4H plays a huge part of our homeschool here at Lally. It meets some of our social needs as well as quite a few of our educational. It also helps our family with one of the goals we have that our extracurricular activities will not interfere with family. Our family time is important and running kids to separate activities is not something we have chosen to do. The time we would spend apart is just too valuable for us right now.
So how does 4H curriculum fit into our homeschool?
4H has excellent curriculum. They have project areas for pretty much anything the kids could wish to learn more about. From Veterinary Science for the girl who dreams of being a vet to Entomology for the insect obsessed to arts and crafts of all kinds! They are priced reasonable as well which fits in with my frugalness.
The kids work through the curriculum meeting the goals and completing the activities for each section. These different areas involve research, writing, reading, math, science, and more.
What else does 4-H do for our homeschool?
We've all heard the dreaded homeschool myth "What about socialization?" For our family 4-H is a huge part of our kids social activity. They see the same kids and parents every 4H meeting, they spend a week with them at county fair, they go to poultry and rabbit shows with them. They also meet kids from other areas and groups that we see at the shows. They become friends and look forward to seeing the same kids at these shows.
Another thing I love about 4-H is the adult interaction and how comfortable the kids are having conversations with other adults. This is something I find to be true with a lot of homeschool families not just 4-H families. 4-H gives the kids an opportunity to talk with judges, adult leaders, and older teens who are always more than happy to talk with the kids about their project animals.
4-H also gives the kids an opportunity to serve the younger kids. In our area a 4-Her goes to their fellow 4H members for help first, then they go to an adult if they need it. It helps them to build leadership skills and confidence.
What do our kids do in 4H each year?
Every year the kids choose their project animal. We've done poultry, rabbits, and goats. This year we are doing poultry and rabbits. The kids are required to turn in a record book for fair so all year they keep feed receipts and notes on breeding dates, health issues, etc. This requires math and writing skills. They have to write an essay for fair. They must also daily work with their animals and study on a regular basis. Our group does a service project, hold fundraisers, and does presentations with-in our club and at fair. Its fun and learning all rolled into one. Fair is something that our kids look forward to each year, they love showing off their projects.
So if you are looking to add something to your homeschool consider adding 4-H. Call your county extension office which will be happy to provide you with a list of local groups!