Homeschooling for Charity

Robert M. Hutchins Quote - Poster

It’s amazing how much ‘work’ a student will do when they really buy in to why they are doing it. When there is a tangible result with a real reward – like shopping for $10,000 worth of Christmas gifts for kids with cancer – writing letters and speeches, making to do lists and phoning strangers to request interviews gets done with vigor. (As a mom, I grant that some of that vigor may come as a means of justifying the house chores that her brothers have taken over to give her time for these added duties.)

One of the blessings of homeschooling is that I can, often, coordinate the work required to keep them on track with the public school students with events and projects in their lives. I’m not saying that all the school work we do is relevant on such a grand scale as raising ten thousand dollars. But most of it can be made relevant enough that they buy in.

For example, Canadian history happened right where we live. The growing of a country leading to our confederation is local history. We can walk to the old cannon that my kids like to create skits around and study our very own history in conjunction. We have, in fact, covered dramatic arts topics after picnicking there. Come to think of it, we have gone home and studied Newton’s laws of physics, after marveling at the distance the cannon had to shoot to hit a boat in the harbour. And…

…We’re back to history as we wonder and research just who would have been attacking from the harbour that we should need a cannon on a hill.

I sit here writing on a Sunday evening while Cheridan repeats the speech she wrote to the mirror, ad nauseum. There is a deadline for delivering that speech that she has bought into. Earlier, she spent time brainstorming for a press release that needs to get out first thing this week. More buy in.

Much praise should be given to teachers in school, as many of them manage to get their students to feel the relevance of their subject matter despite not being able to personalize it for each individual. Personally, I am very blessed to be able to say ‘Yes!’ when our daughter wants to raise a huge sum of money for charity and then get to apply much of the learning to her schooling – and the rest, to her life.

photo credit: Ozyman via photopin cc

Trenton teen with a big goal: $10,000 by Christmas

She’s so local, she lives right in our house.  And she’s on a mission.

Is it possible to raise $10,000 for Sick Kids by Christmas 2014?

Is it possible to raise $10,000 for Sick Kids by Christmas 2014?

Our daughter, Cheridan, 13, has long planned to donate her hair to make wigs for cancer patients.

Last week, she upped the ante. Friday, November 14 was the official launch date of her fund raising campaign:

$10,000 for Sick Kids by Christmas

Does anyone else simultaneously hope and dread that their children will do big things?

We have always told our kids to Dream Big and I was always aware that, one day, I may have to put my money where my mouth is.

That day has come.

When the time approached for our daughter to cut her hair for wigs, I suggested getting the most out of it by running a fund raiser. Not knowing what dollar goal to set, I felt out her belief level.

“How much do you want to raise?”

“Ten thousand dollars,” she said, without hesitation. Wow. Those “Dream Big” instructions had worked. (I later learned that she had been joking, sort of.)

I can’t said that I jumped in without hesitation but it didn’t take long. A little basic math – 1000 people donating $10 or 500 people giving $20.

Okay. That’s not crazy.

I’m connected with many hundreds of generous people through social media, what with personal connections and the homeschooling communities that we belong too. Then there are our business associates and her dad’s coworkers.

That’s well over 1000 people already.

A quick call to a dear friend to check that I wasn’t totally insane to even entertain the notion, full approval from her dad (and a second opinion about my sanity) and we were a go.

A long to do list of was created. Deadlines were set. Research begun.

November 14th, we launched her campaign on the fund raising site, Go Fund Me.

Sick Kids doesn’t know it but they have a 13 year old on their side who has a big goal. And I think she’s going to hit it.