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Help me decide right course of action for 16yo daughter please


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This may be a bit of a ramble because I really am not sure what I am asking. Bear with me.

 

I have a lovely 16yo daughter who would like to spend all her time practicing piano, writing (she is currently about 20,000 words into two different novels - not sure if they are any good because she won't let me read them until they are finished), crafts, cooking, keeping her blog up, sewing, and hanging out with her friends. She is currently taking piano lessons from a Russian conservatory graduate who emigrated here seven years ago - very demanding, strict, and also kind. These lessons cost $55/lesson - ouch!

 

I have back issues that limit my activity, so dd also helps a lot around the house. Last Thursday dh took me to a pain specialist who gave me a round of epidural cortisone shots. We were gone from about 11:30am until about 4pm. When we got home we found that she had gotten the two younger ones to help her clean the entire house - both bathrooms, dusting, vacuuming, straightening clutter, a few loads of laundry and she had cleaned out our linen closet (a nightmare, believe me!). She also had dinner going (spaghetti, garlic bread, salad (from a bag:)) and freshly made iced tea. After dinner she cleaned up the entire kitchen. As you can see she is worth her weight in platinum (more valuable than gold;)). She seems almost ready to get married and have her own home - ALMOST :).

 

She is supposed to be doing Notgrass World History, TT Alg. I, The One Year Adventure Novel, Pilates (for P.E.), Biology (we are using Biology 101 from Timberdoodle) and French. She doesn't want to do any of it. She just doesn't like school and cannot figure out why she has to do it, although she makes an effort and doesn't actually fight me about it. She just has so much other stuff going all the time that she often goes many days in a row without touching her schoolwork. (I forgot to mention that she formed a girl's choir at church for our New Year's Eve service, accompanied a friend who played a piece on her flute for the same service and participates in our church choir as well.)

 

I find it a tad frustrating, but I can also empathize with her. She's not a scholar - she's a musician. For her, school is just a necessary evil. She is sweet about it but she just rarely has time to focus two days in a row on it.

 

Today she spent the whole day with two of her cousins helping clean her grandparent's house (my ils). Fil has lung cancer and mil has two bad knees that keep her from being able to clean properly. The three cousins spent the whole day scrubbing, dusting, vacuuming, etc. and brought in lunch from McD's. This is how she would rather spend her time. How can I complain about that?

 

Oh, and she has 3 beginning piano students as well.

 

My question is how should I handle this? I'd really just like to tell her to drop all the school stuff and focus on piano and all the other things she prefers doing. Then again, that just doesn't seem realistic.

 

I asked her what she wants to do with her life and she says she just wants to get married and be a wife and mother. She wants to teach piano but she doesn't want to make a "career" out of it. She does realize, however, that getting married is not a given and that she needs to be ready for whatever life hands her.

 

Please ladies. I need some outside objectivity here. I'm :bigear:. Thanks!

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Wow. I think your dd has a beautiful servant's heart. She seems like a gem. You've obviously done a terrific job in raising her. I have to say that I can see part of your dd's point and your angst about this. You want to encourage her to view being a wife and mother as a high calling as it is usually undervalued in our society. Yet, you don't want to have her to skip the basics of a high school education.

 

What I would be tempted to do is to make a list of basic high school courses that she must complete. To not finish high school could be so debilitating to future decisions and her self-esteem and self-assurance. I would have her do more basic courses (not rigorous) while still fulfilling the requirements for your state.I would also emphasize how being educated and being able to think has helped you in your roll as a wife and mother. Biology is useful when you have to listen to doctors explaining the reasons behind your child's health crisis. Having a basic education is helpful when you're trying to homeschool your kids etc.

 

I would also look at some careers that speak to her strengths. She does need to have a way of making money, even if it's only for a short time. One thing you could also have her look into is being a Kindermusik, of Music for Young Children teacher. They're group music classes mostly for younger kids and you could actually make a good income doing it part-time from your home.

 

Your dd sounds like a real treasure and whatever happens her character sounds like it is on the right track for a successful life. :)

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I know several families around here who believe that their girls should not work outside the home and thus prepare their daughters to do exactly as your daughter is doing. The ones I know believe their daughters needs to remain under the leadership of their fathers until they get married and come under the leadership of their husbands. The exception is that older daughters may go work for other families (i.e. the handmaidens in the Old Testament). So even though this may not be what you have planned for your daughter, this seems to be the role she is most happy in. And there's no reason you can't work with that. Although around here biology and Algebra I would be considered basic requirements for graduation from the schools, there also is so specific set of requirements for homeschoolers. If your state doesn't require a specific set of skills, I don't know that I would push it. I would be much more concerned about life skills. Can she do the math for running a household (bills, taxes, etc)? I think those are much more necessary than doing Algebra (although I personally think Algebra is lots of fun, I understand everyone doesn't share my viewpoint). It sounds like you have trained her well and she has a heart of service. I would let her serve.

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Wow, your DD is a gem with a servant's heart! I am totally impressed, and I totally see your dilemma.

 

Thinking about it, I definitely agree with staying the course for a hs diploma/GED. Being a well educated person is an important part of being a wife/mother/servant/piano teacher/etc...education and wife/motherhood are not mutually exclusive. She will be a more wise, efficient, organized and intelligent caregiver with the backdrop of a well educated mind. I know I am...I use my master's degree every day with my kids, and not just because I educate at home! :D Not to say that your DD needs an advanced degree if she does not want one, but if she were my DD, I would insist that she complete the requirements for a hs diploma. Where she takes it from there is up to her.

 

I wouldn't insist at this point that she necessarily take advanced courses, a college prep plan, etc. I think if there is room for negotiation, it should be on that front. Tailor it to her skills, drive and interests as much as you can while insisting that she continue with the courses she needs in your state and the courses you think she needs to be well educated. Streamline things to assist her in finding enough time for her other important pursuits. Just maintain the hs diploma as the minimum requirement and let her choose what to explore out of that framework.

 

HTH. She reallys sounds special!

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If it was me, I would do my level best to ensure she got the most education that she can be encouraged to get, and most importantly, a real life job skill. No child should start life without a decent high school education, IMO. Could she develop her musical training to the point of being able to teach piano? It just leaves her so vulnerable.

 

I have too many friends trapped in awful marriages because they have absolutely no way to support themselves. I think a very realistic approach is to insist, firmly but lovingly, that she complete her high school education and serve some kind of apprenticeship\job skill program, if she is not the college type.

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HI There,

 

Share my life with her. I was homeschooled; of course this was before we knew about a Classical Education. I wouldn't have wanted to work hard enough for Latin or Greek, but all the books weren't presented to me.( my poor parents were frustrated with me.) I did have some books that I read, that I had no idea were considered really good books.(otherwise, I'm not sure I would have read them...) In the last few years, I've realized that I did achieve more of an education than I previously thought. But, it wasn't what I could have done, had I tried.

I always thought that I was going to be married and have children. I was 30 before this happened. I should have had a plan B or at least a plan until it happened.

 

Have her visualize her life when she's married and her husband and friends are talking about different subjects. Wouldn't it be nice to have a stored knowledge to share, reflect on, or know when they are totally wrong? How about when she's a mother and her children are talking about college. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to talk about her college experience? How about if she'd like to contribute financially due to unforeseen circumstances?

 

I would point to the fact that it's just as important to obtain knowledge and wisdom, as it is to be able to present a lovely dinner. You can eat almost anything and survive. BUT, it's so much nicer with lovely napkins, beautiful salads....etc. Maybe she can't get into what you're having her study. Even if she just listens to audio cds....SOTW and other such sources. Sounds like you're a Christian... The Moody Science DVDs and Intelligent Design DVDs

 

Please tell her to think about how it's going to be when she's homeschooling her own children. You always learn with your children, but it's nicer to have a firm foundation.

 

Carrie:-)

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Thanks everyone! I'm getting a strong message to require her to at least get a basic high school education.

 

Rebecca,

I don't think she has any trouble with the subject matter. In math she makes careless errors but she does get the concepts - she's been getting As and Bs on her lessons and quizzes. She breezed through pre-algebra last year. She had input when we picked her texts and materials and she's never complained about things being too hard, just too time-consuming.:) When she was in 8th grade she took two classes (English and History) at a local Christian school and really did not like the classroom dynamic so I'm not sure she'd be interested in giving that a go again, not to mention that we live pretty far out and transportation is a problem.

 

Part of my problem is that I think of her as fairly well-educated already. She reads a lot - for example, this week she checked out a book on Irish history because the conflict between the Catholics and Protestants intrigues her. She is a self-learner and doesn't mind searching a subject out. We have lots of conversations about history and government, watch documentaries, etc. She just doesn't have it all in an orderly textbook type format that I can document easily. I'm a little annoyed that she must jump through these hoops in order to prove that she's knowledgable - I guess I'm a renegade at heart - I just don't like the government deciding what is considered "educated" although I can see it from the other side, too. There has to be a minimum standard. The GED is one way to get that, but here in Virginia anyway, it is not given much respect.

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What a thoughtful girl, but I wonder if all the activity isn't purposeful? Could she be keeping herself so busy in an attempt to avoid what she doesn't want to tackle, namely, academics?

 

I'd cut back on some of her outside activites, no matter how worthwhile. I good basic education should be a requirement.

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She does sound like a gem, Kathleen. I'd probably have her block out about 2-3 hours a day for the academics, and let her go year-round since it will take her longer to get through her courses. Maybe she could get through 3-4 subjects in 3 hours a day, do you think?

 

I'd just have a set time for it (maybe early, before other things interfere - like 6 to 9 am), and tell her that while she certainly does plenty of worthwhile things, unfortunately, she does have to get through her basic courses as well. I would let her choose as far as the minimum 3 years of maths, sciences, etc. because it does sound like she puts her time to good use. But I'd still make her do the minimum.

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What a thoughtful girl, but I wonder if all the activity isn't purposeful? Could she be keeping herself so busy in an attempt to avoid what she doesn't want to tackle, namely, academics?

 

I'd cut back on some of her outside activites, no matter how worthwhile. I good basic education should be a requirement.

 

Stacy,

I had her read your response and she let out a big, "HA!" and a huge grin :). She said you are probably right to a certain extent but she's not ready to admit it altogether. She said she'd probably be doing all these other things if she had already graduated from school - not just to avoid it - but that she isn't making school a priority. I'm guessing you've hit on something.

 

Newlifemom,

Big chuckle and and a "Sure!" when she read your reply.;)

 

Carrie,

It's difficult for a 16yo to imagine life as an adult - a grown woman with a husband and children - so it is very helpful to have your insight. She read your reply and does see the wisdom in it. I think, though, that she suffers from what we all suffer from - wanting to do the things we prefer and that suit us at the time, rather than preparing the foundation. It's like gardening. You picture all these fully-formed vegetables and blooming flowers, but the first thing you have to do is get rid of all the rocks in the soil and till the ground - ugh! Does that make sense? I'm starting to get the determination to require at least a basic hs education. Part of her problem is that I, too, have trouble seeing the point - I vacillate and do not stick to my guns, especially when she gets involved in a servant-like activity. That doesn't help her when push comes to shove, kwim?

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Dh and I read your post, and we don't see a problem. Sounds like a great girl any parents would be thrilled to have. She's a self-starter, uses her time wisely, and is passionately following her interests. She's lucky to have a mother who is not domineering and respects her daughter's nature. I'm sure she'll have a wonderful life!:)

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You need to be counting credits for all of the extras. She can get a home economics credit for all of the cleaning, organizing siblings, making dinners. She could get history or literature credits for the extra reading. She would probably have enough credits to graduate without expecting too much more from her. I would be talking to some unschoolers and figure this out.

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I'm with jld. I am the most vocal advocate of girls following their dreams- and it sounds a lot like your DD has found hers. Let her be. Math is easy to pick up whenever; let her write her novels and play piano. Let her hone those skills she is passionate about. Help her translate them into marketable (ie, financially rewarding) skills.

 

There is plenty of time for Algebra, should she need/desire it. If she has found a "passion" (music, writing, homemaking) then let her run with it. I lament the fact that there was never really anything I was ever passionate about- classic jack of all trades, master of none here.

 

She sounds like a really neat girl, with a world of possibilites before her in music, homemaking, nursing, childcare, organization, novel writing, and personal assisting. Those are marketable skills, and they all require no Algebra.:lol:

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Part of my problem is that I think of her as fairly well-educated already. She reads a lot - for example, this week she checked out a book on Irish history because the conflict between the Catholics and Protestants intrigues her. She is a self-learner and doesn't mind searching a subject out. We have lots of conversations about history and government, watch documentaries, etc. She just doesn't have it all in an orderly textbook type format that I can document easily. I'm a little annoyed that she must jump through these hoops in order to prove that she's knowledgable - I guess I'm a renegade at heart - I just don't like the government deciding what is considered "educated" although I can see it from the other side, too. There has to be a minimum standard. The GED is one way to get that, but here in Virginia anyway, it is not given much respect.

 

If she likes to follow rabbit trails call history world history and require her to write a paper once every two weeks on what she has learned. There you have history. :001_smile:

 

I would say have her finish algebra 1 and then she can help you and your dh with bill paying and maybe volunteer to be the treasurer for one of the organisations she is interested in and hey presto you have business maths.

 

Biology, I agree with those who said she needs it to understand what the doctor says for example. Again have her investigate topics she is interested in. I always liked human biology because I could relate that to myself so physiology and nutrition are good places to start. Just some ideas while I was reading.

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If she has the talent and ambition to be a music student, she needs to be familiar with the classics, history and geography. She needs a foreign language, usually either French or Italian and second is German. She needs algebra for basic competence in math. She needs to be able to write clearly. She needs the social poise and manners for public performance.

 

She has a lot going for her already in terms of self-starting and dedication to practice, but she needs the academics to support advanced music study. Encourage her and yourself to fill in the gaps. Even if she wants to be a wife and mom, some time at college and exposure to advanced work will be beneficial.

Edited by Anne Rittenhouse
Grammar
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She really sounds like a very considerate young lady with a great deal of love in her heart for her family. I think we undervalue such people.

 

I would work up a plan with her, starting with what she finds interesting or sees as an important aspect of her future life. If she wants to run a household well, relate things to that. So she can...

 

* Educate herself about current events.

* Learn about local government and issues of local concern.

* Learn accounting / budgeting skills to track spending and file taxes.

* Learn science as relates to the following critical household areas: cleanliness in the kitchen and bathroom (salmonella in the chicken --> bacteria, germ theory, etc), basic health (CPR, first aid, understanding anatomy, so she can recognize healthy child development (physical and psychological) and treat basic health care problems that arise), and so forth.

* Explore the chemistry behind cooking -- have you seen some of the classes at cooking school?! There are great books that your library may even have -- I recently saw "How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science" by Paula Figoni, but books by Sheila Corriger and Harold McGee, and Alton Brown, I think, get into this. This is chemistry!

* Learn about the history of cooking and eating. What do and did various people eat, and why. How was this influenced by their cultural beliefs and geography and historical realities.

* Learn some auto repair and basic electrical repair (physics).

* Does she plan on doing laundry? Learn about the chemistry of stain removal. There was a great segment on Martha Stewart once where she had some supposedly famed tailor, master stain remover, who conducted these complex set of stain removing manouvers (multi-step processes).

* Expose herself to books and great literature.

* Learn about child development and also children's books -- read a full slate of historical selections as well as modern stuff -- so she will be better equipped to raise thoughtful kids.

* Learn about whatever religion you practice.

* Learn about the other religions practiced by people in your community (in a narrow or broad sense). Learn about local history. Learn about the places that immigrants in your community come from.

* Learn a new language. Practice it.

* Teach English to those wish to learn it, or teach reading to those who do not know how.

* Perform other community service.

* Learn about the aging process. Involve visits with real life older people.

* Learn about computers.

* Learn about how to effectively search for what you want to find (basics of librianship).

* Learn about animal husbandry / veterinary care and animal anatomy.

* Look in to the views of women, wives, mothers, and "women's work" throughout time..... Whatever floats her boat, but extend it. If she really extends it, and is thoughtful about just about anything, it is academic. Rose Levy Berenbaum, of "Cake Bible" fame, wrote her dissertation (?) on whether sifting was sufficient to distribute salt and leveners through flour. (There's a story about this, and it relates to finding a husband, in the front of The Cake Bible.)

 

She shouldn't fear academics, but find a way to understand that many things are relevant to the life she wants to lead -- she can just understand them in a deeper way. Cultivate a zest for learning and a curiosity about the world around her and how it works -- this will be a real gift as she grows older, whatever her life path.

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Reading more of your replies, I'd add that she really sounds like a non-traditional learner. (Sounds like you are as well!) This is not a bad thing! Heck, if she wants to learn history through reading books, why not? Do the reports, find another way to document the learning, call it a day! Try to find non-traditional methods of studying other topics...they are definitely out there.

 

It doesn't sound to me as if she doesn't like school or learning...just the opposite. She sounds as if she is very interested...just wants to pursue learning through a different path and on her timetable! Realizing, of course, that this is not totally possible (there are some things you just have to buckle down and do!), I don't see why you can't require a hs diploma but still allow for her preferred learning style.

 

Good luck to you both!

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What a thoughtful girl, but I wonder if all the activity isn't purposeful? Could she be keeping herself so busy in an attempt to avoid what she doesn't want to tackle, namely, academics?

 

I'd cut back on some of her outside activites, no matter how worthwhile. I good basic education should be a requirement.

These are my feelings, too. I think she needs to finish her algebra and her history! These are things we just need in order to go on with our lives. By not completing her basic education, she is limiting herself and her opportunities. Maybe you could look in to early college applications and she can go on to pursue her music there next year?

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I have two conflicting ideas....

 

1) she needs at least a basic education. It doesn't have to be great, but....

 

also, it's YOUR homeschool, YOU get to decide what educated basically IS. Who cares what schools consider it to be (they do such a wonderful job, right?).

 

Also, just for what it's worth, she DOES have an education similar to what some of those, even accredited, correspondence schools require. One doesn't even require Algebra I! I personally would require at LEAST Algebra I as well as some consumer math or personal finance course. I'd have some other requirements also, of course.

 

Decide what you believe is educated reasonably and go with that.

 

2) both of you read Real Lives by Grace Llewellyn and turn her loose :)

 

There is probably a way to do a bit of both. I'd sit down and discuss it together. It sounds as if yoiur dd, like mine, is quite capable of running a good bit of her own life. I'd encouarage discussion in order for her to do so.

Edited by 2J5M9K
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These are my feelings, too. I think she needs to finish her algebra and her history! These are things we just need in order to go on with our lives. By not completing her basic education, she is limiting herself and her opportunities. Maybe you could look in to early college applications and she can go on to pursue her music there next year?

 

I agree as well. If you are homeschooling for high school, I think you have an obligation to ensure that your dd gets a high school education; in addition, I would not leave it up to the student to decide when, or if, to do schoolwork daily. I agree with the poster who suggested blocking out a certain amount of time each morning for academics.

 

Your dd sounds like a sweetheart, and I admire her desire to be a fantastic wife and mother. She still needs an education, though! The perfect man might not come around until she's older. Marriage might not work out (sad, but true). She might be widowed. Too many scary possibilities...she needs to be able to support herself. Without a basic high school education, she's at risk.

 

Ria

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I asked her what she wants to do with her life and she says she just wants to get married and be a wife and mother. She wants to teach piano but she doesn't want to make a "career" out of it. She does realize, however, that getting married is not a given and that she needs to be ready for whatever life hands her.

 

Please ladies. I need some outside objectivity here. I'm :bigear:. Thanks!

 

 

Kathleen,

 

I am going to post before I read anyone elses because I feel that I may be in the minoritiy here. From everything you described it sounds very much like your daughter has her priorities straight. She sounds like an amazing girl. In fact, she sounds very much like my second daughter who is younger, but on a similar road.

 

First off I hate the argument that girls need to be ready for a career. The chances that your daughter wouldn't get married are very low. Do you know very many women who never married?

 

My second thought is that it sounds as if your daughter already has skills that she could turn into a wonderful business in the future. Possibly, more than one business. She could teach music, perform music for weddings, parties, etc... You daughter is also a writer so that would combine with her love of music to write for the homeschool market. She could also clean homes as a business.

 

I would drop all the subjects that are just bogging her down. It is obvious that she knows what she wants for her future. She sounds as if she has an excellent head on her shoulders. I would tailor her curriculum to her strengths & desires and drop the rest. I would do this by sitting down with her and talking about her goals. It doesn't have to be a sit down, workbook curriculum. It sounds like she already is in the midst of a wonderful self-taught curriculum by writing novels, cleaning for others, etc... Possibly you could have her check out books from the library on how to run a business. Basically I think you should stop trying to "do school" and help her prepare for life.

 

Hope this helps, God Bless you on your journey!

 

Michelle

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She really sounds like a very considerate young lady with a great deal of love in her heart for her family. I think we undervalue such people.

 

I would work up a plan with her, starting with what she finds interesting or sees as an important aspect of her future life. If she wants to run a household well, relate things to that. So she can...

 

* Educate herself about current events.

* Learn about local government and issues of local concern.

* Learn accounting / budgeting skills to track spending and file taxes.

* Learn science as relates to the following critical household areas: cleanliness in the kitchen and bathroom (salmonella in the chicken --> bacteria, germ theory, etc), basic health (CPR, first aid, understanding anatomy, so she can recognize healthy child development (physical and psychological) and treat basic health care problems that arise), and so forth.

* Explore the chemistry behind cooking -- have you seen some of the classes at cooking school?! There are great books that your library may even have -- I recently saw "How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science" by Paula Figoni, but books by Sheila Corriger and Harold McGee, and Alton Brown, I think, get into this. This is chemistry!

* Learn about the history of cooking and eating. What do and did various people eat, and why. How was this influenced by their cultural beliefs and geography and historical realities.

* Learn some auto repair and basic electrical repair (physics).

* Does she plan on doing laundry? Learn about the chemistry of stain removal. There was a great segment on Martha Stewart once where she had some supposedly famed tailor, master stain remover, who conducted these complex set of stain removing manouvers (multi-step processes).

* Expose herself to books and great literature.

* Learn about child development and also children's books -- read a full slate of historical selections as well as modern stuff -- so she will be better equipped to raise thoughtful kids.

* Learn about whatever religion you practice.

* Learn about the other religions practiced by people in your community (in a narrow or broad sense). Learn about local history. Learn about the places that immigrants in your community come from.

* Learn a new language. Practice it.

* Teach English to those wish to learn it, or teach reading to those who do not know how.

* Perform other community service.

* Learn about the aging process. Involve visits with real life older people.

* Learn about computers.

* Learn about how to effectively search for what you want to find (basics of librianship).

* Learn about animal husbandry / veterinary care and animal anatomy.

* Look in to the views of women, wives, mothers, and "women's work" throughout time..... Whatever floats her boat, but extend it. If she really extends it, and is thoughtful about just about anything, it is academic. Rose Levy Berenbaum, of "Cake Bible" fame, wrote her dissertation (?) on whether sifting was sufficient to distribute salt and leveners through flour. (There's a story about this, and it relates to finding a husband, in the front of The Cake Bible.)

 

She shouldn't fear academics, but find a way to understand that many things are relevant to the life she wants to lead -- she can just understand them in a deeper way. Cultivate a zest for learning and a curiosity about the world around her and how it works -- this will be a real gift as she grows older, whatever her life path.

 

Wow!! This is soooo helpful. Like so many have suggested, I really do think she needs an "official" documented education for her own sake. I just haven't been creative enough to figure out how to mesh her style/interests with a standard program and your list has just opened up a whole lot of possibilities - thanks so much for taking the time to do that. I am going to sit down and seriously come up with a plan!

 

Reading more of your replies, I'd add that she really sounds like a non-traditional learner. (Sounds like you are as well!) This is not a bad thing! Heck, if she wants to learn history through reading books, why not? Do the reports, find another way to document the learning, call it a day! Try to find non-traditional methods of studying other topics...they are definitely out there.

 

It doesn't sound to me as if she doesn't like school or learning...just the opposite. She sounds as if she is very interested...just wants to pursue learning through a different path and on her timetable! Realizing, of course, that this is not totally possible (there are some things you just have to buckle down and do!), I don't see why you can't require a hs diploma but still allow for her preferred learning style.

 

Good luck to you both!

 

I'm just beginning to see this and yes, we are both non-traditional learners. Life just keeps getting in the way of academics and since I see the value in the things she does I have a very hard time demanding that she do anything else. God has been very gracious to me by allowing me to have such a daughter and I am very much aware of that. I just want to do right by her - allow her freedom to be who she is but also provide her with the education (and documentation of that education) she will need to flourish no matter which direction her life takes.

 

You need to be counting credits for all of the extras. She can get a home economics credit for all of the cleaning, organizing siblings, making dinners. She could get history or literature credits for the extra reading. She would probably have enough credits to graduate without expecting too much more from her. I would be talking to some unschoolers and figure this out.

 

Yes, I'm seeing now how I can translate what she is already doing into actual school credit. Where do I find unschoolers?:)

 

Dh and I read your post, and we don't see a problem. Sounds like a great girl any parents would be thrilled to have. She's a self-starter, uses her time wisely, and is passionately following her interests. She's lucky to have a mother who is not domineering and respects her daughter's nature. I'm sure she'll have a wonderful life!:)

 

Yes, this is my underlying feeling, but I also have this nagging feeling that homeschooling law might get more strict and require more credentials in the future. I want her to be prepared for that. This is why I keep going around in circles. She really is a great daughter. I attribute that to God's marvelous grace, not my parenting. I've been very blessed to have many mentors in the child raising arena and a great church that has supported our family in this area. She is a delight to me and I am very, very grateful for her - I just don't want to shortchange her in this area and regret it later.

 

I have two conflicting ideas....

 

1) she needs at least a basic education. It doesn't have to be great, but....

 

also, it's YOUR homeschool, YOU get to decide what educated basically IS. Who cares what schools consider it to be (they do such a wonderful job, right?).

 

Also, just for what it's worth, she DOES have an education similar to what some of those, even accredited, correspondence schools require. One doesn't even require Algebra I! I personally would require at LEAST Algebra I as well as some consumer math or personal finance course. I'd have some other requirements also, of course.

 

Decide what you believe is educated reasonably and go with that.

 

2) both of you read Real Lives by Grace Llewellyn and turn her loose :)

 

There is probably a way to do a bit of both. I'd sit down and discuss it together. It sounds as if yoiur dd, like mine, is quite capable of running a good bit of her own life. I'd encouarage discussion in order for her to do so.

 

Yes, I'm beginning to see a way to work this out thanks to all the helpful advice. Thanks for the book recommendation. I've read Llewellyn's other book - Teenage Liberation Handbook - but that was about 10 years ago. I love her attitude toward traditional education :). I will look for Real Lives and read it too.

 

I really appreciate all the responses - it is truly heartwarming to see all your great ideas and support. I knew you'd guys would be able to sort it out for me. Thanks!!

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Kathleen,

 

I am going to post before I read anyone elses because I feel that I may be in the minoritiy here. From everything you described it sounds very much like your daughter has her priorities straight. She sounds like an amazing girl. In fact, she sounds very much like my second daughter who is younger, but on a similar road.

 

First off I hate the argument that girls need to be ready for a career. The chances that your daughter wouldn't get married are very low. Do you know very many women who never married?

 

My second thought is that it sounds as if your daughter already has skills that she could turn into a wonderful business in the future. Possibly, more than one business. She could teach music, perform music for weddings, parties, etc... You daughter is also a writer so that would combine with her love of music to write for the homeschool market. She could also clean homes as a business.

 

I would drop all the subjects that are just bogging her down. It is obvious that she knows what she wants for her future. She sounds as if she has an excellent head on her shoulders. I would tailor her curriculum to her strengths & desires and drop the rest. I would do this by sitting down with her and talking about her goals. It doesn't have to be a sit down, workbook curriculum. It sounds like she already is in the midst of a wonderful self-taught curriculum by writing novels, cleaning for others, etc... Possibly you could have her check out books from the library on how to run a business. Basically I think you should stop trying to "do school" and help her prepare for life.

 

Hope this helps, God Bless you on your journey!

 

Michelle

 

Michelle,

 

I have two nieces, ages 26 and 27, who are very similar to my daughter. I could go on an on about their servant hearts - they are just amazing. They are also quite talented in many areas - mainly sewing and cooking. When I first got married these young ladies were about 3-4yo and I have watched them grow into wonderful people. During that time they were homeschooled and were trained to be homemakers. In 2005 their dad moved out for another woman and that event just devastated our whole family. We live 7 miles from them and have gone to the same church for 23 years. My sil had a nursing degree and with the help of her brother she was able to take refresher courses and get a good job as a surgical nurse in a very nice hospital. She is rising to the occasion in an awesome way. These nieces, though extremely pretty (honest - they are gorgeous) and extremely talented and sweet and servant-like - have not found Mr. Right yet and are still at home. As you might guess, they are an extreme blessing to their mother.

 

One of them had a brain tumor when she was younger and although she had surgery to correct the problem, she still gets major headaches that require she take a very expensive pain medication. She had to get a job outside the home in order to qualify for health insurance in order to pay for that medication and is now working at a daycare center for that reason.

 

This is the context in which I am working as far as my daughter is concerned. I know most young ladies will get married, but it may not happen right away. I also know husbands can be quite rude and uncaring and leave you to fend for yourself. (We live in a fallen world.) I want to give my daughter the freedom to pursue her passions, but I do not want to leave her high and dry if her dreams should not come true or fall apart later.

 

I will definitely look into gearing her education towards a more entrepreneurial end, though. I am going to take your advice and sit down with her to figure out a plan that prepares her for a home-business. I think I can now work out a plan that covers ALL the bases. Thanks so much for your input.:)

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Our dds must have been separated at birth. Mine is 16 and a musician. She has four little piano students. Plays the piano to take your breath away, also plays the organ, guitar, violin. Is a major force in our home, cooking, cleaning......has taken on the laundry job on her own, gathers, washes, folds and puts away. Another child worth her weight in platinum!

 

She has a different mindset though, she gets up early, early to complete her schoolwork and has usually done a boatload before noon. She's a whiz. She is always searching for one more thing to get her ready for college.

 

When you ask her what she wants to do, her answer is word for word what your dd says. But she sees college as a needed prep for marriage and motherhood. She has picked a liberal arts college and we'll get her a private piano teacher there if we can find one that's better than she is. (not a brag, well, maybe a brag but also the truth, this child outplays her teachers quickly).

 

Anyhow, she plans on meeting someone who would love to be a cattle rancher and move back here and live happily ever after. I'm praying for that too!

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I suspect that I'm in the minority here. My children are much younger than your DD -- perhaps my perspective will change as they get older. But FWIW, I think that preparing her to take care of herself is one of the most important things that you can do to ensure her future. And making sure she can earn a respectable living (enough to pay rent, food, car, gas, and other basic living expenses) is the foundation of being able to do that. At 18, I would be very concerned if she were limiting her future options by skimping on academics.

 

I am currently a stay at home mom, but I went to college then worked for 10 years before deciding to stay home. Besides raising my children, my work was one of the most rewarding and self-fulling things that I've done. Staying home is my choice, and if/when I choose, I have the option to work again. I don't mean to say that your DD wouldn't have the same types of choices -- perhaps she would -- but I think that you need to help her think about the big, "next 50+ years" picture. And not just the "if everything works out perfectly" scenario.

 

Your DD sounds like a lovely person, and serving is obviously important to your family, but part of serving is being able to persevere with something even if you don't want to do it.

 

Best wishes to you both!

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It was interesting reading all the replies! When I was in high school I remember girls like your daughter always went to bible college to look for a husband! :D LOL. And there's nothing wrong with that - not everybody has to have a career. :)

 

If it were me, I'd set a course for her to finish up her high school education but not require her to do upper level work.

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I love this, "if you don't get your school work done you can't clean the house.":lol:

 

She needs to finish high school and I would want her to do at least a 2 year college program. How about some dual enrollment. Start her college classes at the community college now.

 

We have some of the same issues here so I know how difficult it can be.

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I have only littles, but my first thought was that, at bare minimum, she should take and pass the GED.

 

How does she feel about college?

 

She sounds like a very sweet girl and must be a great blessing to you. :)

 

GED was my first thought, too - she can always go to cc and pick up classes if she decides, when older, to go on with college. BUT....

 

What if she does NOT marry - will she be able to support herself w/o a degree????? Or what if she marries then her spouse gets sick and can not work (happened to my sister!!!!) - would she have the education to step in and support a family?

 

She needs to look more at the big picture and find time to do her schoolwork, too.

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Your daughter is a wonderful young lady. Our world is so different today. It sounds as though in our grandmothers day she would have been the norm now the world is different. Although, is it so different. Just the other day my ds, age 15, asked me Mom how and I going to find a wife that will love taking care of our home and our children like you do. (I had to give him a big hug for that.) Honestly I have advanced degree but have not really used them. I love taking care of my family and my husbnad has a job that supports us very well. Actually he is often on call so my working would be a huge burden. We live in a neighborhood where many of the families have both parents working and my son has seen first hand how this can effects the children. So the moral is... my son would like to marry a girl like your daughter. My ds plans to be an electrical engineer and hope to have a job similiar to his dads(my dh) As a side note my ds is also very musical and plays the guitar very, very well. He loves music although just considers it a hobby. He and my dh will often play guitars together for several hours every evening. I love to hear them play. I actually think my ds has become a better student since he started playing 3 years ago.

I say go with your heart in reference to how to direct your daughter future.

Deep down inside I think you know the path you would like to see her follow.

Blessings to you for raising such a kind and gentle lady.

Karen

married to dh since 1990

mother to ds born 1993

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If you weigh out the consequences of each course of action it seems to me that if you choose to make her finish high school and have some chooses about college that she can follow, it is not going to be an overwhelming burden to her now. If you do not choose to make her finish high school courses appropriate for college and she is limited in her choices, it could be an overwhelming burden later.

 

My DH is threatened with losing his job about once a year. It would relieve his burden (and stress on the family in general) so much if I had more education. I was raised to be a wife, mother, and volunteer and taught that careers were not important. I wish I had gone on to get a 2 year degree. The fact is that with a degree it is so much easier for anyone to support themselves or help out financially. Part-time and work from home options are much more available when one has further education. I had many opportunities after marriage when I could have signed up and gotten a degree (I was married 8 years before having children). I just wish someone had taught me how important it could be.

 

Requiring your daughter to finish her education is not an undue burden.This is my experience:

 

When I was 16 I was enrolled in high school courses through Indian University. I was volunteering for 60 hours a month and I was working part-time. By the time I was 18 I was planning a wedding. I got married the day after I picked up my diploma. I put in some all nighters, I finished one subject at a time and I got it done. I had to take some courses that I did not enjoy because there was very little available at the time. It was not a big deal at all. When I was in PS I was always resentful at the monumental waste of time that was school. My correspondence courses were not so bad. I would think requiring someone to finish them is not too much to ask.

 

So there are all of my opinions and ramblings. :001_smile:

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Kathleen,

 

What about going with more of a Charlotte Mason approach? Could she read good books for science instead of using a textbook? I would definitely encourage her to at least finish a basic high school education and even go on to take some community college classes. It sounds like she's well-educated now and that you are doing a great job!

 

I think someone recommended a GED. That would be nice for her. That might free her up to take some college classes that interest her.

 

 

melissa

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You need to be counting credits for all of the extras. She can get a home economics credit for all of the cleaning, organizing siblings, making dinners. She could get history or literature credits for the extra reading. She would probably have enough credits to graduate without expecting too much more from her. I would be talking to some unschoolers and figure this out.

 

I haven't yet read the posts beyond this one but it's exactly what I was thinking too. It sounds like what she's doing is unschooling. She's still getting an education. I think researching unschooling and learning to log her activities for credit would be a good idea.

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I love this, "if you don't get your school work done you can't clean the house.":lol:

We had a couple of rules a couple of years ago which really amused my children: 1. the oldest (very much like yours!) is not allowed to clean unless she has permission, and 2. You are not permitted to tell the entire truth...

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First, I just want to thank you all for taking the time to offer your insights and suggestions - it has all been very helpful. I have let dd read them all and she is getting the message. It helps to hear it from someone besides mom, kwim? She has an older college-aged friend who is also working on her :). We are both learning a lot reading all these great replies. I do want to respect her non-traditional ways, but I do feel a strong obligation to prepare her for whatever life brings her way. I've gotten tons of great ideas from you - thank you!

 

I love this, "if you don't get your school work done you can't clean the house.":lol:

 

She needs to finish high school and I would want her to do at least a 2 year college program. How about some dual enrollment. Start her college classes at the community college now.

 

We have some of the same issues here so I know how difficult it can be.

 

Love the threat. It actually might work!:lol:

 

Seriously, though, I had thought about a 2-year program at our local cc too. It is very easy to get into our cc and if she had an AS or AA degree she wouldn't need a high school diploma. I told her that after she completed World History she could attempt to pass a CLEP test and begin earning college credit that way. She could then try to pass others and enter cc with a bit of college credit already. Ds21 has 18 hours of CLEP credit so she is familiar with the idea and it appeals to her.

 

Your daughter is a wonderful young lady. Our world is so different today. It sounds as though in our grandmothers day she would have been the norm now the world is different. Although, is it so different. Just the other day my ds, age 15, asked me Mom how and I going to find a wife that will love taking care of our home and our children like you do. (I had to give him a big hug for that.) Honestly I have advanced degree but have not really used them. I love taking care of my family and my husbnad has a job that supports us very well. Actually he is often on call so my working would be a huge burden. We live in a neighborhood where many of the families have both parents working and my son has seen first hand how this can effects the children. So the moral is... my son would like to marry a girl like your daughter. My ds plans to be an electrical engineer and hope to have a job similiar to his dads(my dh) As a side note my ds is also very musical and plays the guitar very, very well. He loves music although just considers it a hobby. He and my dh will often play guitars together for several hours every evening. I love to hear them play. I actually think my ds has become a better student since he started playing 3 years ago.

I say go with your heart in reference to how to direct your daughter future.

Deep down inside I think you know the path you would like to see her follow.

Blessings to you for raising such a kind and gentle lady.

Karen

married to dh since 1990

mother to ds born 1993

 

Your son sounds precious - what a blessing. Thanks for your kind words, Karen.

 

Kathleen,

 

What about going with more of a Charlotte Mason approach? Could she read good books for science instead of using a textbook? I would definitely encourage her to at least finish a basic high school education and even go on to take some community college classes. It sounds like she's well-educated now and that you are doing a great job!

 

I think someone recommended a GED. That would be nice for her. That might free her up to take some college classes that interest her.

 

 

melissa

 

I thought of this, too, but I don't know how to pull it together or whether it would count as an actual course. For example, we discussed creating a course called "Math: A Cultural Approach" fashioned after a course I took in college intended for non-math majors. I studied Fibonacci numbers and the lives of great mathematicians, etc. She'd get a kick out of that and I already have lots of books along these lines. I just don't know if it would count as math, kwim? Same thing for science. How do I do that?

 

 

Again, thank you all for your kind, encouraging and wise words. I appreciate your help very, very much.

Edited by Kathleen in VA
grammar faux pas!
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The fields of math and science history are legitimate. I am not sure many high-school age students take them, but I think it's worth learning about. I recommend you look at the works of Claudia Zaslavsky, who was an ethnomathematician. Quite interesting. I also recommend books by Simon Singh, one is Fermat's Enigma, and another is the Code Book. (Fermat's Enigma was a special on PBS too). Both books are completely readable and fascinating. Also the book Nature's Numbers by Ian Stewart.

Edited by stripe
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I thought of this, too, but I don't know how to pull it together or whether it would count as an actual course. For example, we discussed creating a course called "Math: A Cultural Approach" fashioned after a course I took in college intended for non-math majors. I studied Fibonacci numbers and the lives of great mathematicians, etc. She'd get a kick out of that and I already have lots of books along these lines. I just don't know if it would count as math, kwim? Same thing for science. How do I do that?

 

The fields of math and science history are legitimate. I am not sure many high-school age students take them, but I think it's worth learning about. I recommend you look at the works of Claudia Zaslavsky, who was an ethnomathematician. Quite interesting. I also recommend books by Simon Singh, one is Fermat's Enigma, and another is the Code Book. (Fermat's Enigma was a special on PBS too). Both books are completely readable and fascinating. Also the book Nature's Numbers by Ian Stewart.

The Rhetoric section of TWTM has guidelines for awarding credit. There are books on how to homeschool your highschooler that could help as well. How long has it been since you read the rhetoric section of TWTM? I think some of this is addressed in a round about way. You need to give your course a name... maybe ask the CC what kind of high school courses they would want DD to complete, and then you just need a certain amount of hours devoted to that study.

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The Rhetoric section of TWTM has guidelines for awarding credit. There are books on how to homeschool your highschooler that could help as well. How long has it been since you read the rhetoric section of TWTM? I think some of this is addressed in a round about way. You need to give your course a name... maybe ask the CC what kind of high school courses they would want DD to complete, and then you just need a certain amount of hours devoted to that study.

 

Funny you should ask about TWTM :). I was just reading that section yesterday. I wanted to see which textbook she recommended for Rhetoric because someone had Martin Cothran's course for sale on another used curriculum site. I just now reread the whole chapter - whew! I discussed it with dd and she is going to sit down and read it herself tomorrow. I'm hoping it will inspire her.

 

She has read all these replies and knows that, although being a wife and a mother is her heart's desire and a noble, worthy goal, she must have a foundational education at the very least and better yet, she should have a marketable skill - just in case. We are discussing her options and she seems convinced that she must buckle down and get the schoolwork done. She even typed up a new daily schedule.

 

She said she doesn't mind finishing up all the courses she has already begun and she is excited at the prospect of designing her own coursework for the next two years based on her interests and preparing to teach piano as an actual way to make a living.

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we live in a fallen world and life as I have seen it never goes according to anyone's plans/dreams. Your post is the reason I'd challenge and even push (with wisdom) my dd beyond mere high school and into college!

 

 

Michelle,

 

I have two nieces, ages 26 and 27, who are very similar to my daughter. I could go on an on about their servant hearts - they are just amazing. They are also quite talented in many areas - mainly sewing and cooking. When I first got married these young ladies were about 3-4yo and I have watched them grow into wonderful people. During that time they were homeschooled and were trained to be homemakers. In 2005 their dad moved out for another woman and that event just devastated our whole family. We live 7 miles from them and have gone to the same church for 23 years. My sil had a nursing degree and with the help of her brother she was able to take refresher courses and get a good job as a surgical nurse in a very nice hospital. She is rising to the occasion in an awesome way. These nieces, though extremely pretty (honest - they are gorgeous) and extremely talented and sweet and servant-like - have not found Mr. Right yet and are still at home. As you might guess, they are an extreme blessing to their mother.

 

One of them had a brain tumor when she was younger and although she had surgery to correct the problem, she still gets major headaches that require she take a very expensive pain medication. She had to get a job outside the home in order to qualify for health insurance in order to pay for that medication and is now working at a daycare center for that reason.

 

This is the context in which I am working as far as my daughter is concerned. I know most young ladies will get married, but it may not happen right away. I also know husbands can be quite rude and uncaring and leave you to fend for yourself. (We live in a fallen world.) I want to give my daughter the freedom to pursue her passions, but I do not want to leave her high and dry if her dreams should not come true or fall apart later.

 

I will definitely look into gearing her education towards a more entrepreneurial end, though. I am going to take your advice and sit down with her to figure out a plan that prepares her for a home-business. I think I can now work out a plan that covers ALL the bases. Thanks so much for your input.:)

 

Glad to read this post - and your conclusion. Blessings to you & dd.

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But she might want to consider going on to community college and getting some kind of a certificate in early childhood development. This would mean she could get a somewhat better paying job or perhaps even be a nanny.

 

Having your own business that is outside of your home as a preschool or daycare provider requires that you have a BA, or an Associates in Early Childhood development along with a certain # of years experience. Or, you can hire someone with those qualifications. Just FYI for anyone who wants to get into childcare. That is what I am dealing with. Well timed pregnancy with major health problems = I never finished my degree and still can't start my preschool. :(

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By the way, I just found this Kitchen Chemistry course at MIT's Open Course Ware.

 

OK, this just so totally awesome. I've been clicking around exploring the whole thing and it looks right up her alley. Here's a sample of the articles they have you read:

 

Pancakes as Viewed from a Chemical Engineering Perspective

 

which comes from this site:

 

Chemical Engineering in Cooking

 

Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

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She is supposed to be doing Notgrass World History, TT Alg. I, The One Year Adventure Novel, Pilates (for P.E.), Biology (we are using Biology 101 from Timberdoodle) and French
I was a young lady who was determined to be a stay at home mommy for my career goal. Luckily for my parents, I am also very driven academically, though. (Because I went on to graduate hs high school in 3 years, teach Amish school for 4 years, and get half a BS in Elem Ed under my belt before marriage).

 

This looks like sort of a lot to me. When I was 16, I was doing Christian Light Education Algebra 1, Christian Light World History, Christian Light LA1001-1010, Christian Light Biology, and Christian Light Home Ec. I did go on to do Spanish my Junior year, but if I hadn't planned on college, I wouldn't have done that. Besides dropping the French, I'd let your daughter drop the Pilates (in favor of a socially rewarding physical education... how about a sport, or Curves or a YMCA membership)? I'd count the writing she's doing in place of the One Year Adventure Novel, and let her do her own reading in place of the Notgrass World History (or get her a simpler history program).

 

I think it would help your daughter if she could choose her own classes. (this is what I did). Let her pick 4-5 classes a year for the next couple of years and call it good. Does she "get" the Algebra? It could be that the spiral nature of TT is driving her bananas. She could perhaps drive her way through a more traditional text more quickly.

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I was a young lady who was determined to be a stay at home mommy for my career goal. Luckily for my parents, I am also very driven academically, though. (Because I went on to graduate hs high school in 3 years, teach Amish school for 4 years, and get half a BS in Elem Ed under my belt before marriage).

 

This looks like sort of a lot to me. When I was 16, I was doing Christian Light Education Algebra 1, Christian Light World History, Christian Light LA1001-1010, Christian Light Biology, and Christian Light Home Ec. I did go on to do Spanish my Junior year, but if I hadn't planned on college, I wouldn't have done that. Besides dropping the French, I'd let your daughter drop the Pilates (in favor of a socially rewarding physical education... how about a sport, or Curves or a YMCA membership)? I'd count the writing she's doing in place of the One Year Adventure Novel, and let her do her own reading in place of the Notgrass World History (or get her a simpler history program).

 

I think it would help your daughter if she could choose her own classes. (this is what I did). Let her pick 4-5 classes a year for the next couple of years and call it good. Does she "get" the Algebra? It could be that the spiral nature of TT is driving her bananas. She could perhaps drive her way through a more traditional text more quickly.

 

Thanks for your input. After some discussion over the last few days, we did decide to drop the French for the time being. I am counting Pilates as her PE simply because she likes to do it (don't have to push that) and I thought that would kill two birds. We cannot afford a membership anywhere, not to mention the fact that we live 30 minutes from the closest gym. We are rural and it is not always easy to get out and about since I have two other children I need to stay home and teach. She does not have a driver's license and even if she did, she would have to drive the family car and I'm not ready to risk it at this point.

 

She did choose her classes this year (we pored over catalogs together) and I suggested Notgrass because I thought it was an easier history course than others I had looked at - it also counts as an English credit, so I told her she doesn't have to do that part if she doesn't want to - just read the history part and take the quizzes. Additionally, it is one of the few high school World History courses I could find that came from a Christian perspective - not willing to compromise on that. I don't know if you have ever seen it, but it is not that in-depth - just your basic overview. She does get the Algebra - she just doesn't like to take the time to do it. I plan on counting her writing and the OYAN as English since she will need 4 English credits to graduate. Right now, she is going to continue working on her novel that is not OYAN and complete the OYAN next. If she writes more than that, I will count it towards electives. She is going to have a whole lot of English credits.;)

 

I think the biggest issue for her is time, not difficulty of academics. She would just rather be doing other things with her time.

 

I sat down yesterday and figured out what she has already accomplished and how I can count some of her activities as high school credit and actually, she just needs to do a bit more history, science and math and she should be good to go.

 

Thanks again for your input and perspective. I appreciate you taking the time.:)

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