homeschool Highlights

Smart Goal Setting with Kids
January is here, and with it is a renewed focus on goal setting. Harness this desire and work with your kids to develop better goal setting skills. 

"Kids who set goals are more likely to focus on what they want. They learn to plan for the results they hope to see. As they reach their goals, they gain confidence in the fact that they can do the hard things." Tara Mitchell writes that "SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. Looking at a goal through these parameters can be the difference between achieving the goal or not." For the full article on helping your children with goal-setting, including free and printable planning worksheets, visit Weird Unsocialized Homechoolers.

Junior Ranger Programs

Whether you are traveling this winter, or enjoying a warmer winter day exploring the Freedom Trail in Boston, the Junior Ranger program can enhance your family's educational experience at National Parks. New Hampshire locations include the Appalachian Trail and the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site and there are a large number of Parks in Massachusetts.

"Explore, Learn, and Protect!" The Junior Ranger motto is recited by children around the country; each taking an oath of their own to protect parks, continue to learn about parks, and share their own ranger story with friends and family.

The NPS Junior Ranger program is an activity based program conducted in almost all parks, and some Junior Ranger programs are national. Many national parks offer young visitors the opportunity to join the National Park Service "family" as Junior Rangers. Interested youth complete a series of activities during a park visit, share their answers with a park ranger, and receive an official Junior Ranger patch and Junior Ranger certificate. Junior Rangers are typically between the ages of 5 to 13, although people of all ages can participate.

Homeschooling Methods – 

Continued from the Granite State Home Educator's Homeschool Highlights December 2016 Newsletter


“Some children prefer structure and learn best when they are told what to do, others learn best on their own. Some children do their best work around the kitchen table, and others excel when they are out of doors. The goal for the homeschooling parents is to identify how, when, and what their child learns best and to adapt their teaching style to their child.” []


Multiple Intelligences 

Multiple intelligences, as originally theorized by Howard Gardner, is a shift from the traditional view of learning. According to Moving Beyond the Page; Working through a Child's Strength: “Today's children will not thrive by simply mastering literacy and mathematics; they will need to be real-world problem solvers who understand how to access and manipulate all kinds of information in order to be productive. The multiple intelligences theory provides us with the tools to meet this challenge today.” Multiple Intelligence includes:

  • Linguistic intelligence ("word smart"): 
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence ("number/reasoning smart") 
  • Spatial intelligence ("picture smart") 
  • Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence ("body smart") 
  • Musical intelligence ("music smart") 
  • Interpersonal intelligence ("people smart") 
  • Intrapersonal intelligence ("self smart") 
  • Naturalist intelligence ("nature smart") 

Robinson Method

This homeschool approach is entirely based upon Dr. Art Robinson's concept of self-teaching. The emphasis of this approach is in teaching a child good study habits and the provision of quality learning materials. The ultimate objective of the Robinson Method is the child learning to learn. It is interesting to note a large percentage of families this method are those who have been homeschooling for a long time. For a clear understanding of the Robinson Method, please visit The Robinson Curriculum.


Principle Approach®  

The Principle Approach is the all-encompassing Biblical method of education which can be compared to the method followed in the Founding era and it is said to be effective in today's world just as it was then. According to the Foundation for American Christian Education, “The Principle Approach has been called reflective teaching and learning. It is America’s historic method of Biblical reasoning which places the Truths (or principles) of God’s Word at the heart of education.” The two websites listed below offer in-depth information about the Principle Approach: and



And the internet! This rapidly growing method of learning is now a feasible and sometimes popular approach for many homeschooling families, whether for one topic or class or several. From music and art to math and the sciences, all courses of study are “out” there. Many offer grading and transcript services as well as placement help. While we are all familiar with this option, the vastness of the on-line world of classes can be overwhelming. Word-of-mouth can be helpful when researching on-line programs and many of the learning websites have student and parent reviews. While many on-line classes are free of charge, some can be quite costly. It is advisable to research any company standings that require payment for any prolonged program. Be sure to check refund policies and guarantees. For some e-learning ideas, here are a few to get you started in your research: Global Student Network;; HSLDA; Veritas Press; k12; Time4Learning; Keystone; Kahn Academy

Concord Connections

School Choice For New Hampshire provides a comprehensive source for how to track a bill and the process by which a bill may become a law. It is specific for tracking education legislation, but the basic information may be used for any issue.

All bills are posted on the General Court website. This is the main portal for all information on the legislature. There are more links, but these are the primary ones.

Attending committee meetings is one of the biggest ways to make an impact on legislation. All bills are given a hearing at the committee meetings, and this is the opportunity for the public to speak. Committees are usually very friendly when citizens testify.

The House Education Committee meets in room 207 of the Legislative Office Building, and the Senate Education Committee meets in room 103. Occasionally they relocate to a larger room; if they do, a note will be posted on the door. A table is near the front of the room where you can find that day’s bills and sign-in sheets where you may indicate if you support or oppose the bill, and if you wish to speak. The committees appreciate having written testimony provided, but it is not required.

Even if you are unable to attend the committee meeting, you can still make a difference. Phone calls are most effective, but emails are helpful.

Member lists for the Senate and House committees can be found here. The House Education Committee has a shared email - - while the Senate Education Committee does not.

Sometimes committees will have work sessions to further study a bill or several if they pertain to the same issue. Some work groups allow the public to comment. Lobbyists and representatives of state agencies are there and provide information to legislators. This is another reason why it can be very important to attend and follow the progress of these bills.

When committees complete their meetings, they hold executive sessions. The public may attend, but is not given the opportunity speak. This is the stage when the committees finalize discussion of the bills and vote. An Inexpedient to Legislate (ITL) recommendation means that they oppose the bill. An Ought to Pass (OTP) recommendation means they support the bill. Executive sessions are very helpful to find out what each legislator thinks and note their individual votes. Sometimes this is the only way to get an individual legislator on record.

Typically bills advance to the entire House or Senate the following week for a full vote. This is the stage when it is important to contact your Representative or Senator about the particular bills you are tracking. Legislators often do not hear from constituents so a brief phone call or email can be very effective. Sometimes there is a roll call vote that notes every legislator’s vote on the bill or amendment. This is far more common in the House than the Senate. Roll call votes are very helpful in holding our representatives accountable. A couple different organizations use this information to issue ratings or score cards, a particularly useful tool during elections.

If a bill passes, it will advance to the other legislative body during “cross over” in March. The process is then repeated. If a bill passes both legislative chambers, the bill will be finalized in the Committees of Conference which will reconcile any differences in the bill between both bodies. Then it will go before the Governor who may allow it to pass into law with or without his signature, or he may veto it. The House and Senate may choose to challenge a veto, but they require a two-thirds vote in each body to overturn the veto.

For more information about this process, refer to the state Almanac.

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