September 2010 Picnic/Meet and Greet


Please join us on Friday, September 17, 2010 from 11:00a.m. – 1:00p.m. (or whenever we’re ready to leave) for a picnic at the William Harris Homestead in Monroe, GA.

From Athens, take Hwy. 316 to Hwy. 11, turn left, and the Homestead is just three miles down on the right.  (From Atlanta, turn right on Hwy. 11.)  It’s a beautiful 19th century Homestead with an original log house, barn, smoke house and other outbuildings.   View the website at

This event is free.  You just need to bring a picnic lunch for your family.  Please bring a blanket too – there are a few picnic tables, but there may not be enough seating for everyone.

Please note that this is NOT a tour of the Homestead.  It’s a picnic, and you are free to roam around and enjoy the grounds while you’re there.

Coordinator:  Shelli Pabis

Questions and for more detailed directions: shelli (at) mamaofletters (dot) com

The Red Clay Co-op welcomes any homeschooler to attend one, some or all of our activities!  We hope you can come!


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Atlanta Area Homeschooling Activities

If you don’t already subscribe to Andrea Hermitt’s articles on Atlanta Homeschooling Examiner, you may want to do so.  She posts about upcoming events in Atlanta and other newsworthy items regarding homeschooling.  Today she posted about upcoming events and classes for homeschoolers at some major venues.  Some of them are certainly worth the drive.  Check it out here.

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Fall 2010 Classes

Sarah has been working hard to arrange some classes for the co-op.  (Thank you, Sarah!)  She has tried to keep the costs at a minimum.  Below are the fees, schedule, and class descriptions with teacher bios.  If you are interested, please download and fill out the Sign Up Sheet and e-mail it to Sarah at snsple (at) yahoo (dot) com.  Also e-mail her with any questions, comments, suggestions.

Click here –> Sign Up Sheet


$50 co-op fee per family (location fee)

Additional class fees (paid to teacher):

$40 total semester fee for Latin

$40 total semester fee for Kick boxing

$40 total semester fee for Break dancing

$0 total semester fee for Film making

$0 total semester fee for preschool

$35 total semester fee for Spanish ($30 for siblings.)


Classes will be held on Tuesdays beginning Sept. 7, and the classes will alternate weeks as follows.  Note that the location will also alternate.  Walker Hall is located at Sandy Creek Nature Center and Ben Burton Park is located on Mitchell Bridge Road.

Note:  Time has changed to 11a.m. – 2p.m. with a lunch/play break from 12-1.  And ALL classes will now be held at Lifeboat Tutoring in Watkinsville.

Class schedule:

Sept 7- 11am-2pm: Spanish, Latin, Break dancing, preschool

Sept 14-  11am-2pm: Kick boxing,, Film making, preschool

Sept 21-  Spanish, Latin, Break dancing, preschool

Sept 28- Kickboxing, film making, preschool

Oct. 4- Latin, Spanish, Break dancing, preschool

Oct. 11- Kick boxing, Film making, preschool

Oct. 18- Spanish, Latin, Break dancing, preschool

Oct 25- Kick boxing, Film making, Preschool

Nov. 2- Spanish, Latin, Break dancing, preschool

Nov. 9- Kick boxing, Film making, preschool

Nov. 16- Spanish, Latin, Break dancing, preschool

Nov. 23- Kick boxing, Film making, preschool

Nov. 30- Spanish, Latin, Break dancing, preschool

Dec. 7- Kick boxing, preschool

Dec. 14-  Spanish, Latin, Break dancing, film making (screening)

Note that the preschool class will be a cooperative effort among parents to plan activities for the children.  Park days will give the students a chance to explore nature and do some outdoor games and activities.


Latin: a cordial introduction, is a fairly structured class, as one of the benefits of learning Latin is the practice of orderly thinking.  Students will receive weekly lists of words to learn, along with puzzles and fun worksheets to aid in their memorization.  We will spend part of our class time reviewing the words and their various forms (conjugations and declensions) and part of our time will be spent playing Latin word games and reading from various Latin translations including selections from Dr. Seuss, Hans Orberg’s Lingua Latina, and Latin for All Occasions, which includes fun phrases such as “Paene adventimus? (Are we there yet?) and Suntne illi glires novi? (Are these dormice fresh?).

Latin will be taught by Valerye McGreevy who, according to her children, lives “in the middle of nowhere” (more exactly, that would be just east of Lexington) in a home that is, more often than not, filled with joyful noise.  She has been “officially” homeschooling since 2005 when her eldest would have started Kindergarten.  After sampling many curricula and teaching “methods,” the McGreevy family finally settled on the ‘what is working best right now’ method of teaching, which combines elements of Charlotte Mason, unschooling and very structured theme or unit studies.

Spanish: As Spanish has become the second most spoken language in the United States, this class will provide a background into “el español” by covering basic topics such as the alphabet, numbering, colors, foods, household items, family members, and beginning grammatical expression of thoughts, ideas, and everyday conversations.  An introduction to Spanish countries and cultures will also be presented through forms such as music and geography, in order to further help students gain a basic understanding of the multiplicity of peoples who speak the language.


Kickboxing: styles taught will be boxing, kickboxing, and a little bit of jeet kune do, which is the form of martial arts that Bruce Lee uses.

Breakdancing: a very demanding and fun workout

Sanquan Holland will be teaching both Kickboxing and Breakdancing.  He practices martial arts with his friends so that they can help each other improve their fighting styles.  He has been practicing breakdancing for three years.  Sanquan is attending Athens Tech in order to get his Health-care assistant certificate.  He currently works at Bell’s.

Film Making: In this intro to film making, the students will learn basic film making terminology, write and edit their screenplay and make their own storyboard.  They will cast their short films, hold a rehearsal, film their short (and act as a crew member on their peer’s short films), edit their short film, and screen the finished film.

Sarah Stennett will teach the film making class.  Sarah is the founder of Red Clay co-op, and she is new to homeschooling.  She will be homeschooling her two nephews, ages 10 and 4.  Sarah says her movie, “Zombie Outbreak,” was terrible, but it’s still listed on the IMDb (Internet Movie Database).  She says almost the whole town of Byron played as extras.


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Head Count Needed, Please

Please e-mail Sarah at snsple (at) yahoo (dot) com asap if you are interested in any of the following classes:




Break Dancing


Also, if you are willing and able to teach a class in the Athens area this Fall to homeschoolers, please e-mail her about your idea.

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Craft Hope: a service project for the gulf coast oil spill

I wanted to let everyone know about an excellent service project which I feel is perfect for homeschool families.  The deadline for completion is the end of August, so there’s plenty of time to participate.

As I’m sure all of you are aware, thousands of animals and birds have been and continue to be impacted by the oil spill in the Gulf.  As with other spills of this type, there are teams of people dedicated to rescuing as many animals as possible, painstakingly cleaning the oil from them, nursing them back to health, and then releasing them into clean areas.  Many of us feel completely helpless as we watch what is happening, and want to help in whatever way we can.  So, here’s how we can help.

Craft Hope is a web-based group that puts together service projects whereby crafters can make and send items to be distributed to those in need.  Project 8 was started earlier this month.  Crafters are invited to make hand towels and wash cloths to send to the Gulf for the animal clean-up.  As you can imagine, it takes a lot of cloths to clean up these animals.

These towels and cloths don’t have to be fancy.  As soon as they come out of the box, they’ll get covered in oil and goo, rewashed, and covered in oil and goo again.  If you’re new to sewing, or the kids want to learn to sew, this is a perfect project to practice your seaming on the sewing machine.  If you are a knitter or crocheter (or want to learn), you can knit or crochet wash cloths to send.  And, if you don’t feel you can make anything, pick up a few bottles of Dawn (the ones with the critter on the front so Dawn will donate $1 to the cleanup) and send them direct to the clean-up crews.

This is a great opportunity for all of us to help out in our own small way, especially the kids who are often deeply distressed by what is happening to the animals.  Please participate if you can.

I’ve posted twice on my blog about the project:

Part One
Part Two

Thank you to “Mo” from Five Bears A-Blogging for contributing this post.  Mo is a home learning mom who lives in the Lawrenceville area.  To learn more about her, see our Contributor’s page.

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Sarah is still seeking a suitable location for the co-op to hold classes in the Fall.  If anyone can recommend a place that would not be too expensive, please e-mail her at snsple (at) yahoo (dot) com.


I have added some links to the website for various resources in Georgia that I’m aware of.  I’ve also added a few blogs of Georgia homeschoolers that were sent to me.  Please look the links over and send me any others that you’re aware of that we should list here. Right now I’m requesting only Georgia-related sites, but as we grow, we may add a page and link up to other sources on the Internet as well.

I’ve also added a Volunteer page, which simply asks for anyone willing to contribute to Red Clay to please do so!

Please send any links, comments or ideas for the website to shelli (at) mamaofletters (dot) com

Thanks and I hope everyone is having a great summer!

If you’re interested in receiving updates to our site, please sign up for our RSS feed or join our Facebook page!

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A Call for Submissions

There are a lot of sources and places to find information about homeschooling, but for some of us, it’s hard to tell what is secular in nature or not.  One goal of the Red Clay Co-op is to create an online resource for homeschoolers, especially for those who are seeking advice on secular homeschooling.

Anyone can contribute, and you don’t have to consider yourself a “writer” or an “expert.”  Please write anything that interests you about homeschooling.  Tell us what homeschooling means to you and your family or write a review of a curriculum or book.

We also want your recommendations for links or activities around the area that homeschoolers may be interested in.  Or, if you have a question, send it to us, and we’ll post it online to see what kind of response you might get.

You don’t have to be a member or live in this area to contribute to the website.  Read our Submissions page to get more information, and send your articles to shelli (at) mamaofletters (dot) com!


Filed under blog business, call for submissions, red clay beginnings