Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lessons From the County Fair

I am so excited! Today my two little ones will get to show their chickens at the county fair! This may sound odd for you, but my husband is an agriculture man and loves his chickens. My kids, especially the princess, have taken up that love as well. These particular chickens were bought at a day old in March and the kids have done all the work to care for and raise these little things! I am most definitely not a bird person, but I love that my husband takes the time to give them this experience!
I love the fair! I think it is a timeless tradition that brings together families and loved ones for a good time and a chance to take pride in the things they do. What I never realized before now was what a great tool the fair can be for a homeschooler! It gives them a chance to get outside the home and present the things they have worked on during the year! As for us, we get our extra-curriculars mostly outside the home through homeschool co-op, community sports, and 4-H. Fair is just the icing on that cake for us!

Here are some lessons that kids can learn at the fair:

1) Specific instruction and hands-on training in a particular subject for months leading up to the fair. This year my daughter did chickens and photography, both of which taught her tons of facts and skills she hadn't known before. Many of the 4-H projects available tie right in to many of our homeschool lessons.

2) Pride. When the kids show their projects, they present them at their best. The kids work so hard to prepare for show and it gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment in their work because others (besides parents and grandma!) get a chance to appreciate their work.

3) Not everyone can win. Let's face it, our kids need to learn that they can't always be first or the best at everything. That is real life. As homeschoolers, they don't get a lot of that. They are always the best (and only) in their class! Not receiving the ribbon can have some great lessons for our little ones!

4) Cooperation. Have you ever seen a child show their project at fair without mom or dad's help? No! Fair teaches kids to cooperate with others in their family to get the job done and get their project looking it's very best. This is a good lesson for some of our more independent children!

5) Tradition. So many families involved in fair have created a sort of tradition out of their time at fair. Whether it is buying boots and hats, having a meal together on the grounds or participating in some of the wacky events together, when done the same every year it is a way to build memories and traditions that the kids will always remember.

As I said, I have always loved fair season. Now, I just have more reason to love it and get involved with it! What do you love about the fair?

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