Over the past several years, I’ve been part of a lot of conversations about dual enrollment. Once junior high or high school hits, it tends to be a large part of what we research, stress over, and schedule out. From the conversations I’ve been a part of, both in person and on social media, the motivation for this tends to range among the following:
I posted part of this poem on my Facebook page a few days ago, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
There is freedom waiting for you,
on the breezes of the sky,
and you ask, “What if I fall?”
Oh, but my darling,
What if you fly?
I’ve written a bit about my son…he’s a non-stop, driven, out-of-the-box kind of guy. What I don’t write or talk about much, however, is how I learned to let him fly.
One of the amazing things about homeschooling is the ability to daily pour into our children – to mentor them, disciple them, watch them grow, and laugh with them. We get to be a part of both the little, random details and the major milestones in their lives. While the daily side of it might get a bit chaotic at times, I honestly can’t think of a higher privilege.
That niggling little thought looms, though, and it pops up at the weirdest times: what about when they leave home? Did I do enough? Will they be ready?
I like science and I think it’s incredibly interesting, but I’ve never been what you’d call “good” at the technical side of it. I completely understand why things happen as they do, but I can’t really explain them in “science-y” terms.
For example, I passed 10th grade chemistry (barely) because my teacher realized, in May, that I still had no idea how the equation applied to the experiment. I could practically write a story about why something worked, but I couldn’t write a simple lab report. He realized I hadn’t been handing in my reports all year because I had no clue how to do them, so he took pity. I kid you not.
Enter my gifted, non-stop, completely out-of-the-box child who took (and passed) high school biology at age 11. He followed it up with college biology at 15. I knew I was in over my head!
When I was in high school, I really didn’t like history. For me, it was one step above algebra (and I am so not a math person). It was all about names and places and random dates of things that didn’t really matter. And for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why we were subjected to having to sit through it. (My 9th grade history teacher actually fell asleep during his own class once, so apparently I wasn’t alone in that.)
I thought history was dry, boring, and – even worse – useless.
Boy, was I wrong!
There are very few subjects I love as much as literature…foreign languages is on that list. Ever since I was tiny, I have been the first one in line when it comes to learning anything about other languages. I love how different ideas fit into the structure of the language, how other cultures express everything from movement to concept. When I found out that I could major in linguistics – in learning and teaching foreign languages – I was ecstatic. In my classes, I learned to go beyond the regular classroom methods, to learn languages that did not yet have a written form and reduce them to writing. I also studied to teach these languages to people who had no concept of formal learning, so many of my methods are a bit untraditional.
To me, it’s just plain fascinating. The thing is, I know I’m probably in the minority.
I’m not going to try to hide it; I love literature. I am a regular at our local library and bookstores, and I’m usually the one leaving with a huge armful of books. And my at-home library? Well, let’s be honest. You can never have too many books…only too few bookshelves.
And I know I’m not alone. Homeschool families tend to have a lot of books! Not just the books that are required in the lesson plan…but books. Tons of them. On every subject, at every level, everywhere.
Many of us have the same goal: to teach our children to love to read and learn.
The area I live in has many, many homeschool families, as well as a lot of great support groups and co ops. For the past several years, I have had the pleasure of teaching subjects like foreign languages, literature, writing, and worldview to all ages of students.
Add that to the fact that my gifted kiddo goes through curriculum like it’s candy, and it’s safe to say that I’ve either tried or reviewed just about everything out there. And I’ve put my favorites all in one place, just for you. That way, you don’t have to dig through all the options to try to figure out what might work!
Each Friday, I will highlight a different curriculum option I have used or come across. This week, in keeping with my current high school theme, I have the pleasure of reviewing the new High School Guide to Creative Chronicling from 7Sisters. And I do mean pleasure!
If you’re not familiar with 7Sisters, I highly recommend checking them out. This company is a collaboration between six veteran homeschool moms, and their products are the result of years of teaching both their own children and co op classes. Each of their ebook products displays a balanced approach to teaching – as they say, “no busywork and no overkill.”
As a parent and teacher, I’ve got to say I like that approach!
High school. In the early years, it’s the time we homeschool parents look forward to: a time when our kids will be able to learn independently, when they’ll be able to get jobs and start making their own way. A time when they’ll have their driver’s license and we won’t have to drive them all over creation; instead, we’ll be able to hand them the keys. A time when they’ll be able to dig deep and start to really figure out ideas.
That all tends to change when the high school years loom close.