Friday, July 8, 2016

9th Grade and High School Homeschool Lesson Planning ... Getting Ready

It's insane to believe that my oldest is 15 now and hitting 9th grade this fall. Sure, he should be in 10th grade now but we started when he was 5 then slowed down once I started having baby after baby and found myself with limited time and routine skills. "Holding him back" a year wasn't a decision made because he couldn't handle school, but it was my problem, quite honestly. Also, we like to have so much fun around here and do FUN SCHOOL and LIFE LEARNING and even some TRAVEL SCHOOLING and we are all pretty happy with that.

You should see some of the looks I get when people find out I'm planning on homeschooling all my children through high school. They range from amazement and admiration to shock and disdain. Uninformed kids his age sneer and ask him, "Don't you want to go to NORMAL school and be NORMAL?"

Well, for their "normal" school experience, we are heading back to the Catholic coop this year ... one day a week but we get to start about 10:45 and go to 3:15. They get to do 3 classes plus Mass, lunch and recess. They get a yearbook. They get a Christmas and an end-of-year program. It's awesome.

Recently I realized I needed to figure this high school thing out. We didn't want to sign up for virtual school because I heard from several of the teachers and parents that a high school student was doing 40 hours plus of schoolwork per week in that program. That doesn't fit into our idea of school or life. We are not on the fast track to Harvard around here.

So instead of going in totally blind or ordering an expensive pre-packaged curriculum, I am using summer to research and digest information. I sit by the public pool watching my kids play while listening to homeschool podcasts and reading homeschool books. Here are a couple of things I have found so far and I'll share more info as I get it.

Homeschool Highschool Podcast
I started listening to this great podcast on my iPhone called Homeschool Highschool Podcast and am getting some great ideas from it. I feel like you can slack off a little bit and have fun through 8th grade but when it comes to high school you have to get serious. You should have all the basics down (teaching them to read and write and do basic math) and now it's time to really teach them how to think and get some advanced concepts down.

Here's something great from the website 7 Sisters Homeschool that I'm digesting.

I'm also going to sign up my 9th grader for Time4Learning again this fall because it was terrific in teaching Math so that we both understood it and I could help him with it. The cost is minimal ... about $19.95 per month but lower because I have multiple children enrolled in it ... and so even if he just uses it for Math, it's worth it to me. Yes, I know Khan Academy is free, but it isn't as entertaining as this program and doesn't explain it how we need it to be explained.

HSLDA Resource
Also, I got this FREE because I'm a Kindle Unlimited member but you can get it as an ebook for $2.99.

This is the planner I am going to use, but I just found out that our coop is ordering Catholic planners for the junior high and high school kids, so that would take care of two of my kids. This means I could use TWO entire rows in my new planner for each of my other kids instead of cramming each kid into one row and then having one row left for things we maybe all do together such as library trips and field trips. Figuring out the perfect planner situation you'll stick with is hard!

I'd love to hear your ideas as well!

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