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Am I the only one who sometimes longs for the good old days of Story of the World, great historical fiction titles from the Sonlight catalogue, and the Apologia Exploring... books? I received an order of some of next year's curriculum from CBD today, and with the order they sent a catalogue. The curriculum that I ordered looks fine, but as I thumbed through the catalogue I was reminded of all the materials we used in primary school that was so wonderful. I can't think of any of the high school curriculum that my kids have used that was spectacular. Some did the job, some was frustrating, some was boring, but none was really great.

 

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Yes!  I used to love going to homeschool curriculum fairs but a few years ago I went to a local one and it was so depressing to see all the fun things I had used with my kids over the years and to realize that time was over.  There are still fun things to do in the high school years, but, for me anyway, not in the homeschooling realm.  Homeschooling high school has been more about finding the right classes or materials for them to mostly engage in on their own.  And, frankly, I’m happy that my kids have become more independent, but I really miss the enjoyment of cuddling up with our Sonlight books or the activities we did together in Galloping the Globe. I feel lucky to have been able to share that with my children.

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That's why I switched back to unit studies this past winter.  Our high school had been fear-driven for 2 and a half years and I was fed up.  I no longer care about creating a transcript that looks like something colleges are looking for/what the public schoolers do.  I wanted to do fun stuff with my kids again.

So far, so good.  My teens (especially my oldest son) are enjoying what we're doing this spring.  One of the things I'm doing with them is Home Economics and even dd17's public schooled friends are saying stuff like "why aren't they teaching us stuff like that in school??"  

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4 hours ago, Evanthe said:

That's why I switched back to unit studies this past winter.  Our high school had been fear-driven for 2 and a half years and I was fed up.  I no longer care about creating a transcript that looks like something colleges are looking for/what the public schoolers do.  I wanted to do fun stuff with my kids again.

So far, so good.  My teens (especially my oldest son) are enjoying what we're doing this spring.  One of the things I'm doing with them is Home Economics and even dd17's public schooled friends are saying stuff like "why aren't they teaching us stuff like that in school??"  

Ugh! I'm on the verge of doing the same but lack the courage. Fear-driven and shackled is how I would describe our high school experience so far.  Would love to hear more about what you're doing instead.

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I just miss those days, period.  I have a son going off to college now and my dd is 15.  We are having a great time with our young adults but as a mommy some of the best days were about 2-6th grade, all the read-alouds, story times, Story of the World, the cute Science experiments and their first ribbons at a Science fair.  Fun times!

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8 hours ago, Evanthe said:

That's why I switched back to unit studies this past winter.  Our high school had been fear-driven for 2 and a half years and I was fed up.  I no longer care about creating a transcript that looks like something colleges are looking for/what the public schoolers do.  I wanted to do fun stuff with my kids again.

So far, so good.  My teens (especially my oldest son) are enjoying what we're doing this spring.  One of the things I'm doing with them is Home Economics and even dd17's public schooled friends are saying stuff like "why aren't they teaching us stuff like that in school??"  

 

3 hours ago, stlily said:

Ugh! I'm on the verge of doing the same but lack the courage. Fear-driven and shackled is how I would describe our high school experience so far.  Would love to hear more about what you're doing instead.

 

I’ve tried doing work that is more ‘unit-study-ish’ this year with my ds. He had to repeat 8th grade (very long story short -  he’d been in school and came home part-way through the year, too late to organise a high school work load) and I did everything I could to make it more interest-driven. It’s still been a slog for most of it. I’d love to hear how you’ve organised your unit studies, @Evanthe.

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There are things I definitely miss -- but there are things I love about this stage -- mostly the work to help my kids develop their own direction!  While there are similarities in what the kids all study, there are things I do to make their high school years more unique to each one.  

LegoManiac -- more robotics/engineering design

PonyGirl -- more advanced math and science (although no science her senior year!  I told her she could be done after this year).

PokeMan -- will have a lot more computer programming and art/design -- I'm starting to become excited about seeing where his new found drive takes him!

Blondie -- is moving toward more home ec (sewing, cooking, and art/design)

Boo -- I still get to do more fun stuff with 😉

 

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On 3/25/2019 at 9:50 PM, stlily said:

Ugh! I'm on the verge of doing the same but lack the courage. Fear-driven and shackled is how I would describe our high school experience so far.  Would love to hear more about what you're doing instead.

 

Sorry to it took so long to reply!  My 5 kids are running me ragged.  I feel like a homeschool zombie!  I can't get online anymore.  lol

My teens are doing daily math and foreign language + 1-2 courses/unit studies at a time.  Some of the unit studies have been 8 weeks long...the one we're currently doing will probably be about 12 weeks....I have a HUGE unit study planned for August-November (Native American studies).

I did a great unit study with my 14 year-old this winter - Short Stories & Creative Writing.  She read a number of short stories from authors like Ray Bradbury and Edgar Allen Poe.  Then, we did creative writing exercises every day.  We did a Share-a-Story, where we took turns writing a short story together.  One day she would write a page and then the next day I would write a page.  She wrote a short play...  She really enjoyed it.

I am putting together a huge Native American unit study for the fall.  I'm planning to cover history (as much Native American history as possible), cultures/languages/history of different tribes and regions, North American geography, and contemporary Native American literature (written by Native American authors) from different genres.  They are going to write a research paper at the end.  I think even I am going to learn a ton (and I am a big history buff).  I'm trying to go through the books and schedule everything out right now and this unit study is a monster.

I'm starting to put together a unit study in my mind for next year.  It's going to be called Shakespeare vs. Mark Twain.  lol.  We're going to read Shakespearean plays and literature from Mark Twain and compare/contrast them.  One of my kids loves Mark Twain, so that's how I got the idea for that.  And I'm wondering if there are even similarities between the two authors, but my kids are going to find them!  lol  

Unit studies we are doing currently: Fantasy Literature, Home Economics and Sports/PE.  I am reading through a fantasy series while we eat lunch (seriously, that's how tough this course is) and my kids' job is just to enjoy the story (and they are).  

For Home Economics, the teens went to the bank and opened checking accounts, the oldest two got their driver's licenses last week, they are reading a book about money/personal finance, they are virtually investing in the stock market (they chose stocks, analyzed them and are tracking them), they are learning to create budgets, they are working through a cooking book and cooking different kinds of dishes - ending with them cooking an entire dinner (my daughters cook all the time, but my oldest son doesn't, so he is learning a lot), they are going to start a book about sewing and work through 2 sewing projects (once again, dds know how to do this, but ds doesn't), we'll go over basic house maintenance, basic car maintenance...we're going to end with basic woodworking/tools and their uses.  Oh, and they are learning to type - the right way.  DD17's public schooled friends were complaining that they don't do anything like that in school.  It was required for us to take Home Ec in order to graduate, but that was a long time ago.

Our Sports unit - we're going outside 2-3 times a week and working on sports skills.  Yesterday, we went biking.  Today, we are going to play volleyball.  Last couple of weeks, we worked on baseball skills: batting, pitching, catching, etc.  We plan to play soccer, basketball, disc golf, pickle ball and dh is going to take them to the archery range a couple of times.

I'm spending about 12 weeks on this current unit, because we did SO much school over the school year (we did an entire Sonlight core AND other stuff) that I want them to have lite/fun school for awhile (we school year-round).

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Yes!  I totally want to own and teach again Abeka Phonics.  It was so colorful and fun!  Alas, my dd is 18 and when she has kids, she plans on sending them to private school.  So much pretty curriculum I'll never get to play with again...

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20 minutes ago, Evanthe said:

 

Sorry to it took so long to reply!  My 5 kids are running me ragged.  I feel like a homeschool zombie!  I can't get online anymore.  lol

My teens are doing daily math and foreign language + 1-2 courses/unit studies at a time.  Some of the unit studies have been 8 weeks long...the one we're currently doing will probably be about 12 weeks....I have a HUGE unit study planned for August-November (Native American studies).

I did a great unit study with my 14 year-old this winter - Short Stories & Creative Writing.  She read a number of short stories from authors like Ray Bradbury and Edgar Allen Poe.  Then, we did creative writing exercises every day.  We did a Share-a-Story, where we took turns writing a short story together.  One day she would write a page and then the next day I would write a page.  She wrote a short play...  She really enjoyed it.

I am putting together a huge Native American unit study for the fall.  I'm planning to cover history (as much Native American history as possible), cultures/languages/history of different tribes and regions, North American geography, and contemporary Native American literature (written by Native American authors) from different genres.  They are going to write a research paper at the end.  I think even I am going to learn a ton (and I am a big history buff).  I'm trying to go through the books and schedule everything out right now and this unit study is a monster.

I'm starting to put together a unit study in my mind for next year.  It's going to be called Shakespeare vs. Mark Twain.  lol.  We're going to read Shakespearean plays and literature from Mark Twain and compare/contrast them.  One of my kids loves Mark Twain, so that's how I got the idea for that.  And I'm wondering if there are even similarities between the two authors, but my kids are going to find them!  lol  

Unit studies we are doing currently: Fantasy Literature, Home Economics and Sports/PE.  I am reading through a fantasy series while we eat lunch (seriously, that's how tough this course is) and my kids' job is just to enjoy the story (and they are).  

For Home Economics, the teens went to the bank and opened checking accounts, the oldest two got their driver's licenses last week, they are reading a book about money/personal finance, they are virtually investing in the stock market (they chose stocks, analyzed them and are tracking them), they are learning to create budgets, they are working through a cooking book and cooking different kinds of dishes - ending with them cooking an entire dinner (my daughters cook all the time, but my oldest son doesn't, so he is learning a lot), they are going to start a book about sewing and work through 2 sewing projects (once again, dds know how to do this, but ds doesn't), we'll go over basic house maintenance, basic car maintenance...we're going to end with basic woodworking/tools and their uses.  Oh, and they are learning to type - the right way.  DD17's public schooled friends were complaining that they don't do anything like that in school.  It was required for us to take Home Ec in order to graduate, but that was a long time ago.

Our Sports unit - we're going outside 2-3 times a week and working on sports skills.  Yesterday, we went biking.  Today, we are going to play volleyball.  Last couple of weeks, we worked on baseball skills: batting, pitching, catching, etc.  We plan to play soccer, basketball, disc golf, pickle ball and dh is going to take them to the archery range a couple of times.

I'm spending about 12 weeks on this current unit, because we did SO much school over the school year (we did an entire Sonlight core AND other stuff) that I want them to have lite/fun school for awhile (we school year-round).

 

Thanks, Evanthe. Your courses sound wonderful! I would love to take some inspiration from you and do something similar, but I don't know if I have the creativity.

I think part of my problem, as well, is that my kids wouldn't get excited about comparing Shakespeare and Twain or doing a creative writing course. I had hoped to spark some enthusiasm for ds this year by following on from his interests and doing a criminology course, geography which would be very self-directed letting him study various areas of the world that interest him, movies as literature, writing from his interests, etc, and he still finds most of it boring. I don't know what to do to get him engaged in learning again. Dd does her work with a better attitude than ds, but just does it to get it done (other than art) and doesn't want to have any discussions about anything she's learning.

Sorry to moan. Thanks for your response. xo

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On 3/25/2019 at 10:50 PM, stlily said:

Ugh! I'm on the verge of doing the same but lack the courage. Fear-driven and shackled is how I would describe our high school experience so far.  Would love to hear more about what you're doing instead.

Me, too.  I’m throwing in the towel for 12th grade and using a charter cyber school.  My friends who use it love it, and it sounds like it’ll be pretty much what I do anyway.  Even if I threw off the shackles and tried to teach the way I did in 8th and below, it’s just not the same as those years of SOTW and the little stories the boys would write and illustrate.  I can’t teach most of the classes he’s learning now.  Right now he’s already a year ahead of me in math and science and next year he’ll be two years ahead of me. 🙂  

I had a lot of fun doing Astronomy, Egyptology, and Photography classes with him in high school.  But the math/science were very traditional and he dislikes English, so that wasn’t fun.  Oh, and we’re learning ASL together this year.  He had two years of Spanish (that I had to outsource) and he’s doing two years of ASL.  I’m learning the ASL with him and his brother and that’s a lot of fun.

So, there have been some bright moments in our traditional school-at-home high school years.

On 3/25/2019 at 11:04 PM, Calming Tea said:

I just miss those days, period.  I have a son going off to college now and my dd is 15.  We are having a great time with our young adults but as a mommy some of the best days were about 2-6th grade, all the read-alouds, story times, Story of the World, the cute Science experiments and their first ribbons at a Science fair.  Fun times!

Yup.  It’s really hard not to want to turn time back and do it all over again.  We used to sit and read soooo much.  I loved every second of it.  I try not to get too maudlin about it.  

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I don't miss those days really. Sometimes I feel nostalgic for them, absolutely. But I don't miss them.

I do miss being in a community where everyone was teaching. I feel like I'm the only one sometimes. Everything is DE and online and where can I sign up for this and that. And I get it. We do a little. But I'm still actually teaching and interested in materials and what people are using. So I miss that aspect of when my kids were little a lot. And that's across the board in homeschooling, though obviously it's especially acute in high school.

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(Hugs) to Ferrar- homeschooling high school is definitely so different now. 

...I had to outsource my oldest because he was absolutely light years ahead of me, already by the time he was about 12.  I had to outsource my youngest because we don't understand each other/get along when I am the teacher.  

But I think, even if I had had a third kid, who I was a match with for teaching, I would have burned out on teaching by now anyway, especially since it's not very fun after about 7th grade 😞 No more read alouds! 

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On 3/25/2019 at 6:24 PM, Evanthe said:

That's why I switched back to unit studies this past winter.  Our high school had been fear-driven for 2 and a half years and I was fed up.  I no longer care about creating a transcript that looks like something colleges are looking for/what the public schoolers do.  I wanted to do fun stuff with my kids again.

So far, so good.  My teens (especially my oldest son) are enjoying what we're doing this spring.  One of the things I'm doing with them is Home Economics and even dd17's public schooled friends are saying stuff like "why aren't they teaching us stuff like that in school??"  

I love high school. I follow the kids' lead and create courses around their interests. I don't make decisions based on what people think ad comms want. High school is their time to explore subjects and pursue interests. Colleges don't need cookie cutter ps transcripts.

28 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I don't miss those days really. Sometimes I feel nostalgic for them, absolutely. But I don't miss them.

I do miss being in a community where everyone was teaching. I feel like I'm the only one sometimes. Everything is DE and online and where can I sign up for this and that. And I get it. We do a little. But I'm still actually teaching and interested in materials and what people are using. So I miss that aspect of when my kids were little a lot. And that's across the board in homeschooling, though obviously it's especially acute in high school.

We moved a yr and 1/2 ago. Where we are now is the absolute worst place for this mentality. I hate it. I would be very happy to move again. Not only is it all about outsourcing, for some reason people really believe their homeschool umbrellas influence college admissions. It's nuts. I have nothing in common with the homeschoolers here.

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3 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I love high school. I follow the kids' lead and create courses around their interests. I don't make decisions based on what people think ad comms want. High school is their time to explore subjects and pursue interests. Colleges don't need cookie cutter ps transcripts.

We moved a yr and 1/2 ago. Where we are now is the absolute worst place for this mentality. I hate it. I would be very happy to move again. Not only is it all about outsourcing, for some reason people really believe their homeschool umbrellas influence college admissions. It's nuts. I have nothing in common with the homeschoolers here.

 

I hope I can do the same for high school... follow the kids' lead, that is :-). That's kind of the point of homeschooling for me. 

Sorry to hear you feel that way. That sounds frustrating. Where are you located nowadays? 

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4 hours ago, Farrar said:

I don't miss those days really. Sometimes I feel nostalgic for them, absolutely. But I don't miss them.

I do miss being in a community where everyone was teaching. I feel like I'm the only one sometimes. Everything is DE and online and where can I sign up for this and that. And I get it. We do a little. But I'm still actually teaching and interested in materials and what people are using. So I miss that aspect of when my kids were little a lot. And that's across the board in homeschooling, though obviously it's especially acute in high school.

Oh my gosh, yes. I miss the days of parents actually teaching instead of looking for free alternatives to a failing public school situation.

But I do miss those days. Simply because I think due to the age, more of our learning, activities, and family life was done *together*. My boys are developing their interests and progressing, but it is in all different directions and most of their experiences are individual or team based in teen groups that I don't share. They are growing and learning, but as individuals. For me, it is more a stage of life change I think. I miss the togetherness of shared learning and homeschooling. It's just different as they become older and independent (even though often the actual subjects and material covered are more intriguing to me now).

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I feel like I should add that I am mostly enjoying teaching high school. I sometimes miss the curled up on the sofa stuff of little kids. But the working through a physics experiment or tearing apart a poem or book stuff is really great too. I guess I think one of the keys to enjoying teaching high school is to actually teach part of it so you have that bonding time. And to do things that your kids are actually interested in. That part is harder since my kids proclaim to have no interests in anything having to do with school. "It's all good, Farrar. Just whatever you think. I'll do it and then go dance and play video games for the rest of eternity." But, hey, it's consistent. They've always been a bit like that - okay to do whatever I put in front of them.

I think when we become school coordinators instead of teachers... it's okay for some people. But if you're someone who got into homeschooling because you felt called to teach and be with your kids, I think it's an inevitable letdown.

I do sort of rebel with people get too over the top about how cute little kids are. They're also really incompetent. Which is probably not a nice thing to say about a six year old, but they can't get themselves places or make their own sandwiches very well or do their laundry. Every age has its good and bad things, I guess.

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I never got a memo to give up read alouds! We still read aloud. Last week a biography on Roosevelt after an online webinar class on him. We've been doing these Presidential Primary Sources Project webinars that I signed up for through the Ford's Theater education links. Some are better than others. So we've been meh about sone. Others led to great talks and reading. 

We read literature and non fiction. Next week we are starting Hamlet together. 

We see plays, watch videos, do all kinds of field trips, do read alouds, learn to see, do crafts, do hands on. We love art. I teach some. We do some online classes. They take some classes without me. But my favorite days are cozy at home days. Listening to them practice piano. Then them getting out their art supplies while I read aloud on all if our subjects, ling discussions, some individual math time, helping with their writing, practicing skills aloud. I don't outsource much. Yes, my kudscread a lit onbtgeir iwn, but we still read a lot together.

I'm so excited for my history plans next year. I'm doing a unit study on the History of fashion to go alongside our primary sources based history year. I was inspired by a workshop we attended at Mt. Vernon last summer in the topic and knew that looking in depth at history through fashion would inspire me and one of my girls. The other will not do as much in the fashion, but will do some. We will incorporate actual sewing skills intobtge course as well as computer skills, proper MLA reports, and geography with this.  So I still try to do as much as we always did. I've got very limited time left. 

 

We just toured the classics department my odd will attend. She is leaning towards a Letters degree that shecwill be able to design a lot for herself. She can choose the history of ballet or all kinds of interesting things to satisfy her multiple history requirements (alongside the Greco Roman stuff of course.) We've always enjoyed the freedom of homeschooling to learn this way, and she can't wait to continue in college. 

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Huh. Well, I do teach a huge part of our days and yes, I still enjoy that bonding time.

But realistically, my kids have very different interests from me. I still chauffeur them around to hockey and golf practice and am completely involved, but I'm not going to be any good to them teaching those skills. I absolutely go to games, practices, etc. but I still find it distinctly different than when we sat and shared a love of fairy tales for hours as they were small children. My kids are just not particularly interested in my strengths or areas of expertise. Those actually tend to be their weakest or most disliked subjects. I love that the boys expose me to new things as they develop their interests, but they are becoming individuals more as teens with distinct identities from Mom. That's not to say that I don't enjoy who they are at all, but I miss the days where more of our interests were held in common.

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7 minutes ago, 2_girls_mommy said:

I never got a memo to give up read alouds! We still read aloud. Last week a biography on Roosevelt after an online webinar class on him. We've been doing these Presidential Primary Sources Project webinars that I signed up for through the Ford's Theater education links. Some are better than others. So we've been meh about sone. Others led to great talks and reading. 

We read literature and non fiction. Next week we are starting Hamlet together. 

Yes, I never got that memo either. We all still love read alouds. We're currently enjoying The Book Thief. It's been one of our better teen choices.

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I still found the joy in it, but you're right; it's different. However, as I finished a book the other day, I thought, "I need to buy a copy of this to send to T!" We still enjoy books together. As soon as I'm done with The Persian Gamble, I'll send it on to make the rounds of the kids.  I still connected with my kids with 4-H, Scouts, and music. my youngest and I had a blast with our self-designed CO History class. We outsourced a lot in the high school years so we could spend the time together on the stuff we both enjoyed. There basically were no other hs highschoolers here. One really wasn't educating her kids, and one was mired in Abeka, so the days of sharing hsing were long gone. That's okay. I look at where my kids are, and I'm content. And so are they.

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Just to clarify, there are some things that we do together that we enjoy, but the majority of it is not in any way related to school work. I miss the engaging curriculum choices of primary years. I find most of the curriculum for high school to be quite dry and/or preachy. If I, an adult who loves learning new things, doesn’t find it particularly engaging, I totally understand why my kids don’t get very excited about it. Even when I try to find curriculum based around their interests (criminology for ds, art history for dd), they still find the materials themselves less than stellar. 😞 

Edited by mazakaal
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5 hours ago, mazakaal said:

Just to clarify, there are some things that we do together that we enjoy, but the majority of it is not in any way related to school work. I miss the engaging curriculum choices of primary years. I find most of the curriculum for high school to be quite dry and/or preachy. If I, and adult who loves learning new things, doesn’t find it particularly engaging, I totally understand why my kids don’t get very excited about it. Even when I try to find curriculum based around their interests (criminology for ds, art history for dd), they still find the materials themselves less than stellar. 😞 

 

This is exactly why I am putting it together myself.  You're right.  A lot of the curriculum out there is *really* boring.  If it looks boring to me, it probably really looks boring to my kids...

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18 hours ago, FairProspects said:

Oh my gosh, yes. I miss the days of parents actually teaching instead of looking for free alternatives to a failing public school situation.

 

Me, too.  This really bothers me.  I miss chatting with other homeschooling parents about how to teach, educational philosophies, etc.  

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6 minutes ago, Evanthe said:

 

This is exactly why I am putting it together myself.  You're right.  A lot of the curriculum out there is *really* boring.  If it looks boring to me, it probably really looks boring to my kids...

I need to be braver and do things that are completely out of the box, but I just don't have the confidence that it will provide an adequate education. So even if I'm willing to try different subjects, I still fall back on searching for a text or curriculum for it. 

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1 hour ago, mazakaal said:

I need to be braver and do things that are completely out of the box, but I just don't have the confidence that it will provide an adequate education. So even if I'm willing to try different subjects, I still fall back on searching for a text or curriculum for it. 

Honestly, they'll more likely end up with a better education and better critical thinking skills w/o textbooks and prefab curriculum for most subjects.

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6 hours ago, mazakaal said:

I need to be braver and do things that are completely out of the box, but I just don't have the confidence that it will provide an adequate education. So even if I'm willing to try different subjects, I still fall back on searching for a text or curriculum for it. 

 

I think it depends what you mean by an adequate education. What is the goal? Is it a certain number of memorized facts or an  ability to learn, to explore, to do research, to be engaged?

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7 hours ago, square_25 said:

I agree with @8FillTheHeart: I’d move away from curriculum. Learning sticks better when someone isn’t bored!

I am strongly in favor of more people feeling empowered to DIY the high school years in various ways. We certainly do that in various ways and it's the thing that I expressed the most sadness about above. But I also feel the need to say that it's different from when my kids were little. Some subjects have accepted definitions in high school - things you really have to cover. Curriculum does not have to be boring or negative. It's okay to need it. It's okay to have a text that you fall back on. Good teachers use textbooks sometimes. I love being outside the box... but I also think reinventing the wheel is tedious. It's easy to say ditch the curriculum, curricula is boring when you're teaching little ones. It's a very different for high school - especially when you're covering every subject.

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3 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I am strongly in favor of more people feeling empowered to DIY the high school years in various ways. We certainly do that in various ways and it's the thing that I expressed the most sadness about above. But I also feel the need to say that it's different from when my kids were little. Some subjects have accepted definitions in high school - things you really have to cover. Curriculum does not have to be boring or negative. It's okay to need it. It's okay to have a text that you fall back on. Good teachers use textbooks sometimes. I love being outside the box... but I also think reinventing the wheel is tedious. It's easy to say ditch the curriculum, curricula is boring when you're teaching little ones. It's a very different for high school - especially when you're covering every subject.


This is not so much because of my experience with my daughter, who's obviously too little for me to generalize from her. It's more that I remember being really, really bored in high school, and I'm an enthusiastic learner who took fairly advanced classes. Somehow, textbooks have a way of making material dull, for me at least. And I didn't retain the material well, either.

I guess I lean unschool-y :-). I'm not entirely sure what core of knowledge I'd expect from my kids, but I'd probably rather they got super excited about something random and wanted to spend a lot of time researching it and learned about how to learn than they learned some set facts from a textbook. 

Edited by square_25

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I miss having only little kids. The fun curriculum isn't as fun when you are trying to squeeze it in between high school math and Chemistry. I don't do much with my oldest kid, but I spend a lot of time doing Geometry and Chemistry with my other high schooler. I've really been enjoying both. Read alouds are the highlight of our day. I think I'll need to do two separate read aloud times next year. One for the older kids and one for the younger two. Maybe one early in the morning and one after lunch.

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12 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Honestly, they'll more likely end up with a better education and better critical thinking skills w/o textbooks and prefab curriculum for most subjects.

I'm quoting myself bc I want to emphasize what I actually said. I said textbooks and prefab curriculum for most subjects. I wanted to clarify that bc I did not mean it in the way that some are interpreting it. I believe that curriculum encompasses whatever resources are being used to teach the connent being studied in their courses of study.  Curriculum can be textbook based. It can be some provider's daily lesson plans that are purchased and opened and followed. But, curriculum can also be reading specifically selected books, listening to lectures, watching documentaries, interacting with professionals, etc where the daily objectives and course content are designed around goals determined by you and your student, not textbook publishers or marketed-curriculum providers.  Not using prefab curriculum does not equate to not using "curriculum." It means that the plans don't arrive prepackaged and designed around someone else's goals.

i also believe some subjects would be nonsensical to approach without a textbook. I cannot fathom teaching high school math without a textbook, nor would I want to. Science.....depends on the subject, the student, and the course objective. Foreign language? I cannot fathom teaching foreign language and its grammar without a solid textbook to help guide the process. But, again, you can use a textbook without prefab plans.

I know that I am a better teacher and our courses better quality when we interact and rely our own objectives and goals

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I am way more excited about high school academics than I was about elementary or middle school.  Finally we get to the good stuff!  

But I am also uncommonly anxious about the whole thing and have been second-guessing the decision to homeschool more than I ever have.  It feels like there is so much more at stake now than there was before, and it's all on me.

 

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