PHSA sponsors and coordinates numerous other projects and events. The Watershed Field Day is coordinated through ESD with 5th graders in public schools. Community Concerts and the Oregon East Symphony both schedule performances for school-agers. The spelling contest feeds into the county and state contests in the spring. The poetry contest entries can be submitted to the state contest in February. PHSA also coordinates annual state testing through Basic Skills out of Oregon City.
The annual Science Share is a time to show and demonstrate what we have done in our various topics of study but is not a contest. It is held in January or February 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.
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.
During the winter months, when everyone is tired of being cooped up in the house, and when it’s too cold to meet someone at the park, PHSA organizes Rec. Days at the Recreation Center (next to the Pendleton Library on Dorion Street).
The Rec. Center charges an hourly fee so PHSA gives members the option of participating. Each family pays an additional fee for the 3 month session. This fee varies depending on the fee that the Rec. Center charges. The Coordinator schedules as many days as possible, depending on how many families sign up. Time and day of the week are varied according to the Rec. Center’s busy schedule. Each signed-up family attends when they can.
The Rec. Center has equipment for volleyball, basketball, floor hockey, and many other activities for all ages. Sometimes we do organized games, and sometimes the kids just play while the parents talk.
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.
When the moms or dads get together, it’s a time of visiting, making friends, sharing ideas, and encouraging each other. There is usually a topic scheduled for these every other month meetings, but it’s a broad guideline that gets the conversation started and gives everyone something to think about. Mostly it’s a time to talk to other adults with varying perspectives of the problems that homeschoolers (and parents) face.
Topics have included record-keeping hints, keeping up with housework, ideas for teaching science, handling sibling rivalry, dealing with anti-homeschoolers, how to use unit studies, and preparing for college.
Hosts can use their homes, or arrange for another location, and provide snacks or dessert. There is plenty of time for camaraderie.