4-H For Homeschoolers
Why 4-H Benefits Homeschoolers:
Youth are in control of their project. Youth choose their project area based on their personal preference, with assistance from club leaders and parents. Once a project is chosen, youth create an annual goal for their project, and then determine and plan out a path for achieving that goal.
Club leaders and parents assist the youth in achieving those goals by providing opportunities for learning through mentoring, field trips, hands-on activities, and both competitive and non-competitive events.
At the close of the year, youth evaluate their project to determine if they met their goal and why or why not. They consider how their project can be changed or improved for the next year.
Curriculum is available! If your child chooses a project that you have no experience in, 4-H has curriculum books are available for nearly all projects and at all levels of ability. 4-H Curriculum is developed with a focus on inquiry-based learning, and includes opportunities for experimentation, investigation, questioning, and argumentation. The “Learn By Doing” method is modeled and encouraged.
Opportunities for recognition in 4-H are on every level in 4-H:
On the club level, youth are recognized for their achievements, by their peers and leaders.
At the county level, at 4-H fairs and other events, both competitive and non-competitive, youth are recognized by independent judges or experts.
Youth can apply for state recognition at events that involve youth from all counties within the state (Expressive Arts Day). Youth can also be recognized for their accomplishments within 4-H, and be awarded opportunities to participate in National 4-H trips.
4-H is family oriented. Unlike other organizations that divide clubs by age, 4-H clubs are multi-aged, with youth ranging in age from 7 years up to 19 years. Children younger than 7 years are permitted to participate, but are not listed as “official members.” This can vary depending on the individual club. Young adults over the age of 19 are encouraged to register as volunteers or leaders, and mentor within a 4-H club.
Over 130 projects are available including: Science, Engineering, Technology, Sewing, Food and Nutrition, Citizenship, Fitness, Finances, Child Development, First Aid, Entrepreneurship, Animal Science, Production Farming, and many more!
Youth are encouraged to create, develop, and participate in projects that benefit their community. Some examples: create a garden around the flag pole on the town green, pajama collection drive to benefit a women’s shelter, make repairs and spring clean-up at local youth summer camps, sew curtains for a local community center, visit nursing homes to share a craft.
Older 4-H youth are encouraged to take on positions of leadership within their project area, their club, or their county 4-H program. More experienced 4-H members assist less experienced members by one-on-one teaching, assisting with educational programs, and giving demonstrations during club meetings.
4-H youth have many opportunities to gain skills in public speaking on the local club level; at club meetings youth share progress they have made with their projects, share their opinions on topics, and make suggestions for club activities. On the county level at fair board meetings, youth participate in developing and running the local 4-H fair. There are also County-wide Public Speaking competitions. At the state level, State Public Speaking competitions and State 4-H Citizenship Day give youth opportunities to share their ideas with local legislators and politicians.
National level public speaking opportunities include:
- National 4-H Conference
- National 4-H Congress
- Citizenship Washington Focus
- National Dairy Conference
- State and National Hippology contests
- and others.
For more information contact the New London County 4-H office: Pamela Gray, 860.885.2524,or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
New London County 4-H Leader and CT CHEER/CT Homeschoolers Inclusive member: Amy Smith, 860.859.1999, or Email: email@example.com