So, what happens when your kids hit that wonderful, in between stage called middle school, or better yet, high school? The first thing that happens is that you’ll be playing chauffeur way more often! I have found that the older my kids get, the more things they get involved in. And, we’ve put a limit on the number of outside activities in which they can be involved at one time! We have chosen (for our own sanity and for our wallets) to allow each child to be involved in 1 sport at a time. Then we add in all the youth group activities, orthodontist visits, co-op classes, overnights & movies with friends, driver’s ed, and dual-enrollment classes, and I find myself doing laps around town. And people have the nerve to ask the socialization question!
Anyway, with all this running around and with the need to make sure that we cover all of the graduation requirements. As my kids have gotten older, I have found that I no longer need to be as rigid with my time slots for every subject. They’re better able to understand the consequences of staring out the window all morning or the benefits of finishing their work early. Plus, some subjects will take longer. Chemistry equations really can take most of the day–unless you have a future chemist/current math whiz.
What we do is to print out a schedule of what needs to be done each week (this can be done daily, especially for early middle schoolers) in each subject so that each child has her own copy. Yes, this does mean some pre-planning for us! But, one of the goals for our homeschool is to teach our kids how to learn independently. This does not mean that I let them decide whether to do Algebra 2 or Geometry first or whether or not to do biology. This does mean that I think over and pray over what needs to happen each year, then I break it down into semesters/quarters/months and then weeks. In the early years (grades 5 or 6 through grades 7 or 8), I print out exactly what needs to be done–read such and such pages, complete this many math problems, come see me for a discussion of these books, etc. As they get a little older, I give them some autonomy throughout the week. For instance, I showed my kids how to divide up a science module that’s supposed to span 2 weeks, then I just write the module number on the schedule and let them divvy it up themselves (and check on them). Gradually work towards doing less planning yourself and having your teens do more planning.
I am always available for questions, guidance, and discussions, but I don’t spoon-feed my teenagers. After all, I want them to be able to handle college classes on their own when they get that far. Our high school is a college and life-in-general training zone.
This is just a brief overview. But these ideas are just to help you find what works for your family.
Be sure to hop on over to these other great blogs:
10 days of socialization for mom | The Homeschool Chick
10 days of classical education | Milk & Cookies
10 days of large families | Chocolate on My Cranium
10 days of special needs | Special Needs Homeschooling
10 days of struggling learners | Homeschooling the Chaotic Family
10 days of homeschooling girls | Homegrown Mom
10 days of homeschool enrichment | Confessions of a Homeschooler
10 days of building a spiritual legacy | Mommy Missions
10 days of frugal homeschooling |The Happy Housewife
10 days of Charlotte Mason | Our Journey Westward
10 days of unschooling | Homeschooling Belle
10 days of organization | Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom
10 days of getting started | Blog, She Wrote
10 days of homeschooling boys | The Tie That Binds Us
10 days of homeschooling Montessori | Fruit in Season
10 days of preschool | Delightful Learning
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