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Fall: Places to Go

What a wonderful time of the year to go out and explore! I had a friend that asked me for some recommendations and I thought I’d give some local ideas as well as general since not all my readers are from Southwest Ohio. 🙂

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens– The zoo is such a wonderful place to take a field trip for not only seeing the animals, but also the flowers and trees. I enjoy this time of year because of the cool temperatures that seem to make the animals quite active.  If you would like to get a group of homeschool friends together you can get a group discount and make it a fun, educational day.

Parks– Every park has a variety of trees, which make for such a great opportunity for a picnic and an afternoon of a scavenger hunt for leaves. Your daughter can collect leaves and press them to make a fall leaf book.  If you are interested here is a website about making your own leaf collection book. CLICK HERE

Local Parks:

Hamilton County Parks Miami Whitewater in Harrison, Ohio has a large lake and two walking/ bike paths. You can make a weekend of it, and enjoy the camping and fishing at the lake. This is one of my favorite parks in the county as it has many things to do with your family.

Butler County Parks Voice of America Park has a small lake, boating, and a walking/ bath pike. Fishing can be done from the dock and if you want to take your dogs they will enjoy the dog park that is adjacent to the walking path.

Cincinnati Parks Eden Park and Smale Park are both downtown and are quite lovely. There is even a carousel along the riverfront walk that adjoins Smale Park the children will enjoy but do not plan on going on either Monday and Tuesday because it is closed on these days.

Ohio State Parks Hueston Woods has camping, fishing, hiking, and a 625-acre lake, large enough to take a sailboat on if you so desire. East Fork State Park is a nice getaway from city life and is one of the largest parks in the area, with nearly 5,000 acres. If you enjoy water sports and camping, then this is a great place for you and your family. I just returned from camping this past weekend and the facilities are quite nice. I took an 11- mile bike ride and could have kept going! The scenery is peaceful and beautiful as you can see by the pictures I took.

 

Indiana State Parks Brown County State Park is a favorite place to enjoy this time of year because it not only has a beautiful park and amazing lodge but also a quaint town nearby for shopping and restaurants.

Kentucky State Parks If you have never been to either Natural Bridge or Cumberland Falls then you really should consider going for the day or better still, the weekend. They each have a  lodge if you are not interested in camping. Cumberland Falls has a moonbow, that is worth going to see.

If you have a favorite place that you enjoy going with your family, please post as I am sure others would enjoy as well as my family.

 

Quiet Games to Play

Sometimes your child needs a quiet game to play. Doctor’s visits, long car rides, church, or down time after schoolwork is finished are perfect times to play these games.

Have you heard of Tangoes? These are tangrams that are all in a compact travel case. “What are tangrams?” you ask. They are seven geometric shapes that you can make all different sorts of designs with them. (You can see the shapes below in the picture.)

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There are a variety of sets, but I chose to purchase the Tangoes Animals. There are 48 different animals to create and 4 different levels. The pictures of the bird (#1) and fish (#2) are the starter level.

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Two great features with the game are that it is a one person game, so no fussing is taking place among the kids, and all of the pieces are magnetic, so they won’t get lost! The picture below is showing you both the front (blue) and the back pieces that are magnetic.

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Another really fun game is called Find It!  As you can see, there are small colored beads in a tube and there are objects that you need to find among the beads. There is a pad with all of  the items for the finder to mark. This game can be played as a one-player game or with other players. There are several different themed tubes including Veggie Tales, Wizard of Oz, dinosaurs, farm, and wildlife.  If you look closely at the picture you can find some of the items yourself!

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Here is the pad with all of the items to find. The items are also listed on the top lid of the tube in case you no longer have the pad. Your children will enjoy playing, but I think you will too! One of the great things is that all of the pieces are contained within the tube and are designed to NOT come out of the cylinder. No losing pieces, no mess!

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Other fun games/items to play with are:

Barrel of Monkeys

Tic-tac-toe

Matchbox cars

Small Lego sets

Word searches

 

 

 

Educational Co-ops and Programs

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Co-ops and educational programs are such great ways to connect your children and you to other families who are homeschooling. Your children can take classes that you may not want to teach or just don’t have the equipment for, such as chemistry. They are also a terrific way of meeting other homeschool moms. Some of my closest friends are those who I met at a local homeschool co-op. Below is a list of co-ops here in greater Cincinnati. I hope you can find one that you will enjoy. 🙂
CAFE Christian Co-op
Just like a cafe is a place to relax, fellowship and enjoy the company of friends, CAFE Christian Co-op is a place for homeschool families to find help, support and encouragement.
Location: Evangelical Community Church in Mt Healthy
Time: Wednesdays 9:00 am-4:30 pm. 14 weeks/semester (16 weeks for advanced academic classes)
Cost: Family fee TBD. Class supply fee. Teacher paid by each parent not through CAFE
Class groupings: 7th/8th grades, 9th/10th grades, and 11th/12th grades
Contact: Kerry Marsh
Email: Kerry Marsh at marshck1@yahoo.com
Website: cafecoop.weebly.com
Classical Conversations
“Across the United States, Classical Conversations Communities exist to complement your home-centered education and connect you with like-minded families. Each community is facilitated by a trained parent-director, and classes are led by trained parent-tutors who model the classical tools of learning. Tutors have the privilege of encouraging students toward becoming lifelong learners while also encouraging parents in the classical teaching of their children.” – www.ClassicalConversations.com

 Local groups meet in these areas: Bethel; Colerain Township; Goshen; Hamilton; Lebanon; Liberty Township; Mariemont; Sharonville; South Lebanon; West Chester

Clermont Homeschoolers Co-op

Date Organized: 2017

Location: Bross Center for Learning, 4435 Aichlotz Rd., Suite 100; Cincinnati, OH 45245

Description: The Clermont Homeschoolers CO-OP helps to support home education by providing a secular, inclusive, affordable, conveniently located cooperative learning experience. This is a year-round program with flexible, short sessions rather than long school style semesters. Sessions are generally 4 to 8 weeks. Occasionally we will offer offsite activities that may include local parks, or community volunteering and more. In addition, we host occasional parent workshops, holiday or seasonal parties, and Mom Nights!

Website: https://clermonthomeschooler.wixsite.com/co-op

Days of Wonder Our classes will consist of multiple ages that have the same teachers several years in a row.
Location: Batavia
Meeting Times: Preschool and grade levels K – 8 meets 3 days per week: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Our full-time High School (grades 9-12) program meets Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
Cost: $190/mo – for first child from a family. $180/mo – for the 2nd child.$170/mo – for the 3rd child. $160/mo – for the 4th child. Plus supply fee $75 per year, per student.
Grades: Preschool-12
Director: Cynthia Day
Email: daysofwonderschool@gmail.com
Website: http://www.daysofwonderschool.org/
Family Christian Homeschool Co-op 
Date Organized: 2012
Location: Fairfield Baptist Church, Fairfield, Ohio
Meeting Times: Fridays 9:00 am -12:30 pm
Cost: $50—Annual Registration Fee/Per Family
$70—Per Semester Fee/Teacher Families $125—Per Semester Fee/Non-Teacher Families. Plus additional fees for some classes
Grades: nursery- 12th grade
Director: Kristen Luckey
Email: fchcdirector@gmail.com
Web Site: http://www.familychristianhomeschoolers.org
Help
Date Organized:  2004/2005
Location: Trenton Christian Church Middletown, Ohio
Meeting Times: 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month  from 1:00 – 3:00
Cost: $15.00 for the year  (subject to change)
Grades: Pre-K – 12th Grades
Director: Cherilu DuVal
Email: Duvals@ameritech.net
Website: None
Our members come from Middletown, Trenton, Franklin, Carlisle, and Germantown.

 

Kingdom Builders    

 Address of Location: 12060 Route 42 (Lebanon Rd.), Sharonville, Ohio 45241

Meeting Dates: Wednesdays from Labor Day to end of April with breaks for Thanksgiving and Christmas

General Description: We are a Christ-centered community that provides a variety of educational and enrichment classes for home-educating families in a safe and loving environment. We desire to strengthen Christian home-educating families by providing times of close interaction. We co-labor with each other and God to achieve excellence by serving each other through our strengths.

Fees: Application Fee: $70, annual, non-refundable (for all membership levels)
Family Membership Fees:
Standard Family Fee: $110 per semester
Teacher or Director Family Fee: $40 per semester Board Family Fee: $40 per semester
Drop-off Family Fees (all fees are per semester)
$65 per Co-op Class taught by Co-op Volunteer (plus supply fees if applicable) $25 per Paid Class taught by a Professional Teacher (plus paid class fees)
$10 per Study Hall
Contact Information: kingdombuilderscoop.weebly.com
Registration Deadline: variable (Contact through website to be considered for membership.)
Additional Information: Drop-off opportunities are available for students who are 12 and older by November 1 of the program year.
Classes Offered: We offer art, guitar, science, drama, writing, literature, geography, choir, and a variety of other classes for elementary through high school.

The Learning Tree Co-op in Springdale, Ohio
Date Organized: 1997
Location: Vineyard Community Church in Springdale off Kemper Road
Meeting Times: Monday’s 10:00 – 2:30 (2 semesters of 15-16 weeks each per year)
Cost: $70.00 per child per semester (3 child maximum per family) plus family membership fee of $50.00 per semester. Teachers and leaders get one child’s tuition free.
Grades: nursery-12th grade
Director:  Jen Moore
Email: director@learningtreeonline.org
Web Site: http://www.learningtreeonline.org/
Leaves of Learning
Date Organized: 1996
Location: 7131 Plainfield Rd., Deer Park, Ohio 45236
Meeting Times: one to five days a week (parent choice)
Grades: pre-school-12
Cost: $75.00 deposit to hold your spot plus monthly tuition fees
Director and contact: Diana Osborn
Email: info@leavesoflearning.org or 697-9021
Web Site: www.leavesoflearning.org
*You can drop off your child for classes, so it is not
fellowship-oriented for the mothers.  Leaves does not have a Christian emphasis, but does have Christian parents involved.
PATH-Parents in Academic Training of Homeschoolers
We are a Christ-centered group of volunteer home school parents, partnering together with Christian teachers to provide high quality courses for 7th – 12th grade home school students.  Our goal is to have all courses taught from a Biblical perspective at an academic level to prepare students for higher education.
We offer a full compliment of courses from 7th-12th grade, including: Physics, Anatomy, Chemistry, Biology, Physical Science, General Science, Composition/literature, American History, American Government, Western Civ I & II, World History, World Geography, Spanish I & II, Advanced math, Geometry, Alg II, Alg I, Alg 1/2, Saxon 87, drama and art.
Website:  www.pathmilford.org

Email: pathpartners@gmail.com ( for course availability and more detailed information regarding pricing, days they meet.)
POINT – Middletown, Ohio 
POINT (Parents Offering Inspiration, Nurturing, and Training
Date Organized: 1999
Location:  Waynesville, Ohio
Meeting Times:  Fridays, 9:30 AM -12:15 PM
Cost:  $164 per student for 28 weeks, $35 annual fee per family, and $15 annual supplies fee
Grades: nursery – 12th grade
Director: Brad and Paula Sanders, Director
Email: director@point-homeschool.orgpointdirector@highstream.net
Website: POINT-homeschool.org
Providence Extension Program (PEP):
Specializing in Classical Education with a Biblical Worldview
PEP partners with homeschool parents to give 7th -12th grade students the knowledge of history, writing and speaking, and biblical philosophy vs. world philosophies they need to convince the world to follow them as they follow Christ.
Experienced tutors
Two-day collegiate format
CORE Concept for Humanities
    National Honor Society, National Latin Exam, National Spanish Exam
    Student activities (prom, ski club, yearbook, etc.)
PEP has a 17 year track record of preparing students for success in college and a life that is glorifying to God. Our strong academics have enabled many of our graduating students to receive college scholarships.
PEP has four Greater Cincinnati locations: Mason and Milford. Please contact one of the site administrators for more information.
Please see our website for a list of classes www.pep1.org Registration begins in early April.
SEED Educational Initiative

A core historical curriculum that includes history, geography, art, literature, and science. Enrichment and life skill classes will develop communication, team building, and rapport building skills while helping our children develop lifelong friendships plus they are a lot of fun!
Date Organized: 2015
Location: Eastgate Baptist Church, located at 717 Barg Salt Run Road, Cincinnati, 45244
Meeting Times: Friday 10:00 A.M. – 6:15 P.M.
Cost: Family Membership Fee per semester
Grades: Nursery – 12 grade
Director: Rene Normand
Email: Rene@seedhomeschool.com
Website: www.seedhomeschool.com

SPARK! Secular Homeschool Co-op

Location: Fort Wright, KY

Meeting Dates: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30 am until 2:30 pm.

Description: The structure of our co-op allows for both students and parents to take an active role learning and building our community. The parents and students together introduce and create the schedule for Offerings (Classes). We also offer a variety of daily activities students can choose from to help facilitate their learning when not participating in scheduled Offerings. Offerings and activities are non-compulsory and students have the option to participate as interested, collaborate with others, or follow their individual pursuits. Our co-op parents work with students to set their intentions each day and help assess the progress they have made toward their goals.

Cost: Costs of space, resources, and other expenses are covered by a very modest tuition based on the number of days per week a student attends.

To learn more details: https://sparkcoop.wordpress.com

Contact: https://sparkcoop.wordpress.com/contact-us

Veritas Christian Homeschool Group
Date Organized: 2000
Location:Grace Baptist on Middletown, OH
Meeting Times:  Thursday 9:00 a.m. — 2:50 p.m.
Cost: $100 per family per trimester for a.m. classes; $115 per family per trimester for all day (30 weeks total)
Grades: nursery- 12th grade
Director: Mandy Lail
Email: vchgdirector@gmail.com
Web Site:  www.veritaschristiancoop.org Registration begins in December. You may fill out a Waiting List Application if you have missed the deadline.
West Branch Learning Tree -WBLT Cheviot
Date Organized: 1999
Location: Friendship Baptist Church  Cheviot, Ohio
Meeting Times: Mondays from 9:30-2:00pm at
Costs: $80.00 per child (3 child maximum)
Grades: nursery – 12th grade
Director:  Amy Kearns
Email: kearnsamy@hotmail.com
Website: http://www.homeschool-life.com/oh/wbltcoop
Wisdom’s Gate Cooperative Ross/Oxford/Hamilton
Date Organized: September 2000
Location: West Side Church of Christ on Stahlheber (Hamilton)
Meeting Times: Fridays 9:30am to 2:30pm
Grades: Nursery – 12th grade
Cost: K-12 $50, preschool $40, Toddlers $25, Infants Free (per 10 week semester)
Discounts for teachers and large families
Email: tstatum@woh.rr.com
*You must be recommended to join by someone who attends Wisdom’s Gate.”
Wisdom’s Way Co-op in Milford
Date Organized: 1999
Location: We meet at Faith Evangelical Free Church at 5910 Price Rd. Milford, Ohio
Meeting Times: Monday’s from 1:00 – 3:00 PM for 12 weeks
Cost: The cost is $40 per child (maximum of $120) per family
Grades: nursery – 12th grade
Director: Laura Hoevener
Email:  laurahoevener@hotmail.com
Web Site: www.wisdomsway.net

Just a Touch of Love

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I was preparing for my history lesson today and was reading about the Franciscan and Dominican orders of priests and nuns in the Roman Catholic Church. Both of these orders were begun with their mission being service to all men. I love that!

So, today as you begin your week, why not perform a kind deed for a friend, neighbor, or a stranger? Find a place where you can take the children if they are able to go with you. I am going to step out of my comfort zone and help once again in the inner city, something I did with my husband for many years. Yes, it’s a bit scary, and you certainly don’t need to do that, but we have been called to serve those who are in need and that is what I think I will do.

If you are wanting some ideas to help you think of places to show just a touch of love, consider the following:

Food pantry– take canned goods to them and/or see if they need volunteers

Sort out your clothes and take them to Goodwill, AmVets, or another organization.

Visit a nursing home Go a couple of times if you can. People in nursing homes love company, and especially children.

Do you have a jar of change? How about having the children count and wrap the money (math!) and decide where you as a family would like to give the money. Your children will enjoy helping, and being involved, and you are modeling kindness and generosity.

Drop off goodies to your neighbors. So few people have time to bake any more that a plate full of goodies is greatly appreciated. If you don’t want to give food, then how about a candle and a card or something else? It’s the kindness shown that counts!

Make cards for service men and women. Operation We Are Here has several links of organizations that you can send cards and letters. You can also deliver cards to neighbors, friends, church members, and family.

Volunteer at a soup kitchen This is such a rewarding thing to do. The act of serving someone always makes my day brighter for some reason. The homeless love to see young people and enjoy it when someone talks to them.

Do you knit, crochet, or quilt? There are hospital organizations that have need of blankets and baby hats. This would be great for school too since it can be counted as fine arts. 🙂

Ask your children! Do they have something that is on their heart? Children are tenderhearted and many times see needs that we didn’t recognize.

I leave you with a link from a scene in the movie, Sister Act, called Just a Touch of Love. The church went and got involved in the community, where they helped the people and the people, in turn, helped them. Pretty cool!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See Cincinnati: Findlay Market

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Findlay Market is an area of many shops and is located on Race Street. You will be in for a great treat and is a spot that everyone in your family will enjoy.

Address: 1801 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202 (513) 665-4839

Website: http://www.findlaymarket.org

Hours: Findlay Market is open year round.

Monday OFF

Tuesday-Friday: 9am-6 pm

Saturday 8am-6pm

Sunday 10am-4pm

The Farmers Market is open seasonally-

Thursday 3pm-6 pm

Saturday 8am-2pm

Sunday 10am-4pm

Parking is available, but there is a fee and spaces are limited. Most vendors accept only cash, so make sure you bring some with you. Also, bring a small cooler to take home any meat or produce you purchase for your ride home.

This historic market has all kinds of remarkable goods that you must go there at some point. Fresh meat can be purchased at reasonable prices. While on  a recent trip there I brought home a chicken that had been slaughtered just that morning; you can’t get any fresher than that! You will be tempted to purchase  plants, local produce, newly baked breads and baked goods, natural products, freshly made waffles, fabulous homemade soaps, yummy teas and coffees, and fresh spices to add to your favorite dishes. If you have little ones whose interest may wane before you are ready to leave have them look for the most unusual item they can find or the funniest name of something that is for sale. Believe me, there are some names of items that I had never heard of and had to ask how to pronounce!

There are also restaurants if you get a hankering to try something while you are there. These have menu items that range from ice cream to fresh grilled burgers to delicious gyros.

If you haven’t been to Findlay Market, pack up the family and head down there for a great time!

Source: Adventures Around Cincinnati