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Western PA History course -- 4th - 6th graders... Cooperative project with Meadowcroft Rock Shelter & Village, Fort Pitt Museum, and Heinz History Center!
Amanda E. McAllen, Heinz History Center, 7/26/2016

Editor's Note from Susan Richman: Always great to hear about new offerings from the many wonderful Pennsylvania museums to help homeschoolers develop exciting learning programs! Hope many of you living in Western PA enjoy taking part in these great *field trip* outings in the Heinz History Center's new homeschool course!

Hello to all!


We are excited to announce our upcoming local history Homeschool Course, Adventures in Time and Place, at Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, Fort Pitt Museum, and the Heinz History Center this fall. This is a new initiative for us, based on feedback from homeschooling families indicating a preference for course-style programs.

Students from 4th to 6th grades will have the opportunity to visit all three of our sites to learn about the history of Western Pennsylvania from prehistory to the 20th century. Course sessions will include a range of hands-on and interactive experiences, investigations of objects, and archival material.


For students wishing to visit just one site, a $20 fee per participant will cover both days. For students wishing to participate in the whole course (all 3 sites), we offer a reduced rate of $50....


Comments: 147

Homeschool Days at the Messiah College Oakes Museum of Natural History!
Helena Cicero, Education Coordinator, 1/21/2015

Messiah College, just 12 miles south of Harrisburg PA, off Route 15, is hosting special HOMESCHOOL DAYS at their Oakes Museum of Natural History on the campus. Classes involve hands-on lab experiences and active science enrichment learning. 

February 20, 2015: Animals in Winter: 

Discover the variety of ways animals in Pennsylvania survive the cold winter temperatures.

March 6, 2015:  Life on the Savanna: 

Students will learn how animals interact and survive on the savanna in Africa.

March 18, 2015:  Insects: 

Using live animals and museum specimens, students will learn about this diverse group of animals. 

Each program will be offered: 

9:30-12:00 K-4th focus

1:00-3:30  5th - 10th focus


Comments: 35

Go on a PA Historical Markers Scavenger Hunt!!
Scott Doyle, PA Historical and Museum Commission, 1/8/2012

Editor's Note from Susan Richman: Learning about PA History just got even a bit more fun-- take a look at this new program from the PA Historical and Museum Commission, one of the sponsors of the terrific (and very complete and totally *free*) website Explore PA History. Don't keep PA History limited to a 'workbook' -- get out and truly explore our state! And take notice of those fascinating little blue signs all along our highways that give us a hint of the richness of our past-- and then learn the full story behind each one at the website! And do share below if you have favorite PA history sites you've visited with your homeschooled kids or support group. 

Dear Pennsylvania Homeschoolers:

We are offering a new educational program at the 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show that may be a great way to make the event more interactive for your home school families.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) is sponsoring a Historical Marker Scavenger Hunt based on PHMC Historical Markers related to the history of Pennsylvania’s agriculture and food production.  PHMC is also promoting www.explorepahistory.com, an online resource developed by WITF, Central Pennsylvania’s public media organization, and PHMC that makes innovative use of the nearly 2,000 historical markers.  The website makes Pennsylvania and American history more exciting and available to public audiences, while providing educational resources for K-12 teacher and homeschoolers.

Please extend an invitation to your members to stop by the PHMC Marker Booth in the Family Living Section (Main Hall) at Farm Show to pick up Scavenger Hunt Booklets and information on www.explorepahistory.com.  Included below are overviews on both programs and a sample lesson plan related to the agricultural and rural life from the website.  We look forward to your participation on our new program.

Thank you for your interest and see you at the Show!

Scott Doyle
Grant and Marker Programs
Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
(717) 783-6012

Do you like scavenger hunts? Want to learn more about Pennsylvania’s agricultural heritage? Discover what product launched the Heinz food company (and it’s not ketchup!) and other....


Comments: 5

Homeschoolers invited to Grove City College-- special 1 hour performance of "A Visit with Marie Curie" Oct 11, 2011-- 1-2pm
Susan Richman // Libby Carbone, Grove City College, 9/22/2011

Editor's Note from Susan Richman: Grove City College in Western PA has always been so welcoming and interested in homeschoolers-- so I was delighted to get a phone call yesterday from Libby Carbone of GCC specifically inviting homeschooling groups and individual families to come to the special day they are having on October 11, 2011 to host this 'one-woman show' A Visit with Marie Curie. 

There will be a one-hour production aimed at 6th-12th grade students from 1-2:00pm on October 11, 2011, and later that evening there will be a two-hour more in-depth performance titled MANYA - The Living History of Marie Curie from 7-9:00pm. Both productions will be in the Pew Fine Arts Center on the southest part of the Grove City College campus. They would appreciate knowing in advance if you plan to come-- please email Libby Carbone at  caroneea1@gcc.edu. Both performances are free, but please reserve tickets in advance.  Call 724-458-3331 or email theatretickets@gcc.edu for the evening performance.

Libby sent me the following message about the program... 


Comments: 8

Homeschool Day at Pottsgrove Manor, Friday Sept 16th (Pottstown, Montgomery Co)
Lynn Symborski, Museum Educator, 8/3/2011

Editor's Note from Susan Richman: Hands-on experiential learning is crucial to developing lifelong interests in history-- and it's wonderful that Pennsylvania museums offer so many great ways to do this! For great info on using museums and historical sites to learn more about PA History, check out www.ExplorePAHistory.com -- and if you live in Eastern PA, hope you can make it to this special Homeschoolers Day at Pottsgrove Manor. Special thanks to all the museums that offer special events for homeschooling families!

On Friday, September 16th, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., bring your homeschoolers out to Pottsgrove Manor for a fun-filled and educational field trip that will let them explore the skills, trades, and pastimes of the 18th century.

Around the grounds, children will be able to participate in hands-on activities led by Pottsgrove Manor staff and volunteers, including candle-dipping, quill pen writing, colonial toys and games, gardening, dancing and etiquette. Participants will also see demonstrations of blacksmithing, learn about colonial cooking, and meet a dairy cow! The first floor of the Pottsgrove Manor mansion will be open for self-guided tours, with volunteers stationed in the rooms to share the house’s history and answer questions. The museum shop will be open for the purchase of books, games, souvenirs and more.

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The cost is $5 per child. Pre-registration is suggested. Call 610.326.4014 to register or for more information. Activities will be ongoing throughout the day; allow at least 2 hours for your visit....


Comments: 3

Revolutionary War Era history tours.... Philadelphia area..... from a homeschool graduate!
Anthony Melita, 3/6/2011

Editor's Note from Susan Richman: I was so pleased to hear from Anthony Melita, a homeschool graduate who offers unique Revolutionary War Era history tours in the Philadelphia region. He's now reaching out to the homeschooling community to let them know of his service as a tour guide-- his website at www.revolutiontoursinc.com gives full information, including walking and driving tours of historic Philadelphia, Valley Forge, and area battlefields. This will be a wonderful way for homeschoolers to learn about PA and US history in an active way, full of vivid stories. 

     When I was a boy, the American Revolution fascinated me.  A flowering, passionate affair finding roots that vein into my earliest childhood ambitions.  Countless hours locked in careful study.  Mindful theorizing and the drive to understand this period has led to my unique perspective on our nation’s origin.  The path wasn’t always straightforward though, slinking its way back to an inconspicuous, but crucial, decision to homeschool.    

     That’s right.  I am a product of the homeschool culture.  From 3rd to 12th grade I was a part of this grassroots movement, a system that allowed me to grow both as a person and scholar. 

     As a child I was horrendously awkward in peer-related activities-- a flaw that needed to be addressed with an answer that homeschooling offered.  What I needed was a one-on-one student to teacher ratio, and an environment that would encourage self-confidence in an easy, unassuming atmosphere.  This was the most beneficial aspect of my experience.  The absolute need for peer interaction, an infamous platform of numerous homeschool opponents, was duly met with recreational sports and various youth programs. 

     I owe that homeschooling gave me a chance to focus, self-motivate, and develop my natural gifts and passions; facts that have transformed this timid, self-conscious child into a strong, independent orator.

     Flash forward nearly 20 years and you will find a self-aware and eloquent college-grad that spent 5 years in the National Park Service as a military historian and Interpretive Ranger at Valley Forge National Historical Park....


Comments: 3

Where Two (Or More) Are Gathered… Creative Arts & Learning Opportunities in Central PA!
Lindy & Philip Malin, 3/3/2011

Editor's Note from Susan Richman: I was delighted to hear from the Malins about their creative learning offerings-- they would love to reach out to the homeschooling communities with their special seminar activity learning days on a wide range of topics. Let us know how your day with Creative Consultants goes! These programs might be especially super to integrate into a regular homeschool co-op day.

Take two people whose diverse personalities are totally opposite, put them together in a room full of energetic, inquisitive children and what do you get? A recipe for chaos?   No—it’s Creative Consultants!

Malins Photo w Bflies.jpg

(And yes, those are *real* live butterflies-- the Malins do a program on learning about monarch butterflies!)

We are Lindy and Philip Malin, teachers, artists and educational consultants from Lancaster, PA. Lindy is organized, outgoing, practical; Philip is creative, quiet, innovative. Lindy helps groups of students achieve success together-- Philip encourages individual children to find their best work.  What a wonderful teaching pair!  Because we are so different, we can work with students of all ages, and stages. We love to teach children through adults, how to discover their God-given gifts and then maximize their talents. There is much to be learned from a stance of “a perpetual learner”!

As mentors at the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for Excellence, we guided aspiring future teachers to take the leadership skills they learned in the classroom back to their communities all over PA. As participants in the interview and selection process of only 64 students, we met so many wonderful young people over our years!   Also, in our Saturday morning science labs with middle school Project Forward Leap participants, our motto and direction is, “A Gifted Education for Every Child”. we are also bi-yearly presenters of  seminars for Lancaster-Lebanon IU13 to give talented students a chance to pull out all the stops and explore their interests with equally enthusiastic adults....


Comments: 20

Philadelphia Science Festival-- coming this April.... all over the city! and it's mostly FREE!!!
The Franklin Institute, 2/21/2011

Editor's Note from Susan: It's always wonderful to see the learning opportunities available in our state that homeschoolers are welcome to join. None of us has to feel like we have to 're-invent the educational wheel' when so many good events like this one are offered. This spring Philadelphia is hosting its first Science Festival, at varied sites all over the city region. I hope many families in Eastern PA get to take part in these exciting activities-- a great way to work some hands-on active science learning into your homeschooling, and to see what the various universities, museums, and more have to offer. Let us know what you learned-- or tell us about how your family uses your local science or nature centers for extra interest!

Look at the stars.
Taste chocolate in a new way.
Solve a mystery.
Be dazzled by a dancing flower.
Discover the physics in baseball.
Go on a "flavor trip."
Kick back with a luminary.
Stroll through a park.
Roll with the robots.
Interact with some of the world's top scientific minds.
Find your augmented reality.
Create an earthquake?
...all for free during the Philadelphia Science Festival!

This April, Philadelphia's universities, cultural institutions, research centers, and schools will come together as a single, united voice to celebrate science.

Organized by The Franklin Institute, more than 105 festival partners have spent the past year hard at work planning exciting events and special programs that will take place all over town!....


Comments: 5

Pennsylvania Wildlife Leadership Academy-- looking for teens for summer residential programs!
Michelle Kittell, 11/30/2010

Editor's Note from Susan Richman:  I know so many homeschoolers who really love learning about the outdoors and the varied animals of Pennsylvania-- I think of all the homeschoolers who took part recently in the first day of buck season, or all those studying hard all year with their Envirothon teams, or the kids who love to go backpacking and hiking in our wonderful wilderness areas all over the state, or the students I know who've helped with bird-banding projects and other research at Powdermill Nature Reserve, or those who've entered the annual Duck Stamp art contest, or those who love to take nature photos. So I was delighted to get this notice from the Pennsylvania Institute for Conservation Education (PICE), about two summer week-long programs offered for PA high schoolers-- and homeschoolers are of course welcome! Weeklong programs like this are also a great way for homeschool teens to get a first 'away from home' learning experience-- our own kids felt very ready for longer summer academic programs away from home after first doing a couple of weeklong residential programs like this. And often the mentors and teachers in programs like this will be happy to write needed recommendation letters when a student is applying to further programs or to college-- and most importantly students will have a unique opportunity to learn from real experts in the field, and then to develop their own project to carry on back in their own community. We'd love to hear from any students who earn the opportunity to take part! And even if your kids might be too young to take part in these programs, check out the organization's website-- they have a very fine free online magazine on naturalist studies in Pennsylvania, and they even welcome wildlife artwork submissions or articles from students. Some fine opportunities! See www.PICEweb.org

The Wildlife Leadership Academy is seeking youth from across the state interested in wildlife and conservation to participate in weeklong field school programs this summer. 
Participants study with top wildlife biologists and managers in the state and through the program are empowered to become ambassadors for conservation, completing service and leadership projects in their home communities throughout the year....


Comments: 10

Katherine Patterson to speak in Pittsburgh-- family event, with special 'school rate' extended to homeschoolers!
Carrie O'Connor, 10/11/2010

Master storyteller, Katherine Paterson, will be the first guest of Black, White & Read All Over, Pittsburgh’s premiere family book series. She will be talking about the stories behind her books for children. This is a family event that is designed for children but also welcomes teachers, librarians and fans of all ages. The single ticket price is $10, but we offer a discount for school and community groups of $5 each. I hope you will consider offering this opportunity to the families of Pennsylvania Homeschoolers. I’d be happy to answer any questions about the program or the series.


Carrie O’Connor

Director, Ticketing Operations

Project manager, Black, White & Read All Over

Main: 412-622-8866

Direct: 412-622-3128

Katherine Patterson “Read for your life,” declares the new Ambassador of Children’s Literature in praise of the power of the story. Paterson’s own award-winning stories of friendship and struggle have readers laughing and crying, sometimes at the same time.

Katherine Paterson is a two-time Newbery Medal winner, holds a Newbery Honor and two National Book awards. Some of her books that have touched readers of all ages include Bridge to Terabithia, Jacob Have I Loved, and The Great Gilly Hopkins.


Comments: 7

Homeschool Day October 15, 2010, at Moraine State Park -- for ages 10-17... Western PA
Natalie Smith, 9/30/2010

Editor's Note from Susan Richman: It's always great to see more and more public locations in Pennsylvania offering special homeschool classes on a wide range of topics-- the arts, nature studies, history, fitness, health & safety, science, and much more. Here's an option for those of you in Western PA, at Moraine State Park just west of Butler PA (near to I-79). Even if you don't attend this wonderful day of outdoor activities, you might want to check out this page about the history of the park area http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/moraine/moraine_history.aspx -- quite fascinating material on the geology of the area (you'll learn what a glacial 'moraine' is!), the mining that took place there, and how the land was finally reclaimed in the mid-20th century to become the lovely 16725 acre park area it is today. Consider learning about the history and geography of the region as part of your yearly 'PA History' studies! Moraine State Park has so many outdoor activities possible-- there is boating, hiking, bike trails, swimming, an environmental education center, wildlife watching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, picnicking at shelters, cabin and camping areas, hunting (in certain areas only!), ice-fishing, and more.  AND there are special homeschooling classes, too! The more homeschoolers support places that offer homeschool (and cyber-school) special classes, the more offerings will become available-- hope you enjoy this one!

Outdoor Skills Day for Home- & Cyber- School Students!

Students ages 10 - 17 are invited to spend the day, 10/15/10, at Moraine State Park learning survival skills, woodcraft, even nature exploration by kayak (weather permitting).  Meet at 10:00 am at Pavilion 7 in the McDanel's Area, North Shore, Moraine State Park. Programs run until 2:00 pm. Reservations are required...


Comments: 16

Homeschool Day at Historic Pottsgrove Manor (Pottstown PA)-- Friday Sept 24th, 10am to 3pm
Lynn Symborski, Museum Educator, 9/7/2010

Lynn Symborski is the Museum Educator for Pottsgrove Manor, the restored home of John Potts, colonial ironmaker in the region (think: "The Andrew Carnegie of the mid-18th century!"). It's always wonderful to see so many of Pennsylvania's historic sites and museums offering special homeschool days where families can help their children learn in hands-on and engaging ways about life in our state in earlier days. Before attending this excellent event, I'd suggest families also check out the fine description of this site and its importance at the Explore PA History website: http://explorepahistory.com/hmarker.php?markerId=910 . Do remember that always one of the best ways to learn about PA history is by active visits to historical sites-- and you'll usually find terrific books and resources for further study back home in the gift shop, too. Hope you all show your support for this first Homeschool Day at Pottsgrove Manor!

Greetings from Pottsgrove Manor!

As one of the premier historic sites of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Pottsgrove Manor has been interpreting 18th century history to the public since 1952. While Pottsgrove Manor has offered public and educational programs for many years, we have recognized the necessity of meeting the needs of the growing homeschool audience. This September, with this special weekday program, we hope to provide an opportunity for non-traditional educators to bring their students for a hands-on discovery experience of Pennsylvania history and 18th century family life.

Pottsgrove Manor

Homeschool Day at Pottsgrove Manor

Pottstown, Pennsylvania — On Friday, September 24th, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., bring your homeschoolers out to the Manor for a fun-filled and educational field trip that will let them explore the skills, trades, and pastimes of the 18th century....


Comments: 4

Carnegie Museum of Art Homeschool Classes for Fall 2010!
Juliet Pusateri , 8/24/2010

Hello Fellow Homeschool Partners and Educators!

I want to share our program offerings at Carnegie Museum of Art for homeschool students during the fall semester, 2010. You may register online through our website at cmoa.org, or by calling Program Registration at 412-622-3288. The program information is listed below. Please pass it along to anyone who may be interested.   

Carnegie Museum of Art is located at:
4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213

Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.
Thank you,

Juliet Pusateri
Lead Educator, Children's and Family Programs

4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh PA  15213

Creative classes taught by artist educators develop artistic skills and an eye for art.
All materials are included. Call 412.622.3288 to register. Read on for more details on each class offered....


Comments: 6

Summer science fun: ‘Your Spitting Image’ web site
Susan Richman, 5/12/2010

Editor's Note from Susan Richman: I don't 'pass on' every neat website I hear about, but this one just sounds too unique and fascinating to pass up-- and a great new way to cover science, health, forensics, human physiology, and new hi-tech developments in crime solving. Let me know what you think of this one! Who would have thought that there might be a 'National Museum of Dentistry :-).

'Your Spitting Image' website reveals what your mouth says about you

BALTIMORE, MD (May 12, 2010)— Did you know that the average person creates enough saliva each day to fill a soft-drink bottle? Teeth can survive fires reaching 2012 degrees F? Or a person can be identified from the DNA in saliva left behind on a postage stamp?

Your Spitting Image (www.dentalmuseum.org/ysi) is a new, interactive web site from the National Museum of Dentistry that reveals some surprising things that your mouth says about you. Find out how forensic dentists use dental records and DNA analysis to solve real missing person cases, discover the telling secrets revealed by saliva, and find out how your mouth is a window to health for your body.

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This engaging web site with interactive activities and teacher guides can be used in the classroom or at home for upper-level elementary through high-school age kids.


Comments: 8

ExplorePAHistory -- the website, that is!
Susan Richman, 2/16/2010

Susan Richman is co-editor of Pennsylvania Homeschoolers, along with her husband Howard Richman. The Richmans have four grown children, who were all homeschooled K-12 (you can see a family photo in the 'Who We Are' section at the top of this site). Susan also serves as a Home Education Program Evaluator in PA, meeting with well over 100 students each spring. She also leads one of our AP United States History online courses-- and so is especially interested in helping families access the amazing range of history resources available online. Using the info here, you can help your kids be ready for the type of learning they'll experience in Susan's course. 

Here in Pennsylvania, we all have to introduce our kids to the history of our state-- and most of the materials available to do so can be pretty dull. Fourth graders, say, tend to be stuck learning about state symbols (I've never figured out what the Great Dane really has to do with PA, and knowing that the PA state insect is the lady bug doesn't help me learn about why we have this new invasion of ladybugs in the state...). Well, there is hope.

And right now, while most of us are still pretty buried in snow, might be a terrific time to look over a new Internet resource to use for learning about our state's history-- in part because this site will get you planning ahead for some spring field trips to some of Pennsylvania's amazing history museums and sites. And you'll start slowing down for all those blue historical markers you see along so many highways-- you know, those ones you never have time to read before you've zoomed on past.

The site is www.ExplorePaHistory.com -- and the entire comprehensive website, with ideas for K-12, is all free. The site has been developed by a consortium of agencies-- from www.VisitPA.com, to PennDOT, to WITF educational TV, to the PA Historical and Museum Commission, and more.

The site really lends itself to flexible use by homeschooling families-- in fact, I'd guess that we can use this site much more easily and effectively than most schools can....


Comments: 0

Science Labs for homeschoolers and cyberschoolers-- check out Harrisburg University!
Kathy Ireland, 2/15/2010

Kathy Ireland is a longterm homeschooling and cyberschooling parent of two amazing daughters. Kathy has developed an especially positive relationship with Harrisburg University, a relatively new university that is especially interested in preparing students for current careers related to hi-tech fields and the sciences. HU has been very interested in working with homeschool and cyberschool students, including offering lab science classes. Many parents worry about how to 'do' lab sciences at home, without the needed equipment or personal expertise to guide learning-- if that's you, start looking at options like Harrisburg University. If you don't live near to Harrisburg, you might still want to take a look at this information, and share it with a college near to you who might be very interested in offering something similar. These types of programs are generally 'win-win' for the colleges, as this is a viable way to introduce their school to families who might eventually enroll fulltime. We'd be very interested in hearing from other homeschooling parents on how they've handled science lab work-- either at home or through co-op classes or at local colleges. Add your thoughts as a comment!

Last fall Harrisburg University of Science and Technology offered course INSC 051 – Introduction to Lab Sciences I – for the first time.   It’s a prerequisite for class INSC 052 – Introduction to Lab Sciences II - being offered this spring semester.  Both classes are designed specifically for high school students schooled-at-home, whether homeschooled or cyberschooled, and gives them lots of hands-on lab experience. 


Both of my kids are taking the class and really love it! ....  


Comments: 1


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