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Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling

Teen Volunteering
Category: Misc.
Tags: youth volunteer community service ideas volunteer programs volunteer ideas volunteer teenagers

Serving Others

The youth choir my two teenage daughters participate in take "tours" around the country, where they sing at various churches, and do volunteer work and community service projects. This year, the group of about 70 kids are in the NJ/NYC area. Through the Elijah's Promise organization, they helped do some clean-out and painting in a building damaged during Hurricane Sandy. They will also be working with the Salvation Army, and will visit a children's home. The youth choir also serves locally, doing things like serving meals at soup kitchens, collecting and delivering donations to children's and women's shelters, and visiting the elderly at nursing homes. These types of experiences not only give teens an opportunity to serve in their communities, but can help them lose the "I - Me - Mine" mentality they so often exhibit (at least for a time), and get them thinking about others.

Developing Interests

Other volunteer opportunities give teens a taste of what a particular job or field of interest is like. Some places my girls have volunteered include: 

  • the local library
  • the Humane Society (cat cuddling)
  • VBS (oh, the drama!)
  • our homeschool co-op (teachers or assistants)
  • local public access station (where my daughter learned video production)

Other opportunities include: local science centers and museums, parks and recreation organizations, genealogical societies, gardening groups -- you can likely find a place to volunteer for any interest your child may have.

New York in June

Of course, there always has to be time made for fun. The kids are also enjoying the sights and sounds of NYC.

Daylight Saving Time Explained
Category: Misc.
Tags: daylight saving time daylight savings when is daylight savings time daylight saving 2013 time zones daylight savings 2013

Video Production
Category: Misc.
Tags: video production video production training video production classes video productions

My children like to make their own videos, so I'm always on the lookout for good free resources they can use to help them with their creative endeavors. (Video Production also makes for a great high school elective). 

Anyway, I came across a site called KidsVid  that looks interesting. It's got a number of instructional sections covering scriptwriting, camera shots, lighting and audio, the editing process, and formats for showcasing videos. There's also a section with some lessons that can be used in a classroom -- or for homeschoolers, a co-op or workshop environment.

Another good resource is 4H's Filmmaking Studio and WorkshopHere, you can watch 11 video workshop modules outlining the basics of filmmaking. 

For those students who may want to make video production a profession, another great way to get some training and experience with equipment in a real studio, is to check out your local public access stations. As a service to the community, they offer free classes in video production, editing, etc., using their equipment and studios. Some of the stations have classes that are catered specifically to high school students, and some offer internships.

My oldest daughter has recently completed a Basic Studio class at our public access station, and she loved it. The classes were very "hands on," so she got thrown right in learning how to operate the cameras, basic lighting and set design, and also played the part of "talent" in a few of the class' variety shows. To complete the class and earn a certificate, she still has to do a couple of "labs" that will require her to work on the set of some of the actual shows that the station airs. She plans on taking some additional courses they offer and hopes this will help her later with getting an internship at a TV studio, and with eventually earning a film/business degree.

Any homeschoolers out there doing video production in a co-op setting, or have any of you participated in a local access station class? Post a comment  or article.  I'd love to hear about your experiences.



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