What does community mean to you? Sometimes in our home school journeys we can lose a sense of community. If your kids are learning at home and not in a community environment, or perhaps you even home church, how do we incorporate community into our home school? How do we make it real other than just reading about communities in text books or filling out fill in the blank worksheets. These things are helpful, but how can we make these things real to our kids?
Well, there are various ways to go about this. There are community based charities and fund raisers like Pennies for Presents. A group of homeschooling families in your own neighborhood can form their own kind of community. There are community based field trips that can be organized. How about a visit to your local fire dept? Police Dept.? Veterinary Hospital? These types of field trips give our kids a hands on opportunity to take a closer look at how these professions help our community.
There are community based events catered to homeschoolers like track meets, public speaking competitions and science fairs. There are community based meetings that provide support and encouragement and offer opportunities to connect with other home school families like yourselves. There are also opportunities through various organizations that allow our kids to participate in events like singing in a local nursing home, or bigger events like Tour de Rock.
How about arranging a field trip to your local provincial or state park? This is an opportunity in itself to learn about vegetation and habitats of the various plants, animals, birds, and insects in your community. How about community art classes? What about community exhibitions?
There are many opportunities to establish a sense of community into our homeschools. Next month our own family will be participating in a literary exhibition for youth, a childrens’ art exhibition and a local Remembrance Day display paying a special tribute to our Canadian Veterans during Veterans’ Week Nov. 5 – 11. Community events like these give our kids opportunities to show case some of their work in a location other than the refrigerator. It also gives them chances to expand their learning horizons or take an opportunity to actually meet and talk with a Veteran…..perhaps instilling in themselves a kind of gratitude that the couldn’t previously identify with.
How do you incorporate community into your homeschool? What does community mean to you and your family?