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I love that you mentioned that the teens should be learning, not that we should be teaching them. I think that's what colleges and universities like about a homeschooled kid--that they are self-starters. Our children are learning to learn on their own, without us having to push them.
My oldest is learning his physical science on his own. I'm not holding his hand or reading to him. He is responsible for learning the content. I love that his siblings are seeing that, too.
Even my youngest, who is 6 years old, is loving to learn to read. That will take her a long way to learn other content.
To add another note. He contacted the companies on his own when he had trouble. He even found an error in a curriculum book that he pointed out to the writer when he called them!
We just graduated our oldest yesterday! Starting with the Apologia's Exploring Creation with General Science (7th) and then Physical Science (8th) and probably Biology too, I printed a schedule for him that was available on a website. (Am I allowed to share that here Lee?) I believe that with Chemistry (10th), followed by Physics (11th), and Human Biology (12th),he had a flow for the courses and devised his own schedule (in his head. My son is VERY organized. This was true for all of his courses. Junior high might have been laid out for him (by me, but as high school progressed, he developed his own schedule and I just did the corrections! He is on his way to college!!!!
I can attest to the fact that allowing kids to teach themselves is the best way to go. My oldest is now in her 3rd year at college (but registered as a senior as her AP credits put her a year ahead) and she has had no trouble at all doing a pretty tough honors program. I grade my kids work to make sure they are doing everything correctly and to make sure they keep on target (boys are not so good at keeping to a schedule!) but my kids do study alone. When they are stuck with a subject my husband or I can help with, they ask us. Otherwise they google for answers,look for Youtube videos (there are some great Advanced Physics ones) or ask someone who knows the subject. This process of figuring out things they don't understand is essential to their being able to continue educating themselves as they continue their adult lives.
My daughter is a junior this year. This is our second year of homeschooling. She asked me last week if she could start the year yesterday! And, she did. She gave me her input on lesson plans, and she decided to try a subject a day appro...ach. We will try it for 4 weeks to see how it goes. She finished her Anatomy and Physiology yesterday (2 chapters with tests - 100 on both tests) and has finished one chapter of Algebra II this a.m. with 100 on that test! She is working on the second chapter now. She has set up a system that works for her - I am so proud! It is so much better than pouring information into her brain and having her regurgitate it. She has found the best way for her to LEARN! Oh, and she has a severe case of ADD. Homeschooling is one of the best decisions we have ever made!
How did they teach themselves Biology? Did they do dissections and was it a lab course? I am planning to teach them Apologia Biology this year, but it's the one subject I didn't think they could teach themselves, even though they're waaay more gifted in science than I am. Did you just give them the book and a schedule and let them go for it? I would really love to know, as I'm feeling very intimidated by the time requirements of Biology! Thanks so much!