PHSA- Are You Active? Yes!

PHSA: Who Are We and What Do We Do?

PHSA is a homeschool support group that strives to support and encourage families while enhancing their homeschool experience through opportunities and activities.  The benefits to membership are numerous.  Here are some of the things the group does:

Field trips are the mainstay of the Pendleton Homeschool Association. PHSA arranges at least one per month from September through May. All member families are invited, but participation is not required. Families decide which field trips to attend based on scheduling, level of interest, and ages of children.  Rarely do field trips cost money (aside from travel expenses).  Families may attend one event or activity while trying to decide whether to join PHSA. Some recent field trips are: geocaching, new hospital tour, SAGE center, Walmart Distribution Center, National Guard Armory, and a sheep farm.  

PHSA sponsors and coordinates numerous other projects and events. MathCounts is a math group for 6-8th graders who compete individually and as a group at the local and state level. The Watershed Field Days is coordinated through ESD with 5th graders in public schools to spend a week studying water science.  The Leadership Conference is an annual event for junior and senior high students to spend the day taking classes, listening to empowering speakers, and honing their leadership skillsThe Chess Club is for all ages to help teach, practice, and participate in tournaments.  The spelling contest feeds into the county and state contests in the spring. The annual Science, Geography, Poetry, and Biography Shares are a time to show and demonstrate what we have done in our various topics of study.  They are held in the spring and members are invited to participate. No project is too small! It is based on the concept that “you learn what you teach”. Preparing and presenting an exhibit is part of the learning.  PHSA also coordinates annual state testing through Basic Skills out of Oregon City.

Presentation Night is a much anticipated annual event held in the spring. Families display things they have been working on all year. Children sing, play musical instruments, recite poetry or memory verses, do a mini-skit, report states and capitals, present a square dance, or do something in a foreign language. PHSA contest winners are honored and parents can give award certificates. The evening can be used as a graduation ceremony. Both the performance and the display portions of the event are fun and rewarding to homeschoolers. Grandparents and friends are invited to attend, as well as anyone interested in homeschooling.

PHSA has its own sports program that runs from fall through spring.  Children learn and participate in a variety of sports including: soccer, floor hockey, volleyball, basketball, relays, and softball to name a few.   There is also a Family Track and Field Day each spring.  Alongside of the sports program, during the winter months, PHSA organizes Rec. Days at a local gym.  This is one hour of open gym time for families to use the gym equipment such as balls, scooters, jump ropes, and much, much more.  When the weather turns nice again, the group meets weekly at one of the local parks. These times run from the spring through the summer and into the fall.

Monthly Moms’ Night Outs are scheduled for the moms to get together for a time of visiting, making friends, sharing ideas, and encouraging each other.  This time of connecting happens at each other’s homes or in local restaurants sometimes with a conversation topic, theme, or even a friendly game to be played and sometimes it is simply a casual evening among friends with great conversation.

There are occasional group workshops offered such as art classes (through the local art center), geology class, essay writing, fly tying, fiddle lessons, etc.

Annually PHSA hosts a Homeschool Kick-Off Potluck and two family dances with live music, food, and fun for all ages.

All activity and event information is communicated to members through the PHSA monthly newsletter.  This newsletter is printed (or emailed) monthly from August through June and includes all activity, sports, and event information along with articles pertaining to homeschooling, a classified section, Kids Article page (monthly topic given), Ask Beryl (homeschool question/answer column), recipe column, and a calendar page.  Along with the monthly newsletter information is conveyed to members through email and a private Facebook group.

Testing for 2014!

Hey, homeschooling families, the testing information for 2014 is now on the blog. Click the Testing link at the top of the page to find out all the details. Don’t forget to print out the registration form. The link is on the page.

If you need testing practice, the Basic Skills link is in the sidebar to the right. Happy Testing Day! ;)

Lessons from the Titanic–A Tea Party

Titanic Tea Party

One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that we have all the time in the world to do fun things at the drop of a hat.

Titanic Tea Party

We’re all history buffs around here so I try and find creative ways to fit a history lesson into whatever other things we’re working on.  I love to incorporate historical facts with Bible truths for fun devotionals for my kids.

Titanic Tea Party

Awhile back, we had a Titanic Tea Party.  I made them an invitation and had them dress up in their fanciest costumes.  They all came upstairs and sat around the tea table and I handed them each a character card. 


I put a picture of an actual Titanic passenger on one side and a short biography on the other.

Titanic Tea Party

A.C. was the nurse and stewardess, Violet Jessop.  L.C. got her all fixed up in her nurse’s apron and cap.  

Titanic Tea Party

S.C. portrayed Mrs. Sylvia Caldwell, a missionary who claimed to have heard a crew member say, “God himself could not sink this ship”, upon boarding the Titanic.

Titanic Tea Party

E.C. was American businessman, Benjamin Guggenheim.  We all agreed that Guggenheim acted most heroically by refusing to take a place on the ship that could be given to a woman.  He went down bravely and in his best clothing.

Titanic Tea Party

M.C. was Captain Smith.  While the Captain made some bad choices that might have led to the Titanic’s demise, he ultimately did the right thing by staying with his ship and taking responsibility for the disaster.

Titanic Tea Party

C.C. thought it was pretty awesome to be John Jacob Astor, the richest man in the world at the time—until he found out that Astor, like the other men at the table, did not survive the sinking.

Titanic Tea Party

L.C. had studied the Titanic’s history previously so she was familiar with her favorite character, the “unsinkable” Molly Brown and her bravery in trying to convince those on her lifeboat to go back and look for survivors.  Isn’t her dress perfect for the occasion?  We found it at a yard sale last summer—love it!

They took turns “introducing themselves” and then I gave a lesson linking up the prominent passengers’ actions or attitudes with Biblical truths.  It was a lot of fun and I think it got them thinking about issues like pride, duty, and priorities.

Titanic Tea Party

We used this set of Abingdon china that my mom gave me.  I believe it was put out in the 1960s.  

Titanic Tea Party

We love to use it for L.C.’s birthday tea parties, as well as whenever we have special guests.  I figured the Titanic passengers would enjoy a little “Grape Kool-Aid Tea” and banana bread.


It was a great party and a fun learning experience.  See the pretty doily under the bread plate?  E.C. made that for me—I love it!

*Views and opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of PHSA.