What's coming up:
  • February 4, 2015 1:00 pmLego Robotics (ages 7-12)
  • February 11, 2015 1:00 pmLego Robotics (ages 7-12)
  • February 18, 2015 1:00 pmLego Robotics (ages 7-12)
  • February 25, 2015 1:00 pmOpen Gym
AEC v1.0.4


Time for encouragement.

Burnout Recovery from The Old Schoolhouse

Cultural Foods Day Wednesday January 21

Join us Wednesday for Cultural Foods Day! Kids will be able to sample Polish food, venison, Irish Soda Bread, Mexican food and a special drink.

Frozen Movie Day Wednesday, January 13

Join us to watch the Disney movie, “Frozen.”  Treats and popcorn will be served.  1-3pm at Buckhannon Alliance Church.

Meeting Cancellation Policy

Our group has adopted the policy of cancelling meetings/field trips when Upshur County Schools are closed.

Annual Test time coming in March!

If you have your child’s academic assessment performed through CHEWV as I (Amy) do, it’s time to register at  Deadline is Feb. 6.

Open Mic & 4H on January 7

Join us for Show and Tell homeschool style!


Free-Star 4H Club will also meet.

Christian Renaissance Camps in Charles Town, WV (guest post)

Christian Renaissance Camps

The time is ripe for a Christian Renaissance. The twentieth century was one of death and despair, where will we go from here? The gospel gives us hope in the darkest of times. It gives us truth, beauty and goodness, and unlocks true creativity. Augustine lived in such a time as this. Civilization was crumbling all around him, yet he found strength in God to sound a trumpet blast that we can still hear today. Dr. Steven Hake, professor of literature at Patrick Henry College, is inviting a small group of young people (14 to 18 years old) to his home for a week (or two) this coming July to impart this vision and wrestle with these issues.

Campers can come for either one week or two. Each week we will spend four mornings studying and discussing one classic book (Augustine’s The City of God, July 12-18 and Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, July 19-25). We will also spend four afternoons examining one contemporary book (Andy Crouch’s Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling, July 12-18 and Ross Douthat’s Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, July 19-25). The study and discussion will be in-depth and real. We will always be asking “what can we learn from these books to help us better love God and our neighbors, and to help us take our place in a Christian Renaissance?”

In the evenings, after family worship, Dr. Hake plans a series of “fireside chats” in which he will look at what following Christ is all about. Our rootedness in Christ is of first importance in any Renaissance that is genuinely Christian. Topics will include “Why a Christian Renaissance?” “The importance of Bible Study, and how to do it,” “Thoughts about prayer,”
“What does it mean to be a good brother or a good sister (I Timothy 5:1-2)?” “How can I know God’s call on my life?” “What does it mean to love God with my strength?” “Why does language study matter?” and “Is my Christian life balanced?” These will be spread out over the two weeks.

One day each week we will drop everything and have an adventure. The first week we will spend a day sailing on the Chesapeake Bay and the second week we will take kayaks down the Shenandoah River. You can learn more about these camps and register at

Join us for Open Mic and 4H on November 19

1-3 pm at Buckhannon Alliance Church

Open Mic is show and tell homeschool style.  Come check it out and even join in if you feel led!

Homeschool on a Budget from TOS

Here is an article from our friends at The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.


Homeschool on a Budget

Excellence Without the Extra Cost

By Joy Kita

When you choose to homeschool your children, you are embarking on an adventure that will challenge your patience, enrich your relationships, and change the tone and rhythm of your days. There may be the occasional moments when you question the reliability of your sanity, but on the whole it is one decision that yields large pay-offs and little regret. It is also a decision that has the potential to become a monumental monetary investment. After all, a quality education is costly, right?

To get the best you must pay for the best—at least that is what some people/companies/curriculum providers might have you believe. Resist the urge to buy into the mentality that spending a lot of money is the first line of attack in educating your children, and take a moment to look at alternatives. You have choices—good choices that will elevate your child’s education to a higher level of learning and sophistication within a reasonable, frugal budget.

There are people in the world who believe that education should be free. These beliefs have led influential change-makers to create learning platforms that produce quality material for little to no cost. This is good news for the savvy homeschool family who wishes to teach and learn without the expensive price tags that adorn textbooks and classroom courses. Homeschooling on a budget for one child or ten is well within your reach.

Careful deliberation at the beginning of the year is essential to protect your wallet and time. Making a list of the subjects you wish to teach is a critical step. There may be a curriculum out there for everything, but that does not mean you need to purchase it.

Traditional schools have a rounded approach to learning: they teach a little bit of a lot of subjects to fill the gaps of time in a long day. You need not mimic the learning structure of public schools if another way suits you better.

If you identified the “core” of a child’s education, you would find yourself with three subjects to teach: math, reading, and writing. Other subjects are secondary to these, providing enrichment material that supplements and rounds out the learning journey. Curriculum publishers may offer an entire grade’s worth of supplies in a box, but that does not mean your child needs everything it supplies.

Math is an important subject, and many resources are available at different price levels. Workbooks are reasonably priced; the teacher’s manuals are not. Ask yourself if you need the teacher’s guide book. In the early years you may find that you do not. It is fine to go with the workbook only. As your child grows and the math becomes more challenging, you might consider purchasing an answer book rather than the teacher’s manual. Not everyone will need both.

Partner with another homeschooling family, buy together, and share. The Internet offers many websites that provide free printable worksheets to supplement textbook lessons. There are safe educational sites with math games to correspond with the material as well. Visual games can go a long way in providing clarity and understanding of many math concepts. Quick tip: Have your student write out his multiplication tables on index cards.

Reading is another critical component of your child’s education. There are families who rely solely on good literature to teach grammar, comprehension, spelling, and vocabulary with great success. Become friends with your local librarians, and take out stacks of books for free. Project Gutenberg is an online resource that offers thousands of great works of literature for free. Print what you need, or read straight from the computer. Visit garage sales, flea markets, and thrift stores in search of great bargains on books. Quick tip: Organize a simple book co-op with other families, sharing your resources for free.

Writing is an expansive, stand-alone subject that confuses a lot of people. What is its scope? How many books and workbooks do you need to teach all aspects of this subject adequately? Actually, writing is not a complicated subject, and you can teach it well with few outside resources.

Take the subject of spelling, for example. Word lists that correspond with grade-level readiness are available online. (Do not be fooled into thinking you must stay within the confines of the lists for specific grade levels.) Hunt for words that are suitable for your student/school to learn. Use a list of words that your student misspells to create a unique, personal list of words to master. Identify spelling words within the quality literature your students are reading. Haul out the dictionary for definitions and alphabetizing practice.

Copy Scripture verses for penmanship practice and memorization purposes. Read poetry and create your own.

Don’t forget about creative writing. Make writing jars from tea canisters, and then put the names of characters into one, a variety of potential settings into another, and types of conflicts in a third jar. Students can then draw out a single entry from each jar and write a story based on those prompts. Quick tip: Use portable chalk boards or white boards for writing practice or dictation for younger students.

The three R’s, reading, writing, and arithmetic, represent the bulk of your child’s education; the rest of the subjects provide enrichment. Fill your days with science and geography, history and art if you desire. These are great subjects to use for child-directed learning.

Ask your children what they want to learn about. Find out what they are curious about. Don’t just follow them into the rabbit hole; dig it for them.

10 Best Websites That Offer Quality Material . . . Free!

  1. Quirks and Quarks—Award-winning radio science program that delves into topical science inquiries.
  2. Ted Talks—Site that hosts video presentations of ideas worth spreading, from innovative change-makers around the world.
  3. Enchanted Learning—Treasure trove of printable material ranging from simple coloring pages to labelled diagrams.
  4. Spelling Time—Award-winning interactive spelling program.
  5. Old-Fashioned Education—Directory of free homeschool curricula.
  6. National Geographic—More than just a magazine!
  7. Seterra—Geography quiz game.
  8. NASA—Top science material.
  9. Khan Academy—Free world-class education with a focus on science and math.
  10. Kids Know It—Educational fun for the young and young at heart.

Joy Kita is a mother of four and is the blessed wife of Stan. She has been homeschoolingfor seven years and is currently the director of a thriving co-op with more than eighty children. She is an author specializing in adventures for boys. Her newest book, Fable Nation, will be released by Brighter Books in 2013. She stays motivated by her all-consuming love for the Father. You can read her blog, Fluorescent Fingerprints, at, and check out her innovative publisher:

Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the August 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine. Read the magazine free at or read it on the go and download the free apps at to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

Homeschool Field trip to Spruce Knob on 9/17