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  1. #1

    Default Finding balance in curriculum (high school)

    This feels like my constant struggle. I don't know how hard to push my kid.

    We are starting high school this year and I'm not sure where I should be pushing him and where I should be giving him a break.

    So his personal struggles are in English/LA. We are working in speech therapy about learning what common phrases like "don't have a cow" or "throw the baby out with the bath water." Any kind of curriculum that expects a lot of literature analysis is going to be a real struggle.

    His high school counselor (we're using a charter) is pushing towards him taking a foreign language as well and frankly, that just seems like SO MUCH for him.

    I started looking into more hands on classes for him. I thought that maybe an art fundamentals class would be helpful for him but so many classes that give high school credit have a very large art interpretation element to it, and my son just does not inherently understand metaphors at the level expected of him.

    And underneath all the practical applications of it all, I"m concerned that I might both be pushing him too hard and also coddling him. I don't know where the line is. HE works so HARD for every inch that he grows, and he's still going to have to work just as hard, but i also want him to be able to take a "fun" class. I don't want EVERYTHING in his life to be a struggle. I want him to work really hard, but also have somewhere in his life where the hard work he's doing is also fun work (like he really loved his hands on science last year, even though it was above his grade level, he's working but it was fun for him)

    I don't know, I don't even think i'm looking for an answer. This gig is just really hard sometimes and I just need to talk it out.

    (although if you guys have any idea on what would count as a "high school credit" in california that is basic computers (typing, excel, word, powerpoint) or an drawing class that we can do at home/online, I'd really appreciate it.)
    Last edited by geewhizsam; 06-04-2018 at 01:39 PM.
    -Sam
    Mom to
    Freshman DS
    3rd Grade DS
    and 1st Grade DD

    We are a neurodiverse family

  2. T4L In Forum Dec18
  3. #2

    Default

    It's tough, especially with kids who struggle. I don't think there's a right answer, honestly. I feel like I've seen parents err both ways - underestimating their kids and overestimating them and pushing too hard. And sometimes you can't tell until you get hindsight.

    If he's hoping to be college bound, then he needs two years of a foreign language. Common wisdom is to knock it out early. But that doesn't mean it's right for him. The danger is that you put it off and it also seems like a lot next year and the year after and then, oops, he didn't get the credits. But if it's genuinely not right, then maybe he's not four year college bound anyway and it doesn't matter.

    He should have a hands on or fun class for him. That goes without question. And it should take precedence over having too many hard things.

    For literature... some kids are never going to be looking for symbolism in Shakespeare. It's okay. Expose him to what you can and focus more on practical writing skills - and, if you think he might go into science or another field - reading nonfiction and associated skills. It's not even that far out of step these days - Common Core has a huge emphasis on nonfiction reading skills.
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  4. #3

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    Regarding those computer classes....
    My local community college (that works with our charter) has those basic computer classes online, in 8 week sessions. 3 of them would be a semester’s worth at the very least - maybe your charter would tell you how much exactly.
    Search your local community college “distance education” or “short-term” classes.
    I found this site that seems to be a catalog of the colleges and their classes, maybe itd be of some use to you.
    https://cvc.edu/courses/
    Your charter should be helping you out with suggestions for these, too - if not, maybe its time to find a new charter!
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.

    Atheist.

    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  5. #4

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    My suggestion with the reading and understanding literature would be to scaffold the readings. For each year, make a list of the readings and novels that are typically covered in a high school curriculum. Then read or experience with him the different versions of those books--abridged, Great Illustrated classics, comics version, movies, audio, etc. Keep it fun and tie it to real life and real life choices. The key is to familiarize him with the plot and characters before tackling the original text. Then when he gets to the original text, most of the work has already been done for him and he can just focus on the language. Reading aloud while he is fiddling with a craft or hobby can be relaxing, while you point out things the writer is doing in the text.

    Great stories are addictive, and I think metaphors and symbols are used to serve that end, not ends in themselves. All stories use metaphor and symbolism--romance, sci-fi, horror, mainstream. But unfortunately, schools blow this type of analysis out of proportion to try to show off how "academic" everyone is.
    Homeschooling an only, DS9

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by vicsmom View Post
    My suggestion with the reading and understanding literature would be to scaffold the readings. For each year, make a list of the readings and novels that are typically covered in a high school curriculum. Then read or experience with him the different versions of those books--abridged, Great Illustrated classics, comics version, movies, audio, etc. Keep it fun and tie it to real life and real life choices. The key is to familiarize him with the plot and characters before tackling the original text. Then when he gets to the original text, most of the work has already been done for him and he can just focus on the language. Reading aloud while he is fiddling with a craft or hobby can be relaxing, while you point out things the writer is doing in the text.

    Great stories are addictive, and I think metaphors and symbols are used to serve that end, not ends in themselves. All stories use metaphor and symbolism--romance, sci-fi, horror, mainstream. But unfortunately, schools blow this type of analysis out of proportion to try to show off how "academic" everyone is.
    I agree with this and suggest you look at Brave Writer for some great ways to help him experience literature, if you choose to pursue that (rather than focusing on non-fic).

  7. #6

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    It is an impossible line and doesn't have an answer as you know. We are doing 4 periods a day at the local high school in their resource classes - they count for credit but are a bit easier than the regular classes. He is doing well with these academically and is able to keep it together to get decent grades, but socially he is completely exhausted when he returns home and I am so glad that I'm not pushing him to stay the full day - he would just get himself in trouble if he stayed longer. He is taking World Lit and currently has an A, so even though he is a kid who has literally thrown things at the wall because he hates figurative language, somehow the fact that Animal Farm is an allegory about Stalin's regime doesn't bother him a bit. Go figure. The teen brain is a challenging thing and throw in autism and really it is just so hard to know.

    Hang in there - I don't have any answers, but I know how hard the journey is.
    Beth
    DS16 with ASD, DD12 and DS10

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Finding balance in curriculum (high school)