One of the books I ordered earlier this month when I went through my file of books I wanted to read is Homeschooling on a Shoe String by Melissa L. Morgan and Judith Waite Allee.
There were a lot of great ideas - especially for families who are just starting out with homeschooling and/or who have younger children. There were some chapters about teens and homeschooling through high school which was good since that's the stage of homeschooling I'm in now.
There were quite a few things I want to remember:
- Set limits on volunteer jobs. Don't allow leadership activities for your church, your homeschool support group, or other organizations to have a detrimental effect on your family.
- Expect diminishing returns when you have too many activities. Too much is as bad as (probably worse than) not enough.
- Look at opportunities to volunteer at the library (e.g., shelving books, assisting with story hour).
- Create a unit study incorporating 4-H curriculum.
- Learning a language (Sophia is learning French - so I've used that language as an example):
- Locate native speakers of French by asking ministers, priests, and nuns for referrals.
- Suggest that our homeschool group sponsors a French heritage night, and publicize the event.
- Attend a church service in French.
- See if there's a radio station that broadcasts in French.
- Look for music events in French.
- See if there are French festivals or events.
- An artist-mentor, such as a potter, painter, or photographer, may be willing to allow a responsible and eager young person to be his or her "shadow" for a day or for a few hours.
- College art departments sponsor events that are open to the public.
- Hobby groups can be a free, or nearly free, source of expertise. Some groups could be:
- explore an interest in astronomy or chess.
- share a love of books (e.g., mysteries, historical fiction).
- learn about archeology or hunt for rocks and fossils.
- celebrate a heritage (e.g., Chinese).
- Look into programs such as Friendship Force, Inc. which is designed to help people from different countries (including teens) form friendships through short home visits, exchange visits, and volunteer work.
- Create volunteer opportunities based on the teen's interest and the non-profit's needs.
- Have the teen ask for one-day apprenticeship. This could lead to a part-time job. At the minimum, it will give the teen a chance to see what different jobs are like and ask what preparation she needs for a career that interests her.
- Do internships - investigate careers in much more depth.
- A teen doesn't have to find a job - she can invent one.
- Tutoring younger children.
- Growing and selling potted herbs or other specialty plants.
- Money Magazine publishes an annual guide to colleges including cost comparisons (usually in their September issue). The list may include free, or almost free, colleges.
- Buy an inexpensive blank book and begin a journal. Write your hopes, dreams, and thoughts for your child. When your child is old enough, give her the journal as a gift of caring and time, a little piece of her parents to keep forever. You can also keep a blessings book for each child to record events over the years for which she is grateful.
- A Jewish proverb says that when you teach your son, you teach your son's son. Homeschooling is one way for your children to learn to think independently, creatively, and with your values as their foundation. What you teach your children today can make a real difference in the world for generations to come.
Some books to order:
- How to Make Money Performing in Schools: Definitive Guide to Developing, Marketing, and Presenting School Assembly Programs by David Helflick. Some presenters recreate history by performing a character as someone fro ma different time period.
- How to Write Your Own Low-Cost/No Cost Curriculum by Borg Hendrickson.
- All the Best Contests for Kids by James Bergstrom.
- The Internet University: College Courses by Computer by Cape Software.
- Homeschooling for Excellence by David and Micki Colfax.
- The Complete Scholarship Book: More than 5,000 Scholarship and Grant Resources by Student Services.