When we first moved out to Tucson nearly three years ago, a woman in a new homeschool group we joined also happened to be quite involved in American Heritage Girls (AHG). We thought about having the girls join, but I was worried it would be too much of a time commitment. This last fall the girls finally joined, and I wish we would have done it sooner!
AHG is a Christian program for girls to teach them skills, manners, self-confidence, and so many other things. AHG is a bit like Girl Scouts, but the Christian nature of AHG is echoed in much of what is done.
In our AHG group, my girls are in the Tenderheart level for grades 1 to 3. They meet twice a month and work on a badge at the meetings. At the Tenderheart level, the girls earn a badge by completing 4 to 6 activities. The girls have earned badges in their meetings for Cake Decorating, Etiquette, and Living in the USA, to name a few.
Girls also have the opportunity to do activities at home for badges. While I was worried that this would take extra time, earning AHG badges at home dovetails seamlessly with our homeschool activities.
For instance, in January, we were studying the early roots of our country. This perfectly complemented the activities needed for the Native American badge where the girls were to learn about Squanto, Pocahontas and several other prominent Native Americans. In addition, they needed to make and paint a Native American clay pot and write in Native American writing. Doing these activities enriched our homeschool experience and the history we were already studying.
Another important element of AHG is to volunteer. In the fall, the girls volunteered to sing Christmas carols at a retirement home. They also volunteered to help sort and arrange food donations.
Recently, they’ve started volunteering once a month packing sack lunches for the homeless. The AHG girls and other volunteers pack over 200 sack lunches to take to the local homeless shelter.
For every 5 hours that a girl volunteers, she gets a service star badge. This year both girls will have reached the five hours of volunteer work for a service star.
Other Special Events
In addition, there are opportunities to take part in other special events. Both girls signed up for pen pals and will earn a pen pal badge this year. PB & J’s pen pal is in Tennessee, and Cuddle Bug’s pen pal is in Texas. They’ve loved writing letters and receiving them.
While I was hesitant for the girls to join AHG, I’m so glad that they did. They’re learning important skills to help them as they grow into young adults, and they’re having fun and making good friends. AHG is a perfect homeschool extracurricular.
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