Instead of Halloween, Host a Harvest Festival

emily_scarecrow2010Want a fun alternative to Halloween? Host a Harvest Festival! It is lots of fun. My children wouldn’t trade it for trick-or-treating any day! We have been having Harvest Festivals for the past eleven years. When we first decided that Halloween didn’t fit the description of seeking after things that are virtuous, praiseworthy and of good report, we realized that we couldn’t leave a vacuum. We had to begin a new wholesome tradition to fill the gap left when we abandoned Halloween. My children look forward to Harvest Festival eagerly each year. Rather than decorating our house with ghosts, spiders and ghouls, we focus on the blessings God provides for us in a bounteous harvest. We leave these decorations up right through Thanksgiving. We learn songs such as “Come Ye Thankful People, Come” and other hymns that celebrate the harvest. God is the center of this season.

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But What About Social Life?

studying-703002_1280Contributed by Daniel Hopkins (age 17)

“But, what about social life?” This question is one of the most often asked questions regarding homeschooling. It’s the reason many homeschooled teens go back to public school.

When I first started homeschool, I was anxious to make friends and be accepted. My Mom helped out a lot with this problem. She helped me organize activities with other homeschooled teens so I could make friends. We also had a regular “park day”—we all went to the park and played volleyball while the moms talked and the little kids played on the playground. These activities helped me feel comfortable and helped me make some friends. After that, we just did a lot of stuff together on our own. When new homeschoolers came to the activities, we’d include them in our “group” and try to make them feel welcome, too.

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