Wednesday, March 23, 2011

High School Homeschooling

Right now it's on the table with my family whether we're going to homeschool my son for High School. I tried to contain myself. I've tried pacing myself. I've tried just gathering information and thinking, but I think I've gone overboard with planning.

I think that homeschooling should be about what's right for a particular student. As excited as I am about homeschooling my son, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be the right choice for my daughter. Well, it might be the right academic decision for her, but socially it wouldn't be. She values her friendships, makes friends easily, and her friendships are a big part of what gets her to her school every day. It's not like that for my son; for him it's quite the opposite.

So I've been hard at thought about what my son's needs are. He absolutely does need to socialize and he needs to make and keep friends. But I think he'll be more successful with socializing when it's completely unhinged from his academics, this way he doesn't necessarily see the same people every day and the people he socializes with are not the ones he's "locked into a class with" all day. He can easily socialize daily as long as the situation is more natural than a school environment.

My son has an intrinsic need to be a "know it all" and to argue with the teachers in school. This has made him unpopular with the children and to a lesser degree the teachers, only a few of whom seem to be at wits end with my son's calling-out and interruptions. I'm going to have to manage the questioning and harping as best I can, and celebrate it for what it really is: He really wants to fully engage with the work. Fact is, this level of engagement with the subject and the teacher is not tolerated in the usual public school environment. When there's a strict curriculum and a set number of topics to cover before the rigorous state-mandated tests, there's no time for arguing. So in a homeschool environment, I'm at leisure to say "Well, I'm not sure. Why don't you do a little research and find out so we can discuss it?" This either will discourage the questions OR, I hope, give him incentive to do the research and have a discussion rather than an argument on the topic.

Homeschooling is such an involved topic. I think I've exhausted my close family's tolerance for my babble, so I'm going to discuss my thoughts in this blog. Thoughts on curriculum, tailoring subjects to a specific child's needs, High School needs and so-called requirements, software, books, etc. that I come across -- and even some tools I've created based on the research I've been doing. So more to come later....

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