Family Programming

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Family Programming: Education & Fun for All Ages

We have entertaining and fascinating programs scheduled throughout the conference for family members of all ages. Please remember that children 12 and under must always be accompanied by someone aged 13 or older. Family programming activities can only be attended by paid registrants.



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Visit, Learn, and Earn
Friday, 1:00–2:30 p.m.
Kids 12 and under: Explore geology and geodes at the Mobile Mining Experience booth, preview the newest Usborne books, and examine the opportunities and beauty our Virginia parks have to offer —all while earning a free paperback book! It’s as easy as 1-2-3! One, pick up a Youth Vendor Visits map at registration. Two, collect stickers from our vendors. You need six stickers from each Exhibit Hall and one from the lobby, but you only have from 1–2:30 p.m. on Friday to collect them. Three, turn in your map at the Used Resource Sale on Friday, 3–7 p.m., for a free paperback of your choice. Children ages 12 and under must be accompanied by someone aged 13 or older at all times.

Touching History
Friday, 2:30–3:30 p.m.
Studio B (Basement)
Come and learn about historical toys, culture, and the lives of children and adults. Take the opportunity to touch, play with, and test out toys and games common during the Civil War and Victorian eras.

Historical Reenactment: Meet Frederick Douglass
Friday, 4:15–5:15 p.m.
Studio B (Basement)
Go back in time with Frederick Douglass as he comes to life to speak about his experiences as a slave; his escape to freedom; and his rise as a great writer, orator, and abolitionist. Mr. Douglass will discuss the importance of reading and writing, learning history, and developing a strong sense of civic responsibility. He will also recite an excerpt from his most famous speech: “What to the Slave is the 4th of July” and will conclude with a 15-minute Q&A session with students. Mr. Douglass hopes to provide a vivid demonstration of how living history ignites and engages the student in a way that traditional teaching techniques may not.

Don’t Miss the Talent Show, Project Exhibit, and Frozen Yogurt Social
Friday, 7:00–9:30 p.m.
Theatre, Lobby, Weinstein Sculpture Garden
Our annual Friday evening talent show and project exhibit are perfect opportunities for homeschoolers to shine like stars. Enjoy the talent of our students as they perform everything from music to poetry and gymnastics to comedy. Be awed by the creativity and skill of our young artists and study the latest in scientific discovery with the displayed science projects. Then meet up with old and new friends at the Frozen Yogurt Social (refreshments courtesy of sweetFrog).   (For paid registrants only.)

Open Acoustic Jam Session
Saturday, 9:00–11:00 a.m.
Dogwood Salon
Teens who play any kind of acoustic instrument won’t want to miss our sixth annual conference jam session. Bring your guitar, bass, fiddle, banjo, or whatever for a free-for-all jam with other musical homeschoolers. Homeschooled teen Parker Gondella will be on hand to give tips for jumping in on songs you don’t know. Amplifiers and criticism of others not allowed. Participants should be mature, at least 11 years old, and responsible for their own instruments. Musicians younger than 13 years old must be accompanied by someone 13 years old or older. A keyboard will be provided. 

Feathered Friends
Saturday, 9:00–10:00 a.m.
Studio B (Basement)
Join a ranger from Pocahontas State Park to learn more about animals you see everyday but might not know much about. Together we’ll test our bird trivia with a round of Jeop-Birdy and use chopsticks to understand how every bird has a unique beak. Each participant will get to create a crafty egg to take home. 

Game Time and Tours at the Walkerton Tavern
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Offsite Location
Come by the historic Walkerton Tavern to play some outdoor games including badminton, bocce, quoits, and nine-pins. You can also take a tour of our historic facility and learn how this 1825 structure served as a tavern, hotel, post office, and voting precinct. Several hands-on activities are included in this tour: postmarking, delivering mail, and voting in an election. Drop in and have some fun with the family! Walkerton Tavern is the three-story brick building located across The Cultural Arts Center parking lot (look for signs).

Shakespeare’s Wordplay
Saturday, 10:30–11:30 a.m.
Studio B (Basement)
If we still use 98% of the words Shakespeare used, then why is he sometimes hard to understand? This workshop cracks the code by breaking down figures of speech and illuminating them as clues for character. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it–and you might start using the techniques in your own communication. An excellent addition to any English, literature, or theatre curriculum.

Peninsula SPCA STEM Programs
Saturday, 1:15–2:15 p.m.
Studio B (Basement)
STEM Programs for Pups combines a unique blend of Humane Education with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) activities for kids of all ages. Enjoy a hands-on STEM program, learn more than just animal care, and spend some time with the Humane Education pets!

Science You Can Do Anywhere!
Saturday, 2:45–3:45 p.m.
Studio B (Basement)
Join Be Naturally Curious for hands-on activities that teach important scientific concepts. Experience stories and movements while following your natural curiosity. Bring the whole family for models, crafts, experiments, and games!

Stage Combat Fun!
Saturday, 4:45–5:45 p.m.
Studio B (Basement)
Join Galen Greenlaw, a stage and voice actor, as he teaches your young students how to fight like they do in the movies … without hurting anyone! And burn off some of their energy to boot!