Eclectic homeschooling isn’t limited to the lower grades. In fact homeschooling high school with an eclectic approach worked great for our family.
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The Path to Homeschooling High School
It’s amazing how time does fly. I can remember clearly, almost ten years ago, sitting at my computer thinking about homeschooling my oldest son. He was in all day everyday public school kindergarten and I was about to do something that I had never, to my recollection, planned to do: homeschool.
It’s been almost ten years now and he is in tenth grade, my youngest has never been to school and he is a middle schooler. I’m in the second year of homeschooling high school but I’ve been preparing for this season since maybe third or fourth grade! That’s how intimidating the idea of homeschooling high school was for me.
Actually, the idea to homeschool was intimidating to me! It was a huge decision that I could not make lightly.
Let’s fast forward to just focusing on how I’m doing this homeschooling high school thing now.
My Eclectic Style of Homeschooling High School
For most of my homeschooling career I’ve considered myself an eclectic homeschooler. I’m not a big box curriculum kind of homeschool mom. I need flexibility because I need to be free to be creative – to alter curriculum or to piece together my own unit studies, so to speak.
Skipping over the younger years (you can read a lot about how I homeschooled those years on my blog) let’s jump to the here and now.
Our Own Homeschool Club
I should add that for the past several years I have hosted a variety-themed homeschool club in my home. Each year the moms and I pick a new theme to focus on and we meet about twice a month. It’s a mixed-age group and it’s light and fun. Everyone gets to socialize and learn!
This year we are calling it Rock & Relics and studying things like nature with outdoor walks, we’ll include some geology, Native American history, Ohio history and whatever else seems to fit. You can read about our past club themes on my site.
I’m not very conventional, I suppose, when it comes to picking out curriculum. If I want to cover a subject using more than one curriculum I will pair them up. So while one may suffice, we probably won’t complete them all.
For example, this year we are doing Biology 101 from Westfield Studios. We will watch the videos, the boys will reading the printed workbooks and take the quiz but we may not do the labs. I am pairing Biology this year with The Biology Coloring Book! I even got myself one so the boys and I all do this together.
Another example is how I handle social studies, government and geography. There’s so much out there that I don’t feel I need a prepackaged curriculum set. Last year I had the boys read all four volumes of The History of the World among other books. This year we are doing The Geography Coloring Book and right now I have them assigned to read books I bought from a regular bookstore: 50 Leaders who Changed History and 50 Strategies that changed History.
I should mention, because I know it’s probably going to cross someone’s mind, how I handle differing worldview. We are a Christian family. All of us have personally put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior accepting what He did for us on the cross to forgive us of our sin debt.
We are Bible believers! But, that doesn’t mean we go through life with our eyes closed to everything going on around us that doesn’t line up with scripture. No, I want to walk this road with my kids, exposing them to differing opinions or worldviews that we come across and teaching them the truth. They need to know how to discern truth from error. So, yes, we will use Christian based books and we will use secular books and then we can discuss the whys behind whatever questions come up.
Cursive, Memory Work & Character
We continue practicing neat cursive writing, and while we don’t really study for formal tests and quizzes, we all work on memorizing scripture daily/weekly/monthly.
The days that we have our group work (the three of us) we open with prayer (each day someone different prays) and we review our Focus Passage which we will memorize for the month and they are usually assigned a multi-verse passage each week to write out in cursive and have memorized by the end of the week.
This way I have a planned part of our day where I am actively teaching by example the importance of seeking God in prayer, practicing hiding His word in my heart and that will affect my (their) character as they develop these habits too!
Okay, I for sure use a curriculum here! Math is not my thing. I like to keep it simple and affordable. We use the Learn Math Fast Books system. You can read my review here. My husband does his part of homeschooling for math.
Homeschooling High School Electives
I love what Lee Binz, The Homescholar, calls it – delight-directed learning. My boys love playing Minecraft and Fortnite. I will be giving them credits for their time and work playing. Just do a search online to see what the benefits are and how you can put these on your transcript.
I also include church! Between Sundays and Wednesday Youth Groups our boys spend about four hours a week at church learning and socializing. So, yep, they will some type of Bible credit for that!
Of course, you can find lots of other ways to work in credit for electives, eclectically.
The Ins and Outs of Homeschooling High School
Well, I think by now you get the point. If you want to see other ways I’ve eclectically homeschooled kindergarten into high school just check out this post. I’ve been blogging about homeschooling for the past almost ten years!