Wednesday 25 November 2015

Can you fit it ALL in during the High School Years? {Homeschool Highschool}

Another month has disappeared and there are many new things on the horizon.  It feels the same way when you are homeschooling your children and suddenly you wake up one morning and realize that you are now in the High School years in your Home School.

All of a sudden many mothers start asking themselves: How am I going to fit it all in ? Oh dear how am I going to homeschool high school alongside homeschooling the others? Fostering Independence...?  What sort of schedule do I need ? Let's tackle each of these questions...

1. How am I going to fit it all in ?

I think that the question that needs to be asked is:  "What exactly is it all?" and once you have the answer to that you need to ask yourself: "Why do you need to do what's on the list?"

A while back when I wrote a guest post titled: Be True to Yourself I realised that one of the things I tended to do as a home school Mom was to add to my home school all the wonderful new things that everyone else seems to be doing.  Each day of our home school day became so heavy as I was trying to live our home school life in the same manor that everyone else was ...  We were trying to make our day a carbon copy of 20 other families home school days and it was physically impossible.

In reality you need to find the perfect fit for who you and your children are and run with that.  Stop trying to add everyone elses 'perfect day' to your day.  You need to stay TRUE to YOURSELF and homeschool according to whom you and your children are.

2. How am I going to home school high school alongside homeschooling the others? 

The answer to this question is as varied as families are different from one another.  What works for one family may not work for yours.  When Nathaniel was a toddler and I had two high school students I found the secret for our success was flexibility.  What ever worked this week I knew may not work next week.  The reason for this is simple: every week your children grow and every week their needs are slightly different.
I found the best was to keep a flexible schedule that followed a similar rhythm and tweak it as the need arose.  If one of my high schoolers needed extra coaching the other took time to play with Nathaniel and keep him busy.  If he was having a grouchy day I waited till nap time before we did any read alouds. 

3. Fostering Independence...? 

 This is a question that is actually a delicate one.  Allowing too much independence too soon is just as dangerous as not allowing enough independence later on.  It is a tightrope act that each family needs walk independently (pardon the pun...)
Looking back over our choices I have one caution:  It is something to consider seriously when allowing your students opportunities to tackle tertiary studies at a young age.  My first two attended colleges/universtiy at young ages and each one faced challenges that stretched them each in both good and bad ways. Before sending young students to attend tertiary classes be sure to 'count the cost'.  I am not speaking about financial cost. The cost I'm referring to is the cost of their youth.  Once they are cast into the adult world there is no turning back the clock. There is the huge cost of TIME once they are there.  The time it takes to commute. The time that it takes to do home work. The time it will cost to your family is a lot bigger than you know. Be sure to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages to allowing a young student to attend tertiary studies at too young an age.

Remember that just because your students are in their teens it does not mean they now need to be shut up in a room by themselves! After all you home educate so that you can be together as a family.  So keep learning together. Independence is NOT isolation.

At the same time be sensitive to your child's learning styles.  Some times they may need to work by themselves and sometimes they may need to be together with the family to be supported in more difficult learning.  The key here is to be flexible in your approach and do what works for your student.  Create a space to encourage success whether it be the dinning table alongside the whole family or a desk in a quiet space.  For that matter you could have both! 

4. What sort of schedule do I need ?

Looking back at our high school years one of my biggest regrets was changing up things too much.  I feel that when we did this we lost a lot of our joy and our energy.   My motto now is: Why fix what's not broken?  If you have a schedule that is working keep it.  Tweek it slightly to accommodate new studies but keep the foundations the same and enjoy the journey.

I would love to read your thoughts on Fitting it all in, in high school please leave a link to your post in the comments.


A Note from my daughter Jane
Visiting London.
Homeschooling when you hit high school is NOT as daunting or scary as it may seem. In fact, I'll let you in on a little secret. It's just the SAME as it was yesterday. You're just changing some of your learning material and there might be a little more work load than there was before. But to be honest, it's all a lot more fun!

You're going to have days where it might feel like the work load is bigger than you, but you will also have days where it feels like a breeze. I've never used a calendar in my life and I also never struggled to fit schooling time in if I sat down and actually did it. Although, if you're more organized than me, a workload diary could be a good option to keep in mind! I always found ample time for extra-curricular activities and ALWAYS time to read a good book with some tea! Which, let's be honest. Should be a PRIORITY in your day.

~ Homeschooling High school mixed with Junior Homeschooling~
 Having younger siblings isn't something to worry about at all! I found often it was good to set a routine for the younger child(ren) each day with their play time and during that time I would address my subjects that needed extra attention.

Don't forget, you're allowed to have days off and go on an adventure... even in high school home school

Jane is currently on a world wide travel adventure and you can follow along on Instagram.  She was home educated from Kindy {preschool} to High School.  Graduated at 16 with a Cert III in Children's Services and a Cert III in Retail, an RSA certification, First Aid certification and Anaphylaxis certification.  Last year she completed a Cert IV in Human Resources in preparation to enter the secretarial work force.  She has been working full time since 2012.

Read more on How to Fit it ALL in while educating in the high school years:

    Home School High School Topics

    Over the next few months we will be sharing some insights into the following aspects of home educating through the high school years
    • Planning for High School {How and When,ways to/how we're planning to earn college credit while still in high school, Meeting High School Requirements, how to assign credit when there aren't tests, What records do you keep? How do you present them? What influences your method, your emphasis in certain areas?}
    • Electives in the High School Years {Following Passions, following interests, fitting a job in with school, and Being intentional in Preparing for what comes after high school, Life skills.}
    • Math, Science, Biology, History {What do you use ? Why do you use ... ? What influences your choices/selection? }
    • 30 September - Language Arts {Poetry, Literature, Composition, writing, What influenced your choices/selection?}
    • "How am I going to teach High School ...?" {Addressing the fear factor of teaching subjects we struggle with or know nothing about, How to achieve credit in subjects your student *hates*}
    • How do you fit it all in ? {homeschooling high school alongside homeschooling the others, Fostering Independence, Do you generalize or specialize? Schedules,}
    • 30 December - Graduation { Fostering Independence, How do you know when they are done ?}
    Until next month.  Happy blog hopping

    1 comment:

    1. I love your reminder that independence does NOT mean isolation!! Something very important to remember!


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