Getting comfortable with high school freedom


Written by contributor Cheryl of the 2:1 conference and CherylPitt.com.

“Freedom is the oxygen of the soul.” Moshe Dayan

What happened to our love of learning? Where did the fun go? Why am I always frustrated? Worse, why are the boys always frustrated? This can’t be all there is.

These are questions I asked myself in January. I was stretched to my limit; some might say I was burnt out. You see, I homeschool high schoolers, three high schoolers. Mine are all boys – boys about to be men.

I’ve found teens to be fun but curious creatures. When they’re young, mom is their hero. When they’re older, she’s an impediment to adulthood. Even in the most respectful of teens, a natural separation – a gap between dependence and independence – begins to take place and that can be a difficult river to navigate.

It was for me.

The Root of the Problem

I had high school tunnel vision. I was so focused on the fact that my teens would soon be leaving, I didn’t leave room for living.
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Sarah’s homeschool day in the life (with a 12- and 15-year-old)

Written by contributor Sarah Small of SmallWorld at Home

The sky is just starting to lighten. From my regular perch I watch a new day come, wait for the riot of color as the sun pops up over the mountains. The next few hours are mine. This is the “me” time that stay-at-home moms crave: my creative time, productive time, devotion time, exercise time. I write, pray, run, plan, catch-up, check things off—and add things to—my to-do list. I shower quietly, without my ears tuned to the cries of “Mommy!”

You with little ones don’t have this—I know. Your little ones are your alarm clock.

dayinthelife1-300x2102

But one of these days, you’ll have middle and high schoolers who sleep in late—and you won’t.

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Celebrating high school independence (Back to School Week)

Contributor Amida writes for Journey Into Unschooling

This summer, my oldest child went off to college for the first time at thirteen.

Wearing a backpack filled with a simple folder, a couple of pencils, and enough food to survive the night if need be (two sandwiches, two fruits, two thermoses full of hot soup, snacks, a water bottle, and a dark chocolate bar), I saw him board the bus alone — his first time in one since he was three-years-old — and watched as he disappeared down the road for the next eight hours.

It was a scary moment.

For many, thirteen is no big deal. Heck, I was walking to and from school on my own years before that, as do many public school children. But most of the homeschoolers I know are somewhat sheltered in that respect.

Call us strange but we like to hang out together and do family things. I know all my children’s friends and peers and their parents (and brothers, sisters, and sometimes cousins and next door neighbor). For the most part, we learn together, and being such a close knit bunch, my children have had little opportunity or desire to be away for too long.

Granted, this isn’t the first time my son has been out of my sight. He does take and has taken outside classes on his own. Somehow though, the act of boarding the bus in the morning and not returning until evening feels like a rite of passage.
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Physical education for homeschooled teens

Written by contributor Sarah Small of SmallWorld at Home

P E, phys ed, gym: whatever you called it, all of us public schoolers did it. Some of us dreaded it; some of us considered it the best part of the day. If you had to wear one-piece gym suits that zipped up the front, well, I’m laughing (and blushing) right along with you.

So how do homeschoolers handle PE? I am surprised at the number of people who ask me “Does [swimming, hiking, gymnastics, dancing] count as PE?” Of course! If your child is getting exercise, he is engaged in PE.

For most younger children, the need to move is innate.

What kid doesn’t want to climb the perfect tree or beg to go to the park? How many times have you heard yourself admonish your little kids to be still for a few minutes—to stop rolling around on the ground?

But as these same wiggly children enter the teen years, they would likely rather be on Facebook than running around outside.

While the inclination for physical activity is built into us, we have to be deliberate about providing opportunities for PE, especially as our kids get older.

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Of America and war (2012 curriculum fair)

Ages of my kids at home: 15 and 11 1/2
Educational Philosophy Influences: Literature-based, Eclectic, College-Bound

I am so excited about this upcoming year! I have always maintained that educational flexibility is the highlight of home education, and 2012-13 will be one of those years that embraces flexibility.

Shouldn’t education be crafted by creativity, rather than squished into a box labeled “scope and sequence”?

For me, part of the joy in homeschooling my kids comes with the designing, the knowing that my kids get an individualized education plan that suits them perfectly.

So here is what I have planned for my two at-home kids:
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