UTCH eHomestyle News July 2016 Summer Edition

Also in this Issue:

Special Blessings Group Information

Special Blessings Group Information

We are updating our email list for the Special Blessings group. If you'd like to be on this list, please email us! We are looking forward to taking some field trips, and sharing info. on special needs! Steve and Michelle Bennett wevemanyblessings@yahoo.com

UTCH UTAH State Fair Day

UTCH UTAH State Fair Day

UTCH families are encouraged to attend the fair on Friday, September 9. This is a day we can visit events together and enjoy fellowship. The fair is open from September 8-18 and home school groups are welcome to attend the Fair at the school rate (Approximately $1.00) for students and chaperones. A certificate of exemption from your district must be provided to the ticket seller at the time of payment to be eligible for this rate.

Save the Date!

Save the Date!

Saturday, August 13, 2016
Crestwood Park
7485 South (Siesta Drive) 1700 East
Cottonwood Heights, UT
Tentative Schedule:
4:00 - 6:00 Used Book Sale
4:00 New Home Educators Workshop
5:00 Graduation 2016 Details and Workshop
5:55 Welcome and Announcements
6:00 Dinner and Fellowship
7:00 Games for parents, teens and kids
Come enjoy the Food, Fellowship and Group Games!

If you'd like a table (or portion of one) to sell curriculum items at this event, please reply to Cynthia at thomas.s.edwards@gmail.com

S’mores Blossom Cookies

S’mores Blossom Cookies

1 1/2 cups flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar (plus more for rolling)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons milk
1 t. vanilla extract
24 large marshmellows, cut in half
48 chocolate kisses, unwrapped

In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until light and creamy. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla. Gradually add in flour mixture. Refrigerate until firm. Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls, roll them in sugar and place on the trays. Bake 8-9 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press one marshmallow half cut-side down onto each cookie, gently pressing down. Turn the oven to broil and lightly broil then press a chocolate kiss into each one. Cool completely.

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The Forum Speech and Debate Club:

The Forum Speech and Debate Club:

Are you looking for challenging and fun educational opportunities for your kids? The Forum, UTCH's Speech and Debate Co-op, offers classes on Mondays to grow skills and competition opportunities through NCFCA to refine those skills and have a lot of fun!!!

Your kids can take just one class or several and you can award them either core credits or just have an extra-curricular activity. Have them dramatize a great piece of literature, learn to defend the faith in Apologetics, or learn college-level study and research skills... do what works best for your family and your school year!

Returning this coming fall: Junior Speech Classes for younger kids, so we have classes for elementary-high school.

You don't have to be in the Salt Lake area to participate. Many of the families in Region III of NCFCA participate without coming to classes in Salt Lake.

Details for an informational meeting later this summer will be sent out via the UTCH email list. Questions? Contact: Caleen Boyter at Caleenboyter@gmail.com

UTCH Co Op Information:

UTCH Co Op Information:
South Valley Co Op

Science Co-op will meet at Berean Baptist Church in Sandy on Tuesday afternoons, beginning in September, and will be offering the following Apologia Science classes:
*Elementary- Human Anatomy and Physiology
*High School- Chemistry 2nd Edition (Prerequisite: Algebra 1)
*High School- Advanced Biology Human Anatomy (Prerequisite: Biology)

Costs are usually minimal, including book, lab costs, and small fee to bless the host church. Parents help out with co-op. Other Apologia Science classes may be offered as parents volunteer to lead them.

For info, contact Caleen Boyter at Caleenboyter@gmail.com
West Valley Co-op begins this fall
Autumn Hartman

Salt Lake Valley Co-op Information:
Mark and Laura Francis

UTCH Davis/Weber Cooperative
www.dwcoop.net or info@dwcoop.net

Other Co Ops?

If you're interested in announcing information about your co op in this newsletter, please contact Cynthia at thomas.s.edwards@gmail.com

by Mary Jo Patterson


Mothers do not quit home schooling for lack of curriculum or how-to books. However, many have given up or come very close because of dust bunnies breeding in corners and under the beds. Stacks of paper and other mountainous clutter can swallow your joy and breed feelings of discouragement. Being overwhelmed by everyday chores can make successful home schooling almost impossible. Avoiding disorganization and a dirty, cluttered house can make the difference between a stress-filled, even chaotic, school experience and a fairly sane, rewarding, "I think I can do this" experience. Home schooling is not the icing on the cake of your life. It has to be part of the batter. You must organize yourself in such a way as to integrate it into the very heart of everyday living.

A schedule is a must in getting and staying organized. Also, children do better on schedules. For example: get up at the same time daily, have breakfast, lunch and dinner, and teach the various academic subjects at the same time everyday. The ages of your children will determine a lot of what your schedule looks like. Remember, even young children can and should do chores. When I stated that a messy, cluttered house can lead to the demise of your home schooling effort, I wasn't suggesting that you are to do all the house work. Doing their chores is valuable character training for your children. It is also important to build flexibility into this eating, teaching and chore doing schedule so that you can take advantage of various opportunities that may present themselves.

The time spent in developing an academic as well as household maintenance schedule and plan is a must. The book, Sidetracked Home Executives, by Pam Young and Peggy Jones is an excellent resource for developing a cleaning schedule. Pam's and Peggy's method of using 3x5 cards makes it easy for you and your children to know exactly what the chores are for any given day. Hand in hand with a cleaning schedule is organizing each room so that everything that belongs in that room has a place. This will keep clutter to a minimum. You may have to be ruthless in getting rid of the things that are not being used and are taking up valuable space. A cluttered house leads to a cluttered mind and fuzzy thinking. Also, try to handle your mail only once. Sort it by family member, throw away or shred the junk mail, and pay the bills or put them in their designated place to be paid on a predetermined schedule.

It is equally important to develop an academic plan and schedule. The time spent on setting goals for the school year, choosing curriculum and developing a plan with small achievable steps for each child is essential. Your yearly goals will determine quarterly goals which in turn determine monthly and weekly goals. The yearly goals need to be reassessed half way through the year where adjustments can be made if necessary. Weekly lesson plans will help keep you on track. It won't take long before you will be able to quickly plan the academic week for your children. When you can see the big picture of what each child should be doing at any given time you will be able to work around their schedule and have a better handle on running your household. And don't forget about flexibility and scheduling some fun into your day.

Home schooling may not be the easiest thing you ever do in your life, but it can be the most rewarding. It is worth all the time and effort you pour into it. And who knows, you just may get organized to boot.

Mary Jo Patterson is the newsletter editer for GHEA. Having completed homeschooling her own children, she continues to assist and counsel home school parents in Georgia. This article may be reproduced with credit given to the author.


In Search of the Perfect Curriculum
by Diana Waring

In Search of the Perfect Curriculum

As an experienced homeschool mom, speaker and curriculum writer, I’ve noticed that many believe this and seek earnestly for the genie, or the wand, or the catalog. And, lest you think I’m loftily looking down my nose, let me add that I was one of them. In the early days of homeschooling, I was convinced that there truly existed a perfect curriculum, and spent years on a quest, like those in search of the Holy Grail, to find it. Most of us who invested way too much time and money on this zealous mission have found by now that there is no fantastic carpet ride — only increasing disappointment, discouragement, and often the end of homeschooling altogether.

We wonder why all of our attempts end in defeat, in our children showing distaste and disgust at the results of our valiant effort to find the perfect curriculum. Convinced that it’s the curriculum that accomplishes the difficult feat of teaching, we continue to crawl toward the increasingly remote goal of enthusiastic, passionate, well-educated children. We end up calling the goal a fantasy when the mirage is too elusive.

What’s wrong with this picture? Maybe an answer will emerge from the following story.

Many years ago, my daughter, Melody, began violin lessons with a retired college professor. His first comment, as she unpacked her violin, was, “Melody, I can’t teach you to play violin.” As he said this, I startled in shock, since he had already auditioned and accepted Melody into his studio, and was charging a very significant fee. However, he quickly followed up this comment with, “But I can help you learn.”

I was startled again, this time as my educational world leaped suddenly into focus. In that moment the perspective swung from the teacher and the books to the participation of the student. A good teacher is important, just like a good curriculum. However, the real magic of learning – the true abra-cadabra – is only revealed as the student engages the material: practices it, plays with it, dissects it, considers it, creatively reconfigures it, questions it, teaches it, and makes it his or her own.

Perhaps, we can alter the original premise and find a true, attainable quest: A good curriculum will offer opportunities for students to dive into oceans of learning, will allow students to find interesting issues to pursue, will encourage their growth and understanding, and cause students to do the work of learning. If this makes sense, then let us consider some ways in which we can evaluate our curriculum choices, realizing that though it will not “educate” our students for us, it is, nevertheless, a good assistant in this process.


Does this curriculum encourage students to think about what is being said, to consider and ask their own questions, or does it simply require that students memorize and regurgitate answers in the mind-numbing mold of “Polly wants a cracker”?

I remember my high school experience as a second-year algebra student. Though I excelled in the class, successfully memorizing all of the theorems for the frequent math tests, they never gave me a clue that algebra is something people can and actually do use in real life. We were never taught to ask, “How does this work beyond the pages of my textbook?” Actually, we were never taught any more than to do the pages in sequence, take the tests and get the grade.

It wasn’t until I was thirty-eight years old that I discovered algebra had a reason for existing beyond the confines of a textbook. And, to tell you the truth, I was both chagrined and surprised that no one had bothered to explain that during any of those months of algebra.

And language arts: name the noun; name the verb; write the sentence. No! Why not BE the noun; DO the verb; go outside and collect nouns and make them do stuff; cause them to obey whatever the prepositions demand of them. Keep going until the questions start — “What about this?” “Is this right?” “Can we say it this way?”


Does this curriculum offer students the freedom to make individual choices, based on their interests, or does it demand that everyone march in lock-step through each page?

I can concede that math would mostly be sequential, but as a historian, I have often pondered the arrogance of requiring all students to know the importance of the Napoleonic wars, for example, while dismissing the comparative importance of learning about Beethoven, Robert Fulton or Louis Braille. These men all lived during this same era, and each significantly impacted the world. Who decided that it is more important to know geo-political history than musical, scientific, or blind-education history, to the point of excluding them from the history books? Why should we require students to know the impact of the battle of Waterloo, while restricting from them the significance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Fulton’s affect on transportation and commerce, or the earth-shaking technology that opened the written word to those who could not see?

Rather than a forced march with a whip-cracking overseer through selected facts, why not give a basic understanding of an era of history, introduce students to the many fascinating people of the time, then set them free to dig more deeply into those people and events most compelling to them?


Does this curriculum encourage active, hands-on, creative participation on the part of the student, or does it allow them to sit passively through the lessons as long as they can answer a certain percentage of the test questions correctly?


Utah Christian Home School Co Op Information

West Valley Co-op
Autumn Hartman

Salt Lake Valley Co-op
Mark and Laura Francis

UTCH Davis/Weber Cooperative
www.dwcoop.net or info@dwcoop.net

South Salt Lake Co-op
Caleen Boyter

UTCH Volunteers

UTCH Membership Secretary
UCEI Administrator
Peter Reymer

UTCH Newsletter Editor
Cynthia Edwards

Field Trip Coordinator
Jennifer Johnson

Digital Newsletter Layout
Micheal Fenton

Mail and Voice mail
Russ and Shelly Davidson


UTCH eHomestyle News

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