I’m blogging through the alphabet with some online homeschooling pals. This week we’re on the letter H.
In our homeschool, H is for 4-H. A homeschool mom can easily blow the budget signing her kiddos up for all of the wonderful activities that exist these days. It’s a great problem, really. I live in a place where extra-curriculars are especially costly, so I have to be choosey. 4-H is an affordable option that offers an outstanding bang for the buck…
4-H stands for Head, Heart, Hands and Health.
Participants pledge their Heads to clearer thinking, their Hearts to greater loyalty, their Hands to larger service, and their Health to better living; for their club, their community, their country, and their world. Now that’s a motto that I can get behind!
My girls are members of a local 4-H “Horseless Horse” club, wherein they receive hands-on education & experience with horses despite not owning one themselves. Win-win! We stumbled into this club quite by accident, the girls not particularly horse-crazy at the time a neighbor invited them. Nowadays, the club is an integral part of their education.
Besides learning a great deal about horses (which I confess their mom-teacher is ill-equipt to impart at home) and receiving riding lessons on a regular basis, they’ve formed friendships with clubbers of all ages (particularly grateful for the teens invested in the club who set such an upstanding example) and had several opportunities to practice public speaking. Center Sister is the club Treasurer who gives regularly monthly reports on the accounting at monthly meetings. Firstborn competed in a county-wide communications event last year. Just last night we had a club-wide communications night, where each of our girls gave a demonstration before their peers & parents.
We’ve enjoyed incredible field trips, including behind the scenes visits to a farrier, a veterinarian clinic, and barrel races. They’ve witnessed horse branding, tooth floating, and been pulled by draft horses through the snow on a sleigh. And that’s not even mentioning the opportunities available within the county fair!
In addition to a more colorful education, my girls have grown in compassion, confidence, and capability since joining 4-H. One of the first things I’ll do upon landing in Oregon is enroll them in another 4-H club and pray it’s as vibrant and welcoming as the one we’ve been blessed to be a part of here in Bozeman.