Homeschool with 4H: Demonstrations
6 tips to help you guide your homeschooler to create a demonstration.
What is 4H? 4H is an organization designed to give young people the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and life skills. For $45 a year, any child can sign up for up to 3 projects. I love using 4H as a part of our homeschool curriculum. To me, it seems like a trade school for kids. They can try a project for a year and if they like it they can continue, if they don’t like it they can try something else the next year. They can choose from many projects like electricity, robotics, sewing, photography and much much more. 4H encourages kids to act and think like adults. They are expected to meet certain requirements like giving a demonstration, doing community service, keeping a record of activities and expenses related to their project and enter something into the county and state fairs. If you would like more information about 4H, please follow this link https://4-h.org/ .
Each demonstration should be approximately 5 minutes long and the presenter should be prepared to answer questions from their peers. This is an excellent exercise for homeschooled kids (or any kids!) since they get to learn how to build a presentation, improve their writing and research skills and experience public speaking in a small group of peers that they are comfortable with.
Here are 6 tips to help you guide your homeschooler to create a demonstration.
Allow for plenty of time.
It can be a daunting task to write anything especially when we haven’t had much practice. There is a real fear attached to looking at a blank page and wondering how to even start. So begin by making sure your youth has plenty of time to work on their project. I like to start about a month before they plan on making their presentations.
Make it manageable.
I set aside 45 minutes twice a week for this writing project. I break it down into 15-minute chunks to make it even more manageable. I start by working with them for the first 15 minutes, the next 15 minutes are on their own and then I check in to guide them a little more in the last 15 minutes. Breaking it down like this staves off frustration and the fear that this task will never end.
Brainstorm with your tween.
I think this is important because my tweens don’t really think deeply about topics that aren’t directly related to their interests and they often struggle with what questions to ask. It takes lots of practice to develop this skill. When my kids first start a writing project, I like to start off by working with them for 15 minutes to ask the questions who, what, where, when, how and why. They are usually able to come up with the answers with some discussion. Then I type the answers for them in their own words. This starts it off positively by giving them a place to jump in.
Read their writing out loud to your child.
When reading out loud it suddenly makes sense why we would need punctuation! It allows my kids to recognize their own mistakes and how they can correct them.
Attend community events related to what you are learning at the time.
Recently, we were able to attend an event at our local library called Public Speaking 101: Being a Mic Boss. It was a free lecture lead by a retired news anchor. She gave some tips about how to become better at public speaking. A lot of her speech was about preparation. This is something I have been trying to instill in my kids and it is great when someone else reinforces the ideas I’ve been teaching. Look around at the events that are going on in your area.
It is important to practice any demonstration or speech until the speaker feels comfortable! We use Orai and the voice memo app on my phone to practice.
A few useful homeschool tools: