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Well, I hope you had a great time at the Convention! I know AHEA's Facebook Page (look for Alberta Home Education Association and join!) has had a lot of positive comments... Richard and I kinda came home and collapsed. smile It is a very busy week preparing and a busy time at the Convention. BUT we love it and love meeting all of you!

I have been planning *extra* home school extras in our area since February. A new home school friend, Liz (the support group leader from St. Paul) inspired me earlier this year with the Facebook Page for their Support Group. I started one for our area and home schoolers ARE connecting more than they ever have.

We have always had home school support group meetings and the odd field trip now and then, as moms got inspired, but not much more than that.

WELL, since I started the Facebook Page, I got inspired and started thinking of home schooling extras that the children and teens in our area would enjoy. We now have a monthly Homeschool Bowling time (which surprisingly to me, is VERY popular!), and quite a few other things are happening, too.

One is a Lego Afternoon. This has been amazing and will turn into an article soon. (smile) I went through our Lego and washed it in preparation. I then picked an afternoon and had 9 families for the first Lego Afternoon. It was a bit crazy with 30+ kids in attendence, but went well. I also had Duplo out for the younger kids, and Bionicles were a hit with the boys. (I had K'NEX downstairs for the big kids, but that needs to be an afternoon on its own - harder and longer to build.)

The moms visited for an hour while the kids built their creations. We then had a Show and Tell with some amazing creations. One was a pretty expensive kit that was motorized and could do a lot. After that, we had a potluck snack while the kids roared around some more. There was some serious *socialization* going on. (smile)

(We just had our second Lego Afternoon with 4 families and around 12 kids in attendence. More Lego for everyone and there was a *famous monument* theme which some of the kids enjoyed. We had Big Ben from London, a scene from Les Mes where everyone died, an amazing Twin Ranch by two girls, and an Art Deco cityscape. I encouraged the families who couldn't make it this month - due to sickness - to have some home schoolers over for some Lego fun OR have a Lego Family Night.)

We have also had Seasonal Craft Afternoons that have been a hit. More prep for me, but a lot of fun. $ per child, and potluck snacks.

Some Field Trips are planned, and it is so easy to see who is coming on Facebook. (I am trying to send out reminder emails to those not on Facebook, too. Try to keep everyone in the loop.)

One mom is putting together a First Aid Course for our big kids. Lots of response for that.

Other things we are doing: Home School Social times - families and youth. Home School Mtgs for the moms. We have a Quilling Class planned for next week. (One of the home school girls in our area is an amazing Quiller and will be teaching us how to Quill.)Home School Discussion Afternoon (we are working through the seasons of Numbers and discussing them as we go. That has been very good over the past 3 or 4 years.) Movie Afternoon - we will be watching The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler and discussing it this week, plus I am posting GREAT Home School links as I find them, too. Oh, and we are also trying to have a Home School Youth afternoon every couple of months, too.

It sounds like quite a lot and it is IF we do everything, but everyone is picking and choosing what works best for them. I find I cannot do more than one extra a week AND I cannot do extras that require a lot of planning or prep more than once or twice a month (AND they have to be on a quieter week. smile) BUT the families and children / youth in our area are connecting more and that is a lovely sight to see. Totally worth all the time and work.

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