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kfeusse

teaching a high schooler next year....I am terrified!!!

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Next year I will have a 9th grader in my home...and I am scared to death!  First, I don't know if I have prepared her for HS and secondly, I am not sure how to go about teaching her.  I have 2 sons too...and so far we have done things like Science and History together, so will that need to change next year? 

 

Do many of you have your HSer take classes at the local PS?  She doesn't want to do that...so I am not sure my other options are...

 

I have an Elementary Teaching degree, but teaching HS scares me....so can anybody here give me some comfort and encouragement...

 

thanks.

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Next year I will have a 9th grader in my home...and I am scared to death!  First, I don't know if I have prepared her for HS and secondly, I am not sure how to go about teaching her.  I have 2 sons too...and so far we have done things like Science and History together, so will that need to change next year? 

 

Do many of you have your HSer take classes at the local PS?  She doesn't want to do that...so I am not sure my other options are...

 

I have an Elementary Teaching degree, but teaching HS scares me....so can anybody here give me some comfort and encouragement...

 

thanks.

 

How do you not know if you've prepared your daughter for high school? In other words, how did you choose her seventh and eighth grade courses or design her lessons?

 

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The good news is that high school is a joy.  You get to reap the rewards of all the work you've put in over the years and you get to enjoy watching your older teen blossom and mature.  The other good news is that 9th grade isn't some sudden leap, rather it is the first step towards 12th grade.  There is a huge leap in what your 13or 14yo 9th grader can and should do and what your 17yo senior can and should do, but you build towards it and their brains mature into it.

 

As for deciding what to cover, well, a first stop is the Well Trained Mind. You can look at syllabi from private schools -- course descriptions are often on line.  You can look at what some of those on-line courses cover and you can plan to cover most if not all of a text book.  I think the main difference between middle school and high school is the output -- there is more writing. You could continue to do history with your younger students, but your 9th grader would have to read something more and write more about it.  Give her small research topics and perhaps one longer main research paper.  High school is just a little meatier, and again, you are building to this higher level.  

 

The next step is to just think about what courses will need to be on her final high school transcript.  The general standard is 4 years of math, 4 of English, 3-4 of science, 2 history (world and American), 2-4 of a foreign language, and other courses such as civics, health and electives.  It probably isn't that different from how you've been homeschooling all along.  Just think quality, think about the skills and the depth of material.

 

I personally never thought of myself as a teacher.  My kids never passively sat and took in lessons.  I certainly planned what would be covered, chose texts and literature, and tried to stay a step ahead.  But we learned together, especially in high school.  They did lots of research based learning.  I taught math lessons to a point, but one of my sons did much better on his own, even taking the solutions manual to check his work, then he would rework the problems he missed, taking time to figure out where he went wrong.  

 

By 11th grade my kids did dual enrollment at the community college for the classes I couldn't begin to plan or help with.  Math specifically, chemistry and Spanish, too.  You'll find that many families here do dual enrollment or on-line courses.  

 

The single best thing I did for my teens was to give them time to pursue their interests in depth.  They had internships, they did volunteer work.  Sometimes I'd add in a small project such as an essay or a research topic, and count the volunteer work or internship as an elective. We made academics fit around these activities, and my teens got the benefit of working with and learning from adult mentors, and they got to "try on" different careers, see what it was like in the real world. 

 

Just start lurking here, read past threads and you'll get a sense of the wide variety of options out there.  Lori D has some threads with lots of links to other threads on every conceivable topic that worries high school moms.  You'll be fine.  You'll even enjoy it!!

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Welcome to planning for high school!
First, in the words of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in large, friendly letters: "don't panic" ?

Second, much of the planning/doing of 9th grade will be like what you have already done in the past: each year, you just take the next step up. smile.gif With high school there will be the next step up in difficulty and volume, just as there is with each previous grade, and you will begin to add in a little of the administrative/record keeping aspect that will be required for doing high school. But there are a TON of helpful resources to help walk you through the planning process.

Third, high school is 4 years long; that's lots of time for both figuring out how high school will work for your family, and time for maturing into doing high school. Remember, DD will GROW into high school -- she doesn't go into 9th grade already knowing it all. And, neither do you! YOU also have lots of time to grow into learning how to "do" this new stage of homeschooling. ?

As for whether or not you've prepared your DD for high school... I LOVE post #1 by Nan in Mass in this past thread: "To all you people with 8th graders or there-about." And you know what? I had a student who was a late bloomer and had mild LDs who did NOT have all of those things in place by 9th grade that Nan lists -- Yet he grew, matured and learned all of those skills he needed to succeed in college and in life by the time he completed 12th grade. It all worked out, in his unique timetable! ? It was all okay. ?

Below is an excerpt from a past post of mine (from the thread "High school curriculum, where do I start??"), with the first steps of preparing for high school laid out for you. I would start there BEFORE you worry about whether or not to outsource any classes (and there more options beyond classes at a local high school), or whether or not you need to change your Science and History curriculum and way of doing those subjects.

Keep asking questions; do some reading on homeschooling high school (check out resources linked in that pinned thread); and ENJOY your homeschool high school adventures! Come on in -- the water's fine!  ?BEST of luck! -- and ENJOY these next 4 years -- they are a LOT of fun! ? Warmly, Lori D.
 

Make a high school plan:

1. Determine YOUR overall goals
Your plan would start with jotting down what your top 3 or so goals are for accomplishing in high school, as your window for accomplishing goals is narrowing to just 4 years now. What is important to you and DH to see developed in your student as far as character? academics? experiences? life skills? exposure to extracurriculars? other? Knowing your top goals helps you determine which classes to have your student take, and often, can help you determine *how* to accomplish those classes. Think: what helps me accomplish my goals?

2. Determine "required" classes
Once you have your "short list" of most important goals to accomplish, then you will probably want to start thinking about what kinds of classes you will either be required to complete or want to complete. To find out if you have requirements, check out your state or local area regulations re: homeschool high school graduation.

Even if your state does not have homeschool high school requirements, it is a good idea to at look at both your state's list of required credits for high school graduation, AND the required credits for freshman admission to several of your state's universities. Consider "following along" with similar coursework for several reasons:

- if your student plans to attend college after high school graduation, he/she needs to have taken specific credits in order to be eligible to enter college
- in case circumstances are such that your student goes back to a public/private high school part way through high school
- in case you move to a different state that DOES require certain coursework, your student is not behind

Many homeschoolers blend these two lists of "outside required credits" to come up with a list of classes they would like their student to complete during the four years of high school. For example, here's what a typical "blended" list looks like:

- 4 credits (years) = English (usually about 1/2 Literature, 1/2 Writing, with a little Grammar thrown in)
- 4 credits = Math (Alg. 1, Geometry, Alg. 2, and a higher math with Alg. 2 as a pre-requisite)
- 3-4 credits = Science with labs (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Advanced Science preferred)
- 2-3 credits = Social Studies (1 credit = Amer. Hist. / 0.5 credit = Government / 0.5 = Economics; sometimes 1 year World Geography required)
- 2-4 credits = Foreign Language (of the same language)
- 1 credit = Fine Arts
- 1 credit = Computer/Tech (typically a high school graduation requirement)
- 1-2 credits = PE, Health (typically a high school graduation requirement)
- 2-6 credits = Electives
TOTAL = 20-28 credits (comes out to 5-7 credits per year of high school)


3. Determine "mom requirements" & student interests
Are there any classes or extracurriculars you want to make as "mom requirements"? (health, PE, typing, home ec, auto maintenance, Bible/religious studies, volunteering/community service, etc.) Are there any special interests your student will want to pursue? (sports, hobby, etc.) Add those to your list of coursework as electives.

Sit down with your student and discuss any future career interests, or any special interests the student would like to pursue during high school (example: band, theater, robotics, riding horses, electronics, sports, cooking, jewelry-making etc.). These will be the elective credits and extracurricular activities you'll want to be sure to make time for in your schedule.

To help with overall scheduling and planning, check out this High School Time Table of what needs to happen and when throughout the high school years. For now, focus on just what needs to start rolling for 8th and 9th grades.
 

4. Determine # of classes to do for 9th grade
Now look at your list of credits to accomplish in high school; it usually averages out to 5-7 credits per year of high school. Your 9th grade schedule will likely look something like this:

- 1 credit = English (Literature program; Writing program; possible Grammar or Vocab program, if needed/desired)
- 1 credit = Math: Algebra 1 (or Geometry)
- 1 credit = Social Studies: World History
- 1 credit = Science: Biology (or other choice)
- 1 credit = Foreign Language

- 1 credit = Elective 

This past thread, "Could you point me to a list?" is helpful in determining what specific kinds of classes count as what credits.


5. Pick Curriculum
Now that you have a general idea of what your overall goals are, and what types of classes to cover in high school, you can start to think about HOW to accomplish those classes -- in other words, your original question of "what curriculum to use".

First: what are you currently using for English, Math, History, etc.? Do you like it? Does your student like it? Does it go up into high school levels? If so, then go with what you know is already working and is comfortable! Familiarity is your friend. ?

Is something NOT working? Or doesn't go into high school? Or you need a change for some reason? Then thinking through some questions to get more specific about what you want from a program can help. From there, you can post specific questions on this Board, and look at reviews of various programs to help decide if it will be a fit for your family or not.

Questions to Help Pick Curriculum:
- Do you have a particular leaning towards a particular educational philosophy?
(example: real-book-based = Sonlight; classical = WTM; relaxed = eclectic mix of programs; etc.)
- Think about what you've used in the past; what worked well, and what did NOT work well about each? Which seems to have the most "pros" and least "cons" for your family?
- Does your DS have a particularly strong learning style? (takes in information best through visual, hearing, or touch/hands-on)
- Is there an area your DS is advanced in?
- Is there an area your DS is weak in that you want to build up?
- Does your DS have a particular interest in an area to suggest using more rigorous material, or more material to go "deep"?(example: loves science, or tech, or history, or literature, or the arts, or...)
- Are there programs you know would be either especially wonderful -- or horrible -- for DS?
- Are there programs that would be wonderful -- or horrible -- for YOU to oversee?
- Is there a specific program either you or DS would esp. LIKE to use and have been looking forward to using?
- Do YOU have a strong area you'd love to "do-it-yourself" for that class?
- Do YOU have a weak area (or a subject you dislike!) that would be better for you to outsource in some way? (program with video lessons; have DH or older sibling oversee it; hire a tutor; attend local homeschool co-op class; attend a high school for that class; distance/online class; dual enrollment with university or community college...)
- Think about what the rest of your family's day looks like; how will various programs fit in with your schedule?
 

6. NEXT Year, Or in a Future Year:
Next year, once you are settled into a good routine with 9th grade, and everything is working, THEN begin to think and plan ahead for grades 10, 11, and 12. That's when you may want to research the outsourcing options. Or look into local extracurricular opportunities. Eventually, you may want to consider possibly having your student do an AP (Advanced Placement) class. But for a typical 9th grader, especially without any strong career field leanings, don't worry about those things at this point.

Use 9th grade to get comfortable with and transition into doing solid high school level work. Once YOU are settled into the 9th grade year, you can start doing research these other topics of outsourcing and tests to see if that would be useful or needed for this particular student.

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WOW!!!  thanks for all of the help....I REALLY appreciate it.  I will take the time to read everythig carefully...check out the links you all have posted...and see where to go from there.  THANKS again.

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I'm a community college professor at two different schools, and I was scared about high school too.  I know firsthand what its like for high school graduates who weren't working up to their potential to hit college and suddenly have to study and read like they've never done before.  What made it worse is that I live in a district that thinks very little of homeschool credits, so you either send them in 9th grade or somehow finish homeschooling unless you want to start over in some subjects.

 

And frankly it's been the icing on the cake for me.  I've taught them since preschool, and now I see the fruit of that.  They're self-motivated, lovely young people.  Not that we don't have a bump here or there, but I'm so glad that I am able to be with them during this last stage.  My oldest will go to college next year, and it is fun seeing how the plans are coming together.  My next one has a pretty good idea too, although we have a few more years left.

 

For me, doing some outsourcing has been a help.  I outsource foreign languages and history/literature because they like the group dynamics versus discussion with Mom.  I also would have to study a lot to be at the level they need in those subjects, so it is well worth it.  I'm fine with English, science, and math and most of the electives.  We've also done some dual enrollment.

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You've already gotten great advice and lots of information. I'm just going to throw in a welcome and tell you to relax. 9th grade is just the next grade after 8th. It isn't magical. It is just a step like all the others you have taken along the way. Relax and keep moving forward.

 

Yes, there are some who use public schools for some classes, but not that many here. There are online options, Community Colleges, and continuing to learn at home. There are so many more options in high school. There are big challenges  and big rewards here. 

 

Just keep swimming.

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. 9th grade is just the next grade after 8th. It isn't magical. It is just a step like all the others you have taken along the way. Relax and keep moving forward.

 

 

 

This exactly.  This is what I usually tell moms of 8th graders whose pulse is racing. 

 

If you have been homeschooling all along, and have found a rhythm to your days, your teaching style and your dd's learning style, then 9th grade is really just another step up along with the necessary record keeping.  Yes, there are high school requirements. They're pretty self-explanatory (1 math, 1 science, 1 social science, 1 language arts, 1 foreign language a year and add in interest-driven extracurriculars).

 

Use this time to learn about the options and testing and curricula of high school, just as you did when you studied homeschooling as you began this journey.  You've got plenty of time and lots of good help and past threads on this board.

 

Lisa

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