St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Home Schooling High School, can you mess it up? (part II)

Last we left off with Home Schooling High School, can you mess it up? (part I), I was pondering certain aspects that you (parent) need to make commitment to in order to really get your student ready for college; and that whether or not they were college bound, you should still follow a course of studies that is college preparatory (again, just my opinion).  You can refer to Part I to find out more.
One of the best guides I had to begin preparing our first child for high school was simply a box graph that showed the four years of high school, what each year should include, and minimum graduation requirements.  Then another box graph showing again the four years of high school, what should be taken each year, for college preparatory.  Those two graphs, for me, said it all.  In fact, you can find what I am describing at this LINK.  You will see minimum requirements and college preparatory requirements.  You will note the difference – and there definitely is one. 
Now your state requirements might differ for high school graduation, and I will list my own state here [below] so you can see.  A change that has been made in my state (as of 2012), is another math year was added, and yet another will be added by 2014.  So FOUR years of math will be the new standard.  I am in total agreement with this.  We were doing four years of math in high school at home here for the entirety of our home schooling.  Your student needs every bit of it to be prepared for college. 
In order to graduate from high school in Ohio:
For students in graduating classes through 2013, this includes earning:

  • Four credits in English language arts (One unit is generally equivalent to one school year),
  • Half a credit in health,
  • Three credits in math,
  • Half a credit in physical education,
  • Three credits in science, including one of biological sciences and one of physical sciences,
  • Three credits in social studies, including half a year of American history and half a year of American government, and
  • Six credits in electives, including either one unit or two half units in business, technology, fine arts or a foreign language.

For students in the graduating classes of 2014 and later years, the requirements are a little tougher. Students in these classes must earn four units in math including one credit in Algebra I and must earn one credit in advanced study in a specific science, in addition to one unit each in biological sciences and physical sciences. However, they need only earn five credits in electives. In addition, all students except those following a career-technical path must complete at least two semesters of fine arts at any time in grades 7-12.
Please see: StateImpact Ohio for more information regarding the above.
The above are the most current graduation requirements. Again,  I agree  with the changes made which are far more helpful for college prep (and college board tests, ACT/SATs).  Two years of foreign language back to back is also needed, (and in some colleges, they will test you prior to your freshman year, in math, so you will know where to be placed, and in foreign language so if you show proficiency, you can actually drop having to take a foreign language in college).  Just things to consider.
Okay, I’m not trying to advertise for Mother of Divine Grace :), although I will tell you that Modg has served us well and it is an excellent choice in home schooling and college preparatory.   I am however, using our experience as a sampling of a course of studies that would produce a well rounded student with a good foundation for college.
How can you mess it up??  Now with some of the current changes taking place in the requirements for states you are more likely not to mess it up in regard to courses.  And this doesn’t just apply to those of us homeschooling – it would be wise for those in schools to tend more to what courses their children are taking also.  I’m quite sure my parents would have had a FIT had they known I only took math for two years in high school – but I know they were not “up on what was going on” and leaving it to the guidance counselor or school over all to oversee those things in 70s.  So, I am also coming into this from my own experience.   In the past I would have said, don’t let you student do just two years of math (Algebra I and Geometry).  Don’t let them not do a foreign language. Do Latin a couple years, or all the years of high school with another foreign language on top of it.  Latin is GRAMMAR and VOCABULARLY at it’s root-best.  Don’t let them do the minimal of any course like sciences.
 DO attempt everything you can to use quality tried and true textbook/resource materials that are high school approved for credit.  If you are not enrolled with a home study program, at least visit their websites and see what they are using for high school.  Read books like the Well Trained Mind and Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum that will give you a grade by grade scope of what subjects and resources can be used.
DO know that you CAN do it, and not mess up at all :)  Sit down and meet with your high school student; show them what your/their plans are for high school studies.  Explain to them how it all works, what is expected (i.e. goals: writing well) how it will take them longer each day to do their work, but their middle school years have helped form them so they can take on high school level work, which in turn will prepare them for college level work.
~And speaking of levels…..think about your mission statement; what is the level of your commitment to home schooling  Is it a forever thing?  Or is it a thing you are doing until you buck horns with your child, or your child expresses their disgust in it?
~ Can you give yourself to it as the parent, daily?  To be honest, there are many reasons to home schooling, but if you are not really going to home school and give your children an education, then why bother?  You are not doing them any favors keeping them home without truly educating them – educating for heaven, or not.  I hate to put it that way, but really…..think about it: are YOU COMMITTED??  It will make ALL THE DIFFERENCE in the success of what happens in the way of education in your home.  Bottom line.
In my home, we aren’t sending anyone to a school, it’s just not on our radar, so I don’t pretend it is.  There is nothing else to default to. I simply tell my children, THIS IS IT – your education is home schooling and you are not going to a school, so let’s do this together the best we can
With commitment, thoughtful planning and working together, toughing it out when the times get tough…asking for advice, and praying unceasingly (!!)…you will be amazed at how quickly the four years of high school fly by and before you know it, you will be graduating your son or daughter from your home school.


Maria said...

Thank you for both parts of this post! While we are not at the high school level yet (oldest is 6th grade), it has given me much to think about over the next few years & beyond. I am definitely bookmarking these posts!

Home School Mom: Denise said...

You are welcome! I hope it helps those that need to see and hear it. I come from the old school of home schooling and am grateful for those who came before me telling me it is possible, but you have to put into what you are going to get out of it, if you know what I mean!

God bless+

Janet said...

Amen sister! I couldn't agree more!