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2/7/2008 1:36:55 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter -- February 2008

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HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter
Lifting the Winter Blahs
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Dear Friends,

For many parts of the U.S., February is the snowiest, coldest month of
the year with many days without sunshine. That may mean lots of
indoor, togetherness time! Homeschool families often consider this a
positive since one of the reasons for homeschooling is to build close
family relationships. So this month we want to focus on how to dispel
the dreariness of the dark days of winter while encouraging family
unity. (For our readers in sunny California, Florida, and Hawaii--we
are now accepting invitations to come for a visit!)

KEEPING IT LIGHT

Interjecting creativity into your teen's day will spice up his life,
and you will be surprised at how it will deepen your relationship with
one another. Don't let the academics obscure the necessity of
spending quality time with your teen and getting to know him better
through times of fun, times of open communication, and times of "being
there." For most of us, the tendency will be to emphasize the
academics--but often it is during the unexpected times of being
together that your teen will open up and let you know what is on his
mind.

Here are some suggestions for entertaining things to do with your teen
even when the weather outside is frightful. Obviously, you won't be
able to incorporate all the suggestions this winter, but consider
choosing a couple to do over the next several months either as a
family or one on one. Showing your teen you enjoy her company may
make the times you need to crack down on the academics a bit easier
for her to take!

ACTIVITIES IN YOUR COMMUNITY

Does your community have an indoor roller or ice skating rink? Treat
your teen to an afternoon or weekend trip to the rink. Throw in some
conversation time back and forth from the rink by reminiscing about
your own teen years telling him a new fact about yourself that you
have never shared before--maybe a struggle you had as a teen or an
incident where you had doubts about your future or your faith. Your
teen will see you in a different light and may realize that you can
relate to this stage of his life after all!

Bowling is another wonderful family activity. Some bowling alleys
have cheaper rates during the day when the lanes are not in demand.
Bowling provides great exercise, and you can log these hours and
include them in your teen's homeschool phys ed credit.

Are there museums in your area within a reasonable driving distance?
Use the internet to locate museums, nature centers, aquariums, or
other interesting venues. Although your temptation may be to
structure the entire day complete with definite assignments to
complete while at the museum, you may want to consider a more relaxing
outing--no note-taking, no paper to write up, nothing to research.
Just enjoy the time together.

FUN AT HOME

Why not gather around a blazing fire (if you have a fireplace; if not,
light some candles for ambiance) and break open an exciting book to
read aloud to your teens. It will bring back the memory of your
reading aloud to them when they were younger. It's a tradition worth
keeping! But be sure to make it extra special by adding hot chocolate
and home-baked cookies.

Speaking of cookies, how about a cookie bake off? (If the Christmas
cookies are still hanging around, we suggest you feed them to the
dog.) Keep it simple by including just your immediate family with
each member baking a batch of his favorite cookies. Or, open it up to
extended family members or maybe families in your co-op. Decide ahead
of time on categories to judge the cookies such as most nutritious,
best tasting, best secret ingredient, or most calories.

Another suggestion would be to plan a hospitality night with your
teen. The art of hospitality is a skill that will be used all through
life. Start off with a brainstorming session, but then let your teen
do the majority of the planning from deciding on the guest list, to
proposing a theme for the evening, to recommending a menu, to shopping
for supplies and food. If your family is sports-oriented, then a March
Madness college basketball party might be just the ticket. As another
idea, a game night with simple prizes for winners can generate fun and
laughter for all. Refreshments can be as easy as everyone bringing his
or her favorite pie. Not only will these events be enjoyable, but your
teen will learn how to be a good host/hostess and, hopefully, develop
etiquette skills in the process. Your teen will also come away with a
new appreciation for how much time and effort actually goes into
planning and preparing such an evening--not to mention the cleanup
afterwards! See our website for more ideas on other life skills you
may wish to teach. (http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4711)

THE REWARDS OF FUN

By setting aside moments of enjoyment with your teen, you are
orchestrating opportunities to connect and to share precious memories.
Banishing those winter blahs by enjoying each other's company will be
time well spent, and time...remembered.

Next month, join us as we tour HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School
website and highlight many of the resources listed there. You may be
surprised to find a hidden trove of information that will assist you
as you teach high school at home.

Until then, we are praying for snow so we can go sledding,

Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Coordinators

HSLDA High School Symposium

Join Becky and Diane as they present seminars designed to help
families as they homeschool through the high school years. This
symposium is a one-day training session specifically directed to
parents who are in the midst of teaching high school or considering
the option. Registration is now open, and space is limited.
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4712

Patrick Henry College Summer Camps for Teens

If you are looking for an educational and interesting camp for your
teen to attend this summer, explore the many options that Patrick
Henry College offers. HSLDA members receive a discount when
registering for the camps. Registration opens in mid-February.
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4713

Becky and Diane's Speaking Engagements
March 28, 2008--HSLDA High School Symposium in Purcellville, VA
(Becky and Diane) http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4712

April 5, 2008 - Rhode Island Guild of Home Teachers Conference
(Becky) http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4714

May 2-3, 2008 Long Island, NY Loving Education at Home (LEAH)
Conference
(Diane) http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4718

May 9 - 10, 2008--Christian Home Education Association of Pennsylvania
(CHAP) (Becky and Diane) http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4715

May 30-31, 2008--ENOCH of New Jersey
(Becky) http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4716

Help HSLDA celebrate its 25th Anniversary by entering one of these fun
contests:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4717

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-> How many of your friends would pay your legal fees?

As a member of HSLDA, you have 80,000 families standing with you
to protect and advance homeschool freedoms in the United States
and foreign countries.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1106

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