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2/2/2012 3:19:05 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Homeschooling High School: Expanding Your Homeschool into the Community

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HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter
February 2012--Expanding Your Homeschool into the Community
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Dear Friends,

Thank you for allowing us to show up in your email inbox each month!
Our goal is to make your job of teaching high school at home a bit
easier, more enjoyable, and less nerve-racking. And because it's
February, we rejoice with you that you're more than halfway through
your school year. It's all downhill from here--although at times you
may feel like you are slipping and sliding in freefall fashion down
the hill. :)

We encourage you to expand your homeschool teaching through
involvement in your community--either the community coming to you or
you going into the community. You and your teens will benefit from
spreading out your teaching environment and creating new avenues of
learning for your teens.

Exploring Cultures

Most likely during the high school years you'll teach a geography or
world history courseto your teens. Textbook learning has its place,
but what about supplementing the book with some additional activities?
Maybe you can plan a culture night in your home and invite neighbors,
friends from church, co-workers, and others of different
nationalities. Suggest that they wear their ethnic garb (if possible),
bring a delectable goodie that's native to their country, and share
some interesting tidbits about their country's history and current
government. Your teen could supply each guest with questions ahead of
time such as: how is life in your country different from the U.S., or
what customs or traditions from your country do you continue to
celebrate? It could be interesting to include guests from a wide
spectrum of ages. Someone who lived through the Vietnam War or Korean
War may give new perspectives not covered in your textbook. Give your
evening a cosmopolitan flair by typing out a short well-known passage
from a literary selection or from the Bible, and invite your guests to
read it aloud to everyone in their own language.

If your teen is studying Spanish, French, or another foreign language,
find a native speaker who will meet your teen for conversational
nights once or twice a month. This person may enjoy practicing his
English at the same time!

Do you need to expand your circle of acquaintances to come up with
possibilities? Sometimes public libraries and local community
colleges or universities keep lists of speakers. Local foreign
language clubs may welcome others from the community to participate.
Also, check out museums and art galleries in your area for educational
programs on various cultures.

Discovering Careers

The high school years can be a bit overwhelming for your teens because
of the perceived need to begin thinking about their future goals and
careers. Help to allay these fears by hosting a career day. This can
be a family project or a homeschool group effort. Invite people from
various professions to share about "a day in the life of ..." Keep the
day focused by giving everyone tips on what to share such as: what
training is needed for their job, what high school subjects prepared
them for their current positions, how many different career changes
have they made, what are the best and least appealing aspects of their
job, does their major in college or their focus in high school have
anything to do with their job today? Some teens may be paralyzed by
thinking that once a major is chosen they are tied to it for life! At
the end of the day, leave time for a group question and answer
session.

Hosting these mini-career fairs could become an annual event so that
by the end of the high school years your teens will be exposed to the
inside scoop of many different professions. Such functions also
provide the beginnings of networking opportunities for your teens.

Research facilities, zoos, and hospitals may offer interesting
seminars for your teens that highlight science and medical issues
while also providing talks on possible careers. Use a computer search
of the facilities' website to find additional information for these
types of options.

Receiving from Giving

Homeschoolers enjoy the flexibility of determining their schedules
which may permit them to volunteer on a regular basis. Although we
normally associate volunteering with service (and rightly so),
volunteering also affords your teens the prospect of being on the
receiving end of developing skills, learning from experts, and growing
in interpersonal talents.

Non-profit organizations in your community may need help with their
annual fundraising events. Your teens could choose a good cause and
then volunteer to assist in the planning and production of the affair.
Along the way your teens will learn time management, organizational
skills, and promotional tips. They'll work with professionals who can
impart expertise, knowledge, and guidance that will be a boon to your
teens' education.

Some teens tend to be self-focused (aren't we all?), but reaching into
the lives of others will enlarge their world. Their eyes and hearts
will be opened to the needs of others as they become more connected to
their community. It will be wonderful to see your teens plugged into
outlets that will benefit from their energy and fresh enthusiasm.

Becoming a Better Citizen

Although most high school government courses have a state and national
focus, be sure to expose your teens to local government. How is your
town governed? What authority rests in the local government? How does
the local government interact with your state government? Use the
USA.gov website http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=13550 to find your
town and explore its type of government and history. Your town council
meeting times, names and contact info for local government officials,
and in some cases, the minutes of actual meetings will be listed. One
of your local representatives could be invited to speak to your
homeschool co-op to share about the issues currently affecting your
town. The town council meetings are usually open to the public and can
help your teen see and appreciate the amount of work necessary to
formulate local policy. Let your teens know that although they may be
too young to vote, they can still influence proposals by writing
letters to the editor of your local newspaper and to elected
officials, providing their stance on an issue. They can also volunteer
to help re-elect a representative who shares their views.

Connecting the Dots

Homeschooling in your community can enable your teens to connect the
concepts in their textbooks to the community in which they live. As an
added bonus, some forays into the community may provide your teens
contacts for letters of recommendation for the college application or
references for job applications. In turn, we hope that your teens'
enthusiasm for their studies gets a boost as they enjoy exploring
their community!

Join us next month as we highlight high school electives. We'll
discuss resources, evaluation, and course description advice that is
helpful as you develop these courses.

Give your teen a hug in advance of Valentine's Day and remember to
enjoy these homeschooling years!

Cheering you on,

Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Consultants

Expert Advice

HSLDA member? Call Becky or Diane with your questions. They are here
to help!
Not yet an HSLDA member? Join today and take advantage of Becky and
Diane's expertise in teaching high school at home.
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=13551
Send a Subscription

Do you have a friend who could benefit from receiving the HSLDA
Homeschooling Thru High School email newsletter? Send them this link
and be an encouragement to them!
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=13552

Becky and Diane's Upcoming Speaking Engagements
March 3, 2012 -- Living Waters Home Educators, NJ (Diane)

April 12-14, 2012 -- MACHE, St. Paul, MN (Diane and Becky)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=12477

May 11-12, 2012 -- CHAP, Harrisburg, PA (Becky)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=12478

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-> Who's knocking on your door?

When a social service worker arrives at your door, tension can run
high. Wouldn't it be nice to get your lawyer on the phone,
providing you with immediate step-by-step guidance?

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1099

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