Lets talk high school! Shall we?
We have moved to a point where most lessons are completed independently. We are doing 3-4 written narrations per week for the older child and 2-3 for the younger one. I’m allowing them to choose which subjects they do written narrations for this year to freshen things up. My question is this: when there is no written narration for the lesson should we be meeting or discussing it in some fashion? What do you do with non-narrated lessons in high school?
I know every lesson, every week does not need to be narrated. I can hardly stand that, but I’ve practiced it for six years dutifully. I feel that crazy schoolish pull to know that they read, that they know, and to show something for every little thing they encounter (even though writing that, I can see the stupidity in it.) Yet, I’m just wondering if I am missing something in my forest for all the trees.nebbyParticipant
I have some things I let them do all on their own like math. Last year my son was good about sending me his written narrations. My daughter let them pile up. My son often emailed them and I also got some oral narrations as voice memos sent to me. I’m going to try to meet with them each once a week this year to make sure they’re getting it all done as they should. Some things got sloppy last year.Melanie32Participant
I have my daughter write two essayish narrations a week and she is still required to narrate orally on all other readings. Sometimes, it’s more of a discussion than a one sided narrations but we are still talking about all of her school books together. She is in 9th grade.
We have an hour of time set aside daily to touch base (10th grader and I). Sometimes this means she’s asking for specific help or someone to work with. Other times it means I’m asking about specific subjects. I try to keep my finger on the pulse of each course, knowing what she is doing or thinking about it.
Math U See – I check her work daily. There is no better way for us than that.
History – We discuss her readings a few days per week, or she writes about them and I read those.
Literature – I ask for a narration most days and we will have a full socratic discussion when she finishes each book. Right now she’s reading The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.
Science – She’s got THREE. Biology is a daily check of the On Your Own questions or a narration. Veterinary Medicine is an online class and I simply ask how it’s going and what the homework is about. Herpetology is a home-designed course and it’s living in my house… bearded dragons were acquired last year for it and this year she’s added a ball python.
Writing – She’s using The Power in Your Hands and she comes to me when there are points in the assignments that tell her to.
Ok, so from these posts I’m thinking I’m good with my plans to sort of touch base daily/weekly on things I can’t see that we aren’t narrating on in a written fashion.
There is always that tricky balance between letting them work independently and making sure they’re using good time management and careful reading skills.
Yes, Sue! We have kids allergic to furred animals and birds, with reactions varying from runny noses and itchy eyes to hives, blisters, and anaphylactic shock. So she’s loved diving into reptiles. We also have hermit crabs. I’m not a big fan of the snake but it’s pretty calm and we handle it regularly so it remains used to being touched/held. The bearded dragons are much nicer in my opinion (and one is pretty cuddly). The things we allow our kids to do! She’s earned all the money all along to purchase animals, set up habitats, feed, and care for them. It’s not cheap, but it has brought many opportunities for growth to her.
Tristan, if you don’t mind, I have a follow up since our daughters are the same age – 10th.
Is your daughter planning on college? If so, do you feel that the plans we’re using are providing enough rigor to merit 1 credit for high school per class? I guess I’m trying to compare my high school experience too much to her homeschooling experience but some days I think: “Oh no, this doesn’t seem nearly miserable enough to be high school!” LOL You know what I mean though, not enough memorization, quizes, tests … along those lines. Her digesting, narrating and moving on just feels wrong some how.
Do you think for a Science a daily written narration is a must?
I’ve been scanning the college entrance requirements at various schools and looking at their average test scores for incoming freshman. It’s a bit frightening!
Claire – I hear you! Makayla has decided she’s heading into veterinary medicine and after the undergrad work (usually 4 years) she still has to get accepted to a vet college. The ones she is looking at have a 10-15% acceptance rate of applicants. Eeek!
For science she can do oral or written narrations, we aim for an even mix.
One thing that helped Makayla was to have her research entrance requirements for the schools she is interested in – both for undergrad and vet school. She saw that it wasn’t just mom’s crazy suggestion that she get 2 years of a foreign language in – that the schools require it. So now she’s planning what language to do for 11th and 12th. She looked at average ACT scores for students accepted and will take the ACT for the first time this year (10th) and see what areas she needs to work on improving from there.
Another thing that has helped is having her in at least 1 outside/online class each year, so she gets a different teacher that isn’t mom, who she doesn’t feel so free to ask for extensions on assignments, etc. In 8th it was a mythology course. Last year a Graphic design with Adobe Illustrator (that I couldn’t begin to help her with, so she was forced to do the work and use the teacher’s office hours when she had questions). This year is two Veterinary Medicine courses and a Criminology course. All these require her participation, written work, graded tests and quizzes, and live online presentations to the rest of the class. It’s pushed her gently out of her comfort zone to learn new skills or strengthen weak skills.
Do I worry? Yes and no. I think we did a lot less work in high school than we realize – and a lot more fill in the blank and busy work. Does she need to be prepared to handle the workload and follow the teacher’s expectations without the opportunity to negotiate? Yes. So we’re just nudging up the difficulty and are actually grading things now that she’s in high school. (We only graded math before, and science tests in junior high). I know that she’s capable. I know that I can’t be the motivating factor, she’s got to want it and be teachable and willing to learn how to work for it.
- The topic ‘How much are you talking to your high schoolers?’ is closed to new replies.