(Let me start this post by saying, outside of the church, my participation in 4-H had more impact on me in my youth than any other organization. I learned leadership, citizenship, organization, public speaking- well, the list could go on an on. My husband is a 4-H alum too. Both of us are in career fields that 4-H helped us learn about and in my case, sparked my interest. So, to us, this is an important program.)
As our daughter wrapped up her time as a clover bud, at our recent County show, she was taking in projects and trying to decide what she would like to show next year. She has quite the list.
As she is telling me what she would like to show, I’m writing down the projects she mentions, and I start to look in our local project guidebook for the requirements. While I have worked Cloverbud projects into our homeschool days, I have yet to do so with the projects beyond that.
I realized how easy it will be for her to combine some projects for 4-H as she is already going to be doing it in our homeschool program. Take reading for example. We have a county project where you keep a list of books you read and then do a report on one. We do lots of book reports and she can easily keep a list of books.
If you homeschool and participate in 4-H, let me encourage you to find ways to combine as much as you can. As a (part time) work outside the home mom, it’s important to me to find ways to be able to do both homeschooling and 4-H well, but still save time.
And if your family does not participate in 4-H, call your local Extension office and check it out. I’m guessing something will be beneficial to your family.
One of my favorite summer activities is gardening. (Yes, we do take a summer break.) I started my plants a while back (with the help of my daughter) and my daughter and I have enjoyed watching the plants grow, talking about how they grow, planning our garden, etc. She also takes gardening as a 4-H project, so I’m thrilled to have her help and involvement.
Gardening is a great real life horticulture lesson. It’s not a planned lesson or activity (except for what she is required to plan for her 4-H project), but she certainly is learning. Maybe you do not garden, but have another hobby as a homeschool parent. Is there something your child could learn from you by participating in your hobby?
Even though I work outside the home and we homeschool, I still want my child to be in extra curricular activities. One way we do that is to include them into our homeschool curriculum.
For instance, I believe music education is important- and while I can read music- well, that’s about it. So each week my child takes piano lessons and practices daily. We have a fine art covered and I often answer e-mails or return calls while she is in her lesson.
Another way I incorporate activities into our homeschool is through 4-H. Both my husband and I are 4-H alumni and believe this is a great program for youth. I try to help my child pick out projects I know will be studying through the course of the year. We then incorporate those projects into a particular unit of study. So she has some hands on fun and a 4-H project completed all in one. For us, this is another way we try and manage time.
We have other activities outside the home as well- including one for physical education. These are just ways that we try to incorporate activities into our homeschooling. Again, find the activities and schedule that work best for you.