By Jonathan Weaver
Yesterday, nearly two dozen homeschooled students from the region presented interesting topics and hobbies at the Homeschool Project Fair at Harvest Community Church in Kittanning.
It was the second Project Fair, according to Organization Treasurer Clair Osborne, of Kittanning, who has taught her two children, Caleb – a fifth-grader – and Grace – a second-grader -, since kindergarten.
“It’s nice for the kids to get to see what each other does,” Osborne said. “The younger (students) really get to learn a lot from the older ones.”
Caleb gave a presentation on ninjas (and also dressed up as one) while teaching students and parents how to make throwing stars out of paper, and Grace spoke about farm animals
Nearly 60 families are part of Harvest Community Homeschoolers, leader Stephanie Burton said.
Burton said the organization has grown during the past five years to include families from Butler, Chippewa (Beaver County) and Indiana County, as well as from many municipalities in Armstrong County – such as Kittanning and Worthington.
Burton’s 10-year-old daughter, Salah – who just completed her fourth-grade curriculum – gave a presentation on her piano experience.
With a mix of materials available at her table, Salah also performed on a keyboard
Salah has been playing piano for four years after Stephanie also played as a child.
“Once we got (the piano), Salah was always tinkering on it. She would just down and plunk some songs, and I taught her some songs I remembered from so many years ago – she just loves it,” Burton said. “I rarely have to remind her to practice. It’s something she has a very strive to do.”
Salah has also performed at the church before. The Allison Park residents also attend Harvest Community Church
“Harvest Community Church is very loving and supportive of our group,” Burton said.
Christine Whiteman, of Ford City, has taught daughters Olivia – an eighth-grader – and Sophia – a sixth-grader – since kindergarten as well. Both girls will also continue being homeschooled next school year.
Olivia presented on F-16 fighter planes, complete with scale models and a video, while Sophia spoke on honey bees. Whiteman said her daughters chose their projects in February and creating everything during the past two weeks.
Whiteman judged Salah’s presentation, among three other students.
“I thought they were great,” Whiteman said.
Other parents judged each student’s project and commented on the presentation.
Students wrote a paper and also coordinated a table display for fellow students and interested parents.
Nearly two dozen home school students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade from around the region participated.
An event to introduce interested parents to homeschooling was also held by the organization a few weeks ago, with another to be held later this calendar year.