Originally Sent: 3/7/2013
March 7, 2013
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Bringing the World into
|Both of HSLDA’s high school consultants homeschooled their children from kindergarten through the 12th grade. Learn more >>|
We are reminded to look outwards upon the world, starting with our own families and moving out into our communities, country and world. We are to see that “the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:37 NASB). The high school years are an opportune time to broaden your teens’ view of the world while asking the Lord to instill in their hearts compassion for others. If you are wondering how to begin, the following suggestions are ones you can easily incorporate into your courses and extracurricular activities.
Education is a good place to begin. Think archeology, anthropology, history, or geography courses—all of which open windows into the lives and culture of peoples who are very different from your teens. These courses may provoke your teens to become further acquainted with countries of interest. Some may choose to meet and befriend international students who are studying nearby at high schools or universities. Providing hospitality or a helping hand will enrich both the international student and your teen. Your church, organizations such as International Students, Inc. (ISI), or foreign exchange student groups can link your teens with students from other countries.
Your teens may be interested in interactive courses to learn more about a region. An archeology course, can give them an appreciation for bygone eras and provoke thoughts of what people in the future will find and think of their lives through what they leave behind. Field trips to archeological sites both in this country and abroad will give firsthand experience that can’t always be achieved from textbooks.
Worldview studies help teens to understand where and how the prevailing views of other cultures’ philosophies and religions creep into our thinking and beliefs of today. These courses provide teens the opportunity to compare falsehood with biblical truth and teach them how to articulate their faith in schools and the marketplace.
Current events studies, keep your teens up-to-date with what is happening here at home as well as around the world. They will be challenged to think of ways to respond and have information to draw upon when conversing with others.
Journey to Learning
Travel is a great addition to the classroom that can take various forms. If your teens are able to travel, check out homeschool travel groups such as Landry Academy, the Lukeion Project, and others. Many of these trips include the whole family. Visiting other countries can be for educational purposes, to visit family or friends, or just for fun. We have many sites listed on the HSLDA high school webpages, to satisfy anyone’s palate.
If the budget doesn’t allow for going far afield, you and your teens can take advantage of local events put on by travel clubs in your area, libraries, or friends. Evenings are usually structured to include a personal travel report followed by pictures or videos of places visited. This can spark a desire in your teen to possibly find a job and save his money to go to one of these areas.
Many communities (especially in urban areas) sponsor events highlighting various nationalities and ethnicities. Speakers, food, and entertainment are often provided, and you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported across the world! You can encourage your teen to engage in conversation with nationals who are excited to share about their culture and how it differs from ours.
Another opportunity is “arm chair travel” through the TV travel channel, internet sites, or IMAX theatres. Preserving Bible Times, offers comprehensive DVDs, and photography resources to complement your biblical studies on Israel (its geography and customs) or church history. The aerial footage provides a great alternative when a “real life” experience is not feasible.
An often-neglected resource is missionaries who are on furlough. Invite them to your home to present their ministry and chat about their experiences while sharing a meal. If the missionary family includes teens, yours may enjoy keeping up a relationship via email, Skype, or letters (remember those?). Having personal connections with missionary families fuels much-needed prayer for these front line “warriors.” Plus, your teens may enjoy reading the regular newsletters that many missionaries send to update supporters with answers to prayers and current news from their specific countries.
Serving others is a big part of participating in the harvest Jesus talked about. It provides ways for teens to meet people in different cultures and walks of life. They will observe what skills or education is needed to labor well. Opportunities abound, and can include helping to serve meals to the disadvantaged or working with your church’s clothes closet. Maybe your teens enjoy raising funds to send inner city children to camp as a way to show their care and support.
Short-term mission trips at home or abroad will allow teens to learn or hone existing skills while seeing the expanse of the Kingdom of God. Meeting others of like faith will encourage and deepen their own. If you are looking for places for your teens to serve, start by contacting your church and the mission organizations they support. Our website offers additional suggestions, to consider.
The world is getting smaller every day with the ease of travel and the technology that connects you with others almost instantaneously. “Reach out and touch someone” (remember that slogan?) is easier to do than ever before. Look for ways to bring the nations into your home and hearts before your teens move on to future pursuits. All of you will reap benefits while blessing others.
Next month look for our newsletter as we discuss student resumes and why your teens should have one. In the meantime—
We’re enjoying reaching out and serving you,
Becky Cooke & Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Consultants
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