From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


11/4/2010 10:44:02 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter -- November 2010

HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter
November 2010--Off We Go: Ideas for High School Field Trips

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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 give your teens
insight into the writing process.

Perhaps you'll want to team up with two or three other families, with
each family taking responsibility to plan just one field trip for
everyone. These jaunts will also provide opportunities to enjoy
camaraderie and friendship with other teens.

Don't reject out-of-hand spontaneous opportunities. These can be some
of the most productive and fun times. For example, a trip to the local
arts and crafts fair may spark an impromptu conversation with a glass
blower who is willing to give an in-depth explanation and history of
his craft. Voila! No planning necessary, but a most informative and
engaging field trip nonetheless.

Performing Arts

There are many prospects for your teens to experience the performing
arts through community theaters, symphonies, and concerts in the park.
If you have budget constraints, look for low-cost and even free
performances. Some communities offer inexpensive student tickets, so
be sure to take advantage of these. If a "school" discount price is
available, try using your HSLDA member ID card to take advantage of
the lower costs.

Living near community or four-year colleges will afford you
opportunities to attend student recitals, poetry readings, or other
presentations. Ask about dress rehearsals that may be open to the
public. Around the holidays, many churches offer free musical concerts
and drama productions.


Volunteering to work on a political campaign is a great educational
experience. Seek out politicians whose views you support, and have
your teen volunteer to help the candidate or current office holder.
Your teen will learn new skills, become an informed citizen, and
hopefully help to put good people into office. Generation Joshua
provides many opportunities for teens to become involved in the
political process.

To gain a better understanding of civics, your teen may want to spend
a day in court taking in a public sentencing hearing, attend a traffic
court session, stop by your state capitol for a tour, or sit in the
gallery and watch a legislative session.


As part of your teen's physical education course, why not include
family outings to a couple of sports events? Looking for ways for your
teens to become better acquainted with a sport? One suggestion is to
have them research a particular sport such as lacrosse, write a paper
on its history, learn the rules, and then root for your local team at
a high school or college game.

Many major league sports teams offer tours of the stadium/arena while
giving great info regarding the team's history. For example, Camden
Yards in Baltimore couples a wonderful tour of the ballpark with
historical information regarding the surrounding area. Who would have
thought that a tour of the ball park would include a history lesson!

Make writing a composition a painless activity by encouraging your
teen to personify a reporter and write up an article covering a game
or event. Assignments like these are not only fun but also serve as a
reminder to your teens that both announcers and reporters need good
writing and communication skills.

If your teen isn't into sports, then your family may wish to identify
another activity you can do together such as hiking and picnicking,
whitewater rafting, or biking. It may foster an enjoyment in keeping
fit in the company of others.

Job Shadowing

Did you ever think of combining a career development elective with a
field trip? Does he have an interest in becoming a radio producer,
plumber, network engineer, or firefighter? Over the course of the high
school years, your teen could choose one occupation/career per year to
investigate. Use your connections in the church and community to
introduce him to a person in the field of interest. Encourage your
teen to line up several days to job shadow this person and receive a
firsthand, behind-the-scenes look at the profession. What are the
typical hours, the necessary skills and education, the working
conditions, and advancement opportunities? There's nothing as
effective as seeing a job up close and personal to help steer your
teen towards or away from various careers.

Historical Places

Scout out field trips on the local, state, and national levels. Don't
overlook your local historical society which can be a starting place
for your own exploration. Does your town have a unique story? How has
it changed through the years? Is there a town historian who would love
to chat with your teen? Have there been any famous historical people
who have hailed from your locale?

There may be re-enactments of events from the past that are scheduled.
These may be as exciting as a battle fought in your vicinity or more
serene such as the operation of an old mill or farm. Some will even
provide hands-on activities for people of all ages to enjoy. You'll
likely come away thankful for the modern conveniences we often take
for granted.

On a grander scale, your family may wish to save towards a trip to
Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, or Boston to see where our nation was
birthed. Or if geography seems a bit dry, consider visiting some of
the national parks, each with its unique beauty.

Factories, Libraries, and Community Interests

Every town is known for something. In Diane's hometown, the steel
mills provided most peoples' livelihoods. Have you ever taken a tour
of a steel mill? Factories and other production plants are usually
proud to show off their manufacturing capabilities with tours on
specific days or by appointment. Newspaper factories (especially in
small towns) make fascinating field trips and many include a full day
of watching a newspaper come about from the collection of news stories
to assigning the stories to reporters and photographers. TV and radio
broadcast stations are typically friendly to student field trips. Some
of these venues have minimum age requirements so be sure to ask if
your children can be accommodated.

Don't forget the public library when thinking about possible outings.
A reference room contains many different resources that teens will
find useful when those first few college assignments are given.
Atlases, indices, reference materials, historical documents, and much
more can be explained by a librarian so that your teen is familiar
with these items and can put them to good use.

We know that it will take some effort to plan a few field trips for
your teen this school year. But your efforts will pay off in the long
run as your teen is exposed to a hands-on, real world education. Plan
just a few trips each year and by the end of high school, you and your
teen will have many memories stored away long after the final textbook
is sold at a used curriculum sale!

Next month, join us as Elizabeth Smith writes about how she prayed her
way through the homeschooling years and the help the Lord provided.

Planning our next field trip,

Becky Cooke & Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Coordinators

Scholarships for Homeschooled Teens

Do you know of a scholarship opportunity for which homeschooled teens
are eligible? Has your teen won a scholarship that others may be
interested in? If you have information on scholarships that HSLDA may
wish to add to its scholarship/competition page, , please forward your
information to

Competition opportunity - Deadline December 15, 2010

RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering Design Challenge: Included with the
competition are free and flexible resources and tutorials that can be
completed in roughly two weeks. These resources can be taught as a
stand-alone unit or be used to supplement existing lesson plans.

New on the website:

Life of Fred math series - worth a look especially if you have
children who are losing interest in math!

Becky & Diane's Speaking Engagements

February 15, 2011 - FISHE, Fairfax, VA (Becky)
March 4-5, 2011 - Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii - CHOH (Diane)
March 25-26, 2010 - St. Louis Area Home Educators Expo, MO (Becky)
April 14-16, 2011 - MACHE, MN (Becky and Diane)
April 29-30, 2011 - MassHOPE, MA (Diane)

-> Have you ever yelled into the wind, only to hear the sound of your
voice blown back at you?

It's hard to be heard in the midst of a storm. Trying to influence
federal legislation is much like yelling to be heard while
standing in a fierce wind. Yet when 80,000 voices join together,
they become a powerful force that cannot be drowned out.
Join HSLDA to be heard above the tempests that threaten homeschool

More reasons to join HSLDA...

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