My daughter has been active in Girl Scouts since she was in 1st grade, and loves the program. She has made close friends there, friends who I believe she’ll carry with her at least until adulthood. We’ve enjoyed watching her grow in Girl Scouts, and what she’s accomplished. In many ways, I’ve found Girl Scouts to be a great supplement to her homeschooling program, and I’ve been able to incorporate the things her troop is working on into our program at home, and I think she’s only benefitted from being able to do that.
For the past two years, Teresa’s troop was working on earning the Bronze Award. This award is fairly prestigious, and to get it her troop had to choose a service project and devote 50 hours each working towards it. The girls chose helping the homeless and needy, which was a great choice. They had to think of ways to do so, so they decided to collect hats, mittens, coats, and other cold weather gear to donate. Then they chose to collect toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, hair brushes, shampoo, etc. And finally, they collected food to donate to the local food pantry.
Here’s where it worked right into our homeschool curriculum. To collect all of these items, the girls had to write multiple letters to local businesses: churches, dentists, hair salons, and grocery stores to ask for them to donate these items, or to let them set up donation boxes in their places of business. So Teresa sat down with a phone book, and I showed her how to use the yellow pages to look up area businesses and get their contact information. Once she had that information, she had to make a list with the businesses, their addresses, and their phone numbers. So she learned to use the phone book and had to make a nice neat list, which was a nice bit of writing practice.
At that point, Teresa had to draft letters to each of these businesses on the list. What better letter writing practice is there than to have to write multiple letters to actual local businesses, and because it was for a worthy cause she didn’t mind at all. We worked on those letters for a few days, and she came out the other side with a much better understanding of letter writing, so that was a real life application o f a great 5th grade language arts skill.
And she earned that Bronze Award!