Monday, March 25, 2013

Homeschooling: Finish Well

   The secret is out: another one of my teens graduates this year- from high school and from junior college. My lifeguard is stepping toward a new path of education, while my farm boy looks toward dual credit ambitions. In this journey of home schooling, it is so very important to finish well.
   When I started home education I desperately sought out seasoned home school families for advice and direction. Starting up was easy and every one was more than willing to share their experiences; high school, not so much. For whatever reason talking upper level education seems to hit a taboo. Well, not with me. Grab some coffee..we're talking teens.
    Facing the realization my children had college ambitions I saw a need to develop record keeping and self directed study skills. I was a kindergarten teacher..not a high school educator, but after prayer and some fitful nights a plan came into focus. Just as we eased kids into the learning process, we could ease them into the self learning process. Baby steps and a little nudge here and there..that's the plan.
    Once the kids started hitting the junior high level of learning I taught them to record daily grades. I managed their tests and the primary records, but they were starting their independence. Faithfulness and accountability was key. Once we mastered this we moved on to lessons.
    In college, you are given tools, a syllabus, and some basic dates of completion. No one stands over you to be sure you study, read, or plan for that paper or test. As my home schoolers moved into high school, our lesson layout moved into that very format. By sophomore year, they are independent in their job is laying out the deadlines and grading the papers. They assist in tracking their transcripts and GPA's.
    The junior year of high school, we encourage our teens to take the college entrance exams. This gives us a guideline for our progress and any areas that need attention. If they test well, we visit a dual credit adviser to determine if this is an option for them. Our daughters both did very well as dual credit students..taking classes at the college and here at home. Again, they kept up with their work, stayed accountable, and had great access to tutors both at home and on campus.
    Every family has to consider what is right for their home school journey; college may not be in the picture for every child. The point is to finish well, equipping our children to be productive and accountable citizens. 

No comments: