Homeschool Events List for August 20, 2016

Homeschool Boys Basketball
Great Skate Pokestop
Gamemaker Event
Prairie Day
Busy Mom’s Boot Camp
Reading, wRiting & Ravioli
Deutsch Country Days
Free LapbookEmployment Opportunities

Dear Fellow Homeschool Leaders,
My name is Paula Koranda. I have been homeschooling for 14 years, and have four sons. I am also the leader of the Twin City Home Educators in Festus/Crystal City, MO.
I wanted to get the information to every group that the Gateway Regional YMCA (St. Louis, Metro East and surrounding areas) is starting a homeschool boys basketball league this year. This is structured like regular YMCA youth programs, except it is for 7-12th grade homeschool boys and will run from October – February. There will be once a week practices (Jefferson County Y has them from 1-3 p.m. on Tuesdays, each Y will be able to schedule which day works best for them) and games twice a month.
We would like to see all the Gateway Region YMCAs creating a homeschool basketball program. The “league” will run from October – February, with games being played twice a month starting in November, utilizing YMCA facilities and officials as part of the registration fee. These games could possibly be played on Saturdays when regular youth sport games are going on and the officials are already working that day and more likely to be available, or some evenings The logistics of setting up the teams will necessarily be based on which Ys participate and how many boys sign up. We would have regular schedule with some games being “home” and some “away” but they are all in the Gateway Region and only twice a month.
This is an expansion of the homeschool basketball program we have had at the Jefferson County YMCA since 2013. We have had a very successful program, and wanted to see other YMCAs offer it to homeschoolers throughout the region.
I met with the Athletic Directors of the local Ys in July and presented our program to them. There was definitely enthusiasm for the program. So far, these are the Ys that have expressed interest in participating in a league.
Jefferson County Family YMCA (Festus) – Nick Davis
Emerson (North County/Ferguson Area) – Dan Yonko
Monroe County, Illinois – Darin Williams
O’Fallon, MO – Danny Manselle
South County – Kevin Schwartz
Belleville, Ill – Julie Murphy
Edward Jones – Timothy Gaines
West County – Jim Garland
O’Fallon, Ill – Bre Anderson
Four Rivers Family YMCA, Washington, MO
Here is some background on how this got started:
In 2012, when my oldest was in 9th grade and shot up to 6’3”, I began looking for a homeschool basketball option in our area. What I found was….there wasn’t one. What I discovered was that when the students are in elementary school there are Upwards, YMCA and local park/city programs. After 6th-7th grade, though, these fall off. Most older students, if they are interested in sports, play for their school teams.
There are two homeschool basketball programs in St. Louis/St. Charles area – the Blue Knights and the St. Louis Patriots. Both are wonderful Christian programs, with competitive play for middle school through high school. However, the distance for our Jefferson County players and the cost for many of our group was prohibitive. Also, they are a team with tryouts, JV and varsity programs, etc. and many homeschooled boys have not played competitively before. They fill a need for many families, but would not work for ours.
Doing what homeschool moms do, when we couldn’t find a local and simple program for our kids, we started our own.. Our basketball program began in the fall of 2013. I approached the Executive Director and Athletic Director at the Jefferson County YMCA. We designed a program for boys 7th-12th grade, going from October – February. It is this same program that will be offered this year.
We planned a once-monthly game on a Saturday evening after the Y closed. We divided the players into two teams and played a scrimmage game with regular Y officials and a parent volunteer working the scoreboard. We had approximately 20 boys the first year, ranging in age from 7-11th grade. We started the year off with a Midnight Madness at the Y for the staff to get to know the boys and their level of experience. Over the last few years, our boys have gotten more competitive and we have had to seek out games with other homeschool groups, private schools and church youth groups. I would like to see a set schedule, though, of playing other YMCA homeschool teams.
Our basketball program has successfully launched a homeschool girls volleyball program, utilizing the gym in the same time period, but in the months that we do not have basketball. We have also been able to involve parent-volunteers in coaching, scheduling games, set up and clean up, working the scoreboard, and even serving as officials in a pinch.
We did a trial-run homeschool bowling program this past spring, with most of the participants coming from the basketball team, their friends and family. Our next step in expansion could possibly include the implementation of weekly homeschool gym and swim for elementary-age kids, with an organized gymnasium game (such as kickball) followed by an open swim time. We really want the Y to see that the homeschool community is a growing, viable market, and that if they can provide reasonably priced activities in a family-oriented environment, we will come!
As you can see from the address bar, I have sent this to every group I can think of, as well as every group included in the Greater St. Louis Area Home Educators Expo directory. I am asking that you please, even if you are not personally interested, forward this information to your groups. Please cut n paste and post it to your websites and Facebook pages. I would be happy to talk on the phone or meet with your groups, or present the information at your meetings. The structure is all in place, all we need to do now is sign boys up and see where we can go from there.
In the last three years, this very simple program has become a HUGE thing in the lives of these boys. I had really just hoped to get some structured p.e. time and a little bit of competitive play for them. It has become a big part of their lives. I hope that we can expand that to other homeschool families as well.
Paula Koranda
Twin City Home Educators, Festus/Crystal City, MO

Great Skate Pokestop
130 Boone Hills Dr., St. Peters, MO 63376
Saturday, August 27: 7:30-10PM
Family Night with Pokémon games and prizes. Find Pokeballs. Pokepops for sale at concession. Pokémon Battles all night long. Get prizes based on your Pokémon Go Trainer Level.

Calling all fans of Narnia! Have you ever wanted to go to Narnia? Have you ever wanted to be a Narnian and shout “For Aslan!” as you run into battle? Well, I have the perfect opportunity for you! For only $15 dollars, you can come out and see Narnia come to life before your very eyes! The GameMakers are hosting an event this year where we will bring to life the 1000 years between The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian and immerse YOU in the struggle between the Narnians and the Telmarines. This is a live-action role playing event so come ready to not only fight for your land and work with your fellow teammates, but also use your brain and strategize. Foam weapons and some costumes will be provided, but feel free to bring your own as well!
-Who:  Age 13+
-What: Narnia – The 1000 Years
-Where: Mort Jacobs Park, Overland, MO
-When: September 10th @ 1pm
Buy your tickets at If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call or text me at 314-685-5105 or email at I hope to see you all there!!!
The GameMakers is a committee consisting of all homeschool graduates. Each year we aim to put on a live-action role playing event that brings to life so many of the fictional universes that we all know and love and each year we get better!

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.,
Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016
$3 Missouri Botanical Garden members and Shaw Nature Reserve passholders
$6 nonmembers 16 and older
$2 for children 15 and under
Hitch up the wagons and head out to Prairie Day at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit. This fun-filled family event portrays prairie heritage through activities and demonstrations, and showcases the Reserve’s 250-acre re-created tall grass prairie. Hike with a naturalist through the prairie to learn about prairie life, check out the teepee, play pioneer games, listen to a live band, and watch weavers, spinners and other craft demonstrations.
Some of the exhibits include mammals, reptiles and amphibians, and insects. Living history characters will re-enact the lives of early prairie inhabitants. An archaeologist and a flint-knapper will display and interpret artifacts of prairie life. Native plant nurseries will sell wildflowers and seeds.
Hungry? Visit the concessions to purchase bison burgers, homemade baked goods, root beer, and kettle corn. Come join the fun!
SPONSORS: Missouri Department of Conservation, Shaw Nature Reserve
Shaw Nature Reserve of the Missouri Botanical Garden, in Gray Summit, Mo., located south of Interstate 44 at exit #253; watch for signs to the designated parking area

Busy Mom’s Boot Camp
with Diana Thrower
October 8 @ 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Step out of the war. Get refueled. Charge back into battle!
Fill your cup with sweet encouragement, refresh your weary momma soul, feast on God’s Word, and eat chocolate as we hear from Diana Thrower in this sweet time of refreshment just for Moms!
Suggested Donation: $10 per person.
Bring your favorite chocolate to share!
Moms of all ages are welcome! Seating is limited, so call us NOW to reserve your spot!
Registration closes October 5th at 8pm.
The Family Vision, 2020 Parkway Dr., St. Peters, MO 63376

Reading, wRiting & Ravioli Program
The Reading, wRiting & Ravioli Program was created to improve the reading skills of grade school students and provide another tool for teachers to ensure the success of our children. The Pasta House Co. developed this program in 1989 and has more than 450 schools and more than 3,500 teachers participating in the St. Louis area. Over the past 30 years we’ve had more than 600,000 students participate in the program. In return for spending time reading, students and teachers earn free food from any of our locations.

Deutsch Country Days
Living History Weekend
October 15 & 16, 2016, 9am-5pm


Employment Opportunity #1
Briarcrest Independent living Community has open positions for food servers.  I understand the value that homeschoolers could bring to our residents and would love to be able to offer that to them.
Our servers are paid $8.25 an hour and our meal times are at 8:00 am, 12:30 pm and 5:00 pm.  Our servers designate their own work availability and we try to schedule them based on that availability each month.  It is about a two hour involvement for each of the meal times for our servers.
I would certainly appreciate any avenue of exposure that you could give us to make these job opportunities known by your Homeschooler contacts!  We seek to provide our residents with the best service possible here in our community and the Homeschooler Community is the best resource that I can think of to help meet that goal.
Thank you for your help!
Mike Sabo, Assistant General Manager, Briarcrest Estates
Office: (636) 391.5300
14525 Clayton Road, Ballwin, MO  63011

Employment Opportunity #2
The Des Peres, Maryland Heights, and Clayton UPS Store locations are seeking part-time employees. If you are honest, organized, and hard-working, pick-up an application at your preferred location Monday-Friday. Always have Sunday off!

Please visit and check the Ongoing Offerings section for homeschool specific links to many area attractions. And don’t forget to check out the top tabs too! Please feel free to forward this email to other homeschoolers and encourage them to join the email loop; sign up is at the top of the right column. Please make sure to include a link to the List website whenever forwarding or sharing even a small part of a post. Thank you.
If you know of an event, class, happening, or link you would like to see added, please contact me at zana8796 [at] yahoo [dot] com  and please let me know if you have any questions or find incorrect/out of date information. 
Comments are not available, but sharing is.
The posted events are open to all homeschoolers in the St. Louis, MO, area (including St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Lincoln County, Franklin County, and Jefferson County in MO, and Madison County, Monroe County, and St. Clair County in IL, and surrounding regions).
NOTE: Inclusion in this list does not necessarily indicate endorsement by the blog owner. I try to include as many events or classes I know of in the Greater St. Louis area that would be of special interest to homeschoolers. Some of these events come from a distinctively “Christian” perspective, while others are purely “secular” in nature. If you see things that you would not be particularly interested in, just ignore them and look for the things that do appeal to you.

%d bloggers like this: