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Cultural Geography Fair Fall 2017

The Loch Ness Monster


Ancient Greece









Cultural Geography Fair Fall 2016

Supercars from Around the World






Edisto Island




Fall 2015 Cultural Geography Fair

Thank you to all who participated!

United States of America

How to Write The Arabic Language

Commedia dell’Arte

Commedia dell'Arte

Cultural Geography Fair Fall 2014

Thank you to all our participants! We had a great time watching you present and hear about how much you learned!

We look forward to seeing you next month for Notables After Noon!

Laura Ingalls Wilder

IMG_5793006 IMG_5805005

Kabuki Theatre

IMG_5789004 IMG_5806003 IMG_5808007

Doctor Who Geography


AHAA’s Cultural Geography Fair

photo credit: Lars Plougmann via photopin cc

What country/region fascinates your student? How does he/she want to learn about that country/region? Is it through food, games, music, skits, clothes, language, art, trade, economy, philosophy, or other?

Presentations need to be 5-7 minutes and can take various forms: display boards, videos, games, or other. For more information, please visit:





23rd September 2014, Tuesday

2:00-3:00pm (we have the room from 1:30pm to 3:30pm for set up and clean up)

Room will have a computer and projector, if needed.

For all ages! FREE for all AHAA support and accountability members.

12 participants/teams only.

Travelling with Doctor Who Fall 2017

Travelling with Doctor Who with Carissa Leventis-Cox – 30 minute classes

As with all my other classes, this will NOT be an INSTRUCTIONAL class but a PROJECT BASED HOMESCHOOLING CLASS. We will use episodes from Doctor Who to inspire individual historical research and group discussion in class. The students will be required to do homework (watch the episodes and research) and share their new knowledge in class in order to create a vibrant sharing and learning experience for all.
For the 8 weeks, we will be studying the following:
1. Fires of Pompeii 79 AD
2. The Shakespeare Code 1564-1616
3. Tooth and Claw à Queen Victoria 1837-1901
4. Vincent and the Doctor 1853-1890
5. Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks ~ 1930s Great Depression
6. Let’s Kill Hitler 1889 – 1945
7. Unicorn and the Wasp ~ Agatha Christie 1890 – 1976
8. Victory of the Daleks ~ Winston Churchill and WW2 1939-1945
There may be episodes that the more sensitive child may be unable to watch and that is ok. They can add to the discussion about the history/geography as it relates to our topic each week by researching on their own or watching other videos related to the subject. I will be giving out a set of possible questions that the students may find interesting but I would encourage the students to research on their own and find tidbits of history that THEY find interesting. It is important for me that gifted kids are given more independence in their research than follow a set guideline. Some research questions, for example, would be: what’s your favourite quote by Shakespeare, what’s your favourite fact about him, what date do you think is important about him and why, and/or bring something you think people ate/dressed in/used back then.

Top 10 Things I Learned about Forming a Gifted Homeschool Coop 

I started School of the Minds, a local gifted homeschool coop, about 5 years ago with a few students. We now have over 50.  We focus on extra-curricular classes and opportunities that enrich our students. We meet regularly at least once a week.


What have I learned these handful of years?

1. Membership in School of the Minds is Free; however, membership requires a high level of commitment to our community. This personal commitment has created a more vibrant organization because:

  • families actually show up regularly (no slackers here),
  • parents volunteer readily,
  • students contribute to create a lively learning environment (yes, they do their homework).

Additionally, there is a selection process to join to make sure all understand what is expected and there is a wait list should a member’s commitment wane.


2. Use Facebook to communicate with the group and set up events. It makes life so much easier. You can even use the LIVE FEED option to hold classes and post projects to share, which we used when Hurricane Matthew visited town and we could not meet.


Pokemon Club at the Library

3. Securing a place to meet at little or no cost can be difficult. Inviting people into members’ private homes is not a good idea unless the member has space (including for cars) and does not mind the extra cleaning and mess after every visit. Consequently, our favorite places are public and free:

  • local libraries,
  • local parks.



K-12 Book Club at the Park

4. Multi-Age classes only work to an extent:

  • K to 12 students together work for most field trips and art classes, but K to 12 students together in a classroom is trickier for more academic settings. For academic work, we divide our classes into 3 groups according to ABILITY, and not AGE:
    • elementary,
    • middle school, and
    • high school.



10 minutes of facilitator-led discussion before doing Art works well for this Multi-Age Class

5. For the most part, instructional classes have not been the best long-term classroom option (with exceptions) because:

  • not all the students are interested in the same topic,
  • asynchronous development/accelerated learning naturally means gifted students arrive to class with varying degrees of knowledge and focus,
  • most gifted students are independent learners and want to learn for themselves,
  • the homeschool teacher quickly burns out if he/she tries to cater to each student in the class.



Instead of learning to bake together, each student learned to bake separately at home and could choose what to bake. Then, they all came together to donate their choice of bread to our local Senior Resources Center. They learned at home, but presented their donations together.

6. Flipped Classrooms work because:

  • the gifted student can work at his/her own pace at home,
  • the student can focus more time on topics of his/her choosing,
  • on coop days, students are able to present the projects they worked on,
  • the students are motivated to lead discussions with their peers,
  • sharing and learning from peers has become an integral part of our coop culture.


7. Project Based Homeschooling is essential to how our coop runs and requires a different approach to education. We offer Pokémon Club, DIY Club, TEDEd Club, and monthly Project Fairs. Our Notable Fair contributions are shown in the YouTube Playlist above as an example. We also have Literature, How-To, Geography/History, Science Presentation Days. These clubs and fairs are not run by adults. There is much less explicit instruction from parents/facilitators, but more exploration inspired directly from the children themselves. These clubs and fairs allow the students to work at home and delve deeply into their own projects. Then, they come together to share and present what they have learned weekly and/or monthly and/or once a semester to their peers, local homeschool community, and/or even the world. These offerings allow the students to:

  • practice communicating meaningful ideas with others,
  • teach and learn from one other,
  • experience sharing and presenting their projects with their larger homeschool community and even the world. One of our students was highlighted by TEDEd Club Picks, for example!


8. Document what you do as a group on your blog or website because this will establish your presence in the community, as well as your reliability as a group. Take a look at our blog here and our YouTube channel here. We have been able to avail of many resources because of the credibility of our group through simple documentation.


9. Our Free Range Park Day is as essential to our coop as any academic event or course we offer. Some parents believe it is the most important time we share as a coop. It is where and when:

  • gifted children create, hone, and develop deep friendships,
  • they encounter various types of situations: both good and bad,
  • they learn how different families handle these situations,
  • they experience being with a set group of people regularly for years,
  • and most importantly, parents get a chance to talk with other parents. Sometimes it is the only prolonged adult conversation our homeschool parents get during the week.



We know how to have fun!

10. Gifted Families enjoy the company of a diverse group of people. School of the Minds is a small group of families who are racially, politically, religiously, philosophically, and educationally diverse. We have unschoolers and very structured homeschoolers and everything in between. Our conversations are never dull. They can push buttons at times but we respect each other and the camaraderie is exceptional. We make sure we are inclusive and welcoming of everyone.



Our Homeschool Day at the Beach.

Running a Gifted Homeschool Coop takes hard work, organization, patience, and persistence, but the community you build becomes like a second family and creating a place where gifted/asynchronous/accelerated/independent learners can interact at a meaningful level makes your time spent all the more worthwhile.


I am participating in the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum October 2016 Blog Hop: Gifted Children: Academic and Career Planning Beyond K-12. Check out the other amazing GHF bloggers!




Fall 2016 Week 4


Music with Ms. Jessica

TEDEd Club

Learning to give and receive feedback

Working on our IDEA Book

Sharing our favorite talks


DIY Club

Eggs in Different Densities of Water with Ms. Casey

Making Slime, Drawing, Horror Video Clip, Snow Cones


Cultural Geography Fair

please click here for our videos

A Long Way Down: Designing Parachutes

by Carissa Leventis-Cox

$10/family (plus materials for each student’s design), maximum 10 students.

We will be using the Museum of Science in Boston’s Engineering is Elementary® (EiE) curriculum for Grades 1 to 5 to foster engineering and technological literacy. Our students will learn problem solving, inquiry and innovation through:

  • a storybook of a child in a different country that introduces an engineering problem (includes a lesson in geography)
  • learning to solve a problem similar to that in the storybook
  • a hands-on engineering design challenge that requires science and math
  • create and improve on their designs.

This Spring, we will start our Engineering class with A Long Way Down: Designing Parachutes. We will be learning science concepts related to aerospace engineering: drag (air resistance) and conditions on other planets. We will be designing our own parachutes to land on a planet with an atmosphere different to that of Earth’s.

We will also be going on a field trip to The Challenger Center to reinforce what we have learned.

Fall 2014: Week 7



Review numbers and colors
                                  Memorize shapes( circle, triangle,square, rectangle )
Advanced Beginners
1.lesson 11 Exercise book A Thursday and Friday.

                                      2. 大象 老虎 鹿 猪 兔 老鼠 唱歌 跳舞 前后 左右 write 5 times
Glitter and Glow-in-the-Dark Jars
Photo Sep 25, 16 19 08003


Our Geography Fair was on Tuesday! Check out the student presentations!

Our students are also currently participating in a virtual Doctor Who Script to Screen class and we start a LEARNING MATH THROUGH GAMES class starting in October!

MATH families need to bring CARDS and DICE and PAPER. Thank you!