Let me demonstrate how to think through the process using the interest of the child and incorporating that into delight-directed learning.
A homeschool boy loves the show "Warriors" on The History Channel and just can't get enough. He read the hosts biography and has a desire to imitate his hero. His mother wrote to me, looking for ways to translate this interest into "school." Here are the suggestions I gave her.
Dear [Gold Care Club Mom,]
I don't think there has been a program written like that yet, so you'll have to do it yourself!
But first, let's think about it. My son studied economics during every year of high school. Beautiful Feet has their "History of Horses" program. Let's just assume that it CAN be done, and then brainstorm together.
Idea #1 How about the history of weapons? There are certain "history of war" books that will provide a timeline of every war. During each war, there could be some research, written reports, study the science of the times (tie it in to the history of science, for example, so that he studies that.) He could draw each weapon as well. Consider looking at the Teaching Company Lectures, because I believe they have some of the history of science topics.
Idea #2 Purchase a time period based curriculum (Sonlight, The Well Trained Mind, or Tapestry of Grace, for example.) Instead of using their curriculum as written, substitute their writing suggestions for a more personalized assignment. Spend additional research on your child's interests, instead of the assigned research. That would provide a little more structure than idea #2.
Idea #3 Model your high school after your son's hero. You and I both know that the hero's resume' is not what was required of him. It was who he IS. But to hold up your son to this ideal would really help in the long run. By following this hero, your child will be motivates to learn math, science, etc. Let's look at his hero for a moment:
Terry Schappert: Terry began his military career 17 years ago with the 82nd Airborne Division. While assigned to a recon squad, he completed Ranger School. After serving in the Persian Gulf War, he moved on to his ultimate challenge, becoming a Green Beret.
This requires strong preparation in PE.
Since completing the Special Forces Qualification Course, Terry has been deployed on training and combat missions all over the world, most recently in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In addition to his military credentials; Terry is a licensed paramedic,
Biology and advanced biology are necessary for a paramedic. Some experience with blood and/or hospitals are a help. He might consider being a hospital volunteer. Paramedics also need math, so they don't kill someone by giving the wrong dose of a drug or the wrong volume of IV fluids. Again, I'm a nurse, so trust me on this one.
has extensive martial arts training,
Excellent PE! Marial arts can provide not only PE, but also a passionate interest that could last for 4-years, with the ability to develop leadership as his skills improve.
speaks several languages,
Ask your son what language he wants to speak, then follow that.
and holds a degree in anthropology.
Anthropology is a branch of social science (social studies.) He would need to develop his history and comparative governments (US Government, etc.) as well as economics. Anthropology requires a strong background in statistics, a branch of math.
Terry is the eyes and ears of the viewer, as he travels the globe to discover exactly what it takes to be a warrior.
Great opportunity to discover geography. That might be a good "right now" course. We used Runkle's "Wonderful World of Geography" and my boys memorized the location of every country in the world (no kidding.) It was great, because then as they learned more about history and current events, they could understand where they took place. And as your son watches his hero on TV, he will know exactly where these places are located.
And by the way, the history channel is a GREAT way to get history!
So go for it! Call me next Wednesday if you can, and we'll talk about it more.
This is just an example of the great consulting that is available for free to my Gold Care Club members. Members get a special email address to send me their toughest questions. They even get 20 minutes of free phone consulting every week where we can talk over their concerns. It is a great deal for parents who are homeschooling high school. Interested? A free month of the Gold Care Club is available for families who purchase my "Easy Truth About Homeschool Transcripts" e-book. I will soon be offering the Gold Care Club to families who do not wish to purchase the ebook. Stand by for details coming soon!