All Invited to Participate in a Community Geography Expo

Participants Invited to Community Geography Expo
Sunday, May 22nd, 2-4pm
Stockbridge Library

What is the expo? Coordinator Teresa O’Brient writes:

All are welcomed to participate in the 3rd annual community geography expo at the Stockbridge Library. All attendees receive a passport to have "stamped" as they visit each country (table).

It’s sort of like a science fair for geography. Students choose a country, study it on their own, (or whole families can do it together, or friends might do a country together…. any combination is fine), but usually a student will do it on their own. A table will be available at the expo for the student to show his/her work. It’s that simple. Usually, the student will get a tri-fold board (like the ones available at the Dollar Store or at Staples) and glue pictures, maps, information about that country right on the board. Sometimes students make things that pertain to the country. For example, when my son did Holland last year he made a paper mache windmill. Sometimes students collect or borrow things from the country to put on display. For example, my son borrowed wooden shoes from someone we know who once lived in Amsterdam. Sometimes the student will bring or make food from the country. Simple food is best because there’s no kitchen available. When my older son did Ireland the first year we did this, he made Irish soda bread and people who came to see his table got to have a taste.

This is the 3rd year we’ll be holding the expo. It’s mostly just home schoolers doing it, but anyone is welcome to do it. Last year we had a woman from France who now lives in Stockbridge (and is in her 80’s) present France. In the past we have also had high school exchange students come and set up a table about their countries. Unfortunately, because this year we are holding it in May, most of the exchange students are already back home for the year so I don’t think we will have any exchange students at this one

We make and hand out “passports” to folks attending the expo so they can go around and visit each country (table) and have their passport “stamped.” This is to get the younger kids in attendance involved and interested. I’ve listed the countries that people have already signed up to do below. We don’t mind if students do the same country as someone else, but we strive for variety. Please feel free to contact me at if you have any questions.

Countries already registered: Egypt, Cuba or Belgium, Brazil, Estonia, Columbia, France, Guatemala, and Ethiopia.

Photo credit: (ccl) D Sharon Pruitt

Does Homework Help or Hurt Our Kids?

GreatSchools writes:

Homework: What is it good for? “Absolutely nothing!” may be your child’s retort, but it’s not just stressed-out students who are questioning its value. From parents fed up with hours of busywork to experts studying the secrets of academic achievement, homework has come under scrutiny in households, classrooms, and universities nationwide.

This month GreatSchools takes homework head-on by reviewing the research on its efficacy and exploring common problems — using real kids as case studies — and how to solve them.

Related Posts:

Homework Tips for Parents

Homework Tips for Parents

Photo credit:  __Jens__

Homework has been a part of students’ lives since the beginning of formal schooling in the United States. However, the practice has sometimes been accepted and other times rejected, both by educators and parents. This has happened because homework can have both positive and negative effects on children’s learning and attitudes toward school.


In the early 20th century, the mind was viewed as a muscle that could be strengthened through mental exercise. Since exercise could be done at home, homework was viewed favorably. During the 1940s, schools began shifting their emphasis from memorization to problem solving. Homework fell out of favor because it was closely associated with the repetition of material. In the 1950s, Americans worried that education lacked rigor and left children unprepared for the new technologies, such as computers. Homework, it was believed, could speed up learning.

In the 1960s, educators and parents became concerned that homework was crowding out social experience, outdoor recreation and creative activities. Two decades later, in the 1980s, homework again came back into favor as it came to be viewed as one way to stem a rising tide of mediocrity in American education. The push for more homework continued into the 1990s, fueled by rising academic standards.


Homework can have many benefits for young children. It can improve remembering and understanding of schoolwork. Homework can help students develop study skills that will be of value even after they leave school. It can teach them that learning takes place anywhere, not just in the classroom. Homework can benefit children in more general ways as well. It can foster positive character traits such as independence and responsibility. Homework can teach children how to manage time.

Homework, if not properly assigned and monitored, can also have negative effects on children. Educators and parents worry that students will grow bored if they are required to spend too much time on schoolwork. Homework can prevent children from taking part in leisure-time and community activities that also teach important life skills. Homework can lead to undesirable character traits if it promotes cheating, either through the copying of assignments or help with homework that goes beyond tutoring.

The issue for educators and parents is not which list of effects, the positive or negative, is correct. To a degree, both are. It is the job of parents and educators to maximize the benefit of homework and minimize the costs.

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Helping with Homework

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