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Chick Chain April 10, 2009

Posted by Laura in 4-H, Family, Farm.

We have really enjoyed 4-H since we joined last year as “Clover Buds.”  Benjamin is in 4th grade this year, so he is now a full-fledged member and can participate in the various contests and projects.  A couple of months ago, he competed at the county level in Speech.  Recently, he decided to raise a batch of chicks to enter in the county fair in the fall.  His 25 Black Star chicks, plus one mystery rare breed chick, arrived Monday and he has had sole responsibility for them since then.  There was a close call with one that got steamrolled by some others while napping, but much to my surprise, it made a full recovery after a night in a box by the fire in the house.  After Benjamin gave it more water, some TLC, and a pep talk, it was chirping away by morning and he returned the little guy to the brooder.


After raising them all summer, Benjamin will choose his 6 best to go to the fair, compete, and be auctioned off.  He gets to keep the rest.  It is a wonderful program.  In the end, you get a flock of chickens for just the cost of the food and a great experience that helps develop responsibility and character.


4-H Speeches November 13, 2008

Posted by Laura in 4-H, Family, Homeschooling.

Public speaking is listed as one the greatest fears people have.  Though Joe is an old pro at it with all the conferences he does and courses he teaches, public speaking is also one of the hardest skills to master.  It is no simple feat to give a well-organized, informative presentation in a confident and effective manner.  It can take years to become comfortable speaking before your peers, or worse yet, your superiors.  For that reason, we feel that it will be more easily accomplished if our children get an early start.  That’s not to say that we are pushing them into careers that will require it.  It’s just that we would like them to be well-rounded and prepared for whatever God calls them to do.  Here they are giving speeches to their peers and the parents.


Fourth graders all have to speak on the topic My Family.  Benjamin had practiced and practiced until he hardly even needed to glance at his notecards.  He made a point of making eye contact with his audience.  (I apologize for the picture quality-  I was zoomed in pretty far from the back of the room.  The leader also promises to have his name spelled right by the next meeting).


Rachel spoke on a topic near and dear to her heart- cats.  She read several books and looked up information online so she could develop a speech that told about their needs and development, personalities, and appearance.  She felt very nervous but it didn’t show when she spoke.

Both children did a great job and we are proud of them.

High Wire Adventure October 30, 2008

Posted by Laura in 4-H, Family, Homeschooling.
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For the city folk out there, “4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills” (quote from the website).   All the groups I’ve known of have been in rural areas, but they may exist in urban areas too.  We joined last year as Clover Buds, but Benjamin has now moved up to the higher level.  It has been a great experience for us.

Our homeschool 4-H group had a super field trip on Thursday.  We all met out at a rock climbing wall/ high ropes course/ zip line built and maintained on a university experimental agriculture farm.  Joe was able to go with us and I think he had as much fun as the children.

Rachel preparing to climb the rock wall.

Off to a good start.

“Let me rest just a second…”

Benjamin scales the rock wall while another kid tackles the high ropes.

Joe nears the top.

Don’t worry grandparents, that sad look is because we didn’t let Lydia harness up.

Benjamin has made it to the top of the pole.

Now for the really scary part.

And there goes Joe…

All the way across and down the zipline.

What a great adventure!