Homeschooling Your High Schooler

high school homeschoolI meet so many young people these days who are begging their parents to homeschool them. They are dissatisfied with the government schools for one reason or another. The sad thing is that many of these families just think they “CAN’T” homeschool. I have been able to tell many of them how truly easy it is to homeschool  – and not just homeschool but homeschool with excellence!

One of my most amazing discoveries has been the vast wealth of information available from American Ivy League schools for free! Yes, you heard me correctly. These courses come in the form of what many call “open courseware” and they are truly available for free. The university or college will place their video lectures for particular courses on the web, and anyone is able to view them and gain knowledge. They do not include any tests or quizzes nor do they offer college credit for these courses. However, students can use these courses as their high school lectures and receive a top quality education for free.

Another option to even further your investment (FREE goes a long way) is to encourage your children to complete open courseware courses on subjects that are available through CLEP. If you haven’t heard of CLEP it stands for College Level Examination Program. Students can take tests through the College Board (makers of ACT/SAT) and then receive up to a certain amount of college credit based on their test score. This is a great way to get your highschool homeschool courses for free and get a jump on college!

I have started this process with my two oldest children. We purchased the CLEP study guide, and have been using several of the free open courseware courses as our high school homeschool curriculum. When we finish these courses this spring we will be off to take the CLEP tests. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

I also love using this high school transcript form, high school diploma templates, and printable high school diploma for my own high school students. It’s made record keeping a breeze.

Of course, if you’ve already had experience in this area… please share and let us know how it went for you.

Experts at Home

Homeschool parents are every bit a part of the field of professional educators, the question is… are we novices in this field or experts?
The difference will be made in how we grow. No, I’m not talking about the kids… I am talking about the parents… the homeschool teachers… the Christian homeschoolers… are we continually looking for ways to develop professionally? As a novice, the teacher would continue as they are… simply content with the status quo. An expert is never satisfied with the knowledge or skills that they have. An expert will continually want to be learning to improve themselves.
In a recent study of expert and novice teachers, the teachers were required to begin a task with a new group of students. The novice teacher simply asked where the students were in the textbook, and how the previous teachers managed the class; preparing to simply take up where the previous left off.
The experts, on the other hand used a thought pattern similar to experts in other fields by trying to find out what the student’s knowledge level was through pre tests, learning games,  and Q and A time. Experts also planned to begin again with their own personal classroom expectations. With this in mind, it is clear that experts in the field of education are concerned at where the student’s educational mastery level is, and planning instruction that begins there.
My question today is… are we novices – trying to just cover the textbook or are we experts – matching instruction to where the learner is?