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9/6/2007 3:16:26 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter --September 2007

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HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter--September 2007
Eureka! Average to the World, but Special and Unique to God
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Dear Friends,

Welcome to another edition of the HSLDA Homeschoooling Thru High
School email newsletter. It's hard to believe this issue begins the
third year of the high school newsletter. To those of you who have
been receiving the newsletter since the beginning, we are blessed by
your readership. We love hearing from our readers, and we enjoyed
meeting many of you as we traveled during this past homeschool
conference season.

September is a month of new beginnings--the start of a new school
year, new books, and perhaps a new baby or a new high schooler! The
beginning of a school year is a great time to be reminded of the
precious blessings our children represent. They are all different;
they are created in the image of God, and they have each been given
specific talents.

We promised you last month we would be on the hunt for average
homeschoolers. Of course, average means different things to different
people. We define average as those students who generally score in the
mean when taking tests or those students who typically run in the
middle of the pack. According to this definition, we found them!

They are teens who are doing their very best with the skills and
abilities God has given to them, but who are earning C's, sitting on
the bench in baseball games, not progressing very far in debate, or
still practicing the same piano piece they were assigned months ago.

If this describes your child, don't be discouraged and disappointed
that your child does not attain accolades for excellence in schoolwork
or in extracurricular activities. Their best, though, should always be
viewed as success. Average should never be construed as a negative,
nor should their work be viewed with concern, disappointment, or
guilt. Because God made your child, loves him and saves him based on
grace through Jesus Christ and not on performance, encourage, love,
and accept him in like manner.

As the parent, you can be your child's most ardent encourager and
personal cheerleader. Do your best to hearten your children, and
always point out to them areas in which you see them improving. Yes,
there's a place for correction (when they are letting their studies
slide due to lack of motivation or laziness), and there's also room to
urge them to reach for new goals, but in the end, and above all else,
your children need to be convinced that your love and acceptance
doesn't rest on their performances or accomplishments.

You can do this in any number of ways.

Be on the lookout for areas in which your child has an interest and
then provide him with the time and opportunity to enjoy and grow in
these areas. If your son is excited by engines and cars, let him loose
to spend time tooling around the garage and maybe even sign him up for
a mechanics course at the community college. In return, you might be
the recipient of free oil changes for the future! And, your son may be
investing in a career (or maybe a hobby) that will serve many people.

If your daughter believes strongly about a current issue, encourage
her to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper and have
the delight of being published! She'll be encouraged that she has a
voice. Will this be the making of a future political leader? Maybe
not, but she will better understand the importance of being salt and
light in our society.

Even in the core curriculum subjects, a child may find one aspect to
be of particular interest, such as the Civil War in American history.
If so, you can expand upon this interest or provide extra credit/work.
Or, you may simply spend additional time exploring that unit of study.

Remember, too, that children's brains mature at different rates, so it
is not unusual for a child to do average work during the beginning of
the high school years, and then suddenly the light goes on and the
material begins to click. You never know--that child just may be the
one to go on for the graduate degree!

Extracurricular activities such as music, sports, theater, and others
provide occasions to realize that not all of our children are
superstars! Some will excel, others will not--but valuable life
lessons are learned along the way. If your child doesn't make the
A-team, is not picked for the squad, or doesn't bring home the trophy,
use these opportunities to have great discussions about the importance
of graciously accepting disappointments. Humility, diligence, and
perseverance will be traits that in time may provide this same child
the ability to accept winning in a godly way. Learning to congratulate
and cheer on fellow teammates and competitors will serve him well into
adulthood.

Your child may be putting in the effort, yet not doing well according
to your standard or in comparison to his or her siblings. Be aware of
the messages you may be sending--are you proud of the child who does
well and yet disappointed in the child not measuring up? Remember you
are not raising children to meet the world's standards, but the Lord's
standards. Give your child opportunities to grow, to practice, and to
mature. Allow him the freedom to serve others, create websites,
research new inventions, or learn diligence while practicing an
instrument. As he strives for excellence, remind him that he is
dependent on the Lord's strength and power to accomplish any
achievement.

By the way, "eureka" in our newsletter title not only means a certain
vacuum cleaner (!) but also means "to express delight on finding or
discovering something." So, go and find your teen, then give him a
great big hug while telling him what a blessing he is to you!

Next month we'll take a look at high school mentoring and give you
some ideas of how you can make a difference in someone's life. Now
it's off to school we go!

Happy September,

Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Coordinators


SAT/ACT Offer:
If your high schooler will be taking the SAT or ACT college entrance
test this year, check out the special offer to help in preparing for
these tests: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3585

Planning Your School Year:
If you are looking for a resource to plan out a current events
elective course for your high schooler, check out the Student News
Daily website http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4378. It provides the
day's top news stories (from a conservative viewpoint) as well as
ideas for activities and even a weekly quiz! The website also teaches
students how to analyze news stories.

New Subscribers:
For those of you who began subscribing to the newsletter recently,
check out our two years' of back issues for topics you may have
missed.
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4379

Becky and Diane's Speaking Engagement:
Come meet us on September 21, 2007, at the Indiana Foundation for Home
Schooling Map Your Future 07, Indianapolis, IN (Becky and Diane)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4183

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-> Extreme makeovers are for extreme circumstances...

Most homeschools don't need an extreme makeover, but there is
something to be said for attention to detail and recognition of
accomplishments. Watch the media and you'll soon see that not
everyone wants home educators and homeschooling to look good.
HSLDA works hard to shed light on the good work of home educators
so it's obvious that we don't need someone "making-over" our
homeschools. Join HSLDA and help us show the world that we're fine
as we are . . . thank you!

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1943

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