Friday, January 29, 2016

High School Homeschooling - Not For the Fainthearted

High school. The ultimate adventure - and most terrifying leap - of a homeschool family. Sitting down this summer, Connor and I worked hard to figure out what his freshman year would look like. It looked different every time we talked, and it changed and morphed as the first semester went along. The beauty of this journey is that you can tweak as you go in order to find out what works best for each child. It is a bit more daunting, though, once you have to begin contemplating the dreaded "T" word - transcripts! Aaaaah!!

As for the subjects we chose, here is a list of what made the cut:

Foreign Language - Rosetta Stone Spanish
Logic - All in One Homeschool Foundations
Math - Math U See Geometry
Science - Apologia Biology
History - Our Constitution Rocks!
               Political Science - Are You Liberal? Conservative? Or Confused?
                                             Bluestocking Guide: Political Philosophies
Bible - All in One Homeschool Bible I
English -  Spelling You See
                All in One Homeschool Literature and Composition I
Elective - LCA Yearbook

High School workload - Yikes!

We have always struggled with what to use for Connor's Language Arts, and this year has been no exception. It's been difficult finding anything that he could learn from without being terribly frustrated, therefore making me frustrated, as well. We tried the AIO curriculum, then tried Lifepac, and have finally found some things from Schoolhouse Teachers. I think we will finish the year with what he is using now, which is:
Spelling You See
High School Literature, Schoolhouse Teachers
Daily Grammar, Schoolhouse Teachers

While we are blessed with an amazing co-op that we utilize for some of the meatier subjects, Connor has had a very full schedule and a rigorous work load. He is holding his head up, but he will be the happiest boy ever when summer break finally arrives.

Through one of his co-op classes, Connor has found a new passion in life. And while I should not have been surprised, knowing the strong convictions and opinions of his father, I actually have been. Connor LOVES politics. He has been studying Government at home and Political Science at co-op. Taking these courses simultaneously has really opened his eyes. He has made comments during the evening news, or shared news articles he's read online with me, and he definitely is forming his own opinions and convictions. Kelly and I have had numerous conversations with him about our civil liberties, the strength of our Constitution, and the moral fiber of the men and women striving to be in the coming presidential race. Connor's teacher recently told his wife how much he loves having Connor in his class. He said that he can tell that he knows what he is talking about, and he is not just echoing someone else's ideas. High praise, indeed!  

Geometry has been challenging for him, but I know he has brightened when a concept is made concrete in his brain. I love watching his face when it finally clicks - it's just as fun now as when he was just a little thing learning to read and count!

Biology has been its own monster for him. He loves the labs, and he's done well with his tests here at home...but he failed a certain project, and it has made a big dent in his grade. With the new semester still ahead, and more projects to come, I am certain he will come out with a decent grade in the end.

This is Connor's second year on the LCA Yearbook staff. He has really enjoyed it. The teachers are great, and most of his best friends are on staff with him. Being a staff of mostly wild, hyper teenage boys, I was very impressed with the quality of what they put out last year. I am excited to see this year's final project!

And of course, there has been the additions of what I've reviewed for the TOS Review Crew. Connor participated in our family bible study from Grapevine that covered the Old Testament from Genesis to Job. He also reviewed a Logic book for me from The Critical Thinking Co and loved it!

On top of all that, Connor has kept up with his household chores (mostly), stayed active in his youth group, rejoined Boy Scouts and achieved rank (2nd class), made numerous birthday cakes for friends and family members, and has had a (very) part-time job working horses for a family friend. It's been a trying year, with a lot of lessons learned, and a lot of mistakes and corrections made. But I'm proud of what he's accomplished.

I love this man-child of mine so very much. And I continue to count and savor my days with him, as I know the time is getting short. All too soon, I'll be dropping that hyphen, and a man will be standing before me. Oh, the joy being his mother brings me! He is growing into himself, slowly. Sometimes painfully. With Kelly and I helping as much as possible (and Kelly holding me back many times to let him fall and fail, and pick himself up). God is doing a work in him, and I can't wait to see what He brings forth. I'm humbled by the fact He chose me to help shape him into the man he will become - not to mention shake in my boots to think how very often I've come short of the mark. But not because of me...despite me...God will finish the work. For this I'm thankful.

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