Building Up Our Teens - with links to High School activities, too

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News from College:

My college junior just is finishing up her special leadership program this year. It is called Global Leadership, and she is delighted to be in this program. Getting into it as a freshman 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...First, I'll be sharing about our week during senior year, and how I tried to build up my teen along the way.

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.  

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!  This was not always the case.

 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!

They made frisbe 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 that I found activities that would help build up my teen, and I am also thankful for our new little one...

...who is always on the move.

What are your favorite activities for your teen?  I love getting your comments, and hearing about your teen's interests....That can be a support to other families as well.  This post was chosen as a feature this week, on Finishing Strong, a great place to look for quality resources for teens....

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

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 also writes about her daughter's steps to college, and offers free homeschool help to families. for kids of all ages.

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This post is linked to some of my favorite blog hops here.

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