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Homeschooling with 4-H

September 15, 2009

I love hearing about families involved in 4-H!  As a rule of thumb, ALL 4-H activities are educational in nature, just like Eagle Scouting is almost always educational in nature.  It’s fun to discuss the different ways to divide those activities into meaningful high school courses.


#Homeschooling with 4-H


Hi Lee,
I’m wondering how to use my daughter’s 4-H activities as school.  She’s very active is sewing and ceramics and I would like to count them toward home ec. and art, but I’m not sure how to do that.  Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks
~Rita in Montana

Think about what she has done for 4-H and what paperwork she has provided for each project, then label them in educational words like: fashion design, home economics, textile crafts, etc. Group each activity together into clumps that are similar.  Put all the “art” things into one group, and all the “cooking” things into another group.  Other kids may lump things into “science stuff” or “biology stuff.”  Once you have a group that represents about 120-180 hours of work, Ta-Da!  You have a high school credit!

One terrific suggestion I received was to call your extension office. If you do not have a club near you, you can organize and start your own 4-H club for Homeschooled families in your area. When one homeschooling mom did it,  she said it was fairly easy, and only took her about a month to get certified through 4-H.

Remember the Golden Rule of Homeschooling:  No double dipping.  If you use some hours for PE, you can’t use the SAME hours for art.  But if you have 150 hours of art activities and a different 150 hours of animal husbandry then you can have a credit of art and a credit of animal husbandry.

One of the great things about 4-H is the required paperwork.  It’s a huge pain to do, but once you have completed the paperwork you have some great documentation for your high school classes.  You can provide these as “work samples” if they are requested, and they can be the backbone of your course descriptions.

If you need some help with translating activities into grades and credits, there is a lot of information about that in my e-book, “The Easy Truth About Homeschool Transcripts.” I have a whole chapter about delight directed learning in my book on transcripts, so if you need more help, you can find it there! It comes with a free audio course on “making a transcript” and that will also help.  Plus you can always call me to ask for clarification or advice during my free consultations.


See those cute buttons at the bottom of these blog posts?  Those are there to help you share helpful posts with others who might need encouragement.  Go ahead and give it a try.  They won’t bite you.


  1. Vicki says:

    Dear Lee
    We even did some very UN-traditional activities under the 4-H umbrella — Shakespeare studies was one. Read plays together, discussed them, performed abridged version for the fair, made posters to display at the fair, did sewing projects (Shakespearian hats & cloaks) that were submitted to the fair. We were even written up in the local paper showcasing how vast 4-H opportunities were. It was a fabulously fun few years for my early teen children.

    September 15th, 2009 at 5:25 pm

  2. Mary Ann says:

    I am wondering how does one get involved in 4-H we have been trying to find a group in our area for two years now to no avail. Please help.

    June 23rd, 2014 at 9:58 pm

  3. JackieP says:

    Contact your local county extension office. That is how we have a local club. Or you could try one of the middle schools and ask them.

    June 24th, 2014 at 7:14 am

  4. Danielle says:

    Search for the extension service in your state. You should then find numbers for the state or your county and they should be able to direct you to the correct place. My family is in Ohio and there is an extension office for each county. We are very involved with 4-H and the kids really enjoy it.

    June 24th, 2014 at 7:16 am

  5. michele says:

    June 24th, 2014 at 7:18 am

  6. Kathy G in WA says:

    Hi Mary Ann, the local Extension Service should be able to connect you, since 4-H is under this umbrella. Here is a national link:

    I was in 4-H and very active as a young girl; it gave me confidence to speak in public, lead others, and I learned many life skills and eventually worked as a county Extension Agent for several years.

    Scouting is also an excellent program. Becoming an Eagle Scout is ALWAYS educational because the scout must plan, prepare and lead a team to complete a project. Once again, scouts learn to speak in public, lead others, and give to their community. In our family, we have one Eagle Scout, one in the midst of his Eagle Scout project, and the third waiting in the wings as he advances through scouting.

    All that being said, there are some excellent youth organizations that provide leadership and life skills and, yes, PE credit!! I hope you find a 4-H club near you soon, Mary Ann.

    June 24th, 2014 at 7:20 am

  7. Lori says:

    Call your county extension office. Depending on where you live, you may have several groups to choose from like we do, or just one big one like we had before we moved.

    June 24th, 2014 at 7:22 am

  8. Angie says:

    Did you know that you can have a home club? If there isn’t a club in your area focused on the projects you are interested in just start a family club! Your county extension office should have tons of information about every project available, and there are a LOT of different projects that you can do.

    June 24th, 2014 at 7:29 am

  9. Lee says:

    OH thanks Angie!! I think I knew that – that you can basically homeschool 4H – but I forgot. SO THANKFUL for all your help! This is awesome!

    June 24th, 2014 at 7:38 am

  10. Mary Ann says:

    Thank you everyone; we finally got in contact with somebody today in our area; we are now setting up an exploratory page on FB to see if anyone else in our area is interested in joining.

    June 24th, 2014 at 1:05 pm

  11. Stephanie W. says:

    Like all the other suggestions posted, call your extension office. If you do not have a club near you, you can organize and start your own 4-H club for Homeschooled families in your area. That is what we have done in our area. (North East Alabama)It is fairly easy and only takes a month or so to get certified through 4-H. At least it only took that long for us in this area.

    September 15th, 2014 at 3:40 pm

  12. Assistant to The HomeScholar says:

    Brilliant idea, Stephanie!
    We are adding that to the post! Thank you!
    Assistant to The HomeScholar

    September 15th, 2014 at 9:52 pm

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