Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Help! How Do I Fit It All In?!

Even though I have graduated two already, and number 3 is about one-third of the way through high school now, I still am asking myself, "How do I fit it all in?!"

By the time my children reach high school age, I figure they should be able to be independent learners, for the most part. If I "did my job" properly while they were at the elementary/middle school levels, I taught them to love learning. Still, I'm here, if they have questions or need assistance with anything. Aside from that, I provided an outline, or list, of what I wanted them to cover during their high school years. Some of it has been the same for all three of my high schoolers; some of it has been specialized for each individual.

For example, they all have to cover the basics: math, English, history and science. How they do that, was individualized, as far as resources used, etc.

So, first step: Decide what has to be covered. Some colleges/universities require 4 years of math, for example, and some only 3. Some require 3 or 4 years of science, some only 2.

Second step: With your student, write up your "game plan," what subjects will be covered which year, and maybe even decide together what resources you will use. Also, decide together what extra curricular activities you may wish to include. Will your student have a part time job to work around? Will your student do dual enrollment at a community college at any point?

Third step: Together fill in the calendar, or student planner. Teach your student to fill in the deadlines, etc. I think this is where I may have failed, to some degree, with my oldest. My daughter, though, seems to be naturally inclined to journal and fill in calendars, etc. This serves her well now; she writes her work schedule on a calendar, so her grandparents (with whom she is currently living) will know what her schedule is. Botanist Boy does plan to attend college, so now is the time to be teaching him how to closely manage his time.

Fourth step: On that calendar, you will also want to fill in any extras, like co-ops, field trips, music lessons...and the student's work schedule, if he/she does have a job. Also, if your student will be taking tests, such as PSAT, SAT, ACT, you'll want to write those dates in.

This will give your student a greater sense of independence.

What if your student has younger siblings? Well, this is one of the reasons you're encouraging independence: so you are able to devote the extra time the younger children demand. Still there is plenty that can be done together as a family, which is one reason I like unit studies so well. And I read aloud to the children. Jen sat in on a lot of the books I read aloud to the boys. And now I am reading several books aloud to both boys, especially related to history.

I feel like I am beginning to ramble, so maybe I better end here. Next month we will be discussing graduation. Please come back then.

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