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soror

Making highschool unique- non-trad, speciality, & out of the box courses & transcripts

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Reading various high school threads I keep catching little bits of various non-traditional courses and paths others have followed for hs'ing highschool. I've tried to do a broad search but as usual, I'm having difficulty pinpointing specific threads with more details.  

 

What I'm mainly looking for is (1) options to change up courses to make them more doable for my son with some EF difficulties(saving his brain power and attention for core courses) and (2) ways I can specialize our homeschool to reflect his interests and strengths. 

 

I've read some here and there about labeling courses by topic and not years and just in general non-traditional transcripts. I plan to do some things totally in the box but I'd love to hear about some different ways people approached counting courses for transcripts that are outside the norm. 

 

I'm looking at covering some things over the long term as a family, things like art, health, and PE for example. I also see my son's independence and interests burgeoning and I'd like to be able to give him time in the schedule to follow those interests and give him some credit. I'd love any advice on how you encouraged your child on their own unique path. How did you make time in the high school schedule for individuality? 

 

 

I'm looking for elective courses or core courses even.

 

Did you do a typical course in an atypical way? 

 

Did your student have a unique interest that you built a course around? 

 

TIA!

 

 

Edited by soror
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We did this with several courses for ds. His transcript is on a different computer, so I can't pull it up right now. I did this because 1. we were broke, so by high school I needed to use what we had  2. ds has varied interests 3. I was in the midst of divorce and starting college, so my time and energy were both stretched. 

 

We did a philosophy course with a Theory of Knowledge book (epistemology). Ds loved it. 8FillstheHeart also did a more extensive course with this book. Her posts might be helpful. 

 

Ds did a course about the history of the space program (.5 credit). He started off with a coursera course on systems engineering, then watched about a million hours of videos about the space program. Most of this he did in the middle of night because he's a night owl. This was probably the course he loved the most. I'm taking a course on space cowboys right now and had to tap his extensive knowledge the other day. You can still see that excitement when he discusses it and he remembers so much. I cannot remember what we used for output for that course, maybe a written paper and lots of oral reporting. 

 

For "social studies" we did a course on themes in human culture: We look at the development of time, religion, power, and one other issue which I can't remember. We used literature with this. This was a hodge podge of books I had. 

 

Overall, I feel like his transcripts reflects him well.

 

Because we had a very conversational kind of schooling, I found an rubric for oral reports from a university and used that to grade certain assignments. 

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We did this with several courses for ds. His transcript is on a different computer, so I can't pull it up right now. I did this because 1. we were broke, so by high school I needed to use what we had  2. ds has varied interests 3. I was in the midst of divorce and starting college, so my time and energy were both stretched. 

 

We did a philosophy course with a Theory of Knowledge book (epistemology). Ds loved it. 8FillstheHeart also did a more extensive course with this book. Her posts might be helpful. 

 

Ds did a course about the history of the space program (.5 credit). He started off with a coursera course on systems engineering, then watched about a million hours of videos about the space program. Most of this he did in the middle of night because he's a night owl. This was probably the course he loved the most. I'm taking a course on space cowboys right now and had to tap his extensive knowledge the other day. You can still see that excitement when he discusses it and he remembers so much. I cannot remember what we used for output for that course, maybe a written paper and lots of oral reporting. 

 

For "social studies" we did a course on themes in human culture: We look at the development of time, religion, power, and one other issue which I can't remember. We used literature with this. This was a hodge podge of books I had. 

 

Overall, I feel like his transcripts reflects him well.

 

Because we had a very conversational kind of schooling, I found an rubric for oral reports from a university and used that to grade certain assignments. 

Thanks for sharing, sounds like a lot of fun and a great education. I'd love to see the rubric for oral reports if you have any clue where you found it or still have a link. 

 

I have read 8's posts over the years and have her book. 

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Thanks for sharing, sounds like a lot of fun and a great education. I'd love to see the rubric for oral reports if you have any clue where you found it or still have a link. 

 

 

I actually found it on the first search. If you scroll down to Oral Presentations, it's the "example 1: Oral Exam"  https://www.cmu.edu/teaching/assessment/howto/assesslearning/rubrics.html

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I'm planning on a fairly non-traditional approach because we're not sure if DD is going to apply to circus schools or college. She won't be happy going to a traditional college so rather than forcing her to fit into a pre-conceived notion of what she's supposed to do, I'm planning on building on her interests. Other than circus, she has strong interests in social justice and environmental issues and teaching.

 

I have her in a very intensive modern US history course right now that I created using so many resources that has her doing some very deep analysis of US history as it relates to culture, music, art etc. I've decided that the quality of her work merits this to count for high school level. There is absolutely nothing else I would add to this course to make it more rigorous (without making it beyond high school level), and the topics have us so stretched emotionally and intellectually that I'm not going to attempt to repeat this again. I don't care if she's officially in 8th grade, she deserves high school credit for this. So, I plan to organize her transcript by topics.

 

Her other high school history classes may look something like: Latin American history, circus history, or other specialized history topics focusing on social justice issues and minority rights. I don't plan to do another complete US and world history flow because we took a very solid pass through middle school, which is what enables us to choose deeper and more specialized topics in high school. I feel comfortable making that case.

 

Science will be environmental science for 9th (again, it's an important topic to her). I will likely go traditional bio in 10th because there is a local class I value for that. Beyond that, I'm still TBD. Physics will be extremely useful to understand rigging issues and other circus things. I might actually outsource that entirely to a local physicist (PhD) who is also a circus performer. I'm hoping to convince him to put this together! (He already has an algebra 2 class built around poi and juggling). But, I am hoping to find an anatomy and physiology class for her (also, super helpful for circus). 

 

For literature, I've realized that she does best when these assignments are tied to her history. So, for 9th, we'll focus on Latin American literature.

 

Spanish is pretty traditional but I am teaching it with conversational practice planned with Homeschool Academy. French would be useful too so she might pick that up as an outside class. I'd like her to be at an AP Spanish level and at least 2 years of French when she graduates.

 

Electives and volunteer times won't be an issue--we have lots of ideas already. I have ideas about how to cover writing on its own and integrated with her other classes.

 

I'm feeling much more comfortable about allowing DD's unique interests to shine and emphasize who she is rather than forcing her into a more traditional approach that might get her into more competitive schools. Honestly, she doesn't have an ounce of competitive spirit in her, and although she's gifted, she is not the type of person who thrives on intellectual achievements (I absolutely was). So, those schools would be an absolute horrible match for her personality. 

 

Her true strengths are: physical strength and artistry, kindness and empathy, and teaching. Her intelligence just helps her see ways to tie all of these together rather than be the force that drives her, if that makes sense. (And this is totally new to me because I was absolutely driven solely by my intelligence and the need to excel academically, etc.)

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In my state (Maine), we are required to do "Maine Studies" at some point in grades 6- 12.  Most schools seem to stick this somewhere in jr. high, and do the typical sort of state history overview and then take a trip to the State House. 

 

I have something different in mind. ;)

 

I plan on this being a 1/2 credit or 1 credit in high school, and letting each child study the state through a different lens.  One of mine is focusing on Maine authors/literature, another child is going to do more of a history of rails and industry focus.  Another son wants to do a focused study on artists in Maine. 

 

Lots of room here for a variety of reading, written output, movies/documentaries, field study, art projects, museums, etc. 

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My oldest (high school)  expressed a desire to do a  study on WW2; so I'm in the process of assembling some resources  and allowing this to be part of his history credit.  TONS of material to sift through-- from Ken Burns' documentary (and other great stuff from PBS), the National Archives, sooo many books (bios and autobiographies, fiction and non fiction), movies such as Saving Private Ryan, Hacksaw Ridge, Schindler's List, Dunkirk, groups like Yad Veshem, and on and on and on...

 

Our little town historical society even has ration books to look through. :)

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My oldest (now a college graduate) had a unique transcript. She definitely had/has some EF issues, as well as other problems that put me in a position of trying to piece together a transcript from what she was willing to do.

 

She had a year of public school for 9th grade, which did give her a few traditional courses, including Spanish. But then she switched to homeschooling in preparation for an exchange year to Turkey, and her language of choice became Turkish. Finding sources for instruction in that was challenging, and ultimately her exchange year became an immersion experience on the transcript. We also created a history class and a literature class centered on topics pertinent to Turkey.

 

She participated on a homeschool academic decathlon team sophomore year, and we built her coursework for the year around the AcaDeca topics. Those courses had some very unusual titles. In retrospect, I should have done that differently.

 

Her science path was a little skewed, though ultimately she did hit the Big Three of bio, chem, and physics. She had a major meltdown during soph year chemistry, which led me to switch to a very basic geology course for the year. The science course in Turkey was, of course, in Turkish, so I did not count that on her transcript. But she did DE chem and physics during her senior year at a very small private college (think classes of under 20) which was perfect. Her math path took a similar course. Ultimately she made it through calculus thanks to this tiny college DE program.

 

I don't think this alternative path did her any favors when it came to college admissions. She did look interesting, of course, particularly with the exchange to Turkey, and she had a decent SAT score, with an 800 in Verbal. She had great extracurriculars. But the alternative course titles do make it hard to compare apples to apples for the admissions officers, and she did not have any other testing to validate her grades (we were not clued into SAT subject tests, but honestly I am not sure that path would have been realistic with this student anyway.) Ultimately she got into the right school for her, and scholarships were not a huge issue because she used my husband's GI Bill.  BUT if you do have a need for scholarships or a particular sort of college in mind, you will want to look closely at what may be required, ideally before high school begins, so you can make a plan.

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On 11/11/2017 at 6:37 AM, soror said:

Did you do a typical course in an atypical way? 


1. Went for bare minimum required credits
(since DS#2 with mild LDs was not heading for a STEM field, he only needed 3 credits, not 4 credits, for possible future college admissions)

2. Spread out core credits over more than one year
(we then spread out those 3 Science credits over 4 years, doing about 0.75 credit worth of Biology in 9th grade, then finishing it in 10th and doing about 0.5 credit of Chemistry for the rest of 10th; then for 11th, the remaining 0.5 credit of Chemistry plus 0.25 credit of Physics, and in 12th finishing the remaining )

3. Went with the program that clicks, even if they were "lighter"
(MUS is about the lightest high school math program out there, but it was what got DS through the higher maths)

4. Went for quality not quantity
(for the Writing for the English credit, we did fewer assignments but of high quality)

5. Went for short "bursts" of concentration
(we broke the Writing (a struggle area for DS#2) into smaller daily "bites" (30 minutes in the morning, and maybe another 15 minutes in the afternoon), and spread out the writing stages (brainstorming, organizing, rough draft, revision, proof-editing) over a longer period of time; while a typical 9th grader might do all those stages for a 5 paragraph essay in 3-4 days, we might take 2 weeks to do it at the slower, but highly focused, pace)

6. 1-on-1 closely mentored DS through his struggle areas
(we did a lot of the reading aloud together -- Literature, History, Science, and discussed as we went; also walked closely alongside DS with Writing (a struggle area), esp. in 9th and 10th grades, so there was no wasted time or effort on his part)

7. limited our schedule / planned in advance what topics could be dropped if needed
(DS#2 could manage 5.5-6.0 hours of really good concentrated focus per day -- and then he was *done*. So I scheduled us for about 45-60 minutes a day for each credit, and allowed Fridays to be our light day homeschoolby scheduling 5-6 credits to accomplish for the year, allows you to schedule for:
- 45 min/day x 5 days/week
- or 60 min/day x 4 days/week
And then we were *done* for the day -- no homework, no evenings, no weekends.

8. went into the summer to complete struggle subject
(Math was the most difficult subject for DS#2, and 2 years in high school we just had to keep going for a number of weeks (Alg. 1) or all summer (Alg. 2) to get through the program)
 

On 11/11/2017 at 6:37 AM, soror said:

I'm looking for elective courses or core courses even...
...Did your student have a unique interest that you built a course around? 


Core courses that were a hit with DS#2 with mild LDs:
- Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings (for the English credit one year)
- Made our own "Worldviews in Classic Sci-Fi" English credit another year
- MUS got us through Math -- also check into WTMer Jann in TX's My Homeschool Math online classes
- Conceptual Physics (Hewitt) was visual and interesting -- I strongly suggest going with  online class of Clover Creek Physics by WTMer Morning Glory (Jetta) :)

We didn't use it ourselves, but you might also look at Movies as Literature as an interesting English option.

For Government:
Count some of the hours of participation in a mock legislative and/or mock judicial hands-on program for part of your credit, and count the remaining hours as an extracurricular:
Youth & Government (model legislation program)
TEEN Pact (government and the political process; Christian)
Junior State of America (civics and politics)
Model United Nations (mock U.N. session)
Teen CourtYouth CourtMock Trial (mock judicial)

For the Fine Arts credit:
DS#2 wanted to learn how to play drums, so I hired his friend who is a multi-talented musician to provide drum lessons at friend's house, and DS practiced at home. DS#1 was very interested in filmmaking, so we created a Fine Arts credit around that.

For Fine Arts, if your DS is not at all interested in more traditional courses such as:
- performance art (music, dance, theater)
- or creation of fine art (drawing, painting, sculpting)

What about an alternative interest like:
- photography, filmmaking, digital arts (animation, or other software like Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.)
- woodworking, boat-building, metal work, jewelry-making, weaving, theater costume or set design...
- an "appreciation" course, such as Art, Photography, or Film Appreciation

I taught a Film Appreciation: Intro to Film Analysis course last year to homeschool high schoolers, and it seemed to be a big hit.

BEST of luck in planning for high school and finding what works best for your family! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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Thank you for this thread! My current high schooler is kind of a classic perfect homeschooler, very good at independent learning, great at test-taking, visual learner, relatively organized, self motivated.  The next one up is so not those things. He is awesome in so many ways but he is quirky, unorganized, and a complete out of the box thinker. I’ve been musing over how we will do jr. high and high school and I love these threads. 

 

 

Edited by Alice
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I'm not out of the box, but my dd#2 is a creative writer and an artist, so I've tried to customize courses for her in some areas, give her time for her interests, and lightened the load a bit in a normally math-heavy class this year.

1) She's doing conceptual physics with me this year - without any extra math built in. The program we're using is minimal on the math front and I'm purposefully not adding extra in. This is a huge brain load for her even with the minimal math.

2) She's doing algebra 1 with me - taking as long as needed to get the material. We're using Jacobs Algebra, so she'll do Set 1 & 2 for each lesson and then over the next days or weeks, I'll assign select problems in Set 3 (and/or extra pages in the teacher's material). She's sometimes also done both sets of review for each chapter. So far, the material for the chapter she just finished is starting to really gel just as we are finishing the following chapter. (So, chapter 1 material started to really click at the end of Chapter 2. Chapter 2 material started to click at the end of Chapter 3.) Math is her nemesis.

3) Her History credit is heavy on writing as writing is a strength for her. She's using what she's learned about writing in previous years to produce output - making me feel better about not having any non-creative writing in her English course this year.

4) Her writing credit this year is literature-heavy. The writing portion is completely her creative writing. So, she's got built-in time to work on her writing endeavors. This includes editing and deep discussion of the things a book needs to be successful. (Think One Year Adventure Novel but home grown.)

5) She has an art history course where the output includes writing summaries and producing a model of each section/time period's type of art. This is right up her alley and she's loving it. She is also using Khan Academy's Art History lectures in addition to the textbook & Great Course lectures I assigned.

 

See, not out of the box, but definitely trying to accommodate her interests & trying to cover material while dealing with her weak areas.

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5) She has an art history course where the output includes writing summaries and producing a model of each section/time period's type of art. This is right up her alley and she's loving it. She is also using Khan Academy's Art History lectures in addition to the textbook & Great Course lectures I assigned.

 

See, not out of the box, but definitely trying to accommodate her interests & trying to cover material while dealing with her weak areas.

What Art History text are you using? Which GC program? Thanks. This sounds good for my DD13 down the road.

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What Art History text are you using? Which GC program? Thanks. This sounds good for my DD13 down the road.

I don't think it matters which text you use. I had this one already on hand.

 

text:  History of Art for Young People by Janson and Janson

Great Course: How to Look at and Understand Great Art

She blew through the GC & loved it. I'm looking at getting her another couple for next semester. Possibly World's Greatest Paintings and maybe From Monet to Van Gogh: A History of Impressionism or Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance. I wish Professor Hirsch did more courses... I'd like to save Masterworks of American Art (as it gets good reviews) for a later year when she's studying American History.

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Some days I feel like I'm pushing the traditional too hard.  Other days, I feel like my kids' transcripts are going to be completely nonsensical, lol.  Both kids are heavily leaning toward non-traditional college degrees/certs.  Our family has put a great deal of focus on community service.  My girls' interest are primarily firefighting and environmental science.

 

In Science, I'm firm on Bio and Chem, but they've been collecting the rest of their credits through various environmental science classes and activities, and plan to continue doing so.  They compete in Envirothon every year. A college in the area offers summer DE courses, so they don't take time or effort away from the traditional school year.

As members of the fire department, they've been taking firefighting/emergency classes that can convert to college credit. (Right now, they're "hours" at one community college. I'm giving an elective credit.)   

They both plan to get their EMT certs that way, once they turn 16. (I'm giving another credit.)  And it's all paid for!

They do a lot of volunteer work. More than I remember to write down. While not for credit, some of it will be reflected in awards/certificates.

 

 

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My oldest (high school) expressed a desire to do a study on WW2; so I'm in the process of assembling some resources and allowing this to be part of his history credit. TONS of material to sift through-- from Ken Burns' documentary (and other great stuff from PBS), the National Archives, sooo many books (bios and autobiographies, fiction and non fiction), movies such as Saving Private Ryan, Hacksaw Ridge, Schindler's List, Dunkirk, groups like Yad Veshem, and on and on and on...

 

Our little town historical society even has ration books to look through. :)

We did a year of WW2, it was intense. Spine was the Great Courses lectures plus oh so many other resources.

It was great, but he was totally burnt out on it by the end. If I were doing it again, it’d be a half credit instead.

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Other interesting classes we added in addition to WW2-

 

Robotics (his extracurricular all 4 years, but one year he also did a home made class using the Great Courses and other stuff I’m not remembering)

 

Intro to Engineering (Great Courses again plus a textbook and some summer programs)

 

A combo class I called something like Topics in Modern Technology that used yes, Great Courses electronics and lots of his own electronics tinkering projects

 

Another combo that we called Intro to Computer Science using free online resources MOOCS and an intro class plus his own projects. He has this on his transcript before he started DEing Computer Science classes.

 

I think those are all of his unusual classes.

 

ETA- forgot the year of sci fi/ dystopian literature

 

He was also lucky to do an engineering internship with a local homeschool dad engineer at his company.

Edited by Hilltopmom
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I'm not exactly an expert...  Oldest is a sophomore.  These last two years of high school have been "different".  I told them to tell me exactly what they want to study and then I built courses around it all.  So, then, we have some unusual courses for the past two years.  

 

I can list some of them (this is 2 kids BTW), I guess (if that gives you ideas):

 

Paleobiology

British History

History of Warfare

20th Century Novellas

Forensic Science

Desktop Computer Design

Beginning Woodworking

Biblical Studies

 

And then we have some courses that a lot of kids would have on their transcripts:

 

World Literature

British Literature

Intro to Fine Arts

etc...etc.

 

Their transcripts look so much more interesting than my high school transcript did.  I *think* we are going to start at community college anyway, unless someone gets some huge scholarship somewhere (yeah, right - Lol).  Also, oldest dd is telling me she doesn't want to go to college right away.  She wants to do missionary work or Americorps.  So, we aren't looking to get into the same kinds of schools a lot of people on this forum are trying to get into.

 

What I did learn from this little experiment:  I WAY overplanned.  We chose everything together and then I scheduled them into our school schedule and they ended up doing a bunch of other really neat things, also.  So, they both ended up with like 9 credits.   :glare:   And it will take us an entire calendar year (not just a school year) to get through all this stuff.  I know you shouldn't count everything they do as a class, but how could I not give ds14 a credit for building a computer from scratch! (for example)  

 

They are asking to follow TWTM next year (long story, but the 7th grader actually started asking to follow WTM next year and then the teens started asking, too).  So, I am only going to schedule the core courses: math, Great Books, science, history, German and I'm going to leave everything for them to fill in.  I'm not going to schedule their electives anymore.  And I guess that means we are not out-of-the-box homeschoolers after next year, also.  

 

For electives next year, I know one is planning to do Robotics...one wants to take Hebrew, so she will have 3 languages (ugh): German, Latin and Hebrew.  She also wants to take ASL at the homeschool enrichment center.   

 

Hope something out of there helps!

 

 

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... These last two years of high school have been "different".  I told them to tell me exactly what they want to study and then I built courses around it all.

 

... I *think* we are going to start at community college anyway, unless someone gets some huge scholarship somewhere (yeah, right - Lol).  Also, oldest dd is telling me she doesn't want to go to college right away.  She wants to do missionary work or Americorps.  So, we aren't looking to get into the same kinds of schools a lot of people on this forum are trying to get into.

 

Awesome job, Evanthe!

 

We were a bit similar with a sort of Great Books approach to our History and Lit., but lots of time for exploration with extracurricular activities and a few home-grown electives in their interests. DSs still did not know at all what they wanted to do in 12th grade, and neither wanted to waste the money going to an expensive out of state university when they had no plan.

 

So, straight to community college (CC) from high school graduation here for both DSs -- and both got scholarships at the CC.

 

DS#1 went on to the 4-year university to complete his Bachelor's earned a transfer scholarship of half tuition and an additional partial tuition leadership scholarship  at the out-of-town university. All together, more merit aid than he would have earned if he'd started at the in-town university right out of high school. While he greatly enjoyed and benefitted from his time at that particular university, his degree did not translate into a job easily, so he's working as a manager of a local pizza/bar, and is back in school working towards a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor's degree.

 

DS#2 left the CC 2 years in to a 3-year Associate's when he realized it wasn't what he wanted to do (ASL/Interpreter for the Deaf). He worked for a year, then did an environmental project with an AmeriCorps partner program last year, which then launched him into wildland firefighting this year, which he loved.

 

All that to say, I just want to encourage all of you with non-traditional students. You can see our very non-traditional routes for our somewhat non-traditional two DSs. It does all work out -- it just takes some longer to figure out their path than others, and there can still be scholarship money, and even federal grant money, if waiting and going to school after age 24 (when parent financials no longer show up on the FAFSA). :)

 

Good luck! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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DS#2 left the CC 2 years in to a 3-year Associate's when he realized it wasn't what he wanted to do (ASL/Interpreter for the Deaf). He worked for a year, then did an environmental project with an AmeriCorps partner program last year, which then launched him into wildland firefighting this year, which he loved.

 

 

 

I hate to side track, but I don't often find people who have kids with similar interests, lol.

One of my daughters is contemplating wildlands, and I'm already a mess about it.  I'm 99% calm and collected about all other forms of firefighting (not that she can go inside buildings before she's 18, but dh does.)  Wild fires, however, terrify me! How are you coping?

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Heaven help me, I started to talk to ds about hs and possible options and he tells me, "Well, I've been thinking I'd like to try PS." Seriously. He says he's been thinking about this all school year. I know things are changing with puberty but he's not really indicated any desire to go to school before. If he wants to do that then I'll be putting him in at a lower grade and need to focus on shoring up skills. He's the one I'd really thought would do best at home, of course, just because he tries school doesn't mean he will stay in school. He says he is lonely. But there are no other activities he wants to try, he just wants to try school. He is the only boy in the house full of girls and there aren't a ton of hs'ers his age and a couple of his closer friends have went to school this year. 

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I hate to side track, but I don't often find people who have kids with similar interests, lol.

One of my daughters is contemplating wildlands, and I'm already a mess about it.  I'm 99% calm and collected about all other forms of firefighting (not that she can go inside buildings before she's 18, but dh does.)  Wild fires, however, terrify me! How are you coping?

 

P.M.'ed you. :)

Edited by Lori D.

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Heaven help me, I started to talk to ds about hs and possible options and he tells me, "Well, I've been thinking I'd like to try PS." Seriously. He says he's been thinking about this all school year. I know things are changing with puberty but he's not really indicated any desire to go to school before. If he wants to do that then I'll be putting him in at a lower grade and need to focus on shoring up skills. He's the one I'd really thought would do best at home, of course, just because he tries school doesn't mean he will stay in school. He says he is lonely. But there are no other activities he wants to try, he just wants to try school. He is the only boy in the house full of girls and there aren't a ton of hs'ers his age and a couple of his closer friends have went to school this year. 

 

Do you guys have a co-op or homeschool enrichment center where he can take classes?

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Any interest in electronics and doing hands on projects?  You can work through Charles Platt's Make: Electronics, published by Maker Media.  It has 2 volumes, so if he's already familiar with the basics, he can start on volume 2.   It has a nice balance of cool projects and theory and history, and you can schedule it as needed.  

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For art, we follow WTM. So read about it with history, go to exhibits, do hands on projects intermixed. But this is not a daily subject. We do it as it comes up and often in big spurts. (My next high schooler lives and breathes art. It is daily for her, so she will amass more than one credit of art I am sure.) I will award one credit at the end of high school for my current high schooler this way. For PE, I will list one year as a credit, including the co-op PE classes they have done and the one paper I had her write on her sport of choice, and the other years in her sport will be extracurricular activities on her transcript. 

 

For government, we are mostly doing like above. My dd did a girl scout badge and we studied the election while it was happening. She did a 15 hr class in two days on one government topic, doing debates and learning about how laws are made. She will probably do the same class on different topics once a year for all of high school, then we will read on government as it comes up in history, not really setting aside a separate American History and Government course, though a half credit of government will be amassed on top of the history by the time it is all said and done. 

 

For music: piano lessons and practice- not daily, but often enough, and recitals. 

 

Etc. etc. 

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I've got more when I think about it, lol. I have kept track of health in the above ways too. Between being red cross certified and considering various scout safety badges and seminars that include drugs, first aid, internet safety and bullying, etc. plus various things done in co-op on nutrition and minerals and things I have considered a half credit of health. I am also currently keeping track of "home ec" hours. We could possibly do a half credit of it since dds are learning to sew. They have worked through how to use a machine and pattern. One has made an apron. Both are now working on pajama pants. They both enter recipes into the state fair and have even done live cooking competitions. My older, quite academic, dd may not need so many credits, but we do do all of this. So I would like her transcripts to reflect it. We have competed in the state fair since she was a young child. It gives a chance for learning to cook, follow recipes. She has to copy them out. They have done cake decorating (attempts at it anyway, no worse than when I had to do it in home ec, lol.) My younger more artisitic dd really needs this stuff to show who she is. There is music which is piano lessons and practice and listening to classical music at home and reading about composers and styles with history occasionally. 

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Heaven help me, I started to talk to ds about hs and possible options and he tells me, "Well, I've been thinking I'd like to try PS." 

 

Do you have any charter schools in your area that function as umbrellas for homeschoolers? For my outside the box kid, it was the perfect mix of classes for the social fix, plus some outside accountability that helped our relationship immensely, and we still got to do funky outside the box homeschool stuff. I was lucky to have a "facilitator", the teacher in charge of us, who encouraged our outside the box courses, and found the wording to make them sound like traditional classes on his transcript. I hear isn't always the case, but it is possible.

 

You've gotten some great suggestions for thinking outside the box. We designed lots of courses around interests, found ways of adding some academic meat to outside interests in order to create a transcript worthy course. It was great.

 

I know of homeschool kids who started high school without some ideal skills and habits, yet they figured it out and wound up doing very well. You just never know.

 

Oh, and yes, Lori D, I so agree that these kids with learning challenges can wind up with the most interesting and successful lives as adults. And they are fun people to spend time with!  Sending encouraging cheers to those of you still in the trenches!

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