Child, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend

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I love the Lord as much as a broken person can; love and loved by my husband; blessed by 5 amazing little people who have helped me to learn much about me; grateful to serve even more as God gives them to me; blessed every day to be a home school teacher; college student; I hope to change the world by loving as many people as possible, because there is nothing greater than loving another.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Some things I'm learning about teaching high school

Poor Rockin' Out Guitar Dude. Being the first of the Gang to home school has its disadvantages; particularly when your mom kinda freaks out and dives into classical education just before middle school. Poor kid got flooded with lots of catch up work over the past few years. We're just now wrapping that up.

While he pays for my mistakes (again, poor kid), he also remains my guinea pig as I continue to grow as a teacher and therefore, together we enter, High School: The Final Frontier. Lesson learned over the past couple of weeks: high school is better taught in large chunks (subject matter and time), removing all the tiny little pieces. Translated, drop all the little twenty minutes here, twenty minutes there, and start to narrow your annual focus. That is a tough call for someone who wants to get it all done (read my former post ;) and Know I do know better, I'm just floundering a bit to get in the right groove).

Next lesson: add to the "smaller focus" the thought: you have 4 years of high school to work through a pace correct for each student and don't fret so much about affording college. Did I just say "college" and "don't fret" in the same sentence! Oh my! I must be growing! I've been under self-imposed pressure to get them ready for college by grade 10, allowing them to take their first college class their sophomore year and graduate with an Associates and High School diploma simultaneously. That is a possibility still, but I (again) lost focus on the import of individual education and was so looking forward, that I was just about to miss what happening today. As is the case with many most home educators, I'm a planner, planner, planner and I revise my long term plan each year (hint: this means I've had a long term plan since ROGD was in about 4th grade). I'm just now learning to teach in the now and then reaccess what he needs when he needs it and not in my own timeline. In short, he is who God made him to be and I need to honor that and  not try and make him what I want him to be.

It's a tough lesson. I'm certain to louse it up again, perhaps several more times, but the seed is planted and I have made a few more changes in his schedule to do just the things I am certain the Lord has shown me, including:
  1. Stop stressing about college to come and instead stress focus on high school ;)
  2. Drop vocabulary...we are studying Latin -- the language that produces over 60% of English vocabulary and use amazing history and using a great writing program...we don't need vocab. too.
  3. Cut back on science reading, i.e. reducing living books for him, b/c he doesn't learn best this way AND he is most likely not entering a science field (science will get enough attention to suffice state standards). We will read all the living books planned about Evolution, though. I gotta prepare him to defend his faith.
  4. Spend plenty of time on math. The kid loves it and I need to make sure that doesn't change.
  5. Focus history on battles. The kid was also born to be a military person. It suits him in every way I can imagine (shrieks his mother).
  6. Give him plenty of time for music...his other love. 
  7. Dropping Logic after Dec. until next year, at which time he'll finish with Writing as a deep instruction subject area and will switch to assignments coinciding with other areas of learning only (he's doubling on writing right now).
This is going to work and makes a much more manageable day for my really smart, turtlelike son. He'll be able to still get excellence in education, but work at a comfortable pace, without beating himself up for always lagging behind, nor will I beat him up for the same. We will get through this and when we get to the other side he will be well educated AND most importantly, we will like each other still. I love my boy and my labor of love is my living sacrifice unto the Lord. I am so grateful for his guidance and the support of the Hive. They made a difference in my home schooling this year so.very.much. If he doesn't start SPC for a few years -- SO BE IT. SO BE IT. SO BE IT. I need to keep practicing that mantra. *I* still need some work.

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