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Discussion: Orienteering and Home School Groups ?

in: Orienteering; General

Aug 28, 2020 10:06 PM # 
Can anyone share experience with orienteering and home school groups? Not so much getting them to come to orienteering events but in bringing orienteering to them, possibly as a minor revenue stream for an orienteering club.
I did a search though back AP threads and found only scant reference to orienteering with the home school groups.
However, it seems they have more flexibility in programming than other school models. It also seems that orienteering can fill their needs for physical activity as well as parts of STEM education and decision making/ problem solving skills for their students.
(Home school kids do not stay at home to get schooled. They are probably on the road and experiencing more in real locations than are their contemporaries in the traditional schools.)
Aug 28, 2020 10:51 PM # 
MNOC sells quite a few POC maps (20 -30 ? per year) (single and bulk packs of 5) to home school groups. These home school groups also go through programs set up at local Nature Centers that hold classes based upon the POC's we have set up. It seems that home school groups often want to do daytime stuff when most club members are at work and unavailable to help.
Aug 28, 2020 11:10 PM # 
SOGO Adventure Running (Calgary's kids program) has a homeschool program
Aug 29, 2020 2:21 AM # 
I had several home school groups during my time as Orienteering WA Development Officer. One group got so keen they had lessons every year and ended up becoming Champion School at our annual State School Champs by winning or placing in several age groups. One family became members and are still active - in fact one mum became an accredited coach and now runs lessons for us.

Some observations:

Venue - mostly don't have their own school grounds, so have to use a nearby park, which may have no natural boundaries. Solution was to get parents and older students (also see below) to patrol potentially unsafe areas.

Age range - unlike a normal school where you have a class of 30 kids all the same age, home school might have 20 kids from 5 or 6 yrs up to 17-18. This might mean planning for 2-3 different activities happening at the same time, all with fairly small numbers. Enlist parents help with the younger kids, following them around. Later the older kids might be able to do this.

Home schools tend to have plenty of parents involved and on hand, so use them as much as possible.
Aug 29, 2020 12:15 PM # 
I'm writing an interdisciplinary navigation curriculum that includes orienteering (I know, big surprise) for homeschoolers through Lernsys, but I don't think it will be available until late fall. Topics include math, physics, design, art, history, language arts, orienteering, executive function...

Parts of the online Basic Orienteering curriculum that we'll open to OUSA members next week might be useful, but difficult for younger kids to accomplish without a coach. It's more of a sport approach than an academic one.
Aug 29, 2020 9:38 PM # 
I put on an orienteering day for a homeschooled group last fall after the group reached out to my sister and me. They were doing a "navigation" unit, and somehow came across orienteering in their research for potential lessons/activities.

We created a basic map of a local park for the group, and although the map quality was certainly lacking in a number of areas, it worked fine for the kids as beginners. There was a wide range of ages (5-12, with a few even younger siblings tagging along), which made teaching a little tougher, but all the kids and parents really enjoyed the activity! There were a lot of parents present, and it was very helpful to have an adult with each group of 2-3 kids to ensure safety when crossing a (very minor) road.

This was done without any sort of compensation, and I'm not sure how much revenue doing something like this regularly could realistically bring to clubs, but I think it would be a good way to recruit new people to other club events.
Aug 29, 2020 11:53 PM # 
My wife and I have hosted several Homeschool Orienteering Workshops (HOW). The workshop is composed of three weekly workshops in May 2017, May 2018, and May 2020 (planned but cancelled). Each workshop had 3 sessions. Each session was at a different park and each park had three courses. We would have some instruction (<5 minutes) and then families would go out on a course. After the first time, the Moms would go with the smaller kids while the older kids would go on their own. For those that came to multiple sessions we would change the instruction to focus on tips such as thumbing the map. We had online registration with a discount for registering for multiple sessions. And we based the pricing on the family - # of kids (parents were free). For both workshops we got to about 100 people participating - average age for the kids was 12-13. Some of those families have come to regular meets. We would have had more had we been prepared to "sell" passes to our two orienteering series. We advertised on homeschool facebook pages and we emailed directors of homeschool co-ops. It may have helped that we are also a homeschool family.

This discussion thread is closed.