The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse in Williamson County, Tennessee

Image courtesy of NASA
Both of Williamson County’s public school districts will hold class on August 21, 2017, the day of the total solar eclipse. That’s another great reason to be a homeschooler!

What eclipse?
According to NASA, “On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a total eclipse will cross the entire United States, coast-to-coast, for the first time since 1918. Weather permitting, the entire continent will have the opportunity to view a partial eclipse as the moon passes in front of the sun, casting a shadow on Earth’s surface. Some will see a total eclipse along a path that begins near Lincoln City, Oregon and ends near Charleston, South Carolina. Solar eclipses occur when the moon

Start the Homeschool Year with Private Guitar Lessons


Marty Keith. photo cred: David Bailey
Marty Keith knows music. At age 4, Marty began learning how to play the guitar from Herb Chapman, father of GRAMMY and Dove award-winning artist Steven Curtis Chapman. As a full-time professional musician he performs live, records in studio, writes music for television and film, and has been teaching private guitar lessons for over twenty years.

Many of Marty's music students are homeschoolers, and as a homeschool dad, he gets it. He will even provide grades for your report card. 

Marty is accepting new guitar students. Besides guitar, Marty also
Screenshot of Marty Keith playing on ABC's Nashville
offers lessons on bass guitar, ukulele, stage performance, songwriting, and artist development. Adult students are welcome, too. Rental guitars are available for a small fee.


Marty offers first lesson free for homeschoolers. Lessons are 30-minutes, once a week (no extra charge for a 5-week month.) Hour lessons are available for advanced students.

Marty is conveniently located just half a mile off I-65 (Exit 65, Hwy. 96) in Franklin. Email: johnmartinkeith at hotmail dot com or call him at 615-415-1942.

Check out what some of Marty's students are saying:

After taking one lesson from Marty my entire outlook on music changed. I learned technique, explored different styles, and also began composing my own songs. I wouldn’t be the musician I am today without his patience, encouragement, and dedication to teaching. If you’re thinking at all about improving your skills as a musician, look no further than Edenbrooke Music. — Ali, 19

We have been so happy with guitar lessons from Marty Keith! In just 9 months my son is playing many songs and playing them well! I never would have guessed that he would be playing guitar like this in such a short time. Marty’s style is patient and thorough. He really cares about his students and wants the very best for each of them. — Amy, Franklin TN

I really like taking guitar lessons from Marty because he makes learning guitar fun and he lets me play songs that I like. — Logan, 11

My 16 year old son has been taking acoustic guitar and now electric guitar as well from Marty for the
past 3 years.   Marty is very talented, hard working, always on time, and a does an amazing job engaging my teenage son in the learning process.   His talent, teaching skills and caring attitude are wonderful! — Gwen, Brentwood TN

I would highly recommend Mr. Keith as a guitar teacher!  My son is 14 and he has really advanced this year!  He told me he has learned so much from him!  Lots of instruction. –Diana, Franklin TN

Our 10 year old really enjoys taking lessons from Marty.  His ability to teach her to play everything from Guns N Roses to Fleetwood Mac to old hymns keeps guitar fresh and fun.  We’ve really seen her progress over the months and create a collection of guitar music that is never boring.  Marty maximizes the lesson time so she learns something new each week to practice until the next lesson.  She enjoys playing guitar and ukulele now! — Lori, Brentwood TN

Marty Keith came highly recommended to us by friends. Our daughter started taking lessons from him almost three years ago.  We are very pleased with her continued progress and that she learns songs she enjoys playing. Marty is a knowledgeable professional musician, is organized with his communication and lessons, and is very encouraging to his students. — Rebecca, Brentwood TN

I have taken lessons from Mr. Marty for almost three years. He is a very good teacher, encourages me to continue learning, and gives me a variety of songs to play. –Zola, age 11

Marty Keith’s heart for God is displayed in his teaching and encouragement of young children. His passion for guitar and music, combined with his passion for Christ is the perfect environment for learning. I love the variety of his song selections and how he moves through them building confidence and the sense of accomplishment for my daughter…I’m truly thankful! — Anne, Franklin TN

It is my pleasure to recommend Marty Keith as a guitar mentor for your child. Marty is very patient, flexible and student focused meeting the needs of our family. I appreciate Marty′s ability to adapt his teaching methods that challenge my ADHD child′s interests. I am very pleased with my child′s

Fun Ways to Keep Learning this Summer

If you homeschool on a traditional schedule, which is usually August or September to May, the summer time is sacred to not only your children, but to you. It is the big reward of two to three months off from anything school and replacing it with nothing but a whole lot of fun. Well, it can still be like that by incorporating these fun ways that keep learning alive.
Let them choose a book
Take them to the library or a bookstore and let them choose books they want to read during the summer. Children are more likely to enjoy reading a book they have chosen for themselves rather than one they are required to read. If they are open to ideas, maybe you can convince them to choose

Williamson County Parks & Recreation Has Active Summer Fun Close to Home

If you are still trying to figure out what activities your children may enjoy this summer, look as close as the Williamson County Parks & Recreation (WCPR) department. There is a lineup of programs to keep your children active and reduce any possible chance of hearing, “I’m bored” from one of them this summer.

The end of school is around the corner for many of you. If so, you probably plan to put the books away, which will leave your children with free time on their hands. Even if you plan to continue doing school, changing up your school routine during the summer will add a pleasant twist to each day.
 
The WCPR is offering several camps and field trips for children, ages three to 17 years-old. There is a list of programs that will fit

Are You Ready for Family Camp?

Are You Ready for Family Camp?
A Life-changing Vacation Experience Awaits You at Deer Run
By Jada Daves, Deer Run Family Camp Director

Ahhh…just thinking about summer vacation gets me excited about warmer weather, longer days, and meaningful family time together. The options of where to go and what to do are countless, and trying to please my crew had become more of a dreadful chore than an enthusiastic adventure…until a couple of years ago when we had the opportunity to experience family camp. Our days were preplanned, the variety of activities engaged each personality type, and everyone agreed it was our best

Summer Volunteer Opportunity with The Heimerdinger Foundation

The Heimerdinger Foundation has a great summer volunteer opportunities for students 13 & up. The Heimerdinger Foundation prepares organic, nutrient-rich meals for people undergoing cancer treatment in Davidson and Williamson counties. Teen volunteers are needed to help prepare meals in the kitchen and help in the garden. Teens learn basic cooking skills, about health, nutrition, teamwork and leadership skills. Visit hfmeals.org for more information or contact volunteer@hfmeals.org

Get Ready For The Homeschool Family Day Camp At Deer Run!


HOMESCHOOL FAMILY DAY CAMP at DEER RUN: Friday, April 28
By Liz Gibson, Communications Director and Cofounder of Deer Run Camps & Retreats, Thompson’s Station, Tenn.

Spending planned recreational time outdoors as a family is not only a way to have fun, but a great way to build deeper relationships with each other. You will find yourself laughing, cheering each other on, and creating memories that last a life-time.
The staff at Deer Run Camps & Retreats have a passion to come alongside you to

9th-12th Graders Can Enter to Win $1,000 in the Century Farm Video Competition


CENTURY FARM VIDEO COMPETITION

A Contest Sponsored
by the
 Williamson County Fair



Ever wanted to be a filmmaker, script writer, videographer, or all of these? Here’s your chance to tell a story on film and possibly win a cash prize. Your work will also contribute to the recorded history of Williamson County, and you and others, because of your research and video, will learn about the vital importance of farmers and farms to our county and state.

The Williamson County Fair (WCF) is sponsoring a new competition. $1000.00 in cash and other prizes will be awarded to

3 Great Summer Art Programs at Firstlight Arts Academy

Photo Source: Firstlight Arts Academy
It's time to register for summer activities. Start with these fun art programs at Firstlight Arts Academy:

We mashed together two great ideas. We took the week-long summer camp idea, and combined it with a fantastic art class. We have 10-12 students per CAMP-Class with 2 instructors in the younger age groups. The fun is like a camp, yet the instruction is very personalized! Our CAMP-classes teach kids real art concepts while having a blast.
Come for art from 9 am to 3:30 pm all week. Bring a sack lunch and watch animation shorts or play games for the break from 12-1. Combine your morning CAMP-Class with the afternoon Summer ART Buffet to have a full day of art all week long – with a discount! Price is $135 to add the Summer ART Buffet to your CAMP-Class for all 5 days (savings of $15). Reservations are encouraged to ensure a spot.
  • Art Garden – age 4 & 5
  • Art Bugs – age 6 – 8
  • Color Camp – age 8 – 12
  • Toon Camp – age 9 – 14

Our popular daily art classes begin on Tuesday, May 30. This is a customized

The WCPL Has Learning and Fun for Your Teenager by Jennifer Smeltser


When it comes to cool places for a teenager to “hang out”, a library is probably the last place a teenager would suggest. Well, many libraries, including the Williamson County Public Library (WCPL - Main Branch) are making changes to encourage teens to turn to the library for learning and fun. 
Many children are introduced to the library when they are elementary age or younger. Ask any toddler or preschooler what they think about library story time and - as best they can - they will tell you how much fun they have during that time. The spirit they have as a child usually diminishes by the time they