Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Great Quotes

Happy Holidays! I'd like to share some favorite quotes with you. Hope you enjoy!

"I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built upon the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think. Whereas, if the child is left to himself, he will think more and better, if less showily. Let him go and come freely, let him touch real things and combine his impressions for himself, instead of sitting indoors at a little round table, while a sweet-voiced teacher suggests that he build a stone wall with his wooden blocks, or make a rainbow out of strips of coloured paper, or plant straw trees in bead flower-pots. Such teaching fills the mind with artificial associations that must be got rid of, before the child can develop independent ideas out of actual experience."
--Anne Sullivan

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

"It is a lesson which all history teaches wise men, to put trust in ideas, and not in circumstances."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

"My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants."

--J. Brotherton

"You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him discover it in himself."

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
--Mark Twain

“A mind is a fire to be kindled, not a vessel to be filled."

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."
--Mark Twain

"When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way you will command the attention of the world."
--George Washington Carver

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
--Leo Buscaglia

"Memorization is what we resort to when what we are learning makes no sense."

“You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you."
--Eric Hoffer

“Teaching: the earth doesn't move every time, but when it does, what a RUSH!"
--Cameron Beatty

"Great Spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds!"

--Albert Einstein

"Nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense: no one thinks he needs more of it than he already has."
--René Descartes

"We need not be afraid to touch, to feel, to show emotion. The easiest thing in the world is to be what you are, what you feel. The hardest thing to be is what other people want you to be."
--Leo Buscaglia

"Most people who have found that they are more intelligent than most around them, have yet to learn that one of the most intelligent things they can do is prevent said people ever finding this out."
--Terry Pratchett

"Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility."
--Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance."
--Will Durant

“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."
--Douglas Adams

"Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies."
--Friedrich Nietzsche

"The more you know, the more you know you don't know."

"The people who really run organisations are usually to be found several levels down, where it's still possible to get some work done."
--Terry Pratchett

"It is better, of course, to know useless things than to know nothing."

"It's not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something."
--Leo Buscaglia

"Truth emerges from the clash of adverse ideas."
--John Stuart Mill

"Effective teaching may be the hardest job there is."
--William Glasser

"Today much of what we call education is merely knowledge gathering and remembering. Problem solving and thinking, never strong parts of our educational system, have been downgraded in all but a few scientific subjects."
--William Glasser

"Those who know how to think need no teachers."
--Mahatma Gandhi

“Teaching should be full of ideas instead of stuffed with facts."

“When ideas fail, words come in very handy."

"The most extraordinary thing about a really good teacher is that he or she transcends accepted educational methods."
--Margaret Mead

"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires."
--William Arthur Ward

"The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself."
--Edward Bulwer-Lytton

"A teacher's purpose is not to create students in his own image, but to develop students who can create their own image."
--Author Unknown

"Much of what happens in most classes is a waste of everyone's time. It is neither teaching nor learning. It is stenography."
--R. Fielder and R. Brent

"Total immersion in life offers the best classroom for learning to love."
--Leo Buscaglia

"I hear and I forget. I see and I believe. I do and I understand."

"Students learn what they care about, from people they care about and who, they know, care about them . . ."
--Barbara Harrell Carson

"Our busy lives force us to focus on things we do from day to day. But the development of character comes only as we focus on who we really are."
--Russell M. Nelson

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of leave the world a better know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
--Margaret Mead

"Vision without Action is merely a Dream.
Action without Vision is a waste of Time.
Vision with Action can change the World."
--Bishop P.Diergaardt

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."
--Bertrand Russell

“Our lives improve only when we take chances -- and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves."
--Walter Anderson

"That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time."
--John Stuart Mill

"The easiest thing in the world is to be you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don’t let them put you in that position."
--Leo Buscaglia

"To be good is noble, but to teach others how to be good is nobler - and less trouble."
--Mark Twain

"The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them."
--Sir William Bragg

“The method of teaching which approaches most nearly to the method of investigation is incomparably the best."
--Edmund Burke

"The first sign of a nervous breakdown is when you start thinking your work is terribly important."
--Milo Bloom

"A good mind possesses a kingdom."

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything."
--Alexander Hamilton

"Freedom is the oxygen of the soul."
--Moshe Dayang

"Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die." --Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Liberty is the possibility of doubting, of making a mistake,... of searching and experimenting,... of saying No to any authority - literary, artistic, philosophical, religious, social, and even political."
--Ignazio Silone

"We shape our lives."

"Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide."
--Napoleon Bonaparte

“Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it."
--Andre Gide

"Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees."
--Victor Hugo

“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.”
--Charles Swindoll

INCH Around the World

We've gotten some great feedback about this--people love this idea and are excited about it! INCH Around the World is one of the Monday classes we offer. Everyone is invited. This is an opportunity for the children to choose any country in the world they'd like and write a report, share some fun facts, bring in pictures, make a posterboard, make a diorama, etc. (again, their choice) and present it to the group. Bring along a sample of food from that country and after our reports, we can all enjoy some food and visit together!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"Mom's Hour"

A couple of the moms in our group have volunteered to watch your children if you'd like to drop them off for a couple of hours to play with other kids while you run some errands or whatever you'd like to do.

Lisa (rlbrummett AT dejazzd DOT com) is offering her home and services on the first Thursday of every month from 1-3pm

Christy (mdeiner AT comcast DOT net) is offering her home and services on the second Friday of every month from 9-11am

They've also said that you should feel free to email them to coordinate other times if you'd like.

February Calendar

The easiest way to join us is, quite simply, to join us! Do these classes and activities look like fun to you? Show up and have fun with us! We meet twice a week. We meet on Mondays for classes and we meet on Fridays to play. We also have a Parents' Night Out on the 1st Thursday of every month. If you'd like to volunteer to host or facilitate any of our classes or playgroups, please do! Please always consult the calendar (and check often--we update A LOT and this is, at times, subject to change) for specifics. Thanks!

Feb. 1 (Thurs) - Parents' Night Out at MJ's Coffeehouse 7pm

Feb. 2 (Fri) - Play and Visit at the LDS church building in Lebanon 1-3pm

Feb. 5 (Mon) - Children's Book Club at the Lebanon Community Library Community Room 1-3pm -- POSTPONED to next month

Feb. 9 (Fri) - Play and Visit at the LDS church building in Lebanon 1-3pm

Feb. 12 (Mon) - Music at Christy's House 1-3pm (email for directions)

Feb. 16 (Fri) - Play and Visit at the LDS church building in Lebanon 1-3pm - CANCELED due to weather

Feb. 19 (Mon) - Drama Class at Carrie's House 1-3pm (email for directions)

Feb. 23 (Fri) - Play and Visit at the LDS church building in Lebanon 1-3pm

Feb. 26 (Mon) - INCH Around the World at Carrie's House 1-3pm (email for directions)

January Calendar

The easiest way to join us is, quite simply, to join us! Do these classes and activities look like fun to you? Show up and have fun with us! We meet twice a week. We meet on Mondays for classes and we meet on Fridays to play. We also have a Parents' Night Out on the 1st Thursday of every month. If you'd like to volunteer to host or facilitate any of our classes or playgroups, please do! Please always consult the calendar (and check often--we update A LOT and this is, at times, subject to change) for specifics. Thanks!

Jan. 8 (Mon) - Music at Christy's House 1-3pm

Jan. 12 (Fri) - Play and Visit at the LDS church building in Lebanon 1-3pm

Jan. 15 (Mon) - LIBRARY CLOSED

Jan. 19 (Fri) - Play and Visit at the LDS church building in Lebanon 1-3pm

Jan. 22 (Mon) - Children's Book Club at the Lebanon Community Library Community Room 1-3pm

Jan. 26 (Fri) - Play and Visit at Christy's house 1-3pm (Please email Christy by 10am if attending: mdeiner AT comcast DOT net)

Jan. 29 (Mon) - INCH Around the World at the Lebanon Community Library Community Room 1-3pm

Friday, December 08, 2006

Brainstorming Session

As we wrap up 2006 and get into 2007, we're happy that INCH has started and is growing! Our next class is (as always) open to ALL homeschooling families in the community who are interested in being a part of INCH. Please join us on Monday, December 11th at the Lebanon Community Library (in the Community Room) and let your voice be heard. What would you like to see and do? Do you have some neat class ideas? Would you like to have some special field trips and speakers? Come tell us! Let's work together to make INCH really great for all of us. We're discussing classes, field trips, a children's book club, game/chess club, our monthly "INCH around the world" activities (think "cultures and foods and fun"), a monthly parents' night out, and more! We strongly encourage all members and prospective members to join us for a great brainstorming session together. Remember, we are a new, growing, organized group--come be a part and help shape INCH! Feel free to bring snacks and LOTS of ideas--we can have a lot of fun with this!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Pictures From Our Puppet-Making Class

Thank you so much to Lisa for all of her hard work and preparation for such a fun class! We've made all kinds of puppets--finger puppets, stick puppets, sock puppets, and more! We used lots of books, lots of ideas, and lots of materials! We had so much fun that we didn't think to take many pictures. We had a new family join us from Jonestown, too! Welcome again! Thank you again, Lisa, for such a fun class!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

We're Making Puppets!

Puppets don't have to be complicated or expensive. Join us Monday at 2pm at the Lebanon Community Library for an afternoon of art, experimentation, and fun! Participants should bring markers or crayons, glue, construction paper, yarn, and any sort of decorative objects that can be glued to paper and fabric.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Pictures From Our First Class - "About Me" Books!

After a couple of great field trips, we've officially kicked off our classes at the very gracious Lebanon Community Library with a fun "About Me" Craft Project! We've all made some fun books and shared with one another more about ourselves, our families, our hobbies, our favorite books, our favorite movies and shows, and more! We had so much fun that we forgot to take more pictures, but here are a few. We really have a great time together!

Making our books

Sharing our books

And, of course, some plain old goofing around!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Review Of Our Playgroup

What a fun day and what beautiful November weather we've had for our most recent Friday playgroup! Thanks to our great hosts who provided us with a welcome home full of toys and fun and yummy treats. It was really fun! We had 6 children (variety of ages) and 6 adults. The adults enjoyed playing and visiting and the children enjoyed playing inside and outside! We also made thank you cards for the guides of our recent field trips. Everyone had a great time. We call it yet another success!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

December Calendar

The easiest way to join us is, quite simply, to join us! Do these classes and activities look like fun to you? Show up and have fun with us! We meet twice a week. We meet on Mondays for classes (or field trips) and a children's book club and game club and we meet on Fridays for free play, organized play, and/or field trips. We also have a Parents' Night Out on the 1st Tuesday of every month. If you'd like to volunteer to host or facilitate any of our classes or playgroups, please do! Please always consult the calendar (and check often--we update A LOT and this is, at times, subject to change) for specifics. Thanks!

Dec. 1 (Fri) - Play and Visit from 2-4pm

Dec. 4 (Mon) - Play and Visit at Christy's House 2-4pm

Dec. 5 (Tues) - Parents' Night Out at MJ's Coffeehouse 7pm

Dec. 8 (Fri) - Play and Visit at Member's Home (email for directions) from 2-4pm

Dec. 11 (Mon) - Brainstorming Session at the Lebanon Community Library Community Room 2-4pm

Dec. 15 (Fri) - Play and Visit at Lisa's house (email for directions) from 2-4pm

HOLIDAY BREAK (Keep checking--we start up again in January!)

More to come . . .

Next Monday Class - "About Me" Books

Our next class is Monday, November 13th from 2-4 at the Lebanon Community Library Community Room. Because we are a newly-formed group and because our numbers are growing, we're kicking off our classes with an "About Me" craft project! We are working on making booklets about ourselves and we're getting to introduce ourselves to one another. Come tell us about yourself, your hobbies, and your favorite books (among other things)! Come learn about others! Everyone can make one and the older children are welcome to make their own and assist the younger children with projects as well.

Please bring art supplies!! This is kind of an "Anything Goes" project. We are all bringing art supplies to use and share--everyone needs some kind of paper for the booklets and beyond that, whatever your imagination desires! We can draw pictures, cut up magazines, etc. Please bring supplies you have on hand and we can all share things like glue, scissors, magazines to cut up, etc.

Thank you, again, to our good library for allowing us the use of the Community Room! We encourage anyone in our group who feels so inclined to volunteer sometime as a "thank you" to the library. Another reminder, too, that anyone in our group is welcome to facilitate classes--ideas are welcome! We very much appreciate volunteers for that!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

November Parents' Night Out

What a very enjoyable evening! Those of us who attended found ourselves asking, "Do we only do this once a month?" We got together at 7pm at MJ's Coffeehouse and after talking and visiting for a while, we wondered about the time, checked, and to our surprise, it was already 10pm! It flew. Thank you to all who attended. For those considering joining us, if you like good discussion and a supportive environment, I think you're in for a treat. I was definitely strengthened from such a pleasant evening with such good people. Thank you, again.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Reminders and Thank Yous

A few reminders and thank yous . . .

1. Our next Parents' Night Out is tomorrow night at MJ's (see calendar). We've got more new members joining us!

2. Be sure to check the calendar often. We're always updating it. In fact, November's been further updated tonight.

3. Scroll down! :) There are so many neat things on our website. Just tonight, we've posted some fun pictures of our field trip today. Browse around the site--there's a lot to enjoy! And please introduce yourselves in our "Meet Our Members" section (use the comments) and tell us about what you're reading, too in the "Pleasure Reading" section (again, please use the comments)!

And a big THANK YOU to everyone for pitching in--whether it's arranging a field trip, opening your homes for playgroups, giving us information to add to our site, teaching a class, being welcoming to those in our group, being good friends, it's all very, very appreciated. What a fun group we have!

Firehouse Tour

This Wednesday at about 2:15, the fire company in Annville will be hosting a tour. This is a great way to fulfill your fire safety requirement! They are located on Main street across from the library. All are welcome!

Pictures From Our Courthouse Tour

We've had a great time on our field trip to the courthouse! Our guide was Elaine Ludwig, Director of Elections & Voter Registration, who took time from her especially busy day (Election Day is tomorrow!) to teach us about the new voting machines in Pennsylvania and give us a tour of the courthouse. We appreciate her time and instruction in teaching us and leading us today--we've all learned a lot and enjoyed ourselves very much! And we're very happy to say that two more families joined us today!

Here we are on the steps of the courthouse--look how our numbers are growing!

Everyone got a chance to try out the new machines. All of our disgruntled children ("Why do I have to be 18 in order to vote?!") got a chance to push the buttons and try it out!

It's fun to punch in your name!

Hmmm, whom shall I choose?

Elaine gave us a tour of the building, explaining each office at the doors.

Questions at the Planning Department (A.K.A. the Zoning Office).

This room was a hit--a worker in the Assessment Office shows us a big map of an area in Northern Lebanon. The kids (and adults) have all asked a lot of good questions!

And again, simply because it is so exciting how our cooperative is growing . . .

Members of our group on the courthouse steps!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Review Of Our Playgroup

We've had a wonderful time at our Friday playgroup! Thanks to our very gracious hosts who provided us with an inviting, delicious-smelling home full of toys and fun and cocoa and mmmmm, freshly baked bread with a variety of spreads. It was fantastic! Two new families have joined us and they seem to like what they see--as they're able, they'll be at the next field trips, playgroups, and parents' night out, too! We had 10 children (variety of ages) and 6 adults. The adults and teens played games and the younger children played. Everyone visited and had a great time. We call it a success!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Play and Games

We're meeting this Friday, November 3rd from 2-4pm at a member's home (please email inchoflebanoncounty AT gmail DOT com (anti-spam measure) for directions and further information if you'd like to join us--we're happy to have you!). There are toys and areas to play. Please feel free to bring a board game or two to play (remember, we have a variety of ages). We are setting up board game stations, playing, and enjoying one another's company! We are so excited! We've been hearing from many area families who are excited to join us--this is a wonderful opportunity to introduce ourselves, grow our group, and make new friends!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Pictures From Our Nature Hike

We've had a wonderful time on our Nature Hike. We've learned all kinds of things from our great guide, Professor Verhoek (or "Miss Susan" as she was known today)--we've learned about leaves, kinds of trees, and poison ivy, too! And what a hike! Good thing Miss Susan had her trusty clippers, because we were really in the brush! We appreciate her kindness in teaching us and leading us today.

Here we are identifying and matching leaves.

The forest is gorgeous!

Miss Susan teaches us about leaves and tree identification.

We've learned about Queen Anne's Lace (also called "Wild Carrot"). Look closely right in the middle and see her purple ruby hidden inside!

We're identifying all kinds of trees!

And moss, too!

After a long walk through the forest, we hiked right through that brush! What an adventure! But just look at the gorgeous view once you're on the field on top of the big green hill!

Walk out a little further and look out over the valley--hills of fall colors dotted with stone and white church steeples. Beautiful!

We also saw huge black swans!

Arguably one of the favorite activities of the day--"mountain climbing!"

Visiting by the pond. What a fun day!

How To Become A Member Of INCH

It's FREE and easy to join INCH. We don't have any membership fees, we don't make you perform any bizarre rites of passage or go through any strange hazing requirements, and we don't even sing cheesy "welcome" songs!

Please email inchoflebanoncounty AT gmail DOT com and ask to be added to the mailing list to be up to date on all we do!

You are free to email us, ask us questions, and check out our website. The easiest way to join us is, quite simply, to join us! This is an open, inclusive group. Do our classes and field trips and activities look like fun to you? Show up and have fun with us! Do you have some classes you would like to teach? Join us and do it! Are you looking to make really good friendships in a welcoming setting? Come play with us!

INCH meets on Fridays for classes and field trips as well as other times for "extra-curricular" activities. We also have occassional Parents' Nights Out. Please always consult the calendar for specifics. Come find out more about our homeschool group! Thanks!

Please email inchoflebanoncounty AT gmail DOT com and ask to be added to the mailing list to be up to date on all we do!

Field Trip - It's Election Time!

Please join us on November 6th at 2pm as we learn about voting on a voting demo machine! We're meeting in Room #209 of the Lebanon County Courthouse and enjoying a brief explanation about voting machines. The woman with whom I spoke on the phone also said that we can enjoy touring the courthouse itself.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

National Young Readers Day

Nov. 14 is National Young Readers Day!

To celebrate, schools across the country are invited to host "celebrity"” read-ins where local heroes - whether it be a fire fighter, policeman, someone in the armed forces or any former young reader - to read a favorite children'’s book!

National Young Readers Day is a day that was created by Pizza Hut and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress in 1989 as a way to celebrate literacy.

More great ideas for celebrating National Young Readers Day can be found here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Happy Take Back Your Time Day!

Today is October 24th. All day I've been trying to think of why this date sounds familiar. I've been scrolling through family and friend birthday lists in my mind. And then it occurred to me. It's Take Back Your Time Day!

Take Back Your Time Day is honored every October 24th. Why October 24th? Because it symbolizes the fact that every year Americans work 9 weeks longer than their European counterparts. So, in Europe if you bank your vacation, you could stop working on October 24th and have the rest of the year off! Compare that to the usual 2 weeks off for the typical working American.

You can learn A LOT more about this great movement on their website.

Their website states:

TAKE BACK YOUR TIME is a major U.S./Canadian initiative to challenge the epidemic of overwork, over-scheduling and time famine that now threatens our health, our families and relationships, our communities and our environment.
They go on to describe "time poverty."

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? Are you, or your friends or relatives, working more now but enjoying it less? Does your family's schedule feel like a road race? If so, you're not alone. Millions of Americans are overworked, over-scheduled and just plain stressed out.

  • We're putting in longer hours on the job now than we did in the 1950s, despite promises of a coming age of leisure before the year 2000.

  • In fact, we're working more than medieval peasants did, and more than the citizens of any other industrial country.

  • Mandatory overtime is at near record levels, in spite of a recession.

  • On average, we work nearly nine full weeks (350 hours) LONGER per year than our peers in Western Europe do.

  • Working Americans average a little over two weeks of vacation per year, while Europeans average five to six weeks. Many of us (including 37% of women earning less than $40,000 per year) get no paid vacation at all.

Contemporary Americans complain of unprecedented levels of busyness in everyday life. They worry about frenetic schedules, hurried children, couples with no time together, families who rarely eat meals together, and an onslaught of "hidden work" from proliferating emails, junk mail, and telemarketing calls. The Girl Scouts recently introduced a "Stress Free" merit badge for today's harried young girls.

More information from their website:


  • Time stress threatens our health. It leads to fatigue, accidents and injuries. It reduces time for exercise and encourages consumption of calorie-laden fast foods. Job stress and burnout costs the U.S. economy more than $300 billion a year.

  • Time stress threatens our marriages, families and relationships as we find less time for each other, less time to care for our children and elders, less time to just hang out.

  • It weakens our communities. We have less time to know our neighbors, supervise our young people, and volunteer.

  • It reduces employment as fewer people are hired and then required to work longer hours, or are hired for poor part-time jobs without benefits.

  • It leaves many of us with little time to vote, much less be informed, active citizens.

  • It leaves us little time for ourselves, for self-development, or for spiritual growth.

  • It leads to growing neglect and abuse of pets.

  • It even contributes to the destruction of our environment. Studies show that lack of time encourages use of convenience and throwaway items and reduces recycling.

TAKE BACK YOUR TIME DAY IS NOT ANTI-WORK. Useful and creative work is essential to happiness. But American life has gotten way out of balance. Producing and consuming more have become the single-minded obsession of the American economy, while other values -- strong families and communities, good health and a clean environment, active citizenship and social justice, time for nature and the soul -- are increasingly neglected.

The website goes on to say what they're doing about it and different ways we can all participate in the movement. THIS is the kind of organization for which I can totally see myself volunteering. I often consider it. For now, I at least spread the word, share the site, and highly, HIGHLY recommend the book. The title of the book is Take Back Your Time: Fighting Overwork and Time Poverty in America. We own it and count it among some of THE MOST influential books we've read. We cannot recommend it highly enough. It is eye opening and life altering. Read it! Each chapter addresses a different aspect of time poverty and what we can do about it, full of interesting studies and fascinating statistics. It is a book of 30 essays by many different contributors.