Home School High School ~One Month In

High School. Independent study time! YEAH! I can do this! Easy as pie, hand out the work now! Go for it! 

I thought it would be a breeze, set up the lessons get the work planned out and get down to work! 
I did not look at the work as a problem, as long as it was school work what would the problem be? 
Problem: You have to read the work to find the answers. 

Answer: Read the work.  
Problem: Teenager does not want to do the reading in order to find the answer, teen wants to know it all! 
Sure we can laugh at the jokes about the teen who knew it all from the time they turned 13 until the day when they turned 21 and realized that Mom and Dad actually knew what they were talking about. Or maybe the one that tells a teen to solve the worlds problems while they still know it all? 
When it comes down to it we have to study to show ourselves approved, either by the Lord via the Word and Truth, or by the teacher/parent grading our work. Whatever we do in life we have to study to learn how to do it. 

A young man went to work at a new job recently and found there was a lot of things to learn about. I was amazed when he told me he enjoyed being taught how to do things that his last job had just assumed he knew how to do and set him to task. 
Though he did well at the job prior to this one he found it to be tiring and frustrating at times. The new job how ever had a ton of more things to learn about and he found it exhilarating, and even enjoyable to learn and work at it!
So what is the lesson we can learn from this? We need to be taught in the correct way to do things in order to enjoy doing them the correct way. 
We as Home School High School teachers have taken on a huge challenge but if we do not teach them in the correct way, whether they like it or not, they will not learn to do it in the correct way. 
It would be so easy to just 'put in the time' of school each day and say we did our hours. What I like about my state is I don't have to turn in a card that says how many hours I taught, I just have to teach them the work. They can't do the work if I don't teach it. 

How I teach is up to me, or rather how I teach is up to my student's learning ability allows. Some kids learn by seeing, others by doing, still others learn by doing while seeing. First we figure out what way to teach, then we find the tools to do so. 
There are so many things we can use to teach as well! Libraries are full of DVDs with instruction on many things from Geography to sports, you just have to pop in a video and watch the 'film strip' to learn about some countries around the world today. Add to that a bit of written work and you have a curriculum for Geographical study!
I could just let my son watch television all day and call that school, but I won't. I believe I student needs the interaction of a teachers instruction added to reading and interactive type of lessons in order to get a full rounded lesson. 
I would probably call us school at home meets eclectic schooling. We have our own way of doing things with a mix of computer plus book work and a splash of dvd learning added in with lecture work. 

My schedule was going to look like this:
short snack break
Language Arts 
Lunch break

PE/ Computer-Art alternating. 

Instead it looks more like; 
Bible / History Alternating
Attentively encourage learning here. 

History/Math off and on days in this time slot. 
Remind student to return to school work and stop watching videos. 
Language Arts - for about an hour of complaining occasionally. 
Math if I forgot to remind him.
SOS classes an play games on the side when Mom is not looking. 
So much for Independent study I thought.
But then I started grading his work. 

I begrudgingly grabbed my teacher manuals turned to the proper pages and began what I thought would be a chore. 
As I went through the work it was better and better. He was really getting it! With each book my smile would grow! Geometry was easy! I took out my staples "That was easy!"stamp and started stamping the lessons1 He was doing such a good job with the less independent study that I figured I must have failed. So I tried another week; this time writing out the list as we used to do with what he had to do each day. He could check it off as he went. Things went by with out much trouble the rest of the month. I would get stressed and then grade and relax. 
Still good grades, he can work both ways. I can teach him to do things on his own while I am near by. 

I am afraid it will be this way for a year now. Cycle of frustration and acceptance and encouragement and even an argument here and there. What it all comes down to is that we are the teachers, the parents, the authority for the teen to rebel against. When they all come in one package then we are in for a fun surprise! 
We will need to persevere to keep on keeping on and to look to the Lord for strength. Just as our students are having so much information crammed into their brains in four years time, so we are learning a lot in this time period. 
In the end the student will go on to College or trade school and get the degree that God has planned for them if we do it right! 

Just remember to keep things in perspective. School teaching is different than being mom or dad, we have to be able to peel off the teacher at the end of the day and become the loving encouraging fun loving parent who will nurture the child in our teens into a grown adult who will know we are there for them no matter what. 

Schedules or lists do not matter as much as time spend with quality learning, teaching to the student and allowing them to move along as their own pace. Oh, and remember that sometimes life gets in the way make some changes, that's one of the blessings of home school we can make adjustments and keep on learning!

I must remember the statement my dear son said at 'Legoland' theme park while identifying' cities with his grandparents " ... that's because I home school and when you home school the learning never ends! If you want to know about something, or someplace you just look it up!" 
Be blessed and not stressed!