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crunchymum
02-15-2014, 10:22 AM
How is your year going?
What is working? What are you reassessing/reworking?
What kinds of activities are your teens doing (inside or outside the home?)
What do you wish they could be involved in?
I'm looking for inspiration, recommendations, and just some connection with other high school age families.

inmom
02-15-2014, 11:33 AM
I have two teens, a daughter (17, junior) and son (16, sophomore). Generally, their year is going well. They have made the transition to working independently a couple of years ago; I only help on an as-needed basis. They both are taking classes (1 or 2 at a time) at the local university branch campus and have since fall of 2012. It's worked well; they've learned to satisfy outside-the-home expectations, deal with less than cooperative group project partners, and learned to schedule their time better. It will also provide outside verification of grades/ability.

Individually, this is what they are doing:

DD - She's part of 4-H, is president of her local club and also an officer for the county club. She is part of an English team for academic competitions in Indiana. She also works part-time. Courses she's doing this year are Chemistry, English, and astronomy (at univ), personal finance, short story, precalculus, photography, and U.S. history (using Zinn and website Reading Like a Historian). We're also going to use the spring to do some campus visits and narrow down where she'd like to go. She wants to major in creative writing/journalism/literature (still working on narrowing down!!).

DS - He's part of 4-H and is a teen leader of the local club. He is part of both the math and science teams for academic competitions in Indiana. He also works part-time. Courses he's doing this year are Chemistry and English (at univ), personal finance, short story, AP computer programming (through Amplify MOOC), discrete math and calculus, Spanish, and U.S. history (using Zinn and website Reading Like a Historian). I wish he were more social, but he's an introverted kind of kid perfectly happy to program all day, so I don't push it.

We've never used a packaged curriculum, so having "out-sourced" some of the classes to a brick-and-mortar campus and online courses has really decreased my planning work load. Instead, I'm now using that time to fine-tune transcripts and course descriptions for the college application process soon to come.

Feel free to ask any questions!!

dbmamaz
02-15-2014, 11:39 AM
haha not much? Orion's taken a few MOOCs, but dropped the last one because it was too boring. I feel he's not working anywhere near hard enough but i'm not good enough at keeping on top of him. He's not doing any activities out of the house this year except for martial arts and UU youth group.

We visited the two local community colleges 2 weeks ago and definitely preferred the one his sister went to. So we need to get the application done. He finally finished the online drivers ed and if it ever stops snowing, i'll get him in the car. He turns 18 in less than 2 months and still isnt driving . . . but dh didnt want to pay the insurance and Orion wasnt particularly motivated - well, about driving or anything else.

I'm really hoping community college is a good step for him. I worry . . . all the time . . . i wonder what special ed in high school would have been like . . . but when he went to the high school for the PSAT, i told him I felt guilty because he was all alone at home instead of with all those kids - he said no, he felt claustrophobic in the halls full of kids.

and he's the extrovert of the family.

dragonfly
02-15-2014, 02:21 PM
Ds is plugging along. He works pretty much independently (read: I'm too lazy/burned out to do much any more with him), and had been taking dual-credit courses online through our community college system. Last semester was Biology, this semester was supposed to be Biology 2, but it was cancelled due to low enrollment, so he's taking Applied Topics in College Math, which is pretty much a review of elementary school math for him, since he's also taking Thinkwell Calculus this year. But, he gets college credit at a greatly reduced cost, so I'm hoping it's worth it.

Outside the home, he recently started violin lessons, something he's wanted to try for YEARS. So far, he seems to be enjoying it, and has a better feel for it than the few other instruments he's tried. He's been working through Oak Meadow's Music course this year, so that's been helping too. He's never been particularly musical, but that may be because he hadn't found "his" instrument yet.

So, it's generally going pretty well, though I personally feel terribly guilty and fail-y, because I've done nothing in the realm of reviewing or grading his work this year, or keeping up to date with a transcript. Sigh. I'm hoping that the dual credit courses he's taking, and will take next year, will hold more weight than any transcript I put together anyway...

ksb427
02-15-2014, 03:51 PM
Academically my 14-year old is doing Algebra, Civics, Physical Science, Composition/Grammar, and Web Design. (Other misc things thrown in as well including a Minecraft Homeschool class, world history co-op, etc.) Currently outside the home, he's only doing Scouts, but that includes Order of the Arrow activities as well. I'd like to see him get a part-time job next year or at least by the time he is 16. Also, I've already started looking into community college options for when he turns 16..

Ashley Paige Smith
02-15-2014, 09:37 PM
My 17 yr old is studying to get her GED, and will be attending tech. school in the fall for welding.

Avalon
02-16-2014, 06:53 PM
My daughter just turned 14. She's plugging away at her math program, reading voraciously, writing when she's inspired, and cooperating with the science & history we do together (currently reading through The Magic of Reality for science, and studying Japan using Sonlight materials). We organize our homeschool group's medieval day every May, and she likes to put on a play with her friends, so right now she is working on adapting popular medieval folk tales into a script.

On the side, she's taking private voice lessons, swimming lessons, learning how to snowboard, and she's playing the role of Miss Hannigan in a local production of Annie. She's also helping to run a local "teen club" that meets twice a month and she babysits regularly.

Kind of light on the academics, but she's a busy, happy, productive kid, so I don't want to mess with things too much.

Epona968
02-16-2014, 09:47 PM
DS(15) is doing Trig, Brit Lit, Logic & Debate, Enviro Science, NJ History, and French 2 right now; also working on a team project for Rutgers Teen Climate Summit. He's an officer in all three of his 4-H clubs, plus is serving on a state committee. Public speaking presentations are coming up in 4-H, and show season has started for herpetology. 4hrs of karate per week. There's a new teen book discussion group starting up that he has joined. Shakespeare seminar once a month. A MOOC thru Coursera (being taught by one of his favorite paleontologists -- he's thrilled.)

He churns out stories on FanFiction.net fairly regularly. Working on prepping fossils he collected last fall with an eye to selling some. (May have found himself a mentor for paleontology just today!) Wants to take a drawing class. Oh, and is busy making some new accessories for the Steampunk World's Fair in May and nagging me to knit him a Tom Baker scarf.

Stella M
02-18-2014, 02:55 AM
Dd 16 is working and studying ( maths, academic writing, Indonesian studies, various Coursera classes, philosophy and Cert 3 childcare ). She's killing time till she goes to uni next year.

Dd14 is in her second year of distance ed. She's involved in youth theatre and socialising :) Found out she's great at history, which is ironic given that she refused to do any history K-6 :)

Dd16 is totally independent and I help dd14 with maths only. I'm really only homeschooling my 10 year old.

Leanne71
02-18-2014, 07:57 AM
DS15 is doing his Cert II in horticulture ( oh yeah ). We have an appointment of Friday to see about his exemption from schooling, to complete his 4 year diploma. Hoops galore but then he is off my hands essentially. He will continue hi online English and Math Courses.

DS13 started high school this month and so far has fitted in beautifully, although doing Math homework at 9.00 pm is a little annoying especially when he now needs to get up before 7.00 am to catch the bus! Math at 9.00 pm as home schoolers was never a problem.

crunchymum
02-18-2014, 09:17 AM
Thanks everyone! It's great to read what other teens are doing.

Carol how is the Amplifiy Mooc working out?

So I guess I should answer my own question.
DS just finished up a law class through our provincial online school. He's got a social science (antropology/sociology/psychology) class and a computer science class through the same school this semester. He's dragging his feed on the computer science class but I want him to have one. I've asked DH (in IT) and DS to figure one out as IT/Computer Science is not my area at all, but they haven't. I'm going back and forth on whether to use this program with him (the school programs have been somewhat lame) or trying to dig in and find options, or push DH and DS to do it (my preference).

He's also doing a biology co-op, a coursera class on logic and critical thinking, and working at home on a math program (our provincial one). I am trying to get a teen book club organized, and we need to do something about writing. I'm thinking of Bravewriter High School program - has anyone used it?

For less academic stuff, he's attending a Friday co-op that covers phys ed, and drama and a discussion class. It's a Christian co-op and there have been some challenges, but he likes most of the kids and teachers and it's good for him to have a group experience. He's also doing a robotics challenge next month so has been working with his team on that, and he's involved in a teen cooking group that cooks once a month for a local soup kitchen.

It feels a bit to me like he is wandering. He's decided he wants to go to university as a mature student and work/travel before that, which I think is a good plan for him. I'm waffling between thinking we should find a way to up the intensity, and letting him just be for now as he's still just 15 almost 16 and there's lots of time before post secondary. I do wish we had the option of community college classes here beginning at 16. I think it would be a good fit for him.

inmom
02-18-2014, 11:46 AM
Thanks everyone! It's great to read what other teens are doing.

Carol how is the Amplifiy Mooc working out?


The Amplify MOOC is going well. DS has been into programming for about 3 or 4 years now, entirely self-taught. The AP Computer Science uses Java as the language, which he knows but prefers not to use when he programs on his own. However, we both thought that as this seems to be the field he wants to get into, it would be a good idea to have outside verification of his skills.

He also maintains a blog documenting the programs he's been writing. You can find it at Poultry and Programming | Nothing interesting here? (http://poultryandprogramming.wordpress.com/). It's for the stuff he works on for himself.

Teri
02-18-2014, 12:36 PM
Joseph (13) is doing Algebra I (review since he has already done it and Algebra II. :p), German (Rosetta Stone), American History, American Literature (although we have taken a break to do a Doctor Who screen writing unit) and Biology.
He is very active in Boy Scouts and just earned his Star Rank.
He takes ballet classes 3 days/week and German dance one day/week.

Avalon
02-19-2014, 01:43 AM
So I guess I should answer my own question.
DS just finished up a law class through our provincial online school. He's got a social science (antropology/sociology/psychology) class and a computer science class through the same school this semester. He's dragging his feed on the computer science class but I want him to have one. I've asked DH (in IT) and DS to figure one out as IT/Computer Science is not my area at all, but they haven't. I'm going back and forth on whether to use this program with him (the school programs have been somewhat lame) or trying to dig in and find options, or push DH and DS to do it (my preference).

He's also doing a biology co-op, a coursera class on logic and critical thinking, and working at home on a math program (our provincial one). I am trying to get a teen book club organized, and we need to do something about writing. I'm thinking of Bravewriter High School program - has anyone used it?

For less academic stuff, he's attending a Friday co-op that covers phys ed, and drama and a discussion class. It's a Christian co-op and there have been some challenges, but he likes most of the kids and teachers and it's good for him to have a group experience. He's also doing a robotics challenge next month so has been working with his team on that, and he's involved in a teen cooking group that cooks once a month for a local soup kitchen.

It feels a bit to me like he is wandering. He's decided he wants to go to university as a mature student and work/travel before that, which I think is a good plan for him. I'm waffling between thinking we should find a way to up the intensity, and letting him just be for now as he's still just 15 almost 16 and there's lots of time before post secondary. I do wish we had the option of community college classes here beginning at 16. I think it would be a good fit for him.

To summarize, your 15yo is doing:
a social science class
a computer class
a logic & critical thinking course
a biology co-op
a math program

plus:
Friday co-op for phys.ed/drama/etc.
monthly volunteer work
possible book club
possible additional writing course

Ummm....it sounds fantastic! He wants to work & travel for a while before going to uni as a mature student. It doesn't sound like he's wandering at all. It sounds like he has a full and happy life, plus a few plans for a future, which is way better than most 15 year olds. Seriously!

crunchymum
02-19-2014, 08:14 PM
Thanks. :)

He's busy I guess, I am not worried about that. But he's pretty - ummm - unfocused in his day to day life. He's always been a pretty passionate learner. He takes on a subject and takes it as far as he possibly can - quite often through to university/adult levels. And then moves on to something else. He's not had a topic that drives him for the last few months now. I realize it could just be a fallow period but it feels different than it has in the past. He's the kind of kid who normally craves intellectual input. He's also not reading a lot now and he usually plows through the books.

I'm just wondering if he's moving through a stage of needing more - more stimulation, higher level content, more interaction with intellectual peers (he has enough contact with friends I think, especially for an introvert).
I am also wondering if we need to be doing a better job of working on habits to help his future education down the road. He does well enough in his courses, but he's not great at managing detail, doesn't really study because things come easily to him, can be quite disorganized - its the classic gifted kids scenario. I think he tends to operate better, feel better, if he's challenged more.

And yet part of me thinks this may be age and stage. That he may need to retreat a little, before the next growth spurt. And that maybe he just needs to lie on his bed and stare and the ceiling a bit more, hang out with his friends a bit more, you know. He's not depressed - he's quite happy. But it's just intuition he may need more, not less, at the moment. I am just not sure what exactly he needs more of you know?

dbmamaz
02-19-2014, 11:34 PM
remember, the whole brain gets rewired during puberty. they really do go a bit crazy for a while. 18 is not a magical number where suddenly kids turn in to adults. just like reading, they all have their own timeline. More wine . . .

Epona968
02-20-2014, 09:35 AM
Yeah, DS goes through slumps too. Hormones, existential angst... who knows? No real rhyme or reason to it -- just seems to snap out of it one day.

Honestly, you couldn't pay me enough to make me be a teenager again.

inmom
02-20-2014, 10:04 AM
Yeah, DS goes through slumps too. Hormones, existential angst... who knows? No real rhyme or reason to it -- just seems to snap out of it one day.

Honestly, you couldn't pay me enough to make me be a teenager again.

My teens went through horrible stages right at the start of puberty. Lasted about a year. Once they were done, they were their sweet selves again.

BTW, while I love my teens to pieces, you couldn't pay me enough to live through THEIR puberty again!

iris0110
02-24-2014, 01:04 PM
Mine isn't quite a teen yet, he is 12.5 and a spectrum kid.

He is finishing 6th grade Charlotte Mason style with Ambleside Online (very altered)
Doing an online college course (he's done several he enjoyed) right now is Human Evolution
Starting MineCraft Homeschool Castles and Cannons (we will see what he thinks but he loves minecraft)

Really I've been very happy with CM for him and his little brother, everything has been going well this year and he is flourishing finally. The only thing we have been struggling with is finding a history and science we are happy with. I was using Kingfisher History Encyclopedia but I switched over to Kingfisher History of the Ancient World, I like the story format better. I think we will just use that until it is finished and then move to American History cycle. If the boys enjoy Minecraft and seem to learn enough from it we will do that again. Science has been interest lead since they got bored with Mr.Q. We have read a good bit of Horrible Science and Kearnan has done some of the online classes. I'm thinking I may by the Joy Hakim books for him.

Magnolia School
03-22-2014, 10:05 PM
My teens went through horrible stages right at the start of puberty. Lasted about a year. Once they were done, they were their sweet selves again.

BTW, while I love my teens to pieces, you couldn't pay me enough to live through THEIR puberty again!

Thank you for this. I don't know if I am going to survive my daughter's 13th year. I can see why many parents send their kids back to school at this point. Her drama, interspersed with unreasonable demands and expectations, and wasted hours toodleing around instead of doing her work has me about wanting to kill her right now. I can feel the grey hairs multiplying on my head. Please tell me this will get better.

Melyssa
03-25-2014, 02:17 PM
I have a 14 year old 9th grader. She goes to a school once a week for 5 classes. Art, algebra 2, writing, P.E., and biology. At home we do world geography and then she has piano lessons, and is in a couple bowling leagues. Homework keeps her super busy and then we visit friends 2-3 times a week. She wants to just get a GED as soon as she's 16 so she can then start classes at the community college and eventually transfer to a university at 18.

aspiecat
03-28-2014, 01:02 PM
I can put in what we are "doing" now this is DS's last day at PS!

At first, we'll be doing "homeschool lite" so he gets back into the swing of HSing. We'll do this lighter work until summer break, then add project-based activities over vacation time (his SF is going to teach him to blow things up LOL), then finally by the beginning of August - earlier if he wishes - we'll start the heavier workload.

Excavating English, Math U See Alg. & Geo., Minecraft Homeschool, Python, The Elements and a wee bit of Big History Project...this will be what we'll do from early April to early August. He'll be finished the English, Algebra, MC and Chemistry in those five months, and we'll replace them with another English program, honors Geometry, a new MC project, Khan Academy Chemistry & Earth Science, a French program, Music theory, game design and more Big History.

For extra-curricula, he's just this morning been asked to join a prestigious barbershop chorus (he'll be the only teen but he is 6' 2" and a bass/baritone) and wants to join a YMCA swim squad. He will also be able to add movie-making to his activities as this morning I got delivery of a camcorder package for his up-coming birthday.