Monday, August 31, 2009

Sept. newsletter

September 2009 NEWS from THREE SISTERS
It’s school time! Let’s learn some new, fun things!
HLR Programs
Registration is open for Knights (all ages), Renaissance Day (10 a.m. for grades 1 – 3) and Water Travels with Dewey (late K – 1). Any family belonging to the WDM HSAP will need to register for HLR Programs held at Rex Mathes (Knights and Renaissance Day), at least one month in advance if possible, through coordinator Tami Prescott, at October program registration will open online approximately one month before the program.
As a way to encourage the home school community, we’re looking to publicize all non-exclusive home school events. Event submissions that are not members-only such as open support group meetings, field trips, and speaking engagements are welcomed at Approved events may be included in our monthly newsletter. We keep a calendar of these events in the sidebar of the blog as well as on the Calendar page on our website.
Sept. 1 – Home school P.E. Tuesdays at SportsPlex West, Waukee. Times vary according to age. 8-week sessions. 515-987-0806
Sept. 3 – Home school girls gymnastics Thursdays at Chow’s, West Des Moines. 9 – 10 a.m. Small class size, world class apparatus and coaching. Call immediately for information (515) 223-5460.
Sept. 9 -- Knights. Kevin talks about life as a kid in the days of knights, explains his armor, takes questions from the audience, and with his vast historical knowledge, he might talk about anything else you bring up. Register at
Sept. 18 – Renaissance Day. Interactive topics of calligraphy and quilling, peasant dancing, games/sports, and stained glass. Held in partnership with the West Des Moines HSAP. Register at Three Sisters website.
Sept. 18 -- Home school P.E. Walnut Creek YMCA 1 – 4 p.m., optional swimming 2:55 – 3:50. Snack provided. Pre-register at All participants not pre-registered will need to pay at the front desk that day.
Sept. 21 – Water Travels with Dewey. Kids grades K – 1 learn about the water cycle through a half-hour long puppet show. Free admission. Location: Altoona. Pre-registration requested through Three Sisters website.
Looking ahead: Oct. 9 – Middle Eastern Marketplace and Oct. 26 – Recycle Me! Information at Three Sisters website. Other community events are posted at
Conference News
The theme for 2010 will be “Home School Success.” Suggestions for topics and volunteer speakers are also being accepted at
Until next month, Julia
THREE SISTERS is a small Iowa company founded by three bargain-loving home school moms. It has produced homeschool sales and a conference. It remains open to producing other events, including HLR Programs. The founders revel in the fact that sisterhood does not rely on bloodlines.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Homeschool P.E. at SportsPlex West

Three Sisters has no further information.

Session Begins September 1, 2009 on Tuesdays

Session I:  9/1, 9/8, 9/15, 9/22, 9/29, 10/6, 10/13, 10/20
Session II: 10/27, 11/3, 11/10, 11/17, 11/24, 12/1, 12/8, 12/15
Session III: 1/5, 1/12, 1/19, 1/26, 2/2, 2/9, 2/16, 2/23
Session IV: 3/2, 3/9, 3/23, 3/30, 4/6, 4/13, 4/20, 4/27,
*(Skip Week of Spring Break)
**1/2 Session V: 5/4, 5/11, 5/18, 5/25 (1/2 the Session Price)
Grades K-2: 1-1:50pm
Grades 3-4: 1-1:50pm
Grades 5-6: 2-3pm
Grades 7 & Up: 2-3pm
Boys and Girls in Grades K-12
Grades K-4: $50 per student per 8-class session
Grades 5 & Up: $60 per student per 8-class session
SPW (890 Olson Drive in Waukee)
Stop by or call in over the phone at SPW.
Front Desk at 515-987-0806

Update on writing class offerings

From Mary Lynn Carvour, a follow up from a previous announcement:
I'm offering the classes at two locations. We have ... 4 total students signed up at this point for the Altoona class.... The Huxley class has a good number enrolled. If you hear of others who are inerested, please encourage them to email or call my cell and be patient for a response.
... The Altoona writing class is scheduled for the afternoon of [Sept. 18]. Huxley starts on Sept. 25.
Three Sisters has no further information. Please contact Mary Lynn with all concerns and questions at 515-967-0268 or Original source is here at her website.

Registration for Monarch Tagging Now Closed

Thank you for your interest and we'll see all of you there!

Renaissance Day late session CLOSED

Registration for our Renaissance Day program at 11 a.m. for grades 4 and up is now FULL. No more registrations are being accepted at this time.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Registration for Water Cycle Program now open

Three Sisters frequently gets asked about programs for younger grades. Here you go!
Sept. 21Water Travels with Dewey. Dewey the Waterdrop puppet will teach students about the water cycle and pollutants that are picked up along the way. After the show, students participate in a sequencing activity to review what they have learned. Presented by Des Moines Water Works. 10:15 a.m. in Altoona from grades "2nd semester kindergarten" to 1st. Thirty minutes. Cap of 35 students. No fee. Details on registration can be found here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Home school p.e.

The YMCA of Greater Des Moines offers a monthly home school p.e. class at its Walnut Creek branch, located at 948 73rd St. Your support group is encouraged to have a representative present at home school p.e. organizational meetings. Phil Simmons is the contact for meetings, at 224-1888 and Three Sisters has no further information. Julia's note: the following is excerpted from my local support group's notes from the last home school p.e. meeting.
  1. Home School P.E. will meet the 3rd Friday of each month with the exception of March.  (That date is March 26, 2010.)  Home School P.E. begins September 18, 2009.  The program runs from 1:00-4:00 (optional- swimming from 2:55-3:50). A snack is provided. 
  2. There has been a price increase that is consistent with all YMCA fees.  Non-members will be charged $5 and Members will be charged $2.  Pre-registration is available through the Walnut Creek  YMCA Website.  They are making a concentrated effort to go paperless.  All participants not pre-registered will need to pay at the front desk on the day of H.S. P.E..
  3. They will be dividing the children into 5-8 year olds, 9-11 year olds, and Teens.  This program is open to K-12.  PLEASE NOTE:  5 year olds will need to be accompanied by a parent for the first session they attend.  Please plan on staying with your 5 year old the entire session. If they want to swim, the parent will need to be in the water with their 5 year old as well. Going forward you may be asked to attend with your child if they are struggling in the program.  This has been implemented because of the numbers of children attending and their available staffing.
  4. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!  In order for the program to be a success, Phil is asking for a minimum of one (more would be great) parent volunteer for the class and 2 parent volunteers (again, more would be great) for the pool.  The parent volunteers for the pool would need to be in the water.  The class volunteer  is needed from 12:45-3 and the pool volunteer would need to be available from 2:30-4:00.  At the very bottom of this thread, I will include a duty description for both.   If you sign up prior to the session, all fees will be waived for your children for that session. This is a great opportunity to get Dads involved too!
  5. You may email Phil Simmons at if you are interested in helping out.
  6. Knowledge is power,  if your child has health, developmental, or behavior issues, please share that with Phil.  He has a great deal of experience working with a diverse group of children and wants every child to have fun, be safe, and get the most out of the program.
  7. FYI- Child Watch is only available to YMCA members who remain on site. There is a limit of 2 hours. 
  8. YMCA values:  Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility.
  9. FYI- Partner with Youth Campaign takes place in February 2010.  The Y relies on individual donations and support from the United Way.  If you like the home school program and would like it to continue, please consider donating during this campaign.  This would be a great way for us to show our appreciation and support for the Y.
  10. There is a possibility of the Ankeny YMCA also offering a Home School P.E. program.  If they do, they will coordinate with Phil at the Walnut Creek Y so that dates do not overlap. One of his personal goals is to have a Home School P.E. class at different Y's so that children would have the opportunity to attend on a weekly basis

Volunteer Descriptions:
Class Volunteer
  • Teach and demonstrate the YMCA mission and values through conduct and enforcement of rules.
  • Present yourself in a professional manner both verbally and non-verbally.
  • Maintain safe environment with participants.
  • Facilitate snack time.
  • Help Coaches to create a safe and fun P.E. experience.
  • Be present on your volunteer date from 12:45-3:00 P.M..
  • Be prepared to engage in activities and conversations with kids.
Pool Volunteer:
  • Teach and demonstrate the YMCA mission and values through conduct and enforcement of rules.
  • Present yourself in a professional manner both verbally and non-verbally.
  • Maintain safe ratios in water for supervisors and kids (1:10).
  • Help kids transition from locker room to pool safely, and in a timely manner.
  • Help lifeguards to create a safe and fun pool experience.
  • Be present on your volunteer date from 2:30-4:00 P.M..

Last call for Monarch Tagging

The Monarch registration page will be disabled on Thursday around noon, August 27. The Teacher Aid will remain available indefinitely.

There are about ten spots available between the morning and afternoon programs.

We are currently looking at Weebly and WordPress to host our website. If glitches occur in the registration process because of the migration, please send a note to our office.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Homeschool girls gymnastics

Chow's called again yesterday. Their plan is to have a mixed level gymnastics class on Thursdays from 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. Julia has been lobbying Chow's hard for an afternoon class. More community response has gotten results in the past at this business. Chow's number is 223-5460.

Heads up! September newsletter

We're accepting ideas and calendar submissions for our September newsletter in the office at You can also leave a comment here with an idea.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Renaissance Day Registration

Renaissance Day Registration is up on our website. I think. See, we were getting services from Google Page Creator. But Google axed the page creator project and didn't leave a comparable service. So we have to move, and we've been plagued by indecision ever since. But I think everything is functional on the website. If you cannot sign up for a program, please send our office a message. Thanks.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Writing Class Offerings

Three Sisters has no further information. Please contact Mary Lynn with all concerns and questions at 515-967-0268 or Original source is here.


Sign up for a Friday afternoon of writing classes all the kids can enjoy every month.

  • 1-2 PM - WRITING CLASS - grades 6-8 (flexible to include 5th or 9th +) $8.00
  • 2:00 - 2:20 PM - I CAN WRITE - PK-2nd graders $6.00
  • 2:20 - 3:00 PM - WRITING IS FUN - grades 3-5 (may include 2nd or 6th) $8.00

Children will have fun learning good writing skills that will inspire their creative writing and bubble over to inform and improve their writing ability in general. Class can be used as your writing curriculum or as support learning. There will be 9 sessions for a full year of instruction. Obviously, the greatest benefit will be to attend every month so that students’ skills can build and grow with the teaching. New students will be allowed to join throughout the year and they will still learn a lot as we progress. Sign up in advance for the year or the coming month. Minimum: 10 students needed/day.

Bring a friend: enrolled student- sign up a new student and both get the new student’s first class ½ price.

There are two locations scheduled at this time: (may change due to size of class, etc.)

North Location: Huxley Library - Dates: 9/25, 10/23, 11/20, 12/11, 1/22, 2/19, 3/19, 4/23, 5/21

East Location: Altoona Library - Dates: 9/18, 10/16, 11/13, 12/4, 1/15, 2/12, 3/12, 4/16, 5/14

WRITING CLASS - 1 hour class from 1:00-2:00 PM

  • Homework assignments will be given.
  • Curriculum - teacher created curriculum will focus on the elements most commonly lacking in writing programs. Students will learn to effectively use description, a reader-in-mind focus, characterization, plot development, and editing with a variety of writing styles. Short exercises build confidence and skill. A portfolio and final ‘polished’ piece will be completed.
  • Materials provided: photocopies will be provided within cost of course and some special materials will be provided.
  • Materials needed: three-ring binder (1″ or more), paper & writing materials, and a quality thesaurus will be needed.

I CAN WRITE - 20 minutes from 2:00 - 2:20 PM

  • PK-2nd grade
  • Curriculum - teacher created lessons about different kinds of writing for kids. They will write and publish their own little book in the spring.
  • Materials provided: a book each week and materials for exercises.
  • No materials needed.

WRITING IS FUN - 40 minute class from 2:20-3:00 PM

  • Grade level homework assignments will be given.
  • Curriculum - teacher created curriculum centers around the 6+1 Traits of good writing. Students will explore a variety of writing strategies, identify qualities of good writing in books, and have fun writing. A portfolio of learning and a special project will be created.
  • Materials provided: photocopies and some materials will be provided.
  • Materials needed: three ring binder (1″ or more), writing paper and pencils

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Programs open to all

Three Sisters offers HLR Programs for the entire homeschool community, including programs held in partnership with the WDM HSAP. Only programs scheduled for Rex Mathes Elementary are conducted with the HSAP partnership, which means that roughly half the spots will be "pre-reserved" for HSAP students. These numbers are already accounted for in the reservation process that is available to the community.

Programs that are not held at Rex Mathes do not have reservations exclusively for WDM HSAP students. Send all questions to for further clarification or call Julia.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Registration for KNIGHTS Now Open

By visiting this page, you can register for Knights. The Teacher Aid, here, is available to everyone, whether they sign up for the program or not.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Homeschool Gymnastics

I got word from Chow's today that they would like to add a home school gymnastics class (just like last year). They currently have a beginner girl session scheduled for Wednesdays at 9:15 a.m. and advanced beginner girls for Wednesdays at 10:15 a.m. Registration for these two classes is currently open to summer students.

For non-summer students, families will want to show preliminary interest by leaving a parent name, phone number, and child's name at the gym: (515) 223-5460. The Chow's website is brand new (it really needed a makeover) -- you can view tuition rates there.

It was also noted that a different time and day of week may be used for a homeschool class should non-homeschool classes allow and interest indicates.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


I just noticed that there is ONE WEEK left until registration for Knights will begin. Check out JoustEvolution to learn more about our presentation. I first heard Kevin talk about three years ago to a large group of Cub Scouts. He was fantastic! He related to the kids very well (ages preschool through grade 5), had one boy try on his armor, and held everyone's attention amazingly well!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Bread Around the World

Just confirmed today --

Bread Around the World

Presented by Barb Vaske through World of Difference

Friday, Nov. 20, 2009 Two sessions, 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. 45 minutes each. Grades K - 8. Registration begins Oct. 20.

Held in WDM in partnership with the WDM HSAP.

Description: Just in time for Thanksgiving consideration, this program will discuss flat breads in Mexico, the United States, and India; include the topics of corn and yeast as ingredients, and have a hands-on portion. Admission $5. Limit of 18 kids/session.