Homeschool Senior Year
I’m sitting here wondering where the time went. So cliché, right?
My little guy – who I’ve homeschooled since the very beginning – will be graduated next year at this time.
I never expected the range of emotions that go along with the completion of this journey… the emotional roller coaster is real.
Another post will have to be dedicated to all of the emotional things, but in this post I’d like to be very practical and share our homeschool plan for 12th grade.
The Integrity of a High School Education
The integrity of my children’s education has always come first in high school. That might sound a bit obvious, but many homeschool parents are tempted to dual enroll their children to knock out as many college credits as possible to save money.
I get it. That, however, hasn’t been our philosophy for high school.
Looking back with both of my children I can clearly see what our goals have been:
Communication (writing and speaking)
Personal Responsibility/Work Experience/Life Skills
Truth, Beauty & Goodness – everything taught with God as the center!
Yes, we have to meet the requirements of our state for a high school diploma. But, there is a lot of flexibility in that. So, while my son is taking the required math, science, history, English, etc… we are also trying to keep our big goals in mind.
Think about your own life. What are the skills you value the most? As homeschoolers, we have the opportunity to teach our children these things through their high school years.
What I have learned along this journey is that homeschooling high school is about helping your child reach their God-given potential. It is NOT about imposing your educational will on them or preparing them for the best university. If we want our children to be lifelong learners we need to gently guide them through high school – while listening and facilitating along the way.
12th Grade Curriculum Choices
Last year Grant completed Pre-Calculus with Mr. D Math. As we looked at senior year, the logical progression would be Calculus. My son doesn’t desire to go into a math-related career, so we decided to look at math credits that might benefit him.
He’s always had a passion for sports – any and all stats related to a variety of sports. We were fortunate to find a Statistics course through High School Math Live.
Science: Human Anatomy & Physiology
Excelsior Classes has been a favorite of ours for several years. Their classes are led by excellent teachers and I can honestly say we’ve never had a bad experience.
Last year Grant took Chemistry with Excelsior. The logical progression for a science and math-minded student would be to take Physics in their senior year. Because this isn’t Grant’s trajectory, he decided on Anatomy & Physiology again with Excelsior.
Literature/History/Writing: Modern US and World History
I did a lot of research for these areas, because I didn’t want Grant to take an intensive writing class again. He took AP Language and Composition last year, which was a WONDERFUL course – between this and his writing instruction in Challenge I and II of Classical Conversations in 9th and 10th grade, I feel like his writing is solid.
When I found Beautiful Feet Books and their beautiful curriculum for Modern US and World History I was sold!
This curriculum includes so many beautiful living books and a guide for us to go through these books together. The curriculum is flexible, so I can assign him narrations, essays, or we can simply discuss as he reads. Choosing this curriculum also allows us to work through things TOGETHER, which I will be savoring during this last year of homeschool.
The very first book is Uncle Tom’s Cabin – I finished reading it this summer and was incredibly moved. There are many parallels to today’s society. Another selection is Red Scarf Girl (which I also previewed) – such a good book.
Interest Led: Drawing
Last year Grant took Visual Design and Photoshop courses through Excelsior Classes. His teacher suggested he take Drawing for Everyone this fall – and when I suggested it to Grant he agreed right away!
This is a .5 credit course that is one semester long, so not terribly taxing on his schedule. It is also something he will ENJOY and that I can see him using with his love of design.
Family Requirement: Piano
My kids have played piano since elementary school. It is something I feel strongly about and a non-negotiable in our house.
My daughter gave it up her junior year and pursued the guitar instead – which was fine with me. Grant wanted to keep going with piano (he has a FABULOUS teacher!) and I was happy to oblige. We agreed that he will only be required to participate in the recitals this year and not any competitions (his choice).
We will be using AOP Christian Homeschooling High School Health.
Health is a requirement for graduation in our state – and most homeschool parents I know groan at this requirement. I think, however, that this curriculum looks good, so we’re going to give it a go.
I’ll keep you posted!
One thing that will take up a lot of my son’s time – and it’s a valuable experience – is his job at the Atlanta Brick Co. He’s been working there for over a year and loves his job. This work experience has helped him manage his time and save money. Another wonderful byproduct has been how much the job has fostered people skills! I’ve watched my son become great with people because he is answering questions at work so often!
He’s always had an obsession with LEGO, so this job is right up his alley.
He also plays basketball at a local Christian school, which takes up a lot of his time during basketball season.
As you can see, it’s going to be a busy senior year. As far as plans for after that? We’re not so sure just yet.
There are a few colleges he will be visiting, along with the option of possibly going to a local university and continuing his job after graduation. My views about college have changed quite a bit since I attended – but that’s another blog post, too.
I’m so excited for him, but at the same time I mourn this stage of life – I know there are good things to come, and I am beyond thankful to have almost completed this homeschool journey with my last child!
Leave me a note below. I’d love to chat with you!
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