Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Homeschooling Thoughts Lately

High school homeschool studies take the most effort of anything our family has done. We are attempting to be thorough and to go deep with the studies and that takes time and effort.

When kids grow older they stop doing cute things, the type of stuff that mommy bloggers share. They start acting like young adults. Some stuff is annoying teenage behavior and other times the behavior is good, mature, and young-adult-ish. This does not provide fodder for blogging.

My 11 and 3/4'ers year old son is mature, and always has been. He is starting to have some of those teenage behaviors like wanting to be grown up, wanting to look cool, to wear the right thing, and not wanting to be seen hugging Mom in public. He is self-conscious about what he says and does so he's acting in mature ways which don't provide blogging material. I feel like I have two teens in the house. He also is "ahead" of typical grade level material and finds learning very easy so anything I throw at him is done quickly with ease. What he's experiencing and doing is not what my older son was doing in grade six. I feel like he is older than he really is.

We are busy with studying in our family. I can clearly see pros and cons to homeschooling and schooling. Knowing the pitfalls of homeschooling has taken away some of my pleasure in standing on a soapbox preaching how fantastic homeschooling is.

I don't really feel like I have much new to say at this point, after seven years of blogging. Rather than report in to say that we're studying hard over here and boring you with the same stuff I'll just keep quiet or will blog about other topics.

Just know that we're busy learning here and that it takes time and energy and it doesn't always provide interesting blog material so I don't always have something new or interesting to blog about. Other times I'm so busy homeschooling and parenting and running a household that I don't have time to blog something profound.

Repeating things that happen in the course of typical learning are:

Something the kids learned before, they forgot, and have to re-learn.

One thing after another is challenging to learn so they push through and get it done.

Learning new things can be hard or uncomfortable and requires persistence and determination while griping and complaining.

Something suddenly clicks and seems easy and the learner asks why they had a problem with it in the first place.

Learner questions why our society feels they must learn X, Y, and Z and tries to rebel against it.

Learner wants to continue learning about their favorite subjects and keeps trying to avoid learning the less interesting and more challenging material.

Learner thinks they've learned enough of something but our society feels a thorough study goes from A to Z not A to M.

Learner thinks that textbook is boring and cannot understand why anyone would publish such a thing. Asks why textbooks aren't more exciting with better writing.

Learner asks what the point of short term memorization is if they are just going to forget it after a test is taken.

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I do not have all the answers and the answers I do have do not always jive with what the American education system believes. In these high school years we are playing more of the school game than ever before. With an eye toward college admissions it's time to play the school game and jump through their hoops in order to qualify to attend college and to pass standardized tests that they require.

The relaxed alternative education methods used in the earlier years are used less today. My challenge is to somehow meld the traditional school way with some interesting stuff so my kids don't learn to hate learning in the process of doing their homeschooling. The problem is it is hard to get all the basics done in a thorough manner when hoop jumping and to do more work to make the learning experience more meaningful and fun, it is like doing double work.

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Related post: BIC

2 comments:

Tracey said...

I agree that blogging about homeschooling high school is more challenging. (You don't have as much of the lapbooking and project pictures, etc.) In my case (I currently have two in high school) I have found that my older kids have not only taken over much of their own learning, but some of the blogging as well. Both of my daughters started writing posts on my home ed blog, and now the oldest has her own blog. I know that homeschool Moms love to share their thoughts and ideas, but I think it can also be very enlightening to hear from the homeschool teen's perspective.

KC said...

Thanks for posting this! I have a 12yo 6th grader (girl) and her school is definitely 'harder' this year and more 'boring' to talk about.