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helena

Is anyone else struggling to find their place in high school homeschooling? Is it so wrong that we want to paint and listen to Velvet Underground?

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:tongue_smilie:

 

We are doing school work, don't get me wrong. I mean... it looks like chump change next to what I see here, but we work Monday-Friday in the basic subjects. Lots of quality reading, piano, and fencing.

Except for French with Mr. G (an online class), we don't use any official workbook type texts. I'll admit that we'll use them as little as possible. :) Workbooks are kind of the opposite of who we are.

 

My 9th grader plans to go straight to CC (a good one), and from there she can transfer most everything over to our local (good) university. She has friends that have already gone and will soon be going to great universities. So it's not like she doesn't know that the world is her oyster and she's got just as good of a chance to push hard, kick butt, and get into any school she likes.

 

Because I'm so... oddball   :001_huh: I worry that I'll stunt her growth. Does anyone know what I mean? Before I had kids I was beyond a free spirit. Homeschooling has worked so well with that. We're very comfortable with school, curricula, schedules, etc. But we're not talking, thinking, playing with the idea of SATs, AP courses, and all the other juicy stuff discussed on the HS boards. Is there an underwater basket weaving high school, homeschool group?? 

 

So what does my low key, hard working, no thank you to stress kid do? Here it is if that helps:

Math: TT Algebra (struggling but working through it)

 

Language Arts: Book club reading list (just finished Great Expectations), WWS 1 (We've surrendered to the fact that she'll do one level per year and we'll just ignore the recommended ages), Spencerian Cursive (we love it, it will hopefully lead to Arabic calligraphy classes as well), informal poetry study (she's been memorizing and reading since the beginning), speech study (one per month with supplements and Q&A), Cozy Grammar and Growing with Grammar (level 8 as a review), French online with Mr G (awesome and I imagine her going all the way through with him)

 

History: History Odyssey level 2 (we tweak the schedule to make it less intense, she learns a lot and loves it)

 

Science: Ellen McHenry Elements, next will be her Chemistry (I know it's too young for her, but we have a good time with this level of science work and I supplement with more fun stuff) I think this is where a lot of my anxiety is coming from. She dislikes science so I've kept it super relaxed but very consistent. Five days a week it's either our normal science work or nature studies. We've been working on herbariums for almost two years now for example.

 

Geography: We just finished Beautiful Feet geography. One map a year, but we did it!  :001_wub:  For the rest of the year we're going to work on basic map skill, I have a whole plan in my head of what I know the girls will enjoy. Next year, Mapping the World with Art. 

 

Logic: Art of Argument has been so popular here! 

 

Then there's art studies where I've created a picture study bulletin board, we do seasonal handicrafts, all sorts of fun stuff from a schedule I created for the whole year. We lightly cover ballet, opera, art, all the good stuff. 

Piano lessons have been going for years. Her teacher is an old musician and is very laid back with her. She plays great.

She's been fencing for years too. Again she loves it, is good at it... but she's very laid back about it. She's like this with everything. We all are.

 

Oh good gravy, am I turning her into a jack of all trades and master of none?? Does all this schooly, it's serious because it's high school stuff turn her into a responsible, functioning, bill paying, car insurance having adult? Is there anyone here going to the beat of their own funny little drum and it's all working out? I know for myself that I can never go to the regular folks world. If I ever find myself alone in this world I'll be headed for a commune...

I might not have any business homeschooling through high school. Truth is though, we're in it to the end. I'm never going to do so much of all the impressive stuff I see here. We mostly just want to be free, make art and music, and read good books. I've been questioning lately though, can my approach to life get in the way of my kids potential. I don't want to go from being free and creative in 2nd grade to irresponsible in 11th by not taking it serious enough. 

I'm looking for middle ground I guess. I know I'll learn a lot here HS board and what we do and use will evolve and improve. Can we stay true to our "creative" lifestyle and easy going pace, not school very traditionally, thrive, and produce useful members of society in our children? 

 

Okay, for my own sake, in a nut shell  :willy_nilly:

I'm trying so hard to do right by them and give them a solid education. All of us here live to learn. I'll never be a brainiac mom making all the successful moves for their future. Stress is a destroyer for my Lupus and their Tourettes, I'd rather keep many subjects low key and interesting. I come to the high school boards and panic because everyone is so on it, I'm scared of robbing them of something, what, I don't know. We're happy the way we are. Our lives are full of interesting experiences and people, but how will that pay the bills for them when they're grown? I wish I could find some other folks on a similar wave length. 

 

If you've made it this far, thank you. :) That felt good to get off my chest.

 

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HOLY COW!! How did that get so long?? :lol:

Sorry guys. 

I do feel a little better now. I feel like I've come clean on the high school boards and can be a little more comfortable here. 

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:bigear:  My four older kids went to a private high school overseas, three of them starting in 10th grade. My fifth child is in 7th grade, and I don't think he will have the same opportunity. We would do similarly as the OP if we follow our natural inclinations, but with a different slant due to his gifts and interests. I get real panicky when I think of moving him through high school, for some reason. My experience only goes through 9th grade. And he is (surprise, surprise) different from the others. Very much coming into his own academically, but his preferred method of learning is almost exclusively through reading. He doesn't handle stress well, but is quite the thinker/analyzer. I'll be listening in.

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My 9th grader plans to go straight to CC (a good one), and from there she can transfer most everything over to our local (good) university. She has friends that have already gone and will soon be going to great universities. So it's not like she doesn't know that the world is her oyster and she's got just as good of a chance to push hard, kick butt, and get into any school she likes.

 

Because I'm so... oddball   :001_huh: I worry that I'll stunt her growth. Does anyone know what I mean? Before I had kids I was beyond a free spirit. Homeschooling has worked so well with that. We're very comfortable with school, curricula, schedules, etc. But we're not talking, thinking, playing with the idea of SATs, AP courses, and all the other juicy stuff discussed on the HS boards. Is there an underwater basket weaving high school, homeschool group?? 

 

...

 

Oh good gravy, am I turning her into a jack of all trades and master of none?? Does all this schooly, it's serious because it's high school stuff turn her into a responsible, functioning, bill paying, car insurance having adult? Is there anyone here going to the beat of their own funny little drum and it's all working out? I know for myself that I can never go to the regular folks world. If I ever find myself alone in this world I'll be headed for a commune...

I might not have any business homeschooling through high school. Truth is though, we're in it to the end. I'm never going to do so much of all the impressive stuff I see here. We mostly just want to be free, make art and music, and read good books. I've been questioning lately though, can my approach to life get in the way of my kids potential. I don't want to go from being free and creative in 2nd grade to irresponsible in 11th by not taking it serious enough. 

I'm looking for middle ground I guess. I know I'll learn a lot here HS board and what we do and use will evolve and improve. Can we stay true to our "creative" lifestyle and easy going pace, not school very traditionally, thrive, and produce useful members of society in our children? 

 

Okay, for my own sake, in a nut shell  :willy_nilly:

I'm trying so hard to do right by them and give them a solid education. All of us here live to learn. I'll never be a brainiac mom making all the successful moves for their future. Stress is a destroyer for my Lupus and their Tourettes, I'd rather keep many subjects low key and interesting. I come to the high school boards and panic because everyone is so on it, I'm scared of robbing them of something, what, I don't know. We're happy the way we are. Our lives are full of interesting experiences and people, but how will that pay the bills for them when they're grown? I wish I could find some other folks on a similar wave length. 

 

 

 

There is no "one" way that people should go in order to be successful.  (Success is defined as being able to adequately support themselves as adults - preferably doing something they enjoy.)  There are many different paths and many different pictures of what success is for different people.  It's a niche thing.  We're all designed for our niche (either by evolution or a creator, it doesn't matter).

 

The "wrong" thing to do is to assume everyone needs to follow the same path and end up in the same niche.  It doesn't matter if that means all should head to Top 10 college - or that all should head to cc.  It's a wrong way of thinking.  It's just as wrong for a parent to insist on a certain niche for their offspring - esp when it's clear that their offspring would prefer something else (and is talented for something else).

 

I don't see the latter "wrong" happening in your case.  Your daughter has a path she is content with and it's a perfectly viable path to lead to success.   She appears to be setting up nicely for it.   So... you just need a voice of support to realize the former "wrong" is, indeed, a "wrong."  It is.  I see hundreds of students graduate each year. (I work in a local public high school.)  They all have different paths (some may look similar, but the specifics are different). Many find success.  Those who find success are generally happy.  Those who end up in a niche they aren't happy with are seldom happy.  That could be college - or not.  It depends upon them.

 

If they find themselves unhappy (as a graduated adult), it's never too late to change something to align with a different niche they see.

 

Many students go to cc first (or even stop there) and are perfectly content and successful in life - great people.  If that's her niche, keep at it and enjoy the path.

 

Then... remember it's "her" niche (and that of thousands of others).  There really are some kids who would be bored stiff in a cc beyond high school.  There are some who were created to want more and need more.  The "lucky" ones of these end up homeschooling with parents who are willing to try to see what they can do to provide for them.  (Yes, that sentence is a little biased...)  Those parents search online and come across the Hive - then we gather here to share notes as there are often few IRL that we can talk with.  In reality, we're doing the same for our kids as you are doing for yours - trying to give them an education they want/need/love to prepare them for their niche.

 

The "problem" comes around when we start being human and "comparing" the niches.  Our human brain has been trained to think that some niches are better or more prestigious than others and we should ALL strive to reach them.  The brain surgeon is at or near the top.  The garbage man is at or near the bottom.  It should NOT be that way (IMO).  The brain surgeon is unlikely to be content as a garbage man.  The garbage man is unlikely to be happy as a brain surgeon.  In reality... most of us need the garbage man MORE than the brain surgeon.  Worldwide, the garbage man is more worthy - keeping disease at bay by correctly collecting and taking care of garbage and thus helping the masses.  The brain surgeon helps a few individuals - important for them, of course, but not so much for the masses.  They are different niches - both filling true needs.

 

The world works best when we all find our niche and do our "jobs" well no matter what those jobs are.

 

I think you're doing a good job.

 

That said... if you want to be SURE you're helping her follow her path (and not yours), then keep doing a decent education (which you are right now for 9th grade).  Next year visit some other colleges near you - different types.  See how she reacts.  Talk with her - ask her.  If SHE perks up and wants to head toward that path in some sort of major, then be certain you allow her to be prepared for it (perhaps at a different school than those you visited).  If SHE wonders why people choose that path when cc is right there and is just as good, then be assured.

 

In 10th or 11th grade have her shadow someone in a career (or two) that she thinks she would want.  (Art/music is fine.  ;)  ).

 

And in general (to all who might still be reading), let's rejoice with all of our kids when they are making progress on their path to success without falling into that "human" trap.  I tend to think there's assistance for all paths on this board... I've seen it offered.  When reading, sift through to see what actually "fits" the path your student is on.  Having "more" than needed and sifting to get what is applicable is better than not getting certain options in case they might fit the student.

 

Please feel welcome on this board - and provide your thoughts/experiences when they even remotely seem to fit.  I suspect there are others out there who would welcome your experiences...

 

My youngest is headed to a 4 year school (assuming we can pay for it) this coming fall.  It's not a Top 100 school, but it's right for him.  His desired path (Tropical Marine Bio) is not generally considered a "great" major, but again, it's right for him (so far).  Getting things right for him is MY goal.  Trying to force him to become an engineer or doctor or _____ wouldn't help him or our planet and he's certainly not cut out for a Top 10 school.

 

However, my middle is one of those "wants to always know more" kids who is doing extremely well at a Top 30 school and is hopefully heading pre-med (because HE'S wanted to since 3rd grade and hasn't wavered).  In his high school days we'd often have to tell him to "Put down the book and come play with us (or similar)."  It's the way he's wired.  He's super glad we homeschooled him as he'd have been bored in our local high school (where youngest is thriving).   I'd be just as "wrong" forcing him to do less than he wants.

 

I love them both and want both to reach "success" but it will be along their own paths.

 

(Oldest was a mix of the two and is already married and doing well.)

 

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I agree with everything Creekland said. My 4 older kids are all very different and all took different paths. My oldest went to a pretty typical state university, our 2nd is working at Goodwill, our 3rd is pursuing an Allied health degree from a CC, our 4th is aiming for a select school.

 

4 kids with very different personalities and goals and abilities. Definitely cannot imagine trying to morph any of them into the life/goals of one of their siblings. The lifestyle each one has suits them and yet would drive their siblings nuts. One can't handle any stress at all and anxiety consumes his life. Another thrives on being constantly challenged and stress is his battery charger! One has pie in the sky (though achievable) career objectives while another simply wants to be done with school so that she can earn enough money to get married and have a career with enough flexibility to have a family where she can stay at home with her future kids and work a few shifts/week.

 

The only right/wrong answers are the ones that allow them to pursue their goals/prevent them from doing them.

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ps  From a very young age we've told our boys that there are only two job paths that would disappoint us - becoming a pimp or an illegal drug dealer.  We've since added a third - becoming a terrorist.

 

Anything else that they saw and wanted was perfectly fine with us and we'd help them achieve their goals.  I still feel that way (as long as one doesn't get too technical trying to find something along a similar line to those we wouldn't support).

 

I've enjoyed watching my boys find and go along their chosen paths.

 

Oldest recently told us he's seriously debating between corporate accounting (what he went to school for) and audio/visual (a passion and talent developed both before and during college).  Our response?  You choose - we're happy either way as long as YOU are happy.  His next question... "But wouldn't I be wasting my degree if I went A/V?"  Our response?  Absolutely not... you'll always have it in case you ever need it and even if you don't, the only thing that matters to us is that you're doing something you enjoy (and can support yourself with).

 

Kids start on a path they think is appealing to them and need to be able to adjust it if necessary.  As long as they don't end up in one of our three "off limit" categories, we're happy and feel we've done our job as parents.  The world is a better place when they are in a niche that fits them.  They are (more likely to be) happy too.

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Creekland is full of good advice this morning!  It's funny, because I've told my dd for years she should go to college if she doesn't have a man beating down the door to marry her at 18.  (just roll with me here)  Now I'm encouraging her to go do something really different for a year, like go to a cooking school or florist school or something, then come back and get a degree in business maybe.  That would really suit her.  

 

So does my *good job* with my kid need to look like Regentrude's or Muttichen or Kathy in Richmond or...  ???  Obviously not.  And conversely, their kids aren't spending a year (or two if she gets her way) on the Holocaust and sewing avidly and cooking through cookbooks. (Ok, maybe Regentrude's, haha.)  If your dd has that free spirit and artistic side, it needs room and time.  When we got our evals and feedback two years ago, that was the biggest thing the man said, to make sure we DON'T overwork her, because it would keep her from having time and energy for her creative side to come out.  For her, the creative stuff is as important as the history and literature and...

 

The other thing I see when I read your list is that a lot of your stuff is actually pretty normal high school stuff.  It's NORMAL to do Algebra 1, some lit, blah blah.  Sure some states are upping the ante, but she's still in the range of normal.  The only thing that was odd was your science, which you yourself admitted, and there you have sort of an administrative issue you need to figure out.  See in general high schools want to see high school level stuff on the transcript.  You're going to put English 9 for that combo of lit and WWS1, so that won't matter.  However with that science, you've got a sticky wicket, as you know it's neither high school level nor an actual chem.  So you go back to what the criteria are (time spent, material covered) and try to translate your work honestly into something they can understand.  What you might consider doing is taking that survey of chem you've done and tack on a survey of physics and call the two together Physical Science.  Then you have a label that accurately describes the level of what you did and means something to them.  Put the 1, move on.  Or you decide, hmm, might wanna kick this up and get the actual chem credit.  If you want to do that, maybe look at the GA PBS chem class.  It's available free online.  Or think up more options.  

 

Everything else you're doing seems pretty normal.  I don't expect my dd to be in the top 1%; that's not her reality.  We have some people on here with truly top 1% kids, and it shows.  That's nice, good for them.  We're happy too, just as we are.  I like reading posts about somebody's kid doing diff eq, and I hope somebody enjoys reading posts about my kid's seafood chowder.  It's all good.  :)

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I started to comment last night and erased it. My biggest challenge has been that *I* am the wanting to paint and create all day one. I was aghast when we started homeschooling in first grade and had discipline problems. Dh asked about my schedule and I bristled. Schedule?! I don't homeschool to have a schedule! Implemented loose schedule, what happened? The discipline problems almost disappeared. :svengo: 

 

So I had to find the right mode for ds. He needs to structure to align with his goals and way of learning. That is if we ever want to finish anything. I'd be quite happy to spend all spring building a TARDIS replica and call it learning - that won't get him toward his goals. I feel like we have been this tightly woven fabric since middle school. As he starts to truly develop long-term interests and I can sort of see where he might land academically, collegiately I've loosened some of the threads. I let go of a few. High school is a very different fabric than I had imagined, yet it is reflective of him. 

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There is no "one" way that people should go in order to be successful.  (Success is defined as being able to adequately support themselves as adults - preferably doing something they enjoy.)  There are many different paths and many different pictures of what success is for different people.  It's a niche thing.  We're all designed for our niche (either by evolution or a creator, it doesn't matter).

 

...

 

The "problem" comes around when we start being human and "comparing" the niches.  Our human brain has been trained to think that some niches are better or more prestigious than others and we should ALL strive to reach them.  The brain surgeon is at or near the top.  The garbage man is at or near the bottom.  It should NOT be that way (IMO).  The brain surgeon is unlikely to be content as a garbage man.  The garbage man is unlikely to be happy as a brain surgeon.  In reality... most of us need the garbage man MORE than the brain surgeon.  Worldwide, the garbage man is more worthy - keeping disease at bay by correctly collecting and taking care of garbage and thus helping the masses.  The brain surgeon helps a few individuals - important for them, of course, but not so much for the masses.  They are different niches - both filling true needs.

 

 

 

:iagree:

 

I can't add anything enlightening, but I did want to emphasize the above sections creekland's post.

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I agree with the previous posts. 

 

I'll add that personally, I'm far away from where I thought I would be when I was 18. Some people are given a gift of knowing exactly what they want to do at a young age and can focus their energy toward that. Then there are people like me, who truly enjoy a little bit of everything and could never pin down a major. I'm interested in such a huge variety of things that I could never master them all. And that's OK. That's why homeschooling is such a good fit for me. Right now, your "free spirit" is giving her a gift of trying out all kinds of things and exploring what she's interested in. It sounds like you both have a good college plan that fits your style. I say paint and listen to Velvet Underground and when she goes to cc, she'll have plenty of time to buckle down, kick butt and still get into the school she likes. 

 

I'm struggling with this as I plan for high school. Straight college prep or the funky alternative lit courses I think we'll both enjoy? I'm seeing no reason to not try to mix the two. I'm embracing the fact that I'm allowed to tailor his education to what will suit him. There's no school out there that can give him that. In the end, I think that will give him a better idea of who he is, what he's interested in and give him a head start from those kids like me who had no idea what they were actually good at and found out much, much later. 

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I'm struggling with this as I plan for high school. Straight college prep or the funky alternative lit courses I think we'll both enjoy? I'm seeing no reason to not try to mix the two. I'm embracing the fact that I'm allowed to tailor his education to what will suit him.

I don't think those 2 options conflict. My sr's transcript has very unusual literature courses, very tailored course selections, and his transcript does not look like a ps replica. His English classes are titled things like "Illusions, Labyrinths, and Perception, " and "Searching for Answers: The Conflicts of Man in Literature." The literature selections are not your traditional high school reading selections. :)

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I'm trying so hard to do right by them and give them a solid education. All of us here live to learn. I'll never be a brainiac mom making all the successful moves for their future. Stress is a destroyer for my Lupus and their Tourettes, I'd rather keep many subjects low key and interesting. I come to the high school boards and panic because everyone is so on it, I'm scared of robbing them of something, what, I don't know. We're happy the way we are. Our lives are full of interesting experiences and people, but how will that pay the bills for them when they're grown? I wish I could find some other folks on a similar wave length. 

 

 

We homeschooled to the beat of a different drummer, and I certainly didn't post too much about it when we were in the middle of it because I worried, unnecessarily, about being scolded for not being "rigorous" enough. It was interest led, low key, and relaxed homeschooling without a single AP.  It did not look from the outside, or in comparison to conversations here, like "college prep" high school.  Only 1 of my kids took a standardized test, just the ACT one time.  And yet the oldest has graduated from a professional college and is gainfully employed in his dream job, paying his bills on time, and the youngest is a stellar undergrad student who plans on working towards a PhD. Both of them are so very thankful for how I homeschooled them, for the hours spent reading aloud, for all of those unusual and interesting experiences.  They have never felt unprepared, and entered college with that "love of learning" still intact.  Their public school peers, in contrast, are largely disengaged from their educations.

 

I think it sounds like you are doing a wonderful job.  

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I don't think those 2 options conflict. My sr's transcript has very unusual literature courses, very tailored course selections, and his transcript does not look like a ps replica. His English classes are titled things like "Illusions, Labyrinths, and Perception, " and "Searching for Answers: The Conflicts of Man in Literature." The literature selections are not your traditional high school reading selections. :)

You've helped me come to that conclusion. :) Love your posts.

 

8FillTheHeart fan girl.

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We homeschooled to the beat of a different drummer, and I certainly didn't post too much about it when we were in the middle of it because I worried, unnecessarily, about being scolded for not being "rigorous" enough. It was interest led, low key, and relaxed homeschooling without a single AP.  It did not look from the outside, or in comparison to conversations here, like "college prep" high school.  Only 1 of my kids took a standardized test, just the ACT one time.  And yet the oldest has graduated from a professional college and is gainfully employed in his dream job, paying his bills on time, and the youngest is a stellar undergrad student who plans on working towards a PhD. Both of them are so very thankful for how I homeschooled them, for the hours spent reading aloud, for all of those unusual and interesting experiences.  They have never felt unprepared, and entered college with that "love of learning" still intact.  Their public school peers, in contrast, are largely disengaged from their educations.

 

I think it sounds like you are doing a wonderful job.  

Bingo, and this is what's happening to us.  Even the idea of making unusual courses for my dd doesn't fit; she makes her OWN courses.  She has her OWN pursuits that are now at this level beyond what I could do for her.  Sure they leave holes and aren't the same as if I plugged her through a geography text or a year of TOG or this or that, but she's radically engaged, learning a ton, and covering the SKILLS that are necessary to continue to learn at a higher level.  

 

I love that I can stand on the shoulders of someone like Jenn and see afar and realize it DOES work, that kids CAN be different and still succeed.  :)

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The beautiful thing about homeschooling is that each family can design a program that is a fit for their own child.  I know lots of homeschooling families and each has plotted its own course and the vast majority of the kids are thriving adults.  

 

To the OP -- I think what you are doing sounds wonderful.  There are a few things you can do that will beef it up a little for high school but still let your daughter do what she loves.  One idea is to have her do a big research project each year.  She can study something she's interested in and write a paper.  I'd also suggest you have her write every day.  Even if it's just a fun story she is writing on the computer, a half an hour a day of expressing her thoughts in writing will make college level work either.  Finally, I'd suggest you have her take at least one course outside the home each semester.  This could be something at a coop or an online class, but it should be something where there are deadlines and where she is accountable to someone other than you.  I have seen some very relaxed homeschoolers who were greatly stressed when they got to the CC and had to deal with lots of homework, tests, and deadlines.  

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I agree with Muttichen about the outside courses.  At the least, I would consider one or two classes each semester during 11th and 12th grades at the community college she'll be attending after graduation.  I'd start with something fun and progress to lectures which utilize textbooks.  It would make her transition much smoother and she can get involved in clubs and activities there which she can continue when fully enrolled.  JMO.   I think that what you're doing is great and geared towards your students' needs.   A part of me would have loved to do something similar.  

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No need to compare to other families on this Board, as there are a wide range of goals and personality types here. :) Sounds like you know your DD well, and know what works best for your family's home education journey! You have a wonderful balance, which is covering your bases in case they are needed later on, plus time for investigating personal interests. Sounds ideal! :)

 

 

I think that all that information we read to prepare for high school can end up making us feel pressured and as though we are supposed to be following a rigid type of high school experience, when the real intent is just to provide info to help our students have what they need for being able to move into a number of options.

 

Also, since this Board is based on the WTM's rigorous classical model of education, a lot of the families participating here have advanced, motivated, gifted, rigorously-working students. But there are lots who participate here who *don't* have those goals or have those type of students; we're just quieter.  ;)

 

You might find some of the thoughts in these past threads comforting to know you're not alone:

What's wrong with starting out at a CC or Junior College?

Is there no room for contemplative types?

I just don't want to push-push-push so hard through high school

 

 

BEST of luck in your family's unique high school homeschool journey! :) Warmest regards, Lori D.

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I have nothing worthwhile to add; I don't even have a high school homeschooler.  I just want to encourage you to paint and listen to VU even just for a day because *I* would love to do that!

 

It reminds me of the times when DS would spend a weekend with his grandparents, and DH and I would spend all day Saturday painting & listening to music.  :)  Good times, for sure!

 

 

 

 

ETA:  I now have running through my head a particularly relevant lyric:  "You know, her life was saved by rock and roll."  ;)

 

 

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Math: TT Algebra (struggling but working through it)

 

Language Arts: Book club reading list (just finished Great Expectations), WWS 1 (We've surrendered to the fact that she'll do one level per year and we'll just ignore the recommended ages), Spencerian Cursive (we love it, it will hopefully lead to Arabic calligraphy classes as well), informal poetry study (she's been memorizing and reading since the beginning), speech study (one per month with supplements and Q&A), Cozy Grammar and Growing with Grammar (level 8 as a review), French online with Mr G (awesome and I imagine her going all the way through with him)

 

History: History Odyssey level 2 (we tweak the schedule to make it less intense, she learns a lot and loves it)

 

Science: Ellen McHenry Elements, next will be her Chemistry (I know it's too young for her, but we have a good time with this level of science work and I supplement with more fun stuff) I think this is where a lot of my anxiety is coming from. She dislikes science so I've kept it super relaxed but very consistent. Five days a week it's either our normal science work or nature studies. We've been working on herbariums for almost two years now for example.

 

Geography: We just finished Beautiful Feet geography. One map a year, but we did it!  :001_wub:  For the rest of the year we're going to work on basic map skill, I have a whole plan in my head of what I know the girls will enjoy. Next year, Mapping the World with Art. 

 

Logic: Art of Argument has been so popular here! 

 

 

Just so you don't think EVERYONE is doing so much more.  My oldest is doing algebra in 10th (my gifted 9th grader is doing algebra in 9th!)  Both of them used WWS1 last year (for 8th and 9th grades)...and only supplemented that with Grammar for Middle School (yes...middle school, not high school, despite the oldest being 9th.)  The oldest is doing great in his high school english course this year, despite using a 5th grade text last year!   My boys test as gifted, but they don't demonstrate it.  Lower level stuff seems to avoid overwhelming, and accomplishes more for them.  Its beginning to change, and they are starting to approach more grade-typical stuff...but that's just happening.  I think you are doing fantastic!

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I homeschooled my older two children (23 & 19) very similarly. We're waldorfy/CM style and my eldest hadn't even set foot in a classroom OR used a textbook until her first CC course. She didn't think she'd go to college at all until her final year of homeschool high school. She didn't know what she wanted to major in until the end of her 1st year at CC. She did a another 18 mos at CC before transferring to a university. She just graduated with her Bachelors Degree in December: Summa Cum Laude, 4.0, Deans List, National Honor Society, and was accepted into a Masters Degree program in Library Science, which she starts next week. My 2nd child had also never taken a class nor used a textbook until CC. He's got a 4.0 at CC, and is doing exceedingly well. Both kids wanted CC precisely because they wanted to avoid the SAT and the requisite program of study leading up to the SAT. Instead, we studied along the lines of Waldorf, CM, as well as interest-led.  

 

They're doing absolutely fine.

 

My 2nd child just finished his first term at CC and doesn't have a major and isn't sure what he'd like to do (it's very hard to know at 19!), so he's taking classes that will expose him to various types of studies to see what speaks to him. I'd far rather he take his time now. I know too many 25 year olds who took a 4 yr and/or graduate degree, took a job, then realized they hated it, and went back to school for a completely different major, accruing more school debt on top of the already accrued school debt.

 

I'd rather they take their time now, and really get a feel for what they'd enjoy doing for the medium-long range. 

 

That's just us. It's not for everyone. However, I wanted to share that a living, free-spirited homeschooling program can do a great deal for a child to prepare him/her for the future. College-Prep Studies does not equal success. Likewise, a free-spirited education doesn't preclude success. Hope that helps?

 

I've got one more still homeschooling (9th grade) and she's even more the free spirit, but she's written several novels (including one in print) and she acts in Shakespearean Theater and has begun studying Aromatherapy on her own.. so.... :-)

 

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First off, thank you so much everyone for your thoughtful answers. I'm so grateful for the support here on TWTM. 

I have so much I want to say, but I just got back from a memorial and I'm wiped out. Between articulating where I'm at right now as a teacher/ mom, reading all your advice, and the funeral's sobering fact that we are only here for a short time has me deep in thought tonight. 

 

I'll be back tomorrow. 

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Helena - I want to be you when I grow up. I need to truly drop the idea of doing what other people expect us to do. 

 

 

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helena, I always love love love reading about the things that you are doing with your kids / homeschool.  I have used many of your ideas to create our own artsy / creative Fridays. 

 

And we also use some things that might be considered "young" for 7th grade, but DS engages with those things at an age/grade appropriate level. Considering that people study children's literature and fairy tales in college, and high school teachers use picture books to illustrate a point - I think it is all good :)

 

BTW, we are on our third Holling book (Tree in the Trail), I expect to go through everything that Ellen McHenry offers at some point.

 

 

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I think your homeschool lifestyle sounds fabulous. :) As for science, you can write a course description that explains what you are doing. You are not just doing the McHenry stuff. You are doing ongoing nature studies, too. You might not even need course descriptions. I have a book on homeschooling called, "Homeschooling: A Family's Journey," and I recommend reading it if you can. From what I recall, they used The Teaching Company's Joy of Science as a spine for high school science studies. It's been a while since I read the book, but I do recall them saying something like this. Their daughters were accepted to traditional 4-year colleges from what I recall. In fact, I think one went to Brown. 

 

IMO there is nothing wrong with having a plan to start at cc. In one of the college board threads recently (the one about whether you need a reach school) someone posted something along the lines of, "Why reach for something you don't even want?" Excellent point. If your daughter is going to meet the entrance requirements for cc, then I wouldn't worry about a thing. 

 

I think it's great that you are trying to keep things low stress and enjoyable. You are inspiring. :) Protecting yours and your children's health is the most important thing.

 

I don't believe that the type of schooling children get is the determining factor in whether children grow up to be responsible/irresponsible adults. 

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Just for what it's worth, I have to remind myself that what people post here is by no means the sum total of their lives or even their homeschool experience.  I know that I tend to post on things that are sticking points, concerns, little victories or just areas in which I have some kind of experience.  But that doesn't reflect the typical day at our house.

 

I also find that it's easy to look at the individual accomplishments of other kids and wish them for my own kids. But I'm probably not ever going to have a state level athlete, who is also an outstanding pipe organist and working in a college level physics coop while still in high school.  Because each of those accomplishments is the result of a whole lot of time and effort.

 

There will be areas where my kids excel. Maybe more than others. Maybe not to the extent of their peers. And there will be areas where my kids could do more. It can be good for me to look at where other kids are, even what public school requirements or college requirements are; because it makes me think about where I think my kids are headed and if we're on the right track for those goals.  (Just as an example, my oldest is interested in a degree in computers. I may need to drop one of his foreign languages in order to create a space for introductory explorations in high school.)  That doesn't mean that every path of every kid in every family needs to be the path my kid(s) are following.

 

Sweetness is also relative. I think I was more pleased the first time my youngest was found reading in a corner of his room when he'd been given some other task than I was with the early reading success of his brothers. Just because it was such a milestone for him and such a relief to me.

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Your school sounds absolutely wonderful!

You are doing more than we are this year!

 

AP, DE, Honors, etc. are not for everyone.

Personally, I think that all that just adds stress for the student and stress for the parent.

 

Relax.

We can still follow a classical philolosphy in a relaxed ( and a ton more fun) home school!

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Your school sounds absolutely wonderful!

You are doing more than we are this year!

 

AP, DE, Honors, etc. are not for everyone.

Personally, I think that all that just adds stress for the student and stress for the parent.

 

Relax.

We can still follow a classical philolosphy in a relaxed ( and a ton more fun) home school!

This is a point that LoriD brought up inadvertently when she tacked "rigorous" onto WTM.  Obviously I need to reread it and see if the word is in there, but I've just never really felt that word was essential.  We've had whole threads on here about it, so clearly for some people it is.  However I'm totally in agreement that there's a way to be appropriate and challenging and stretching and thorough and thought-provoking and everything else without leaving them burnt out and without having "rigor" as the goal.  Whether WTM says that or not, I don't recall.  I would guess though, that if it didn't say it, SWB would now say it could/should have, now that she's doing her "real child" talks at conventions and admitting that her experience with her middle boy (like my dc possibly, from what I gather) should have just gone to school.  Even WTM is not some foolproof, thoroughly tested method.  It was a theory, and that theory is whamming against the wall and having accidents.  I don't intend for my dd's education to be an accident or car wreck, so I'm using some common sense.  

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This is a point that LoriD brought up inadvertently when she tacked "rigorous" onto WTM.  Obviously I need to reread it and see if the word is in there, but I've just never really felt that word was essential.  We've had whole threads on here about it, so clearly for some people it is.  However I'm totally in agreement that there's a way to be appropriate and challenging and stretching and thorough and thought-provoking and everything else without leaving them burnt out and without having "rigor" as the goal.  Whether WTM says that or not, I don't recall.  I would guess though, that if it didn't say it, SWB would now say it could/should have, now that she's doing her "real child" talks at conventions and admitting that her experience with her middle boy (like my dc possibly, from what I gather) should have just gone to school.  Even WTM is not some foolproof, thoroughly tested method.  It was a theory, and that theory is whamming against the wall and having accidents.  I don't intend for my dd's education to be an accident or car wreck, so I'm using some common sense.  

 

I think this is where these conversations go off track a lot of the times.   College goals, abilities, career objectives of the student all have to be factored into the decision making process.   All of the different educational paths being discussed do not all lead to the same end.   What might be thorough and thought-provoking for one of my kids (or someone else's child) might be completely boring and totally lacking in any sort of "rigor" or completely overwhelming  and "rigor+" for another.   But, the same is true for college goals and career objectives.    The Allied health program at a CC is a perfect fit for my dd.   However, a CC could never meet the needs of my ds.

 

So when some people say that x, y, z are solid objectives for a STEM student aiming for a 4 yr university, those objectives are not the same as what a student aiming for an undeclared general ed degree at the CC will need.     Students applying to top competitive schools need to have transcripts and test scores that are far different from students aiming toward the CC.   

 

The big picture of college goals, abilities, career objectives of the student should always be kept in mind.    I think the bigger problem is when recommendations/suggestions being offered don't match.   It is hard to step back from our own students and evaluate objectively.   I know it is hard for me to do, anyway, especially during college application yrs.  :tongue_smilie:  With my dd, she was a complete ping-pong ball and leaped back and forth from things like attending Johnson-Wales in order to become a professional chef to forensic chemistry for the FBI.   We kept her classes geared toward her highest objectives so she would be prepared for whatever she ended up wanting to do.   So, keeping options open for the undecided is never a bad thing, either, from my pov. 

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I think your homeschool sounds fabulous and if I could pay you to board my students I would, LOL!

 

My oldest are creative/artist types, and the typical school plan wasn't a good fit or necessary for them.  My youngest will likely follow a more typical/"rigorous" path.

 

 

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Being in the top 1 % ain't all it's cracked up to be.

 

Being happy and engaged is.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about science. A lot of high school science I've seen has been fairly mediocre (not all, but a lot). And you know what? Those kids do fine anyway. Even those who go into heavy science fields.

 

It's more important to get math in. And maybe learn about science in a "popular" kind of way. Cause you don't want her to be clueless. But orbitals and deriving things? Eh, she can learn that in college if that suddenly interests her.

 

But algebra in 9th grade is perfectly on track -- even if she later decides science or math is her thing.

 

I've insisted on:

-1 take of the ACT/SAT (it's up to the kid if they want to do more. Mine have not taken me up on that offer)

-doing something you're really passionate about (and spending the time on it to get good)

-participating in family life -- which generally includes reading classics and talking about them and discussing science and doing some foreign language just because I want a buddy

-enough math that they could do science in college if they chose

-some science -- enough that they knew what it was about

 

otherwise, things have been fairly loosey goosey

 

I wouldn't worry. In the end, your kids have to make their own way.

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Being in the top 1 % ain't all it's cracked up to be.

 

Being happy and engaged is.

However I'm totally in agreement that there's a way to be appropriate and challenging and stretching and thorough and thought-provoking and everything else without leaving them burnt out and without having "rigor" as the goal.

Being academically driven and academically successful and incredibly educationally rigorous does not necessarily = unhappy/unengaged/burnout. Goodness, we have to tell our ds no a lot b/c he wants to always do more. And he is one of the happiest, go-lucky kind of kids around. He is constantly on the go in the evenings with activities and friends. He also cannot stand being bored. He thrives on thinking about challenges. (I have seen pushed kids unhappy and unengaged and burned-out. But, pushing it is not a universal reality......they can equally run there of their own choosing. By the time they are in high school, they should be making a lot of self-determining choices and these are amg them.)

 

So, just as much as some people's children thrive in the lifestyle of the OP, believe it or not, there are kids that choose to take hard academic classes as their version of fun-filled and interesting.

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Being in the top 1 % ain't all it's cracked up to be.

 

Being happy and engaged is.

 

 

This is not an "either/or" situation.  Some students are happy and engaged and loving it in that top 1%.  They'd be unhappy if they were not allowed to be there by someone not allowing them to fill their niche.  I've seen more than one of these in our local public school, so it's not just found in homeschooling communities.

 

It's all about the student.  It's not at all about being a Tiger Mom.

 

Being academically driven and academically successful and incredibly educationally rigorous does not necessarily = unhappy/unengaged/burnout.   Goodness, we have to tell our ds no a lot b/c he wants to always do more.   And he is one of the happiest, go-lucky kind of kids around.   He is constantly on the go in the evenings with activities and friends.   He also cannot stand being bored.   He thrives on thinking about challenges.  (I have seen pushed kids unhappy and unengaged and burned-out.  But it is not a universal reality.   By the time they are in high school, they should be making a lot of self-determining choices and these are amg them.)

 

So, just as much as some people's children thrive in the lifestyle of the OP, believe it or not, there are kids that choose to take hard academic classes as their version of fun-filled and interesting. 

 

:iagree:

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First of all, may I say how much I'm enjoying this thread?  My 12th grader's high school at home hasn't been stellar or rigorous at all, partly because I have a difficult time doing anything "as written" no matter how "good" I think a curriculum may be, because I tailor to our family's needs and to my child's needs and interests.  But it's been exactly who SHE is... creative, interesting, full of wonderful literature and ideas and analysis, a strong biblical worldview, deep, and caring.   She is doing VERY well now (ACTs and her first college class completed with an A), given our "non-rigorous" background.  Math is her biggest struggle, but you know what?  She isn't likely going to do a lot of math in her college or post-college experiences... other than teaching it to her own kids as a homeschool mom someday. ;)  But even her math struggles have been something that SHE has driven herself to overcome, at least to the point of completing Algebra 2 and not "hating" it, and to be able to do whatever she needs to do.  She rises to the challenge, and isn't that partly what we're raising them to do? 

 

 

Sweetness is also relative. I think I was more pleased the first time my youngest was found reading in a corner of his room when he'd been given some other task than I was with the early reading success of his brothers. Just because it was such a milestone for him and such a relief to me.

 

This part almost made me cry because one of my favorite pictures is of my youngest curled up next to the Christmas tree last year with a chapter book in hand.  Yes, that was a big milestone for her, and such a relief to me. :001_wub:

 

Sweetness counts for a lot. :001_smile:

 

 

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I am a fairly rigorous Homeschooler but that's because it is who I am and what my children thrive on. They thrive on the challenge and generally excel. They all have goals that include STEM majors and because of that we have structured our homeschool accordingly.

 

One of the great benefits if homeschooling is the ability to tailor our children's education to what they need. If your children thrive on the education you are giving them and it fits the goals they have for themselves then I firmly believe you are doing what you are supposed to.

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Well... I've been doing a lot of thinking. :)

I've read and re-read all your posts. Thank you to those who had such kind things to say.

 

Yesterday I finally took the time to convert a small area of our library into a basic recording studio for the girls. I've decided that before I get lost in thought about who we are as homeschoolers, I'd better use the bulk of renewed passion for actual action and change.  

 

I'm starting to realize how much I've suppressed our (still looking for the correct wording here) bohemian-esque lifestyle. Starting with the fact that a long time ago we moved from an "artist town" to a very conservative town (filled with tiger moms), and I've toned down a little bit of everything about us (and a lot of myself). As the girls get older there's this pressing urgency for me, to show them things, and say things to feed their minds and spirits (cliche but true). I've definitely been going through a bit of sadness, realizing that they're getting older, that the younger years are behind us, that if we didn't read a certain book they probably have outgrown it. I'm realizing that they will move away, and create their own lives. It's like I have premature empty-nester syndrome.  :tongue_smilie: I'm sure it'll pass as quickly as it came. 

 

It's also dawning on me that I may be all the formal schooling they get. That is scary. I tell myself they'll be life long learners, but that doesn't ease the seriousness of "I may be their only classroom teacher, or one of very few." So I've got this funny tug of war. I feel like it's time to release the fear of nonconformity in the classroom and to live/learn for ourselves and pursue our interests with wild abandon. Then there's the voice saying "Hey, it's me... Mr. Algebra 2, when are you going to open me?" And SATs... "Come on, You know you're going to have her do it."  :lol: Yeah, I may very well have them doing many of the things I pish posh today. I do have excellent influences here, you know. 

 

So that's it I guess. I want to be free again, and I want to learn from the rigorous parents here and have them influence me in all kinds of unexpected ways.

 

As far as the possible weak science for high school, I've decided that for now I'm happy with learning a beautiful layman's science.  We really are learning more and more about the world around us. The more I've thought about it in the last few days, the more I realized they're always talking about something scientific. Yes, Beautiful Feet History of Science was WAY to young to be finishing up last month. No, we'll not be doing anything that young again. Yes, we are in awe of what we learned. It's little, but it changes us for the better all the time. 

 

Thanks again for supporting me while thinking through all this. 

 

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So that's it I guess. I want to be free again, and I want to learn from the rigorous parents here and have them influence me in all kinds of unexpected ways.

 

You've hit on something really wise here, which is that you can learn about something, learn how to do it (how to take an AP class, do DE, test with CLEP, etc.) and then hold that knowledge in your pocket for the time it needs to come out and be used.  It might actually be a right fit at some point later.  :)

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One more thing. :) And I promise I won't go on and on. I'm ready to not over think it and enjoy our work and choices.

I think it's been hard coming from the K-12 and General Ed board where it's fun and exciting to bring creativity to the classroom. Now, it's not just that a lot of people get more serious for 9-12th, but that if we like being creative, how do I bring a maturity to that? Even if I choose (which I have) to stay in the same vein of teaching, I have to keep it challenging. I never want to be a lazy homeschooler. 

 

I really appreciate those of you who came out to say that you teach in similar ways and that your kids are thriving. I hope I can contribute good ideas here. I've got a good 6 years to put in on the high school boards. 

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I think it's been hard coming from the K-12 and General Ed board where it's fun and exciting to bring creativity to the classroom. Now, it's not just that a lot of people get more serious for 9-12th, but that if we like being creative, how do I bring a maturity to that? Even if I choose (which I have) to stay in the same vein of teaching, I have to keep it challenging. I never want to be a lazy homeschooler.

 

I think setting creativity and seriousness as opposites is a false dichotomy.

There is room for creativity in every subject, and it is, IMO, completely unrelated to the rigor of the studies. Often, the more creative study is also the more rigorous (for example, the most rigorous math curriculum also happens to be the most creative by a wide margin). Serious does not have to mean boring and uncreative.

 

Also, different subjects lend themselves to different ways of study, and your emphasis is your choice. You can choose to be extremely creative in arts, history, and literature studies and follow a prescribed, well-trodden path for math and science - or vice versa, depending on your personal abilities and interests.

But I see absolutely no indication that creativity means slacking, or that boring means quality education.

 

One last thought: school is not all of life. Even if one followed a prescribed, straightforward path for high school schooling, that would only take a portion of the day and leave ample time for free creative pursuits without any second thoughts about educational value. So, I really do not see the obstacle to creativity.

 

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Hmm... I've worded that wrong then. I don't mean to make them opposite. I can totally see that creativity is everywhere and that there are times where creativity isn't the point. I absolutely don't believe that being serious is boring or uncreative. 

 

I don't think that creativity is slacking either. But for me, I've been working through what it means to be a relaxed creative homeschooler. The stakes suddenly  seem higher in high school because it's the final act of the whole experience. Will they be able to go on to university or the work force with little or no issues? Did I use creativity as a crutch to not push harder on difficult subjects? Being super creative at home has it's risks and pit falls. It's easy to fall out of productivity or get stuck in ruts. 

 

I haven't had my coffee yet. So...  :tongue_smilie: Even if it doesn't seem like it, I hear ya.

 

 

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But I see absolutely no indication that creativity means slacking, or that boring means quality education.

 

 

Indeed.  Sometimes, being creative is a lot of work and downright exhausting! :001_rolleyes:   It also takes more work to figure out how to document and grade the more "creative" assignments for one's portfolio and transcript.  It's much easier to answer questions and take tests in a textbook curriculum, and then to grade and document the completed work, than it is with a unit study or other creative method.

 

Being creative is not for the faint of heart. :coolgleamA: 

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Hmm... I've worded that wrong then. I don't mean to make them opposite. I can totally see that creativity is everywhere and that there are times where creativity isn't the point. I absolutely don't believe that being serious is boring or uncreative. 

 

I don't think that creativity is slacking either. But for me, I've been working through what it means to be a relaxed creative homeschooler. The stakes suddenly  seem higher in high school because it's the final act of the whole experience. Will they be able to go on to university or the work force with little or no issues? Did I use creativity as a crutch to not push harder on difficult subjects? Being super creative at home has it's risks and pit falls. It's easy to fall out of productivity or get stuck in ruts. 

 

I haven't had my coffee yet. So...  :tongue_smilie: Even if it doesn't seem like it, I hear ya.

I want to bite on this, and you see what you think.  The only thing I quibble with in your description is the idea of relaxed.  That's the one thing I think can bite you in the butt, and I guess I'd be interested to hear your reasoning for this and whether that word accurately describes what you mean.  Part of maturity is being able to prioritize, juggle multiple things at once, meet deadlines, etc.  Now there IS an argument to be made for a bohemian approach that tosses all that.  (Think Elizabeth Taylor and that movie with bird in the title, I forget, maybe I can drag it up...)  I'm not arguing that it can't be done.  I'm just thinking that's a choice, a pretty intentional choice.  

 

I think most people, including most people who value time and energy for creative stuff, pursuit of interests, etc. like to see some kind of balance between free time to pursue those things and enough other stuff they're doing, in whatever doses, that they learn how to meet a deadline, how to juggle, how to transition, etc.  Might only take 1 class one year like that, whatever you think.  I'm just saying that to me is the balancer.

 

The other curious thing to me about your comments is the assumption (implied only?) that *you* are driving a lot of this or that it's lackadaisical.  I don't know if that makes sense, but at this point my dd, who has her own limits on how much physical rigor she can endure, has the skill to drive her own self. She has enough interests and enough skill that she basically doesn't have hours in the day to do everything she can dream up.  There's no lackadaisical to it, kwim?  

 

So if, for whatever reason, lackadaisical currently describes the tenor of your budding high schooler's homeschooling, well yeah maybe I'd try to step that up.  But that can step up in so many ways.  I think they can be internally busy with their own interests and projects.  They can be busy with traditional academics or activities they take on.  I don't think it really matters.  CM called it masterful inactivity, didn't she?  I'd be expecting that "masterful" element to increase, because that shows they're getting good at something and applying themselves and finding who they are.

 

In that sense, nothing has changed from elementary except the ability of the child to drive it himself and the quality of the work the child is able to do.

 

 

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Here's that movie.  

 

 

As for why the board changes?  Well the sheer number of people changes, because people drop to send their kids to traditional school.  Then people find out there's this competitive rat race for college and they decide to get in the race and vibrantly care about it, or they utterly don't give a rip about it, or they're intimidated into thinking they shouldn't say anything since their kid isn't a very good rat.  So it's the competition thing, I think.  People don't mean for it to, but it gets on their minds and skews everything.

 

Oh, and that's decidedly not a G-rated movie.  It just happens to apply to what you were saying.  ;)

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I want to bite on this, and you see what you think.  The only thing I quibble with in your description is the idea of relaxed.  That's the one thing I think can bite you in the butt, and I guess I'd be interested to hear your reasoning for this and whether that word accurately describes what you mean.  Part of maturity is being able to prioritize, juggle multiple things at once, meet deadlines, etc.  Now there IS an argument to be made for a bohemian approach that tosses all that.  (Think Elizabeth Taylor and that movie with bird in the title, I forget, maybe I can drag it up...)  I'm not arguing that it can't be done.  I'm just thinking that's a choice, a pretty intentional choice.  

 

I think most people, including most people who value time and energy for creative stuff, pursuit of interests, etc. like to see some kind of balance between free time to pursue those things and enough other stuff they're doing, in whatever doses, that they learn how to meet a deadline, how to juggle, how to transition, etc.  Might only take 1 class one year like that, whatever you think.  I'm just saying that to me is the balancer.

 

The other curious thing to me about your comments is the assumption (implied only?) that *you* are driving a lot of this or that it's lackadaisical.  I don't know if that makes sense, but at this point my dd, who has her own limits on how much physical rigor she can endure, has the skill to drive her own self. She has enough interests and enough skill that she basically doesn't have hours in the day to do everything she can dream up.  There's no lackadaisical to it, kwim?  

 

So if, for whatever reason, lackadaisical currently describes the tenor of your budding high schooler's homeschooling, well yeah maybe I'd try to step that up.  But that can step up in so many ways.  I think they can be internally busy with their own interests and projects.  They can be busy with traditional academics or activities they take on.  I don't think it really matters.  CM called it masterful inactivity, didn't she?  I'd be expecting that "masterful" element to increase, because that shows they're getting good at something and applying themselves and finding who they are.

 

In that sense, nothing has changed from elementary except the ability of the child to drive it himself and the quality of the work the child is able to do.

I agree, relaxed could come back to bite us in the butt. That's one of my main worries. For starters, no matter what, we're going to continue homeschooling. It's a lifestyle that we never want to give up. Relaxed comes from a few places... First, I have Lupus. It does strange and awful things to me. I can't think clearly, I can't drive well, I'm always a little ill, dizzy, and confused. I'm totally at the mercy of Lupus even though I'm pretty healthy. Second, both of my girls have Tourette Syndrome. Again it's a lot of little things we have to do and avoid to manage it. Stress sets off both issues. Yes, I know stress is part of life, and they both deal with real pressure, stress, and demanding situations. It's a dance though... for example, my husband and I have been feeling like one of our daughters might be on the edge of developing more complex vocal tics (big mom sigh...). Maybe she already has. It sucks. It's hard to describe the push and pull to manage it. Rarely does it result in less school work or lowered expectations. 

It's never lackadaisical. I've been thinking about that word all day. That's not it at all. 

 

Right now I do feel like I'm driving her. Sometimes she's like molasses and it drives me nuts! Probably because we were out of fencing for over a month, we've been sick and stuck at home, and it's the end of our first semester, I'm super evaluating our first semester of high school. I want to use time more wisely and let go of outside pressure of what high school level work has to look like. I'm not kidding when I say I live in land of tiger-mom. We live in an intense town as far as that goes. Even though we prefer to focus on art, fencing, and French, I'm still looking for ways to keep us well rounded and hard working. Most importantly I want to see deeper levels of work and understanding in our preferred subjects. Does that make sense?

Normally she's at fencing at least 3 days a week. Today there was a tournament. She takes piano serious. She's up at 7 for French online three days a week. She's taking care of business on her own. I think she's showing signs of increasing maturity.

 

 

 

I've never watched The Sandpiper. I think I have the house to myself tomorrow, if so, I'll rent it on Amazon. 

She seems a little neurotic in it. :) Love it!

But yeah, my MIL lives in a cottage and paints the California coast. My husband and I both grew up pretty unconventional. Before we had kids I would say we were both well on our way to being a bit eccentric. It's a state of mind I wouldn't mind returning to. :)

 

After watching and thinking about the trailer, I remembered a movie I saw a long time ago. I wish I could remember the name of it! There was a scene that always stayed with me. A girl is living with her mom and a bunch of other interesting characters. I think I remember her visiting and talking with one of the guys who was an anarchist maybe... there were artists and other people she was exposed to. I always thought it was a great way to learn about life and the world. In a way that has happened for my kids. We have lots of interesting types in our life, in our home, chatting with the girls. I like it. I think they do too. We know a lot of trippers, we're trippers. My kids?? Who knows. Maybe one of them will be totally straight laced. That's great! Someone who can file paper work and make very important phone calls! YAY! We could use someone like that!

 

Kidding! Kinda  ;)

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Just ran into another mom today who was regretting pushing her kid so much in high school -- he's now dropped out of college and really has no plans to go back.

 

He worked very hard in high school. Maybe too hard. Maybe he burned out before college.

 

If a student is really interested in that hard work, then, sure, it makes sense. But if the pressure is coming from outside, if it's making the student work hard in an area they don't care about, beyond the skill they NEED to acquire at that stage, then what is the point? And is not running the danger of burning the student out before they finish a degree?

 

My oldest really pushed herself. She did all those things a bright kid is supposed to do in high school (did college courses etc). She's also burned out with college. She's lucky, because she decided early on what she wanted to major in, so when she took college classes in high school, I was able to tell her exactly what she should take. As a result, she got done in 3 years, before the major burn out happened. She's staying in the 4th year to take fun classes, because she has the tuition paid, but I'm not sure she'd be able to handle any more AT ALL, if she still had to do her major classes.

 

And I keep running into families who had high hopes for their really bright kids, who were doing all that early college and working REALLY hard -- whose kids are now, at the least, taking a serious break from anything academic or career related. For some of them, it's not entirely clear they'll get back into it. Some didn't finish college and they have major loans to repay.

 

Looking from the other side, my advice is to take it easy on the college prep, unless the kid is actually driving it. If you've got a child who's interested in something else, then just look into how much they really need to be successful in college. If the student has done most of it, don't sweat it too much. The goal, I think, is to end up with a kid who COULD be successful in college, if they choose to do it, but who got to spend a good chunk of their time on things that really interested them in high school.

 

Otherwise, I'm not really sure what the point of high school really is. Is it mini-college? What's the point? They usually have to go back and repeat a bunch of the stuff anyway, unless they had very good advising. A lot of kids who thought they were going to graduate early had, it turns out, not such stellar advising. So they're still stuck in 4 years of college, after working real hard in high school. That's 6-8 years of really hard work, and they haven't even hit grad school or professional school. And they may not have been able to explore a passion.

 

I'm not saying to just drop the ball. If the kid doesn't have math skills, by all means, work on the math skills. If they can't write, of course they should learn to write. But beyond a certain point, there may not be much return in the long run. The return may only be in the student's growth as a human being. And if they're achieving that in some other way, why push test prep and classes they're just going to have to repeat?

 

As far as college scholarships go, eh -- I'm not sure the highest test scores are really all that helpful. They may look like they are (on paper). The colleges may claim they give out more aid for those high scores, but that's not really been my experience. I know kids who have gotten "all kinds of merit aid because of their high scores" (the colleges said so), but kids with scores quite a bit lower have gotten nearly the same amount at that college. Or even the same amount.

 

Anyway, my goal has been to turn out adults that are competent in enough areas that they could do college, are nice people, and who are able to do the things they want to do. If I were constantly TELLING them what they wanted to do, they'd never figure it out on their own.

 

And late teens have a tendency to take these matters into their own hands anyway. It's often irrelevant what we think they should be doing.

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ps  From a very young age we've told our boys that there are only two job paths that would disappoint us - becoming a pimp or an illegal drug dealer.  We've since added a third - becoming a terrorist.

 

 

 

We tell them as long as they are happy, it is legal, and doesn't harm and torment others we think it is great.  Kind of similar...

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Flyiguana, that's interesting, because that's the kind of thing I'm hearing from other people (a variety of sources) where there was a heavy push in high school.  The kids arrive in college burnt out already.

 

I agree, relaxed could come back to bite us in the butt. That's one of my main worries. For starters, no matter what, we're going to continue homeschooling. It's a lifestyle that we never want to give up. Relaxed comes from a few places... First, I have Lupus. It does strange and awful things to me. I can't think clearly, I can't drive well, I'm always a little ill, dizzy, and confused. I'm totally at the mercy of Lupus even though I'm pretty healthy. Second, both of my girls have Tourette Syndrome. Again it's a lot of little things we have to do and avoid to manage it. Stress sets off both issues. Yes, I know stress is part of life, and they both deal with real pressure, stress, and demanding situations. It's a dance though... for example, my husband and I have been feeling like one of our daughters might be on the edge of developing more complex vocal tics (big mom sigh...). Maybe she already has. It sucks. It's hard to describe the push and pull to manage it. Rarely does it result in less school work or lowered expectations. 

It's never lackadaisical. I've been thinking about that word all day. That's not it at all. 

 

Right now I do feel like I'm driving her. Sometimes she's like molasses and it drives me nuts! Probably because we were out of fencing for over a month, we've been sick and stuck at home, and it's the end of our first semester, I'm super evaluating our first semester of high school. I want to use time more wisely and let go of outside pressure of what high school level work has to look like. I'm not kidding when I say I live in land of tiger-mom. We live in an intense town as far as that goes. Even though we prefer to focus on art, fencing, and French, I'm still looking for ways to keep us well rounded and hard working. Most importantly I want to see deeper levels of work and understanding in our preferred subjects. Does that make sense?

Normally she's at fencing at least 3 days a week. Today there was a tournament. She takes piano serious. She's up at 7 for French online three days a week. She's taking care of business on her own. I think she's showing signs of increasing maturity.

 

 

 

I've never watched The Sandpiper. I think I have the house to myself tomorrow, if so, I'll rent it on Amazon. 

She seems a little neurotic in it. :) Love it!

But yeah, my MIL lives in a cottage and paints the California coast. My husband and I both grew up pretty unconventional. Before we had kids I would say we were both well on our way to being a bit eccentric. It's a state of mind I wouldn't mind returning to. :)

 

After watching and thinking about the trailer, I remembered a movie I saw a long time ago. I wish I could remember the name of it! There was a scene that always stayed with me. A girl is living with her mom and a bunch of other interesting characters. I think I remember her visiting and talking with one of the guys who was an anarchist maybe... there were artists and other people she was exposed to. I always thought it was a great way to learn about life and the world. In a way that has happened for my kids. We have lots of interesting types in our life, in our home, chatting with the girls. I like it. I think they do too. We know a lot of trippers, we're trippers. My kids?? Who knows. Maybe one of them will be totally straight laced. That's great! Someone who can file paper work and make very important phone calls! YAY! We could use someone like that!

 

Kidding! Kinda  ;)

You know, with what you describe, I have to differentiate lackadaisical (which neither of us want and which you said you don't have going on) with APPROPRIATE.  It's appropriate for someone with SN to have a, well, an appropriate schedule.  It sounds like she really enjoys the things she's doing, and she's engaged and managing.  It all sounds fabulous to me.  It wouldn't make excuses for that at all!!  And the movie you're thinking of might be Auntie Mame, which I agree is totally, totally inspiring.  And now you've just eaten up hours of my life as I'm clearly going to have to watch it again.   :D

 

PS.  Maybe Auntie Mame was kinda technically a classical homeschooler?  Just having a bit more fun at it?   :lol: 

 

 

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Hmm... I've worded that wrong then. I don't mean to make them opposite. I can totally see that creativity is everywhere and that there are times where creativity isn't the point. I absolutely don't believe that being serious is boring or uncreative. 

 

I don't think that creativity is slacking either. But for me, I've been working through what it means to be a relaxed creative homeschooler. The stakes suddenly  seem higher in high school because it's the final act of the whole experience. Will they be able to go on to university or the work force with little or no issues? Did I use creativity as a crutch to not push harder on difficult subjects? Being super creative at home has it's risks and pit falls. It's easy to fall out of productivity or get stuck in ruts. 

 

I haven't had my coffee yet. So...  :tongue_smilie: Even if it doesn't seem like it, I hear ya.

 

I didn't take what you said that way. 

 

Totally OT:  but have you ever read Rosamund Pilcher ?  Some of her novels, particularly, The Shell Seekers, have a Bohemian lifestyle.  They are just fun books, but sometimes refreshing to me because I'm not that way - I'm avoiding using any particular adjective, lest it receive criticism, lol. 

 

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