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Accountability vs Flexibility for 11th and 12th?


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As some of you know, my daughter is my first regular homeschooled student.  My son took a lot of community college courses. 

This year we are doing very well with a mix of co-op classes and using AOP Monarch online.  I've carefully added an in person lab class to round out Chemistry, and required all of the reports for History.  I've added DBQ's for the history projects, (I know it's a common core thing but I actually feel like it'll help my dd learn to read primary sources and synthesize info) and so I feel we've really gotten into a good groove with the MOnarch assignments.  I've learned the system, and although we've had a few disagreements and misunderstandings, we've really worked it out and I feel like we can probably get by the next two years with relatively low stress levels.

However, I also realize that outsourcing gives teenagers a sense of justice and as a mom I'd prefer to have it all outsourced which eliminates a lot of the pushback and trying to convince me of this or that.  I also tend to constantly worry that what I am requiring is not rigorous enough. The education level is basic, but complete. But AOP/Monarch has designed the program so that the true rigor is really built in through the meat of the research reports, essays, and special projects.  ...and I do often feel like maybe I should require something harder, or something more.

But on the other hand, if I signed her up for AOP academy, we'd lose the flexibility we have to schedule the school year as we see fit, or to occasionally drop silly assignments....the flexibility is great for when we need to travel or we are sick.

How do you get past the feeling like it's never enough, or that you aren't grading hard enough or expecting enough?

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This is the first year we haven't done a co-op for my 11th grader, and I am loving the flexibility. She has been on the schedules and syllabi of other teachers for science for years. She was learning, loved the environment and the teachers, so we kept it up from a young age though I longed for a more WTM, classical way of exploring science together like we had for lower elementary. I taught Latin there, so she had to be on a schedule with her class for that. And we have always done our best to stay fairly scheduled with math at home, which gave us flexibility in the humanities which we often did with co-ops in more of an enrichment fashion.  So we have had our years scheduled around others for awhile, as well as around the extra curriculars and scouting that all follow school year calendar and projects and goals with specific dates and guidelines.

Flash forward to this year, 11th grade, and she has outgrown everything our homeschool group offers. We do outsource math online now, but that is it. And I love the freedom. I seem to worry less and less the older they get with the am I doing enoughs? I see the test results as they are headed toward college, and can see their strengths and weaknesses and focus on that. But if I am happy with what we are doing similar to a WTM ed at home (though some of the subjects to a lesser degree. We have naturally kind of embraced what she tries to get across in Rethinking School,) then I don't worry about what others are doing. I go back and forth about AP and DE, and realize I only have a year left to continue the learning we have done together, and I am not wanting to give any of it up unless it serves an actual need, something I need help with during these last precious years we have together. Mine is at least as on track as anybody else, and I am ok with that and how we have been preparing her- not that I aim for the least. I just don't really don;t seem to sweat trying to be more than we are like I used to.

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 I think it goes back to what are you comparing to? It doesn’t sound like you would really want that more rigorous style that you would get from all online classes through Monarch nor that you think it would be good for your daughter. It sounds like you have a good mix now. I think the only way to  feel a sense of peace about what you’re doing is to realize that you can’t make an apples to apples kind of comparison to the online courses. You’re going to make changes and adjustments that work for your daughter and for your family. That’s a different question than whether you have a good amount of rigor. Like with all of homeschooling, you’re teaching the student in front of you. I think when you evaluate, you look at what’s enough and what’s too much, and that helps you to gain confidence in what you’re doing. Or conversely to decide that changes are needed.

Edited by MerryAtHope
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