planning for a highschool homeschool yearI have two highschool students homeschooling this year.  Naomi is in year 12, and Daniel in year 9 – but really, in our homeschool that doesn’t mean anything (other than the fact that Nomi may not be homeschooling next year – we’ll see!)

Though each year is slightly different than the year before, our highschool plans are much the same as the year before. I continue with the discipleship homeschool scope and sequence – Relationships, Responsibilities, Personal growth (intrapersonal), Talents and Interests, Academics.

Even at this age, it is still important that we address heart issues: beliefs and relationship issues, before we worry about academics and employment readiness.  We need to assess each child, and make plans that meet them where they are at, not feeling compelled to push them to where they ‘should’ be.   We need to be secure in the fact that we have been diligent in step by step growing our children in the skills and knowledge that they need.  If we feel we have been a little slack, then we take stock, and step forward – at a doable pace.  Rushing through lessons never helps anyone.

My kids have found it helpful to understand that in highschool itself you have a few standard subjects, that everyone needs to take, and then you start specialising according to ability and interest.  We do the same.  Over the years, my four children have diversified in different ways from each other.

  • Joshua majored in history and worldviews
  • Jessica though she studied (and loved history) also maintained a blog, volunteered, learnt music/piano, helped with office work, created a few business like projects, ran a few one-day long kids clubs. Her interests, activities, and focus was varied.
  • Naomi’s focus is very much the arts – art history, drama, painting, making.  Though she is also involved in sport, music/piano and volunteering
  • Daniel is keen on digital media for both communication and art, he also wants to explore woodwork and electronics.

You can see the diversity in these subjects.  They all took (or are taking) math and writing, and though science and history is encouraged these subjects are studied from a different perspective from each other and therefore use different resources/curriculum than each other.

So when it comes to planning we can still create an individualised plan for each of our children, something that blends with our own unique family.  We do not need to copy the schools way of doing highschool (though some homeschooling situations may have to incorporate standard curriculum guidelines etc).

In planning for this year’s studies I have considered:

  • What does each of my children need to grow in their relationship with God, family members and friends?
  • What does each of my children need to grow in being responsible people?
  • What areas in each of my children’s lives, needs specific instruction and encouragement in order to grow and mature?
  • What are the gifts and talents that I see in each of my children, and how am I going to help them blossom this year – what skills do they need to learn or practice?
  • What skills to they need to be independent learners – Not just in the highschool setting, but as adults?
  • What are the gaps in their general knowledge?  What aspects of general knowledge will help them in their specifics fields of interest?  If I was following  curriculum guides (government requirements etc) it is at this stage that I would check what was needed and which aspects we needed to work with.

A few other practical considerations

  • Do they have lessons left from last year’s resources?  We don’t necessarily complete a unit in a calendar year.  We often study less per week than most curriculums are written for, which means we tend to go over into the next year.
  • Are the outside the home commitments that the kids are talking about fit in with their needs, goals and time available?  How are these outside the home commitments going to affect the family? Often these commitments creep up on us and now is a good time to consider them from an intentional perspective and pull out if you need to.
  • Are there areas of need in our family where people outside our family unit may be able to contribute to the training of our children?  People often consider tutors for math or music, but we can also ask for help in terms of technology, sewing, sport, art, science – anything.
  • Do they have enough free time to rest and enjoy, but not too much to waft and be idle?
  • What specific goals do we have as a family this year, and how are my children going to be involved?  Do they need to learn anything to be involved?

By this stage I have a general idea of the subjects that my kids need to (or want to) study or be involved in.  I consider the resources already in our home, or I ask around and see what new resources I need to add for this year’s studies.  This year I’m adding a new Bible study, Geography and Writing resources.  I then put together a study routine – this is a guideline for our best days, something to aim for, something that tells me that all being well we can fit it all in.

Here is our plan for term 1, 2014:

Mornings:

Monday – Tuesday – Wednesday:  Bible Study, Math, Writing, General knowledge

Thursday:  Naomi volunteers with Mainly Music and then will go swimming/exercise

Daniel maintains our yard and then will work on various media studies units

Friday:  Character lessons, Living Math, General knowledge.

Afternoons are more hotch-potch trying to fit everyone’s different activities but we do things like:

Naomi:  Reading, piano lessons/practice, work for pay, drama, Girls Bible study, creative projects, exercise/sport,  Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Daniel: Reading, guitar lessons/practice, work for pay, project time with me (helping me with various projects), productive time developing personal interests, sport/exercise

After lunch on Friday they will have free time – only if they have completed their assignments for the week.  If they are behind then this is the time they need to catch up.

They both have free time – I rarely direct Naomi’s free time, as she understands the importance of using her time wisely and knows the projects she wants to work on.  Daniel is still exploring his interests and needs help so we split his free time into times where he needs to intentionally decide on a project (Productive Free Time) and times where he is free to have screen time or do whatever.

There needs to be a degree of flexibility with our routine because opportunities come up.  There are a few opportunities in the pipeline that may change things.   One of the lessons I have learnt from Joshua and Jessica’s highschool years, is that I have to be more discerning about what life opportunities I let interrupt their planned activities.  As their studies become more finely tuned towards their individual needs, these other opportunities can be distractions, whereas in the primary school years they were a central part to heart training, and developing life skills.  Of course the opportunities may be exactly what we need – that is why I need to be discerning.

It is easy to let the academics of education overwhelm and distract you when your child gets into highschool – it seems like we are running out of time.   We must remember that we are still the parent and as such we have our children’s whole being to shape and guide:  their physical wellbeing, their spiritual, emotional, moral, their life skills as well as their intellectual.   Our plans need to cover all those aspects.

Download your worksheet and start working on your family vision statement.

Get the Family Vision Worksheet

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Individual Education Planning Worksheets - brainstorming every area of your child's life.

Get your Planning Worksheets

I will email you the download link so you can start looking at all the different spheres of your child's life before you make any curriculum choices. 

The download link is on it's way.

Get a copy of the Jelly Bean Story

I will email you a download link.  You can print and share this story with your kids and their friends.

The download link is on it's way.

This parent guide helps parents plan family bible study and use discussion techniques to teach the important lessons.

Bible study Guide for Parents

Guide includes tips, planning worksheet, and discussion prompts. I will email you a download link.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Obedience looks a bit different as our kids grow older. Download this parent/teen discussion guide to understand this issue of obedience in teen years.

Download your Free Discussion Guide

Don't assume your kids are rebelling - instead talk to them about what Obedience looks like now they are older.  I will email you a download link.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download yourCharacter Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download your Character Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

The download link is on it's way.

Over 20 different verbal expressions divided into heart or self control to help parents discern these behaviours.

Download your Cheat Sheet

I will send you the link to download this cheat sheet that will help you discern between a heart attitude and a lack of skill.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

 

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Our children hear different words when we react to when we respond. Do your children hear blah blah blah when you correct them? Includes a parenting poster.

Download Parenting Poster

 

When we Respond instead of React we find a way to deal with the heart not just behaviour.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Free email course -

6 days straight to your inbox!

 

 

Plan a Christmas that touches the heart of your family.

Thank you for being here - you will receive an email shortly.

Make your Christmas a Heart Focus Christmas

Make your Christmas a Heart Focus Christmas

6 Day free email course 

Success! You will receive an email shortly. (You never know which folder emails will land in so keep an eye out for my "Thank you" email.) Stay in touch... Belinda - Live life with your Kids!

Pin It on Pinterest