Wondering what you have used for high school that you really have liked. I am planning to look at online curriculum as well as books, etc. What should I rule out and what should be ruled in?
Both Oak Meadow and Sonlight have great programs. Oak Meadow has texts and online stuff, where as Sonlight is more nonfiction/ fiction book based. We found several of the Oak Meadow suggestioned texts on Amazon for dirt cheap. We use Teaching Text books for math, which is expensive but well worth every cent. Good luck with our journey.
Im not really doing a curriculum but making a transcript as we go.
Rosetta Stone for French
Math and Science from a 'certain' program - probably computers from there too
Language arts will be free reading and this will encompass most of the transcript work on my part
Art/art history - not sure yet
History - probably traditional text books OR ds will pick what interests him and do independent study again to create a transcript of sorts.
I would start by looking at what your States requirements for graduation are and make sure you meet the minimum for those and then also look at the entrance requirements for where your child *might* want to go to university and make sure your child does the requirements for there as well.
For example kids can graduate with 2 lab sciences but many universities want to see 3 sciences on the transcripts etc.
Thanks for the input 2mama and zebra15! I am working on weeding through the state requirements as well as the curriculum options. We are in MD, and found the state requirements. The suggestion of looking at where she might want to attend is a good one as well. We are also looking at dual enrollment options for college credits during high school.
I am looking at Sonlight and Oak Meadow having liked what I saw when I previously looked. I also might look at Abeka and BJU, though think they might be too conservative for me faith-wise. Online programs I am checking into are Keystone and Orange Lutheran Online. I pieced together this years and I would prefer not to for high school. I am also debating having her do it with them monitoring so I wouldn't have to deal with the transcripts etc. The only ones I have anyone irl who have used are the online (Keystone and OLO). This is way harder than choosing for the younger one!!!
Like Zebra we went more for a transcript created as we went along, rather than a curriculum laid out in advance. The "piecing together" that you may have found onerous in the past is something your teen can (and should!) be taking over, IMO. Where I live the high school curriculum includes a course called "Career and Personal Planning," and I always figured that setting their own goals, identifying resources, materials, mentorships and other opportunities was something that fell under that "Personal Planning" umbrella in homeschooling. So it has been my kids' responsibility to do that work -- with my facilitation and support if requested, of course. And it's been highly individualized, and subject to frequent adjustments to find an ongoing good fit.
As to specific resources, here are some that have worked well for us, whether short- or long-term:
Creative Writing: portfolio, with edits based on feedback from a mentor
English: self-selected reading, discussion, reviews and written analyses
Second Language: Rosetta Stone, Cambridge Latin
Science: Campbell's Biology: Concepts and Connections, with internet subscription for virtual labs and self-evaluation; Teaching Company courses in Biology, The Joy of Science and The Physics of Everyday Life; Singapore High School Physics and Chemistry; Larry Gonick's Cartoon Guide to Physics, Chemistry and the Environment, textbook/workbook sets from our local school
History: Documentaries, historical movies, copious historical fiction, living history field trips
Foods: Self-directed cooking / baking / small-business work
Music: youth choir, Sarnecki's Music Theory course, violin and piano lessons, community orchestra, string quartet, chamber group, freelance gigs
Career and Personal Planning: Learning Plan organization, part-time work, volunteer work
Math: Art of Problem Solving books, Singapore Secondary Programs, textbooks from our local public school
Phys. Ed. / Health: heart-rate-guided endurance running training, route-finding, use of the community fitness centre, swim lessons, aikido classes, ski lessons and skiing, yoga, outdoor survival skills learning
My kids have also taken courses through the local "Facilitated Learning Centre" which in our tiny village is hosted in the public school but serves more of a Community College function, as it serves primarily older high schoolers and adults. They've usually chosen to do between 3 and 5 courses a year this way, starting at age 14 or so. They were the youngest students by a long shot, but their experience self-structuring their learning as homeschoolers made the program director receptive to including them. For my unschoolers this also served as a good proving ground as they ventured into the world of structured learning with the longer-term goal of full-time university.
Miranda, thank you for adding your thoughts! When laid out by subject like that it certainly makes it much more "doable" in appearance. She is currently advanced in math, but has not liked the curriculum we chose for Algebra 1. As I look her having taken this as a middle schooler will continue to have her pushed ahead and I will need to have her taking math at the college by her 3rd year of highschool. We are unsure how much to push her (she is agewise a 7th grader this year,). I think the approach of having her choose and direct her curriculum might help us see some of the maturity to be sure she is ready for high school. Goal setting has been something we have struggled with as she struggles with things like what do I want to be when I grow up and how do I look for opportunities to learn more about it/see that happen.
How has it been for your kids when applying for college? Have you found any problems with this approach?
Well, I have only one who has been through the college application process but her situation is a bit different. We're in Canada, for starters, where university applications seem like maybe they're less stressful, with the quality and reputation of the different schools varying less.
Then there's the significant fact that my daughter actually earned enough official credits to get a school-based graduation diploma. She managed that because she started accruing credits a year and a half early and received an assortment of credits through distance education, courses taken very part-time at our bricks-and-mortar public high school, through the Facilitated Learning Centre I spoke of above, and thanks to the good graces of the public high school counsellor who created "independent study courses" on my dd's behalf which were actually just home-schooled learning in areas like choral music, violin recital, biology, creative writing and such. It has all added up to a public school graduation diploma. I think only 4.25 of her courses were actually done within the walls of the school, but she has a 21-course three-year graduation diploma from the school anyway thanks to all these credit equivalencies.
But the thing is that by documenting her homeschool activities, achievements and hours of self-led learning, we were able to show the school that these were equivalent to high school credit courses so that they would grant credit as such. And while we've not had cause to test it out, I expect a college would see things similarly.