Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
- Mahatma Ghandi

Welcome to LIFE of Florida!

Our secular and inclusive Florida-wide Informal Education support group acts as a resource center and clearinghouse for homeschoolers, informal learners and alternative educators interested in enriching their learning environments and maximizing their learning opportunities, as well as an advocacy center for Curiosity Driven Learning.

There is no cost to be part of LIFE of Florida -- just join in at our email discussion and announcement list, Florida LIFE, where you can download your membership card -- good for educational discounts throughout FL -- and stay informed and updated on events, issues and resources, and connect with other informal learners throughout the state.

If you're just getting started in homeschooling, be sure to check out our LIFE of Florida Quick Links, our list of Useful Docs, and our enormous collection of resources in the side columns, and visit our Inclusive Homeschool Support Groups page to find a group near you.

If you'd like your regional inclusive support group to be networked with LIFE of Florida, drop us a line with a group description, contact and other relevant information and we'll add you, free of charge, to our directory. All your group members will be automatically considered members of LIFE of Florida, and are entitled to membership cards and all the benefits we offer. Virtual school families are also welcome to enjoy our resources, support and camaraderie.

We're all inclusive and free of charge, and we're here for you!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Homeschooling and the 2008 Election

I want to address some contentions that I think are erroneous and misleading that are currently making the rounds of homeschool communities; and that’s namely that whoever wins the presidential election will determine whether we get to continue homeschooling.

To put it mildly, I think that’s stuff and nonsense. Our nation is confronted with an economic crisis the likes of which we haven’t seen in nearly 80 years, health care issues, foreign policy issues, wars on at least two fronts, and climate change issues. I can pretty much guarantee you that the first thing any incoming president does will NOT have anything to do with homeschooling or the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

There’s a lot more at stake in this election than homeschooling, which isn’t an issue on anyone’s platform. I think we should all be more concerned with national issues of economy, health care and foreign policy than the states issues of homeschooling right now.

Whoever you vote for, whatever you vote for, please make your vote an intelligent and informed one, based on facts and not fear mongering conjecture. Homeschooling is alive and well and thriving in America, influencing educational choices nationwide, inspiring innovation in pubic and private education that will not be reversed, and neither John McCain nor Barack Obama will significantly affect it one way or another.

And if at any point, there is any threat coming from the national level with respect to how you homeschool, I can guarantee you it won’t come from the White House, but from wolves in sheep's clothing like HSLDA and other special interests with private agendas masquerading as homeschool saviors.

Protect your right to homeschool by supporting everyone’s rights to live, worship and learn in ways best for their families. Vote with common sense and intelligence, not fear.

Terri Willingham
LIFE of Florida
http://LIFEofFlorida.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Performing and Visual Arts College Fairs

The Performing and Visual Arts (PVA) College Fairs are designed for students interested in pursuing undergraduate and graduate study in the areas of music, dance, theater, visual arts, graphic design, and other related disciplines. Students have an opportunity to attend a PVA and meet with representatives from colleges, universities, conservatories, festivals and other educational institutions with specialized programs in the visual and performing arts. The next fair held in Florida will be on October 19, from 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. at the University of South Florida Sun Dome. For more details, visit http://www.nacacnet.org/MemberPortal/Events/CollegeFairs/PVA/pvaschedule.htm.

2008-2009 Arts for Life! Scholarship Program


The Arts for Life! program recognizes 25 graduating high school seniors from across Florida for outstanding achievement in the arts. Each recipient receives a $1,000 cash scholarship toward their pursuit of the arts in higher education. To be considered for an Arts for Life! Scholarship, students must:

  • Be a high school senior graduating from a public, private or home education program in Florida.
  • Submit a completed application, brief essay explaining "How the arts have positively influenced my life," and "What role the arts will play in my future," and a sample of work in dance, music theatre or visual arts.

To apply for a 2008-2009 Arts for Life! Scholarship, interested students should visit www.ExcelinEd.org for an official application, and more information on additional requirements. Applications must be postmarked no later than Feb. 2, 2009.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kennedy Space Center Salute to Homeschool Students - October 25

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Presents:

Salute to Homeschool Weekend 2008!
http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/educatorsParents/homeSchool.asp


Homeschool students, families and teachers: be our honored guests for full-day access to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex shows and exhibits. You'll get the chance to take a bus tour of KSC, participate in special hands-on activities, learn about the latest NASA accomplishments, strap in to the NEW Shuttle Launch Experience and even come face-to-face with an actual astronaut. Homeschool teachers, pick up a packet of NASA education materials and help your students reach for the stars.


Homeschool Field Trip 2008 Dates:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Times: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

2008 Tuition: $31.50 per person (plus tax)


Homeschool Students from around the country are invited to
participate in the annual "Salute to Homeschool Students" on October
25, 2008 at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, a day filled with
adventure and activities designed to inspire the next generation of
space explorers. This year's activities focus on the International
Space Station truss system. Teams of 5 pick a name, a strategy, and
a design which will hopefully wind up being the strongest and longest
truss span.

Participants will have full access to Kennedy Space Center Visitor
Complex shows and exhibits, take a tour of Kennedy Space Center,
enjoy a 3D IMAX space film, tour the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame,
attend a private, interactive briefing about NASA's latest mission
and meet an astronaut with a special message to scouts.

Admission to "Salute to Homeschool Weekend" is $31.50 per person plus
tax and includes activities from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and lunch
plus a second day of admission to explore Kennedy Space Center
Visitor Complex. For more information or to register please visit
www.KennedySpaceCenter.com or call (321) 449-4400.

Tara Reaves
Group Sales Manager
Kennedy Space Center
Visitor Complex
Phone: 321-449-4832
Fax: 321-455-6944
E-mail:

treaves@dncinc.com


Friday, October 3, 2008

4th Annual Homeschool National Geographic Bee - Greater Tampa Bay area

I am pleased to announce the 4th Annual Homeschool National Geographic Bee in Pasco/Pinellas and surrounding counties! This year's bee is sponsored in part by LIFE of Tampa. The bee will be held Wednesday, December 10 at 2:00 p.m. at Starkey Park Education Center in New Port Richey.

I want to begin early to gather the names for the e-mailing list for the bee.

For those who wish to compete, please visit the website which offers further information and links to study questions:

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geographybee/

I encourage all competitors...the following rules apply only to those who go on to the next level (state competition). The competition is for those in grades 4-8. The student may not reach their 16th birthday before May 1, 2009. A student may not be enrolled in more than three academic courses at the high school and/or college level during each school year of the competition.


If you have a question about whether or not your child is age-eligible, please contact me.

The winner of this bee will take a written test; the top 100 scorers in Florida will be eligible to compete in the state bee in March. The winner of the state bee will be sent to Washington D.C. for the National Geographic Bee in May, 2009, all expenses paid by the National Geographic Society.

The winner and runner-up of our bee will also receive trophies. Every participant will receive a Certificate of Participation.

Please feel free to forward this message on to any other lists you belong to, and any individual you feel may be interested.

This bee is open to any homeschooler, regardless of where you may live.

The cost to participate in this bee is $5/child, to defray the cost of registration with National Geographic.


Please contact me by email, and include your name, your child's name and age. I will contact you closer to the date with further details. Thank you for your interest!

Loni Kaplan
adamfolk @hotmail.com