Finishing Strong- Homeschooling Middle & High School Years Week 26

Welcome!

Finishing Strong ~ Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years #26

Today we’re highlighting the non-core subjects – electives.

Electives can be so much fun. They are not only needed for high school transcripts, but they are also a great way for older students to learn more about subjects that interest them. By going beyond math and language arts, teens can gain a lot of insight into their passions and may even get a glimpse into what they’d like their future to look like.

Do you write about homeschooling the older grades? Make sure to share your posts with us below.

Discovering Passions Through Electives

Video Making – Our Homemade Elective! by BJ’s Homeschool

7 Ways to Teach Logic on the Sly by Classically Homeschooling

Homeschool High School with Online Psychology Course: Get Inside Their Mind by Education Possible

Photography as a High School Elective by Starts at Eight

What about those Extracurricular Activities – What role do they play in your teen’s life? by Sweetness & Light

Helping Kids Explore Their Interests When You Don’t Have a Clue by Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Next week we’re going to feature another one of our co-hosts – Kyle from Aspired Living.

Don’t forget to check out all of the co-hostsAspired Living, Blog She Wrote, Education Possible, EvaVarga, Milk and Cookies, Starts at Eight, and Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus.

Bloggers, by linking up, you may be featured on our co-hosts’ social media pages or our Pinterest board. We may even select you to be featured in a future post!

Guidelines for the hop:

  1. Link up to 3 posts from your blog. Make sure you use the exact URL to the post, not to your home page. You can add any post related to homeschooling middle and high school students. Posts unrelated to that will be removed.
  2. Please no advertising, individual Pinterest pins, Facebook, Twitter, or other link-up links!
  3. Grab our button to add to your post after you link it up. Each week we will be choosing our favorite posts to highlight on all 7 sites. If you were featured, make sure you add an “I was featured” button.
  4. The linky will go live on each co-host’s blog each Wednesday at 6am EST, and will be live until Tuesday at 11:55 pm.

Share the love.

Add our button to your post.

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Was your post featured?

Grab an “I was featured” button!

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

We love people who SHARE WITH US!

*By linking up, you agree for us to share your images, always with credit!

So tell us, what have you been up to?

Add your best posts that focus on homeschooling middle & high school students. Share your ideas, unique learning approaches, encouragement, and more.
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How to Implement an Independent & Authentic Learning Homeschool Day

Blog, She Wrote: How to Implement an Independent & Authentic Learning Homeschool Day

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

It’s just about time for a new homeschool academic year. In fact, as you are reading this, we are beginning with our first day back. We like to have a slow start to our full load, so we begin a week before public school convenes. Over the years our homeschool “schedule” has changed quite a lot. How do we work in all of the academic and project work for multiple ages in our homeschool? Here are some thoughts on How to Implement an Independent & Authentic Learning Homeschool Day.

How Our Homeschool Routine Has Evolved

When our children were all younger and working on basic skills, we sat down together and worked at our table. We would begin our day with our unit study, working together, and move toward independent work based on their skill level. Some years we did the opposite. We began with individual skills and moved to unit study work.

Now that our children are older, there is a lot more independent work in our homeschool days. Along with more skills, comes more independence and these days you can find our students engaged throughout the day in various aspects of their own work.

As your students change and grow, so will your homeschool routine.

Instructional Time During Our Day

There are still moments in our day when I am involved in direct instruction- either for my 4th grader or for some elements of our middle and high schooler’s courses. Here are a few examples:

  • High School Science- Our high schoolers read the text on their own and do their assignments. If they are confused by a concept, they search out answers on their own from the text or online videos before seeking me out. The idea is not to spoon feed their instruction, but to encourage them to find their own answers and then discuss the concept with us.
  • Math- As you may know, we use Life of Fred in our homeschool. The books are written to the student, but depending on the age of our kids I may sit with them and hear them read the chapter to me before answering this questions at the end. If there is trouble with a concept, then I will also step in to clear up misunderstandings.

Learning Together During Our Homeschool Day

Of course, being a unit study family for many years and still today, we love to learn together with all ages. We come together on a few things whenever we can:

  • Fred Math- With all of our students immersed in Fred’s world, there is always something to discuss about Fred at the dinner table. We can engage about Fred any time, but often he comes up at dinner where our kids share what they’ve been working on.
  • Geography- We are using NorthStar Geography this year and while our two high schoolers will earn a credit, our younger boys will join in when they can.
  • Read Aloud Time- We love to hear stories together. Often times I have my teens read to us and my 11th grader loves to read to me! Reading aloud is a great way to begin your homeschool day and to get started and focused again after lunch. The benefits of building this time into your schedule are numerous.
  • Earth Science- This year we’ll be tackling earth science as a family. The younger boys (4th & 7th grades) will be studying earth science with their Adventures in the Sea & Sky curriculum while the high schoolers will be following the course set by CK12 Earth Science for High School. You might like to read more about our curriculum choices for 2014-2015 if you missed it earlier this month.

I’m excited to see how the kids will collaborate with one another this year.

Leaving Time for Discussion in Your Homeschool Day

Not only do your students need direct instruction when they are younger, you’ll find they need lots of discussion time as they get older. Your discussions can be on many topics and take many forms, but here are a few examples from our homeschool.

  • Discuss Academic Topics- anything from the book they are reading to thoughts on a historical moment.
  • Talk about Books- Book discussions are an excellent way to increase communication with your teens! If you want an easy way to talk with your students, discuss books together. That means you need to read them too!
  • Mentoring- Guiding our students as they get older and no longer need our direct instruction all of the time.
  • Consulting- I’m always available to our kids as they work on their projects. They can consult with me on how things are going and I can encourage them in their work. This is part of keeping the work going and moving in a forward direction!

As your children grow, you’ll find they need a teacher less and a mentor more. I’ve written a chapter on this topic for The Big Book of Homeschooling Ideas. If you purchase a copy, you’ll find a host of tips on how to make the transition from a teacher to a mentor.

Project Time as Part of a Homeschool Day

No homeschool day is complete at our house without project time. Each of our students has a Project Workspace where they can leave out their work and spend a lot of time working and researching. Project time might include things like:

  • Following a tutorial
  • Learning a new computer programming language by reading and testing it
  • Designing a new model rocket or custom mini-fig
  • Pinning a new insect
  • Drafting a fashion design
  • Reading & Researching on a topic
  • Building a machine like a catapult
  • Testing a hypothesis
  • Writing to add to stories and novels
  • Attending seminars and workshops related to an area of study
  • Collaborating with each other on progress

All of these are born out of their interest in a topic & represent the amount of time we’ve poured into these interests. Much of our homeschool day is wrapped up in project time. This is the time when I get to be a mentor and consultant and listen and encourage their efforts.

Blog, She Wrote: Ten Things that Make a Great Homeschool Day

Allow Room for Making Adjustments to Your Homeschool Day

For all of these ideas that work well, we’ve tried some which haven’t worked so well. You might find that a student you thought could work well independently doesn’t. Working with a more flexible routine is a double-edged sword. What makes it so appealing is also the thing that can go the most wrong!

Working consistently and experiencing forward progress in their endeavors is key. If you aren’t seeing it in your homeschool, then perhaps it is time for an adjustment. It could be a small adjustment to the schedule or it could mean rethinking your approach to the schedule all together.

How do we gauge if our routine is working? That’s a question easily answered with Ten Things that Make a Great Homeschool Day.

Other iHN bloggers are sharing their Day in the Life posts. Visit them for more encouragement as you begin a new homeschool year!

nbtsbloghopcalendar2014The Big Book of Homeschooling Ideas is on sale now. If you’d like to read more about how to transition from an instructor to a mentor for your children and teens, be sure to purchase your own copy.

Big-Book-promo-3

 

Finishing Strong- Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years Week 25

Welcome to Finishing Strong!

Finishing Strong ~ Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years #25

Today we’re featuring a few of the best posts about homeschooling high school that you have shared with us over the summer.

Homeschooling high school can be a daunting thought for many families. But as you’ll see from these posts, it isn’t as scary as you may think. In fact, it can be quite fun! We’re always grateful for the ideas and inspiration that you share with us every week relating to schooling our teens at home. It reminds us that none of us is alone in this journey.

We would love to hear about your high school, so if you have any posts related to homeschooling the older grades, please share them below, as well as any of your favorite middle school posts.

Homeschooling High School

Our Steps to College – What about Curriculum? from BJ’s Homeschool

Senior Year: It’s Time to Panic! from Classically Homeschooling

High School Homeschool Curriculum Choices from Hodgepodge

10 Things I Wish Someone Told Me About Parenting a Teenager from Middle Way Mom

Why Take a CLEP Exam? from Starts at Eight

Discussion is Key to Success in High School from Sweetness & Light

Next week we’re going to feature some of our favorite posts about the non-core subjects – electives.

Don’t forget to check out all of the co-hostsAspired Living, Blog She Wrote, Education Possible, EvaVarga, Milk and Cookies, Starts at Eight, and Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus.

Bloggers, by linking up, you may be featured on our co-hosts’ social media pages or our Pinterest board. We may even select you to be featured in a future post!

Guidelines for the hop:

  1. Link up to 3 posts from your blog. Make sure you use the exact URL to the post, not to your home page. You can add any post related to homeschooling middle and high school students. Posts unrelated to that will be removed.
  2. Please no advertising, individual Pinterest pins, Facebook, Twitter, or other link-up links!
  3. Grab our button to add to your post after you link it up. Each week we will be choosing our favorite posts to highlight on all 7 sites. If you were featured, make sure you add an “I was featured” button.
  4. The linky will go live on each co-host’s blog each Wednesday at 6am EST, and will be live until Tuesday at 11:55 pm.

Share the love.

Add our button to your post.

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Was your post featured?

Grab an “I was featured” button!

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

We love people who SHARE WITH US!

*By linking up, you agree for us to share your images, always with credit!

So tell us, what have you been up to?

Add your best posts that focus on homeschooling middle & high school students. Share your ideas, unique learning approaches, encouragement, and more.
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