Building Up Our Teens

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News from College:

My newbie freshman just got into a special leadership program at her college. It is called Global Leadership, and she is delighted that she was accepted into this program. It involved two interviews, references, and the like.  

The professors were impressed with her homeschooling background, and said so. 

Her interest in leadership began when she was homeschooling high school...

First, she wanted to try a speech class, to learn how to do public speaking.  And it went on from there...

Today, I'd like to share how my daughter developed speech and debate, and leadership skills through her activities...with links for you, too...

Senior Year: 
This week was all about my teen's activities and end of the year events.  Our Youth and Government group had their annual picnic, and our church had a youth service to honor our seniors.  It was a full week, and especially so, as we also adopted an 8 week old kitten!

On the way home from buying s'more supplies, my teen asked to stop by the Humane Society.....well, that being said, we loved seeing their new kittens....and were able to just take one home, just one, lol! 

So here's way too many pictures of our new little one..


Here he is when we first met him, isn't he just too cute!... and a little fearful.  We cuddled him up in blankets when we got home.,,,,,

Then he reached out to us right away...

So nice to have this little one in our home...  We named him Starshine, because he just lights up our house.  And having a senior, it's nice to also have a little one around our place, too.

My teen has been working on finishing  Beowolf this week.  I am delighted that my daughter is enjoying it.  The kitten tries to help, by walking on the pages, and other things...

Amidst getting to know our new kitten, we prepared for my teen's end of the year events.

Tuesday, there was a youth group meeting, about the upcoming  youth service  church.  All of the seniors were asked to speak there.
My daughter was excited to be speaking on Sunday! 

 I am so glad that she has developed confidence in public speaking. 

Here are two of my favorite resources for learning speech, and/or debate:

1,  Youth and Government was where my teen learned public speaking.  She started out as a quiet group member.  Yet soon she began joining in some in the speech and debate activities in her small group meetings. 

 She was encouraged to go at her own speed, and join in when she was ready.

Then later, that led to her acting out the role of mock state legislator at their statewide conference.  Then, the next year, she proposed a mock bill in front of tons of teens, at their large, statewide youth legislature  

This program teaches about our state government as well, and is sponsored by the YMCA, and is available in 34 states around the US.  It is not public school based.  Read more about this great YMCA program here

Later, my daughter ran for office, as one of the mock justices...and loved it, as she learned about leadership!

Another great option for public speaking is the NFSCA Speech and Debate Program.  The NFSCA Speech and Debate Progam offers a nationwide  program in public speaking, specifically for homeschoolers.  They offer training, qualifying tournaments, and a national championship.  Many of the families in our area have participated in this activity. 

Wednesday was my daughter's last Youth and Government meeting and it was a picnic at the beach, and for families, too.  Can't get better than that!...

It's Picnic Time!

  It was fun for me to watch the
 teens at play... 

They made frisbee a competitive team sport,...who knew?  I always thought it was for just for tossing back and forth..... 

 Teens who play well together are more likely to work well together later.  Play helps to develop key interpersonal skills for future success.
What a glorious evening is was......After our picnic, we got the teens to pose for a group picture.  Had to do that!  

 Being a part of a group can be so meaningful for our teens. 

These teens got to Be a Legislator for the Day, back in May, at our capital.  The group leader gave out awards for outstanding performance this year....

 Getting recognition for a job well done, especially from other adults in her lives, meant so much to my teen.

There are so many options in the community, for teens!  I'd love to what your  favorites are. We used the parks dept programs, the YMCA, plus even some PE and Spanish through the public schools.  (In WA state, homeschoolers are allowed to enroll part time, if desired.)  And for more ideas, read more about high school electives here.

As homeschoolers, we're already expert in following our children's interests. And I just followed my teen's interests...what a joy to be able to do that.

Sunday was our youth group service.....

My daughter enjoyed public speaking! 

  My teen's activities allowed her to explore new things and develop confidence for her next step.. 

I am thankful for our activities, and I am also thankful for our new little one...

...who is always on the move.

What are your favorite activities to build up your teen?  I love getting your comments, and hearing about your teen's interests....

Happy Homeschooling!


Betsy blogs about everything homeschooling, including
high school, and all the fun of homeschooling the early years, too. As a veteran homeschooler, she writes a series - our steps to college, and offers free homeschool help to families. for kids of all ages.

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  1. I love following along on your journey! You're an inspiration. :)

    1. That is so kind of you to say, Eva Varga, of Academica Celestia and your blog at I wish I had found your science resources in time to use them with my daughter! I enjoy following your world travels with your family and highly recommend your Homeschool Science Curriculum.

  2. Love all the tips and things you share about this adventure. I am visiting from weekly wrapup.

    1. Thanks, Nita, fhat was so nice of you to say! It is fun to share some of what we did, and to find links for other faimilies, who might want to try something new. Thanks for stopping by from Weekly WrapUp, and wishing you a lovely Mom's Day! We will be heading out soon, to a favorite restaurant with my family. Enjoy your day!!

  3. What wonderful experiences for your daughter! Saying hello from the Weekly Wrap Up :-)

    1. Hi Kyle, and thanks for stoppinb by! I love connecting to the Weekly WrapUp, and visiting other famiies that way....Then it feels like we are a community together, supporting each other. We are so glad that we continued homeschooling thru high school. So many great times as a family!

  4. Your new kitty is just adorable!!! We have 2 cats in our homeschool - they like to "help" too!

  5. Thanks, Sherry Jolly! Our kitten is 9 months old now, and loves to be picked up! He waits by the door, ahen we return home, and he follows my daughter everywhere, kind of like he was a dog. My family is so glad that we adopted him. How cute that your cats "help", too!

  6. Love hearing about your journey through the high school years! It's very inspiring for me as my eldest daughter is approaching high school next year. We look forward to homeschooling through this next phase! Thanks for linking up at The Homeschool Mother's Journal each week.
    Renée @ NextGen Homeschool, co-host of HMJ

  7. Thanks for stopping by from NextGen Homeschool, and thanks for hosting the Homeschool Mother;s Journal! So happy to hear that my post was an encouragement to you, and wishing you joy in homeschooling high school. We are SO glad that we did!


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