The big question: What are we going to use for High School? That’s been on my mind since the boys were 4 and 1. Will they go to public school? Will we pay for private school? Who will teach math? Now that we are thick in the middle of homeschooling High School – the question is much more difficult than I ever imagined. Now it is:
How do I narrow down all these amazing choices for High School? So many amazing choices. Videos, books, guides. Full curriculums. Dual enrollment. Tutors. It’s crazy. We have two years left and 20 years worth of material available. What’s a person to do?
Well, the same as we did when they were 4 and 1. Pray. Seriously. Pray and ask what our goals should be? What is the direction of our learning? What path are they on? Ask the boys – what are your goals? What are you yearning for? What direction do you want to go? What do you want to study in science this year? What direction do you want to take in math? A peaceful calm will come over you as you start to write these choices down.
Choice – It’s still all about choice! Freedom!!! Your education – the education of your child – is still up to you. Some days that can feel like the most overwhelming life and breath choking responsibility. Unless you turn your eyes off of your own weakness – and look at your amazing kids, this amazing country and our amazing God! There are so many choices – we really are still free to learn anything – any way – we choose. Be creative. Think outside of the box. Go towards their interests and goals! Be courageous! You can do it!
This year, heading into the Junior and 8th grade years, I sat down with my planners. I’ve already made goals and have set on a path for High School. I looked over the path we’ve been on, basically since 7th grade, and tried to think, pray, ponder if this is still the right trajectory. Do we need to change? Does this still line up? For our 11th grade son – Yes.
I use the High School Schoolhouse Planner from SchoolhouseTeachers.com. (It is now free as part of the subscription.) This helps me to see if we are on track for college opportunities, if there is a subject we are missing, anything academically we need to tweek or add. It gets my unschooling brain aware of ‘school’ speak. Yesterday I printed out the Course of Study pages. It gives me 8 subjects for each child on one page.
Here’s what Nate’s ended up looking like:
English Literature? This is where our biggest hole is. I looked at the Excellence in Literature book list. We read through the older McGuffy’s when not in a literature book. Each subject we study – comes with great reading. We are familiar with many of the books offered for 11th and 12th grades. Just not sure. We’ll continue to take writing classes, focused on Essays, Thesis, Grammar, Editing, etc. For my 11th grade year, in public school – we read a very short book – Ten Little Indians and then there were None. I read it the first week, then used the class as a study hall period. All they did was read the book – in the class. When my teacher found out what I was doing, he kicked me out and moved me to AP English. We re-wrote plays/passages into modern language. It was really – REALLY – a fun class. Milton. Shakespeare. But it does remind me that I don’t need to go huge intense classical education on my non classical son.
Logic? Looking at a few logic options. I have some really great tools already. I’m praying that the group of Teens would be willing to do a logic / speech / debate / fallacy type group together.
For 8th Grade, the list was pretty simple.
- Easy Grammar Ultimate 8th Grade
- Math U See Pre-Algebra (We also have Teaching Textbooks Pre – and he can choose)
- Writing – Either continue with IEW or move to Write Foundation that we used with Nate.
- US History – with Nate – books from library, netflix, etc.
- Art, Music, Composers, Nature – Harmony Fine Arts and Outdoor Hour Nature Study
- Science? Not sure. Knowing how intense it all gets the next 4 years – it is nice to sort of still take a break from intense. Continue on with Oceanography – Tides, Waves, Storms, Clouds, Biology, Nature, Chemistry, Physics, – His whole life is a science lab – we’ll keep unschooling it one more year.
And again – the hole – with literature. We’ll pick 2-3 great works, and read through them. We are reading a book right now – The Eternal Argument by R. Robin Finley. I’m hoping that it will help them find a focus as two why to read classical literature. Jon really enjoys poetry – so we’ll keep up with that and find him some great passages to read.
Weird aside – I am staring at a squirrel and 3 chickens right now – they wandered up on the deck. I have a lost duck at the bottom of the stairs that apparently is unable to follow the chickens and he is seriously loud about it. QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK. Apparently – I need to go put out some feed. ha.
So – That’s where I am today. I have many of the supplies. I’m still using Timberdoodles Core Curriculum as a guide. I’m using SchoolhouseTeachers.com as a frame for subjects and courses. I’ll eventually use HomeschoolTracker for scheduling when I get these ordered and decided. It will be with Homeschool Tracker that I’ll know if the day is too heavy or not enough. Some of the products are ful 1 term or even 3 months. Some we’ll do once a week – or for an entire month as a focus. We don’t do every topic every day.
How are you coming with your planning? What are you using? I’d love to chat it up!