When we first started investigating home schooling A. Peevie for high school, I met with my friend X-Mom several times. X-Mom homeschools four kids, and is my go-to girl for all things homeschool--but I was getting panicky because I was not getting the answers I needed.
I kept asking, But how do we do it? and she would just ambiguate: "There are SO MANY options! SO MANY ways to do things." I wanted answers, but she knew that we had to discover our own path. Meanwhile, the part of my brain that requires certitude was starting to need an adult beverage.
We kept on talking. I kept on reading. I joined a homeschool co-op. We learned about multitudinous opportunities for learning, and unlimited permutations of homeschool choices. There's Kahn Academy; RadioLab podcasts; high-level online learning opportunities from Coursera, Udacity, and EdX; LiveMocha, or a free online language learning program (Mango) from Chicago Public Library; and tons more.
Meanwhile, well-meaning friends, family members, and others kept saying, "But what about socialization?" and "What about transcripts?" and "How will he get into college?" and "You will be such a great teacher!" Ack. That last one is the most disconnected from our reality of all. If homeschooling depended on me teaching A. Peevie, then we would both be doomed. I could not even teach my kids to use the potty, let alone teach them polynomials or the periodic table. (They had to potty train themselves, when they were ready.)
Quinn Cummings in the Wall Street Journal calls homeschooling "roam schooling," and describes a high school schedule that combines classes in a brick-and-mortar high school, a variety of online learning opportunities, community college classes, park district activities, and non-traditional learning settings. This is the multi-faceted approach that home school is becoming for us; and this is the reason X-mom stuck to her ambiguity: she couldn't tell us how to do it, because she didn't know what options would work for us, and in what combination.
We finally have A. Peevie's schedule mostly ironed out for his first semester of high school, and I am feeling MUCH less panicky about potentially ruining his life.
Here's what we've got on tap for A. Peevie's fall line-up:
- Algebra I (self-study using the textbook Life of Fred; supervised by Mr. Peevie)
- Latin (self-study using the textbook and Internet workbook Oxford Latin Course)
- Writing and Poetry (taught by a Ph.D. instructor in a private home)
- AP Music Theory (homeschool co-op class in a real piano lab in a private home)
- Introduction to Christianity (Gospel of John, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, and a study guide; supervised by E. Peevie)
- Some kind of science, still undefined
Friday--homeschool co-op 10-week classes including:
- Druidawn writing class (a creative writing class based on a fantasy world)
- Magic the Game
- A User's Guide to the Brain
- Archeology in Mesopotamia