1. Be a virtual judge for NCFCA this season
From Julie Johnson, National Judge Coordinator, NCFCA: You are invited to join our community in equipping the next generation with the necessary skills to communicate truth with integrity and grace. The NCFCA Christian Speech and Debate League is excited to announce that we will be hosting online (virtual) and in-person speech and debate tournaments this season!
Would you consider volunteering a few hours to judge? No experience in either speech or debate is necessary. If you are at least 18 and a high school graduate, you are qualified!You may judge as little as one round on the day of your choice or several rounds over multiple days. Judging each round is only a two to three-hour commitment including a brief training video which you view prior to the tournament, the round itself, and time to complete your ballot. Each judge needs his/her own supported device, a supported web browser, and a stable internet connection as outlined in the Online Tournament Technology Information Sheet. If needed, validation of your community service hours is available upon request.You can join us for an online tournament from anywhere! Many online opportunities are available this season.
Please visit our judge information and registration page for more details regarding both online and in-person events: Judge A Tournament | NCFCA. Additional dates will continue to be added!
Whether you have judged at one of our past events or this will be your first time, we are confident that you will be blessed by what you experience! Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at JulieJohnson@NCFCA.org or (651)788-0338.

2. New England Aquarium is virtual!
The Aquarium is now offering both a Virtual Academy for schooling (fish pun!) and Virtual Encounters for animal experiences from afar. Get an up-close look at a 550-lb. green sea turtle, watch a live feeding from the African penguin exhibit, or explore fascinating ocean science!
Virtual Academy is offered weekdays for grades K-5. For more information on courses, visit https://bit.ly/3h9ted7. Virtual Encounters are offered daily for children and adults of all ages. For more information on animal encounters, visit https://bit.ly/39HZx0X.
#VirtualAquarium #VirtualProgramming #VirtualAcademy #VirtualEncounters #AquariumFromHome

3. MassHOPE Speaker Vault: Jay Wile
To commemorate MassHOPE’s 30 years of service to the Christian homeschool community, we thought it would be timely and encouraging to highlight some of the amazing homeschool speakers from our annual conventions. Through the end of the year, we are releasing, at no cost, convention keynote sessions and particularly helpful workshop sessions. Click this link to access “MassHOPE Speaker Vault” where we will feature these sessions for a limited time. Each will be available for approximately two weeks. The next one in this series is “What I Have Learned About Homeschooling Over the Past 22 Years” from our 2017 convention. We trust that this will bless and encourage your family as we navigate these unusual times.

4. New book on parenting by homeschooling mother
Former homeschooling mom Julie Lavender has just published a new parenting book, 365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories (published by Revell). A former teacher turned stay-at-home mom, Julie enjoyed homeschooling her four kids for more than twenty-five years. She and her husband homeschooled in six states while David served as a Medical Entomologist for the US Navy. Now that her kids have all graduated from college, Julie finds more time to write. Her book was just released in October and is available at all the usual locations. She would be honored if you’d consider it for yourself or other parents, grandparents, and friends who love and care for kids! Here’s two places to find the book:https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0800738845 or  http://www.bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/365-ways-to-love-your-child/402920. Julie would love for you to connect with her on Facebook and her website, https://julielavenderwrites.com/

5. Box Tops program closing this week 
MassHOPE will be discontinuing its Box Tops program after tomorrow. Submissions must be postmarked by Thursday, December 31. If you still have any non-expired Box Tops around the house and want credit for the 2021 convention, or just want to donate them to MassHOPE, now is the time to send them in. Just make sure to mail them before January 1. Aren’t sure how to proceed? Easy-to-follow instructions are on this link: https://masshope.org/boxtops/.
Many of you mailed in Box Tops during 2019 for the 2020 convention. Because that event was cancelled due to COVID restrictions, you will receive credit toward the 2021 convention.
THANK YOU to everyone who has participated over the years! Your support of MassHOPE is truly appreciated.

6. MassHOPE Facebook discussion group
Connect with us on Facebook at MassHOPE’s Massachusetts Homeschool Discussion and Support Group. This group provides support and encouragement for homeschoolers pursuing privately-funded, parent-led home education. Its purpose is to encourage and equip homeschool parents to disciple and educate their children for the Lord, and to connect families within our state to give them opportunities to gather together for educational and recreational experiences. https://www.facebook.com/groups/MassHOPEDiscussion/

7. For-fee advertising
The MassHOPE Messenger is a biweekly e-newsletter that is sent free to approximately 2500 mailboxes. Unfortunately, it is not free to distribute. This cost increases each year, and MassHOPE has limited funds. Therefore we charge a nominal fee of $20 for unsolicited submissions from individuals, and from most organizations or groups unaffiliated with MassHOPE, who wish to advertise their for-fee goods or services. Items will ordinarily run in two consecutive issues. Note: Normally an ad will be limited to one round (two issues) per quarter. Contact Anne Smith at volunteer@masshope.org for specifics.

8. The MassHOPE Educator ID Card
Educator IDs are available for benefits such as potential discounts at retailers. Order them from our website HERE.

9. Are you on our mailing lists?
To those who have been recently added to our email list through our website: if you would also like to be added to our “snail mail” list to receive information (such as our print newsletter) via the U.S. Postal Service, please send your full name and complete mailing address to newsletter@masshope.org.

10. Your news items wanted
Do you know of an event or activity in or near Massachusetts that would edify or interest the homeschool community? Email Anne Smith at volunteer@masshope.org and we will review it for possible inclusion in the MassHOPE Messenger. 

11. Remember to “Like” MassHOPE on Facebook
“Like” MassHOPE’s Facebook page: facebook.com/MassHOPE?fref=ts. You’ll be encouraged in your homeschooling journey and will receive all updates for upcoming events.

12. Do you receive The Voice of HOPE?
MassHOPE publishes a quarterly print newsletter, The Voice of HOPE. In addition to announcements you might also find in the Messenger, we provide three or four full-length articles on a variety of homeschooling topics. If you would like to add your name, please send your name and “snail mail” address to newsletter@masshope.org.

13. Support MassHOPE through AmazonSmile
Do you shop at Amazon? If you shop through AmazonSmile, Amazon will make a donation to MassHOPE! If you’re not already signed up, you can do so more easily than ever. To start supporting our organization, simply click this link, which is unique to MassHOPE: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/04-HYPERLINK “http://smile.amazon.com/ch/04-3220412″3220412. That’s all! From then on, when – and only when – you enter the Amazon website through amazonsmile.com, Amazon will automatically donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to MassHOPE. Thank you for supporting the work of your Christian state homeschool organization!

14. Homeschooling in Massachusetts
Check out this MassHOPE site for getting started.

15. Video help for getting started, from HSLDA
This free 7-part video series is sponsored by the Home School Legal Defense Association, discussing how to get started with homeschooling for children at any age level. Watch it all, or skip to the age group of your choice!

16. A bevy of materials, offers, and helps for you and newhttps://www.mfwbooks.com/My Father’s World materials. Includes offer of two free activity packs.https://homeschoolhistory.com/Notgrass History web-based curriculum. Free trial.https://www.iew.com/three-weeks-of-language-arts-instruction-from-iewFree language arts lessons from IEW.https://coronavirushomeschooling.com/The importance of Christian homeschool organizations for homeschool freedom.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRgV-1tfKz8&feature=youtu.beYouTube with Dr. Kathy Koch: Having Conversations about Today’s Tough Stuffhttps://www.oaclub.org/Remember Adventures in Odyssey? Free 28-day trial.https://billygrahamlibrary.org/continue-the-journey-from-home/Family activities from the Billy Graham Library.

17. Variety of interesting sites suggested by the Heritage Foundation
Science, engineering, and building projects and lessons from The League of Young Inventors.
Exciting free courses from Hillsdale College in literature, politics, history, and economics.
From Joy Hakim: DIY lessons on topics such as the human body, Magellan’s travels, the story of Elizabeth Jennings Graham, and plagues from previous eras.
Students can explore the remains of Athens’ ancient Acropolis, Parthenon, Temple of Zeus, and more in these virtual tours.
Free online language learning materials in English, Spanish, French and German, from Lingoda.
More free language learning from Duolingo, with 23 languages.
Core Knowledge offers a vast array of resources. Their Language Arts, History and Geography, and Science curricula are available for free.
TouchMath offers free downloads of TouchMath Workbooks.

18. Browsing corner for vets and newbies
How To (and How Not To) Homeschool During COVID-19 by John Stonestreet by John Stonestreet‘Most Rewarding Thing You Can Do’: Homeschool Experts Offer Hope to Parents in COVID-19 School Shutdowns by Kayla RootHome-school family feels the impact of social distancing, offers advice to other families by Tiffany Kafer5 Tips From Homeschool Veterans For Parents New To Learning At Home by Laura Isensee