Thursday, June 21, 2012

Homeschooling High School... The What of it All

When it comes to high school we are very unschooly.  Is that a word?  Well I guess it will have to do.  My Rose is now going into her senior year, my poor guinea pig, and we have been through it all with her.  We have tried Sonlight (I didn't like how uber-protestant it was in high school), other full curriculums (never was totally happy), we tried online schools (we didn't like them PERIOD), and even private schools.

It took us time to realize that high school should be a time of exploration academically.  This worked for us.  I offer some guidance but they are mostly on their own as far as what they want to pursue and what they don't.  I encourage math because if you are college bound you are going to have to face math.  I also try to get my girls into a few classes with our homeschool co-op if they are interested.  I don't push it.  I may advise it, but never force.  Rose in particular loved Biology and it was a perfect class to take because of having other kids to do experiments with.  Lily will be taking it this next year at the co-op too.

I have several Mother of Divine Grace syllabi that they can look through if they want guidance.  MODG has syllabi for lots of courses and we all find inspiration in them.  I have a wee goal to own all the history and science ones.  My only qualm with the history ones are the texts used.  I find that giving my kids books that are more modern and looking more into the lives people lead, get them a lot farther in their studies.  For middle and high school, we really like the texts by the Catholic Textbook Project and the Hakim texts. A History of US for American history, to name a few.

The thing is, if I didn't give my high schoolers more freedom in their studies, I don't think they would have really discovered so much about themselves.  I don't think Rose would have pursued learning so much about child development if she was too busy with curriculum checklists.  Or Lily's love of photography would have had to take a backseat to the numerous other things she would have been required to do.

Trust me, these girls are doing amazing things and lot of it!  They are reading great literature, things I didn't see till college and I went to a college prep high school.  They can defend their faith with amazing foresight and respect while using valid and strong arguments.  Just to name a few things.  Once in awhile I will be a meany and require something of them.  But in the end I have found that they generally learn most when I let them run with it.

Our homeschool high school involves a lot of discussion, some advice, and a lot of freedom.  I am amazed daily at how much they know and how grounded and rational they are.  Far more than I was at their age.  And I can see without a doubt, that they will succeed in doing whatever they want in life.  More importantly, they won't need me to tell them how to go about it.

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