Search This Blog

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Home School in the High School Years (no credits or diploma)

Home School in the High School Years (no credits or diploma)
My family and I attended the meeting in Red Deer last night and we were greatly encouraged for the upcoming high school years. There were parents sharing what they had done with their kids and young adults who took this journey sharing their story as well. Each persons story was unique, there was no cookie cutter or conveyor belt path to the adult years.
Here are some notes I took last night:
- sometimes you may need English 30 for a college or university entrance but there are a variety of ways to get it. One student is finishing their English 30 in 19 days with a course. !9 days!!! Why do it any other way?
- learning is a life style
- get the whole family involved in learning experiences and enterprises
- learning isn't just about books -- explore the world around you with experiences (travel abroad if possible)
- the high school years are a time to really get to know your kids and to have many life discussions
- let the Lord lead your children to the path He has for them
- TRUST your facilitator when you start to get fearful and feel the pressure to send them back to public school because you are following a not well known/accepted path for the high school years
- quote "institutional learning produces mediocrity in a lot of areas but the opportunity to pursue one self led interest produces excellence"
- one young man shared that he was able to excel at his love for music and meet his goal for his music because he was home schooled. He practiced anywhere from 2 to 14 hours day, something he could not do if he was in public school or forced to acquire the 100 credits via courses
- this same young man is 17 and working on a piano technician course and has found a mentor in Edmonton (via other connections) that he is apprenticing under
- he has a small service business he has operated for a couple of years. The service needs fulltime attention for two weeks in the spring and two in the fall... if he had a full course load he could not take the four weeks each year and run this business
- for the courses that he did do, he preferred the method of only working on one course at a time till finished. So he would work around 5 hours a day till the course was completed and then move onto another project or course.
- another young man (who is 20 now), applied to university at 15 because the courses his brother was taking seemed more interesting than what he was doing but he was denied entrance. They told him he needed more life experience so he waited till he was 16 and applied again. This time they accepted him, he had to do a GED exam and he has now completed a 4 year psychology degree and now at 20 is working on his Masters.
- Next a 20 year old young lady shared her story. She did a couple of courses at Red Deer college when she was 16. She completed her Bachelor of Arts (and Education???) by 19 and she is now working as a home school facilitator at 20. She loves music and was able to pursue that in her younger years, and she had lots of times for extras. She shared how she was glad she missed the drama that is found in junior high and high school (especially for girls). She likes to learn and wanted to learn which made a big difference at the university level. People at university found her a strong, confident young woman.
- A mom and dad shared
- they loved and appreciated the time they had with their kids to spend with God and in His word as a family
- they discussed the benefits of mentoring possibilities
- when one of their kids needed a transcript, they made their own and it was accepted no problem
- their family was able to have flexible hours, each person functioning in their own way (early risers, late workers, etc)
- their kids were able to learn on their own, without hand holding, nagging and such
- they were able to utilize and take advantage of each child's learning style
- enjoy this time with your kids
- say no to institutions invading your home
- volunteering (individual and as a family) important/beneficial
- young man
- was able to focus on things he enjoyed
- went to Olds College
- did work experience
- youngest journeyman carpenter in Canada
- never did nor has needed anything beyond the geometry level of high school math
- now taking an architect technician course at SAIT
- bad speller (but his mom did try) LOL
- able to stand up for his faith (strong foundation)
- young man
- studying at SAIT now - computer science
- read books you are interested in (for him computers)
- if you want to learn, you will
- opportunity to learn what you want, a blessing in home school high school
- did some weekend courses on carpentry and computers
- tore apart the family computer and put it back together
- his best friend is his brother
- he encouraged parents to let your kids do what they want, what they are interested in
- encourage curiosity and finding answers... much of his time was spent answering the question -- "how do I do this?" on a variety of topics
- mom (to the the two previous boys)
- her kids "graduated" at 16, she was done teaching them and she knew they would continue to learn on their own afterwards
- daughter took horticulture on a part time basis at Olds college as a teen
- mission trips
- remember to keep and follow your original home school goals (for the kids to know how to learn, to love to learn and to build great family relationships)
- lots of reading aloud (to each other)
- time to know and serve God
- freedom of time (golf in the morning, do studies in the afternoon ... because it wasn't so hot in the morning for golfing)
- focus on why you chose to home school in the first place
Notes from general discussion time:
- help the kids answer this question - what do you want to invest your time into?
- you can accomplish goals/courses in a short amount of time when needed (example above - English 30 in 19 days)
- we have the opportunity as home school families to build and model relationship skills with our kids
- questions asked to the young adults - when did you know or decide what your passion was or what career path you would take? - each person had a different answer - some knew at a young age (he pursued his music), another was at his second year at university with his brother (psychology), the young lady who became a facilitator.. her plans changed with circumstances but she knew she wanted to work with home schoolers, a couple aren't sure they will stick with what they have pursued educationally so far but each learning opportunity helps them narrow their focus
- questions asked to the parents of home school grads - if the kids graduate at 16 (you are done teaching them), then what? How do you keep them from becoming couch potatoes? - have the kids get a job (each experience at work and with people they will work with they can glean from), suggest an apprenticeship (even if they don't pursue the trade as a job they will be learning a usable skill while gaining an income), volunteer, missions, etc
- encourage them (and YOU!) to explore life always. :o)
After the meeting I asked my kids what was one thing they found interesting or important from the speakers. Deanna said she she wanted to graduate at 16 so she could focus on gaining experience (via work opportunities) with animals (with ultimate goal right now being owning a petting zoo). Jordan said the opportunity and freedom to pursue your own interests. Deanna liked they she did not need to have biology 30 and all those other courses to move onto further education possibilities.
"Life is learning and learning is life".
I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write. (Augustine)