Saturday, September 5, 2015

Week Ending 6 September 2015

One of the questions I'm often asked is "What does homeschooling a teen actually look like?" Of course there are as many different answers to that as there are homeschoolers - more actually because it often varies child to child, year to year. For us at least homeschooling a teen currently looks like this.

There are textbooks and workbooks. Some of these we use as designed but with modifications . We've only ever done half the problems in a Saxon lesson despite the dire warnings that it is essential to do every problem in every lesson. Others we use as references or just select the sections that we want or need. We are just taking a section on electricity from the science worktext but the Latin text has been mostly used as is.

There is  plenty of time spent on the computer.

MOOCs have been a wonderful addition to our homeschool. Here Miss 14 is viewing a lesson on Mozart from Yale University's Introduction to Classical Music.

Online games have been a great help in memorising all the countries of the world as part of a geography course.

There is lots of reading both for work (Whale Rider is the last selection in our self-designed World Literature course) and for pleasure.

Crucially, there is plenty of time for the following of passions. Birding is one of Miss 14's great loves. This week we went out counting shorebirds plus others as part of a Global Shorebird Count to mark World Shorebirds Day. The sunroof means our car makes a great bird hide on occasions! We also attended the monthly meeting of our birding group where we listened to an interesting talk on the work that is being done to assist breeding Australasian Grebes which have recently begun nesting in lowland lakes and rivers, when previously they only nested on high country lakes. And Miss 14 finally published the latest edition of our group's newsletter.

Her other great love is trampolining. She trains and coaches, and due to  picking
up a couple of extra shifts this week we were at the gym six day this week. Normally is is just four days which suits me better! The video above is from last year's National Championships. This year's event is just a few short weeks away

For the last few weeks we've been keeping an eye on a pair of Spur-winged Plovers that have been nesting in an empty lot that we drive past on our way to her gym. On Saturday we were delighted to see a small chick scurrying around.

Homeschooling teens can  be a lot less hands-on than homeschooling younger children. They can actually do virtually all the work themselves - and sometimes insist on doing so. I could certainly leave Miss 14 at home for the day and expect that she would complete all her work. However, I don't necessarily think this is good for her so I do try to keep involved - beyond just helping out with problem areas, checking work and the like. This year I've opted to read all her World Literature novels so that we can discuss them together.  I also work with her on her Latin vocabulary rather than have her use online tools and I've been mostly keeping up with her geography course as well. Birding has become a shared interest and of course my driving abilities are in hot demand. Still I do have a lot more spare time than earlier in my homeschooling career. Last month alone I was able to read 14 books including Go Set a Watchman (I'm not a fan and didn't expect to be but I had to read it and decide for myself), Club George (which fuelled my desire to go birding in Central Park) and The Fellowship of the Ring (somehow I've managed to get this far through life without reading the Lord of the Rings).

Linking up to the Weekly Wrap-Up over at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

1 comment:

  1. My oldest is 12, in 7th grade, and I was shocked how independent she is this year! She basically does all of her work by herself, and is doing an amazing job at it! I do miss the time we used to spend together, so I may try getting involved in one or two of her subjects.