February 1, 2007

Highschool Plans

Well, I have been knee deep in planning for my son's high school program. As you may know, we are in love with Ambleside Online and have been using this free CM-inspired curriculum for the past 3 years. My son finds the challenge of reading "good books" engaging and stimulating. The courses are difficult and require him to "think" about his reading and form his own opinions (hooray!)

Planning for high school has been difficult for me since I am not the most organized person. I am really organized, just not in the traditional sense of the word (or how most people do organization -- like on "Mission Organization"). I have struggled with organization for years and while I have a good system for my work (web design), I have really had a hard time figuring out how to do home school. It is not ROCKET SCIENCE by any means and I AM A COLLEGE GRADUATE but it has to be the hardest thing I have ever done. I think it is because it is outside my comfort zone and I have been asked to take full responsibility for my son's education (a daunting task).

Home schooling has been the best choice for our son. Highly gifted, curious and working several grades above his peers, home schooling has allowed him to study and still have time to pursue his own interests. A lot of people still think home schooling ruins or damages children and I still get some criticism, especially when they find out I am planning on teaching high school. I always ask whether or not the person would enjoy doing his/her own thing, choosing which books to read, and never having to give an oral report to a disinterested teacher? I am surprized that for many people, they would still choose traditional high school over the chance to do independent study. Sure, I know there are football players and cheerleaders, drama queens, and band members and I totally support their desire to be a part of a traditional school program. But for many kids, especially those that do not participate in these types of extra-curricular activities, school is a chore, it is boring, and it seems a waste of time. Give them a good book and let them read -- well -- if they can read. That is part of the problem too. To be able to do independent study, you have to know how to read, like to read, and have the desire to read. Not all kids coming out of the public school system are able to do this today.

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