From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


4/5/2007 11:11:47 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter--April 2007

HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter--April 2007
Creative Courses to Stimulate Students' Interests

Dear Friends,

April is a season of renewal and growth as winter comes to an end.
Spring also is a time when children often get antsy (and parents too!)
to see the end of the school year, counting the weeks until they
complete their course work.

As one school year wraps up, you inevitably find yourself beginning to
think about courses for next year. In this process, you can find
guidance by taking note of special interests your children are
developing, and think about how to foster those interests through
projects or courses in the coming year. This month we offer some
suggestions on projects and courses of study that fit closely with
your students' highest level of interest--where they have the greatest
desire to learn and stretch their knowledge base.

Before we begin though, here's a bit of friendly advice from two
former homeschooling moms. Although specialized courses of study may
be tempting to consider, you may only have the time, energy, and
resources to pull off one, two, or three courses--or in some cases,
none! If your family situation and season of life don't allow you to
do anything more than the basics of a high school program, don't be
discouraged. That's the beauty of homeschooling--each family and each
high school program is unique. It's not our intent to suggest you need
to incorporate specialized classes; we offer these suggestions only as
ideas for those wanting or needing to add a little more pizzazz to a
student's learning experience. So have fun, take a look at the many
possibilities, and choose only those courses or projects you're able
to provide without sacrificing your sanity!

Of course, these courses are to augment your core courses and not to
be used in place of them. Rather, we suggest that you use them as
electives or additional courses after fulfilling the required core


If your child is college-bound and interested in history, realize most
colleges would like to see U.S. history, world history, and U.S.
government taken as a minimum. Once these core courses are completed,
then by all means have your child branch out and do some independent
study on a specific time period he is most interested in such as the
Civil War in Depth--Famous Battles.

Along with the core requirement of world history, your child may have
a desire to know more about cultures and how they have affected our
history and thinking of today. A course in anthropology will allow him
or her to learn the tools for such evaluation. Many Christian colleges
offer distance learning courses in this area. For one example, check
out Taylor University's online course offering for anthropology at . Or maybe he or she is more
interested in the artifacts from a culture or time period--think about
registering for an archeology course such as the ones offered by the
Lukeion Project, .


If your child is particularly interested in science, he or she may
have a proclivity for one particular field of science. Consider a
course in botany for the student who is interested in biology and
plant life. But maybe his interest lies more along the line of seeing
plants grow. If so, the opportunity to learn more about organic
gardening would be fruitful. Possible resources for internships or to
help you build a course contact county extension programs or 4-H
clubs, community colleges, local arboretums, or colleges/universities
that have arboretums. If you live in rural areas, local farmers or
homeowners may have organic gardens and be willing to share their
knowledge and expertise.

Your daughter may have always found rocks interesting and may have
even started a collection of her own. If she's interested in finding
out more about rocks, geology may be a good course to suggest. You may
want to develop a geology course on your own, have her do an
independent study, or check out prospects at a local college. But if
she's more interested in using rocks and rock formations to beautify a
place, then landscape architecture may be the way to go! Think about
exploring the possibility of an internship with a local landscape
design company.

Is your son interested in saving the rain forest? Study environmental
science or soil and water conservation from God's perspective and
commands. There is a great need for God's people to add their voices
and expertise to this arena of science.


Has your student been drawing all his life on every surface imaginable
or does he have a general artistic bent? Graphic artists are in demand
and a graphic arts course may channel your child's talents in a
profitable direction. Other related course possibilities include
computer graphics for your computer buff artists or even web design.
Your local community college or computer store may offer such courses
to add to your program next year.

Courses in pottery, sculpture, and even architecture will give your
budding artists opportunities to try other avenues and gain broader
experience. Again, consider your community college but also look for
such courses to be given through adult education programs or
recreation centers.


If your son or daughter has deep compassion for people who are hurting
either physically or emotionally, then maybe an introductory course in
psychology or a public health course will be good choices. Check out
the Advanced Placement psychology course offered by Pennsylvania
Homeschoolers at taught by a
Christian teacher applying the material from a Christian perspective.
Public health courses can be found, again, at the community college or
through the public health department of counties or cities. Maybe your
child is interested in more of a hands-on skill. CPR or first aid
courses are often provided through hospitals or recreation centers.
Contact your local fire station about the availability of an EMT
course remembering there may be an age restriction.


You may also want to consider theater, cinematography, personal
management, worldview studies, furniture restoration/upholstery, and
evolution vs. creation research. And don't forget about those courses
that teach etiquette, personal hygiene, nutrition, and physical
fitness. These habits and skills will follow your children throughout
their lives and will promote healthy lifestyles for whatever they
choose to do.

Local cooperative extensions or recreation centers in your community
may offer some of these classes, or consider joining up with three or
four moms to plan and teach one of these courses. Sharing the load
with a couple of other moms may be just what you need to get an idea
for a course off the ground. Summer may be a good time to fit these
types of courses into your schedule.

Homeschooling during the high school years is advantageous for
renewing your child's joy of learning by purposefully choosing courses
to increase his motivation, provide him with skills that will prepare
him for his post-high school plans, or simply cater to his interests.
Spend time talking with your child about these objectives and then
together enjoy tailoring some creative courses!

Join us next month when we discuss reading lists for the well-read
high schooler. We'll provide you with some ideas as you think about
what books to consider having your child read, suggestions for how to
analyze good literature, and tips to increase your child's interest in

Until then, take time to smell the flowers, watch a sunset, give a hug
to that precious teen who lives at your house, and remember this quote
from Margaret Atwood--"In the spring, at the end of the day, you
should smell like dirt."

Sending blessings your way and praying you are enjoying these balmy

Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
HSLDA's High School Coordinators

Is your student looking for extra assistance in improving his writing
skills? Patrick Henry College's Writing Mentor Program matches your
student with a PHC student or graduate who can mentor your student in
fiction or nonfiction writing. PHC mentors can assist with school
assignments, give students writing exercises and tips, or edit papers.
To learn more about the program or to receive an application, visit or email Rebekah Ries at .

For some history fun this summer, check out the Thanksusa website
( Besides learning history,
the organization aids children and spouses of those serving in our
military. This online treasure hunt is geared to all ages so it can be
enjoyed by the whole family.

This month Becky & Diane will be giving six high school seminars at
the MASSHOPE Conference in Worchester, MA on April 27-28. If you live
in the surrounding areas, plan on coming to the seminars for we would
love to meet you.

Our conference schedule for the summer is as follows:

June 8-9, 2007 Annual Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State
Convention, Boise, ID (Becky and Diane)

July 12-14, 2007 24th Annual Christian Home Educators Convention, Long

Beach, CA (Diane)

July 13-14, 2007 Annual Northern Virginia Home Education Conference,
Chantilly, VA (Becky)

September 21, 2007 Indiana Foundation for Home School MapYour Future
Indianapolis, IN (Becky and Diane)

-> What do you look like when you get out of bed?

It's hard to look our best all the time. HSLDA works to present
homeschooling in an engaging, dynamic, and informative light to
the public news media.

More reasons to join HSLDA...

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