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Issue #31 - Thinking outside the box with high schoolers
From Laura's Desk
This year I have my two middle children in high school at home; one is a senior and will be graduating in a few weeks and the other is a junior.
These two are different from their three older siblings. The first three worked through my high school curriculum without a problem. Okay, without a major problem. There were always minor skirmishes, but for the most part they did their work in a timely fashion.
I'm not sure why, but I hit a wall with these other two this year. The classes we had scheduled just didn't seem to be working and I had to make some adjustments to their curriculum in order to get them engaged enough to get the work done. At first I didn't want to do that but then I realized that, hey, we're homeschooling and I can adjust things however I want!
That's when I realized that thinking outside the box isn't such a bad idea. For example, my senior girl is interested in interior decorating but the books we were finding just weren't
getting her anywhere. Finally it dawned on me that we should make this a more hands-on course, so I found some video tutorials for her to watch and then had her pick a room in the house that she wanted to remodel. She picked the kids' bathroom (which really did need some updating) and went to work. She worked with my husband on some of the things, but made all of the decisions herself. They painted, redid the trim work, took out the medicine cabinet and replaced it with a new one and installed a new light fixture. Then we went and picked out new accessories and towels.
It turned out great and she got a lot of good experience from it. I'll be posting pictures on my
Catholic Homeschooling Resources Facebook Page
next week Tuesday, so make sure to check in there so you can see what she did. I think doing things this way made for much better learning than trying to find a good book.
My son, who is the junior, loves to do research but hates to do much else. He's also into his garden, so I'm adding some credits in agriculture to his transcript because of how much time he spent researching gardening and then actually doing the work. He also is fascinated with the Byzantine right so there will be a credit in Eastern Religions on his transcript, too.
That's the beauty of homeschooling. As much as we might find it easier if everyone just conformed to our plan, we know that in the long run, it's better if we adjust things so that real learning takes place instead of just "finishing the book".
Have you had do to this with any of your high schoolers? I'd love to hear some of the creative ways you got your kids to learn. Email me at laura@catholic-
homeschooling-resources.com and share them with me so I can share them with others. We all can learn from each other, so let me hear from you!
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Until next time, may God Bless you abundantly!