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6/29/2007 9:22:58 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter--July 2007


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HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter-- July 2007
Managing Academics, Extracurricular Activities, Jobs, Friends
...It's a Balancing Act!
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Dear Moms & Dads,

This month marks the midpoint of summer--already! We hope you are
using these summer months to plan your upcoming school year to include
academics, extracurricular activities, volunteer opportunities,
possible jobs for your teens, and...are you feeling overwhelmed? Well,
please don't be. Let's look at ways to include these areas during your
year in a manageable, non-stressful way.

Beginning in high school and then continuing throughout adulthood,
your child will need to juggle many responsibilities. Time management
will help him to be more effective in achieving his goals, to improve
performance in academics and activities, and to move from the
structured environment of home to one where she will have to manage a
variety of schedules and commitments. Learning this skill will also
reduce anxiety and build confidence to meet deadlines as your teen
looks forward to graduation and beyond.

HELPFUL TIME MANAGEMENT TOOLS

You may agree that this is exactly what you need to do, but don't
quite know how to teach this skill. Let us suggest a plan (there's
that word again!). The first step is to come up with a task or "to do"
list of the jobs, projects, and other activities your teen wishes to
accomplish along with his or her academics. The next step is to
prioritize these items in order of importance. You will then need to
spend time planning and preparing, as well as learning to be efficient
and proactive. Lee Iacocca once said, "If you want to make good use of
your time, you've got to know what's most important and then give it
all you've got."

After a task is completed, your high schooler will have the
satisfaction of crossing it off the list which, in turn, will motivate
her to go to the next item. If this list looks overwhelming to your
child, help her examine her schedule in order to identify changes that
will make more efficient use of her time. Also, remind your child that
this list is meant to be a tool--not a source of stress. The list can
always be altered if circumstances demand it.

The next useful tool will be a method for tracking activities and
providing reminders. Some people use a calendar while others use such
devices as a PDA. Still others simply compile a list and keep it in a
prominent place. Again, your teen should use the method that works
best for him.

The last tool will be you, the parents. Your role will be to encourage
and help your child implement these time management skills and then be
his or her cheerleader. Remember, time management takes practice. It's
not learned in one day or in one year, but is a skill worth developing
over the four years of high school. Encourage your child to pray and
to seek the Lord's wisdom in both daily and long-term planning.
Proverbs 16:3 says, "The plans of the heart belong to man, but the
answer of the tongue is from the Lord." (NASB)

For extra suggestions and help, we have some resources for both you
and your teen on our Homeschooling Thru High School website at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4225. In particular, the College
Board website provides many good tips and personal time management
tools for teens: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4226 and
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4227.

Additional helpful resources and information for your child on time
management can be found at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4228 and
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4229.
If you have a child who has learning challenges and may need extra
help in this area, check out this site:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4230.

APPLICATON OF THE SKILL

Now that you have a direction to go in teaching time management, let's
consider ways to balance out the academics with the extras. As you and
your child are looking at his extracurricular activities along with
scheduling time for his friends, a job, sports, or chores, be sure to
take into consideration the rest of the family's commitments. The need
for transportation to each of these functions will factor into your
decision-making and planning. It may necessitate limiting activities
in order to accommodate both your child and his siblings' desires for
extracurricular activities.

In families with multiple children, consider having several of the
children participate in the same activity/sport in order to cut down
on the number of activities. For instance, if more than one of your
children is taking music lessons on the same instrument, try to
schedule the lessons back-to-back so you can minimize your driving
time. The child waiting for the lesson could use the time to complete
some school assignments. Or, during each season have just one child
choose an activity with the rest of the family becoming the
cheerleaders as this particular child is spotlighted for a season.
Another option is to challenge your teen to find the transportation
he'll need for an activity that will not fit into your schedule.

Help your child to choose those activities which will enhance his
interests, abilities, and future goals. This is a mark of good time
management because he is "killing two birds with one stone"--doing
what he enjoys while possibly gaining additional knowledge in one of
his academic courses.

LIMITING FACTORS

We all have the same number of hours in a day but different levels of
energy, so do not over-commit to outside activities. Remember to
schedule time for both the family and your teen to relax together
while having fun. Also be careful your child is not involved in so
many extracurricular activities that her academic achievements begin
to suffer due to lack of time and energy. Adequate time to sleep, eat,
read and study the Word, and enjoy some "downtime" is necessary--so
remind your teen to leave room in his day to rejuvenate his body and
soul.

Good time management skills will help your home and school to run more
smoothly and will lessen the stress of meeting everyone's
expectations. The summer is a good time to begin putting these skills
to work, so by fall they will be part of your child's routine. If time
management has not been one of your own strengths, be encouraged that
the Lord is your helper and He is able to provide you with all you
need to better manage the hours in each day. Regularly pray each
morning and ask the Lord to direct your steps (and your teens'), and
then rest in knowing the Lord delights to be involved in every aspect
of your day.

LOOKING AHEAD

Next month we will explore components that make up a solid high school
English course--just in time as you put the finishing touches on plans
for the next school year.

With joy in serving you,

Becky Cooke & Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Coordinators

Patrick Henry College's Writing Mentor Program

This program matches your high school student with a PHC student or
graduate who can mentor your student in fiction or nonfiction writing,
assist with school assignments, give students writing exercises and
tips, or edit papers. To learn more about the program or to receive
an application for the fall 2007 semester, visit
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4231 or email Rebekah Ries at
mentorshipcoordinator@phc.edu. Registration is first-come,
first-served and there are only a limited number of spaces available,
so sign up now for the fall.

Do you have a friend who is ready to begin homeschooling high school?
Suggest she subscribe to the high school email newsletter and also
read back issues she missed:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4232

High School Coordinators' Blog for tips and info:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4233

Becky and Diane's Speaking Engagements:
It was wonderful to meet so many of you in Boise, ID, last month!

For others, please check out these opportunities to attend our high
school seminars and introduce yourselves to us:

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 (Becky)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3837

September 21, 2007 Indiana Foundation for Home Schooling MapYour
Future 07, Indianapolis, IN http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4183

(Becky and Diane)


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