Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Making Connections: Keepers Club

Hiking trips acquainted us with our beautiful local terrain, and our use of newly acquired skills.

Making connections with other like-minded families was an important part of homeschooling for our family of four boys. When we first moved to a new state when our oldest was 11 and the youngest was 2, we felt out of place and it took awhile to feel comfortable around others. Fortunately, we joined forces with a local homeschool group which helped a lot, but we still had to make efforts to meet others, and get to know families on an individual basis. It's worth the effort to shake away the shyness, smile, and invite others into your lives.

Although we did this Keepers of the Faith program within our own family when the boys were younger, just a few years ago we used this excellent program while meeting every two weeks with a number of families we knew from our local homeschool group. We called ourselves the Keepers Club. This is a Christian based program that taught our children many practical skills not normally learned in an academic setting. It was a fabulous, fun year of learning all sorts of things! There were delightful hands-on activities, creative crafts, and interwoven field trips, and interesting things to learn and people to meet. 

Who can catch the most crawdads at the lake?

Within the program our children worked toward completing requirements for a specific study as outlined in the purchased program books (Contenders for the Faith for boys and Keepers at Home for girls), but our club combined the whole family together and we selected topics of interest to all. The category selection is huge—from home skills and caring for animals, to creative arts, hobbies, recreation, and academics too. We always customized and added to the standard requirements. The children earned colorful insignia pins (badges) that could be used in a variety of ways. For this particular group we also offered an alternative—a certificate of completion.

Badges Earned that Year:
First Aid

Many of you take part in a co-op and I've heard marvelous things about some of them. Then I've heard some not so marvelous things. Attempts to set up a large co-op in my community failed, but attempts to combine a limited number of families on a small scale like this worked great! I do think of it like a small co-op where every family participates and adds to the whole.

I shared my love of scrapbooking and several creative paper designs.

Hamming it up after a lesson in first aid bandaging techniques.

Making bird masks added to our bird study.

The Certificate of Completion was an alternative to the insignia pins.

Part of our first aid study included an awesome field trip 
with the Air-Evac Life Team and helicopter.

Here's how you do it! Practicing CPR.

J.J. and Ben stop for a rest on a hike.

J.J. shares his road runner drawing.

The kids loved learning about fire safety and enjoyed a trip to the police station.

It's a boy thing—being handcuffed!

Take time to find out what interests your family, and team up with some homeschooling friends to enjoy a fabulous year!

1 comment:

  1. We have a wonderful flexible group of homeschool families as well, and they are a blessing! I am looking into the program you mentioned! Thank you!


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