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7/10/2008 9:47:54 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter--Friends--God's Gifts to Us

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HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter
Friends--God's Gifts to Us
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Dear Friends,

Summer is a great season to reach out and foster a new friendship or
reconnect with a languishing one. When you hear the word "friend,"
what comes to your mind? Is it Webster's definition, "one attached to
another by affection or esteem?" Or is it a proverb such as "a friend
loves at all times" or "there is a friend who sticks closer than a
brother?" It is not by chance that we address you each month as "dear
friends." We delight in calling you friends, as our desire is to be a
friend who sticks close by you as you teach high school at home.

Homeschooling during high school will provide your children with a
variety of opportunities for developing meaningful friendships. If
your teen is discontent with being homeschooled because of his
misconception of or concerns about friendships, the following
suggestions may provide you with ideas to discuss together.

WISDOM IN CHOOSING FRIENDS

During the high school years you are modeling and teaching your
children through example and conversation how to be true friends and
how to choose friends wisely. Friends may be chosen for their godly
character, shared values, or simply as an opportunity to invest in
someone else's life. Also, friends who are different from your teens
in terms of personality may stretch them to learn from others who may
at first glance be their polar opposites.

Another nugget of wisdom to communicate to your teens is that the
number of friends is less significant than the quality of the
relationship. This is best conveyed by the quote, "Best friends are
like diamonds, precious and rare. False friends are like leaves, found
everywhere." (unknown) Some of our teens are naturally outgoing,
attracting many to them, thus having many friends. Other teens are
more quiet and reserved and find cultivating a few friends equally
satisfying. Regardless of which category your teen falls into, being
content in whatever the circumstance is a quality worth pursuing.

It is not uncommon for teens to gather friends around them and then
exclude newcomers. Encourage your teens to move out of the comfort
zone of their group in order to avoid cliques. Remind them that as the
"hand of fellowship" was extended to them, so they, too, will be
blessed by extending it to others.

SOURCES FOR FINDING FRIENDS

The closest and most natural place to seek out friends is right in
your own home. Your children have the opportunity to learn how to be a
friend to their siblings. These friendships may be challenging in some
cases, but will often stand the test of time and become precious,
lifelong relationships.

Church and homeschool groups are also places for your children to find
and cultivate friendships. These groups will provide friends of
similar faith and values, whether homeschooled or educated through
public or private schools. Being of the same mind lays the foundation
on which to build and sustain friendships.

Your children will expand their circle of friends when they
participate in extracurricular activities outside of the school day.
You will be able to direct them to various activities and outside
classes that will provide for good influences and opportunities to
meet likeminded friends and families. These activities allow your
children the opportunity to practice the wisdom of choosing wisely and
provide occasions to show Christian love to others with whom they
play, learn, or work alongside. Proverbs 27:19 is a good reminder that
"a mirror reflects a man's face, but what he is really like is shown
by the kind of friends he chooses."

However, if your children do not have sources for finding and
developing friends, consider seeking out pen pals for them to meet
through letters or email. Your church mission program may have
families whose teens would enjoy befriending an American teen. This
simple act can help these missionary teens to feel more connected to
their native culture. Teens of military families who move frequently
may enjoy having a friend to "take along" with them to provide
familiarity in strange communities and/or countries.

If your teen lacks friendships, see these years as opportunities to
cement your relationship with your teen. The Lord often uses these
times of loneliness to build into your teen character traits such as
tenderheartedness, integrity, patience, humility, and understanding
that will cause him or her to be a better friend in the future.

MANY FACES OF FRIENDS

One important benefit of homeschooling is exposure to multi-age groups
of people. Homeschooled teens can benefit from expanding their vision
of friendships beyond their peer group.

For example, is there a single man (for your son) or a single lady
(for your daughter) in your church who could be a friend and mentor to
your teen? Our own children have benefited from these kinds of
relationships. Young singles can be godly role models and can add
another voice of wisdom (in addition to yours) in your teen's life.
Or, is there a retired neighbor or elderly member in your church who
would benefit from your teen's friendship? These relationships are
often mutually satisfying--the seniors have much to teach and share
with your teen, while your teen provides much needed companionship.

At the other end of the spectrum, is there a younger child that your
teen can take the time to befriend and mentor? It may be a sibling, a
youngster down the street, or the child of a single parent. The
possibilities are definitely out there, but we sometimes need to
pointedly expand the ideas of friendship.

COST OF FRIENDSHIPS

Developing and maintaining friendships takes precious time. Help your
teen to manage his or her time to allow for opportunities during the
week for building friendships. Is there a family you can invite over
for a popcorn and game night? What about suggesting that your teen
organize a bowling night with several friends? With all the busyness
of homeschooling, be sure to plan fun activities for just the
family--not expensive jaunts, but sweet times sitting around chatting
while sipping root beer floats, taking a hike together, or working on
a puzzle. Even a quiet walk, a game of Scrabble, or an impromptu
picnic can be occasions to nurture friendships within your family.

There is also an emotional dimension in being a friend. Friends may
disappoint, friends may move on, or friends may need our help.
Remember relationships that endure are ones built on meeting each
other's needs, sharing each other's burdens, and simply enjoying the
pleasure of each other's company.

Encourage your teens to seek out friends for life! Pray over your
teen's friendships and ask the Lord to strengthen them. If your teen
lacks friends, pray and ask the Lord to bring them. He will be
faithful to provide in His time and in your teen's best interests.
Remind your teen to rest in God's promise: "I will never desert you,
nor will I ever forsake you."

Join us next month when we'll take a tour of the library and discuss
teaching research skills. Until then, cultivate and treasure your own
friendships by calling a friend to set a coffee date to catch up with
one another. We'll do the same.

Thankful for you, dear friends,

Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Coordinators



AT A GLANCE

New brochure: The Best Kind of Socialization
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5292 .

HSLDA/NHERI Academic Study
Please consider participating in one of the largest studies conducted
by Brian Ray and HSLDA on homeschool families and their academic
ability.
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5293


PHC Writing Mentor Program
Is your student interested in creative writing or perhaps looking for
help with writing college application essays? Does your student need
one-on-one assistance in improving his writing skills? PHC mentors
work with you and your student to develop better writing skills by
assisting with school assignments, giving students writing exercises,
or by editing papers. PHC mentors work with your student via email,
phone, or mail. The fee is $10 per hour. To learn more about the
program or to receive an application, visit
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5294 or email
mentorshipcoordinator@phc.edu.

New on the Homeschooling Thru High School website:

Net Science Academy, http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5295
Professor in a Box (new accounting course)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5296
Generations of Virtue, http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5297
4-H, http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5299
Student News Daily, http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5298
Check out the new look to their website.


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-> Have you ever yelled into the wind, only to hear the sound of your
voice blown back at you?

It's hard to be heard in the midst of a storm. Trying to influence
federal legislation is much like yelling to be heard while
standing in a fierce wind. Yet when 80,000 voices join together,
they become a powerful force that cannot be drowned out.
Join HSLDA to be heard above the tempests that threaten homeschool
freedoms.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1939

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