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Homeschool Days at LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Chicago

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Just step inside LEGOLAND Discovery Center and it’s like you have just jumped into the biggest box of LEGO bricks ever!  Journey through a medieval castle on the Dragon ride, pedal to the skies on the Technicycle, feel a part of the story in the 4D cinema, learn top LEGO building secrets from the Master Model builder, see iconic landmarks in MINILAND, make a celebration even more memorable in one of their special party rooms; and much more…’s the ultimate place for all LEGO fans–young and old!

A visit to LEGOLAND Discovery Center is the perfect place for the whole family to enjoy time together!  (Recommended ages: 3–10)

LEGOLAND Discovery Center (LDC) has designed Educational LEGO Workshops as an added bonus to homeschool field trips.  LDC workshops correspond directly to State Learning Standards and come complete with teacher’s notes and take home worksheets.  Your group will journey through an interactive LEGO world of color and creativity where interaction, learning and fun go hand in hand!

LDS offers a variety of Education Workshops throughout the school year, usually changing in the fall and spring.  Now through Mary 25, 2011, LCD is offering a free Pablo Picasso Workshop for homeschool families looking to schedule a trip.

The Pablo Picasso Workshop introduces students to the use of alternative artistic media, increases knowledge and appreciation for modern artwork both in and outside of Chicago, and uses arithmetic and geometry to introduce the concept of geometric scaling.  The workshop can be scaled or alternated to accommodate any age.

If you don’t live near Chicago, check to see if there is a LEGOLAND near you–because fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

En Garde!

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Why is the sport of fencing beneficial to children?  Fencing encourages/provides the following–

  • Fencing appeals to a child’s sense of play and does so in a non-violent manner.  Fencing is a safe sport when precautions are taken and safety gear is worn.
  • Fencing promotes discipline, self assurance, and responsibility.
  • Fencing increases focus and concentration, strategic thinking and decision making skills.
  • Fencing provides a great source of exercise–individuals can burn up to 380 calories in an hour of fencing.  Fencing is a solid  workout, and works the buttocks, stomach and thigh muscles, while also increasing the fencer’s stamina and coordination.
  • Fencing provides positive interactions with peers and adults.
  • Fencing is a source of college scholarships!  Many colleges and universities have either a NCAA program or a competitive club program.  Students from the Manhattan Fencing Center have been accepted to Stanford, Yale, Harvard and Vassar!

Quite a few fencing clubs have listings on our local homeschooling pages.  These fencing clubs are located in California, New Mexico, Louisiana, New York and New Jersey.

Fencing is fun–and fun learning is forever learning.

Ann Simpson

Farther vs. Further

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

When does one use the word “farther” and when does one use the word “further”?

Use “farther” for physical distance and “further” for figurative distance.  It’s easy to remember, because “farther” has the word “far” in it–and of course, “far” clearly relates to physical distance.

In addition….or furthermore……if you can replace the word “farther” with the words “more miles”, then you have made the right choice.  If you can replace the word “further” with a form of the word “additional” ( such as “additionally” or “in addition”), then again, you have made the right choice.

Remember, fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

One Year Adventure

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Hello! This is Rebecca Kochenderfer, Senior Editor of I admit it. I stole my son’s writing curriculum. Why should the kids get to have all the fun? I have all these great stories in my head, but my fiction writing skills are, let’s be kind, “not that strong”.  But I really want to write a novel, darnit. So I “borrowed” the writing course I bought for my son and I’m using it a little bit every day. I am having so much fun!

“The One Year Adventure Novel” is a brilliant DVD course designed for teens  who love to write and want to publish their own novel. You watch the DVD lesson (the teacher is excellent!) and then do the steps in the Workbook. By the end of the school year you will have written a complete, publishable novel. My son wrote a novel  for his senior project, printed copies of it on, and took the book with him on his  college interviews. The colleges loved  it and it was such a confidence-builder for him.

I can’t recommend this program enough. Just try to be a “good share-er” and let your kids use it too. The One-Year Adventure Novel is available at:

Colleges Nationwide Recruit Homeschool Grads

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Colleges Nationwide Recruit Homeschool Grads is the title of an article published at  This is a very interesting and encouraging article about how colleges are embracing homeschool students and actively recruiting homeschoolers into their programs.  And why not?   Homeschoolers tend to score exceptionally well on college entrance exams and homeschoolers have a reputation for being independent thinkers.

Homeschooling….a fun and wonderful educational experience…..and a great way to get into college!

And as always….fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

The 5 Love Languages

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Hello! This is Rebecca Kochenderfer, Senior Editor of I’ve just finished reading “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman and I have to tell you about it. The five love languages are: Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Physical Touch, Quality Time, and Acts of Service. For example, my husband’s love language (how he receives love and how he shows love) is Quality Time. So it means a lot to him if I keep him company when he runs errands. My youngest daughter’s love language is Gifts, so I make it a point to bring her little souvenirs from my trips to let her know I am thinking of her and to show her that she is loved. My oldest daughter’s love language is Physical Touch, so the family makes sure that we hug her a lot. I was at a friend’s house a while back and I noticed that she had special words in frames hung on her walls, words like “love” and “happiness”.  She also displayed on her bookshelves special cards that she had received from others. Bingo! Her love language is Words of Affirmation. So the best way I can show her my love is not to give her a gift (which I would normally do, because that is my love language), but instead, to write her a letter telling her how much she means to me. Get it?  I’m telling you, the idea of the five love languages is so simple, yet so profound. Now my husband knows  that gifts are important to me, not because I’m shallow or materialistic, but because that’s how I receive love (He’s reading this, right?). You have to read this book. It will bring your family closer together and will sweeten your marriage.  “The Five Love Languages” is available from libraries and from at:

The World’s 15 Most Extraordinary Homeschoolers

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Jeremy Alder from has written an article about homeschoolers entitled The World’s 15 Most Extraordinary Homeschoolers. From relatively unknown figures like the “mathematical origamist” Erik Demaine and disability rights activist and artist Sunaura Taylor, to global sports and entertainment superstars such as football quarterback Tim Tebow and the teen pop group The Jonas Brothers (including a link to’s recent interview with their mother!), the homeschoolers listed here include “geniuses and jocks, conservatives and progressives, fundamentalists and hippies, scientists and artists. They are rural and urban, American and international, abled and disabled, black, white, Asian and multiracial.”

“What all of the people on this list have in common is some level of participation in the homeschooling movement, ranging from a single year in the case of Condoleeza Rice, to the majority or entirety of their school career, as is the case with the majority of those listed.  Enjoy! And don’t forget to pass it along to your friends and family, especially those who need their assumptions about homeschoolers and homeschooling shaken up a little.”

And remember, fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

January 17th is Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed on the third Monday in January.  This is around the time of  Dr. King’s birthday,  January 15th.

If Martin Luther King Jr. Day is something you would like to incorporate into your homeschooling program, you might find the following links of interest–

Hope this information is both useful and inspiring!

Ann Simpson

Ellis Island

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Ellis Island opened in January 1892.  From 1892 until 1954, over twelve million immigrants entered the United States through Ellis Island.  Over 40% of all Americans can trace their roots to this site!

If you would like to teach about Ellis Island in your homeschooling endeavors, the following links will be of interest–

At,  your kids can perform a free search to determine if their ancestors came through Ellis Island.  If your family happens to be part  of the 40% of Americans with familial ties to the island, your kids will be excited to find names and details!

Exciting and fun–and as we all know, fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

Fun New Things

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:02 am

In keeping with New Year’s resolutions–and the creation of novel homeschool opportunities–what fun and interesting things are happening in your area in 2011?  To find out, check with your local museums, bowling alleys, skating rinks, playhouses, etc.   Many organizations have added homeschool classes to their yearly offerings!

For example–

  • The Schoolhouse Children’s Museum and Learning Center in Florida has a class in mid January called Uncovering the Everglades–which includes a pontoon boat excursion to Lake Okeechobee.
  • The French A La Carte School of French in Connecticut offers in-person and online customizable French instruction for grades K-12.  Parlez-vous Francais?
  • Many fencing clubs offer classes to kids as young as 5 years old (and yes–they are safe).  Did you know that numerous colleges offer fencing scholarships?  We have quite a few fencing clubs listed on our local homeschooling support pages….ones in New Mexico, California, New Jersey, New York and Louisiana.
  • Vinita’s Sewing School in Cerritos, California offers classes for budding fashion designers…and for first time sewers as well!
  • The Illinois Amish Museum offers a Meal in an Amish Home tour, a Buggy Shop tour, and much, much more.  Amish unit curriculum is available.

What fun new things are offered in your area?  Check them out–because fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

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