Monday, November 10, 2014

Fall Fun at Binder Park

Getting ready for the hayride
We had beautiful weather for our Jefferson City Parks and Rec hayride and bonfire at Binder Park last Wednesday. We roasted hot dogs, veggies, and marshmallows over a bonfire. The kids had an awesome time playing in the field and in the trees. Who needs play equipment?

--by Evie M.

A very burnt marshmallow.

Playing catch.

Playing in the trees.

Roasting away.

Fischer Farms Fun!

Hayride at Fischer Farms.

We had a great turn out for our annual trip to Fischer Farms, held on Oct. 23 this year. The hayride took us to the pumpkin patch to select our pie pumpkins and gourds. Then it was playtime in the corn box, hay-bale maze, corn maze, and the new Cotton House. We also enjoyed seeing the animals. Thank you Fischer Farms for a great field trip!

--by Evie M.


Watch out!

Some of our kids in front of the corn maze.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Helping out The Pantry

Brothers packaging oatmeal.
The Pantry is a new food pantry in Jefferson City where anyone who needs food can go without having to fill out any paperwork or meet any requirements. If you need food, come get it! The Pantry distributes real ingredients and recipes to those in need so they can prepare nutritious meals (instead of just handing them a prepackaged boxed meal).

On Oct. 20 we helped The Pantry package up ingredients for their October distribution day. We made up packets of oatmeal, grits, dried beans, homemade biscuit mix, rice, and seasonings. The Pantry has a simple menu of meals to choose from: homemade family-size chicken pot pie, white chicken chili, red beans and rice, chicken with rice and vegetables, and more. In some meals, people even get to select which seasonings they want, including Italian garlic, curry, Mexican, and lemon-pepper. Breakfast options include oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, grits, and homemade biscuits.

Pantry volunteer Kolbi W. organized our group's work party. Later that day she wrote, "Our realistic projections for October are to serve 84 families and 260 people. . . . To serve those 260 people, we estimate using 77 pounds of rice, 54 pounds of pasta, 70 pounds of beans, 432 pounds of chicken, 198 pounds of vegetables, and 250 seasoning packs and you guys packed a good deal of that today! Thank you!"

We look forward to helping The Pantry on a regular basis. Please check out their blog to learn more.

--by Evie M.
Packaging seasonings.

Mom and son packaging rice.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Making Dolls

Art Club members get down to creating their dolls.
It was all about dolls for Art Club on Oct. 16. Christine showed us how to use wire, string, and wooden beads to make dolls. We bent the wire into shape and wrapped clothes onto them, then hot glued a wooden bead to the top for a head, and added hair to complete the doll.

--by Evie M.

Dressing a doll.

A completed doll.

. . . and another one.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Danger: Geologist at Work!

Mr. Schroer
Our Science Club held it’s September meeting at Niekamp Park after one of JCSHG's Park Days. The purpose of the meeting was to expose members to one of many careers in science and nature. Tony Schroer, a registered geologist, talked to the group about a career in geology.
Schroer began by discussing different careers in geology and the schooling needed for each one. He talked about the ones most associated with geology in our culture, such as a volcanologist and paleontologist. He the discussed other types of geologists, from a petroleum geologist to a hydrogeologist, and what they each do on a daily basis. The group had a spirited discussion about seismologists and tectonic plates in our state. They also talked about the formation of volcanoes and how earthquakes occur. ​
Schroer also gave an example of one of the things he does on a daily basis, water remediation. The kids helped him create a water experiment that showed the effects of a pollutant spill on the water table. He then discussed the ways to clean up a spill and how wells are used to monitor the water quality in areas that have been affected by pollutants. They did this by adding water to a clear tub layered with rock and sand with tubes (wells) running from the bottom of the tub to the top. Schroer then introduced the “pollutant,” a black colored dish detergent. The group witnessed how the pollutant spread through the water and got drawn into the drinking-water "wells." He then went on to describe water testing and clean up of affected areas. Some of the members then enjoyed using the “wells” to blow bubbles after the experiment.
Finally, Schroer answered questions and helped identify rocks brought in by members. This led to a great discussion on types of rocks and minerals found in Missouri and how to locate to find them.
--by Billie S. 
Playing geologist

Friday, October 3, 2014

Manga Mayhem!

Chris presents the history of anime.
This last month, for the first time, our Art Club was lead by one of our students. At the Sept. 18 meeting Chris shared his passion for manga by giving a history of the art form and showing examples. He also demonstrated his skill for drawing anime. Members then passed around books for everyone to try his or her hand at it.
--by Evie M.
Chris draws anime.

Drawing manga.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Union Station Field Trip: King Tut and Science City

Some of our group outside the King Tut exhibit at Union Station.
On September 5, nine of our families (33 people) took a field trip to Union Station in Kansas City, Mo. In the morning, we viewed The Discovery of King Tut exhibit where we watched a film about the discovery of his tomb and then we got to look at and learn about the artifacts they found. So many interesting things to see. We had lunch together and then spent the afternoon at Science City.  There were lots of fun, hands-on things to do. The staff at Union Station were very good to us and I think everyone had a fantastic time. Thank you, Colton's Steakhouse, for making this trip possible!

by Evie M.

Astronaut training at Science City.

Checking out one of the 21 different illusions at Mr. E Hotel in Science City.

Riding the Skybike at Science City.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Member Writes Article for an Unschooling Magazine

Tabitha with the magazine issue.
The September-October 2014 issue of Home Education Magazine (Supporting. Celebrating. Loving the vibrant life that is unschooling.) includes an article written by Tabitha H. The magazine's website says "(one) mother tells of the unpredictable changes that took place when she and her two small daughters chose to take a trip that required they each walk 15-20 miles per day!"

Tabitha's article is "My Journey to Change" and is an account of her and her daughters' experiences and thoughts on the pilgrimage to San Juan de Los Lagos, Mexico.

Tabitha answered a few questions for us about the article.

JCSHG: What prompted you to write this article and submit it for publication?
Tabitha: Well, when I thought about writing for Home Education Magazine we had recently completed the pilgrimage. I have found the stories of the other home- and unschooling families so inspiring. The diversity and excitement that they share is wonderfully uplifting, not so much for me to do what they do, but to fill our lives with fun and excitement. I had already written for a publisher a few times, primarily in the book Real Lives: Eleven Teenagers Who Don't Go to School Tell Their Own Stories. I submitted this idea as an article in the hopes that it would be a unique and inspiring story for others.
JCSHG: What do you hope this article does for those who read it?
Tabitha: I hope that it is exciting! I hope it inspires them to go for the experiences that would feel enriching in their lives!

JCSHG: What was your reaction when you first saw the article in its final/printed form?
Tabitha: Wow! I was so impressed with the presentation! Much more excited then I even thought I would be! I just want to share it with everyone!

JCSHG: Do you have any plans for future articles for this publication or other homeschooling publications?
Tabitha: No exact plans at this time. But I have some ideas for articles I might write. Writing is creative for me so I need to be deeply inspired to have the words and ideas come together. If I do write another article, I will let you know about it!

Congratulations to Tabitha on her article's publication! We hope to see more of her work in print in the future.

--photos by Evie M.

The article is titled "My Journey to Change."

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Apples & Alpacas

Checking out the ducks and geese.
Ducks, geese, beehives, apples and alpacas! Yes, we did it all during our August 28 field trip to Apples & Alpacas in Mexico, Missouri. We saw several breeds of ducks and geese and learned some of the stories about how they came to reside at the farm. Next, we learned a little about bee keeping. Then it was on to apple picking! The kids were each allowed to pick apples to bring home. We then got to meet the alpacas and see some of the products made from alpaca fiber. The farm was lovely. A big thank you to Mrs. Binder for showing us around!

--by Evie M.

Picking Gala apples.

Meeting an alpaca.

Mrs. Binder explaining how her alpaca fiber becomes various products.

Family Picnic Time!

Last Sunday we celebrated JCSHG's third year of existence with our 3rd Annual Family Picnic. Twenty-nine of our members, representing seven families, enjoyed a beautiful, though plenty warm, afternoon of good food and fellowship at Niekamp Park in St. Martins. The kids enjoyed playing with hula hoops and participating in a water relay race. Much water was dumped on each other to help stay cool and at least one adult got in on the fun. We look forward to next year's picnic!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Guest Artist Brings Pastels to Life

Garry instructs student on adding highlights to make the apple look three-dimensional.

August's Art Club brought us a special treat. Guest artist Garry McMichael travelled from St. Louis to show us how to paint with pastels on Aug. 21. Students began by creating a color wheel to help them understand how to blend the colors. Next, each student picked out a banana and one other piece of fruit (apple, pear, or orange). They learned that by using shading techniques with different colors their pictures can look three-dimensional. Everyone had a great time and we wish he could join us for every Art Club. Thank you, Garry!

--by Evie M.

Student works on blending the pastels.

Another student works on her piece.

Our students with their artwork.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Lines, lines, lines . . .

Art Club met on July 24 to learn about one of the elements of art--line.  Members did four projects using different kinds of lines. The most fun was had with the pieces of paper that already had a couple of different kinds of lines drawn on them and the kids had to make a picture out of what was already on the paper.  It was great to see what different imaginations did with the same set of lines.

--by Evie M.

Members working on their projects.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Salute to America

Walking the route.
JCSHG made its first parade appearance at the Salute to America parade in Jefferson City, Mo., on July 3. Twenty-three members, representing five families, walked the parade route and handed out candy. The kids really seemed to enjoy themselves and we plan to do it again next year. Thanks to all who participated this year!

--photos by Evie M.

Passing out candy.

Check out all those JCSHG shirts!

Our parade walkers.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Nature Art at the Park

Work in progress.

The JCSHG Art Club met at the park on Thursday to learn about and explore nature art. Members began by discussing what nature art meant to each of them. Some examples of nature art they shared were creating beautiful sketches, paintings, and sculptures inspired by art and making art with objects found in nature. Then they had the chance to create some nature art themselves.
Hammering a print.
There were several stations set up around the park to explore. At one station they made “real” leaf prints by placing leaves found at the park on paper then putting a paper towel over the lead and hitting it (gently or not) with a hammer to get a print. Many of the children experimented with leaves, clover, and other plants. At another station, sketch paper, charcoal, colored chalks, and pencils were provided for nature-inspired drawings. The favorite station of the day, however, was the painting and collage table. There were several paints for the kids to use to make prints with natural materials and glue to make collages. Some of them even painted rocks and arranged them in the rock area to create lovely temporary art.
Nature drawing.
At the end of the meeting the members shared their art with their friends then discussed ideas for future Art Club meetings. Everyone is looking forward to future Art Club meetings to learn about and create new art.
Temporary art: A flower.

Creative juices flowing.
--by Billie S.
--photos by Evie M.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Introducing Art Club!

Some of the string art our kids created.

Art Club is off and running. We had our first meeting on May 22 where we learned a little history about string art and then we made our own. Any member of JCSHG can join Art Club. We have some fun projects set up for the next four meetings including nature art, learning about line, fun with pastels, and anime art. Come find your creative side!

--by Evie M.
--photos by Penni C.

Getting ready to begin.

Finished artwork.