Here is a collection of interesting things I’ve found this week about alternative education and homeschooling:
This is a link to a short documentary about an incredible school in NYC called Pono. This is a very special and unique place for kids age 2-12.
I guess this needs to be said…”In case you didn’t know, siblings can be friends!”
Sara from Happiness is Here says it well!
Lastly, I loved listening to The Simple Families podcast this week:
The host, Denaye Barahone, gives a refreshing reminder about the importance of play. Living in NYC where school and academics are pushed at such an early age, I am so grateful for her voice on such an important topic.
Here is a list of books we have been reading to get ready for summer!
*all links are Amazon affiliate links*
Fourth of July Books
Red White and BOOM! by Lee Wardlaw
Independence Day by Trudi Strain Trueit
F is for Flag by Wendy Cheyette Lewison
The 4th of July Story by Alice Dagliesh
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
One Hot Summer Day by Nina Crews
Fireflies by Julie Brinckloe
Come On, Rain! by Karen Hesse
As you might imagine, some of the heaviest regulations for homeschoolers are found right here in New York. This week I took the first step to register my son as an official homeschooler. Here in NYC, you do not have to register until the year your child turns 6 years old. This is the year your child would be in 1st grade in public school. The cut-off date for school is December 31st so if your child will be 6 this calendar year, he or she must be registered.
This is the first year you can file your “letter of intent” electronically. I simply sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The letter must include:
- your name
- your child’s name
- child’s date of birth
- home address
The next step is to submit the Individualized Home Instruction Plan, otherwise known as IHIP. It is due on August 15, so stay tuned for more information on that paperwork.
If you are looking for more information about homeschooling in NYC, check out this link:
A Brooklyn homeschool is back! I realized that when my kid’s forest school program ended for the year, I no longer had time to write on the blog. I learned I cannot write on the computer at night after my kids are asleep or I have a very hard time falling asleep. Nighttime screen time definitely does not work for me! But, their forest school camp started, so I found my writing time. Happy to be back and I hope you’ll enjoy the posts that go up this week.
I hope you are having a great summer!
These nature picture books are some of my kids all-time favorites. We have read them over and over again!
*all links are Amazon Affiliate links*
Finding Wild by Megan Wagner Lloyd – This is a great book about nature in an urban environment.
If You Find A Rock by Peggy Christian – This one is my kids favorite right now
All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon – This is a board book but the text is just so beautiful.
Wonders of Nature by Jane Werner Watson – This is an old book but I love how it notices the very simple aspects of nature and points them out as wonderful.
What a Wonderful World by Bob Thiele- My kids love to listen to the song by Louis Armstrong as I turn the pages of the book.
A Tree is Nice by Janice May Udry – This is such a simple, beautiful book.
The Kids Guide to Exploring Nature by Brooklyn Botanic Garden – We love the BBG and we love this book!
On the Nature Trail by Storey Publishing – This is a beautiful take-along field guide for kids ages 4 and up.
Do you have any recommendations of books about nature?
Here is a small collection of interesting podcasts and articles I’ve listened to and read this past week that I thought were worth sharing!
I cannot recommend listening to this podcast enough…
If you are even thinking, even thinking just a little teeny bit about homeschooling, please give this a listen! Or read the transcript if podcasts are not for you. If you are trying to convince your spouse or family why homeschooling is not so crazy, send this to them! Janet Lansbury herself is lovely (I loved her parenting books) and she is interviewing what I would call an “unlikely homeschooler,” Laura Grace Weldon. She came to homeschooling late in the game, when her oldest son was already a freshman in high school. Laura gives so many reasons why homeschooling was the best choice for her family and how it could be for yours too. She does a great job explaining the research behind the value of self-directed learning. Laura also has a book, Free Range Learning, which I am really looking forward to reading.
Recently Denaye Barahone from Simple Families shared this article on Facebook…
Denaye said “This is one of the best articles explaining why simplifying life for kids is so beneficial.” I agree.
Peter Gray posted this article recently in PsychologyToday.com…
It’s a quick and great read.
There you have it! Happy weekend!
Last year I organized a homeschool field trip to the Battery Urban Farm. I was so excited to find this gem of a place right in lower Manhattan!
The farm is open to the public from April to November. This urban farm provides thousands of pounds of produce to local elementary schools and local homeless shelters. The mission of the farm is “to engage students, residents, and visitors in sustainable farming techniques, the joys of tasting new foods, and the value of urban farming in the evolving story of this historic public park.”
It was truly amazing to see a functioning farm in the middle of our big, bustling city!
Their field trip was so well organized. From the ease of the online registration, to the friendliness of the staff, to the multiple hands-on experiences the kids rotated through, the entire day was full of learning and fun. We even got to taste some of the vegetables they grow!
While you are there you can also check out the Sea Glass Carousel, a very beautiful and unique carousel. You can also spend time near the water watching the boats or hop on the Staten Island Ferry. There are many beautiful gardens to stroll through, bike paths to ride, and even a labyrinth to walk through. There is so much for kids to enjoy in this small area of NYC.