A small group of homeschool moms began looking for people and organizations in the community to mentor students and involve students in community organizations. The project has been very successful and my children have become involved with some of the groups. My 15 year old daughter is part of a Youth Media Program which is mentored by our city newspaper. The students have created a board of directors, and will begin hiring people to do various jobs. The program involves the creation of a newspaper, community Blog, video programing and production.
The mentor from the newspaper is enthusiastic and innovative. The students are excited about the project and gaining real-world experiences. The students are a mixture of homeschool students, local public high school students, and private high school students. I like the opportunity for my child to work with children who have different educational experiences. Our experiences with homeschool only group projects have not always been successful. One parent was not able to let the students make decisions. She was a perfectionist who redid the students' work.
My 13 year old son and 15 year old daughter are partnering with a group of local counselors and psychologist to design a skateboard park. The organization acquired 10 acres and several large buildings from a local donor. The organization is applying for grants to build the skate park. The organization is partnering with a small group of high school students to design the park. My 13-year old avid skateboarder is very excited about the entire project.
These program, as well as the history project, are great ways to utilize the time and energy of high school students in a productive way. I am looking forward to watching these programs grow and change and they meet the needs of the community.