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2/1/2007 9:54:55 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter--February 2007

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HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter-- February 2007
Fun Activities for Families
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Dear Friends,

If February is a month in which you find your enthusiasm waning
because the hustle and bustle of the holidays are behind you and the
freshness of spring has yet to arrive, then we have something special
to suggest for you and your family. Instead of spending time in the
doldrums, plan some fun activities for your high schoolers to
participate in during the rest of the semester and well into summer.
Be sure to include your high schoolers in the planning--that's part of
the fun!

We've collected a number of entertaining ideas for events and
activities other homeschool families have tried. You may want to plan
a similar activity, or use these to jumpstart your own imagination.
Some of these ideas will be targeted mainly to teens, others to the
whole family, and still others to the seniors looking forward to
graduation--of course, any and all can be adapted to your personal
preferences.

Due to your own personal convictions, some activities we've listed may
not be suitable for your family, but our desire is to pitch a number
of ideas to you and then leave it up to you as to which
events/activities would add some excitement and fun to your child's
high school years. Since we are always looking for additional new
ideas, feel free to contact us and let us know of an event you have
organized that we might want to include in our list of activities for
future reference.

JUST FOR TEENS

If you haven't noticed, teens love hanging out with their friends and
doing things together, but many times it's difficult for one home to
accommodate large numbers of teens. Check out gyms at local high
schools and colleges to possibly use for sports, exercise, or a party.
Some universities may even offer physical education classes for
homeschoolers on a regular basis. An example of this is Salisbury
University in Maryland, http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3648 . If no
such program is available in your area, you might suggest a similar
plan to a college near you.

Teens also love to party! Progressive dinners allow teens to both host
their friends and be a guest at others' homes all in one night! Or how
about a mystery tour or night, scavenger hunts, or a secret desire
party (play the role of what you always wanted to be).

Even academics take on a new light when combined with field trips with
other teens. This may also include some overnight trips to historical
sites. Check out this website for ideas:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3649 .

JUST FOR MOMS

We moms also need to plan some fun so we'll stay young at heart and
benefit from the medicine of laughter. Why not a pajama party and
watch a funny movie together? And you thought that was just for young
girls. If it's possible, consider going on a one day or a weekend
retreat with other moms to a "ladies type of place." Even the drive in
the car can be filled with fun. Or a mom's night out at a restaurant
or a crafts fair or concert. The ideas can be endless! Taking time to
rejuvenate yourself by laughing and spending time in fellowship with
other homeschool moms (while resisting the urge to talk "homeschool
business") will lighten your load and refresh you for your
homeschooling tasks.

MOTHERS & DAUGHTERS/FATHERS & DAUGHTERS

The high school years are special times to spend with your daughters.
A mother/daughter tea or a father/daughter square dance can be
opportunities to have your daughters to yourself and engage in
conversation which might not happen during the busy days and full
evenings of your daily schedules.

FATHERS & SONS

Dads, remember the rough and tumble of those early years with your
sons? Well, your teen sons need you and your time even more now as
they are charting their courses in life. Camping and backpacking are
great ways to not only teach about God's creation, but also to enjoy
learning survival skills in the wilds! It's amazing what you'll learn
from your teen while sitting outside in the dark around a camp fire.
Then there's hiking, sports (dads and sons participating on the same
team), or even a computer game competition night. Dads, consider
attending and taking your sons to a Promise Keepers conference near
you-- http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3650 . These will be memories
he'll carry into his own family.

FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

We all know that homeschooling is a family affair, so here are some
ideas to include everyone from the littlest tykes all the way to
grandma and grandpa if they are up for it! For 11 years now, one
family has planned a "Year-End Splash" at a local recreation park for
homeschooling families. The recreation park includes miniature golf
courses, waterslides, and an arcade. Everyone brings a picnic lunch
so there is very little coordinating necessary except to decide on a
date and then advertise the event. If you consider a date in late May
or early June prior to the public schools being on summer vacation,
then local establishments may be open to your homeschooling families
being given the entire park to enjoy and maybe even at a reduced
price. (We thank Vera for sharing this idea.)

A road rally is a memorable family event--not only is the rally itself
enjoyable, but the planning process can be just as much fun! A road
rally is simply a well-thought-out route in which participants,
divided into teams, use clues to drive to various locations and
perform and record pre-arranged tasks. For example, a stop on the
route might include a local drugstore where everyone tries on a cheap
pair of sunglasses and the clerk takes a picture of the group before
it heads off to the next location. Or, a stop may include an ice
cream store where everyone samples a different flavor of ice cream and
then writes a 4-line poem describing the flavor in scrumptious
details. (Safety is the main concern, of course, so each team appoints
a responsible driver who agrees to maintain at all times all rules of
the road. Speed is not a factor--only having fun!)

For those who are a tad more conservative (!), you may want to look
into a local walking club and enjoy the benefits of both exercise and
fresh air with your family. Plan out a walking route, strap on the
sneakers, and head out to enjoy God's creation together. If you would
like to participate in more structured types of walks, check out the
American Volkssport Association website,
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3651 . The association organizes
six-mile walks in many locations throughout the country selecting
trails for walkability, scenic interest, historical significance, and
natural beauty. Youth and adults who walk together can even earn
special certificates.

Other ideas include participating in a Habitat for Humanity work day
as a family http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3652 during the summer,
or planning a family costume party in the fall where a theme costume
is required for all members of each family--the Cooke family all came
dressed as chefs one year!).

SPECIAL EVENTS FOR GRADUATING SENIORS

Organize events for your homeschool senior that are memorable and
special. For example, many homeschool support groups and state
organizations now offer graduation ceremonies in a variety of formats
from ones including all of the pomp and circumstance of traditional
ceremonies, to others that are very personal and family-oriented.
Whatever direction you want to go, take time to recognize your teen's
graduation. Ideas include creating a slide show of picture highlights
from your teen's life complete with musical background (it's amazing
what can be done on a personal computer), or presenting him with a
journal of your memories and prayers for his life. Or, plan a senior
trip for your teen--either a surprise trip or ask for his input when
considering locations.

The traditional senior prom can be replaced by a Spring Formal that
includes family and friends of all ages dressed in evening attire.
Cater a dinner or have the dads be chauffeurs to a fancy restaurant.
Entertainment can include a short lesson to teach everyone proper
traditional English country steps before dancing the night away. Our
friend Sandy has organized a spring formal for years and she suggests
taking lots of pictures and surprising each participant with a CD of
the evening's highlights. Come to think of it, "homecoming" dances
take on a whole new meaning when homeschool families include dads,
moms, and extended family members in the festivities!

Others have gone before you in coordinating these types of activities,
so you don't need to start from scratch:

http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3653 (Prom nights)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3654 (English Country Dances)

We hope these ideas inspire you to step away from the books for a
moment, and to plan one or two simple yet important occasions. These
are special but fleeting years--and who knows? With the Lord's gift of
creativity and organization, one of these suggested activities may
become the highlight of your teen's high school years. It will be
time well spent, and the memories you make will be cherished by all.

Next month we will take a look at the military as a viable option for
homeschool graduates.

Until then praying you take time to laugh and enjoy your teen's
company,

Becky and Diane


Becky and Diane's Speaking Schedule: Come and introduce yourselves to
us.

April 27-28, 2007 Annual Massachusetts Homeschool Organization of
Parent Educators Convention, Worcester, MA
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3655 (Becky and Diane)

June 8-9, 2007 Annual Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State
Convention, Boise, ID
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3656 (Becky and Diane)

July 12-14, 2007 24th Annual Christian Home Educators Convention, Long
Beach, CA
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3657 (Diane)

July 13-14, 2007 Annual Northern Virginia Home Education Conference,
Chantilly, VA http://www.novaconference.net/ (Becky)

September 21, 2007 Indiana Foundation for Home School MapYour Future
07,
Indianapolis, IN http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3693 (Becky and
Diane)

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