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The MassHOPE Messenger

November 21, 2023                            HAPPY  THANKSGIVING ! ! !

Welcome to The MassHOPE Messenger, an up-to-the-minute e-mail summary of events and other
opportunities for homeschoolers as well as other news items related to home education.
Please note that listing of items herein that are not sponsored by MassHOPE does not imply endorsement by MassHOPE. Due diligence should be exercised in determining what you consider appropriate for your own family.

Calendar of future MassHOPE events

April 27-29, 2023: Annual homeschool and family discipleship convention

Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center, Sturbridge, Massachusetts

This issue is coming to you one day early as you prepare for the holiday.

New or Updated

 1. Ebenezer Scrooge: A Christmas Carol

From You

 2. Thanksgiving

For Your Encouragement

  3. Dealing with disruptions


  4. We make Spanish fun!!!

 5. Group discounts at Wachusett Mountain

 6. Participate in an important academic study

 7. Discount from

 8. From You: PSA: Good books can lead to awkward social situations

 9. For your encouragement: Looking for lots and lots of reasons to homeschool?

10. Convention recordings available

11. MassHOPE Facebook groups

12. MassHOPE advertising opportunities

13. MassHOPE Facebook discussion group

14. The MassHOPE Educator ID Card

15. Your news items wanted

16. Remember to “Like” MassHOPE on Facebook

17. Are you on our mailing lists?

Getting Started?

18. How to homeschool legally in Massachusetts

19. Videos and webinars from HSLDA

20. MassHOPE: homeschooling in Massachusetts

21. A bevy of materials, offers, and helps

22. Variety of interesting sites suggested by the Heritage Foundation

23. Browsing corner for vets and newbies

1. Ebenezer Scrooge: A Christmas Carol

New Life Fine Arts Musical Theater’s “Ebenezer Scrooge: A Christmas Carol”, a perennial crowd-pleaser, is being staged once again at the Groton-Dunstable Performing Arts Center, 344 Main Street, Groton, Massachusetts, for eight performances from December 8th through 17th. This adaptation of Dickens’ classic, “A Christmas Carol” is a sure bet to rid you of any residual ‘humbugs’ in your heart and promises to put you in the holiday spirit.

This festive musical adaptation features a cast of 65 talented performers from southern New England, a small orchestra, and a host of backstage crew members under the direction of David MacAdam, who has authored many of New Life’s productions including the musicals “Ruth,” "Esther," and “Celestial City: The Story of John Bunyan and his ‘Pilgrim’s Progress.’"

A seasonal dose of this Dickens classic is good for the soul. There is something cathartic about witnessing the on-stage transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge. Dickens’ gifted prose introduces Scrooge as a “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner.” New Life Fine Arts' original musical version highlights the work of the Spirit to make a new man of Scrooge and weaves together Dickens’ story (this Christmas "carol" in prose) with the 19th century Christmas carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” written by the renowned clergyman Phillips Brooks. The juxtaposition of the two carols clarifies Scrooge’s reaction to his wounded past, his spiritually impoverished present, and the warning of his woeful future if he fails to receive the change of heart described in Phillips Brooks’ carol.

This production has proved to be a family favorite in NLFA’s repertoire, bringing audiences to their feet and reminding them that the spirit of Christmas can be every day of the year.

Tickets can be purchased online at  or by calling 978-795-9075. $25 per Adult, $23 for Seniors & Students, $20 for Groups of 10 or more. The production is recommended for ages 6 and up.

2. Thanksgiving

Would you be willing to send us snippets of what you’re most thankful for this Thanksgiving? We’d love to include them in the next issue. Thank you! Thank you!


We invite you, our readers, to submit material to be considered for inclusion in the MassHOPE Messenger. We would love to receive short items containing tips, encouragements, questions, thoughts, observations, funny stories – just about anything you feel would be of interest to our readership. MassHOPE will reserve the right to accept or reject submissions. Don’t be shy!

If you have something to share, please email Anne Smith at   and include your name and a phone number. (If your item is chosen for publication, however, you may choose to remain anonymous.)

3. Dealing with disruptions

You know they’re going to happen. Some helpful advice for facing them, borrowed from our sister organization, Homeschool Oklahoma: .

4. We make Spanish fun!!!

At Academia Bilingual Bridges, Spanish classes are taught online in a way that your children will never forget! They will become so absorbed that they won't want the class to end! We offer classes for parents as well. SPECIAL $20 DISCOUNT FOR HOMESCHOOLERS. Call (240-764-9094), send a text, or send us an email ( ) for more information. You can take a look at our offerings and our instructor bios at

5. Group discounts at Wachusett Mountain


Come ski or board with our homeschool ski group! All homeschool students, as well as parents, chaperones, and friends are eligible to participate in our ski/snowboard student program. Our group skis at Wachusett Mountain from 9:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays starting on January 5, 2023. We ski eight Fridays: January 5, 12, 19, and 26; February 2, 9, and 16; and March 1. (Note that there is no program on February 23, during vacation week.)  Here are the highlights of what our group has to offer:

·   8-week lift badges are $194 through 12/1/23. ($224 after 12/1/23) Registration ends 12/15/23.

·   8-week ski/ snowboard rentals are $119. Season rentals are $193.

·   8-week helmet rentals are $31.

·   6 one-hour group lessons for beginners and novices ( age 9 and up only ) are available for $93.

There will be a limited supply of free chaperon lift passes available, as well. The number of chaperon passes our group receives depends on the number of paid participants. Please contact  Kristen Raskett, the group coordinator,  if you are interested in being on the chaperon list. These passes include free rentals.

A limited supply of   Bronze Season Passes is available this year  for $100 off retail pricing if you purchase through the group. These are available until December 1 or until they all sell out. If you have already purchased a season pass, there is a box you can check off in the ordering process that still adds you to our group. This helps us have more chaperon passes available!

Card of Wachusett (COW) cards are available at discounts, too. You can purchase a $50 card for $45 or a $100 card for $90 through our group, even if you don't purchase a lift badge! It's a great Christmas gift idea!

Registration opens October 26. To sign up: 

Step One: Go to

Step Two: Parents - enter this Program Code to access online order form: CHSCH.

If you have any questions or would like more information, contact the group coordinator, Kristen Raskett, at . She would be happy to help you any way she can! And please feel free to share this information. 

6. Participate in an important academic study

According to Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), there’s “a bunch of research out there on homeschooling, but the last big study addressing academic achievement is over 13 years old ! New data and facts are needed all the time  to serve families, scholars, policymakers, and the media.  It’s time for new data -  new facts and figures - and  we need your help.”

If you gave your homeschooled child an academic achievement test during 2023 and want to be part of this important study,  click survey now . No personally identifiable information will be collected. 

Parents who participate and request a copy of the study will also be put into a drawing to win a signed copy of Doctor Ray’s now-classic book,  Home Educated and Now Adults: Their Community and Civic Involvement, Views About Homeschooling, and Other Traits . (Five copies will be given away.)

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Do  not  complete this form  if you've already completed  the survey for BJUP, Seton, or Basic Skills during the past few months.

7. Discount from

Homeschooling can be challenging.   It can be expensive, time-consuming, and confusing to choose classes and curricula for multiple students. We are writing to tell you that   will provide all the courses you need for homeschooling each of your preschool through graduating 12th-grade students at the discounted annual price of $179 (you save $90) .  With hundreds of online courses, lesson plans, quizzes, tests, answer keys, certificates of completion, and streaming videos, your annual  membership will ensure you have a full-spectrum, non-Common Core curriculum platform to confidently educate your children at home.

Membership is good for your whole family—including grandparents—no matter how many children you have. Because everything is included online, there is no need to buy textbooks. PLUS, there are no per class, no per child, nor any other hidden fees. You can also generate quarterly report cards for each student and access help with transcript creation for your high schoolers. The regular price is $267.97, but by  JOINING HERE  you'll save over $90 and pay a total of only $179 for the year. Also, you will receive a print subscription to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, with a fresh issue delivered each quarter as long as you remain a member. contains nearly every subject imaginable—art history, drawing, computer technology, foreign languages, history, language arts, math, music, science, and loads of electives. Let your kids help pick out their own courses!

8. From you: PSA: Good books can lead to awkward social situations

Today he was getting his first library card. He had just finished reading  Farmer Boy  by Laura Ingalls Wilder, had enjoyed it very much, and was much impressed by the scene where the teacher whips the bullies out of school. I was at a desk filling out paperwork and overheard his conversation with the librarian. Asked where he went to school, he responded, "Oh, I'm home schooled, which is GREAT because I don't have to get spanked!"

9. For your encouragement: Looking for lots and lots of reasons to homeschool?

HERE YOU GO : practical, spiritual, academic, social, and more.

10. Convention recordings available

Recordings are available from our recent convention. If there was a particular session you'd like to hear again or share with others, or if there is a subject you wish you had been there to hear, go to ?   to find the recordings. Under "Featured Conferences" to the right on the homepage, click on MA-2022 to get a listing of speakers and sessions. Next to each session title, "Show More" will give a session description.

11. MassHOPE Facebook groups

Did you know that MassHOPE has two private Facebook groups in addition to its main Facebook page? If you would like to join the MassHOPE Massachusetts Homeschool Discussion and Support Group (described in Item #13, below) or the MassHOPE Massachusetts Homeschool Marketplace and UCS group, or if you invite anyone to join these groups, please note that there are questions you will need to answer in order to be approved. If you don't get approved soon after your request to join, perhaps you didn't answer the required questions.

12. MassHOPE advertising opportunities

MassHOPE has a variety of advertising options available at reasonable rates in several media paths – MassHOPE website, dedicated email, Facebook, MassHOPE Messenger. If interested, please send an email to All ads are subject to availability and space. MassHOPE reserves the right to accept or reject ads as we must apportion limited space and evaluate relevance to our audience.

13. 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.

14. The MassHOPE Educator ID Card

Educator IDs are available for benefits such as potential discounts at retailers. Order them from our website   HERE .

15. 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   and we will review it for possible inclusion in the MassHOPE Messenger.

16. Remember to "Like" MassHOPE on Facebook

"Like" MassHOPE's Facebook page: . You'll be encouraged in your homeschooling journey and will receive all updates for upcoming events.

17. Are you on our mailing lists?

If you are receiving this e-newsletter, you are on our email list! May we also add you to our “snail mail” list to receive occasional information via the U.S. Postal Service? If Yes, please send your full name and complete mailing address to .

18. How to homeschool legally in Massachusetts 

This video features Michael Donnelly, formerly HSLDA's designated counsel for Massachusetts: .  The link referenced for further Massachusetts-specific articles is .

19. Videos and webinars from HSLDA

Could Homeschooling Fit My Family?—Q&A , with Rochelle Matthews-Somerville, HSLDA Special Needs and High School Consultant, and Tj Schmidt, HSLDA Staff Attorney.

Helping Your Child Love Learning—Q&A , with Ainsley Arment, Wild + Free founder, and Natalie Mack, HSLDA High School Consultant. Homeschooling Through Major Life Changes—Q&A , with Faith Berens, HSLDA Special Needs Consultant, Tracy Klicka, HSLDA Director of Development, and Sunny Coté, state department spouse. 9 Tips for Homeschooling in the Military—Q&A , with Natalie Mack, HSLDA High School Consultant and U.S. Navy Chaplain’s wife, and Sabrina Riley, Army National Guard, active duty spouse.

Homeschooling through the Holidays? (or taking a month off? or flexing with hands-on learning and unit studies? or . . . ?) , with Vicki Bentley, HSLDA PreK-8 Educational Consultant and homeschooling mom to eight biological kids plus nine foster kids through the years), and Chelsea Moore, HSLDA blogger (and homeschooling mom to two).  

T hree-part video series on getting started: .

Helpful overview of how to start homeschooling: .

You Can Homeschool Through High School: .

How to Start Homeschooling with Special Needs: .

And many, many more: .

20. MassHOPE: homeschooling in Massachusetts

Check out this MassHOPE site for   getting started .

21. A bevy of materials, offers, and helps

My Father’s World materials. Includes offer of two free activity packs.

Notgrass History web-based curriculum. Free trial.

Free language arts lessons from IEW.

YouTube with Dr. Kathy Koch: Having Conversations about Today's Tough Stuff

Remember Adventures in Odyssey? Free 28-day trial.

Family activities from the Billy Graham Library.

22. 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 l anguage 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.

23. 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 Root

Home-school family feels the impact of social distancing, offers advice to other families  by Tiffany Kafer

5 Tips From Homeschool Veterans For Parents New To Learning At Home  by Laura Isensee

Follow us on Twitter! @MassHOPE is our Twitter handle.

*    *    *       
The MassHOPE Messenger is published by  Mass achusetts  H omeschool  O rganization of  P arent  E ducators (MassHOPE). Visit our website at .
Any questions about items in this e-news can be sent to . If you know someone who would like to receive our news, or if you wish to unsubscribe or change your e-mail address, please contact us at . Items for possible inclusion in the newsletter should be sent to . MassHOPE reserves the right to edit or reject any items submitted for the e-news.
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