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 June 2002

Black Hills Homeschool Association

An inclusive group dedicated to empowering all homeschoolers in the Black Hills of South Dakota through Support, Encouragement and Education

Volume 2, Issue 6                                                                                             June 2002

A WARM WELCOME to the new families who joined our group last month.  We have 38 families with about 84 children.  The group email list now has about 40 members on it.  Please continue to encourage those new to homeschooling.

PARK / LIBRARY DAYS!!!  Join us every Friday at 1:00 at Robbinsdale Park on nice days, or the Library on bad weather days.  

SCHOLASTIC BOOK ORDERS - We will have these order forms at our monthly meetings and will take orders then.  Lisa R. has PreK-2nd, Jen has 3rd and up.

YEARBOOK  Remember to save stories, pictures, etc. for our annual yearbook.  Contact Jen for more information.  Jen is looking for volunteers to help with this project.  The year is almost over, get those pages in order!!


MONTHLY MEETINGS are at the RC Public Library, usually on the last Saturday of each month from 1:00 to 3:00.  Check the dates.

Bring something to "Show-n-Tell".  It doesn't have to be on-topic.

Following is the tentative topic schedule.  If you or someone you know can discuss something in particular about one of these subjects, please let Rhonda know!

May 18, 2002 - Reading and Writing

June 29, 2002 - Spelling and Grammar

July 27, 2002 - Math

August 24, 2002 - Getting Started

September - Organization

October - Science

November - History

December - Special Needs



We are so proud of Andrew Friederick, Amy Hammer, Aaron Hartwell, Paul Herren, Aubrey Potts, and all the other graduating homeschoolers in the state and across the country.  

This is not the end, rather a pause to reflect and then go on to be and do what God would have us to be and do.  He has lifted us up on eagle's wings and brought us to Himself.



Not yet arranged:

Little House on the Prairie - June 28th, Jen
Post Office - Kim
Dentist - Rhonda
Humane Society - Rhonda
Fire Station - Rhonda
BH Animal Hospital -Leslie
Radio Station - Jen
RC Journal - Jen
Airport - Ruth
Old McDonalds Farm - Leslie

Thanks to those who have set up trips and events!!  Everyone is encouraged to jump right in and arrange something on your own!


Field Day - May 23rd at Woodle Field in Sturgis.

Home Schooling High Schoolers Workshop - May 28th  at 1:00 at Freedom Life Outreach Church.  Will cover record keeping, transcripts, credits, required courses, grading, ACT/SAT tests and more.  Costs to cover materials and donation to the church are $5. .

Relaxed (F)unschoolers - May 28th  10:00-12:00. .

Kay's Support Group Coffee -  June 6th at Millstone on W. Main at 7:00pm.

SDCHE Used Book Sale and Picnic
The 2002 Used Book and Curriculum Sale will be held at the Canyon Lake Senior Citizen Center from 9:00-1:00 on June 15th.
For more information contact SDCHE at

Storybook Island - Community Service.  When they reopen BHHA will volunteer to clean up the park on Thursday's from 10-11, then have a picnic lunch.  Contact Jen.

Public Speaking Class - Fall 2002.  This is an opportunity for 6th grade and up students to learn how to present and speak in front of a (very friendly) group.  Contact Kay .



Nine members attended our last meeting.  Most of them brought something to show-n-tell to the rest of us.

Stacie brought samples of some very interesting lap books her boys had done and the Big Book of Books by Dinah Zike.  Some relative links are:

The Zikefans group on yahoo has some pictures in its group files at  If you want to subscribe to that group send an email to:

Cindy brought three BIG volumes of Hands On Science Activities by Marvin Tolman which were full of fun science activities to do.


Early one day in May, we were blessed with the most beautiful music from about 17 of Amy's piano students.  Thank you Amy for your unending patience and giving to these students and for giving them the opportunity to bless others with their music.  THANK YOU!!
We are all proud of these students and all the others who also had various recitals this Spring.  


Prima School of Dance's recital "America the Beautiful" was wonderful!  Act 1 was the Spirit of America Broadcast (jazz, tap and modern).  Act 2 was Letters From Home (ballet) a classic ballet about one family's efforts to encourage their father fighting overseas.  It was inspired by the events of Sept. 11 and to celebrate our country and show patriotism.  What an outstanding performance by all the dancers, including many homeschoolers such as the Thompson's, Dehn's, Egbert's, Woods, Sewell's, and Wong's.


Academy of Dance Arts performance of Sleeping Beauty was INCREDIBLE!  It involved 180 local dancers from 4 yrs to adult including homeschoolers Palms, Irelands, Stewarts, Vandersnicks, Ptaceks, Sugrues, Hafners, and on and on!  The boys were trolls, pages, dragons, owls, princes and kings.  The girls were ladybugs, kittens, Faeroes, princesses and queens!  And there was so much more!


You might be a homeschooling family if...

... your Mom asks what books your child would like and you give here a 10 page list of the books you are looking for.


The Science Fair had 9 displays including a big tub of dirt and Worms, Onions, Coin Artist, Quicksand, Volcanoes, Fossils, Rocks and Dino Fossils, Distance of Planets, and a Lithium atom.  The students ranged in age from 5 to 12.  We had three judges who spent a lot of time studying each display and gave a lot of encouragement for next years fair.  We are very grateful for the judges!!  Everyone earned a certificate and a ribbon.  They all did an absolutely awesome job!!!


About 40 homeschoolers had an incredible tour of the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant.  There was a lot of memorabilia to look at.  It was fascinating to watch the automated machines and try to follow their path through washing, filling, sealing, and packaging.  They were fast and noisy, over 500 cans a minute.  The bottles are actually very tiny and look like test tubes before they are expanded and filled.  We learned a lot even though they would not share the secret recipe with us.  The biggest hit?  The free samples at the end of the tour of course!!!  

"I was really proud to be a part of the homeschool group!  Everyone was so well behaved.  It was a great testimony for homeschoolers."- Kris G.

You might be a homeschooling family if...

... you have to explain to the park ranger that your children are not skipping school but are working on a hands on nature study.

... you see your 2 1/2 year old toddle past with the magnifying glass and she tells you that today she is going to "study toys."

... you have bookshelves in every room of the house and you always need more.


We have had a rash of computer viruses lately.  The BHHA group email list no longer allows attachments because of this.  Here are some recommended precautions to protect yourself against viruses:

1.  Make sure your computer runs anti-virus software. If not buy and install it immediately.  Some virus detection software you run online, such as:

Norton AntiVirus

Trend Micro's "HouseCall"

McAfee AntiVirus

2.  Even if you have this software it has to be updated regularly as new viruses appear daily. Many products have a feature that will automatically download updates making it easy to stay protected. Otherwise periodically download the updates manually.  

3.  DO NOT OPEN an e-mail attachment unless you know who sent it. Even then it's not totally safe as a sneaky virus that has infected a friend's computer can access the e-mail address book send a message to everyone and attach itself. To be completely safe scan the attachment with your anti-virus software before you open it.  

4.  If you receive a suspicious message delete it immediately from your In Box. When you delete a message however it's still on your system. Go into the Deleted Mail folder and delete the message again to permanently remove it.  

5.  Regularly back-up your files. Should your system become infected, you won't lose your valuable data.

6.  Hoaxes!!  Some email virus alerts are only hoaxes and actually convince you to delete files that your computer really needs.

Some websites to check real and hoax viruses include:

McAfee -

Network Associates (the parent company of McAffee) -

Symantec -

And some of those emails you get really makes you wonder....better check out and don't believe everything you read!  Good Luck!!


(from an unknown experienced emailer)

1.  Most of the stories that are circulated via e-mail have been circulated many, many times before. Most often a new person to the internet will pass on lots of cute stories, not realizing most of us have heard it before (many times). I would suggest for most newcomers to e-mail that you refrain from passing on most stuff for the first six months. After that period of time, if it's new to you, it's more likely to be "fresh" to the rest of us.
2.  If a source is sending you lots of "good stuff", meaning news, jokes, stories, occasionally comment back just so the sender can know that you get the stuff, and are interested in still receiving like mannered
e-mail items.
3.  Likewise, if you've sent out fifty items to a recipient who never responds, maybe it's best to stop sending that person stuff.
4.  Beware of file size. I know the movie or .jpg or .wav file is cute or interesting to you, but a 1.2 megabyte file is going to take forever to download on my 28 K home connection. If I log on in the morning intending to drink coffee while I read the local and national news, I have just been thwarted because while that huge file downloads, my ability to "surf" the news has just ground to a halt. A far far better way is to e-mail potential recipients with what you have, then if they are interested enough to respond, go ahead and send it to them then.
5.  Edit Edit Edit before you send! How many times do I get a syrupy story with this stuck at the end:  "THIS IS A SIMPLE TEST   If you love God, send this to ten people and the person that sent it to you!!!"  I don't know about you, but "testing" my faith thusly kinda bugs me, (as does the "chain mail" implication) so why don't you edit it out before sending the story? Likewise I've gotten several "top ten" lists wherein 7 or 8 of the items were hilarious,

but several were best left unsaid. Again, why not edit out the bad language, etc, before forwarding it? A lot of us have kids who use our computers, and with them being pretty computer savvy, some of us may not want that stuff sitting around for them to find. For example, my son has an email address and when he checks his e-mail, both my wife and my e-mail also downloads when he checks his.
6.  Be wary of scams, such as the myth that Microsoft will pay you to e-mail, that Congress is about to tax e-mail; that Proctor and Gamble was just on a talk show and is Satanic. If it "sounds" like a hoax, it probably is. Why don't you check it out first at Hoax of the Day or

7.  Please refrain from sending .doc, .com or .exe files to anyone, as that is the best way to spread viruses. I don't even read such files sent to me anymore, particularly after I caught the Happy99.exe virus last year. (Don't worry, I've have cleaned my computer since then.)
8.  Links to web pages are better sent than the web page. Again the download time for a link is nothing. The download time for a web page sent can be huge depending on the graphics.
9.  If you wouldn't say it to the guys in the fellowship hall at my church, why are you sending it to ME? Again, the speed of e-mail often creates scenarios about the propriety of what we send. Or to whom we send. A Supreme Court Justice in South Carolina has just been censured for forwarding a racist email joke  I hear from his friends that he would have never never told that joke in public, however.
10.  Don't hit REPLY TO ALL unless you REALLY mean to. Usually you only want to reply to sender, and NOT everyone, known or unknown, that he or she sent it to originally.



In school, kids are encouraged to create, draw, color, paint and build. These activities can certainly stimulate children, and help them grow. Very often, these masterpieces that your children create are brought home and proudly displayed. But what do you do when all of the artwork begins to take over your home? Here are 7 great ideas:

1. FIND THE DIAMONDS. Rather than keeping every single piece of artwork your child creates, sit down with your child on a regular basis and ask him to choose the one or two he likes best. By the end of the year, you should have no more than 5 pieces of artwork that your child believes to be his 'best' pieces. This will help keep the artwork under control, and will still give you an opportunity to save his creations for future memories.

2. A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS. Take photos of the artwork that your child creates and keep these photos in a scrapbook. This way, even if the artwork is discarded for space purposes, you'll still have the memory!

3. KIDS FILE STORAGE BOX. Office supply stores carry portable file boxes that hold hanging file folders. These generally have a cover and a handle for easy portability. Help your child create her very own filing system. Perhaps one file folder for 2nd grade artwork, one for 3rd grade artwork, and so on. Now, all the drawings, and any type of artwork that lies flat, will be kept safe and organized. You'll even be teaching your child filing skills! It's never too early!

4. KEEP IT CONTAINED. For other artwork that does not lay flat, the perfect container may be a large, plastic container with a lid. Your child will have a space for shadow boxes, and other artwork that won't fit into a file folder. Again, be choosy. If you keep every single piece of artwork your child brings home for the next 15 years, your house is going to be overflowing with it.

5. HANG IT. Get your child his very own artwork bulletin board so he can display his favorite artwork in his bedroom. When organized on a nice corkboard, this really adds a nice touch to a child's room. Plus, your child can very easily switch one piece of art, with another.

6. SUPPLY MANIA. If your child produces a lot of artwork at home, she probably has tons of crayons, markers and other art supplies. Keep it all in a portable box, light enough for your child to be able to transport it from one room into the next. In addition, separate and organize the supplies into separate Zip-lock baggies before putting them in the box. This will keep everything organized and easily accessible.

7. THE PERFECT GIFT. Kids artwork makes the perfect gift for grandma, grandpa, sister Jane, Aunt Sue, Uncle Jim, and so on. Rather than buying gifts for your child to give to family members, encourage them to give their creations away as special gifts to special people.

Copyright 2002 Maria Gracia
Used with permission.  All rights reserved.



Tim H. placed second in Sparing at the Karate Tournament in Hill City, April 27th!

Give these kids a big kudo when you see them!
Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come enjoy these events and support our kids!!  


You might be a homeschooling family if...

... you have memorized the barcode number on your library card from typing it in the computer every time you reserve a book.

... you really DO have science projects growing in the refrigerator, on the dining room table, in the yard...

... you are always asked, "Why aren't your children in school?" to which you reply "They are." when you are out and about.

The Amazing Picture Machine

This is the coolest website! The Amazing Picture Machine searches the Internet for links to pictures based on a keyword. For instance, if you input the word "horse," you'll get a list of 18 choices from an old fire engine to a Peter Paul Reubens painting to a wild mustang.

Reading Levels
How do I know what level book my child is reading?"  Here are some links providing that information:



Membership in BHHA is FREE!!  Our group is open to all homeschoolers.  Feel free to invite anyone interested in homeschooling to our meetings and events.

Donations are always appreciated!!

Join our Group Email List at  

Newsletter submissions may be sent to Rhonda at or call 393-2385.  News, notes, children's works, ideas or anything you'd like to share are welcomed and encouraged.

Issues are available FREE online at our website and the email list.  If you'd like to receive a hard copy of our newsletters, please send $12 for a one-year subscription.  


Black Hills Homeschool Association
Rhonda  *  Jennifer  *
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