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SparklyUnicorn

tell me the things you do to give your homeschooler a unique experience

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That title isn't quite right, but I didn't know exactly how to title it.  I've been working on high school planning lately.  I'm starting to feel more and more like I wonder why I homeschool because it is all feeling so rigid, schoolish, and box checking to me.  I don't want that.  For some stuff I do, but not everything.  I want to feel some sense of control over the situation and allow my kid to focus on at least some of the stuff he enjoys. 

 

Surely there are many ways to go about this.  I just don't know how to let go and be a little more creative.  I hate the regs.  The regs are pretty dated for one thing.  I feel like I'm trying to satisfy 4 different areas that don't always mesh.  College admission requirements, homeschool regulations, high school experience that is at least similar enough to convince a superintendent to give me a letter of equivalency, AND what won't kill learning for my kid.

 

So anything you have to say about that would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

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You've been at this a lot longer than I have, and I'm only halfway through 9th grade, so I have no business advising anyone ... BUT ...

 

have you seen the old thread called something like "does all the fun stop?"

 

There are lots of folks here who have approached high school in unconventional-yet-still-recognizable-as-high-school ways - corraleno, ElegantLion, Jane in NC, Nan in Mass, KarenAnne/Doodler, JennW in SoCal ... I hang on pretty much every word they (and others) have ever typed.  :blushing:   And sometimes I wish they'd homeschool my son for me because they'd do it so much better!

 

I think there are a number of excellent threads linked in the stickies at the top, probably in the Getting Started one (I think that's what it's called).

 

Other than that ...

 

Do you know what sort of things your son enjoys that he ALSO won't mind incorporating into school?  This can be touchy for some kids - I don't think I'd make a "comics as literature" course without consulting him, because I think he'd hate having to write essays about literary themes in Batman, you know?

 

 

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This is the thread I mentioned - but there are many others with lots more posts and TONS of great ideas.

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/253716-once-your-child-hits-middle-school-does-this-mean-all-the-fun-stuff-stops/

 

ETA:  Ha ha!  I found that thread linked here, too - in a thread you started this past summer.  :)  That was a really good thread, by the way!

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/555964-damnnow-things-are-starting-to-feel-real/?hl=%2Bfun+%2Bcourse&do=findComment&comment=6437803

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This is the thread I mentioned - but there are many others with lots more posts and TONS of great ideas.

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/253716-once-your-child-hits-middle-school-does-this-mean-all-the-fun-stuff-stops/

 

ETA:  Ha ha!  I found that thread linked here, too - in a thread you started this past summer.  :)  That was a really good thread, by the way!

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/555964-damnnow-things-are-starting-to-feel-real/?hl=%2Bfun+%2Bcourse&do=findComment&comment=6437803

 

See I've been freaking out for a long time now.  LOL

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OK So I'm a new Homeschooler  --with a high school student (Muppet Boy). And I'm already struggling a bit on this front... We brought him home in October and really our first quarter was about a) survival and b) finishing where we came from in PS. But it was turning into boring...repetitive, school at home...

 

One of the reasons we brought him home was that school was killing his desire to learn. So while we do have boxes to check (Though in my state the only real specific requirements I need to meet are college admissions related)

 

So here's what I've done SO FAR:

 

Added videos and games and hands on elements: -- examples: board games for economics! Stossel videos for economics, some other videos and games...  Dragon breeder game in Biology, hands on model building in Biology, etc ... spread writing across the curriculum and replace some writing assignments with other formats a big research poster for a bio project with a focus on solid citation rather than writing a paper, a character analysis with a costume design for an English assignment, etc.

 

So

*Algebra... sorry, it's not fun. It's Saxon  LOL But he does like doing his work on white boards better than paper. (He should have done Algebra last year but the system screwed him... there are many reasons we brought him home.... this is a factor) (We chose Saxon, in part because their course sequence - using 3rd edition - would give him the option to finish Calc in HS if he wants.)

*Biology... fun comes from playful lab choices, hands on modeling (We did cell models with dough, and DNA models with candy, etc.) and some freedom in research projects. And coloring. And youtube videos (Hello Amoeba sisters and CrashCourse)

*Economics is where I'm feeling some freedom -- we're big time gamers and well, most board and card games have some economic connections, about once a week I've got set aside for board games. Plus we ordered the Stossel videos for Economics to bring in another element. 

*English -- again this is a place where you can play a bit. Yes, solid compositions are necessary but so are narratives, fiction, poetry... going to see plays, using cartoon shorts to assess story development, etc.

*Russian -- eh this isn't always playful... we are adding bingo with vocab and M&Ms LOL

*Theater -- this is partially with our coop and partially at home. Working on connecting with our English curriculum and figuring this out. We just nailed down this class this last week.

* Instrumental Music (Clarinet) -- I bought him some fun music choices (Disney solos and Pirates of the Caribbean playalong) to make this more fun

 

Next year, we're also bringing home our then-6th grader (Little Guy). I want to approach things a little differently there. We've decided to hold off on Physics and Chemistry to Muppet Boy's junior year so he can expand his math skills (probably do one through our co-op and one dual-enrolled). 

 

So, we've got some leeway on Sophomore science and are considering Geology and Astronomy tied into the earlier parts of Big History Project as a starting point... with a parallel program for Little Guy (So we're all doing Cosmology stuff but the research levels and expectations are grade appropriate). 

 

We've knocked out Government and Economics this year. We'll do World History his Junior Year and American History his senior year. We've decided to have some fun with Cultural and Phyiscal Geography this coming year which again has parallels to Big History (I'm a secondary social studies teacher by background) I want more freedom next year to have one FUN year with both of them home before Muppet Boy gets too focused on college prep.

 

Plus we're going to England in the Fall. So, we're going to do Brit Lit for everyone and play with the Geography to address the UK more before we go.

 

(Although honestly they're most excited about hitting Cardiff and doing the Doctor Who experience but we can work with that... the Doctor has visited Shakespeare, Dickens, etc. LOL)

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Not quite sure what you are looking for.

 

I tailor my kids' studies to their personality and goals. Ambitious, academically driven DD took a lot of college courses (32 credits) during her high school years, volunteered in the tutoring center of the university, participated in the undergraduate research competition - whereas less driven DS who is interested in an academic career does less involved coursework so he has plenty of time to focus on his extensive athletic endeavors and learn a lot during his part time job.

 

While remaining loosely within the expected framework of credits, I do not use scripted curriculum for most subjects and feel comfortable putting together my own materials, with input from my kids. We use a lot of TC lectures for history and literature. DD unschooled English one year completely, selected her own literature, read and wrote what she wanted. In some subjects we are extremely rigorous (math), in others very relaxed and eclectic. We use no literature curriculum, just books. We do not use tests excpet for science and math; my kids get to demonstrate their subject mastery through presentations and essays.

We put together our own electives according to the kids' interests. DD studied culinary chemistry which involved not only a standard book, but also lots of cooking shows and tutorials and a lot of time in the lab, eh, kitchen, where she put those theoretical insights to practical test and became an accomplished baker. DS wants to learn about psychology, social psychology, ports psychology etc - we will see how to package his self studies as an elective.

 

 

 

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Not quite sure what you are looking for.

 

I tailor my kids' studies to their personality and goals. Ambitious, academically driven DD took a lot of college courses (32 credits) during her high school years, volunteered in the tutoring center of the university, participated in the undergraduate research competition - whereas less driven DS who is interested in an academic career does less involved coursework so he has plenty of time to focus on his extensive athletic endeavors and learn a lot during his part time job.

 

While remaining loosely within the expected framework of credits, I do not use scripted curriculum for most subjects and feel comfortable putting together my own materials, with input from my kids. We use a lot of TC lectures for history and literature. DD unschooled English one year completely, selected her own literature, read and wrote what she wanted. In some subjects we are extremely rigorous (math), in others very relaxed and eclectic. We use no literature curriculum, just books. We do not use tests excpet for science and math; my kids get to demonstrate their subject mastery through presentations and essays.

We put together our own electives according to the kids' interests. DD studied culinary chemistry which involved not only a standard book, but also lots of cooking shows and tutorials and a lot of time in the lab, eh, kitchen, where she put those theoretical insights to practical test and became an accomplished baker. DS wants to learn about psychology, social psychology, ports psychology etc - we will see how to package his self studies as an elective.

 

Culinary chemistry sounds awesome. 

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That title isn't quite right, but I didn't know exactly how to title it. I've been working on high school planning lately. I'm starting to feel more and more like I wonder why I homeschool because it is all feeling so rigid, schoolish, and box checking to me. I don't want that. For some stuff I do, but not everything. I want to feel some sense of control over the situation and allow my kid to focus on at least some of the stuff he enjoys.

 

Surely there are many ways to go about this. I just don't know how to let go and be a little more creative. I hate the regs. The regs are pretty dated for one thing. I feel like I'm trying to satisfy 4 different areas that don't always mesh. College admission requirements, homeschool regulations, high school experience that is at least similar enough to convince a superintendent to give me a letter of equivalency, AND what won't kill learning for my kid.

 

So anything you have to say about that would be greatly appreciated!

We are on the exactly same journey, you and I. I mean, I was *just* thinking about this about 10 minutes ago. It's like whenever you post something like this it's exactly what I'm currently thinking about or going through. It's eerie and has happened multiple times in these past few months.

 

There's just got to be a better way to meet the core requirements without it being pure drudgery. When I look at it for next year, it sounds just like going to school. There seems to be little flexibility. I hear about how "homeschoolers can teach what they want" (somewhere I've heard that...) but it's not true.

 

We have to do:

 

English, 4 years.

Language--the same one, 3 years.

3-4 sciences and 2 have to be a lab.

Math-push as far as you can go, 4 years

Social studies: world history, american history, economics/civics, something else

 

And then there are (finally!) the electives where the student can (finally!) learn about what they actually want to learn about.. But make sure one of them is some sort of art appreciation. And that another one is speech. OH BLAH.

 

Where is the flexibility? How can make this education awesome and once-of-a-kind if I have to teach the above to get the kid into college?

 

I guess it's like Regentrude and others have said: teach the subjects, but somehow make them your own. This is the part I'm starting to try to figure out, like you Sparkly. How do I make the required courses our own? How do we not just end up recreating school at home? How do we tailor the education to the children we have and not just the standards across the board?

 

I hope more people chime in, and I'm going to read the links someone posted earlier to the post about "does the fun end." Because it really feels like the joy of learning will be squashed in a few months when 9th grade begins and it'll be drudgery for the next 4 years.

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The part I'm trying to figure out is that we're required to do world hx, american hx, economics/civics, and psych or world geography. And yet in the WTM she says to do history on a 4 year rotation. So....when do econ or psych? During our elective time? Maybe I need to re-read WTM.

 

I'd like to do a 4 year rotation, but I don't' know how to fit that in. Perhaps that needs to be a different thread. But history is our favorite thing to learn and I feel pretty sad that it looks like we have to give that up to make room for these social studies courses, which is why I'm asking about it here. How do we teach the required courses at the level they need to be taught and still have time for a 4 year history rotation?

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Oh neat.  My son just started Russian this past September. 

 

I was a student in Russia a LONG Time ago... my Russian is rusty but I'm still ahead of Muppet Boy :D We're enjoying it.

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We're in NY too.

 

We're covering every subject as required by the regs (& then some, in order to please colleges), but in our own way & without scripted curriculum, so we can make it more fun.

 

A bit of what we've done-

 

ELA: mainly child chosen genres & books, some mom chosen each year (American lit this year, for example)

We use EIW for writing, but I let him choose his own prompts for each type of essay

 

History: we have done historical re enacting as a family for years, lots of trips to historical places, lots of historical fiction, TTC great courses, also not doing plain American History or world, but child chosen sub topics- he did a full year WWII class this past year

 

Science: yes for the regular textbook based courses, but also we do a 4 H STEM club, an FTC Robotics team, Open ROV team, TTC great courses (robotics, electronics, cyber security, nanotechnology, & engineering all on the list), and sign him up for fun summer programs like robotics camps, engineering camps, do dissections with friends instead of home alone, buy kits & stuff (Arduino on order now)

 

We encourage & set up fun extra curriculars, camping trips, video games, bike trips, travel (kids going to Europe with my parents in the spring), drive to late night gaming activities, set up teen group activities....

 

We unschooled completely till 8th grade & I didn't want to jump into traditional school at home for high school & have him bored to death, but he needed to be challenged & have a college prep experience. I think it's going well.

 

Next year will be a mix of DE classes (maybe not so fun, but I hope so since he's chosing them), online science & math (not so fun), but history & ELA out of the box, with chosen electives & extra curriculars

 

Good luck!

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The part I'm trying to figure out is that we're required to do world hx, american hx, economics/civics, and psych or world geography. And yet in the WTM she says to do history on a 4 year rotation. So....when do econ or psych? During our elective time? Maybe I need to re-read WTM.

?

You can cover American History as part of world history, same with civics & government, & geography.

Govt & Econ can be electives.

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The part I'm trying to figure out is that we're required to do world hx, american hx, economics/civics, and psych or world geography. And yet in the WTM she says to do history on a 4 year rotation. So....when do econ or psych? During our elective time? Maybe I need to re-read WTM.

 

I'd like to do a 4 year rotation, but I don't' know how to fit that in. Perhaps that needs to be a different thread. But history is our favorite thing to learn and I feel pretty sad that it looks like we have to give that up to make room for these social studies courses, which is why I'm asking about it here. How do we teach the required courses at the level they need to be taught and still have time for a 4 year history rotation?

 

I'm having a similar dilemma.

 

I like the suggestion to do U.S. history within the context of world history.  That would take care of that.  Then civics/economics I already have the books.  They cover the same topics, but aren't too mega heavy duty.  I think that is fine.

 

Really with 4 years of English, 4 of social studies, 4 of math, 4 of science and a few other added requirements (art for example), how in heck will there be slots for extras?  This is the part I'm not getting.  And foreign language. 

Why do they make them do so many things?!  And then there must be some overlap (or there could be...killing 2 birds with one stone if that works to our benefit). 

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You can cover American History as part of world history, same with civics & government, & geography.

Govt & Econ can be electives.

 

True.  I guess the key is I (we) have to think in terms of what we are covering topic wise rather than worrying they are each separate full blown courses.  Here they are separate full blown courses though.

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I was a student in Russia a LONG Time ago... my Russian is rusty but I'm still ahead of Muppet Boy :D We're enjoying it.

 

He has a teacher at a Russian cultural center.  It's a bargain.  And I'm amazed he is so into it.  I can't help with it at all though.

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Well and then I get so overwhelmed thinking abut stuff like English.  That entails so many things that each feel daunting.

 

And then math.  What on earth am I going to do. 

 

 

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Really with 4 years of English, 4 of social studies, 4 of math, 4 of science and a few other added requirements (art for example), how in heck will there be slots for extras?  This is the part I'm not getting.  And foreign language. 

Why do they make them do so many things?! 

 

That's not actually that much. We do four years of each of the five core subjects (math,English, history, science, foreign language) - that's five hours daily during the school year for a total of 20 credits.

The kids can easily add two hours for two elective credits. Seven hours of work in high school is not overwhelming.

Or they can spend some time over the summer to finish a credit, or do something they did not get to during the school year.

And college classes allow you to finish one credit in a semester.

My DD graduated with a total of 31.5 high school credits - so plenty of room for electives.

 

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That's not actually that much. We do four years of each of the five core subjects (math,English, history, science, foreign language) - that's five hours daily during the school year for a total of 20 credits.

The kids can easily add two hours for two elective credits. Seven hours of work in high school is not overwhelming.

Or they can spend some time over the summer to finish a credit, or do something they did not get to during the school year.

And college classes allow you to finish one credit in a semester.

My DD graduated with a total of 31.5 high school credits - so plenty of room for electives.

 

 

We do school year round.  So that'll help.

 

See I wonder how to count the college credits.  He is starting already.  Which has put me into a further panic. 

 

I'm sure I'll calm down.  You'd think after 9 years I wouldn't be so freaked out. 

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I'm not in the US, but I have read here that social science can often replace some (or all) of the history credits for university entrance.  So psychology, sociology, economics, law, anthropology, etc.  You could do an awful lot of cool things with those subjects.

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See I wonder how to count the college credits. 

 

Many threads on this board deal with this question, and opinions differ.

 

I generally gave one high school credit for one semester of a four hour college class or of a three hour upper level college class.

 

I gave one hs credit for two semesters of a 3 hour college physics class that covered the same material as a one year rigorous high school course would have covered; I did not feel it warranted giving the double number of credits for a basically high school level class, just because it was taught at a college.

 

I know other people give a full hs credit for any college class, regardless of content/level.

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I'm not in the US, but I have read here that social science can often replace some (or all) of the history credits for university entrance.  So psychology, sociology, economics, law, anthropology, etc.  You could do an awful lot of cool things with those subjects.

 

Problem is they don't satisfy the requirements for the homeschooling regs nor the high school.  Most of those only count for electives. 

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Many threads on this board deal with this question, and opinions differ.

 

I generally gave one high school credit for one semester of a four hour college class or of a three hour upper level college class.

 

This seems reasonable to me. 

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Well and then I get so overwhelmed thinking abut stuff like English.  That entails so many things that each feel daunting

 

I must have been doing it wrong then. For us, English entailed books. And more books. Reading books, talking about books, writing about books. That was entirely sufficient for DD to excel in upper level college lit classes in 12th grade.

 

 

And then math.  What on earth am I going to do.

 

Pick a curriculum that works for your student. Have student work through it.

I found math the easiest because it is straight forward: no different components,it is clear what content must be covered and how to assess mastery, and clear what comes next. No projects, papers, extras, labs. Just a math book and a solution manual. And when that is finished, the next level.

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We don't have to follow any state regulations, which simplifies planning somewhat.

 

When I first started planning high school, dd was on a serious math track. Like the DC-NYC Acela train track. She has changed somewhat since then ;)

 

:lol:

 

(For newbies, dd has dragged me behind her for years. I throw books and resources at her as fast as I can. I have become skilled at saying "sure, you can do that!")

 

So we approached high school with this framework---and continue to refer back to it:

 

4 years English

4 years math

4 years science, three being lab

4 years social sciences

4 years foreign language

and then however many electives fit

 

English is her least favorite class. One course per year---done.

 

She started ninth grade in precalculus. So this year, tenth grade, is calculus. She does not need to continue past calculus to do what she wants to (assuming she scores high enough on the AP exam in May. If she doesn't she'll be facing more calculus). Statistics is a good thing for everyone to study. Ok, that will be the third year of math. What to do for the fourth? We'll figure that out later.

 

Science is an area of interest. She did algebra-based physics in 8th, so began ninth with chemistry. This year she wanted to do AP Environmental (she's learnd a lo working on Science Olympiad events), I insisted on bio first, so we compromised with bio blocked in the fall semester and APES blocked in the spring semester. Hey, 3 sciences already, all with lab! Just one more to go.

 

Social sciences became a huge area of interest. Ninth grade she asked to study ancient world history with a global view and AP Human Geography because it sounded interesting. Cool! This year she asked for AP Psych and AP Comparative Government and Politics because she wanted to learn more about why people and countries behave the way they do. Awesome, the four social science requirements I set are done! So the next courses will fall in the "elective" category as listed above. She says she should study US history, US government, and macroeconomics, probably AP-level for all three.

 

Foreign language really threw a wrench in all my beautiful plans. Arabic 1 from Potter's School was way too easy. Dd came to dh and me with a proposal that she study Arabic 2 during the summer at immersion camp. Well, ok! She returned from camp to place into the second semester of Arabic at the University of Our State :eek: And then she applied for a very competitive (funded) summer study abroad program for this coming summer. If she gets it and it's for Arabic, she would run out of Arabic classes at the university before her senior year. And she wants to start a second language at the university next year, either Chinese or Russian!

 

And then---------she came to us with a proposal that she graduate a year early and (hopefully) take a funded immersion gap year before heading to college.

 

:eek: :eek: :eek:

 

So tl;dr version:

 

1. We listen/ed to what dd wants/ed to study within the 5x4 (plus electives) framework.

2. To make that work, we've done out-of-the-box things (immersion camp for one credit, unusual courses like comparative gov and global ancient history as the only world history credit) and very much in-the-box things (I have written many AP syllabi for College Board approval, which involves hoop jumping).

3. There will be no non-academic credits on dd's transcript because that does not fit her interests.

4. We are also very relaxed about time spent on subjects during the week. As long as she gets everything done, I don't really care when she does her work. I am strict on due dates for papers and on dates for exams.

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Problem is they don't satisfy the requirements for the homeschooling regs nor the high school.  Most of those only count for electives. 

 

Are you talking about state requirements for hsers that you must fulfill? Does your state prescribe a course of study?

 

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Are you talking about state requirements for hsers that you must fulfill? Does your state prescribe a course of study?

 

 

It's a balance between trying to fulfill homeschool requirements AND state requirements.  They do have state requirements.  The homeschool requirements are far less rigorous.  For example, they only require 2 years of math and science.  That's not going to fly in the eyes of the state (and probably not with colleges). 

For social studies the state requires I credit US history, 1 credit World history with geography, and 1 credit civics/economics.  Homeschool regs only require US, and the civics/economics (plus 2 more credits of social studies). 

In other words, yes the state has a prescribed course of study that is not all that flexible.  To be frank, I either need to just do what they call for or get very creative with presenting something else in a way that doesn't look too different.

 

I'm sure I'm overthinking this.  But, for example, if I wanted to follow a four year rotation, I'm not sure if it follows the requirements enough.  And geesh one year of world history, this must be some super mega whirlwind tour to manage much coverage in a year.  

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So, someone told me (and it's applicable where I am but might not be where you are) to think bigger picture... if you want to do the four year history cycle... You don't have to do 1 year of World History all at once, then one year of American history, then one semester of government... You could do world history, blend in comparative government as applicable, explore the role of enlightenment thinking when you get there, when you're working on American History take the time to do in-depth exploration of the relevant primary source documents (Declaration of Independence, Constitution, the process of and role of amendments, etc.) Pay attention to what you've covered, make sure your goals are met, and pull it out when transcripts time comes. If you've covered a semester-worth of government in the COURSE of a bigger picture class, Call it what it is! Making good connections is NOT a detriment!

 

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So, someone told me (and it's applicable where I am but might not be where you are) to think bigger picture... if you want to do the four year history cycle... You don't have to do 1 year of World History all at once, then one year of world history, then one semester of government... You could do world history, blend in comparative government as applicable, explore the role of enlightenment thinking when you get there, when you're working on American History take the time to do in-depth exploration of the relevant primary source documents (Declaration of Independence, Constitution, the process of and role of amendments, etc.) Pay attention to what you've covered, make sure your goals are met, and pull it out when transcripts time comes. If you've covered a semester-worth of government in the COURSE of a bigger picture class, Call it what it is! Making good connections is NOT a detriment!

 

Yes, this makes sense to me.

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So, someone told me (and it's applicable where I am but might not be where you are) to think bigger picture... if you want to do the four year history cycle... You don't have to do 1 year of World History all at once, then one year of world history, then one semester of government... You could do world history, blend in comparative government as applicable, explore the role of enlightenment thinking when you get there, when you're working on American History take the time to do in-depth exploration of the relevant primary source documents (Declaration of Independence, Constitution, the process of and role of amendments, etc.) Pay attention to what you've covered, make sure your goals are met, and pull it out when transcripts time comes. If you've covered a semester-worth of government in the COURSE of a bigger picture class, Call it what it is! Making good connections is NOT a detriment!

 

See this is, I think, where I'm getting hung up.  I'm trying to fit the ideas you mention into neat courses with a distinct beginning and end.  And this is a huge reason I homeschool.  I don't want to do that. 

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I think the hardest part about planning for high school is understanding that  there are some important skills that have to be learned before the student can really fly. The ages of 13-15 seemed to be the time when my kids really struggled with

1. learning to read non-fiction critically and analytically for specific information

2. learning to read fiction critically and analytically, and not just float along following the plot

3. learning to write coherently, making an argument and using evidence from what you read.

4. learning new skills in chemistry, physics and math

5. learning to do all this quickly, with purpose and avoiding distractions.

 

That's why it seems all drudgery and no fun at the beginning--because they are still learning the skills to learn. I can't figure out a good way to learn these skills other than to just keep working at it. Sooner or later things will click, and they figure out how to be in charge of their own education, how to manage their own time, and they learn the skills they need to learn. Then, then, they take off.

 

Maria

 

Once my sons figured this out, then they just blasted off with their learning-- and THAT is why we homeschool through high school. My daughter is in the process of figuring it out, and, yes, it is drudgery for her and for me-- she seems to need a warm body to sit with her or she just loses motivation to get the work done. But she is making progress.

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See this is, I think, where I'm getting hung up.  I'm trying to fit the ideas you mention into neat courses with a distinct beginning and end.  And this is a huge reason I homeschool.  I don't want to do that. 

 

Do the work first, hit everything you want to cover, and then think about how to package it into a transcript.

Your transcript can be by subject instead of by year if that works better. You can cover government in a very current-events way by doing it during election year. You don't have to separate where "history" ends and "government" begins. You can call it an integrated study. (We did integrated history+literature because I found it impossible to separate the two)

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For social studies the state requires I credit US history, 1 credit World history with geography, and 1 credit civics/economics.  Homeschool regs only require US, and the civics/economics (plus 2 more credits of social studies). 

In other words, yes the state has a prescribed course of study that is not all that flexible.  To be frank, I either need to just do what they call for or get very creative with presenting something else in a way that doesn't look too different.

 

I'm sure I'm overthinking this.  But, for example, if I wanted to follow a four year rotation, I'm not sure if it follows the requirements enough

 

Why not? You can integrate the US history into the world history. You can cover civics and economics integrated with history - after all, how can you separate a government course from US history anyway? You say you need 1 credit each, not a one year course.

 

Cover the topics in the way you want, and then write a description of your coursework that hits all the targets, and divvy your work among the required credits.

 

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Are the NYS regs written in such as way that you can submit your plans and then if you change your mind about them mid-year you can soldier on without submitting new paperwork?  Virginia is like that, and I've changed my mind a time or two. 

 

As far as what I do:  I encourage my kids to find something outside of the mandatory schoolwork that I require of them.  I try to help them find what they want to pursue and then I make time for it and try to facilitate it and encourage it.  DD has her horses and her competitive swim team that she lives and dies for, and so the whole "time to pursue your hobby" thing is going just as I would wish for her.  DS hasn't been able to find his extracurricular niche yet, but I am trying to help him find that, as well.

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I encourage my kids to find something outside of schoolwork that they want to pursue and then I make time for it and try to facilitate it.  DD has her horses and her competitive swim team and so the whole "time to pursue your hobby" thing is going just as I would wish.  DS hasn't been able to find his extracurricular niche yet, but I am trying to help him find that, as well.

 

Very important point!

And what I find also important is to resist the urge to do certain activities so they can look good on the college application. High school is valuable lifetime, and the young people should pursue those activities that enrich their lives, that they are passionate about, that they find fun. You can always think later how to package it for college apps. It is important that they get to do what they love.

 

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OK, I'll be new at this high school thing next year (DD is in 8th grade now and so I am just in the high school planning stages), but I think this is where double-dipping comes into play.  :)   For example, I've decided to do History Odyssey Ancients for 9th grade history next year.  Embedded in that curriculum is some really great literature that DD will have to write on (Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, a few others).  Wham!  A history credit, as well as 0.5 an English credit and 0.5 geography credit because of the mapping.  When we get to more modern history, the American History will be embedded in that at the appropriate time, with some additional literature/lectures.  DD loves her horses, so her hobby is going to morph into an Equine Science course after I get my hands on that equine text and talk to the farmer about mentoring her.  I think I'm starting to get the hang of this....

 

 

I'm having a similar dilemma.

 

I like the suggestion to do U.S. history within the context of world history.  That would take care of that.  Then civics/economics I already have the books.  They cover the same topics, but aren't too mega heavy duty.  I think that is fine.

 

Really with 4 years of English, 4 of social studies, 4 of math, 4 of science and a few other added requirements (art for example), how in heck will there be slots for extras?  This is the part I'm not getting.  And foreign language. 

Why do they make them do so many things?!  And then there must be some overlap (or there could be...killing 2 birds with one stone if that works to our benefit). 

 

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Can you just write them up as separate full-blown courses and then integrate them on your own?  Who is going to know?  As long as you genuinely cover a credit's worth of work, why does it matter?  Not asking a snotty, rhetorical question; I'm genuinely curious because I can't see how it matters as long as the info gets conveyed and your DS learns the material.

 

ETA:  I finally read through the entire thread.  I like your idea of getting creative with your write-ups, LOL!  As long as you honestly do a legitimate credit's worth of work....

True.  I guess the key is I (we) have to think in terms of what we are covering topic wise rather than worrying they are each separate full blown courses.  Here they are separate full blown courses though.

 

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tell me the things you do to give your homeschooler a unique experience

 

I was the micro-managing type while my daughter was homeschooling high school (she's since graduated from college); however, I tried to allow her some choice within what I considered necessary.

 

For example, taking a foreign language throughout high school was non-negotiable.  My daughter chose to take Latin and then added a summer session of Japanese and a year of Ancient Greek.

 

Four years of science was non-negotiable. My daughter took Physical Science in 9th grade and Chemistry in 10th grade (no choices then).  However, when she began taking classes at the community college in 11th grade, she elected to take three quarters of Geology and a quarter of Environmental Science.  We did not make her take Biology as she had little interest in it.

 

[she went on to major in Latin in college and minor in Geology.]

 

Likewise, taking English all four years was non-negotiable.  When she began taking classes at the community college, I insisted she take three quarters of composition and three quarters of literature.  She had many different literature classes from which to choose.  She elected to take a class in World Literature, one in Latino/a Literature and a quarter of Folklore and Mythology.

 

After taking Precalculus in 11th grade (non-negotiable), she was offered a choice of Calculus or Statistics.  She elected to take an AP Statistics class.

 

And so on ....

 

 

Regards,

Kareni

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This is random but relevant to me... I recently heard SWB on the Ed SnapShots podcast... some of the things she had to say really resonated with me, while I've been thinking a LOT on basically this topic, though not directly addressing it, so others might find it helpful too.

 

http://edsnapshots.com/23/

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We've done some straight textbook sorts of things, along with a lot of rabbit trails. Lots of music for my first two and my last. Lots of computer coding for last three, partly because we found an awesome prof. Second dd did her private pilot's license, along with Master Gardener. Ds dabbled in British Lit. Oldest did dressage for a PE credit. Two of my kids did overseas courses with Hillsdale College--those were life-changing for both of them. Second did a whole pile of architecture classes. My oldest and youngest have done a lot of drama. One became a firefighter! She also did 5 varsity sports. One spent a lot of time on cyber security. We raised a lot of sheep. One earned every merit badge that Boy Scouts offers. Two did a bunch of robotics. And one learned to SCUBA dive. All were lifeguards. I ahd to look back at their transcripts to write that list--they all did cool things. 

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(Although honestly they're most excited about hitting Cardiff and doing the Doctor Who experience but we can work with that... the Doctor has visited Shakespeare, Dickens, etc. LOL)

 

Have you seen this? http://www.whoclass.com Sadie mentioned this the other week.

 

(Off topic, I know. Going away now. :leaving: )

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Culinary chemistry sounds awesome.

Have you looked at Guest Hollow's new Chemistry in the Kitchen? That class has a ton of appeal to me but it doesn't include the math that is usually done in high school chemistry. I would love to do that with my dd next year, but then, like you, I worry about meeting the requirements for college.

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Do the work first, hit everything you want to cover, and then think about how to package it into a transcript.

Your transcript can be by subject instead of by year if that works better. You can cover government in a very current-events way by doing it during election year. You don't have to separate where "history" ends and "government" begins. You can call it an integrated study. (We did integrated history+literature because I found it impossible to separate the two)

 

I have to submit quarterly reports detailing what we did. 

 

I'd treat the transcript and homeschool thing separately, but there are some schools in NY who will ask specifically for what I submitted to the district.  Some won't know anything about that and would never ask.

 

They are very rigid in their thinking here it seems. 

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Why not? You can integrate the US history into the world history. You can cover civics and economics integrated with history - after all, how can you separate a government course from US history anyway? You say you need 1 credit each, not a one year course.

 

Cover the topics in the way you want, and then write a description of your coursework that hits all the targets, and divvy your work among the required credits.

 

Ah no no.  Again rigid thinking.

 

I once met a woman who wrote her IHIP (plan of study) stating she would do history half the year and science the other half.  This was elementary.  They rejected that.  I told her she should just do it anyway and write it up how they want.  That IS what she did. 

 

But yeah of course now this kinda answers the question of what I'm going to do.

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Can you just write them up as separate full-blown courses and then integrate them on your own?  Who is going to know?  As long as you genuinely cover a credit's worth of work, why does it matter?  Not asking a snotty, rhetorical question; I'm genuinely curious because I can't see how it matters as long as the info gets conveyed and your DS learns the material.

 

ETA:  I finally read through the entire thread.  I like your idea of getting creative with your write-ups, LOL!  As long as you honestly do a legitimate credit's worth of work....

 

I don't know if I "can", but I probably will.

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Are the NYS regs written in such as way that you can submit your plans and then if you change your mind about them mid-year you can soldier on without submitting new paperwork?  Virginia is like that, and I've changed my mind a time or two. 

 

As far as what I do:  I encourage my kids to find something outside of the mandatory schoolwork that I require of them.  I try to help them find what they want to pursue and then I make time for it and try to facilitate it and encourage it.  DD has her horses and her competitive swim team that she lives and dies for, and so the whole "time to pursue your hobby" thing is going just as I would wish for her.  DS hasn't been able to find his extracurricular niche yet, but I am trying to help him find that, as well.

 

Sort of. 

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Can you just write them up as separate full-blown courses and then integrate them on your own?  Who is going to know?  As long as you genuinely cover a credit's worth of work, why does it matter?  Not asking a snotty, rhetorical question; I'm genuinely curious because I can't see how it matters as long as the info gets conveyed and your DS learns the material.

 

ETA:  I finally read through the entire thread.  I like your idea of getting creative with your write-ups, LOL!  As long as you honestly do a legitimate credit's worth of work....

 

I know, I'm quoting you twice.  I will do what I want and write the plans and reports creatively.  And ya know what?  I'm not going to feel bad nor worry about that.  BECAUSE, last time I was at the CC with my son they asked me about the paperwork for homeschooling because I was somewhat arguing about the placement test.  Long story, but my basic argument was the last time I signed up for a course they didn't require proof nor testing because they said I was not matriculated.  So then I explained the paperwork.  She didn't seem convinced that was proof enough.  Well of course it is not proof enough, but then why make me do it if nobody acknowledges that it's proof of anything?

 

So again, I don't feel bad.  I was miffed because the paperwork takes a fair amount of time. 

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I'm having a similar dilemma.

 

I like the suggestion to do U.S. history within the context of world history. That would take care of that. Then civics/economics I already have the books. They cover the same topics, but aren't too mega heavy duty. I think that is fine.

 

Really with 4 years of English, 4 of social studies, 4 of math, 4 of science and a few other added requirements (art for example), how in heck will there be slots for extras? This is the part I'm not getting. And foreign language.

Why do they make them do so many things?! And then there must be some overlap (or there could be...killing 2 birds with one stone if that works to our benefit).

I've been slowly coming to the realization that there really isn't room for anything else once you squeeze in all of the requirements. It seems like that would be an easy concept to grasp, but I've been in denial. And not only that, meeting all of those requirements with some APs thrown in is going to lead to some very long days.

 

As far as overlap goes, my dd's omnibus teacher said I could give credit for literature and history from that. There is no way my dd is learning history in that class the way she would in a regular history class and I really want her to know history. On the other hand, she's really not interested in it, which means she will not retain it, so I do wonder if we should let the omnibus class meet the requirements.

 

Sometimes I think I am being too legalistic in meeting the requirements for high school classes. I remember my own days in high school and how little I learned even though my grades were good. I also see my niece who is currently in public high school, floating through with As and Bs with minimal effort.

 

Gosh, I just watched my sister get a 4.0 on her master's degree at a local well-respected university and after the first couple of classes she stopped buying the textbooks because she realized she didn't need to read them. She said she learned nothing from the degree and that it was just a hoop to jump through. And it wasn't on a subject she was already knowledgeable about.

 

When I first started reading about homeschooling, it seems like people were pretty creative with how they met high school requirements. The focus seemed more on a love for learning and developing interests. Now, I definitely get the feeling that there is more of a move to do things just like the schools do. I am falling into that trap. I think it is because college admissions have gotten so much more competitive.

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