Home School Day at the Capitol
All Homeschoolers are encouraged to meet in Columbia on
Homeschool Day at the Capitol 2013 Schedule of Events
|9:00 AM||Registration -- Blatt Building Room 101 hallway |
Pick up your Home School Day at the Capitol Stickers (HDAC), schedule, tour tickets and Scavenger Hunt sheets. Drop off kidsí business cards* for drawing.
|9:30 AM - 2:00 PM||Scavenger Hunt on the Grounds -- Pick up scavenger sheets at registration. Please supervise your students at all times.|
|9:00 AM - 10:00 AM||Visit Your Legislators |
Baked goods from home are encouraged as gifts. Visit senators and representatives in their offices: Senators - Gressette Building, Representatives - Blatt Building. You can continue to visit offices throughout the day and drop off your baked goods with secretaries and aides.
|10:00 AM -10:45 AM||Workshop "How South Carolina State Government Works and How You Can Participate In It." led by Dr. Orin Smith, President of Palmetto Family Council**All times are subject to change due to legislative schedules and other unforeseen circumstances. (Specifically geared towards teens) Blatt Building Room 101|
|10:00 AM||Governorís Green/Mansion Tours Begin -- Reservations must be made by April 5. Contact Leslie Graham. If you want to sign up as a group for the tours, you need to sign by individual names.
|9:30 AM|| Capitol Tours Begin. Reservations must be made by April 5. Contact Leslie Graham. If you want to sign up as a group for the tours, you need to sign by individual names.
|11:00 AM - 11:45 AM||Workshop "How South Carolina State Government Works and How You Can Participate In It." led by Dr. Orin Smith, President of Palmetto Family Council Blatt Building Room 101.**All times are subject to change due to legislative schedules and other unforeseen circumstances.|
|11:00 AM||Confederate Relic Room Tours Begin Times: 11:00, 1:00, 3:00. Free admission and tours for HDAC participants, no pre-registration required.|
|12:00 PM - 1:30 PM|| Lunch on the Grounds
|2:00 PM||Scavenger Hunt Ends|
State Capitol Building Tours 9:30*, 10:00*, 10:30*, 11:00*, 11:30*, 1:30*, 2:00*, 2:30*, 3:00, 3:30 (50 people per tour, 45 minutes each, 3rd grade and upóno exceptions)
Governorís Mansion/Green Tours 10:00*, 10:30*, 11:00*, 2:00*, 2:30* (75 people per tour, 45 minutes each, meet in the Print Shop for the tours)
SC Confederate Relic Room and Museum 11:00, 1:00, 3:00 (free admission all day and to tours for HDAC participants, no pre-registration necessary)
USC Walking Tour brochures available at Registration
Riverbanks Zooódiscount coupons will be available at Registration that provide 1 free child's admission with each paid adult admission. Each coupon is good for up to 6 adults and children.† www.riverbanks.org
There are seven scheduled tours of the State House (Capitol Building). You can reserve a tour ahead of time by contacting Leslie Graham. Tours fill up fast, so if you want to make sure you get to take a tour, or get the time you want, please sign up soon! Tours are free. We can accommodate 50 people per tour. If you plan on attending HDAC as a group and want to go on the same tour, please sign up all at the same time. By Capitol Staff guidelines, only those who are 3rd grade or older may go on tours. Tours may overlap one another; each is 45 minutes long. The State House is located a short walk across the State House Grounds from the Blatt Building (where Registration is located and where workshops are held).
There are six scheduled tours of the Governorís Green (Mansion). The Mansion is located a short drive from the State House. There is a special designated parking area on the mansion side of Lincoln Street behind Calhoun and Laurel Streets for those who are touring the mansion. If these spaces are full, please park at the meters along the street. You need to go to the State House Grounds, to the Blatt Building, to Registration to pick up your tickets and get registered for HDAC prior to taking the tour of the Governorís Green. Please arrange time to find parking and walk to do this. The Governorís Mansion tour can accommodate 75 people per tour. Please reserve your space with others in your group if you want to ensure that you have the same tour time. Tickets are free.
The South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Museum is located a short drive from the State House Grounds. We have arranged three tour times. You need to show some proof that you are there as part of Homeschool Day at the Capitol in order to gain free admission (ex. HDAC flyer/schedule, HDAC sticker you will get at registration).
The State Art Museum is located a short drive from the Capitol. Highlights of the museum are located on the 1st floor and can be accessed for a reduced fee with proof of HDAC attendance (flyer, sticker). www.columbiamuseum.org.
The Riverbanks Zoo is located a couple miles from the Capitol, and is a fabulous way to end the day in Columbia. Zoo coupons for admission discounts are available at HDAC registration. The coupon is good for up to six adults in a party, and provide for one free child admission with each paid adult admission. Admission fees available on the zoo web site www.riverbanks.org .
This event is for all South Carolina Homeschoolers and their families -- not just SCHEA members. The event is FREE except parking - bring LOTS of quarters for the meters if you are parking around the Capitol. Plan your schedule carefully to allow time to get from one activity to another. Be sure your tour times are not overlapping.
All students are invited to create their own Business Card, to introduce yourself to your Legislator. There will be a drawing from all the cards for a special prize.
Capitol Tours are for THIRD GRADE and up ONLY. Tours are FREE, but you MUST pre-register. Tours for both the Governor's Mansion and the Confederate Museum are for any age, but you must preregister for the Governor's Mansion. The museum does not require preregistration, but you must be there for the scheduled times. Email Leslie Graham
Scavenger Hunt will allow you to learn much more about the capitol grounds, while having fun. Turn your completed list in to the registration desk for a small prize.
Bring a blanket and picnic lunch to enjoy on the statehouse grounds while you listen to the music of both the AAA Homeschool Band and the Midlands Home School Band.
We will hold "Homeschool Day at the Capitol" rain or shine (pray for shine), but the band will not play during lunch if it rains. All other events will be held as scheduled.
Come out for a fun-filled, hands-on Civics Day at the Statehouse in Columbia. You will get more out of the experience if you prepare a little ahead of time. The following ideas are given by way of suggestions for those of you for which this will be a first-ever experience to the Capitol. We're glad you're coming!
Workshops will be run strictly on schedule, in Room 101 of the Blatt Bldg. Doors will be closed at start time, and no one else will be allowed to enter while the workshop is going on, in order to demonstrate respect for our guest speakers. We ask that attendees remove children quickly who are unable to sit quietly. Otherwise, please do not leave during the session.
Most people at the Capitol dress in "business dress," that is suit and tie for the men, and dress, stockings, and heels, or a nice pantsuit, for the women. You don't have to dress this formal, but it is recommended highly that families come dressed very nicely to make an excellent impression on their representatives who are accustomed to this type of dress from their colleagues, and very different from how teens from most school groups appear (i.e. jeans, baggy pants). For older students who aspire to go into politics or business, the following book is highly recommended: The Etiquette Advantage by June Hines Moore published by The Life@Work Co.
Quiet, well-behaved deportment is the order of the day! This applies even in the hallways, elevators, and bathrooms. Good behavior and polite manners will stand out to representatives and make a great impression. Even during lunch outside on the grounds, children should stay with their parents and behave "decorously." This is a good word to look up for Vocabulary! Homeschoolers are often accused of not living in the real world; this is excellent training for our children to demonstrate that we know how to respect others by behaving well in public. This is a good opportunity for parents to teach children about self-restraint and self-discipline, hallmarks of child training and the one admonition specifically mentioned to young men in Titus 2:6. It would be a great family contest to see how well family members encourage one another in modeling self-discipline.
Check out the website www.knowitall.org/letsgo to get a layout of the Statehouse Grounds and the location of the various buildings. Have your children compare the Day at the Capitol schedule with the building plan.
Check out the website www.scstatehouse.gov/house.php to find out your representative's name and what he looks like. The Blatt Building houses the offices of the representatives. Most representatives share office space with three other representatives, their small personal offices arranged in a hub around a waiting area manned by a secretary at a desk which you see when you enter the room. You should introduce yourself to the secretary and ask to talk with your representative. Sometimes, more than one representative will come out of the little rooms into the waiting area, and it is very helpful to know which one is yours (!), so find out ahead of time what yours looks like. Remember this is a visit, not an overnight stay. Keep it short and pleasant. Your representative may not be favorable to homeschooling. Your goal is to introduce him to a fine homeschooling family, not necessarily make him change his diehard ways in one short visit. Politeness, respect for him and his views, and a listening attitude will go a long way toward his willingness to listen to you and your opinions.
Representatives go into session at noon, so if you visit after that (which is fine!), be prepared to leave a message with an aide or the secretary. If you write out your message, be sure to spell correctly! It is important that everything you do represents the excellence of homeschooling! For Christians, we are to do all things as unto the Lord. I Cor. 10:31
Across the paved, open area outside the south side of the Blatt Building is the Gressette Building. The Strom Thurmond Statue stands between the two buildings. This is the Lunch Spot, so plan on meeting back here at 12:00.
Senators are housed in the Gressette Building. Go to the web site www.scstatehouse.gov/senate.php to find your senator's name and what he looks like. Again, when you enter the waiting area outside of your senator's office, you will speak to his secretary, asking to speak to your senator. Be prepared to leave a message and your treat if he is not there at the time you visit. You can ask that he call or email you later about a particular issue, if you desire.
Please feel free to bring from home some homemade bread, cookies, brownies, or apple pie to take to your representatives. They will love it! A nice touch is to take a smaller plate of the same thing to the secretary - she is rarely remembered in this way and will treasure your gift. Make sure and leave your name and phone number. It is important that your representative know that he was visited by a real, live constituent from his district.
As you prepare to visit your legislators, think of something positive to say about homeschooling. How is it working for your family? You do not have to be an expert on homeschooling law. Most likely, you know more than your legislator does about how it actually works in the average home, so you are an "expert" on the actual workings of homeschooling. Most of them are very interested in how it works, how the children are doing academically "in school," and what other social activities they have. Prepare your children to greet these men politely, to make eye contact, to speak clearly, and to shake hands firmly. If invited into the office, children should sit or stand quietly while the adults talk. Often, legislators will turn to the kids to ask a question about how he or she likes homeschooling or what he likes about homeschooling. So, you can practice possible scenarios at home ahead of time, to let your children know what to expect. Kids can be our greatest ambassadors.
As you prepare in the days before your visit, work through the schedule, so that you can plan how you will spend your time during the day. Allow enough time to go from one activity to another so your tour times are not overlapping. You will want to make time to visit your legislators or do the scavenger hunt on the grounds with your children. If you have both older and younger children, you might want to split up as parents, one taking the older children to visit the legislators, and the other taking the younger ones on a more active walk around the statehouse grounds finding the landmarks on the activity sheets. Completed activity sheets can be shown at the Sign-In desk to receive a little prize. Children can keep their sheets to take home for their homeschooling work for the day.
Please plan on visiting with friends, and meeting with the SCHEA Board, on the statehouse grounds for lunchtime. We will all gather in the vicinity of the Strom Thurmond Statue. Look for the band setting up. The AAA Homeschool Band and the Midlands Home School Band will perform for one hour, starting about 12:15 PM. Bring a blanket and plenty of food and drinks for your family.
The afternoon is free for families to visit other sites around Columbia. Peruse through the list of sites that have offered family discounts in order to plan your afternoon. You will need to present your SCHEA card at these sites in order to receive the discount.
This is an excellent way to round out your educational day in Columbia!
For those who wish to do a follow-up to this study, here are some other ideas: Write a letter of thanks to your legislator whom you visited, thanking him for his time and for what he does in serving his constituents. Use the information in your workshop packet to find his address and how to write this letter. Write a short report or journal entry on your favorite part of your day at the Capitol, or something you learned that day you didn't know before. Feel free to send it to SCHEA, for possible entry into the next newsletter. Write a field trip summary about the special place you visited in Columbia, i.e. the Riverbanks Zoo, and the things that most impressed you about that place.
The Sign-In Desk is NOT the information desk manned by Capitol staff as soon as you enter the door. The Sign-In Desk is a table outside our meeting room, Room 101 of the Blatt Building. At this desk, you can sign in to register your presence on this Day, pick up a schedule, turn in kids' creative business cards, pick up scavenger hunt sheets, get stickers, and get free tickets for Capitol tours (must pre-register).