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Includes Tax Credit Scholarship Information, Upcoming Events, Homeschool Highlights and Concord Connection
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Granite State Home Educators March 2017 Newsletter

NH Tax Credit Scholarships

Scholarships are available to offset the cost of private school or home education expenses for qualifying families. Donations are an 85% tax deduction off NH business taxes.

Showcase your work!

Parents everywhere struggle to make sense of school papers. See ideas from homeschoolers and mom-bloggers to organize your student's portfolio.

Apply Now for Tax Credit Scholarships

New Hampshire families making up to 300% of the federal poverty level can apply for scholarships for the 2017-2018 school year for children ages 5-20 whom have not completed high school. 

This is a great opportunities for children switching into home education or private school, and is great for younger children who would otherwise enter public schools despite family preferences for a home or private education.

CSF-NH provides scholarships for New Hampshire students who are struggling in their current public school to allow them to attend a school that is a better fit for them and their learning needs. Scholarships are awarded to students based on the metrics in the Education Tax Credit law, financial need (income and family size), and funds raised for tuition for a NH private school (listed here) or for homeschooling expenses. Submitting an application is not a guarantee of an award. Families are notified if they are awarded scholarships.

These scholarships are funded by donations from individuals and businesses who receive an 85% tax credit against New Hampshire business taxes. 

Looking Forward

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).

Courses, Programs and Ongoing Events
  • Mondays 10-11am 4/10, 4/17, 5/1, 5/8: Compass of Writing at Peabody Mills Environmental Center in Amherst for ages 10-14. $50 resident/$55 non-resident. 
  • Mondays 10:30-11:30am: Homeschool PE class is 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.
  • Mondays 11am-12:30pm: Weekly Social/Play Group at Crossing Life Church in Windham. Come join other families for the FREE weekly play group/social group. Please remember to pack a lunch as we all enjoy lunch together afterwards. This is geared towards 4 to 10 year olds.
  • Mondays 1-4pm 4/3-5/1: Strawbery Banke Homeschool Class Colonial Arts & Artisans. Ages 8+ 5 Classes: $100 Member/$125 Non-member
    Per Day: $25 Member/$30 Non-Member
  • Mondays 1-4pm 4/3-5/22: Strawbery Banke Homeschool Class Jr. Roleplayers: Life in the New Republic. Ages 12+ $175 Member/$210 Non-member 
  • Tuesdays 9:30-11:30am & 12:30-2:30pm: Rye Airfield Skate Park and BMX Track in Rye offers Tuesday Pre-K (9:30-11:30, $5/family) and Homeschooler/Pre-K (12:30-2:30, $5/person) sessions when regular school is in session for NH/MA/ME. 
  • Tuesdays 10am-2pm: Little Friends Homeschool Co-op (ages 2-5) in Nashua
  • Every other Wednesday 10-11:30 (4/5, 4/19, 5/3, 5/17, 6/7): NH Audubon Homeschool Science Classes at Massabesic Center in Auburn. Classes are for ages 7-12 with basic reading a writing skills. Parents are encouraged to stay and participate, please dress to be outside. Cost per class $12 member/$15 non-member per child/parent pair.
    Preschool classes, with different curriculum, are available at the same time and pricing for ages 4-6.
  • Wednesdays 9-11am and Thursdays 1-3pm: The Nature Cottage at Tanglewood Hollow in Pembroke offers a nature-based parent & child (ages 2-7) programs Wednesday mornings from 9-11am and Tinker Classes (ages 3-8) Thursday afternoons from 1-3pm. Prices per child are $20 for 2 classes a month, $40 for 4/mo and $60 for unlimited classes per month.
  • Thursdays 2-3:30pm Hampstead Homeschool Gym at the Hampstead Veterans Memorial Gym at 2 West Rd. $5 per family donation, all ages welcome with ages 5-14 often represented.
  • Fridays 1-2:30pm: Beth Asaff is holding a 6 week art class for homeschoolers at her home in Derry beginning 4/7 at a cost of $50/student for materials. During the one hour art class, students will plan and execute a multi-panel work that will piece together, and class is followed by a half hour play session in the backyard. This is a good class for kids that love to create, kids that are ready to take on a large scale project, or kids that want to learn more about composition and planning in art. Please contact Beth through the Facebook post above if you are interested.
  • Fridays 12:30-2:30pm through 4/28: Home School Skating at Plymouth State University Arena. $7 admission & skate rental. $4 admission only. Free for skaters 4 & under. 

One Time Events
  • Thurs. 3/30 9:30am or noon: The Wizard of Oz performed by third through eighth graders including some homeschoolers at the Janice B Streeter Theatre in Nashua. Discounted homeschool tickets ($7) available by emailing jenn_shell@yahoo.com or visit actorsingers.org for weekend tickets.
  • 3/31-4/9: Yours, Anne is a musical based upon Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and approved of by her father Otto Frank, performed by the Manchester Community Theatre. March 31st, April 1st, April 7th, April 8th at 7:30 PM and April 2nd and April 9th at 2:00 PM. 
  • Thurs. 4/6 10-11:30: Squam Lakes Natural Science Center Homeschool Program. Ages 4-6 Turtles, Ages 7-10 Ecosystems. Cost: $9/member child per session; $11/non-member child per session. An adult must participate with children at no additional cost. Each additional adult pays child fee. To register for Homeschool Series programs, please call 603-968-7194.
  • Sat. 4/8 11am-12:30pm: Teen Job Skills Workshop at Hampstead Public Library. Through a combination of presentation and hands on activities, you'll learn where to apply, how to apply, how to rock the interview, and how to be a star employee once you get the job. Call the library, stop by, or email dvancuren@hampsteadlibrary.org to reserve a spot!
  • Tues. 4/11 9am-3pm: Classical Conversations Open House at Grace Community Church in Spofford NH. Come experience first-hand a dynamic Classical Conversations community day.   
  • Thurs. 4/13 1:30-3: McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center Homeschool Program. Theme: Planetary Atmospheres.
    Separate courses for Grades 1-4 and 5-8, Grades 9-12 possible with sufficient interest. $15/student, $10/add'l student per family, chaperones free. Optional related planetarium show after the workshop for $5. 
  • Tues. 4/18 10am & 1pm: Discover Series Homeschool Classes Explore Bali! at the Mariposa Museum of World Cultures in Peterborough. Non-members pay $6 per person including children three and over. 
  • Tues. 4/18 - Thurs. 4/20: Stanford 10 Testing hosted by WeAre Home Educators. Younger students are typically two days plus a third day if needed. Older students are three days.
  • Sat. 4/22 9am-1pm: WeAre Home Educators annual book sale at 15 Twin Bridge Road, Weare.
  • 4/24-4/29: Palace Youth Theater Vacation Camps Disney Aladdin Kids: Camp April 24 - April 28, 2017. Performance April 29th. Information and registration forms available at the included links.
  • Thurs. 4/27 10am: Discover Series Homeschool Classes Explore Eqypt! at the Mariposa Museum of World Cultures in Peterborough. Ages 11-17, $6/non member. 
  • 4/27-4/29: MassHOPE's 28th Annual Christian Homeschool and Family Discipleship Convention. The children's program fills up quickly, so early registration is key. Lot's of families make a "thing" and get a hotel for one night. Never disappoints! Even if you are not a Christian educator, there is much to be gained from attendance. Both the workshops for continuing education and the expo hall are amazing.
  • Mon. 5/1, 5/8, 5/15: Natural Explorations at Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, VT. In this three-part series we’ll explore insects, plants, and various natural processes such as decomposition and energy cycles. The class includes explorations, observations, and investigations both indoors and outdoors. We will also use several types of microscopes and other tools to observe our world up close. Ages 6-8 10:30am-noon; ages 9-12 1-2:3 pm. Members $70; non-members $77 limit 14 children. Preregistration required
  • Mon. 5/1: HSLDA Poetry Contest entry deadline. Membership is not required to enter.
  • Wed. 5/3 10-5: Homeschool Day: Digging into History at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, NH. .
  • Fri. 5/19 9-4: YMCA Camp Lincoln Homeschool Jamboree. YMCA Camp Lincoln celebrates each season with a Home School Jamboree. Seasonal-based activities will keep your kids busy throughout the day. Jamborees are held from 9 am to 4 pm and are open to the entire family. An optional lunch is available for an additional cost. Cost is $15/student with discounts offered for family of three or more students. The optional lunch is $6 per person. Advance registration is required. 
  • Sat. 5/20 @ noon: Start creating your "Out of This World" craft or work of art to showcase in the annual Children and the Arts Parade with Monadnock area homeschoolers. All homeschoolers are welcome.
  • 6/26-6/30: Camp Invention at Weston School in Manchester is open to children entering kindergarten through grade six from all schooling backgrounds. Early registration discounts are available so don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity. Visit campinvention.org or call 800.968.4332 for information.
  • University of Vermont Pre-College Programs. Options include on campus or online courses in English, languages, math, science and the arts. A four week "Health & Medicine" Summer Academy combines two weeks on campus and two weeks online to expose students to modern medicine and bioscience.

Homeschool Highlights

Plan Now for Traditional Summer Activities
For those who stick to a traditional school year, now is the time to plan for traditional summer activities. Some camps and programs for summer break may already be full, but there should still be many options available. Summer schedules should be widely available now that it is the end of March, and many parents of traditionally schooled children are putting in their summer work vacation requests. Consider making plans for summer now, even if those plans are to lay low and hit the local playground at every opportunity. 

Year End Assessments 

Last month the GSHE newsletter discussed testing early. For those with a more traditional calendar, acting now can let you make arrangements before testing companies get busy in April, May and June, which can cause delays of materials and results. If you plan to administer a year-end assessment, order early! WeAre Home Educators is hosting a Stanford 10 Testing session April 18-20. 

For more resources, please see the Granite State Home Educators' Testing and Evaluations page.

Year end assessments aren't just for our students. Is there anything you would like to do differently next year? Is there anything that is working well that you want to replicate? Now is a great time to make note of your experiences as a home educator and start making plans for how you plan to shape the next school year.

How Do You Organize Student Work?
New Hampshire requires a list of books read and a portfolio of work to be kept for two years after instruction ends, although the rules are light on specifics. Having a portfolio of work that demonstrates mastery, progress, and pride of accomplishment is a wonderful idea for everyone, particularly if parents opt for a teacher evaluation for year-end assessment. 

http://granitestatehomeeducators.org/where-to-begin/

Many evaluators want to see progress in the various subject areas taught throughout the year. This can be accomplished with work samples, photographs, blog posts, fine art masterpieces, or other examples of activities taken at different times.
 
There are many ways to showcase this work. Moms of traditionally schooled students are often overwhelmed with the volume of paper that comes home each day. While home educated students may not have as many worksheets, we can take ideas from mom-blogs to make sense of our students' work. 

Lisa Woodruff from organize365.com is a scrapbooker, and has created binders to showcase the work of her children. Lisa is a professional organizer, and she shares in this post how she helps clients choose which papers to keep and how to organize them. Jennifer Jones from iheartorganizing.com (and a regularly featured expert in women's print magazines) moved from binders to a file box system to hold the best work of her boys. She offers cute free printables to go along with her system. For a more homeschool-centric look at portfolio options, check out this compilation post on Sweet Phenomena but don't let the stringent requirements of other states get you down.

Concord Connections

The NH legislature is considering an Education Savings Account (ESA) proposal, Senate Bill 193, that would greatly expand educational options for many families. ESAs are funds that children receive to a designated account that are used for specified educational purposes. Approved uses often include school tuition, online educational programs, tutoring, textbooks, AP classes, assessments, and other education-related fees. Currently five states offer ESA programs and each is a little different regarding approved uses, eligibility, administration, accountability mechanisms, and funding. The two most established programs show tremendous success and parent satisfaction. ESAs have withstood constitutional challenges and enrollment is optional. 

Read more at the GSHE website.

 

Copyright © 2017 Granite State Home Educators, All rights reserved.


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