As homeschoolers, we have all been asked numerous times the dreaded socialization question. “If your kids aren’t in public school, how will they learn socialization?” My idea of socialization is likely different than theirs, as I don’t think sitting quietly in a classroom with kids their own age is adequate socialization, but I digress. Homeschoolers already know what the public school community seems to forget. There are a multitude of community activities that our children can be involved in which provides ample opportunity for socialization.
Anyone who meets our family quickly learns that we are passionately involved in 4-H. Not only do our kids participate in dozens of projects, but my husband and I both are volunteers and serve in multiple capacities at the County level. Neither my husband or I were raised in 4-H. This is something our oldest child discovered and dragged us into completely blind. Looking back, I am so glad she did!
Those actively involved in 4-H know a lot about what the program has to offer, and we can quickly forget that even though it has been around for over 100 years, those outside of the 4-H sphere aren’t quite as familiar with it.
As we are busy preparing for our local County 4-H Fair, I am going to share a series of blog posts about 4-H. Today I’m going to answer the top 3 questions we get on a regular basis.
Isn’t 4-H just for farmers?
Many people think that 4-H is all about raising animals on a farm and showing those animals at the County or State Fair. While that can be part of a 4-H experience, 4-H offers so much more than that! Even city-slickers who have no desire to get anywhere near an animal can find something to love about 4-H! There are arts and crafts, foods, science, and many more opportunities that 4-H offers. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on what 4-H has to offer.
Isn’t 4-H Expensive?
In Indiana there is a $15 enrollment fee (a maximum of $45 for those with more than three kids.) That’s cheaper than registration for just about any sport. On top of that, you do have costs involved in the projects you do whether it be craft supplies, or the cost to raise an animal. If a child is in a model project, you can request supplies for their birthday, Christmas, etc. That’s when my son typically gets his model rocket, model car, or Legos for his projects, or my daughter gets supplies for her jewelry project. You can choose to make 4-H as frugal or expensive as you are comfortable with.
Isn’t 4-H Time Consuming?
Again, this is up to you. 4-H does not have a lot of requirements in regards to your time. It is encouraged that you participate in project workshops or township club meetings, but these are usually once a month or so. The remaining time investment is the time your child takes to learn about their project and prepare it for fair. Animals are a steeper time investment, since they require daily care, than a poster project.
You may be surprised that it’s about more than just a fair!
There are so many options in 4-H, that you can really create the experience that works best for you and your family. Stay tuned for my next post that goes more into detail about what 4-H has to offer.
I’d love to hear from you! Does your family participate in 4-H? If so, what are your favorite things about the program?