Sunday, September 16, 2012

Managing the Pressure of High School

Homeschooling High School Can be a daunting propsition. The courses get more difficult, the kids have more ideas of thier own and there are a ton of "extras" that can be added in. The kids are driving, working, texting and have a social life. It can be crazy busy. I've found the only way to keep track of the schedules and requirements (ours and the states) and the want-to's is to Plan our Work and Work our Plan.

Feeche is our 3rd homeschooled high schooler. His schedule and work load looks distinctly different than his two older sisters did. We have different resources, a different kid and different goals. He worked part time all last year and through the summer but recently quit in order to fit in some fo the extra's that he wants to do this year.
First off, I made a general "by the month" schedule- this included core classes: Pre-calc, Physics, For Language, Lit, History and misc stuff we're working on, along with how much work needed to be accomplished for each course each month.

Then I made a general daily schedule. Monday, Wednesday, Thursdays are the same schedule; and Tuesdays and Fridays are a different schedule.

You'll notice spelling on there- here's the deal. My son is incredibly bright. Spelling is his achilles heel. He wants to continue working on it, so we do. We are finishing up Sequential Spelling and using IEW's High School Vocab and Spelling program. It won't go on his transcript because details like spelling, vocab, grammar, et al are subsumed by general catagories such as Lit or English.

From there I make a weekly schedule, using one of Donna Young's scheduling pages.  As Feeche completes the work, he highlights it on the page. Then on Sunday, I go through and see where he's at for the next week. He schedules appointments with 2 outsourced tutors (math and PO- he's hoping to add art to that line-up) during times we are in town. Friday afternoons are open. He manages his own P.T. (Physcial Training, ballrom dancing on Fridays) and Devotions.  He  has 4 weeks out of pocket planned (2 weeks for Challenge staffing in October and Paging at the Capital in Jan. That means he's working ahead on things now, in order to finish classes in the spring and graduate.

You might also notice that Physics includes the text and study guide and then "GC." This refers to the Great Courses Physics that he and Cub are watching together. It's part of my lasagna learning approach- layer upon layer of information. And since Cub is doing Jr. High Phyics with the amazingly talented science guru Mrs. J, it works out for both.

You'll also notice that some of the stuff is elementary- music theory for instance. I love the quote on Master and Commander when Lucky Jack is leading the memorial service for Midshipman Hollam and declares, "the truth of the matter is that not all of us are the men we'd hoped to be." Same for educating our kids. There's ideal and reality. Reality is that my kid can do some serious home improvement projects (he's already hired out as a drywaller), get himself around the country with money he's earned and tickets he's purchased, understands and can quote serious chunks of Shakepspeare,etc. etc. There's only so much time to go around. So, he's still learning  basic music theory. Not my ideal, but it is what it is. And, btw, he is loving it.

I'll be adding Khan Academy programming to the list this week and once he's done with Latin he's probably switch to RS Hebrew (along with the German) based on his plans for next year. We're playing Powerglide Latin in the car during trips to town (lucky him) and watching stuff like "The Art of War" and DownTown Abby- which isn't officially school, but certainly counts towards History (20th century overview - loving Speilvogel ; ).

That's our system. Thoughts?


Tracey Designs and Artworks said...

I enjoyed reading this post! I have a new 10th grader and love reading about how others work and handle homeschooling highschool.
I really can appreciate and commend you as a homeschool parent on allowing your son to continue to work on through spelling and not toss it aside and also allow him to work at his level in areas where he may need it. Many push their kids into areas they are just not ready for. We need to meet our children where they are not with our own ideals. Kudos to you and your son!

Amy Maze said...

I'll say that I really do enjoy the NON-pressure of homeschooling a 4 year old =) But, I know that high school will be here before I know it! Thanks for sharing your way of managing it all with us at Trivium Tuesdays!

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