Thursday, 15 August 2019

Don't Change The Method - Homeschooling High School {Not Back to School Blog Hop 2019}

Welcome to day four of the Not Back to School Blog Hop.  I recently realised that I have been home educating for more than two decades and as I was pondering my journey I began to wonder "What would I change if I could go back and do it all again?"



The more I pondered it the more I realised that I would have thought more about the way / method I would use during the high school years. When we first contemplate home education and our children are little we worry about addressing how they will learn to read, write and do math.  Then we spend a long time figuring out how to talk to people about socialisation, and answer questions like:  Are you going to send them to high school?  How do you do this?  Is it legal?

The interesting thing is that once your children reach the teen years society starts to accept that you are going to homeschool through high school and the questions change to: How are you going to get them into university?  How are you going to teach _____________(insert a topic like math, physics, chemistry etc. ) These were all easy to answer for me.

The statements/questions I came unstuck on were things like:  "Your children are in high school, now they need to have their own space/desk and be independent of you." and "When are you going to send them to their rooms to study on their own?"  Among homeschoolers the prevailing question was how to teach/foster independence in high school?

Looking back I realise now that it had taken us a few years to find a rhythm that worked for us, the right resources to teach all the subjects in our curriculum. We were happy and life was good.  I began to feel all this pressure from every direction that what we were doing was wrong and that I needed to change it all because we were now in high school.  I listened to all the well meaning voices.  We found desks, chairs, rearranged bedrooms bought stationary and moved the books to their rooms. 

I was WRONG. Looking back I can see that clearly now.  I wish I could go back and tell my inexperienced self.  DON'T CHANGE A THING - if it is not broken don't try fix it! Learning does not change, once our children know how to learn it does not change.  However IF they are not ready for independence and we push them into it then it derails their journey.

As mom's it's so easy to allow our babies and toddlers to develop and grow at their own pace but when we reach the middle / teen years we start to push our children into the realm of independence by societal standards and not allowing them to organically grow into that independence as and when they are ready, and sometimes we hold on too tightly and don't allow them to become independent (especially when it's our last born).

What I now realise is that the high school years are no different to the primary years.  Take a deep breath and just keep doing what's working.  You know and they know what is working.  The method needs to remain the same but the content changes and becomes deeper.  Your student will discover in themselves the best environment for them to learn in and as home educators we can cater to their growing need.  Independent learning is not isolation.  Sending them to their rooms to learn is isolation and does not foster independence.

I would love to hear about your thoughts on your home education journey in the high school years.

Blessings
Chareen 

More Thoughts on Homeschool High School can be found here: 

There are over thirty home educating mom's participating in this years Not back to School Blog Hop. Grab a cup of tea and take a look through the linky below for some homeschool Encouragement today.

6 comments:

  1. Independent learning is not isolation - what an important truth!! I've not thought about it in those terms, but I agree! As my kids got older and more independent, to a certain extent they gravitated towards learning in their rooms, but I tried not to force that. With my youngest especially - she sometimes preferred being in the same room with me even though she was working entirely on her own.

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    1. I wish I had known the difference. I never thought of them in their rooms as isolation until I looked back. Particularly for one of my students it derailed our education journey as they were not ready for that. I think that organically allowing them the space to do it is far better than making that the new norm.

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  2. Great thoughts, my oldest will be in high school next year and this is really timely for me!

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    1. Thank you. Enjoy the high school years they are a great time to sit and enjoy your child's self discovery.

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  3. Very interesting...our teen has always been used to working alone (he attended public school up till last year) but I definitely won't change the way our younger two our learning - at the table together.

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    1. It's so interesting to watch their prefrences and see what they each gravatate towards.

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