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10/5/2007 9:15:12 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter--October 2007

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HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter--October 2007
The Joy of Mentorship--Learning From One Another
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Dear Friends,

We hope your school year has gotten off to a good start, and you've
settled into a routine--although "routine" may not be a word that is
in your vocabulary during these hectic yet precious teen years. Our
prayer is that you will hit your stride and find just the right mix
between the seriousness of high school academic preparation and the
fun times of experiencing and enjoying life with your young adult.

As part of your homeschooling activities, we want to encourage you to
consider the benefits of carving time out of your busy schedule to
take advantage of mentoring and being mentored. A mentor is an
experienced teacher who nurtures and fosters a younger and usually
less experienced person. As you've seen your child reap the rewards of
one- on-one tutorial style teaching, you can also profit from spending
time learning firsthand from a mentor who may be another homeschooling
parent, relative, teacher, or someone the Lord brings to you. We know
how busy your days are and how little time you have to allocate to
self; however, we learned that unintended isolation breeds burn-out
and discouragement. Moms are giving and giving and giving to such an
extent that their tanks frequently run on empty. Refilling comes by
attending to your personal well-being and health through the study of
God's Word and the encouragement of a mentor-friend.

Both of us were blessed by mentors during our homeschooling years, and
we are very thankful for the help we received. Not only did our
mentors give us practical advice about courses, methods of teaching,
curriculum suggestions, and more, but they also encouraged and prayed
for/with us.

There are many ways to find a mentor. One way is to simply reach out
and ask for help. We know one homeschooling mom who makes it a
practice each summer to invite three different homeschool moms out to
lunch to just "pick their brains" regarding their school schedules,
things that worked (and didn't work!) for them, and curriculum they
could recommend. This mom is the recipient of much useful
information, and also receives the joy of spending time fellowshipping
with other moms who know the responsibilities that she carries. She
says the time and information she receives are well worth the cost of
three lunches.

Mentoring does not, of course, have to be done one-on-one, but can
occur in the context of a local homeschool support group. The high
school years are sometimes when many homeschool parents drop out of
their local groups or stop attending support meetings. We know the
struggle of just not having enough time to do everything! But think
about the benefit you will accrue from making the effort to attend at
least some of your local meetings. Many times you'll come away from a
meeting refreshed by a word, with which someone has encouraged you, or
you'll pick up a tip or two from a speaker that will actually save you
time in the days to come. Here's a simple idea that may benefit your
entire support group. Why not recommend a "What Works" night? You'd be
surprised at how many great ideas parents have! These don't have to be
earth-shattering ideas, but could be tidbits, a helpful website, or a
good resource discovered and used along the way.

Another idea may be to call a homeschooling friend and schedule an
evening to listen to a high school seminar tape together. You may
never get around to listening to the tape on your own, but just
knowing you'll be listening together and sharing notes afterward may
help you to plan the time to do this. (We've spoken at a number of
conferences this year, and our tapes are available for purchase--see
the sidebar for information).

However, if you desire a more structured approach for either
one-on-one or group mentoring, check out the resources we have listed
in the end of this newsletter. You'll be glad you did!

Mentoring may be a one-time occurrence or a continuing process.
Regardless of the frequency and duration of mentoring, learning from a
more experienced homeschooler and brainstorming together will get you
off-center and thinking in creative ways which will energize you to
meet the demands of your family and schedule. Laughing together over
bloopers and "failures" will also help to put things into perspective.

During these high school years, challenging though they be, keep your
eye out for that younger homeschooling family who could use your help,
words of advice, or encouragement. Realize that you have much to
offer, and know that your input on any given day may be just what this
young homeschooling parent needs to continue the journey especially
during a rough school day, week, or even year! Ask the Lord to bring
to your mind someone who would benefit from your expertise. We are
not suggesting a very big time investment, but just a phone call now
and then, or a short note of encouragement. You will be surprised how
the Lord will multiply your efforts and how much fruit will be
harvested from your investment in someone else.

Being mentored and mentoring are natural ways the homeschooling
community has grown over the past 25 years. Loving to learn is not
only a goal for our teens, but a goal for homeschooling parents as
well! So, how about it? Make a couple of phone calls this week--one
call to a more experienced homeschooler, perhaps asking for advice or
requesting prayer, and one to a less experienced homeschooler offering
your support. We're all in this together!

Next month's newsletter will answer the questions: to grade or not to
grade? What guidelines do I use for grading? These are questions we
frequently receive from HSLDA members, so join us as we expound on
this subject!

Until then, know that the Lord promises to provide everything you need
for all He has called you to do,

Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Coordinators

Helpful Mentoring Resources

Vicki Bentley has developed great resources you may use to mentor new
homeschooling families. Home Education 101 is available as a mentor
resource book. In addition, a companion workbook for those being
mentored provides a step-by-step guide covering the basics of
homeschooling. The resources may be used one-on-one or in a group
setting. http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4415

Living Joyfully by Susan O'Banion
You can experience the sweet reward of mentoring and peer
relationships with Titus 2: Spiritual Mentoring for Women, a unique
curriculum used to help women foster deeper friendship with God and
others. To learn more about beginning a group, call Susan O'Banion on
301-530-6711 between 6 and 9 PM (EST), email susansplace@earthlink.net
with Spiritual Mentoring in the subject line, or write 10410 Montrose
Avenue #102, Bethesda, MD 20814.

Help! I'm a Maxed-Out Mom by Linda Weber
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4420

Mothering Upstream by Virelle Kidder
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4421

Becky and Diane's high school seminar tapes are available from:

MASSHOPE-- http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4416

NOVA - http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4417 (to order tapes)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4418 (for workshop titles)

HSLDA 2007-2008 contests
For up-to-date information and deadlines for HSLDA's contests see
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4419

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-> How many news articles did you read this morning over your
oatmeal?

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right time can make a big difference in the outcome of important
legislative efforts. Yet it's tough to keep up with all the
issues that affect you. HSLDA does this for you in the areas that
affect your homeschool. Our emails and website enable you to
take quick, decisive action. Please consider becoming a part of
this team.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1923

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