What Homeschoolers Need to Know about the Fall 2015 KLRN Virtual Classroom (a.k.a. #KLRNVirtual)

FREE Science Series for Homeschoolers | Fall 2015 | KLRN Virtual Classroom is funded by the Knight Foundation

Several weeks ago I mentioned that we were participating in a pilot project for homeschool families. It’s spearheaded by our local PBS affiliate, KLRN – San Antonio, and designed to better connect homeschool families nationwide with PBS educational materials.

It’s also completely free to participants, funded entirely by a large grant from the Knight Foundation. There’s no “catch.” It’s a service to the homeschool community, one that we hope will grow and expand as more homeschool families participate in the program.

There are several pieces to this project, including the Wednesdays @11 AM (CST) virtual classroom series. We’re participating in the current series (August 19 to September 23, 2015) about Earth Scienceand it’s not too late for you to join us!

The weekly series is ideal for elementary-aged kids as well as gifted preschoolers. Each session has a theme (ex. “Sun” is the topic for next week), and the KLRN staff recruits an “expert” to chat via text in real time on the OVEE platform while participants watch carefully selected video clips. The KLRN staff also moderates the discussion in real time to help the kids learn to engage with peers and elders online in a lively but respectful manner.

You can attend every session or just one. It’s up to you!

As eclectic homeschoolers (a family that draws from many learning resources and styles and presents material in a relaxed way), we’re using the current series as our science study for a few weeks. To supplement the lessons, I’ll be “strewing” (a term borrowed from the unschool community) other material relevant to that week’s topic in our kid’s path and his schedule.

If you’re more of a traditional “school-at-home” homeschooler, then you can either pair the topics up with your curriculum or just treat the series as a supplement.

Got a co-op, university model school, or other innovative learning community? Even charter schools can join in on the fun. Just sign up and tune in. (Larger groups may want to designate a “speaker” to ask questions.)

To sign up, just register for each session as it appears on OVEE. Mark it on your calendar but note that you’ll get an reminder from the OVEE team. Find out about this program at the last minute? You can just register with OVEE and join us.

Finally, because I work on this project on behalf of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum–and while wearing my new hat (GHF Ambassador), I am privy to some pretty exciting upcoming events this fall, including one phenomenal opportunity related to the rebroadcast of the classic Ken Burns documentary “The Civil War.”

Trust me when I say that you’re going to want to keep an eye out for announcements about special KLRN Virtual Classroom events. I’ll be talking about them via Twitter and on the How to Work and Homeschool Facebook page.

PBS Learning Media is a great resource for homeschool families. Come learn more about it and the KLRN Virtual Classroom project, too.

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{GHF Blog Hop} Book Excerpt: “Gifted, Bullied, Resilient”

Excerpt of Gifted, Bullied, and Resilient Pamela Price for RedWhiteandGrew.com

As part of the August 2015 GHF Blog Hop, I’m sharing an excerpt from the Gifted, Bullied, Resilient: A Brief Guide for Smart Families prologue. (Note, too, that NEXT WEEK over on Goodreads I’m hosting a giveaway of the book.)

Imagine you are a child standing on a playground behind your elementary school. It is the middle of recess on a warm spring day. You are a girl, eight or nine years of age.

While the other children scamper about and happily play on seesaws, swings, and the monkey bars, you are alone. Once again you are excluded by the same small group of girls, a pack that alternates between being your friends and your sworn enemies. You are unsure what you have done wrong this time, but they have made it clear that they do not like you.

One of them actually used those words earlier: “Hey, we don’t like you.”

They tell you that a lot. They also change the reasons why they do not like you.

Sometimes they say you talk too much.

Sometimes they say you think you are smarter than they are.

Other times they say that you dress funny or your hair is too curly and weird.

Occasionally, they decide that they do they like you. For a few days you enjoy the feeling of acceptance. Yet, it still feels awkward.

Some days you feel anger rise up and you spout off to the clique’s ringleader that you do not like the way they treat you and other kids. She mocks you openly. Once you became so frustrated with the perpetual cycle of your being liked/not liked/liked/not liked that you made a diagram illustrating the aggression cycle in the clique. You shared it with the girls in hopes of resolving the problem and working collaboratively on a solution.

That encounter did not go well. They called you “weird.” They rolled their eyes while pointing one finger at their temples and twisting their wrists to make loops in the air. Crazy.

You wept. You only wanted to help and you used your powers of observation and curiosity and your innate sense of social justice to come up with a plan. No one cared. You’re weird.

For you, school is a drag. You get frequent stomachaches from anxiety. They hurt so much you think you might die. Your chest hurts.

Your head hurts. You dread the bus ride to school and back. Decades later you will loathe the smell of burnt cinnamon rolls because it smells like the school cafeteria—where you experienced profound isolation and pain.

Most days when you get home from school, you are so worn out from the emotional gamesmanship that you overwhelm your mother by discharging words and feelings. You can tell that your frustration in turn makes her uncomfortable and angry. Together you feel powerless and overwhelmed.

As you may have guessed, the girl in this particular vignette was me–which explains at last why writing this book was so cathartic. (In case you’re wondering, the other vignettes in the prologue are composites.)

* * *

Explore More:

• If you’d like to purchase a copy of the book, click here for options. (Many, many thanks to those of you who have read the book and left reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads.)

• Speaking of Goodreads, fon’t forget that I’ll be starting a GIVEAWAY of Gifted, Bullied, Resilient on August 29. Be sure to follow me over there to get updates. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.

• Finally,  be sure to take a few minutes to read what other have to say on this important topic via today’s blog hop:

GHF August 2015 Blog Hop on BullyingHaving trouble with the link? Try this.


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