About Heather Woodie

Heather Woodie is a homeschooling mom to her "fantastic four" – two in high school, one in middle school, and one last elementary student. She's a former middle and high school biology teacher who has embraced the independent nature of homeschooling and mentors her children through authentic, student driven projects and learning adventures. You can read about their adventures at Blog She Wrote where she blogs about all things homeschooling.

Keeping the spark alive in middle and high school

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Written by Heather Woodie of Blog She Wrote.

If you’ve been homeschooling a while, then you know that the early days of homeschooling are among the sweetest. What could be better than gathering young children around to work together on reading and simple projects?

But as our homeschooled children mature, so does our homeschooling. Pattern blocks and letter tiles are traded for long division and book reports.

Eventually research papers, calculus, and college entrance exams are on the horizon.

Mothers of young homeschooled children hear such truths, but we seldom take them to heart until it’s our turn. Perhaps many of you are reading this and thinking how far away calculus is – or wonder if your students will ever get there. I understand.

My children (we have four with a six and a half year span between them) were all little once. It wasn’t all that long ago that we were teaching reading and running to change a baby’s diaper.

But now, it sometimes seems like it’s all “nose to the grindstone” around here.

So this post is to encourage you to remember why you began homeschooling and to keep the flame ignited — even during the middle and high school years.

Perhaps it is the highly charged academic community we live in (homeschoolers included), but we are often tempted to leave behind some of the most sacred of our homeschool ideals the older our children get and the higher we believe the stakes are.

Resist the urge to chase the conventional and consider ways to keep the spark in your homeschool.

Here are four of our tried and true methods:

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How an unexpected homeschool fight can further your resolve

Red Boxing Gloves Hanging on Wall --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

The following is a guest post by Heather Woodie of Blog She Wrote.

I was taken by surprise recently at a response to my declaration that we homeschool.

We were at a local qualifying meet for First Lego League and I was speaking to the coach of another team. We were there as a family to support my husband who is a coach and my tenth-grader who is a long time team member competing his last eligible year.

She approached us and engaged my daughter about team participation and was shocked to hear that she was not on a team. It’s not the first time well-meaning people have suggested my “creative to her core” girl should embrace math and engineering. To do anything less would be sacrificing potential.

So, I attempted to divert the conversation and we talked about schools. She is a teacher educator. We both taught middle school. We talked about differences in schools here (New York state) versus Maryland where I  taught.

Then I did it. I simply said, “… and so we homeschool.”

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