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7/1/2010 9:35:32 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter -- July 2010

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HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter
July 2010 -- Passing on a Family Legacy
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Dear Friends,

We hope that July provides you an opportunity to take a moment away
from the harried pace of life. Maybe it's time to sit on the porch
with a frosty glass of iced tea or lemonade, or to enjoy a gentle
swing in the hammock listening to the sounds of summer. Let your mind
drift back to family memories of yesteryear and then come forward to
those of today. What do you want to preserve and pass on to your
children and future grandchildren? What kind of legacy do you wish to
leave for your family?

Legacy--such a legal sounding word, yet it embodies so much of who we
are, where we came from, where we're headed. According to Webster, it
includes receipt of a money gift from a will or something received
from an ancestor or predecessor. However, it can also encompass such
intangibles as history, ideas, beliefs, stories, or wisdom passed down
from generations that may uniquely identify us as the Smiths, the
Roberts, and so forth.

In the grand story of Scripture, God lays out the legacies of people
he chose to carry the promises he gave. He speaks to his people of the
importance of raising memorials to remind their children and
grandchildren of what God did and will continue to do. In like manner,
it is worth our time to reflect on what legacy we want to leave our
families. So many times in our homeschools we think all the teaching
and learning of academics takes precedence. However, what is more
important and what our children will remember longer is how we reacted
to life and to each other.

Intangible Legacy

Some intangibles that may become part of your family memories are how
you overcame the crises that came into your lives--monetary, health,
death. Or how did you handle the situation when one parent lost a job,
and it took a while to find another? Or how did you celebrate family
milestones, achievements, new babies?

Another area that will be passed on is your religious faith. What you
believe, how you worship, and how this faith impacts daily living is
being watched carefully by your children. From your example, they will
be considering and then choosing their own faith walk.

Did you know that even the way your family handles its finances can
become a legacy? Your view of debt, tithing, investing, and generosity
are all handed down. This will become apparent if you are teaching a
financial management elective to your teen.

The ways families spend time together is worth chronicling. Becky's
family heralds from Pennsylvania. Her mother grew up in Lancaster
County and has a large extended family. Every July there is a family
reunion with usually about 400-plus of the relatives gathering for a
day of games and food. It is a wonderful time to catch up with
families not seen for awhile or meet new relatives and to hear
stories, the reminiscing of the older generations to the younger.
Maybe your family has a special vacation place you go to each year and
you have memories to record. Don't let them slip from your mind.

Tangible Legacy

In addition to the intangible legacies we pass on to our children,
there are often pieces of furniture, quilts, or china that become
special to families and can be handed down from generation to
generation. If there are stories attached to these articles, take time
to write them down and recite them to your children. For example, one
of Diane's most cherished pieces of furniture is an antique
combination radio/phonograph player that belonged to her grandparents.
It even contains a short wave radio component with which her parents
recall listening to updates on World War II. A butter churn from her
grandparents is also a conversation piece.

Diane's daughter displayed her mother and grandmother's wedding
dresses at her recent wedding reception. A table was set aside to
display wedding pictures of the parents, grandparents, and
great-grandparents. It was a blessing to realize that all of these
ancestors stayed true to their vows "until death do us part."

Maybe you can take a field trip around your house to recount how
collectibles came into the family. The history behind them can bring
alive what is being learned in the books. For instance, that Civil War
sword that hangs on the wall--whose was it? Where did he live? How did
that family react to the war? Were they fighting against a brother on
the other side?

Have you ever made a family favorite from an old family recipe? Was it
passed on to you when you married to be passed on to your daughters
when they marry? Such a simple item produces a rich opportunity for
conversation.

Preserving the Family Legacy

So when your children ask, "Tell me about my great-grandfather," take
time to tell the stories. Better yet, write them down and compile them
into a book for your family. When your teens are looking for something
to do this summer, suggest they interview their older relatives. If
they don't live close by, this can be done over the phone or by email.


If your grandparents came through Ellis Island as they immigrated to
America, you can research and find the name of the ship they sailed on
and also take a look at their signature from the ship's manifest.
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=8569

There are even websites, http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=8570 , that
will give you suggestions on how to preserve what you want to pass on
to future generations.

Next year you may wish to include an elective in your high school plan
that would have your teen research his genealogy,
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=8571 , and heraldry, construct a
family tree, write his family history, and more. Now that's an
elective that won't be seen on many transcripts!

Beginning a New Legacy

For some, the above suggestions may sadden you as you realize that
there is not much of a family legacy that has been passed down to you.
Please know that this does not have to continue into the future! The
Lord can help you to begin a fresh new legacy to which future
generations will add. You can start a heritage that will be a blessing
to your descendants.

Journaling is a good way to begin. Take time (once a month or so) to
document milestones, special events, or "highlights and lowlights" of
your family. Items and happenings that you think you'll never forget
will fade if you don't record them. For the past 15 years or so, Diane
and her family have taken time on New Year's Eve to record each family
member's high point, low point, and special prayer request. In Becky's
family, the New Year's Eve tradition is walking back through time by
watching all the old family slides (some of you in the digital age may
not know what slides are!) and recounting memories of family members
who are now in heaven and events long forgotten. Hopefully, these
memories will be passed on and will provide insights for those yet to
be born.

In this age of emails, phones, and computers, the handwritten letter
is becoming extinct. But such a personal note carries much impact and
can be kept for rereading. Here are some suggestions for you:

> Write each child a personal letter on his/her birthday. Tell them
how much you love them, areas in which they've grown, why you are
proud of them, and how they have blessed you. (Note: this is not the
time to criticize or suggest how they should change :).

> Send a note to your child (through snail mail!) as you think of
something that you'd like to pass on to them--it may be a note of
encouragement, a funny story you remember from their childhood, or a
recollection you have from your high school days.

> Letters from Dad may give you added suggestions.
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=8572 .

As homeschoolers, you have made the commitment to invest much time and
effort into your families. Because the daily grind can sometimes be
exhausting, we encourage you to remember that you are building on the
legacy of hope and faithfulness that's been exemplified in the cross
of Jesus. He is the author and finisher of your faith, and He is the
foundation of the legacy that you leave behind.

Next month, we'll switch gears and discuss various parameters to
consider when choosing a college, trade school, vo-tech school, and
other post-high school institutions.

Thankful for the legacy that's been passed down to us,

Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Coordinators

Homeschool Channel free videos (requires signing up for a free
account):

"Help My Homeschooled High Schooler with English" (Becky)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=8573

"Are You Homeschooling Your High Schooler?" (Diane)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=8574

"College Prep" (Diane)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=8575

Sidebar #2
Becky and Diane's Speaking Engagements

> July 17, 2010--Eastern Panhandle Homeschooling Conference (EPHSC)
Shepherdstown, WV (Diane)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=8576

> July 30-31, 2010--Valley Home Educators, Modesto, CA (Becky)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=8577

> October 22, 2010--Map Your Future, Indianapolis, IN (Becky and
Diane)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=8578

> April 14-16, 2011--MACHE, MN (Becky and Diane)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=8579

> April 29-30, 2011--MassHOPE, MA (Diane)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=8580

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license this year, the savings will be a real blessing!"

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1108

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