Sunday, July 26, 2009
Homeschooling high school
Weeks ago after the Florida Homeschool Convention, I said that I'd have many more blog posts about that. I had a few, but then life in the real world got in the way of the blog world, and it kind of fizzled out. Well, I'm completely re-energized. I went to a homeschooling high school seminar yesterday and it was awesome!! I am really excited about this. One woman in particular had some really valuable information. It wasn't like some of the amazing speakers, with the sometimes heart wrenching stories of the big convention, just some really practical ideas about how to actually do this high school thing. The best part is, I feel like we're on the right track. If you look back on my posts from long ago, somewhere in there is a story about how when we started homeschooling we were more or less unschoolers, then I realized maybe we were more of the delayed academics camp...in either case we definitely delayed academics. We just did lots of stuff...field trips, visits to the library, living life, traveling, and lots and lots of reading. Often I'd say things like baking can "count" as math (measuring) and science (heat, chemical reactions), not to mention reading the recipe, etc...etc... The truth was we didn't have to really "count" anything because we are homeschoolers registered with the county. I didn't need anyone to tell me what to do when because I knew that I wanted the best for my kids and we'd work it out. As we approach the high school years, now it is time to "count" things (not for high school per say, the county still doesn't really care), we'll need transcripts for college, and guess what, baking can still count as something...it can be a high school class called Food Preparation--Desserts. I remember our pediatrician asking about how Jonathan's schooling was going at his 7 year old check up. I made some comment about how he was going to be present at the birth of his baby brother in a few weeks. Her reply had something to do with the fact that child birth is not a part of the second grade scope and sequence. Somehow without spending hours a day on "school" my kids learned (and experienced) an awful lot. Eventually our days did become a little more structured, but the bottom line is my "delayed academics" son is going to be doing Algebra 1 in 8th grade (and it can "count" as a high school credit) (I was a pretty good student in public school (mostly As) and spent the requisite 50 minutes a day plus homework on my math and didn't do Algebra 1 until 9th grade). You see, eventually Jonathan "caught up" academically. He didn't need to spend six hours a day on "busy work". He wouldn't read any better today if I left "homework" for him to do on that day when he was in second grade and his baby brother was born. We have video of him saying "when is the placenta going to come out?" (he missed it when he was in the other room frosting the birthday cake). We are educating our kids for life (well, eternity) not just 1st grade, 2nd grade, 9th grade. I've never really encountered much negativity with regards to the unconventional way we've done things, but I've often felt that I should try to explain our methods a little so people could "get it". Not just to people who didn't understand homeschooling, but also to people whose homeschooling looked more like "school at home". This year in our home(school) I'm not teaching a 1st grader, 6th grader, and 8th grader, I'm helping PEOPLE to learn about themselves and life and to live it--and we'll be getting high school credits to boot!