Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Battle of Verdun

By I.G. Age 13
On Veterans Day, November 11, 2015, my family and I visited Verdun, France. We visited the World War I memorial there. Fought by the Germans and the French, the Battle of Verdun lasted nine months and three weeks. Around 714,231 people were killed. The Battle of Verdun ended up being the longest conflict during that war.

 
On February 21, 1916, a shot from the Germans hit a cathedral in Verdun, starting the battle where many men lost their lives fighting. There are many memorials for the men who died fighting. One of them, the Douaumont Ossuary, has hundreds of bones from unknown soldiers.  


So many were killed, that identification was difficult. In a small part of the museum of the Douaumont Ossuary there are rings, guns, hats, knives, and other things found over time buried in the ground. The Douaumont Ossuary also has a 20-minute documentary on the Battle of Verdun, and of course it includes a small gift shop. This was a unique trip for me because it is one of the few sites I’ve seen relating to WWI. While I have been to many WWII memorials, this took me back a little further in history.  

 

Field Trip to the Dynamikum Science Center

Several UHSG families met to explore the Dynamikum Science Center in Pirmasens on Nov. 30th.  The museum is about 45 minutes from the KMC area and is filled with interactive displays that teach a variety of principles about physics.  Museum visitors can test their speed in a dark room, solve puzzles, and interact with every display.  To cap off the visit, the UHSG group grabbed snacks in the museum cafe and several took turns racing down the two slides that lead back the museum entrance and exit.
 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Book Club

By S.B. Age 14

Book Club meets twice a month and is taught by Ms. Melissa M. This is the fourth time Ms. Melissa has taught Book Club. Past books have included To Kill a Mockingbird, Ender’s Game, Hatchet, A Wrinkle in Time, and The Book Thief.  In the last session, the older group ages 12-18 read Fahrenheit 451, a dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury that takes place in the future. The younger group ages 8-12 read Out of the Dust.


At a normal Book Club meeting, students discuss the book and ask any questions they may have. Each session ends with projects related to the assigned books. Students presented these at the final meeting and are free to get creative with their projects.

 
In the past, the book club participants were 90% girls, but this last session it was 90% boys.  Ms. Melissa said that she can’t decide which was more fun but she definitely knows which was quieter!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Homeschoolers Explore a New Language

By W.L.  Age 12
Beginning American Sign Language (ASL) classes taught by Mrs. R. were held during the Fall Session of UHSG Enrichment Day. She held two classes, one for ages 4-7 and one for ages 8 and up. Both classes learned basic signs for the alphabet and vocabulary such as colors, food, and animals. The older class also learned more about using signs to communicate through sentence structure.  


Both classes enjoyed learning how to sign songs such as “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”. The ASL classes will be offered again in the Spring Session which will begin in February. The older class will be an advanced class for returning ASL kids aged 8+ and for those that know the basics of ASL. The younger class will be open to all, beginners and returning kids, ages 4-7.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Field Trip to Greece

By E.L. Age 15
 
Since my family has been studying ancient cultures and history this year, my mom planned a trip to Greece so we could see the cities we learned about. We took RyanAir from Frankfurt Hahn to Thessaloniki and then from Thessaloniki to Athens.

In Athens, we first saw Hadrian’s Library and walked the Plaka. The Temple of Zeus is enormous even with only 15 columns standing of the original 104 columns. Right beside the Temple is Hadrian’s Arch. We hiked up to the Acropolis to see the monuments. The tour groups arrived at the same time, but left before we did. Afterwards, we wandered over to the Ancient Agora. Many ruins are in this area. We made time to see the changing of the guards at the Parliament in the evening. It was a spectacular sight for everyone to see.We loved seeing Agamemnon’s mask at the Archaeological museum.The new Acropolis Museum is stunning, with a clear floor to see ruins underneath, and a replica of the ancient Parthenon with many of the original reliefs and sculptures on the top floor. Around the corner from the Acropolis Museum, we ate the best food of our whole trip at an adorable family-owned restaurant. He hugged and kissed us all when we left! It is recommended by Rick Steves.
 
 
After two days in Athens, we took our rented on a road trip. The first stop on our drive was Mycenae. In Mycenae, we hiked around the famous hilltop ruins of the ancient city where we saw tombs, houses, and a beautiful view of the valley surrounding the sights. We were able to see the tomb of Agamemnon, the mythological king. There is also a small museum with artifacts from the hilltop ruins.
Next on our road trip, we ventured to Kalamata to spend time at the beaches. The beaches were rocky and the weather was warm. We did not really do much there except play in the pool, at the beach, and get pretty pictures for my mom’s blog.
The following day we drove to Olympia. We had a lot of fun seeing the sight of the first Olympics and training grounds of athletes. It was very large and hot but it was definitely worth the walk to see all the ruins. This is where contestants trained. My sister and dad ran the stadia, which was the original event in the ancient Olympics. We saw the workshop of Pheidias, who was a Greek sculptor, painter, and architect. His statue of Zeus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. My mom was ecstatic, and my brother liked the seashells in the cement. There is a small museum with many famous statues.
 After returning to Kalamata for the night, we left the next day for  Napflio. This city is right by the sea and is very picturesque to walk around. We drove up to the fortress that overlooks the bay, and then drove down to buy Italian gelato. We found the best worry bead shop in Greece and everyone in my family picked one out. Be warned: they can get expensive.
Continuing our road trip, we traveled to Epidavros. The best preserved ancient theater is located here. The acoustics really are amazing. My mom performed two monologues from Sophocles and Euripides in front of a group of students. After they all left, my siblings and I sang a song. There is also a temple to Asclepius and a small museum.
After touring Epidavros as the last city on our on road trip, we flew back to Thessaloniki. We had two full days at the end of our trip before flying back to Germany to explore, so we rented a car. We toured the Byzantine and Archeological museums. At the Byzantine museum, we enjoyed seeing all the jewelry and pottery. The preserved mosaics and coins were very interesting to look at and read about. We walked along the boardwalk to see the statues of Alexander the Great and Aristotle, and took a boat ride around the bay on a ship called the Argo.We got the best Italian-style pizza and before we went to our hotel, and stopped at a French dessert café. There were so many churches to find and explore. The Temple and Catacombs of St. John the Baptist had a natural spring we drank from in the catacombs. We listened to a Vespers service at the Agia Sofia.
This was a whirlwind tour that only lasted a week because we had obligations to get back to here in Germany. My favorite part was spending my 15th birthday in Athens and getting to see the Acropolis. I hope to go back someday to tour the islands and see Delphi.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Performers Show Talent

By Ms. Q
 
On Sunday, Nov. 22, a small group of UHSG students and parents met at the Community Center on RAB for the group’s first-ever talent show.   Showcased talents included piano, flute, singing, drawing, Aikido, and a monologue.

 


Though the turnout was small, the talent show nonetheless gave homeschool students an audience to practice performance and speaking skills.  Additionally, it gave parents a chance to model appropriate audience behavior for students who have not necessarily sat in school assemblies or seen live performances.  Chi T., the Music Liaison and coordinator of this event, deserves thanks for the effort that she put into making this happen.  

 
At the end of the show, Chi expressed her appreciation for all the participants and audience and her hope that this will become an annual event for UHSG.

Friday, November 20, 2015

What to See in Paris

By C.S. Age 14
Paris is the number one most visited city in the world with 16.6 million people visiting every year.  It is also one of the oldest cities still standing in the world having survived for over 2000 years. This famous European city’s popularity is mainly due to the history of the city.  Two of the most well-known time periods in French history are The French Revolution, when the French rebelled against the higher class, and the Liberation of Paris from the Nazis during WW2.  Both of these events left a huge mark on Paris spawning museums and memorials. 

Built by Gustave Eiffel for the World Exhibition in 1889, the Eiffel Tower is Paris's most visited attraction and the most well known landmark in Europe.  Another popular tourist stop in Paris is the Louvre Museum.  Museum goers should dedicate an entire day of their trip at this museum or they may not experience all history’s greatest works like the Mona Lisa or the Venus de Milo. The Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo da Vinci and is rumored to be a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocando.  Part of the what makes the Mona Lisa so special is that is has not been proven who the lady in the portrait is. The Venus de Milo is a depiction of Venus (or Aphrodite in Greek) the love goddess.  The sculpture is thought to have been done by Alexandros of Antioch, an unknown artist.  



      The entrance to the Palace of Versailles.

After visiting these two places popular tourist locations in Paris, tourists may end up spoiled for choice.  They could choose to visit the Champs-Elysees, a street lined with famous boutiques, restaurants, and jewelers all leading to the Arc de Tromphe, a monument commemorating Napoleon's victories. Another choice may be the Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the world’s most beautiful gothic churches. Tourists could even choose to take a stroll through one of the many gardens in Paris.  Just outside of Paris, many tourists travel to Versailles (VER-sigh) where the Palace of Versailles is located. The palace was a home for King Louis XIV. Regardless of where one chooses to visit in Paris, they’re sure to find places touched by history making it a great tourist destination for those looking to learn about the world’s history.

         

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Homeschoolers Tour AFN

By R.M. Age 13

The middle schoolers of UHSG went on a tour of the Armed Forces Network (AFN) on November 18. They learned about media and the history of AFN. AFN has been broadcasting since 1954.  Since they were the leading source of  information in war time, they were targeted by the enemy. Since 1954, they have come a long way. For instance, their mics and cameras have progressed. The glass in the studio is now bulletproof and the wall soundproof both help to keep the noise out. The staff consists of editors, tech support, DJs, photographers, and videographers.


AFN is located on Vogelweh Air Base where they broadcast TV and radio. Even though it
is a small facility, the office has many computers and cameras. During the tour, the guide told the group about a sphere with cameras embedded into the body called “hawk-eye.” These can record, and when linked with a phone, they will move. If the phone is turned, the footage will turn as well. One lucky student, Amber K.,  gave a mock interview during the tour.  After a photo opportunity, the tour concluded.  Upper elementary students will have a chance to tour AFN in January and high schoolers in February.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Geography Fair Has 20 Locations

By A.K.  age 11
This year the UHSG Geography Fair was held on November 15, 2015 at the community center annex on Ramstein Air Base. Homeschool kids and their parents brought projects representing different countries around the world. The countries and regions represented were the United States, the Bahamas, Hawaii, Canada, Thailand, India, China, Japan, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Greece, Ireland,  Iceland, Australia,  Antarctica, and Egypt.




Everyone who attended was able to be a tourist and received a passport. As they visited each country, they would receive a sticker in their passports. Projects had pictures and information as well as games and food from their countries. Some students even dressed up in special clothing.  DL said, “Antarctica was fun! There was a challenge to see how long you could keep your hand in a bucket of ice.”

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Make November a "Random Acts of Kindness" Month

This month, UHSG members are challenged to go out a perform random acts of kindness.  As a month where many take the time to remember blessings and be thankful, this is a great way to kick off the winter holiday season.  We would LOVE to hear your stories and see your photos.  If you have a story to share, please email it to unitedhomeschoolersofgermany@gmail.com.

To get you started, here are some ideas:
  • Leave change on a vending/candy machine
  • Leave change at the laundromat
  • Offer to carry someone's grocery bags or return their cart to the store
  • Take a treat to the gate guards
  • Take out a neighbor's trash
  • Rake or sweep for a friend/neighbor/stranger
  • Leave a thank-you note for your postal service worker/bank teller/customer service representative, anyone in a job where thanks are few and far between
  • Pay for the meal of the family behind you in the drive through
  • Leave popcorn for the next movie rental customer at Mom's
  • Offer to watch kids for a new mom so she can shower/read a book/shop alone
  • Volunteer somewhere
  • Give a stranger a sincere compliment
  • Read a book to a small child at the library so the parent can look in the adult section
  • Pick a public area to clean
The list is only limited to your creativity, and if you aren't feeling creative, a quick internet search will yield a plethora of ideas from the extravagant to the easy and affordable.

Friday, November 6, 2015

MNO: Moms Enjoy Art Class and Wine

By D.K.
 
Homeschooling is great! Moms to spend lots of time with their kids. However, between teaching, driving to various activities, cleaning and cooking, all of us moms have certainly earned a fun night out! That is why once a month, UHSG holds a mom’s night out. This month the mothers all got out of the house and had a night out with Art, Wine and Potluck Hors d’oeuvres.   The Arts and Craft center on Ramstein Air Base gave our moms a private painting class and provided wine. The moms brought Hor d’oevres from home. There was so much food it should have been dinner. Moms who attend have a great time talking and laughing, as well as painting.  Despite following the same instructions, everyone’s paintings turned out unique.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

High School Karaoke Night

By S.K. Age 14

High schoolers are you sick of being bored on Monday nights? Come and get your sing on every third Monday of the month. The high school aged homeschool students gather at JR Rockers in the evening for karaoke, food and conversation. You can prepare for a night of fun by going to the web site Karafun, where you can look up and choose your songs for the night.  A wide songs are available to sing. Singing can be enjoyed as an individual or as a group. Last Karaoke night the boys sang the Pokémon theme song. During the night, songs from the 80s, the 90s and the 2000s were sung. The last song of the night was “Fireflies” by Owl City. JR Rockers offers Family Karaoke every Monday night 6-9 pm.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Fall Fun Fest

By S.B.

Fall Fun Fest was held on Friday, October 30th at the Exchange. Everyone dressed in their Halloween costumes: ninjas, Jedi, princesses, pirates and more. Parents and teens organized a variety of games to play, including corn hole, pin the bowtie on the skeleton, and mummy wrap. Crafts included make-your-own pumpkin dough, string art, and candy corn architecture.  Some of the middle school and high school kids volunteered to help out. "No one came to my cheerio relay," complained Riley R. The older students worked to keep the younger kids entertained.  The party ended at 4:00, with participants helping to clean the group meeting  area at the KMCC.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

KMC Onstage

By L.L. Age 15


KMC Onstage offers fun for the whole family, whether you want to be on the stage showing your gifts, or in the audience watching the talent in front of you. KMC Onstage is located on Kleber Kaserne Bldg. 3232, which also houses the Java Café.

KMC Onstage offers acting classes for homeschoolers and public schoolers. Classes are not just for kids, there are many adult classes as well! They also offer free ‘workshops’ and give out monologues or group readings and critiques actors. It is a wonderful experience even if you do not wish to participate in a play or musical. Most auditions are open and will give you a cold reading to perform when you arrive. Some plays require actors to be 18 and older to audition and/or watch. Children under 3 years old are not allowed to attend any plays or musicals unless otherwise stated. Every year a Tournament of the Plays called Toppers is held between bases all over Europe. Each base can enter one play and one musical per year.

You can also find out about upcoming KMC Onstage plays in the Kaiserslautern American newspaper that you can get free on base or online.  If you participate in a play or class, it will count as high school credit.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Carving

By R.M. Age 13

The UHSG got together at Donnelly park on Oct. 23rd. Everyone brought something: food, drinks, dining ware, and tablecloths. A few people carved or painted their pumpkins; each was different. Afterward, attendees played at the park. Everyone had fun on a beautiful day. The weather was good, the park was empty, it wasn't too cold, and the leaves were starting to change color.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

UHSG Speech and Communications Class Elects New President!

By W. L. Age 12

The Speech and Communications class at UHSG Enrichment Day gave their presidential speeches for Class President on Oct. 20. The students presented their presidential speeches in front of other students and parents.. The audience  listened to the speeches and then voted on who they thought should win. Out of all of the candidates, C.S. won the election with M.R. winning vice-President with the second most votes.  Mrs. K was “very happy” that everyone brought in their speeches. She also thought that they did a “great job”, so she threw the class an ice cream party the following Tuesday.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Sunshine Pumpkin Farm Field Trip

By I.G. Age 13
On Friday, October 16th, the UHSG took a field trip to The Sunshine Pumpkin Farm.  This was an enjoyable field trip for all ages.  Even in the gloomy cold weather.
The tour started in the common area between the barns. The first stop was where the cows were being milked. The Sunshine staff had a cow attached to a milking machine. The guide explained how the cows were milked. Even though it looked like it could be painful, the cows didn’t mind because they got special food and it didn’t cause them any pain. After that, we walked over to the two horses. Everyone talked for a few minutes before moving on to where they kept some more cows. On the left were all the calves, and the pregnant cows. On the right side of the barn were the bulls, and they were very jumpy and friendly.
After we left there, the tour crossed the street to where all the chickens and pigs were. We walked past the pink pigs and outside to where the chickens were. With a warning from our guide not the chase the chickens, she allowed us all to explore the chicken area. 

After seeing the chickens, we headed over to get in the trailer that would take us to the pumpkin patch. Each child was allowed to pick a pumpkin of any size. Once the pumpkins were picked, the group climbed back into the trailer for another bumpy ride back the farm. We carried our pumpkins to the common area, and paid for them. After that, anyone who wanted was able to get cupcakes, pumpkin cake, and hot cider, a welcome treat after hours of walking in the cold.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Field Trip Etiquette

Please take a look at our Field Trip and Event Etiquette Guidelines! It is important for our group to leave a good impression when we visit a location in our area. The following guidelines will help to ensure that homeschoolers are welcomed back to the wonderful venues we have available here. Leaving a site with a good impression is the best way to ensure that future members of our group are able to enjoy the same wonderful experiences that we have the opportunity to participate in now.

Field Trip Etiquette
1.    Please realize that organizing events and field trips is a volunteer job for the organizer. 

  
2.    When you plan to attend an event, please be sure sign up via emailed link. This ensures an accurate headcount, which is vital when minimum or maximum participants are required. 


3.    If plans change and you cannot attend, PLEASE BE SURE to delete your sign up. This is easily done by pulling up the event on our secure sign-up site, signing in to your account, and simply clicking delete sign up.

4.    Because many of our event venues require an accurate headcount, please don't cancel at the last minute, unless there is a true emergency. 


5.    The weather in Germany can be unpredictable, but most events will run as scheduled rain or shine. Dress appropriately! 


6.    Respect the facility's rules. Observe guidelines for eating, drinking, smoking, petting and/or feeding animals, and remaining in authorized areas. 


7.    Be on time for events. This usually means arriving 15-30 minutes before the scheduled time in order to allow time for check-in and payment. 


8.    Be respectful and courteous to the speakers, tour guides, and employees of the facility. It is possible that they are volunteering and their time is valuable. 


9.    Respect any age restrictions. These are given to enhance the learning for all children. 


10.    Please note the date and time of any field trips you sign up for. The sign-up site allows you to easily add the event to your Google Calendar or iCalendar.

Appel Happel

By R.M. Age 13

On September 11, the UHSG toured Appel Happel in Mainz. The group learned about the farm
and picked apples. At Appel Happel, the owners use natural farming practices. In their store, they sell
fruits, vegetables, eggs, honey, homemade ice cream, and fresh apple juice. They grow twenty-seven
different types of apples and seven different types of pears.

    Mrs. Ilonka Happle, told children a story about a magic apple tree, afterwards they got to hug the giant magic apple and make a wish. Next kids gathered apples off the ground to make apple juice. First, the Happels grind up the apples with a machine that scrapes the seeds out of the apple, then they press the grated apples and the juice is channeled out. Field trippers all got to taste the fresh apple juice just as it was pumped out. The fresh apple juice was sweet and tart; more than one student exclaimed, "This is the best thing I have ever tasted!"  After the tour concluded, many went apple picking.

    D. Age 7, said he enjoyed the tour, he had not picked apples before, and his favorite fruit is the  mango.” Another student, D. Q. Age 8, said, “I do not know if I liked the tour or not. I haven't picked apples before, and my favorite fruit is blueberries.”  DJ Age 15 said she had picked apples before, she did enjoy the tour, and her favorite fruits are cucumbers, bell peppers, and apples.

UHSG Enrichment Day Classes Now In Session

By W.L. Age 12

Homeschoolers in the local Kaiserslautern area started Enrichment Day on September 7. Enrichment Day is a weekly event where children participate in classes of many different subjects some of which their parents may not have the resources to teach at home. In the fall session, homeschoolers meet from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Tuesdays, from September through November. There are 11 different classes offered during this first session of  Enrichment Day: LEGO Challenge, Beginning ASL, Geography Co-op: Around the World, Young Scientists Co-op, Sewing Basics, Learning with Board Games, Writing Workshop, Critical Thinking in Reading and Writing, U.S Government, Speech and Communications, and Personal Finance. There are several benefits provided to families who participate at Enrichment Day. Highschoolers can earn credits in some of the high school classes. All homeschoolers have the opportunity to not only learn new things but make friends too. All families should consider their family schedules before deciding to participate. The second session for Enrichment Day will begin at the end of January. Anyone looking to submit a class can fill out a class submission form. For more information you can contact Veronica at unitedhomeschoolersofgermany@gmail.com.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Rhineland-Palatinate Open Air Museum

By E.E. Age 17

On the 25th of September the homeschool group ventured north to the Rhineland-Palatinate Open Air Museum.  This outdoor museum houses four villages with forty buildings spread throughout.  The villages of Moselle-Eifel, Palatinate-Rhine Hesse, Middle Rhine-Western Forest, and Hunsrück-Nahe each represent an area of the Rhineland-Pfalz state of Germany. It holds buildings created many years ago.
 
During the trip, students were guided through three of the four villages, and were given the history behind the buildings and how they were used.  In one village showcased  a skittle alley (known to Americans as a bowling alley) that was used over one-hundred years ago, and another displayed  a building where people can still get married in today!  Additionally, students  were shown a barber shop that was used sixty years ago, and a beautiful house of an 18th century wine farmer.  And the most intriguing and shocking thing about all of these places: they were all taken from their original resting place and rebuilt in the museum!

Students readily displayed enjoyment and interest  in what they were learning.  Kassie, age 10, commented, “It was a great way to learn the way people lived.”  And Bella, age 13, said, “There was lots of walking,” and gave the advice to “wear good shoes.” Though the trip overall was enjoyable, some (including myself) weren’t too fond of all of the walking.
 
Even though the trip was meant for kids ten and up, it may be appropriate for younger children as well.  The path from start to finish is two kilometers (a little over one mile), and it’s rough as well, so it may not be suited for some children or those with strollers.  Still, for anyone wanting to go, the museum is open every day (except Monday) from the end of March through the beginning of November, opening at 9:00 am and closing at 6:00 pm (with last entry at 5:00 pm). You can find more information on museum hours and directions on their website: www.freilichtmuseum-rlp.de.

Monday, August 31, 2015

NOT! Back to School Bowling (in pajamas)


By A.K. Age 11
The day public school started all the home-schooled kids gathered at the bowling alley at Ramstein Air Base. No one had to get dressed that day, because students were encouraged to show up in their pajamas. Children  split up into age groups so they could meet new friends. It was quite a sight: 72 home-schooled kids in pajamas, bowling on the first day of school! There were so many kids there, that UHSG took up 15 lanes. Everyone was able to bowl two games and to eat lunch together. Sarah K., age 14, said, “I bowled my first strike of the year with great friends.” It was a really fun way to start the school year. Many look forward to attending this annual event again next year.  


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sewing it Forward

UHSG parents and students gathered to support the Outreach efforts of our group.  At this meeting, we sewed simple shorts and pillowcase dresses to include in Operation Christmas Child boxes that will be sent out later in the season.
Our Outreach Liaison taught the group the basics of  sewing simple pants or shorts.  If you were unable to come, and would like to sew on your own, you may bring any items to the monthly planning and support meetings to drop off.  Pinterest abounds with easy DIY  patterns, and UHSG does have a Pinterest page!





Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Too Cool for High School

United Homeschoolers of Germany has heard the call of the community. In June, we created a special group just for our high-school-aged members. This unique Facebook group provides an opportunity for High Schoolers to come together to plan events, share ideas, or just chat.  In order to join, you must first be a member of the UHSG Facebook group.  Parents and high school students are welcome to join the UHSG High School Only! Group.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Not All Who Wander Are Lost



By R.M.
Age 13

I was lucky enough to participate in the first UHSG Navigation Class, on August 6, 2015. The first day we were in the classroom. They explained a lot about how to orient a map with a compass. To orient the map, first get your compass and lay down your map. Next, place the compass facing north on the map and then turn the whole map towards magnetic north on the compass. When you are orienting the map you should never place your compass near metal because it will cause the compass to turn toward the metal instead of magnetic north. Then, you have to find your destination on the map and measure the distance. Once you know this information, use the outside angles on the compass to find your direction of travel. The last thing you should do is look for landmarks on your map so you can use them to find your way. After this lesson, the teacher told us we would be in the woods the next day and he gave us a list of supplies to bring.

The second day we were in the woods. It was hot! I was on one of three teams. There were five people on my team. Each team had to use coordinates to find six different locations in the woods. At each location there was a different challenge. My favorite challenge was choosing six different survival items to bring out into the woods if I was lost or stranded. One other interesting thing I learned was that you can eat clovers, although they taste better in the spring.


At the end of our trek through the woods, the view was beautiful. We had been in the woods the whole time, and since we weren't following a path we didn't get to see the view until the end. We were up on a cliff side overlooking the forest. I liked this class a lot!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Behind the Scenes at the Exchange

UHSG went behind the scenes at the KMCC on July 29th and 30th.  The charismatic heads of the theater and food court graciously took time from their schedules to give the group a "backstage" peek at operations.

Students and parents toured the prep area of the food court and saw how and where the food and drinks are made and stored.  The KMCC food court is a opportune place for high schoolers to  get job experience, from traditional hires starting at 16-years old to the younger 14-year-olds who are eligible for the summer work programs.  The Food Court brings a taste of home to Americans stationed abroad.

Next, the tour looked behind the scenes of the KMCC theater, built just five years ago.  The theater was built to accommodate films on reel, but has been upgraded to a digital format.  It is the only AFES theater in the world that was built from the ground up to be a theater.  Most AFES theaters are converted spaces that house only one screen. The KMCC theater allows patrons to enjoy graduated seating and multiple theater rooms that seat 100-400 people.  After the tour, families were given a special package price that included drinks, popcorn, and priority seating for the Minions movie.

UHSG is grateful to all the AFES staff that made this field trip a success.



Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Forest Fun in Homburg

 Homeschoolers of all ages gathered for a field trip to the ropes course at the Homburg Fun Forest Park.  The ropes course gave students the opportunity to zip line along multiple lines, face fears, thrill seek, and interact with peers.    Zip lining proved a perfect summer activity, and flying through the trees helped to beat the heat.




Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Dino Days of Summer


Parents and children headed to the beloved "Dino Park" of Kaiserslautern.  The Gartenshau is one of K-town's most undersold features.  It has a little something for everyone.

The Gartenshau lies on the north side of Kaiserslautern and features a skate park, ponds, soccer and basketball areas, flower displays, a three-story slide, and so much more. This includes the collection of  dinosaur sculptures with informational plaques that give the park it's nickname.  And, just in case you forget to pack water or a snack, there are kiosks located in both the upper and lower levels of the park. With so many things to occupy any aged child or adult, the Dino Park was the perfect place for homeschoolers to take a break from working hard to play hard.


Friday, June 19, 2015

United Homeschoolers of Germany's 1st Annual Cookout.

UHSG celebrated it's 1st year with a family cookout. Homeschooling families gathered together for brats, burgers, BBQ, and fun. The rain held off long enough for the kids to enjoy a bouncy house, jungle gym, volleyball and more. Great way to kick off the summer!



Thursday, June 18, 2015

Homeschoolers Tour Ramstein Air Base Fuel Systems

United Homeschoolers of Germany enjoyed an exciting tour of Ramstein Air Base's fuel systems. The tour included the Fuels Service Center, Fuel Distribution System, Fuels Laboratory and Storage, Hydrants and Cryogenics and the Fuel Mobility Support Equipment. The group was even treated to an impressive display of the unique properties of liquid oxygen! It was an amazing 3 hours filled interesting sights and smells with lots of time for questions and answers. Thanks to our dedicated members for putting it all together!



Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Homeschoolers Kick Off Their Shoes at the Barefoot Park

United Homeschoolers of Germany visited a barefoot park! The Barfusspfad in Bad Sobernheim  is a park and walking path specifically designed to be explored in bare feet. Homeschoolers experienced a variety of terrains from a stone pathway to a river bed and everything in between. We got dirty, we got wet, and we had fun!






Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Keltic Village Explored by Ramstein and KMC Area Homeschoolers

United Homeschoolers of Germany toured the site of a real Celtic Village! Keltendorf Steinbach is an open air museum located 45 minutes Northeast of Ramstein Air Base at the base of the Donnerberg or Thunder Mountain. Homeschoolers of all ages explored the way of life for the Celtic people that lived in this area over 2000 years ago. Expert guided our group in making arrows, bracelets, and other amazing Celtic crafts! 






Friday, May 29, 2015

Ramstein and KMC Area Homeschoolers High School Graduation

United Homeschoolers of Germany held a commencement ceremony for our graduating Seniors. Friends and loved ones were witness to a lovely ceremony followed by food, dancing and fun! Congratulations Class of 2015!