"Do not yield to discouragement in the face of difficulties and do not abandon yourselves to false solutions which often seem the easiest way to overcome problems. Do not be afraid to make a commitment, to face hard work and sacrifice, to choose the paths that demand fidelity and constancy, humility and dedication. Be confident in your youth and its profound desires for happiness, truth, beauty and genuine love! Live fully this time in your life so rich and so full of enthusiasm."
"Let us look with greater hope to the future; let us encourage one another on our journey."
~ Papa Benedict XVI

Tuesday, October 12

Homeschooling in High School

This year we have a new twist to our little homeschool.  We have a high schooler.  When homeschooling at the high school level there is always that big internal debate 'do we enroll with an accredited school or go it alone?'  We opted for the enrollment. 

There are many reasons, the main one being that when a homeschooling father says 'i always toss out any application that says no high school diploma.  I don't have time to find out if they dropped out, have their GED, or were homeschooled.' it makes you think twice.  So we took the plunge. 

We have been homeschooling for over 10 years now (yes, we started at age 3 ...HE ASKED ME TO!) In all those years we have never followed the lesson plans exactly.  That is one of the things i love about homeschooling... you can adjust as needed for each child. But i'm not saying i haven't tried.  Really, I have. I just don't have it in me.  So we enrolled this year...yes i already said that, but it is significant enough to say again.

These last few years i have really looked long and hard into the different Catholic Curricula knowing High School loomed close ahead.  And as we got closer i even consulted with our future HSer as to his opinion on things.  It really helps to make it their own when they have some knowledge of what going on.

We looked at Mother of Divine Grace.  Many families we know switched to that from Seton in the past several years.  Its a good curriculum but a bit too light in some subjects for us.  Then we looked at Kolbe.  What interested us about them was that you have several graduation tracts to choose from depending on where you think you're headed.  We almost went with them.  Da Tall Guy and i discussed it in depth and he felt he would like to do the highest diploma available through them, carrying the most credits.  He plans to go to college. 

But as usual, life does not always go as planned.  You know those times in life when something else just seems the better route suddenly?  When you've made the decision and then the Holy Spirit says 'hey, wait a minute.' Well, that's what we ended up with.  In the past i have looked at Our Lady of Victory and Our Lady of the Rosary but we don't know anyone using either curriculum.  Kolbe was pushing the envelope but i at least had more knowledge of them the OLV or OLR.  But we changed course and thus courses. 

Every year (almost) i attend a homeschool conference.  Every year i see the beautiful books OLV uses.  Many are reprints of old Catholic School books used by our parents.  I am a sucker for books.  So when asked why we went with OLV you may hear my first response, "they have pretty books."  : ) ...But... They are actually pretty tough.  They have one diploma and it is the same amount of credits Kolbe has for their highest credit diploma.  They use wonderful books.  They are very helpful.  You are able to change out up to 2 classes (not including religion.)  We are using a different math - I have very strong feelings concerning Saxon and he is far enough ahead that we wanted a program that would have available to him what he needed throughout his entire high school career.  We are using Math-U-See.  Other then that, we are using everything they have in the lesson plans. 

Now, he is keeping me on my toes being sure i have things graded and the papers ready ....they need to go in every other week. That helps as i am not good about keeping up with those things regularly.  We are very happy with OLV so far - the Holy Spirit strikes again!

For years people warned us about high school.  It will be tough!  How will you teach things like biology, chemistry, geometry, etc?  Guess what!  It is no where as scary as people make it out to be.  NO WHERE NEAR AS SCARY!  I recommend you jump right in.  Having taught your child for 8+ years (if you started at the beginning) gives you a fairly decent idea about what they will need in High School.  But the one big thing i think, is that you really need to have them involved.  Show them what you are looking at for them...and why.  Discuss with them what they are thinking about for after high school.  It does not mean that is exactly what they will do, but it gives you a direction to head in.  Most importantly remember to always listen...to your high schooler, to your heart, to the calling of the Holy Spirit.


Owner of Homeschool Faith and Family Life Website said...

YAY for said high-schooler!
Not sure why "Chemistry" would ever be scary in a house with a Science teacher in existence...but, whatever :)
I remember that very comment from that very homeschooling dad at that very restaurant! You're right...it DOES make you think twice.

My only suggestion would be to look ahead at some of the colleges you THINK said high-schooler might wish to attend and CONTACT them to make sure that OLV is conducive to their requirements and expectations...some colleges are requiring both SAT and ACT from homeschoolers, some are not...some expect diplomas with certain accreditation, some don't, etc...
Just helps to know what you'll be expected to produce when them time comes.
Have fun...and I agree...high school at home is AWESOME!

Katie said...

Good advice. I'll have to try to remember to look back at it in 7 years!

Thanks for your advice on Judy's blog. I definitely want to make sure all the kids are having fun - especially the one who does the schooling, too! I'd love a blog post on all that you do to manage a happy homeschooling household!

allison said...

Katie! Welcome!
maybe i'll repost in 7 years with a more updated opinion! By then we'll have one out and 2 in high school - oh my!

Judy : )
Chemistry is not scary, unless you yourself avoided it in high school ... but yes, dad is always on hand to help if necessary.

So nice to see you both!