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Advice for last year at home...

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It's almost here, and it's okay....I know we'll be okay. My son will be heading off to high school next year ~ fall 2013. It's a wonderful, small, boys' private school that is nearly in my backyard. It's always been the plan but.... tempus fugit... here we are. I'm here this morning just seeking advice...WWYD if it were your last year at home schooling??


His strengths are definitely content/knowledge in history, geography, doing fine in lit, but information is his specialty :) . He's finishing Saxon Alg 1/2 and doing fine there too. His attitude is also a strength. He WANTS to succeed.

His weaknesses are in language arts...grammar is a little sketchy (he is working on the CLE LA assesment. He's about half way through Level 600 and is struggling), spelling is atrocious, and therefore struggles in writing as well. His handwriting is a bit on the lackadaisical side as well. But the school work is completed on laptops, so this won't be a HUGE issue. Oh, I think I forgot to mention he'll be "8th Grade".


I asked him what he'd like to do for his last year. He wants to brush up on medieval history, modern history and read the Lord of the Rings (his 4th time maybe) (not sure I would have time for LLFLOTR..or maybe it was $$ ??)


I guess I am in a "let's make it the BEST YEAR EVER!!!" or "holy *@%* Batman we've got work to do!!" conundrum.


It is also my last year at home with DD as the plan is for me to return to full-time work. She'll be 4th grade, but my husband is willing to home school her with my guidance ;). We'll do some of OM 4, CLE LA & Math, First Form Latin, plus whatever else she gets into...she's a very motivated learner! :tongue_smilie:


TIA for your wise and kind advice....off to mope around and make moony faces at my boy.....

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We're a year behind you, but similar scenario. Dd is a rising 7th grader but will go to our local public high school. It's so individual as to what each child needs. Here are the things I want to make sure we cover well over the next two years:


-Read alouds--there are many classics that I want to do with her rather than just wait for her to do in high school (cause I'll miss out on that!). Huck Finn, Pride and Prejudice, A Tale of Two Cities, etc.--I haven't made the official list yet. I'm thinking about LLfLoTR for 8th grade.

-Handwriting--drives me crazy that this child still mixes capitals and lower case. Going to get that fixed once and for all!

-Math--I want her to have a really solid math background and be able to go right into a proof-based geometry class. I'm going to work on some skills with the PSAT in mind. Also need to build some good habits for higher-level math classes, like showing work in a clear, linear manner (she does a lot in her head right now).

-Will continue to work on academic writing. She made good progress on essays this year. She'll need to tackle research papers before high school. And typing goes along with this too.

-Spanish--with a strong Latin background and some Spanish background, I don't want her to linger in Spanish 1. We'll use the same Spanish 1 book as the high school over the next 2 years and have her ready for Spanish 2.

-She's in band at the middle school and we may add science there too if there is a class right before or after band. She hasn't really made friends there, but she does enjoy band and will have an activity that she is part of when she gets to high school.


It all goes by so quickly. I guess it's also important to do some of those things that make the home school life special--field trips, occasional studying in a coffee shop, hot chocolate and jammies by the fire, etc. Enjoy your year!

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I'd have him work thru a spelling program, get his grammar and writing under control, take lots of field trips if you can, work on organization of his class materials, and notetaking from a lecture, and make sure he's got the basics of whatever religion/worldview you think is important.


Social knowledge:

Work thru scenarios of what to do when things happen with peers. Go over sex/drug talks, discuss your views of dating and such, and talk about what he should do when he really doesn't want to do the right thing. Go over the "don't get in the car with kids who have taken something or who are drinking," go over the fact that "not everybody is doing IT (whatever IT is)" and tell him your rules or ideas for curfew or emergency phone calls to be picked up, etc.


School Culture:

Discuss things like changing classes, what books to take each day to class, how to use a locker (will he have time to go to his locker inbetween classes or will he have to plan his morning and carry a backpack to class), what to do with late homework, and how to set a meeting with his teacher. Start enforcing deadlines at home. You could even assign a little homework from time to time--Work on time management skills.


The hardest stuff for my boys was organizing all the daily papers/handouts/assignments in several notebooks, and remembering what they'd need each day for class, along with managing their time. It was hard for my Aspie to take good notes and pick up on what the teacher assigned--they often don't repeat instructions or remind kids as often as parents do, on things like what is coming up or when things are due. Teach your kiddo to WRITE THINGS DOWN!!


I would totally recommend a visit while kids are still in school, so you can see how they dress, figure out exactly how to get to classes, know where the gym/cafeteria/office/nurse/guidance counselor rooms/bathrooms/carpool-kiss and ride dropoff or bus stops are...


Good luck!

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As one that has done that two times before and who has two more at home for just one more year, I say work on writing. My kids who went on to high school have told me their writing instruction was the most helpful. Have him write a research paper, if he hasn't done that before.


And then as others have mentioned, school schedules were hard for both my kids. They both spent the first semester learning how to balance all they had to focus on. My daughter took a while to figure out that a 10 point assignment wasn't worth an hour of her time when she had an 100 point assignment due tomorrow as well.

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MY ds is entering 5th in charter school this coming year. So we are focusing on a quick math review to get up to speed with CLE math which he is breezing through very quickly. We are also doing Writing Skills Book 1 and 2 by Diana Hanbury King this summer to make sure he is on par with school writing. Of course, I still want to do WWE/WWS but I figure we will do these gradually while in school;). For spelling we are using Megaword (he is good with spelling) but for a quick review I think perhaps Webster's Speller 1908 edition may be better. We use Pentime for cursive and we are also doing typing with Dance Mat Typing and Type2Learn from Homeschool Buyer's co-op. I am also having him do a how to outline workbook from Remedia Press. For grammar, we are using Abeka Grammar but also plan on finishing FLL after school starts.

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