Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Homeschooling through Highschool

Today we have a guest post from Christi at Ants on a Farm blog! She will be talking about homeschooling through high school.

Oh No! How Do I Handle High School?

How do we prepare our older children for adulthood and how do you do homeschool through highschool. Good questions. These are some of the same things I have wrestled with in the past and every homeschooling parent will also wrestle with as well.

I remember the summer before my oldest daughter was entering 9th grade I totally panicked! I searched the Internet, read many homeschooling books and manuals that I could find at the library or borrow from friends. I was looking at college entrance pages and absolutely stressing out about the whole situation. My dear husband wasn't quite as concerned and told me "everything would work out" when I came to him in tears, frustrated. One day, I had enough and I called up my friend who, at that time, had 6 children ages 6 up to age 29 and had homeschooled since way back when homeschooling wasn't even legal in our state. Her grown sons were thriving. They each had their own businesses and one was married and the other grown one was just going through a divorce and he had a little boy, her grandson, and had moved back in with them.

I remember her telling me to relax. She told me not to worry because "The Lord would work everything out". Then she prayed with me. Right then I let it all go to God. I knew He had plans for my children. His ways are higher than my ways...and the world's ways! Two of our educational goals for our children have always been to teach them how to learn and find out what they need and want to know. Also, to know God and His ways and follow hard after Him.

I started looking at high school grades and gathered some old editions of Bob Jones textbooks. I couldn't afford the teachers editions so I just let them read the textbooks and answer the questions at the end of the chapter then I would check their work. I let them read classics from booklists I had copied off the internet, as many as they wanted. I would let them "narrate" to me or dad what they were reading. Sometimes written, sometimes oral. Their Dad assigned them essays on certain things he wanted them to find out. They read their Bible daily and copied passages from them. They also did "copywork" from the classical books they were reading. They did Saxon algebra 1 and 2 with the DIVE cd's. They also took a year of Latin and American Government with a preacher friend of ours. We studied hymns. They were required to read biographies of great men and women of the faith. They did some of the Apologia science texts as well.

I designed them both a course in budgeting and let them balance my checkbook and do the bill paying. I had them make a menu and grocery list and let them shop and plan for a few days worth of meals. My daughter read homemaking manuals and cookbooks for "fun". She loves to cook and bake. My son and daughter helped with the baby care when I would have a new baby. My sons, because of this, love babies. They are very helpful where ever they go around mothers who seem to have their hands full with babies and toddlers. They aren't afraid to step in and help. Most teen boys don't care for little ones but it can be cultivated in them.

We talked and talked and talked, a lot, about the current events and how they relate to the Bible. We gave them view of life from a Biblical viewpoint. We encouraged scripture memory by having them memorize large portions of scripture. We took them to church and didn't allow every single meeting or outing with the youth group. For a long time we didn't even allow youth groups but finally found a church where it seemed to do more good than harm, being a very tightly lead, Godly youth group, with a grown man with four small children and a wife instead of someone who was just beyond the youth group age. We also allowed them to serve the church in whatever capabilities they were able. Choir, helping with AWANAS, leading the youth praise and worship. We didn't let them get a learners license until well past their 15th birthday. They had their learners permits for over two years. At age 19 and 18 the older two got their license because they needed them. Our third oldest son got his at 17 because he needed it then. A car is not a need!!! Mature teens behind the wheel are a need!!!

In September 2005 we allowed the two older ones to go serve in a ministry in Chicago for three months. This was a wonderful growing point for them. They were literally on their own. They lived on campus in houses with house leaders but still had to answer to the ministry and their supervisors. They had rules to follow there as well. We felt at ease with letting them go up there and do this.

My daughter served in the kitchen, cooking with 5 other young ladies and their head chef three meals a day Monday through Friday and the big meal for Saturday and Sunday. They were responsible for cleanup as well. My son served in construction and maintenance. He learned so many skills there that he would have had to have three or four jobs to get it all in here. He roofed, carpeted, built, demolished, remodeled and all kinds of stuff in that field. They came home matured and more confident in themselves. They had never had an outside paying job until after they graduated because it is our belief that they need to spend that time on completing their education full force instead of working out of the home. We do allow our children to work for the neighborhood people and people from church. The two boys had a thriving lawn care business.

My daughter went on to serve at a ministry in Indiana while completing her Certified Nurses Aide Course there as well. She now is a licensed CNA and can put those initials legally at the end of her name and get a job in in medical office. She didn't care for that field as her top choice but will have that to help out in her new career as wife and someday, mommy. She was married in April of 2009 and moved clear across the country the day after her wedding. She helps her husband in his part-time work as wedding vidiographer and editor and keeps her home.

My son lives on his own and has worked at the same job for four years now. He is assistant warehouse manager at a large car dealership. He is engaged to be married soon as well. He has been saving to go to night classes when he figures out what he wants to do with his future. (I have discovered it takes a while for a boy to figure out what he really wants to do.) His dream while growing up was to have a horse. He wanted to be a Ferrier (horseshoes). Then he decided to go into the military. But in his junior year we discovered a heart condition that makes him ineligible for service. That broke his heart as his great-grandfathers, grandfathers, uncle, great-uncles and father all served in the military. We have a long history of military service running through our lines, all the way back to the Indian war. He likes what he does at his job. He has health insurance and other benefits as well.

Our third oldest lives on his own and is engaged to be married in the spring. He still hasn't figured out what to do with his future. Like I said above, it takes boys a while to decide these things. He thought he wanted to be a police officer, then he moved out and felt the call to preach. He is still praying about that now. Right now he is working hard to save money for college. He served on his church worship team as a musician and singer until just recently. Now he and his brother and their fiancees are in a house church with some others.

Our oldest at home is in her senior year. She is starting a home-based business with her talent of designing and sewing clothing. She is taking piano lessons and will eventually start to teach beginning piano from home to students younger than her. She is almost finished with her required book work for our home school. She will finish those early but still graduate in
the spring with our state homeschool group.

I just would like to say, "train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." Train them up in their bent. What they like to do and enjoy doing. That is their natural bent. God will use it.

Don't stress over getting into college, passing all those tests and all that the world stresses about. If you teach your child to read, do math and to communicate well he will do great! Teach them how to get the information they want. Encourage them in the things they do. Prepare them for the option of relying on the Lord for their future is the way to go! Not relying on a college choice.

And my dear, sweet friend who I mentioned above who helped me out that summer and prayed for me, well, the next summer when her third child was at that high school age she called me in a panic and I told her what she told me, "the Lord will work everything out!" I prayed with her and for her and her son is now working with his older brother in their business! They are building a family business! I think that is so great. Yes, the Lord does work all thing out for those who love Him! Don't be afraid of the future. Relax!

Let me know if I can help.

Christi A.
~We have been home schooling for almost 18 years and have graduated three children so far. We have ten children and would love to be blessed with more. We live in the south and enjoy our large family and our land. You can read more about our family on our blog



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home