Never thought we'd get this far. Wanted to think it was going to be great. And guess what? IT IS great! We absolutely LOVE homeschooling highschool and I have a Junior to be and a Freshman/Sophomore this next year who can say they love it too.
There's not alot of great information out there about homeschooling for highschool unless you are using a planned curriculum or if you're doing all of your classes online from another institution. But we have found a really great balance of some online coursework, some independent work and tons of great discussion/dialectic studies to carry us on our journey through the high school years thus far, all in a very Charlotte Masony kind of way.
I have been enjoying a nice homeschooling highschool series that Karen Edmisten has been writing. You can view Parts I - IV here. I too have recieved random questions about how things are working for us and how we chose to go about homeschooling highschool, so this may morph into multiple posts....we'll see how it goes :)
The main question that keeps popping up in my email is "What are some of the things that worked for you in your highschool at home?"
So what worked for us (keeping the disclaimer in mind that this may or may not work for you or your potential highschoolers...)
1) Stick to a regular schedule, ie. breakfast at roughly the same time each morning, begin studies, work to lunch, eat lunch, complete chores and finish up any school work or projects/labs not completed in the early part of the day
Now in reality this worked really well for my highschoolers as they were efficient enough to finish most of their work before we broke for lunch. There was usually always some stuff to finish up after lunch like Biology labs for Violet and some computer tech projects for Matthias, but most days they were done by lunch.
2) Have a set of yearly goals mapped out with flexibilty built in for adding classes mid-year if desired.
This was especially helpful for us to have the year pretty well mapped out ahead of time, but as our year progressed we decided we wanted to tweak and add in a few extra classes for Violet. She really appreciated being able to work them in to her schedule and they filled in some gaps that we thought were missing for her in the literature and history department.
3) Leave enough time in your day to have discussion time with your highschoolers.
This is HUGE!! These are some of the best years to have really good discussions with your teens. I may have whined about driving to and from Violet's ballet classes everyday, but boy were they a haven for great discussions. We both really appreciated this time together and I know it not only enhanced her learning and understanding of certain aspects of her studies, but it was so beneficial for me to see where she was heading with her thinking and how she totally absorbed certain material, and of course the work that was drudgery. We brainstormed during this time alot as well as to how we could make certain work a little more tolerable :) Ditto with Matthias, I have learned so much from him about computers and tech-y stuff just by chatting with him about it everyday. And of course having him show me all the really cool stuff he can create on his computer - WOW!!!
4) Books, books and more books, more specifically Living Books!!
We really wanted to avoid textbooks for highschool if we could help it and so far we have been very lucky to have scored on some really great living books. I purchased very few texts and if I did it was for Math (Algebra & Geometry) and for Biology, but even then we really only referenced the text occaisionally. We found most of what we needed online or in the library.
I am so grateful to the many highschool and planning oriented posts up at Wildflowers and Marbles. Jen has done a great job of putting together some incredible ideas for planning and scheduling books, etc for highschool (and the lower grades too). If you have an interest in how to schedule books for highschool, check out this pdf here Wildflowers and Marbles (link to scheduling books pdf) or her new site called The Paper Stuff - it's all available for your perusal, and thanks for sharing it all Jen, it's awesome!!
I have also benefitted greatly from the many posts at Harmony Art Mom regarding what has worked for her highschoolers. Do check out her site, not only for great highschool posts, but her art ideas art top notch!!
Well, this did get a teensy bit long-winded. I'll pop up some more ideas and perhaps list a few ideas of what we're planning for this next year (starting up in just a month or so). Thanks for stopping in and please leave a comment or question that you may have or that you'd like to know more about homeschooling highschool! God Bless!