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Homeschooling Curriculum - Is there such a thing as too much homeschooling?

A homeschool parents asked me how much is TOO much. Here is our email conversation.

>>> Here's her schedule, tell me what would you do? At co-op she takes volleyball, speech, creative writing, newsletter, Peacemakers (the teacher is going through the book sort of like a Bible Study). She has a speech due at least every 2 weeks and for creative writing she is working on a novel and she has to critique everyone else's writing every week. She has to turn in all her revisions every week to her creative writing teacher. This is very time consuming, but she loves it a lot.>>>>>

My Response: PE is important, but speech, creative writing, and newsletter are all 3 basically an English credit. English credits that are requiring a lot of work. It's OK to have too many of one kind of high school credit (good in fact) but it has to be balanced with the need for other subjects.

>>>> Tuesday: Community college: she leaves the house about 10:30 am and returns home about 1:00 pm. She is taking Spanish there 2 days a week.<<<

Spanish is good, and colleges usually require 2-3 years of foreign language. But community colleges pack one year of high school foreign language into just 4-5 months of school! That makes it three times as much work as a high school class. Again, that's do-able, but you have to make sure she balances that with her other subjects.

>>>>> Wednesday: Volunteer work: She works with a local ministry which does after-school kids clubs. This group is so awesome, they go into the public schools and reach out to the kids with the gospel. <<<<

Being a group leader is huge. Doing volunteer work is huge. Plus if she likes it and can continue with it, that will be great. That sounds like a great area of specialization for her.

>>> In addition to the classes she takes at co-op and cc, she is doing SL400, Civics, plus their literature and Bible programs. There are a LOT of writing assignments involved with SL and I am trying to only assign one or two a week, but she isn't even getting those done>>>>

I would eliminate all writing from all components of the Sonlight program. One year Alex asked for SL 10 for Christmas, and I gave it to him, and he read it for fun. (Passed a CLEP exam even!) You don't have to do all the assignments, just take what works from it. She is obviously getting enough writing elsewhere. Does she enjoy the reading? IF so, I would just have her read, and maybe speak to you for a few minutes about the book she reads. Because her program is so thick with writing already, you might even consider eliminating some of the reading material in the SL program. The only thing she "needs" from that Sonlight is the Civics. All the English and Bible are repeats.

>>>She is also doing Apologia's Human Anatomy and Physiology course, but she is so far behind it's ridiculous. I don't even feel I can give her a credit for it at this point.<<<

If she wants to go to college, she will probably need 3 sciences. Give her credit for it when she does get done. You could suggest that she does that on her Wednesday or Thursday morning, first thing, and you supervise that. Her strength is obviously English, so this is the part where you need to invest your energy: the science, math, and civics.

>>>> She is doing Geometry when she feels like it and she is supposed to be studying for the SAT.<<<

What are her career and college goals? Does she realize she needs math? Again, I would have her do math every day when she is at home, again, first thing in the morning. Perhaps a "can't leave until it's done" attitude. That's hard with teens, though, I know!

I would completely drop the SAT prep. You're just hitting your head against the wall at this point.

>>>> Oh, and I forgot to mention she's on the student council for our hs co-op. This requires about one meeting a month or so plus she is the PR person. I haven't seen her spending a whole lot of time here, so it isn't really a huge concern compared to everything else at this point.>>>>

Leadership is a big deal to colleges, and it seems like this is her area of specialization. One of them :-)

>>>> As if all of this isn't enough, she works part time at an ice cream shoppe. She cut her hours back to about 10 a week, and she needs (we need) the money. She has to pay for her car insurance, and she is trying to put away at least a little money for college.<<<

Jobs are good, and can make a kid more efficient in their school work. Ten hours a week seems reasonable, but if she were my daughter I would absolutely insist on math and science (since she's doing all the other subjects) every week.

>>>>>I know she has too many classes to keep up with. <<<<

She does. It is not humanely possible. Add up her hours that you're expecting from each class, and I'm betting you're up to about a 60-80 hour week. Not possible.

I think that when kids get older, we have to let them make choices. Basically she has chosen her English credits, job, leadership, volunteerism, and foreign language, and that's GREAT. You need to somehow get her to choose math and science, in order to complete the package. Try to tie those in to how she plans on achieving her goals
for college and life. If she were my daughter, the few days when she was at home in the morning, I would do the science WITH her, and make her do the math before leaving home (or she couldn't go out at night until she was done.)

>>>> UGH! I could go on and on. But this is already too long. I could really use some advice from those of you who are or have homeschooled teens. Do I need to insist my dd let some things go?
> Thanks for listening!<<<<<

Hang on! Those teens can make you nuts! She's trying to make her own choices, and it sounds like it general they are good choices. She just needs to find a balance in her subjects - especially math and science, since the others are getting done.

I hope that helps at least a little bit!
Blessings,
Lee

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Wednesday, 18 September 2019

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