Saturday, September 10, 2016

Fall Homeschool Events In Texas

Below is a list of Homeschool Days and and other fun special events and discounts for homeschoolers in Texas (the ones I know about).  May also include some "mid-school day" events not especially for homeschoolers.    Events in or around Waco are in bold.  Ones a little further but still in driving distance (1-3 hours away) have an orange star* next to them.



SEPTEMBER



LegoLand - Grapevine, TX*
Homeschool Week September 12-16th - Includes a LEGO® Education Workshop. Tickets will be $10 per day plus tax for both children and adults. Reservation Required

Sea Life Aquarium - Grapevine, TX*
Homeschool Week September 12-16th - Each ticket will include entry to the SEA LIFE Grapevine and a special Amazing Discoveries educational scavenger hunt. Complete the scavenger hunt and receive a SEA LIFE Guidebook to continue the fun at home.  Tickets $10.  Reservation required.

Austin Zoo*
Sept 23.   Science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics activities for homeschool families including activities from partner organizations, keeper talks, and a special education animal presentations!

Houston Zoo*
Sept 15, 10:00am – 1:15pm.  Eco Experiments - A day of science fun and experimental engagement where students will take part in hands-on investigations and deepen their understanding of scientific processes. Registration includes access to hands on experiments, 3 exclusive animal encounters, and general admission to the Houston Zoo.  $30 (or $20 for members).


OCTOBER

Houston Zoo - OFF SITE, Texas City
Oct 5, 9:30 - 1:30 PM.  Field Researchers Day is an interactive event which allows students a first hand feel of a day in the life of a field researcher.  We will use field testing techniques to determine the health of an endangered coastal prairie ecosystem.   Registration includes exclusive access to the Texas City Prairie Preserve where you will be accompanied by Zoo staff.  General admission to the Houston Zoo is covered in the price, however all activities are held in Texas City.  $30 (or $20 for members).

Space Center Houston
Oct 5    Oct 5th from 4:30 - 9:25
Space After Dark Program includes
• Live briefing about Mars.
• Dinner served at Space Center Houston.
• Exciting, grade-level appropriate, hands-on activities.
• Private guided tram-tour to NASA Johnson Space Center.
• Second-day admission to Home School Day 2016.

Space Center Houston
Oct 6.  Homeschool Day. Meet retired NASA astronaut Mark Polansky and hear from NASA Johnson Space Center experts on a variety of topics including the Cassini Mission to Saturn and NASA inventions that have improved the lives of ordinary people. Engage yourself with Sphero and Vex Robotics Challenges. Get hands-on in our interactive Pop-Up Science Labs where you can see demonstrations of Newton’s Third Law of Motion, make a small bulb light up, discover the destructive force of meteors and so much more!


NOVEMBER

Texas Renaisance Festival* - Todd Mission TX (2 Hr from Waco)
Nov 1-2, 8 am - 4 pm.   Day for educators, students, and homeschoolers only, with reduced price of $9.  Students step back in time as they enter the sights and sounds of New Market Village, an authentic recreation of a 16th century European village. Students will interact with hundreds of costumed characters representing the courts, culture, art, science, and literature of the Renaissance Period.

Houston Zoo*
Nov 8, 10:00am – 1:15pm. Scavenger Hunt Safari Day includes stations set up around the Zoo to provide students opportunities to connect with animals and create meaningful memories.  Registration includes access to the scavenger hunt, 3 exclusive animal encounters, and general admission to the Houston Zoo. $30 (or $20 for members).




WEEKLY/MONTHLY/ANYTIME

Hill Country Science Mill  - Johnson City*
Monthly - 2nd Wed each Month.   In addition to museum exhibits, there will be  special demonstrations, activities and/or guests.  Children $6.  One parent/educator free with attending children. $4 - 6 extra for Learning Labs. 

Dr. Pepper Star Center  - Farmers Branch*
Various Times/Days.  Ice Skating Homeschool Skate Days happen on a regular basis.  Please call the Group Event Coordinator (Brittany) at 214-432-3131, ext. 227 for information on day, times and cost.

Sea World - San Antonio*.
Home School Days programs are available on select non-operating dates in November and December - reservation required.   This guided program includes family-focused, appropriate, and interactive experiences centered around animal adaptations and educational activities throughout the park. Students will explore and learn about animals, conservation efforts and stories relating to SeaWorld. $18 per participate (including supervising adults...children 2 and under are free).  Admission to SeaWorld is not included and is not required.   Reservartions must be made 14 days in advance. 



Also try these sites...
(Some may be for previous years)
Homeschool Days and Field Trips in Dallas


If you know of any other events, please, please share them in the comments below and I'll add them to this list. 






Thursday, April 21, 2016

GUEST POST: My Daughter's Drive Through Dallas

Thanks so much Donna Fitzgerald for sharing this post about her's daughter's scary experience driving through Dallas.
 


Recently, my oldest daughter went on a college tour in Dallas. If it were up to me, she’d decide to study here, at Baylor, but we have to let our children have their own adventures some time. As a family, we’ve been to Dallas numerous times, but my daughter has never driven through Dallas on her own. When she was starting to plan her trip, I insisted that I accompany her, but after much deliberation, she had convinced me that traveling with 3 of her “very responsible” friends would be just as safe (it was only for a weekend and they were staying with a relative in the Dallas-Fort Worth area).

Before the girls left on a Friday morning, we mapped out their trip and checked out TxDOT’s Traffic Map and I encouraged them to pull over and look at it before they reached Dallas, so they knew what kind of delays to expect. I reminded my daughter that the traffic can be very congested and is nothing like the “gridlock” we experience, here, in Waco.

A few hours later, my daughter texted me, told me that they arrived, and said she’d call later. That evening, my daughter called, her voice sounded tired and quiet, not like that of an almost high school graduate scoping out prospects for her exciting future. “Mom, it was awful,” she said, surprisingly without her typical dramatic flair.

“What was awful? Which college?”
“No, Mom, the drive. It was the worst thing I’ve ever experienced.”
“I thought Amber drove through Dallas. She said she’s done it before.”
“She did...and it was terrible.”



She proceeded to explain that her friend, Amber, who had driven through Dallas many times ended up texting and driving through most of I-35 East, during a very congested time of day. When my daughter and their other friends asked her to stop, Amber snapped and said that it was legal and she had her license for over a year (so it was fine). My daughter continued to tell me that many of the drivers were either texting, talking on their phones, or doing something else while driving. “Mom, one guy was shaving his face and eating a hamburger at the same time. I don’t even know how he managed to stay in between the lanes, let alone merge in front of us.”

I was ready to tell my daughter that “Sadly, that’s the way it is” because traffic congestion in Texas has been a problem forever, but then I realized why she was so upset. My daughter is a good driver. She’s responsible. She’s never been in an accident, has never been given a citation, and has never even been tempted to text and drive (even though it’s still legal in Waco). I attribute some of her responsibility to our own good driving habits, but even as a young child, she had caught me looking at myself in the visor mirror and she told me to get my eyes back on the road.

These days, when young drivers are some of the road’s most riskiest motorists, I know how lucky we are to have such a responsible driver in our family. After I encouraged her to drive on the return trip, we laughed about the man who was shaving and eating. When I asked her if she had made any decisions about college, she replied, “I can always ride my bike to Baylor.”


Pictures by Pixabay 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Waco VBS Guide - 2016




Below is a list of all Vacation Bible School's happening this summer in and around Waco.  There may be a few I missed so if you know of any, please leave a comment and I'll be happy to add them!  All programs, to my knowledge, are free (unless noted).


JUNE 

Meadowbrook Baptist Church
Theme: Deep Sea Discovery
Ages: 4 yr - 5th
Dates: June 5 - 9
Time:  6:15 - 8:30 pm
Location: Robinson
More Info Here

First Baptist Church of Waco 
Theme: Egypt- Joseph's Journey
Dates: June 6 - 10
Time: 9am - 12
Location: Waco, TX.
More Info Here   

Dayspring Baptist Church
Theme: Egypt - Joseph's Journey
Dates:  June 12 - 15
Time: 6 - 8 pm
Location: Waco
NOTE:  On June 12th there will be a celebration with water slide
More Info Here

First Baptist Church of Lorena
Theme:  Cave Quest
Dates:  June 12 -18
Time: 6pm - 8:30pm
Location:  Lorena
More Info Here

First Baptist Church Woodway 
Theme: Walk This Way
Dates:  June 13 - 17
Time: 9 am - NOON
Family Night June 16:  6:30 PM
Location: Woodway
More Info Here

Highland Baptist Church
Theme: Ocean Commotion
Ages: K - 5th
Dates:  June 13 - 17
Time: 9:30 am - 12:15
Location: Waco
NOTE:  Registration will be on May 22, 29, and June 5 in the HBC lobby
More Info Here

First Baptist Church China Spring
Theme: Submerged
Ages: Pre-K - 6th Grade
Dates: June 13th-17th
Times: 6:30pm-9:00pm
Location:  China Spring
More Info Here

First Baptist Church Woodway
Theme:  Backstage With the Bible
Ages:  Age 4 - 6th Grade
Dates:  June 13-17
Time: 9:00 am - noon
Location: Woodway
More Info Here

St. Albans Episcopal Church
Theme: Surf Shack
Ages:  Age 4 yr - 5th Grade
Dates: June 15 - 19
Time: 9 am - 12 noon
Location: Waco, TX,
More Info Here 


Brazos Meadows Baptist Church
Theme: Barnyard Roundup
Ages:   Completed KG - 6th Grade
Dates:  June 20 - 23
Times:  6:30 - 8:45 pm
Location:  Hewitt
More Info Here

Lorena United Methodist Church
Theme: Surf Shack
Ages:  Pre-K - Grade 6
Dates: June 20 - 23
Time: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: Lorena, TX,
More Info Here

Woodway 1st United Methodist Church
Theme:  Egypt - Joseph's Journey
Ages: Age 4  - entering 6th Grade
Dates: June 26 - 29
Time:  6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Location:  Woodway
More Info Here

Peace Lutheran Church
Theme:  Submerged
Location:  Hewitt
Ages: Pre-K — 6th grade
Dates: June 26 - 30
Times:    
JUNE 26: Water Festival Kick-Off starts 3:00 pm, June 26th only
JUNE 27 - 30: 6 -  8:30 pm           
More Info Here

Trinity Lutheran Church at Badger Ranch
Theme:  Cave Quest
Ages:  3 yrs - Grade 5
Dates: June 26 - 30
Location: Woodway
More Info Here

St. Louis Catholic School
Theme:  Deep Sea Discovery
Ages: Pre-K — 6th grade
Dates: June 27 - 30
Times: 8:30 am - NOON
Location:  Waco
More Info Here



JULY

First Methodist Church of Waco
Theme:  Cave Quest
Ages:  KG - 6th Grade
Dates:  July 10 - 14
Times:  6pm - 8:30pm
Location: WacoMore Info Here

Western Heights Baptist ChurchTheme: Submerged
Ages:  Age 4 - completed 6th
Dates:  July 11 - 15
Times:  9 am - Noon
Location:  Waco
More Info Here

Columbus Avenue Baptist Church
Theme: Ocean Commotion
Ages: PK-6th Grade
Dates: July 11-15
Times: 9:00 am - NOON
More Info Here  

First Baptist Church of Gholson
Dates:  July 17-21
Times:  6:30-8:30pm
Location:  Gholson
More Info Here

Evergreen Baptist Church
Theme: Ocean Commotion
Ages: Age 4 - Grade 6
Dates:  July 24 - 28
Location:  Waco
More Info Here

Central Christian Church
Theme:  Anchored
Ages:  Age 4 - 5th Grade
Dates:  July 25 - 29
Times:  9 am - Noon
Location: Waco
More Info Here


If you would like your Church VBS info added to this list, please leave me a message with the details (church name, VBS time and date, ages eligible, theme, city and either website or contact info) in the comments below.   Thanks!

Thanks to pixabay for the bead pic used for the header.


Friday, March 4, 2016

SPRING BREAK EVENTS - Waco Area





Here's a little guide of what's going on this Spring Break...fun events for kids or the whole family.  I also suggest visiting this article which includes some things that are available all the time (museums and such) that would make great Waco Spring Break activities.  

SATURDAY - March 5


In Driving Distance:

  • Austin, TX (and surrounding areas) - There is all sorts of things going on this Saturday in Austin...a parade, a Cultural Fair, Science Presentations at UT, and more.  Find a complete list at Free Fun in Austin.

  • Discover the Dinosarus  - Belton, TX - 9am to 7 pm - Walk through exhibit of static and animatronic dinosaurs complete with a Dino Dig, Dino Theater, Dino Coloring Area and Scavenger Hunt plus unlimited Dinosaur Rides, Mini Golf and inflatables.  $15 to $22.



SUNDAY - March 6

  • CORRECTION:  The “Spring Forward for Amphibians” day at the zoo is NEXT Sunday, March 13...not the 6th.


In Driving Distance:

  • Austin, TX (and surrounding areas) - There is all sorts of things going on this Saturday in Austin... a Kite Festival and concert, free museum entrance, Texas Independence Day stuff, and more.  Find a complete list at Free Fun in Austin.



MONDAY - March 7
  
  • Waco Hippodrome$3 movie (see below), including popcorn and a drink  (this price may be just for kids or for kids and adults)
Babe
Monday, March 7th:
11:00A | 1:30P
  • 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm. - At the Gov. Bill & Vara Daniel Historic Village (behind the Mayborn), experience hands-on history making butter, pumping water from a well, wringing clothes, and more! 
  • 10:30 am & 2:30 pm - Appearances from MR. POTATO HEAD 
  • 11 am & 3 pm -Watch Disney/Pixar's Toy Story in the museum theater at . 
  • Skate Waco - Free roller skating at Skate Waco 1 pm to 5 pm



TUESDAY - March 8


  • Waco Hippodrome$3 movie (see below), including popcorn and a drink  (this price may be just for kids or for kids and adults)
Babe
Monday, March 7th:
11:00A | 1:30P
Tuesday, March 8th:
11:00A | 2:30P | 6:15P | 9:45P
  • 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm. - At the Gov. Bill & Vara Daniel Historic Village (behind the Mayborn), learn what it took to make corn meal, coffee, and herbs into usable staples in the late 1800s. Then hop aboard and ride through the village in a horse drawn carriage. (Subject to cancellation in case of inclement weather).
  • 10:30 am & 2:30 pm - Appearances from MR. POTATO HEAD 
  • 11 am & 3 pm -Watch Disney/Pixar's Toy Story in the museum theater at . 

  • Skate Waco - Buy one Get One admission and extended Retro night (5 to 9).  FREE.




WEDNESDAY - March 9

  • Waco Hippodrome$3 movie (see below), including popcorn and a drink  (this price may be just for kids or for kids and adults)
Rio
Wednesday
11:00A | 2:00P | 6:00P | 8:30P


  • Waco Hippodrome$3 movie (see below), including popcorn and a drink  (this price may be just for kids or for kids and adults)
  • 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm. - At the Gov. Bill & Vara Daniel Historic Village (behind the Mayborn), Help us grow flowers, vegetables, and more by planting seeds in the village garden. Then come say hi to cute farm animals in the village. (Subject to cancellation in case of inclement weather)
  • 10:30 am & 2:30 pm - Appearances from MR. POTATO HEAD 
  • 11 am & 3 pm -Watch Disney/Pixar's Toy Story in the museum theater at . 




THURSDAY - March 10

  • Waco Hippodrome$3 movie (see below), including popcorn and a drink  (this price may be just for kids or for kids and adults)
Rio
Thursday March 10th:
11:00A | 2:00P | 6:00P | 8:30P
  • 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm. - At the Gov. Bill & Vara Daniel Historic Village (behind the Mayborn): Turning on the lights meant something different in the late 1800s. Come make hand-made candles in the village. Then hop aboard and ride through the village in a horse drawn carriage. (Subject to cancellation in case of inclement weather)
  • 10:30 am & 2:30 pm - Appearances from MR. POTATO HEAD 
  • 11 am & 3 pm -Watch Disney/Pixar's Toy Story in the museum theater at .



FRIDAY - March 11

  • Waco Hippodrome$3 movie (see below), including popcorn and a drink  (this price may be just for kids or for kids and adults)
Rio
Friday, March 11th:
11:00A | 2:00P
  • 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm. - At the Gov. Bill & Vara Daniel Historic Village (behind the Mayborn) come play horseshoes, ring toss, classic toys, egg races, and more! 
  • 10:30 am & 2:30 pm - Appearances from MR. POTATO HEAD 
  • 11 am & 3 pm -Watch Disney/Pixar's Toy Story in the museum theater at .  
  • Drinks and Doodles With the Hewitt Library Director - 2 to 3 pm - Not really sure what this is about. Looks like maybe adult coloring but might have a kid friendly aspect too.  If nothing else, they're at a library so they could read while you "drink and doodle."   
  • Art Center Waco Cookies & Coloring - 3 to 5 pm -  Explore the work of Jackson Pollock and eat cookies. The Art Center is open Tuesday through Saturday 10am to 5pm. Admission is FREE


SATURDAY - March 12

 SUNDAY - March 13














Monday, February 29, 2016

Railroad Commissioner - And Some Election Comedy

I've been researching republican primary candidates, and oh my word, reading Railroad Commissioner candidates' websites is comedy gold...

Take Doug Jeffrey's website...one whole paragraph and a link to his facebook page is the whole thing. No mentions of issues...just a bio with this gem to convince us he has experience in the oil industry (which is what Railroad Commissioner regulates...that and gas, but ironically, not railroads):
"Doug has continued his family's tradition of raising cattle and has active investments in the oil and gas industry." 
Like, "I invest in oil companies" is the closest thing he has to experience...all grouped in there in a sentence about his cattle experience, like that's just as relevant.  Nice.

 Or try this one by John Greytok (who's site overall isn't too bad...at least it has some content, this quote not withstanding)....
"...in 1994, outraged over the arrogance of the Clinton White House, Greytok filed suit against Bill Clinton in a Texas federal district court." 

And that was ALL it said about that. So, was the suit about... Clinton's arrogance? I mean really, cause he didn't  without  any mention of WHY he sued that's all we're left with.    I can just picture that day in the courtroom...as John Greytok stands and in a booming voice says, "I file this suit over the egregiously pompous arrogance perpetrated by President Clinton."


Ron Hale does talk about issues a little...but someone please get this man a copy-editor. He has a whole line of "bullet points" all formatted like this....
Conservative Principles I plan to regulate on the basis of traditional values, limited state and federal government involvement, individual liberty, and free market principles.
Wow, that's new...this is the first Republican I've heard of that wants to regulate conservative principals. Seriously Hale, advice from a former English major...you need a dash or a colon or some bolding or something in there. Really, pay some college student $20 to edit your site...it's worth it).*

*Yeah, yeah, I know I'm going to be creamed for that cause I probably have a few errors in this myself. Granted, I'm not expecting anyone to vote for me though.

So, who did I decide on?  Someone who doesn't have a website at all that I can find...which usually would be a pretty swift knock against him, but nearly every article on the race I could find seemed to be endorsing him.  Our own Waco Tribune,  and Dallas News, The Eagle, Corpus Christy Caller Times all endorse Lance Christian (not to be confused with Wayne Christian, also running, who seemed to get some pretty harty UN-endorsements).   The Texas Tribune also had a very detailed and mostly positive article about Lance, though it wasn't an official endorsement.  And the Houston Chronicle suggests a vote for EITHER Lance Christian OR John Greytok. 

Below are some quotes from those endorsements...


For Lance Christian

For the record, the only candidate who stood out of the Texas Railroad Commission wannabes assembled...was Lance Christian, a low-key, 44-year-old geologist who works for the commission. He talked about things like horizontal drilling, injection wells and protecting groundwater. In short, he knew what he was talking about and didn’t feel the need to proclaim himself pro-Israel or pro-gun. 
- Waco Tribune
Unlike many of the politicians in this race, he keeps a focus on the straight and narrow duties of the commission: preserving the safety of Texans and our environment, and fostering the oil and gas industry. But maybe he doesn't go for the political pot-shots because Christian can actually talk about the policy and science that consumes most of the day-to-day duties of the commission.
- Houston Chronicle
 [Lance Christian is] likely to bring a measured, reasoned voice to difficult discussions about energy and environmental concerns. For example, Christian cited a need to review regulations to help the embattled oil and gas industry, including revamping a bond structure to allow small operators greater financial flexibility in plugging dormant wells. He also said the commission needs to carefully address harmful environmental emissions without hurting a struggling industry. This is a reasonable, balanced approach.
- Dallas News
 For John Greytok

Greytok has legal expertise. With a law degree from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, Greytok has served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the state of Texas and as a briefing attorney to the chief justice of the Third Court of Appeals in Austin. He understands the legal aspects of the commission's rulemaking and is also endorsed by former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson.
- Houston Chronical