Cycles EVERYwhere!

It’s pretty unbelievable when we take the time to look around at all the different cycles that surround us every day.   This week at GFT’s Summer Nature Series, students specifically discussed the water cycle and the carbon cycle.  Additionally, we touched on life cycles as we saw evidence of egg sacs on leaves, a frog that joined us on two parts of our hike,  and even a baby doe roaming free on the fields.

Students also incorporated an experiment on the different states of matter and density through a “Sink or Float” activity with different objects that were gathered from the forest.  Even our youngest of learners was enamored and embraced the suspense that occurred from prediction to practice!

After reading one of our water cycle books, the children also got to musically create their own “thunderstorms”.  If you’re interested in trying it out at home, here are the steps:

  1. Rub your hands together
  2. Snap your fingers
  3. Clap your hands together in an irregular cadence
  4. Slap your hands on your legs (at this time a student flicks a light switch on and off to represent lightning, while another beats a drum to symbolize thunder)
  5. Stomp your feet
  6. Slap your hands on your legs and stomp your feet (represents the height of the storm)
  7. Stomp your feet
  8. Slap our hands on your legs
  9. Clap your hands together in an irregular cadence
  10. Snap your fingers
  11. Rub your hands together
  12. Open palms (quiet)

Next week we will be diving deeper into the summer solstice and how the earth and its inhabitants, even now, are busy preparing for the upcoming winter.

Are you interested in setting up a drop-in to drop-off day at GFT this fall or catching up on our last couple summer sessions?  Drop us a line here.  We can’t wait to hear from you!

Nature Quest at GFT!

The children went full-fledged into the summer series this week!  The morning flew by as we used our senses to explore the forest trails, have some old-fashioned rolling-down-some-hills fun, and topped it off by bringing back a popular artist study from earlier this year!

The children will be compiling a nature journal to highlight their work done throughout the summer series.  At the beginning of each day, we will be identifying and describing different attributes (date, time, temperature, moon phases, observations) that the children can share and explore.  Then, we will be going into our theme for the week.

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This week, the forest was literally “buzzing”!  We experienced evidence of many winged creatures, found nests and burrows of four-legged friends, and even found some well-preserved deer prints in the mud on the side of the paths!  The students used this information to converse and complete their “senses” sheet upon the return from our hike.

Then, back by popular demand, we ready, “Action Jackson”, a highly-engaging, beautifully-illustrated book chronicling the life and art of Jackson Pollock.  The students then helped use measuring cups to make homemade “paint’ using corn starch, water, food coloring, and the secret weapon… shaving cream!  They got into the full-body painting on their individual artwork as well as our resident boulder.

We enjoyed welcoming parents back at noon and enjoying the lunch hour conversing, talking shop, and watching the children run and play together.

The GFT Summer Series runs every Wednesday in June, and we would love to see you there!  If you’re interested in hearing more about our summer series, our homeschool umbrella, or our plan for the 2019-2020 Global Foundations Tutorial, drop us a line here.

We look forward to seeing you at an event soon!

Early Bird Registration is Winding Down!

This is a friendly reminder that the early bird discount for 2019-2020 GFT registration ends on June 15!  What does this mean for you?  It means a savings of at least 15% off the advertised tuition prices on our website.

As GFT is growing and we’re looking at the numbers in which we’ll cap enrollment, this discount will not be available beyond June 15.

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If you’re looking to pay in full, we will continue to offer the 5% discount off tuition up to the start of the academic year.

Questions?  Reach out to us so we can make sure to assist you in having your BEST homeschool year yet!  http://bit.ly/GFTTowson

SWR Training at GFT!

So many parents with whom I’ve interacted regarding homeschooling have expressed a similar fear: I don’t know how to teach my child how to read.  Luckily, our lead tutor and all-knowing homeschool extraordinaire, Jennifer, found a program when her oldest was starting to homeschool that stuck and has proven to be so effective with our varying age groups at GFT this year.

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According to trainer and long-time (25 years +!) user, Tracey Williams, “Spell to Write and Read (SWR) is a complete and unique multi-sensory phonics program where students spell their way into writing and reading. SWR can be used with any student between grades K-12, ESL, or even adults! It is a perfect introduction to the written word for beginning students. It also helps students who are already reading excel in comprehension as well as spelling and writing. In this course, you will gain an overview of the program while learning it’s methodologies, the 70 basic phonograms, spelling dictation and spelling rules applied to the most common words in the English language ordered according to difficulty.”  

Tracey has taught her own children with this method starting in 1990. Since then, she has been part of a group of parents who started Tall Oaks Classical School where she trained the teachers in SWR. Over the years, she has trained homeschooling parents and school teachers alike. Tracey has also used SWR in many varied tutoring situations.

GFT is THRILLED to welcome Tracey and her SWR training to our campus this summer on Tuesday, July 16 and Wednesday, July 17.  Interested parties can check out all important info regarding the event (including cost, materials, run times, etc) at this site:

https://swrtraining.com/swr-seminars/trainers/tracey/

Participants do not need to be a part of GFT to take advantage of this AMAZING training opportunity.  All registration is through the SWR website.  Please feel free to direct questions to kristin@globalfoundationstutorial.com.

This is just another way we are continuing to build on our “Homeschooling… with Help!” mantra and look forward to seeing new faces this summer!
If you’re interested in seeing in GFT is a good fit for your family, reach out to us here.

 

 

Ancient History at JHU!

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This year in social studies, the students at Global Foundations Tutorial have been studying ancient history. From pharaohs to fossils, the children have been enjoying our hands-on approach to the different topics.

As a summation of the yearly activities, we met at Johns Hopkins University to check out their Archaeological Museum.  What it lacks in size, it makes up for in hospitality and child-friendliness.  In addition to a tomb and mummy on display, there were hundreds of other well lit and displayed artifacts for the students to peruse.  We were also treated to a private explanation of their “Who Am I? Remembering the Dead Through Facial Reconstruction” exhibit that explains how scientists use technology to recreate what the two women featured looked like pre-mummification.

What made the museum even better and helped us to have the full experience were the leveled scavenger hunts they supplied for the children.  They allowed for deeper engagement and understanding for even our youngest learners!

It was the first time I walked the JHU campus, and that in itself is a sight to behold!  The students and staff could not have been more friendly, and it is always a pleasure to check out more of Baltimore’s “hidden gems”.

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Interested in being a part of GFT or our umbrella where you would be the first to know about upcoming trips?  Drop us a line here.

 

GFT’s Drop-Off Summer Series!

2019 Summer Nature Series

Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives.” ~ Thomas Berry

In each session of our summer series, we will be focusing on a different aspect of nature and the children’s interaction with it. We will be weaving poetry, art, music, and math into the different exploratory science lessons. While this is a drop-off program, parents are welcome to participate with younger children. After the exploratory session, families will have the chance to play, converse, and eat their lunches together before we wind down for the day.

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Here are some sample descriptions for our weekly themes:

Session 1 – Nature Quest – Wednesday, June 5, 10:00-12:00

We’ll be diving into all the forest and using our five senses to explore all the forest has to offer. We’ll also be doing a Jackson Pollack author study and using our resident boulder to create our “nature maps” through a full-body painting experience.

Session 2 – Cycling Abound! – Wednesday, June 12, 10:00-12:00

June breathes life into our world in the northeast and our children will get to experience all of it! Through the study of both the carbon cycle and water cycle, students will discover the living, breathing earth and how cycles surround us every day. We will do this through water play and experimentation so be prepared to get wet!

Session 3 – Summer Solstice – Wednesday, June 19, 10:00-12:00

Wait? Didn’t we just get over the longest winter ever?? As we share anecdotes of the summer solstice with the students, we will observe how the earth and its inhabitants are prepping themselves for winter. We will be sharing and composing music that embodies the sights, sounds, and feels of the contrasting seasons.

Session 4 – Bug Hunt – Wednesday, June 26 – 10:00-12:00

Did you know that all bugs are insects but not all insects are bugs? This week’s exploration will be centered around the artist Charley Harper and how he shared his love for the bold and active colors in nature with the world.

Pre-registration is required. The cost per session is:

-$15 for one child or $20 per family each day OR
-$45 flat fee per family for ALL 4 sessions

Register online here.

The PayPal link is: PayPal.me/GFTTowson

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When submitting payment, please include in the “notes” section:
-your child(ren)’s full name(s) and ages
-parent/guardian name, email, and phone number

Once registered, you’ll receive information on where to go, what to bring, and all other pertinent information to have the best experience possible! We can’t wait to see you there!

Director’s Corner

I can appreciate the irony when people find out that I am the Director of Global Foundations Tutorial and our umbrella… yet am a brand new homeschool parent myself! As a public school teacher for ten years turned real estate investor, I can say with absolute certainty that this is not where I imagined our family would be if you had spoken to me just a few, short years ago. And you know what? I could not be more thrilled!

The more I get entrenched in the homeschool community, both local and beyond, the more amazingly dedicated, inspiring, and thought-provoking people I meet. Whether we share the same educational philosophy is irrelevant. It is the belief that there is a different way of educating our children that is better suited to our families that binds us together.

I have met countless people who work full-time who scrape and pull and pool resources to make homeschooling possible. I have spoken with people who travel full-time with their kids with incorporating little to no “formal” education and are taking on the world. I have spoken with parents who are confused or have lost their ways somehow and just need someone to help get them back on track to create the optimal teaching and learning environments for their families. I have also spoken with families who thought they knew who “homeschoolers” were and have been told our organization has helped open their eyes to possibilities they never considered previously. Wow! Just WOW!

The other major piece to this puzzle is that GFT is nothing without our lead tutor, Jennifer DeVille, and our classroom assistant, Amy Takemoto. These women give their hearts and souls to our children and work tirelessly to make GFT the amazing educational experience that I once could have only dreamed to give our children. They are in the classrooms, day-in, and day-out making incredible memories for our children. For that, I am extremely humbled and grateful.  AS GFT expands, we have been having conversations with people looking to get involved with the program in a variety of ways.  If this is you, reach out to us here. 🙂

So, who am I? I am the wife and the mom working to hold it all together at home. I am the CEO at work making sure all the pieces run together like clockwork at work. I am the runner who hits the pavement as much as possible because, through movement, my thoughts can bubble to the surface and make a change. I am the founder and director of the best possible educational environment I could have imagined. Who are you? If you haven’t taken some time to ponder that thought recently, see if you can make it happen.

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(Photo cred goes to our 3-year-old daughter, a budding photographer)

   I love talking with people about their homeschooling journeys. If you are ever interested in catching up, please do not hesitate to toss me a line. Have a great week!