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Homeschooling with 4-H

July 22, 2016

homeschooling with 4-H

Homeschooling with 4-H

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

If your child is active in sewing and ceramics in 4-H, think about what they have achieved and what paperwork they have provided for each project. Label each one with educational words such as: fashion design, home economics, and textile crafts. Group activities together into similar clumps. Put all topics that go under art into one group, and everything that counts as cooking into another group. Other kids may lump activities into science stuff or biology stuff. Once a group of activities represents about 120-180 hours of work, Ta-Da! You have a high school credit!

Remember the golden rule of homeschooling, no double dipping. If you use some of the 4-H project hours for P.E., you can’t use the SAME hours for art. But if your child has accumulated 150 hours of art activities and a different 150 hours of animal husbandry, then you can award one credit of art and one credit of animal husbandry.

Call the local 4-H extension office to inquire about 4-H clubs operating in your area. If you do not have a club near you, they can help you organize and start your own 4-H club for homeschooled families in your area. One homeschool mom says it was fairly easy, and only took her about a month to get certified through 4-H. You can also simply hold your own personal family 4-H club.

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

If you need some help translating activities into grades and credits, you can find information about this in my Total Transcript Solution. I include information about delight directed learning, so if you need more help, you can find it there!



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Please note: This post was originally published in September 2009 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.


  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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