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Homeschooling High School: To Teach or To Learn - What is Your Goal?

As homeschool parents, our goal is NOT to teach something. Our goal is for the kids to LEARN. I could have taught my kids “at grade level” and they would have not learned a thing. Instead, I gave them curriculum at their ability level, and then they had to learn something that they didn’t already know.


I believe that older teens MUST learn how to teach themselves. If they go to college, they will be expected to learn all the textbook material on their own. College lectures are most often supplemental to the textbook – not the same. If they don’t go to college, they will still have to teach themselves some computer skills, or online banking, or how to buy a car – whatever.

My kids taught themselves Advanced Math (pre-Calculus) and Calculus. They taught themselves physics. I know they knew the material because I  gave them the tests. I didn’t know what the calculus symbols meant, but I knew that my kids answers matched the answers on the key! I could have taught them Biology and Chemistry (because I’m an RN and I know that stuff) but they actually taught themselves that as well. It just worked out better for us when they were teaching themselves, while I just checked up on them from time to time. Alex taught himself economics, and is now doing graduate level work in economic thought (we’ve been told by his professor.) He even taught himself psychology and business law, because he got fabulous grades on the college level CLEP exams in those subject.

Here’s my point: kids will teach themselves something when they are interested in it. It’s fine for kids to do that, and it works out great for kids that are working on an intensely academic, college-prep curriculum as well as for kids that are in a relaxed homeschool environment.

I have seen SO many notes about “getting it all done” that I just want to put in a plug for mom having prayer and quiet time. I found that when I was consistent with those things I could “get it all done” and when I wasn’t consistent with those things I got frustrated. Either I was expecting too much, or was frustrated too easily. When I spent time with God, then things went much more smoothly in our homeschooling.

How are you teaching your kids to learn?



I am now the Seattle Homeschool Examiner.  You can read my homeschool articles here.
Homeschool High School Testing: AP Exams
Homeschooling High School: What SAT Score is Good ...
 

Comments 4

Guest - Lee (website) on Tuesday, 26 July 2011 17:07

We used Apologia biology, chemistry and physics for science. For math we used Saxon with DIVE CDs. The key is to use homeschool curriculum, NOT public school curriculum. If it's intended for a school, it assumes the teacher knows the material and lectures to the children. If it's intended for homeschools, then it assumes nobody knows the information when they begin.
Blessings,
Lee

We used Apologia biology, chemistry and physics for science. For math we used Saxon with DIVE CDs. The key is to use homeschool curriculum, NOT public school curriculum. If it's intended for a school, it assumes the teacher knows the material and lectures to the children. If it's intended for homeschools, then it assumes nobody knows the information when they begin. Blessings, Lee
Guest - Homeschool Mom on Tuesday, 26 July 2011 16:18

Hi Lee,

I really enjoy your postings. I completely agree with you that teens must teach themselves. My son is pretty good at that now (at a junior high age),but I hope he will be excellent at that in high school. Do you mind if I ask, what curriculum did your teens use to teach themselves math and science?

Thank you!

Hi Lee, I really enjoy your postings. I completely agree with you that teens must teach themselves. My son is pretty good at that now (at a junior high age),but I hope he will be excellent at that in high school. Do you mind if I ask, what curriculum did your teens use to teach themselves math and science? Thank you!
Guest - Lee (website) on Tuesday, 26 July 2011 09:52

Aw, thanks, Leisa!!

Aw, thanks, Leisa!!
Guest - Leisa Hydock on Tuesday, 26 July 2011 09:40

LOVE this article! Thank you! It cuts right to the heart of home schooling - the whole point is to equip your kids with the ability and confidence to go out and learn anything to their hearts desire...to reach for and attain goals in the area of passion God has instilled in them.
You're so right about Mom's quiet time in prayer and Bible study. If I don't have this time alone with God, absolutely nothing else goes as planned. He directs our paths, and unless we are spending time with Him, we will not know which path to take.
So, thanks again for the encouragement. You are a blessing!

LOVE this article! Thank you! It cuts right to the heart of home schooling - the whole point is to equip your kids with the ability and confidence to go out and learn anything to their hearts desire...to reach for and attain goals in the area of passion God has instilled in them. You're so right about Mom's quiet time in prayer and Bible study. If I don't have this time alone with God, absolutely nothing else goes as planned. He directs our paths, and unless we are spending time with Him, we will not know which path to take. So, thanks again for the encouragement. You are a blessing!
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