Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Five Things I Love About our Vanguard Homeschool Group

1.  It is gospel-based

So we can openly talk about how our LDS beliefs and standards apply to what we're learning. We also have one Lutheran family in our group, whom we love!  It's fun and educational to discuss our similarities and differences.

I LOVE learning and teaching the gospel right along with secular knowledge.
To me, it's the way education should be.

2.  Vanguard provides a wonderful, wholesome social atmosphere for my very social daughter! 

We do temple trips, service projects, field trips, family activities, movie nights, game nights, and even outdoor adventures!  Besides our regular classes twice a week, we do theater and choir too!  Because my daughter is so socially motivated, she's motivated to study hard so she can come to more classes with her friends.
I love these youth!

3.  Our curriculum is guided by personal revelation. 

The teachers (mentors) get the wonderful opportunity to ask for and receive their own personal revelation about which books, curricula, field trips, and hands-on activities to use in each of our classes. That means God is in charge of what these youth are learning. I feel great about that!

Here is my handout on "Creating a Spirit-led Learning Environment."

My husband hosted a tour of the Davis County courthouse.
A bailiff handcuffed Nic and put jail pants on him. Everyone loved that!

4. Vanguard provides a well-rounded arena of subjects.

  • Leadership Academy  -- leadership, liberty, government (I teach this one)
  • History and geography 
  • Imaginative Arts -- art, music, poetry, literature
  • Eureka -- math and science 
  • We also offer optional theater and choir groups

"Inspirements" are a list of choices of ways the youth can "digest" the
information they've read. Choices can include teaching the class with a PowerPoint, a poem, a paper,
a poster board, a white board discussion, an object lesson, a skit, an oral report, or a speech. 

5.  Vanguard follows so many models that I already LOVE and believe in!

  • The seminary and institute model of teaching and learning. The Spirit is the teacher. Students take responsibility for learning. Look for principles as you study. Apply them to your life to become more like Christ. 
  • The BYU-Idah learning model. Students come to class having already studied and are prepared to teach each other. You learn the more when you teach and discuss what you studied.
  • The Principle Approach by the Foundation for American Christian Education (FACE).  God's word is at the heart of education. The main purpose of education isn't just to earn money. It is to become more like Christ and live the missions God sent us to earth to fulfill. Education is service-oriented -- what difference can we make in the world? 
  • Elder Bednar's Increase in Learning. Learning goes from the mind (knowledge) to the heart (understanding) to the actions (doing and becoming).
  • Thomas Jefferson Education (or Leadership Education). Parents and teachers (mentors) are encouraged to study and learn too, setting an example to the teens. We use the term "inspirements" and inspire the youth to want to learn!  We let them choose the level of study they are ready for: apprentice, journeyman, and master. Youth are rewarded for studying more by getting to stay to another level of class with their friends to learn more! 
  • American Heritage School, and LDS-based private school in American Fork, Utah. We use many of their same methods (originally from FACE) like 4R-ing (research, reason, relate, record), word studies, reflection journals, and timelines. 

I love how much our youth love each other. 

If you're interested in starting a Vanguard homeschool group of your own, let me know. I can guide you to the right people and information.

A sunrise hike to Ensign Peak in Salt Lake City.

Last week we had an all-day training for the teachers of Vanguard.

Vanguard is growing!  It went from one group the first three year, to two groups last year (I'm part of the second group) and this year there will be FIVE Vanguard groups from Tremonton to Provo, Utah!

I taught a training on "Creating a Spirit-led environment. Here is my handout. The women were discussing in small groups their favorite quotes from a handout I provided.  The adorable pregnant woman is the leader of my Vanguard group. Karen was due a few days ago, but keeps plugging away, planning and heading up our kick-off activities for the next couple weeks.

Marni, a teacher in the original Vanguard group, presented an object lesson with ropes about the need to train youth leaders in positions like president, vice president, service committee chair, and so on.

The youth panel was educational and fun too!

I wish we could see the youth's faces better through the wooden slats.

My daughter is on the far left with the bright yellow pants.

Mary is on the stairs of her home here. She is the fuel behind all of this wonderfulness. Mary started the first Vanguard group five years ago. Last year she moved to Hungary, and delegated many of her "hats" like being head of the group, teaching a certain subject, leading the choir, directing the theater group, and so on. It took MANY people to replace one Mary!  Now that she barely moved back from Hungary, she is starting off a new fifth Vanguard group!

It was wonderful to come together to be trained and be in the presence of great women, all who want to do our very best to teach these youth and bring them to Christ.


Karen said...

I love this, what a great way to sum up why Vanguard is so awesome :-) And great pictures that brought back memories...those are some great youth!

Nickie said...

Thank you Becky. I shared your post at our blog for parents to read and learn.

Marni Hall said...

Just saw this from a link on Karen's blog. Vanguard really is easy to love. So thankful all the time that my family and I get to be a part of it.

Tammy said...

I also just shared your post!! This is total awesomeness and Kylee would agree! She is so inspired that she is doing ALL of the Masters from our group and yours! SHE LOVES VANGUARD! I have never seen my daughters study and be so excited! Thank you Mary and to all the other mentors who are so kind and share with all your hearts! Your efforts are not going unnoticed. :) WE LOVE YOU!!!

Tiffany said...

My name is Tiffany Thomson. I have been hearing amazing things about Vanguard groups and was excited to find this post. I would love to learn more. I am not sure what ages these groups are geared towards. My kids are still pretty little but I am totally interested in learning more. If you have any information that would be helpful, please email me at teamthomson2005@gmail.com. Thanks so much!

Susan Miller said...

Please share with me more about Vanguard and how we can join a group. Please email me at susanymiller@gmail.com. We are new to the Ogden area and would really like to find a place for our 12-year-old daughter. Thank you.