Friday, June 29, 2007

Teen Acting Studio at The Delaware Theater Company

Teen Acting Studio
(Ages 16-18)
Teens explore performance techniques in acting, improvisation, and movement in this fun and energizing class! Taught by Michael Grayman (from the national tours of Mamma Mia and West Side Story), this class will allow students to study scripted work as well as participate in theatre games and exercises! Class size is limited to provide for individualized feedback.
Mondays and Wednesdays
July 9-August 1
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Tuition: $175


Four Ways to Register:

CALL the DTC Box Office at 302.594.1100
CONTACT the Department of Education and Community Engagement at 302.594.1104, ext. 204
FAX the registration form to 302.594.1107
MAIL the registration form to Delaware Theatre Company, 200 Water Street, Wilmington, DE 19801
Call 302.594.1104 x204 or

For More Information about the classes offered and to download a registration form, visit their website:

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Summer Solstice Family Day at The Delaware Art Museum

Linda Hackett, Allium giganteum, 1992, Chromogenic color print

Children and their families will enjoy celebrating the beginning of summer as the Musuem opens early on this fun-filled family day! In connection with Contemporary Photography and the Garden—Deceits and Fantasies, this day will include gallery tours, family T’ai Chi sessions in the Copeland Sculpture Garden, and creative art projects including basket weaving, blooming flowers, and pretty planters. Come join in the fun! Visitors of all ages will also enjoy participating in the “Studio Sampler” program, offered between noon and 2:00 p.m., by joining art instructors in the studios for demonstrations and hands-on projects.

Sunday, June 24
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Free to the public

For more information go to their website:

Friday, June 22, 2007

Delaware Chinese Festival

The highlight of this year's Annual Chinese Festival is the Kunqu opera. This 500-year-old style of Chinese opera is one of the world's oldest form of Opera.

The 3 day Delaware Chinese festival began today and ends Sunday and also features Chinese hand puppets, a dragon dance, a fashion show, martial arts, Chinese dough modeling, Chinese tea drinking, gourmet Chinese cuisine and more.

The opera will be performed at 4 and 7 p.m. Saturday. Admission is Free, $3.00 for parking.
The location of the festival is 1313 Little Baltimore Road, Hockessin.

For more information about the festival you can call or go to their web site:

To learn more about the Kunqu opera you can read the article that was in today's News Journal by going to the Delaware Online website:

Some other links with informaiton about Kunqu Opera:

Kunqu Opera from China Page:

China Rescures 500-Year-Old Kunqu Opera, from People's Daily:

Kunqu Opera at the heart of tradition:

Kungu from Wikipedia:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Oak Meadows' 2007 Spring Sale Ends June 30th!

Our Spring Sale, a long-standing Oak Meadow tradition, will soon be ending for 2007! In years past, after the sale ended we received many despairing calls from families who forgot to take advantage of this money-saving offer. Our sale is ending soon. Now is the best time to purchase!

10% Discount!
Kindergarten through High School Enrollments
All printed High School Curriculum 10% off
All Craft Kits and Craft Supplies 10% off

20% Discount!
Preschool through 8th Grade Curriculum (printed and online)
All Teacher Manuals 20% off

Call us at (802) 251-7250
or order online:

Please Note: We'll only be available by phone through Friday, the 29th, but you can place orders on our web site through Saturday, the 30th.

About Oak Meadow:
(from their website)

Oak Meadow combines a deep understanding of the developing child with strong academic standards. In addition, we not only focus on the blossoming intellect but the heart, hands, and spirit of young children by providing lessons that are both developmentally appropriate and holistic. Therefore, your child will immerse themselves in the creative arts, music and movement as well as language arts, mathematics, social studies and science. Because our curriculum is designed to effectively address a variety of learning styles, children are able to successfully engage with their studies and relax into learning! Our goal is not simply to provide factual information, but also to inspire your child to learn and thrive.

Pre School and Kindergarten: Because younger children learn primarily through imitation and doing our curriculum features a great deal of healthy activity and movement. We provide lessons rich in experiential exercises that will stimulate learning through action and imagination. Your child will experience a multi sensory education as they explore a world of color, song, rhythm and verse, all the while learning about themselves and the world around them! Here, the letter B is transformed into the belly of a bear and numbers dance and sing. Learning is alive and your child is a part of the action!

Grade School through Middle School: In the middle years we fully engage the student through the use of descriptive stories that inspire your child’s emotional life and encourage them to care about the topics they are studying. Historic men and women become human beings that your child can understand on a fundamentally human level. The Grade School curriculum continues to bring the experiential exercises as in previous years, but now abstract thinking begins to appear as scientific observation is encouraged and explored.

High School: Where younger children learn through doing and then are aided by a strong emotional connection to their subjects, the high school student requires greater intellectual challenges as abstract thinking takes center stage. Oak Meadow Lessons now reflect the older students' need for expertise in subject matter as well as their desire to discern what is true for themselves. They are given projects to express their individuality and think creatively. We provide them with a world of information that is more complex and leaves room for their unique interpretation. Our goal now is to encourage thinking that will prepare them for future aspirations.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Homeschoolers Visit Local Post Office

This is a trip that every preschooler must do.

This group, however, was not preschoolers but homeschoolers with ages ranging from the very young up to my 12 year old. We learned a great deal about this process that quietly touches our daily lives. Parents and students alike had oodles of questions for our guide. How is the mail sorted? How is it assembled for the route? How does the zip code work? What do those 4 extra numbers on the zip code mean to our post-person? How long does it take to sort the mail? What sort of test and what qualifications do you need to work for the postal system? Is the post office part of the federal government or a private entity? Do postal employees really get bit by dogs?

So many questions and some of the answers would really surprise you!

I've done this field trip with my kids as preschoolers so I was a bit skeptical about doing this again with my two who are now 8 and 12. Well, we were not disappointed. In fact, I think this was a wonderful time for a repeat visit. They have a better understanding of what the post is all about, they both have several pen pals, and consequently they both had lots of good pertinent questions. They also figured out which group of slots and bins were handling our mail. My kids are very fond of the woman who delivers our mail and were thrilled to see her station all decked out with pictures drawn by her own daughter!

Creative Home Schooling: A Resource Guide for Smart Families

I think this is just one of those books that belongs in every homeschooler's personal library. Or at least on the shelves of the local community libraries for homeschoolers to check out!

My copy is full of highlighted sections and notes in the margins, mostly expressing my gratitude and relief as I came across passage after passage reinforcing my own thoughts about how my kids learn and why the public schools, though well meaning, seemed to be failing them so miserably. More importantly, this book contains priceless information and guidance to help form an educational program and philosophy best suited for bringing out the strengths of each individual child...

This book was originally published under a different name. I believe it was "Homeschooling the Gifted Child." It is my understanding that the author and publisher changed the name because the "gifted" label really drew too narrow a circle of those who really could and would benefit from the wealth of information contained within. This sounds right to me. Whether you see your child as creative or gifted or not, there is so much here to aid, encourage and reassure any homeschooler with their own personal homeschooling journey.

Creative Home Schooling: A Resource Guide for Smart Families by Lisa Rivero. Great Potential Press (April 2002)

Saturday, June 9, 2007

All Boys Dance Class!

What a wonderful idea!
The award winning Anna Marie Dance Studio is offering, new for this fall, an all boys dance class. The class will be taught personally by Mr. Sonny Leo. Anyone who knows locally produced theater in Wilmington surely knows Mr. Sonny. He is a darling. Mr. Sonny has worked as drama teacher and musical theater director at Mt. Pleasant High School. This past winter he starred as Judas in Godspell at the Wilmington Drama league and, most exciting, he performed in a featured role as the pianist in Forty Second Street at Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia. Sonny is the Artistic Director at Anna Marie Dance Studio and also teachers Jazz, Tap, Lyrical and Musical Theatre. I have not met a student yet, who has studied with Mr. Sonny, who has not adored him. I know I gush, but believe me, Mr. Sonny is deserving.

The "New All Boys Dance Class" will feature dance moves related to sports. Tap will also be taught to help with timing. The class is beginning offered beginning this fall on Thursdays 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.. Boys must between 7-10 years of age. For additional information you may call the studio: 302-475-3949.

Anna Marie Dance studio has a full range of dance instruction. All three of my kids have been taking lessons there for years and I highly recommend their programs. You can learn more on their web site:

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Odds Bodkin's Digital Audio Downloads!

Check out Odds Bodkin's award winning music filled stories featuring dozens of characters, vocal effects and great music. There is something for everyone, three year old through teens, including everything from the Odyssey to dinosaur adventure tales to world folklore and much more. Parents will love them too. You can download them now at or buy CD's of your favorites.

Summer is coming so get out those ipods and turn your noisy car back seats into a silent, absorbed world of intelligent imagining!

For Young Children:
The Little Proto Trilogy... Amazing dinosaur adventures, ages 4 & up!
The Evergreens... Gentle Tales of Nature
The Teacup Fairy... Fantastical fairytales from around the world
The Wise Little Girl... Stories of strong, smart girls.
The Winter Cherries... Holiday tales from around the world
The Blossom Tree... Tales from India, China and Japan
Rip Toarin' Paul Bunyan Tales... Tall tales told by "Sourdough Sam"
With a Twinkle in Your Eye... Funny stories from all over

For Older Listeners:
The Odyssey: An Epic Telling... 4 hours of mythic adventure
The Hidden Grail:
Sir Percival and the Fisher King... tales of knights and armor!
Giants Cauldron... Viking myths of adventure
The Rage of Hercules... Intense & hard-hitting, the story of Hercules

I highly recommend everyone of these recording. My family has been listening to Odds for 15 years now, over and over, too many times to count, yet we never grow tired!

To order go to:

The Little Homeschool Library: Downloadable Books, Curriculum and Much, Much More!

This is the same family business that brings you those awesome, free, "Homeschool Radio Shows." My ipod library is bursting at the seams with great listening thanks to Jim and his family!

The Little Homeschool Library offers top-of-the-line downloadable resources — curriculum, audio collections, tutorials and more — designed especially for homeschoolers, at prices anyone can afford. These downloads are ONLY available at The Little Homeschool Library.

Additionally, these resources include a huge added benefit that is EX*CLUS*IVE to The Little Homeschool Library. Once you've ordered a copy of one of these titles, you will see for yourself...

To check out "The Little Homeschool Library" go to:

You will not be disappointed!

Other Resources from the Erskine Family:

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Papermaking Workshop at the DCCA

Art works with Handmade Papers:
A workshop at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary art

Beautiful art works of handmade paper were created by homeschooling students at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts during a six week workshop under the direction of Artist in Residence, Yukie Kobayashi.

Students learned ancient papermaking techniques from Tibet, Korea, Africa and other regions of North and South Asia as well as a more contemporary western style of handmade papermaking.

The students created sheets of handmade papers using papyrus pulp as well as pulp and fibers from Asian Mulberry bushes.

They pounded raw materials into the proper consistency, mixed with formation agents and then poured their mixtures onto screens and into paper forms. They were asked to visualize ancient people, using simple tools and materials, pounding pulp on rocks, and allowing rainfall to texture and sculpt the final products.

The students also had the opportunity to learn Japanese style paper marbling as well as other ways of staining paper using bamboo brushes or dipping paper into dye and dripping pigment or dyed pulp onto the paper.

Each student kept a journal throughout the course of the workshop in books they were given that were bound in beautiful sheets of handmade paper made by Yukie.

For the final exhibit the handcrafted papers were transformed into objects of art and utility or framed. The most dramatic of the final pieces were lamps shaded by sculptural sheets of paper, made in a Tibetan style of paper making. The thick paper sheets were bent around glass lamps transforming them into three dimensional glowing works of art.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Forgotten Cats - Foster Homes Urgently Needed!

Forgotten Cats is dedicated to reducing unwanted cat populations and ending the suffering of homeless cats and kittens, without killing.

FC works with caretakers of feral cat colonies to trap, sterilize and vaccinate, every cat within a colony and then return all the feral adults to their colony, thereby stabilizing the population. This practice, called “Trap, Neuter, Rerelease” or “TNR,” is having enormous success nationwide as a humane alternative for managing feral cat populations. Forgotten Cats also provides necessary medical treatment for sick or injured cats and kittens from these colonies and finds homes for those that are adoptable. FC also provides education about responsibly spaying/neutering pets and assists other rescue groups with their TNR programs.

Volunteers are needed!
Foster Homes are urgently needed, it’s kitten season and temporary homes are needed until a cat, kitten or a litter are ready to be placed in a forever home!

Other areas where volunteers are needed include:
Pet Smart Adoption Center Volunteers
Fundraising Events Vollunteers

For more information about Forgotten cats please visit their website:
Or call John Fedele at: 302-475-3282

A note about volunteering:

Many highschools require their students engage in some type of volunteering or community service with an eligible not for profit organization. In Delaware students are offered credit towards graduation for their efforts. Colleges look for volunteering and community service on resumes. There are many recognition and award programs for youth volunteers on local, state and national levels. It is a requirement for membership in National Honor Societies. Volunteering for Forgotten Cats meets these requirements and offers unique opportunities for personal growth and responsibility for others.

My kids, my husband and I have all volunteered in some capacity for Forgotten Cats as have other homeschoolers and some very remarkable highschool students that I know. I think it is a wonderful organization. Moreover, I think working with animals in need teaches young people a myriad of lessons that carry over into various areas of the curriculum and more importantly, in life.

Friday, June 1, 2007

"The Taming of the Shrew" at the Arden Club

There is still time to catch a performace of Shakespeare's
"The Taming of the Shrew" at the Arden Club.

Evening perfomances begin at 7:30, June 27th through the 30th. (2007)
Performaces take place in the open air "Field Theater" on the Arden Green or in the Guild Hall if it is raining.

Tickets are $10 general admission, $8 Arden Club members, $5 children 12 and under. For Reservations call: 302-475-3126.

The Arden Club is located 2126 The Highway, Arden, DE 19810 and is easily accessible from I95.

For more information visit their website: