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Yep, Boy Scouting offers an abundance of learning opportunities that can tie in with homeschooling.
Bordering the Christmas break (or winter if you are being all PC), P attended a merit badge university to work on three different merit badges: Emergency Prepardness (needed for Eagle Scout), Electricity and Communications (also an Eagle Scout one, I belive.)
Don’t have a Boy Scout and have no idea what a merit badge is?
To my ‘homeschool eye’, Boy Scout merit badges look an awful lot like unit studies to me. They take a topic (e.g. electronics) and learn a bunch of the basics while adding in different activities that reinforce the learning. The only thing P has not done with them is a bunch of reading or video viewing of associated content.
You can find worksheets for several of the merit badges on Merit Badge.org. The Boy Scouts of America sell small merit badge books (about $5 each) with all the background information you need as well as the requirements outlined in those worksheets. If you are lucky, the local library might have some merit badge books in their collection for you to browse or borrow. At least one library in the Akron, Ohio area had them on the shelf, but we have not spied any here in the Alaskan libraries.
My dream is to have the boys work on merit badges during the week after completing core work to keep progressing on a regular basis. And, some of them could easily become part of their school work. The electricity one P worked on is being counted as part of his science work. It was a topic already on the ‘agenda’ for schooling this Spring. So, we’ll refresh his mind while R and D are learning for the first time.
One way to help pull these merit badge studies into our school is using lapbooking or notebooking pages to record the information. We own In the Hands of a Child’s Template Pack in the type it in format which gives us several options. There are some sites online, like Homeschool Share, where you can get free templates for mini-books. I also have a membership over at Notebooking Pages where there are quite a few notebooking options.
The other thing about Boy Scouting that carries over for learning is that the BOYS are supposed to take the lead on things. While leadership skills are always great to acquire, what I appreciate more is that they have to do the footwork if they want to advance in rank. I can leave all guilt behind over not reminding them to do things, etc.
It took P a while longer to achieve First Class than I would have expected. But, it was all on his time schedule. I refused to do his work for him and only asked him a few times how things were going. It was a good learning experience for him to see that you have to put forth effort if you want to get the reward.
I’ll be curious to see how R does for advancing after he crosses over this Spring. Given his propensity for being a little scatter brained at times, I might expect it take a while for him to advance in rank. But, you never know when a child will surprise you.