From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


4/6/2006 10:33:47 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter -- April 2006

HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter -- April 2006
April Showers Can Make September Flower

Dear Friends,

The picture of April showers refreshing our lawns and gardens reminds
us of how God's showers of blessings bring refreshment to our souls.
Spring is the season for planning what flowers you are going to plant
for the summer to add color to your homes. Likewise, it's also a good
time to begin thinking about and planning your next year of teaching.

At this point in the year, you may not be thinking at all about the
next school year because you are trying to successfully finish up the
current one. But taking a few hours now to look further down the road
can help remove much of the stress for next year and relieve some
stress that you're feeling this year.

TAKE AN OBJECTIVE LOOK at this year's garden...
Before jumping in and ordering curriculum for next year, take time to
think through the past year. Evaluate how the curriculum fit your
child, how easy it was to teach, and how your child responded to it.
Then spend some time with each child and get his or her impressions
and feedback. (Whatever you can do to involve them will help give them
motivation for future courses they need to tackle.) Then, schedule
your own mini strategy meeting--perhaps to the nearest coffee shop or
library. Bring your homeschool curriculum catalogs, a calendar for
the next school year, and your notes of potential resources that
interest your child. Be sure to schedule at least a couple hours of
uninterrupted time.

1) Determine what courses are still needed to prepare your child for
those post-high school goals. Beside each course list the curriculum
you will consider using and make a note of the material you need to
order--workbook, teacher's edition, test bank, answer keys, etc.
2) Next, determine whether your child will take any classes outside
of the home. If you will be part of a co-op, coordinate a time to
meet with all of the members so that areas of responsibility can be
sorted out, and each teaching parent has lots of time to prepare. If
you're considering community college courses, remember that the
registration deadlines are well before September.
3.) Remember to leave time for those other activities which will help
to round out your student's schedule: extra-curricular activities such
as sports, music, woodworking, etc., volunteer opportunities, a job,
driver's education, and last, but not least, social and family times.
4) Map out a general school calendar in advance. If a new baby is
expected during the school year, or if the grandparents are coming for
a visit in October, be sure to account for this lost time in your
school calendar. It may mean that you'll want to start school several
weeks earlier (maybe in August), or you'll need to take a shorter
Christmas break (maybe one week instead of two weeks), but taking
these special circumstances into account as you map out your calendar
will help you to stay on track during the school year.

FIND GOOD SEED at the best price you can...
Keep an eye out for used curriculum that will save you dollars.
Sometimes at your state homeschool convention, there will be a used
curriculum store, so spend time browsing. Do you have a friend whose
child is just a year or so ahead of your child? Give that mom a quick
call and ask her what curriculum she may be interested in selling to

Now you are ready to order that curriculum, register for online and
distance learning courses, and schedule those classes. Again, be sure
to check the deadlines for these so they are not missed. As you order
books and register for courses, do not neglect recording the
information on each child's transcript.

Your husband's leading, counsel, and support are invaluable. He is
the one ultimately responsible for your homeschool. Once both of you
have discussed next year's plan, bring your blueprint and lay it
before the Lord and ask for His wisdom in the way you should go. When
you are confident of His leading, you are ready to take the next step
in fine-tuning your curriculum choices.

Unless you refresh yourself, it will be hard to keep on going for the
long haul. If possible, attend a homeschool convention. You'll be
able to review curriculum up close, talk with representatives from the
various publishers and get a chance to listen to others who have trod
the path before you. Often you'll hear fresh ideas on how to tackle
challenging areas of homeschooling.

In order to lighten your load a little bit during the school year, you
might be able to get a few crops in the ground early. Think about
what you can accomplish in the summer--especially in the area of high
school electives. Perhaps there are free community drama/theatrical
performances in your area. Attend these with your children, have them
write about the performance, and then have them make a notebook of the
various plays, concerts, and performances they see. Log the hours and
perhaps you'll have a one-half or one-fourth elective Fine Arts credit
completed this summer. Summer is also a great time to complete a
one-half or one-fourth credit of a Career Development elective.
Simply have your child research and investigate various careers he is
interested in. He can make a record of the training or education
needed, job outlook, national trends, average salary, etc. of these
careers. If your child is ready for Driver's Ed, summer is a great
time to study and practice for the road test so that it doesn't
interfere with studies once the school year begins.

Also, take advantage of summer golf, volleyball, basketball camps, or
similar sports camps to log some Phys Ed hours. Participation in a
summer swim league or drama troupe can also be counted as elective

Many other wonderful camp opportunities are available during the
summer that can easily translate into high school elective credits.
Patrick Henry College offers a full slate of summer leadership camps
such as Debate, Journalism, and Strategic Intelligence. Register
before April 15 and take advantage of discounted fees.

Read more about it at:

Other organizations offer great summer opportunities as well such as
Summit Ministries, Probe Ministries, and Worldview Academy.

Read more about it at:

Lastly, make plans this summer to read just one book that will
encourage you and refocus your thoughts as you homeschool your high

"A Mom Just Like You" by Vicki Farris

"Transforming Grace: Living Confidently in God's Unfailing Love" by
Jerry Bridges

"Wild at Heart" by John Eldredge

"Girl Talk" by Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Mahaney Whitacre

A little planning now in April can save you valuable time during the
school year. It also helps you to see that this school year will come
to an end. So, make the most of the next several months, and reap a
harvest in September.

Next month, we'll look into setting some important goals for your
student's high school years. The high school years go by quickly, and
you don't want to get lost in the day-to-day details and lose sight of
valuable life skills you can impart. We'll touch on some of these
skills to remind you to look beyond the academics and to make the most
of these high school days with your teens as you help them mature into
godly young men and young ladies.

Walking with you under showers of blessings,

Becky and Diane
HSLDA High School Coordinators

We've branched out and started a High School Coordinators' Blog. Many
times during the month, we think of bits and pieces of information
that we would love to share with you on an informal basis. It's the
kind of info we would share over the backyard fence if we were
neighbors, in passing if we ran into you at the grocery store, or in a
quick phone call. Blogging is a great way for us to pass on these
tidbits, so visit our blog regularly (we post weekly) and see what's
on our minds, and what new scoops we have for you as you teach high
school. Catch up on anything we've already posted by checking the
blog archives.
Read more about it at:

-> Remember the last time you wrote a term paper?

Research can be grueling-digging through archives, wading through
articles, conducting interviews. But if it's related to
homeschooling, you can relax a little. There's a good chance that
you'll find what you're looking for in HSLDA's bimonthly
Home School Court Report. Providing in-depth, insightful articles
on much of what affects the world of homeschoolers, the
Court Report is a must-read for the serious homeschooler. This
publication is provided free to each HSLDA member.

More reasons to join HSLDA...

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