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birchbark

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About birchbark

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  • Biography
    Mom of three boys and a girl
  • Interests
    Travel, canoeing, home design. My homeschool is a mix of Classical, CM, and Waldorf.
  • Occupation
    Wife, mother, and home-educator

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  1. Our son is heading down to the Orlando, FL area for flight school after the new year. He enjoys choral singing, handbells, and ballroom dance. Does anyone know of local opportunities there he could get involved in?
  2. Well, I am going to have to disagree about outsourcing. I have found that outsourcing has led to much more stress and busyness in our homeschool, and has been the opposite of minimalism. Outsourcing means assessment, and assessment means being *prepared* on a certain day to be *judged* on your *performance.* Those three words -- prepared, judged, and performance -- are key. Actually, those three words are what truly propelled my son into learning. Perhaps this is where you need to know your student, but for my type-A, extroverted son, he thrived on accountability. I am generally a Charlotte-Mason-type homeschooler, and I initially pictured our high school being more relaxed and home-brewed. But the potential was definitely not being reached. I was astounded at how DS stepped up to the plate with a little outside pressure. I do understand what you are saying, though. I myself learn and perform much better without pressure.
  3. Yes, you're right, there is more going on in high school. When you outsource, there is much less for you, the mom, to worry about. You can focus on what you need to focus on without worrying that other balls are being dropped. Maybe that's a particular subject or an extracurricular you want to do together, or maybe you just need to focus on your relationship (which is a lot bigger deal in high school). For me, I also had younger children I was schooling. Motivation, or the lack of it, can be a big factor in high school as well (I think more with boys). The fewer subjects you are responsible for, the fewer battles being fought-- in that scenario. We live rurally, so the best option for us was online classes. You're also right about getting the driver's license promptly. It opened up a lot of opportunities for us. So it's good to budget for both of these!
  4. The three R's, with content subjects like science and history grouped under the reading R, such as in the Robinson Curriculum. For spatial minimalism, get books from the library, use electronic copies, or buy and sell again when completed. Although I'm a minimalist that has no problem owning a decent library of hardcopy books. So basically a math program, a LA program, and some selected books. Use composition books instead of binders. Smaller, less messy. Liberally outsource in high school. Art is tough. We've had the most "minimalistic success" with watercolor.
  5. Just want to say, this sounds very familiar! It was extremely frustrating to me to have a smart kid who was just so unmotivated! Just this past year (and we're almost 19 here, folks), I have seen a spurt of maturity and motivation regarding his future. Yay. So there is hope. I feel for you. Sometimes you just have to settle for the least of all evils and make it work. High school goes really fast. We had to bring Dad in as the heavyweight because, yes, not good for mom-and-son relationship. I know it can be really tempting to let him have his way. Once, a mom on here asked about how much we should let our kids experience the consequences of their own decisions. One wise poster said that, while they are minors, they did not let them make decisions in areas that had the potential of majorly affecting the rest of their lives. They considered education one of these. So see if your DH can be the main overseer/enforcer. If not, outsource differently so that there are not open days that you feel you have to manage. You're right, your younger kids will suffer if you use all your emotional capital on your high-schooler.
  6. Auntie Leila's Rules for Mothering a 13yo Boy were a lifesaver for me that I came back to over and over again throughout my oldest's teen years. I also think it's good to outsource some things to an adult male (Dad, tutor, online teacher) if possible. Civil Air Patrol provided some out-of-the-house reinforcement of our values as well as skills and character development.
  7. Melissa from Reflections from Drywood Creek is putting on a day-long homeschool retreat in western Wisconsin. Terri Woods will be speaking along with some other experienced homeschool moms. There will be special sessions on high school. Lunch provided. Used books for sale. More info and registration here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/journey-an-education-for-life-tickets-67936121769?aff=utm_source%3Deb_email%26utm_medium%3Demail%26utm_campaign%3Dnew_event_email&utm_term=eventurl_text
  8. Not online, but Learn Math Fast would work well for this.
  9. I successfully remediated my oldest's handwriting with Smithhand.
  10. You can combine history, literature, and geography with Notgrass.
  11. I would look at Learn Math Fast. They have two levels of geometry and according to reviews, have success with dyscalculia/dyslexic students.
  12. We skipped Chemistry. My DS did Biology, Physical (included a touch of Chemistry), Earth/Meteorology at home and then Physics at the CC. I would look into a more practical science for her: Earth/Environmental, Meteorology, Heath/Nutrition, Astronomy, Animal Husbandry/Genetics, etc.
  13. DS just received his first acceptance to the University of North Dakota. UND is his first school choice as it is a top aerospace school and within driving distance of home. At this point though, he is leaning toward joining the Air National Guard first and possibly going for higher education down the road. But your first school acceptance is pretty exciting, especially for Mom! ETA: Also accepted to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. (Chancellor Scholarship) Met with an ANG recruiter.
  14. My son also thrived with outside accountability. DS was smart, but unmotivated. Both academics AND relationship went better when someone else brought the pressure to bear. In hindsight, I wish we had done more. I'm grateful we have so many options in our day. I will be very quick to outsource when my next students get to high school.
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