From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


1/6/2011 10:05:24 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter -- January 2011

HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter
Awards and Honors: Homeschoolers at Their Best

Awards and Honors: Homeschoolers at Their Best

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! We pray that the Lord brings you refreshment to begin
2011. If when flipping your calendars you find a month already filled
with activities, events, deadlines, doctor appointments, and more, we
understand. We flipped our calendar page too.

As we present possibilities for your teens' involvement, we encourage
you to remember that no one is expected to try out all of the
suggestions. In fact, you may want to file this newsletter away for
another day (or another year!) and concentrate instead on the full
plate in front of you. On the other hand, if your energy allows and
your teens are gung ho, then read on.

There are many potential avenues to involve your children in
competitions and organizations that provide opportunities to
recognize, reward, and promote their achievements. Each of your teens
has been gifted in a unique way. Not all of them will excel in the
same way, so seek out areas where your teens' traits and qualities can

Calling All Homeschoolers

Did we catch your attention? We hope so; because as homeschoolers, you
have unlimited flexibility to dream up occasions to showcase your
teens' strengths.

Let's say that your teen is gifted with a merciful heart. Put that
trait to the Lord's use by encouraging her to set up a tutoring
service for needy youngsters whose parents can't afford private
tutors. These young people may be found in your church, your
neighborhood, or at the local homeless shelter. Although your teen's
motivation should not be reward, nonetheless, her efforts will attract
recognition from others and may one day result in a letter of
recommendation, a note from a thankful child, or a skill that will
serve her well after high school graduation.

Your son's passion for sports could lead to his coaching a community,
church, or homeschool team while exhibiting a godly role model to the
youth. Perhaps your son could further use his leadership skills to
coordinate the team to collect food for the food pantry in your town,
or to donate gently worn clothing to disadvantaged youths. Your son
will gain valuable experience in managing people, converting idle time
into productive time, and helping to mentor children into responsible
young adults.

Don't feel as if you must send your teens to public or private schools
to participate in school clubs to gain activities for post high school
applications. In a homeschool environment, teens can achieve
leadership positions by forming a club, electing officers, assigning
tasks, motivating others to join, and coordinating events that the
group finds worthwhile. Homeschool parents can act as advisors for the
club, encouraging the teens to shoulder the majority of the
responsibilities. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how conscientious
and reliable your teens can be when provided the chance to be in

If you would rather not start from scratch, search out opportunities
such as Generation Joshua's student action teams and clubs. GenJ will
help your teen form a club in his area to pray for our nation, carry
out civic and community duties, communicate truth (spiritual and
political), and be ready on short notice to help campaigns of
pro-family, conservative candidates.
Teens can also step it up a notch and participate in the Benjamin Rush
Awards program that offers many exciting prizes and scholarships to

Contests and Competitions

It is amazing the number of contests and competitions that your
homeschooled teen can enter. We've collected a sampling of them on the
HSLDA High School website to give you a starting point for your own
exploration. A new contest we
added recently, Doodle 4 Google, especially mentions "including

Be sure to take into consideration the eligibility requirements and
deadlines associated with each opportunity. Many times, the essay or
project required may take much time to prepare, so don't wait until
the last minute to decide.

In the event that you run into a situation where a competition,
contest, or scholarship excludes homeschoolers from participating,
here are some suggestions. Contact the sponsor to inquire about the
reason homeschoolers are excluded, and then graciously offer a
rationale for changing the policy. This gives you an opportunity to
promote and inform others about the benefits of homeschooling.

In many cases, sponsors do not deliberately exclude homeschoolers but
simply haven't given them a thought. For example, a sponsor may list
the criteria that an entrant must currently be attending public or
private school without thinking to include the "homeschooled"

In other instances, a scholarship committee may be unfamiliar with
homeschooling, and not realize that it is legal in all 50 states, or
that the federal government recognizes homeschooled diplomas when
considering federal financial need, or that the military accepts
homeschooled diplomas. In these circumstances, the majority of
homeschoolers can present objective evaluation of their academic level
with test scores, grades from outside classes, and letters of
recommendation from others who can attest to their academic abilities.
Most sponsors, when offered this information, have no problem allowing
homeschoolers to apply for an award or scholarship.

Organizations to Check Out

Organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, 4-H, Toastmasters
International, and others welcome participation by homeschoolers. Your
teens may distinguish themselves by winning awards, ribbons, and
medals for their involvement individually or through group projects.

The Congressional Award is another option open to all students ages
14-23 years. Your teens are honored for "achieving their own
challenging goals." Adjustments are also made to include those with
physical or mental difficulties.

Honor Societies for Homeschoolers

Even though the National Honor Society does not accept homeschoolers,
there are societies that provide an alternative for your teens. These
organizations are recognized by colleges and others so participation
is considered an honor . You
may find
Erin McRee's article helpful as she highlights the advantages of
investigating and joining honor societies.

Bright Spots

HSLDA's Bright Spots may remind you of ways your teens can distinguish
themselves or stir up your creative juices to think of other areas for
them to excel. We hope that you are encouraged by the breadth of
opportunities available to your homeschooler.

The Final Reward

Although it's nice for your teen to have awards and honors to list on
college applications and job resumes, remember that in the big scheme
of things, the only recognition that counts for eternity is a life
spent glorifying the Lord with the talents and gifts that He has
bestowed. Be sure to keep this thought in mind when the award or honor
comes and give thanks to the Giver of all good gifts.

Next month, join us as we look at ...waiting. Intrigued?

Looking forward to one day casting crowns before Him,
Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Coordinators

Teacher Training

Looking for help in homeschooling your teen? Join Becky and Diane at
a teacher training session in 2011. Registration is now open and space
is limited.

High School Curriculum Ideas for 30 Different Subject Areas

Becky and Diane's Upcoming Speaking Engagements

January 29, 2011 - HSLDA High School at Home: The Basics,
Purcellville, VA (Becky)
February 15, 2011 - FISHE, Fairfax, VA (Becky)
March 4-5, 2011 - Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii, Honolulu - CHOH
March 25-26, 2011 - St. Louis Area Home Educators Expo, MO (Becky)
April 1, 2011 - HSLDA High School at Home: The Next Step,
Purcellville, VA (Diane)
April 14-16, 2011 - MACHE, Duluth, MN (Becky and Diane)
April 29-30, 2011 - MassHOPE, Worcester, MA (Diane)
September 17, 2011 - HSLDA High School at Home: The Basics,
Purcellville, VA
Purcellville, VA
October 29, 2011 - High School at Home: The Next Step, Purcellville,
VA (Becky)

-> 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...

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