[Article]
on 11/26/2011 - 4:52am

Dear Friends,

Can you believe we have turned the corner and summer is winding down? It's almost time to dust off the books and set up the desks.

This may be the year you're planning to teach U.S. government and the Constitution or to simply entice your child with a civics course. What a privilege you have to stir the hearts and minds of your children to appreciate anew the freedoms and liberties embedded in the founding documents of our country. In spite of all the troubles and problems our nation is facing, your children may one day have the awesome opportunity to lead this country into better times, and we're counting on them!

Let's look at ways you can take what often sounds like a "dry" subject and make it come alive.

 

Definitions

Defining terms is important. Civics, according to Wikipedia, is the study of the rights and duties of citizenship. This course covers the citizen's role in government. It will often compare and contrast different philosophies and...

[Article]
on 11/25/2011 - 9:40pm

Dear Friends,

Can you believe it's May? With the end of your school year fast approaching, why not plan a fun surprise activity with your teen this month? Maybe something as simple as surprising him or her with a day off from school! While your teen is enjoying the day off, print out this email, take it with you to the local coffee shop, and sip a latte or double chai, letting out a long sigh, and saying a prayer asking the Lord to help you finish out the year with grace and strength.

Since summer is just around the corner, this may be a good time to plan and promote a "summer reading program" for your teens. You might even offer an incentive to your children to read a variety of good books throughout the summer. So, this month we'd like to focus on reading suggestions for your teens and give you some ideas for increasing your teens' desire to read.

 

REQUIRED READING

Every high school academic program should include four years of English, and a component of that English course...

[Article]
on 11/25/2011 - 9:22pm

Dear Friends,

The holiday season is upon us, and we are grateful for the blessed gift of a Savior who bears our burdens and offers us new life. This month as you add to your homeschooling day time to bake cookies, enjoy visits from friends and families, and make memories with your children, there may be moments when energy runs low and spirits sag. Homeschooling does not happen in a vacuum--it happens in the midst of life! Whether Christmas or another religious holiday is celebrated in your home, prepare for such times by making adjustments to your homeschooling schedule. Then you will be able to meet the extra demands in a better frame of mind.

 

Make Changes in Your Daily School Routine

As former homeschool moms, we remember how December was usually full of activities that competed with school time. Church play rehearsals, Christmas concerts, get-togethers with relatives, crafting special gifts, and other events eat up time. Don't feel guilty about cutting back on course assignments by eliminating 3-5...

[Article]
on 11/25/2011 - 8:49pm

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 shine.

 

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[Article]
on 11/25/2011 - 6:18pm

Dear Friends,

Now that another school year is well underway, you may be wondering what records are necessary and how to document your teen’s courses and extracurricular activities. On the other hand, is recordkeeping still on the back burner of your mind—something you know you should do but keep putting off? Since you are your teen’s school record keeper, now is a good time to set up a system. Staying on top of this responsibility will spare you from panicking when it is time to create your teen’s transcript. He or she will bless you for your efforts especially when compiling a resume or completing a college or job application.

 

Why Keep Records?

Although no one may ever ask to see the records we suggest you keep, they are important nonetheless. “Legally, recordkeeping enables you to demonstrate that you are providing an appropriate education for your child,” writes HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris in his book Home Schooling and the Law. “Whether it is true...

[Article]
on 11/25/2011 - 10:33am

Dear Friends,

If February is a month in which you find your enthusiasm waning because the hustle and bustle of the holidays are  behind you and the freshness of spring has yet to arrive, then we have something special to suggest for you and your family. Instead of spending time in the doldrums, plan some fun activities for your high schoolers to participate in during the rest of the semester and well into  summer. Be sure to include your high schoolers in the planning--that's part of the fun!

We've collected a number of entertaining ideas for events and activities other homeschool families have tried. You may want to plan a similar activity, or use these to jumpstart your own imagination. Some of these ideas will be targeted mainly to teens, others to the whole family, and still others to the seniors looking forward to graduation--of course, any and all can be adapted to your personal preferences.

Due to your own personal convictions, some activities we've listed may not be suitable for your family...

[Article]
on 11/25/2011 - 10:16am

Dear Friends,

Congratulations to all parents graduating their teens from high school. Our hats are off to you, Moms and Dads!

Some of your teens may have definite plans for the next step, but often high school graduation brings up the question of "What next?" especially for students who do not have clear direction for the future. Honestly addressing your teen's indecision can take some of the pressure off and prevent hasty decisions not in your teen's best interest. A gap or transition year immediately following graduation will give your teen time to gather his thoughts, look into career possibilities, or simply grow and mature. Let's investigate some available opportunities and benefits a gap year affords.

 

MATURITY

Children don't necessarily mature at the same rate. There are those who are "born old," while others are "late bloomers." Usually the former group knows what they want to do in life and how to go about doing it. The latter group, however,...

[Article]
on 11/25/2011 - 9:42am

Dear Friends,

During the teen years, it may be tempting to eliminate field trips from your school schedule simply because your days are full teaching high school subjects. But we'd like to encourage you to keep going on field trips with your teens! A field trip provides a wealth of information; it helps your teens to experience many different educational opportunities, and it affords an opportunity for all of you to enjoy learning outside of a textbook.

 

Planning a Field Trip

Organizing a field trip does not have to be time-consuming. First, off the bat, keep them to a manageable number. Then ask your teens to suggest ideas for areas/interests that they are curious about and assign them some of the responsibility for nailing down the details. Much of the planning may be done online which will save you time. Some field trips require very little planning. For example, one phone call to a local author setting up a day, time, and location to meet may be all it takes to arrange a great field trip that will...

[Article]
on 11/25/2011 - 9:32am

Dear Friends,

The school year is winding down and summer is fast approaching. It's not too early to consider what you and your teens will be doing to occupy your time after the school books are tucked away. If you feel in need of a refresher course before the next school year begins, why not plan to join us for one or both of the HSLDA High School Teacher Training sessions in June and July. You can register for these dates on our website.
 

Your teens, on the other hand, may be planning to earn some income through summer jobs. Since jobs may not be abundant this year, it's important to begin the search now.

In preparation for job interviews, your teen should work on updating his resume and gathering some references to include on it. Be sure your teen knows that it's important to receive permission from his references before listing their names on his resume. On the...

[Article]
on 11/24/2011 - 9:15pm

Dear Friends,

Marching (!) right along through the school year, this month we would like to share with you information regarding the military and its enlistment policy towards homeschoolers. Although we realize not everyone's child may be planning to enter the military, we felt sharing pertinent information regarding how the military views homeschool graduates would be helpful in case your child determines at some point during his high school years that he or she would like to explore this path after graduation.

We wish to commend and thank those of you in the homeschooling community who have family members serving our country in the military. We appreciate you and your family. The military is an honorable profession, and we are grateful for the service you give and the sacrifices you make.

As with any other option you are considering for your child's post high school years, it is crucial to prayerfully and pointedly consider all of the ramifications of a military decision. Seek out the Lord's wisdom and...