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12/4/2007 3:47:32 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter -- December 2007

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HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter --
It's More Blessed to Give Than to Receive
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Dear Friends,

Christmas is coming! Carols are in the air! Your children are busy
making up their Christmas wish lists. The planning of parties, family
holiday dinners, and Christmas cookie swaps may be crowding out the
thoughts of English, history, and math. It's that time of the year! If
you are already overwhelmed by the holidays, don't feel any obligation
to add one more item to your plate. Instead, schedule down time on
your calendar and spend some quiet moments meditating on the wonder
and gift of Christmas, specifically, Immanuel, God with us.

BUT...if you would like to introduce the idea that "it's more blessed
to give than to receive" as part of your Christmas traditions, this
month we want to suggest ways you and your children can bring hope and
God's love to those near and far away who are less fortunate. Of
course, we are not saying each family must incorporate all of these
ideas, but you may elect to choose one to try, or come up with your
own idea to give a blessing. As homeschooling families, you are in the
unique position to schedule your days to reflect your family's values
and priorities. Especially during the high school years, you have the
opportunity to assist your teen to distinctively choose ways to bless
others so that it becomes a natural way of life to him. When you take
time out of the school day to volunteer or coordinate a project with
your teen, you show him that serving others is not an afterthought,
but it is an opportunity to enjoy and to take advantage of the
flexibility provided by your homeschooling.

In Matthew 25:35-36, 40 Jesus says, "For I was hungry, and you gave Me
something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me a drink; I was a
stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick
and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me. Truly I say
to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of
Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me." (NASB)

You and your family can live out these verses through participating in
programs your churches sponsor, such as assembling and distributing
baskets of food to the needy. Or, your family may enjoy caroling one
evening at a nursing home or volunteering at a soup kitchen (maybe
even on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day). These activities can be
participated in by young and old. Possibly your church or community is
sponsoring Prison Fellowship's Angel Tree
(http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4562) or maybe a coordinator is
needed to promote this ministry. Is your family willing? Having your
children (or even each child individually) choose a name and buy the
gift with his or her own money will make the giving a more personal
blessing. If your family elects to take on a whole family through
Angel Tree, consider showing the love of Christ by volunteering to
deliver these gifts personally.

A couple of recommended organizations provide catalogs during this
Christmas season whereby you and your family can give gifts in the
name of another. If it's a challenge to know what to give Grandma or
Grandpa for Christmas, your child can "buy" a chicken or pig or school
books which will then be delivered by the organization in the name of
these members of the family. A lovely gift card is sent to the named
person from you or your child. For more information on this idea, go
to Oakseed Ministries, http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4563,
Romanian Christian Enterprises,
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4564, or similar ministries of your
choice.

Christmas may be a time to give a family gift of a mission trip which
you will take over the Christmas break or during the summer vacation.
There are mission agencies which offer short-term mission service for
families as well as for different age groups. On our Homeschooling
Thru Highschool Website Year of Transition page,
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4565, we list some of these agencies
which will help you get started. Not only will this be a gift to your
family, but an opportunity to serve cross-culturally.

If you are looking for ways of giving which extend throughout the year
rather than just at Christmas time, a tutoring program may be
something to explore. Check for a program through a church or
community organization which adopts a school and offers after-school
tutoring for its students. Many times these programs will run one
evening a week and a child will be assigned to you for a semester.
Your high school children can use this as a means of returning to
another child what they have received from you and, in the process,
make a friend and have an impact on a child's future.

Befriending an international student and opening your home to him or
her is another way of giving and then receiving a blessing. Many
international students desire to enjoy American hospitality yet never
have the opportunity to actually visit an American home. Because many
cannot return to their homes for holidays, consider inviting them to
your home and alleviating the loneliness of an empty dorm. It's also
an opportunity for the international students to see how an American
family interacts with one another, to taste different foods, and to
enjoy new traditions. Remember, your family is an ambassador for not
only our country, but for God's Kingdom as well, so use these
opportunities to share words of life and truth with students who may
live in countries that are closed to the gospel. These students'
impressions will remain with them as they return to their own
countries.

We hope some of these ideas will resonate with you as you celebrate
Christ's birth. Looking ahead to 2008, our January newsletter will
offer suggestions on how to homeschool responsibly during the high school
years.

From our homes to yours, a very merry Christmas,

Becky Cooke & Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Coordinators


The Homeschooling Thru High School newsletter began in September,
2005. If you are interested in back issues covering a variety of high
school topics, visit the archives:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4566

Doing well on the college entrance tests (SAT or ACT) is important
since colleges make admission decisions based on these tests, and
scholarship committees often use these test scores as well. HSLDA's
SAT/ACT CD Prep offer provides a great resource for just $13.84.
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4567

Upcoming Speaking engagements:

April 5, 2008 - Rhode Island Guild of Home Teachers (R.I.G.H.T.)
Providence, RI (Becky)

May 9-10, 2008 - Christian Homeschool Association of Pennsylvania
(CHAP) (Becky & Diane)

Sidebar:

Homeschoolopoly" Game Helps Homeschoolers in Need!

Creators of "Homeschoolopoly," Greg and Pamela Berthume, did more than
just create the world's first homeschool board game; they are using
their small business as a tool to bless needy homeschoolers across the
nation. The Berthumes are working with the Home School Foundation to
provide free "Homeschoolopoly" board games to many of the families
that HSF assists! To read the full story, and to get your own game, go
to:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4513.

Home School Foundation Christmas Wreath Fundraiser
(http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4568, or call (207) 594-7553 -- a
portion of your purchase is tax-deductible).

During the 2007 holiday season, proceeds from Round Bough's Main
Balsam Fir Christmas Wreath sales through the Home School Foundation
will be donated to the Compassion Fund to assist widows, families with
special needs children, single parents, overseas homeschoolers,
college students...and more.

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-> How many acorns can a chipmunk hold in its cheeks?

We don't know! But we do know that gathering little by little
enables ordinary folks to prepare for hard times. That principle
is behind HSLDA's payment plan: by paying a month at a time,
families can receive an annual HSLDA membership. Meanwhile, they
can feel secure as they homeschool and focus on other priorities
-- their children. Don't go nuts trying to pay for membership all
at
once. Choose one of our convenient payment plans.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1937

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