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Real Stories of Cambridge Homeschooling Families

Saturday March 14, 2015, 10am - 12pm
Cambridge Main Library - Community Room
449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA

  • Want to meet other families who are homeschooling in Cambridge?
  • Interested in homeschooling and have questions on how to make it work for your family?
  • Just curious about other educational options for your family?

Join us for a panel discussion where current homeschooling families will share their stories, their methods, their joys and challenges.

For this event we are unable to make special accommodations for children. Please leave at home children who will be as happy or happier there with a loving caregiver. Stay tuned for future kid-friendly events soon! Teens and nursing infants welcome.

Hosted by Cambridge homeschooling families. Moderated by Milva McDonald of Advocates for Home Education in Massachusetts

NOTE: This is Cambridge focused, NOT Cambridge exclusive. If you want to come or send people who are interested, please do, no matter what town they live in!

If you have questions please e-mail angelmjackson at hotmail dot com.

Panel Discussion: Alternatives to Four Year College

Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 7:30 pm in Berlin, MA. These days, the conventional wisdom is that four year college is a necessity for a successful career. But not everyone is interested in college, and not every job requires a university education. If you or your kids are interested in a life path that might not include four year college, come hear a panel of homeschooling parents and self-employed professionals talk about alternatives, such as apprenticeships, entrepreneurship, trade schools and community college. There will be time for questions and discussion.

The panel:

Shawn P. Bernard Shawn Bernard is a father, real estate investor, sales trainer, personal coach, hobby farmer, world traveler, incessant problem solver, early riser, poet, and owner of Central Mass Real Estate. He is also an active Realtor with a one-per-week personal sales average for the past two years. Shawn has a degree in Psychology from Fitchburg State University. He lives on a small hobby farm in Massachusetts and divides his time between Massachusetts and an organic coffee farm in Maui. He is extremely grateful to be alive.

Rob Rains Rob and Sadie Rains are co-founders and co-owners of Wicked Easy I.T., a small I.T. service provider. He is a high school graduate and has attended some college, but does not hold a college degree. He is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer with 17 years of experience in information technology. Rob's business ownership helps him understand keenly the struggles and expenses of small businesses, making him an empathetic and empowering partner for small businesses who want to use technology effectively. Unlike many I.T. professionals, Rob's passion is connecting with people and helping them see possibilities they previously had not been able to see. Rob lives with his amazing wife, Sadie, and their seven children. He is also an Eagle Scout and actively volunteers in the Boy Scouts of America programs.

Manoj Padki Manoj Padki is stay-at-home dad, a homeschooling father, acapella singer, and real estate investor. He likes to cook and feed other people. His favorite motto is “Follow your bliss.” He lives in a cohousing community with his wife Manisha and their two children.

Milva McDonald Milva McDonald has been homeschooling for more than 20 years. During that time, she's juggled raising and educating four children, working outside the home, and pursuing her various interests. She has one child who didn’t go to college, another who quit, a third who plans to attend college, and a fourth that’s still on the fence. She is a co-founder of AHEM.

The evening will be geared toward adults, so we ask that you leave at home children who will be as happy or happier there with a loving caregiver. Interested teens are welcome to attend.

Cost is $15/person (teen and adult) to reserve your spot; the full price will be refunded to you, making your participation FREE. If you don't show up, your money will be donated to support the non-profit mission of AHEM. Space is limited. No refunds after March 13th except those made to meeting attendees.

Exact location and directions will be emailed about a week before the meeting.

Register online at http://ahemalternativesto4yearcollege.eventbrite.com

Participants will be added to the Friends of AHEM list unless they specifically opt out.

Student Government Day

AHEM is thrilled to announce that homeschoolers will again participate in Student Government Day on April 10, 2015 at the State House in Boston! The program is sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Nominations are now closed for Student Governement Day 2015. Check back in Fall of 2016 for information on participating in Student Government Day 2016, or join our low volume announcement-only email list to be notified.

State House Day

Monday, April 13, 2015, 10:00 am in Boston, MA.
Join AHEM for a fun day in Boston visiting the State House and visiting the Old South Meeting House! Prior to the big day is the February 13 kickoff event (see above), and ongoing Civics Group.

April 13, 2015 Schedule of Activities

10:00 am – 12:00 pm Visiting Legislators & Meeting Other Massachusetts Homeschoolers
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch Break
1:00 – 3:00 pm Old South Meeting House (may fill -- pre-registration required)

10:00 am – noon Visiting Legislators

2015 brings a new group of legislators to the State House, so to encourage Massachusetts homeschoolers to meet their representatives, AHEM is sponsoring an event on Monday, April 13, 2015 for homeschoolers to visit the State House and meet with legislators.

Meet in Nurses Hall on the second floor of the State House to check in and peruse handouts and displays about homeschooling in Massachusetts. AHEM representatives will be available there between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm, but we encourage you to arrive as close to 10:00 am as possible.

Consider calling or writing your representatives to make an appointment to meet them while at the State House. You are more likely to meet them instead of an aide if you make arrangements in advance. If you’re not sure who your representatives are, you can find out here: http://www.wheredoivotema.com/bal/myelectioninfo.aspx Find a template in .pdf format for a letter or email here: http://www.ahem.info/Documents/WritetoYourElectedOfficialsTemplate

While at the State House, take time for a self-guided tour of the historic building, network with other Massachusetts homeschoolers, have fun completing the AHEM scavenger hunt and/or ice breaker game, and more. Stay tuned!

Cost: Free, but we can plan better for the event if you take the time to pre-register, so we strongly encourage registering in advance. Download a registration form in pdf format here.

12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch on your own

There are many options. Pack a brown bag lunch, find fast food or a food truck at Downtown Crossing, discover an eclectic café on Charles St., or head to Chinatown.

Tip: Public Garden — For families with young children a nice choice might be to picnic in the Public Garden, and visit the Make Way for Ducklings statues. For older kids E. B. White’s The Trumpet of the Swan and/or Esther Forbes’s Johnny Tremain provide interesting context for a visit to downtown Boston (see Exploring Massachusetts for more ideas).

1:00 or 1:30 pm Old South Meeting House: Short Stop on the Freedom Trail

310 Washington Street
Boston, MA
The Revolution Starts Here! Start your visit to Boston where the Boston Tea Party began! After a brief, 15-minute introduction to the dramatic history of this 1729 landmark, including its beginnings as a Puritan meeting house, the meetings that led to the Boston Tea Party, and its last-minute rescue from demolition, you can explore the museum at your own pace.

We have booked two private group tours. One will begin promptly at 1:00 pm and another at 1:30 pm. Specific info on where to meet will be sent once you register.

Cost: Adults $4.00; Children (6-18 years old) $4.00; Children (5 years and younger) free. Download a registration form in .pdf format here.

How to register for State House Day and/or Old South Meeting House

We’re glad that you are interested in joining us on April 13! To register, please:

Space for Old South Meeting House is limited. Registrations must be postmarked no later than March 20, 2015. No refunds after March 20, 2015. Registration confirmation will be sent via email (preferred) or enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

Participants will be added to the Friends of AHEM list unless they specifically opt out.


Click here for directions to the State House. We recommend taking the T: Take the Red Line to Park Street Station. Once outside the station walk up Park Street toward the State House.

If you drive, there is parking at the Boston Common Garage. The entrance to the Boston Common Garage is located on Charles Street, directly across from the Public Gardens. Click here for directions to the garage.

Introducing AHEM Civics Group 2015!

Would you like to join the AHEM Civics Group, a time-limited online Yahoo group that will learn and share with each other about Massachusetts government in the weeks leading up to the State House visit? 

We’re trying something new this year! This year we are adding the option to join a time-limited Yahoo group where we will suggest weekly activities and have the opportunity to share and get to know each other online before convening at the State House on April 13. The weekly topics and activities will focus on Massachusetts and the way state government works. The group will exist for about six weeks but we hope that friendships form that will last much longer!

To join the private Yahoo group which will launch March 2, you must be a Friend of AHEM. You can join our Friends list here.

Then, send an email to AHEM asking to be invited to the AHEM Civics Yahoo Group. You will be sent an invitation to the Civics group in early March.

For further information

For further information about State House Day, email us at info@ahem.info, or call 781-641-0566.

Hope to see you on April 13!

~The State House Day Planning Committee

Class Dismissed

Tuesday, April 21 from 7-9pm
Providence Place Mall – Showcase Cinema

ENRICHri is pleased to bring you Class Dismissed, a film about alternative education options in America. This film is 90 minutes long and we include a 30 minute discussion for the audience at this event.

LIMITED SEATS AVAILABLE!! All seats are $10 (on 4/7 tickets will go up to $12). Small fee added to tickets purchased. Children and adults are welcome and encouraged to attend. Invite your family, friends, neighbors, and anyone interested in learning about homeschooling. If you are traveling from a distance or coming with a group, why not have a “dinner and a movie” night or plan shopping at the Providence Place Mall!

Tickets can be purchased here: Class Dismissed - ENRICHri