Category: Handcrafting High School

Using R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Biology 2 for High School Level Biology

Before I get into the specifics of how to do this, I would tell you to relax about this. About six months before Sean started ninth grade, I looked over the California A – G requirements. These are the specific course requirements students need in order to be considered for application to one of the University of California, UC, schools. This university system is considered by many to be one of the top university systems in the United States. Within each of these requirements you can look at the content UC expects you to cover. I was flabbergasted. Many...

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A Handcrafted Education: The High School Years

Oh No! The dreaded “H” word (and I don’t mean handcrafted)! If there is one thing that causes homeschooling parents to panic it is the thought of homeschooling through high school. What if we get it wrong? What if somehow we fail our children, and they cannot … cannot … cannot … wait, cannot what exactly? How is it that we as homeschoolers fall into this trap so common to traditional school parents?!? Why I sometimes wonder, even though I do it myself, did we all drink the Kool-Aid and continue to perpetuate the myth that there is one...

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Handcrafting History: Our Year Studying Politics: This Week in School, Day 1 through 3

This Week in School, Day 1 The next series of posts shares  part of our journey while studying politics. It is political, because we studied politics. We are using the eclectic methodology called Project-Based Learning to study politics. Here is an article I wrote, Project-Based Learning: through the Lens of Politics and Activism. This project will not be finished until November, 2016. The planning for this week began over a year ago. Like many areas of study in a handcrafted education, the pre-planning was thoughtful and intense. The implementation and actual time spent learning, however, is free-flowing. What will...

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The 2016-2017 SEA Teen Book Club: Literary Analysis

If you are reading this after the start date, don’t worry. You can join any time. The monthly online discussions through Google Hangouts have been interesting and insightful! The 2016-2017 SEA Teen Book Club is starting again. I received several messages asking me if I would do this. I have so many things on my to-do list my initial reaction was, “No!” Then I realized it wouldn’t be difficult  if I used what I already intended for Sean’s literary analysis class. I consider reading and discussing these books to be Sean’s lit class for the year. Sean is in 11th grade....

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Project Based Learning: through the Lens of Politics and Activism

Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.         This year we used Project Based Learning, PBL, for one of the most dynamic and exciting years of all the 10 years we have been homeschooling. Several times this year, my son told me he had never been so proud of himself. Our journey through homeschooling has had highs and lows. What happened this year to make it such a high?         What...

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Using RSO Biology 2 for High School Biology

There is a planned level 3 book that will use the Level 2 book with added material in each chapter and in each unit. In the mean time, I am getting many requests for how Biology 2 could be brought up to the high school level. Some parts of it, like the microscope section, are already at a Level 2 and 3. This is not as complete as the level 3 book will be, but like these suggestions, the level 3 book will use Bio 2 and add to it. Before I get into the specifics of how to do this, I would tell you...

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An Eclectic, Academic Approach to a High School Course of Study

What does an eclectic, academic course of study look like for homeschoolers in the high school years? It can take a variety of different forms depending on the teen and their strengths and weaknesses. It can also develop differently based on their interests and the resources available to them. Regardless of these differences, a rich eclectic, academic study will be one in which the student learns at a meaningful level through a variety of resources and opportunities. At the beginning of my son’s high school years he became very interested in astronomy, and his natural curiosity about the subject...

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Handcrafting High School: Year 2: Month 1: On the Road: Sinks Canyon, WY

8/23-24: Sinks Canyon State Park Early in my relationship with Jim I had to establish a rule. We can only drive so far before stopping. Jim is one of those people who will drive as long as it takes until he gets there. He loves to drive places too. After a couple of trips like this, early in our relationship, I told him either he did a better job of stopping and enjoying the journey, or I would only go places with him if we flew there, so now we stop after a set amount of time. When we...

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Handcrafting High School: Year 2: Month 1: On the Road: Custer State Park, SD

I think the year you study geology and environmental science, you should spend time outside looking at the subject of your studies, so we did. I did not keep a daily journal, because I had writer’s block. Something I had never experienced before. It gave me insight into what happens for kids who have good ideas but can’t get them onto a page. My writer’s block made me feel like my brain was constipated. I had so many ideas running around in my head I had trouble getting anything out at all. It made me scattered and feel a...

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Handcrafting High School: Year 2, Month 1: The Service Project

I’m going to depart a bit and tell you about what we learned. I think it is the best way for you to get a feel for the profound benefits of exposing young people to this sort of service project where there is service directly to a community, field trips in the community, and talks from members of the community. Talks given by members of this community, while you are volunteering in it, that focus on issues the community is dealing with and has dealt with, are educational in a way no other academic situation could be. It leads to deep...

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