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Dynamic, Virtual Online Clubs for Homeschool Kids

Dynamic, Virtual Online Clubs for Homeschool Kids

Let’s talk about Virtual Online Clubs for Homeschoolers

 

When I was growing up we were involved in clubs, it was just part of life.

We were Girl Scouts for years, part of a square dance club complete with crinoline poufed skirts. Wewere in Music Clubs and community service clubs. People just did clubs. It was a great way to learn new skills, meet new people, get out of the house and create amazing memories!

My kids have participated in a ton of clubs over the past twenty-five years. Including, Girl and Boy Scouts, Lego League, Music Clubs, Art Clubs, Horse Clubs, AYSO, Larping, Theater & Book clubs, Service clubs and more.

 The beauty of a club is that it is usually full of awesome learning and looks like fun!

Virtual, Dynamic Online Clubs are Academics Plus Fun!

 

Clubs can provide both academics and fun for our Jr. and Sr. Homeschool High School students. 

In my opinion and experience, clubs takes some of the pressure off of academics, allowing the kids to learn and experience rich and varied skills and opportunities.

As a Transcript Artist, I see a lot of homeschoolers selling themselves short on credits because they often forget to count clubs, service work, hobbies and areas of interest as “credit” on their High School Transcript.

For instance, my graduated son had a serious interest in history and weaponry for years. One Christmas he found himself the happy recipient of a few encyclopedias on the history of weapons. He Larps regularly with friends -an informal club of sorts -and he has spent countless hours creating armor, swords, distaffs and more out of foam noodles, duct tape, cardboard, plastic and even more duct tape. It’s not a “class” per se, however, the amount of time he has put into not only learning about weapons, but constructing and crafting them, could certainly count for credit.

Don’t think kids learn much through this type of activity? When watching movies, he can tell almost immediately if the armor is appropriate to the times. That’s history and craftsmanship, right there!

About True North Homeschool Academy Clubs

“What about socialization?” This common question directed at homeschooling families is often met with a strong response. We’re right to ask, “Who defines socialization?” and understand that socialization is more than peer-to-peer relating. We are constantly socializing. That’s just part of culture, right? 

Still, many homeschool parents often ask me about this question. And honestly, I think it comes from a place of needing support. We’re not trying to imitate the school culture and follow the pattern of the world when it comes to friendships. We’re too busy transmitting our faith culture to our kids!

And that’s the beautiful thing about what we do here at True North Homeschool Academy. We understand the importance of our common Christian culture. Our live online classes are born out of a desire to support homeschool families. And yes, even provide an avenue to socialize with your homeschool tribe. 

Wouldn’t it be a dream-come-true to find a safe place for your kids to make friends, interactive in a live setting, and learn some really cool stuff? We think so. That’s why we created Homeschool Clubs 

Each club will be worth at least a 1/4 credit per semester or 1/2 credit per year- so all of the fun of the a club, none of the pressure of a traditional course, and credit to boot! Of course, students and parents are welcomed and encouraged to add more to the club to make it full credit worthy (and we are happy to provide guidance on that, if you need it).

If you are looking for a Club that you don’t yet see, please let us know! We might just be able to make it happen!

10 Reasons to Join a Homeschool Club

Here are ten great reasons why your child should be in a homeschool club:

Homeschool Clubs offer accountability.

In a homeschool club, students meet regularly with others with similar interests and abilities, setting goals and report progress to their classmates and club mentors. Writing down and sharing goals is a sure-fire way to move ahead with them!

Homeschool Clubs provide a diverse learning environment.

Rubbing shoulders with those who know more than you allow students to have something to reach and strive for. In our Writing Club, we have students with a broad range of ability, experience, and passion. The older kids encourage younger students and provide amazing role-models.

Homeschool Clubs offer mentorships.

Being a mentor for those who don’t know as much as you do gives students a chance to hone their own abilities. The best way to learn something exceptionally well is to teach it. In writing club students with experience are reaching out to younger students to offer advice, encouragement and support, share contests, online resources, editing, and more!

Homeschool Clubs are skill building.

Clubs allow students to grow and develop their skills in ways that they possibly wouldn’t seek out on their own. Our writing club has delved into songwriting, comedic sketch writing, and more based on the interest of club members!

Homeschool Clubs are low stress but offer high rewards.

Clubs allow students to immerse oneself into an area of interest without a huge time or monetary investment. Jr and Sr high school is the perfect time for students to explore various areas of interest. Clubs give students support to explore and develop in areas that may lead to career interests, lifelong hobbies, friendships, and professional skills!

Homeschool Clubs are a great way to earn credits.

Clubs are a low-stress way to earn credits. Our writing club is automatically worth a half a credit a year but students can earn up to a full credit of writing, depending on their goals and commitment. This allows students to build their transcript in a low-stress fun way!

Clubs often offer side benefits.

Because our good writers are readers, our writing club does a weekly “Book-Share” too. Students learn about different genres, learn assessment tools and participate in co-authoring quarterly “Tweens and Teens Book Recommendations,” which are published on our blog. Also, students have the opportunity to write blog posts for our blog, allowing them to publish before a fairly wide audience while still in high school.

Homeschool Clubs offer more freedom than a traditional classroom.

For example, homeschool club members can socialize with people that they have things in common with. In our Writing Club, we often do break-out rooms with smaller groups. The kids work on projects together, like writing poems or songs and have a blast laughing, brainstorming, and coming up with amazing ideas together.

In a Homeschool Club, everyone is there because they want to be there.

They are already interested in the subject matter which makes it easier to make friends! People tend to be warmer and more engaged when it’s something they want to do versus something they have to do. In our Writing Club, kids are meeting and talking with kids from around the country both inside (and outside of class).

Homeschool Clubs allow students to have input!

On the suggestion of one of our Writing Club members, we have writing “buddies.” Kids were paired up randomly with someone else in the class. This is because kids wanted to be able to continue writing prompts, share ideas, and brainstorm outside of class. The enthusiasm is contagious and some writing buddies are even writing stories together!

Clubs. We LOVE them at True North Homeschool Academy because we LOVE watching students learn, grow and develop into people who are passionate and eager to engage in the world around them!

What are you waiting for? Join a Club – we have lots to choose from and you can get more information about how to join us at our homeschool clubs page.

 

 

 

High School Credit in Junior High? You betcha!

High School Credit in Junior High? You betcha!

High School Credit in Jr. High? 


High Credits in Jr. High? Is this even do-able? I’ve done Academic Advising for homschoolers around the world for several years and one thing I find interesting is how rigid homeschoolers tend to be in their thinking about High School credits. For instance, what about 8th grade? 8th grade is a big transition year for most kids. They have gained in maturity (and usually height) and academic skills. Many of them are developing their own interests and often are out-reading their parents.

A Word About Rigor

Can a homeschooler count 8th grade classes for High School Credit? The answer to that is predicated on one simple question. Is it High School level rigor? Some classes, like Apologia’s Biology or Algebra I are easy answers. But what about Mock Trial, the Handyman course you designed yourself, Logic, Latin I or American History? Again, it depends on the level of rigor.

For instance, our daughter participated in Mock Trial in 8th grade with a group of homeschoolers. The kids spent the semester digging into the case, doing some difficult research, defining terms and preparing their parts. They had the good fortune of presenting the trial in front of a group of lawyers, had amazing feed-back and were relieved when it was over, satisfied with a difficult job well-done. In my economy, the work they did definitely warranted High School Credit. Not only did they fulfill hourly credit requirements, but the level of work demanded was every bit a high school class.

While I appreciate The Fallacy Detective and many other informal Logic programs, I would not use them for High School Credit, as they are easily accessible, digestible and learned at an upper level elementary level. Formal Logic programs such as Jim Nance or Martin Cothran’s, however, are every bit High School credit worthy.

How do you determine High School Credit worthy?

Elementary courses are really geared to be an introduction to subject material, Middle School (or Junior High) is the time when students are shown how to apply the previously acquired material and High School (Sr. High) is the time when students are invited to apply concepts, think for themselves, make connections and understand the bigger picture.

If a curriculum is focused primarily on introducing basic concepts or how to apply those concepts, it is probably not a High School level course.

The Benefits of Hacking 8th Grade

If your student is able to do High School level work in Junior High, there is no reason to keep them from doing so (especially if you plan to home school throughout High School). This allows your student time to CLEP or take DE courses during traditional High School years, saving parents and students literally thousands of dollars. This is also an exceptional way to make “room” in one’s schedule to pursue areas of interest or passion.

As seasoned Homeschoolers, we at True North Homeschool Academy fully support parents and families to think outside the box in regards to Jr. and Sr. High School, as well as College. We are here to help you succeed throughout High School, and beyond!

You might be interested in our Guidance Counseling Service. And don’t forget to check out our Course Catalog! 

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