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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blair Lee View Post
    Did your library let her volunteer without you? If so, how awesome of them. The volunteer work we did at our local library, really gave Sean and I a sense of community. The book buddy made me wonder if a boys and girls club would take teens as volunteers?
    Yes, she volunteers on her own. She loves it!

    Erica

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  3. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by fastweedpuller View Post
    Hey Blair,

    Sean is in high school. It's often been discussed here on this site that many parents are worried about homeschooling for high school, and that even middle school is intimidating, academically...that the kids' abilities outstrip the teaching parent's knowledge base. Was there any point in which you "outsourced" part of Sean's learning? Has he done co-ops, etc., or had--I dunno--a tutor for something tricky? I mean I consider myself a relatively well-educated person but it would be a stretch for me to relearn and teach trig...! Many parents consider dual enrollment in community colleges for access to lab-based science classes, etc., but those classes are mostly open to kids who are 16 and older. Online classes are also an option (I believe you and Sean have done some).

    So can you tell us about the things you felt you couldn't teach him, and had him team up with others? We all have our knowledge gaps!! And as the mom of an only, I think collaborative learning is really important once they hit middle school...

    Thanks!
    El
    Thanks!
    El

    Was there any point in which you "outsourced" part of Sean's learning? Has he done co-ops, etc., or had--I dunno--a tutor for something tricky? I mean I consider myself a relatively well-educated person but it would be a stretch for me to relearn and teach trig...! Many parents consider dual enrollment in community colleges for access to lab-based science classes, etc., but those classes are mostly open to kids who are 16 and older. Online classes are also an option (I believe you and Sean have done some).

    So can you tell us about the things you felt you couldn't teach him, and had him team up with others? We all have our knowledge gaps!! And as the mom of an only, I think collaborative learning is really important once they hit middle school...

    There have absolutely been times and subjects I have outsourced! I do this all the time! Sometimes I canít teach them: computer programming and art, sometimes I donít want to teach them: geometry (my least favorite math in school), sometimes I want input from others to add more depth and breadth to Seanís skill with the subject: writing.

    I taught him all his subjects in grade school, but in middle school and high school I used/use a blend of at home learning with me and input and educating from others. Even if you are very knowledgeable about a subject, I think there are benefits to adding outside sources. I think a breadth of input and styles of doing something is especially important for your childís favorite subjects. Because these are the subjects they are most interested in, I think there is a big benefit when others help them see the range of thinking and complexities of it. I think it leads to a higher level of thinking and performance for these subjects. I did this when Sean was in 6th grade for writing. Sean loves to write. Up to that point I had been his only writing teacher. Writing is such a big subject; I wanted Sean to have the benefit of anotherís perspective. I hired a friend who was an English teacher at the local high school near us to mentor him in writing. Right now, 10th grade, I am in the process of finding a writing tutor to work with Sean on the structure and rules of writing. We are not sure if he will take the SAT or go to community college next year for English. I want someone who knows exactly what skills Sean needs to be successful at either of these to work with him and get him to that point.

    When Sean wanted to learn computer programming, I found someone to mentor and teach him. I did not want to learn how to code! He has taken classes at UCSD Extension, camps, everything I could find that would help him learn this set of, what I think are, essential skills.

    If I think Sean should learn something, or he wants to learn something, I make sure he gets the resources to learn it. I am realistic about what I can and cannot teach, and what I do and do not want to teach. I recognize that I always do my best for him, and sometimes my best is really good and sometimes it isnít. When it isnít, I find a source that works for how he accesses that subject.

    One thing I have to watch when I decide to use an outside source is how well Sean is accessing the information using it. This year I decided to have him learn using a Think Well American Government course. The course is very good, but Sean was not learning well from it. I realized I had to sit down and take the class with him. Part of the problem is he is lacking some of the skills he needs for an online class made up of lectures and tests, and part of the problem is he needs someone to discuss the subject with. He is still using the course but with a hefty input of information from me.

    Some of the resources we are using this year are not aimed at ďstudentsĒ. We are doing a very time intensive course of study focusing on the upcoming elections. There have been many opportunities for learning. Some of them I made happen, I found a friend of a friend who helps grassroots movements get off the ground and I called him and talked him into meeting with Sean. Others fell into our lap. Sean has been trained how to register people to vote, so that their registration will not be rejected, and how to call people on the phone to discuss the candidate he likes.

    Sean has also done some sort of physical activity that was coached by others since he was 5 or 6. He was on a ski team for years, then he was on a crew team, and this year he is learning dance. Yes, he decided he wanted to learn hip hop dance at the age of 15, after never expressing the least desire to dance, ever! I find the sports he is drawn to interesting, because they all have the collaborative component you mentioned, but success as far as performing is very individual.
    Blair Lee loves to read, cook, laugh, hang out with friends, and homeschool. In 2015, she co-founded Secular, Eclectic, Academic Homeschoolers, SEA Homeschoolers blog and SEA Homeschoolers on Facebook. Blair writes for the Real Science Odyssey Series, RSO, as well as blogs and magazines. Blair speaks about eclectic, academic homeschooling, science, and travel at homeschool conventions. You can follow her at blairleeblog, Twitter, Facebook, and Katch.

  4. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by LKnomad View Post
    This.

    This is why we are homeschooling my LD son.
    You can understand the dilemma for teachers, who have a classroom full of students, each one unique. For many learners though the focus on ease of teaching and not the unique way they learn leaves them disenfranchised from their education. Your son is so lucky you were able to homeschool him!
    Blair Lee loves to read, cook, laugh, hang out with friends, and homeschool. In 2015, she co-founded Secular, Eclectic, Academic Homeschoolers, SEA Homeschoolers blog and SEA Homeschoolers on Facebook. Blair writes for the Real Science Odyssey Series, RSO, as well as blogs and magazines. Blair speaks about eclectic, academic homeschooling, science, and travel at homeschool conventions. You can follow her at blairleeblog, Twitter, Facebook, and Katch.

  5. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blair Lee View Post
    I hired a friend who was an English teacher at the local high school near us to mentor him in writing. Right now, 10th grade, I am in the process of finding a writing tutor to work with Sean on the structure and rules of writing. We are not sure if he will take the SAT or go to community college next year for English. I want someone who knows exactly what skills Sean needs to be successful at either of these to work with him and get him to that point.

    I am trying to find someone to help us with writing as well. I have contacted a few high school English teachers, but none have been interested.

    Erica

  6. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by ebh87 View Post
    I am trying to find someone to help us with writing as well. I have contacted a few high school English teachers, but none have been interested.
    Erica,
    Have you tried contacting the guidance counselor(s) at your local schools? Sometimes they know of teachers who tutor who currently are not in a classroom (staying home with young children, not hired yet, etc.) Check with local homeschool groups as well; there are many former teachers in our ranks!
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter (22), a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son (21), a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  7. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by fastweedpuller View Post
    It's often been discussed here on this site that many parents are worried about homeschooling for high school, and that even middle school is intimidating, academically...that the kids' abilities outstrip the teaching parent's knowledge base. Was there any point in which you "outsourced" part of Sean's learning? Has he done co-ops, etc., or had--I dunno--a tutor for something tricky? I mean I consider myself a relatively well-educated person but it would be a stretch for me to relearn and teach trig...! Many parents consider dual enrollment in community colleges for access to lab-based science classes, etc., but those classes are mostly open to kids who are 16 and older. Online classes are also an option (I believe you and Sean have done some).
    Sometimes parents in homeschool groups have special talents they can share. A mom in our group grew up as a missionary kid in Mexico. She was a great tutor when dd needed help in Spanish. I in turn help other kids with math.

    FWP, as you already know, my kids have done dual credit courses as well. And yes, typically the university or CC wants the kids to be at least a junior. HOWEVER, some do make unpublicized exceptions. If your child can score fairly high on the SAT or ACT, some places will allow the student to enroll. My son started dual credit as a high school freshman--just one class per semester, after taking the SAT at the end of his 8th grade year. (DD started as a sophomore the same year, taking the SAT as a freshman.)

    And collaboration is great, but there is also a lot to be said about letting the kid drive the learning at some point. For example, DS is entirely self-taught in programming. He learned far more on his own than I'd EVER be able to teach him. He used books, online forums, and open source ideas. He followed up by finding a local internship with a family acquaintance. Once a kid is 16, 17, 18 years old, I think it's even more important to let him/her drive the process.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter (22), a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son (21), a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  8. #17

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    Thanks, Blair and Carol.

    A lot of my doubt is in the "too far in the future to see" category. Like Blair, I have felt pretty confident I could teach anything at the elementary level. And like you've often said, Carol, our kids are different kids entirely once they're about 15! Maybe the kid's stuck under her parental microscope but the changes I usually see in her academically/developmentally are just so gradual. Add it all up and yes she's been able to do so much more. But will all this incremental change mean she'll be able to take community college classes by 15 or 16? That's almost impossible to say, though I hope so!

    (And I am not trying to rush anything, necessarily. We're homeschooling because private school just didn't work for her distracted self...and we were unwilling to try public school. And I think I am always in the "am I doing enough, well enough" mode. I don't know if I will ever be fully comfortable with the "she'll get there in her own time" philosophy.)
    Eclectically homeschooling 8th grade dd, who likes science as much as art...

  9. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by inmom View Post
    Erica,
    Have you tried contacting the guidance counselor(s) at your local schools? Sometimes they know of teachers who tutor who currently are not in a classroom (staying home with young children, not hired yet, etc.) Check with local homeschool groups as well; there are many former teachers in our ranks!
    All great ideas that I hadn't thought of. Thank you! I did just get a name of someone who is interested (a graduate student majoring in English). If she doesn't work out, then I will definitely use your other ideas. Thank you!

    Here in Ohio, students can start taking CC classes in 7th grade! One of my older children went to CC full-time in his junior and senior years and it was a good experience for him. I'm not sure when I should start my daughter. I like the idea of just having her take one class in her freshman year.

    Erica

  10. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by fastweedpuller View Post
    A lot of my doubt is in the "too far in the future to see" category.
    To be completely honest, I wasn't 100% comfortable that our decision to homeschool our kids was the right one until they hit junior year!! We viewed it as an experiment that worked at that point. We were constantly re-evaluting if a brick and mortar school would be better at some point.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter (22), a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son (21), a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  11. #20

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    I prefer in person tutoring sessions. I live in San Diego, so we have options. I have also hired a college student to help with one computer program Sean could not figure out. To find the tutor I am using for Sean's writing this year I searched through Google, and then chose someone who had great reviews. If you live in a more remote area, there are good online resources. Sean has taken classes with Brave Writer, and Crime Scene Camps with Thom Jones, Crime Scene Camps. Sometimes it helps to just ask. I noticed that Thom is a very good writer, so this year I asked Thom if he would give Sean some feedback on his writing, and he said yes.
    Blair Lee loves to read, cook, laugh, hang out with friends, and homeschool. In 2015, she co-founded Secular, Eclectic, Academic Homeschoolers, SEA Homeschoolers blog and SEA Homeschoolers on Facebook. Blair writes for the Real Science Odyssey Series, RSO, as well as blogs and magazines. Blair speaks about eclectic, academic homeschooling, science, and travel at homeschool conventions. You can follow her at blairleeblog, Twitter, Facebook, and Katch.

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