Category: Handcrafting High School

Handcrafting High School: Year 2: Month 1: On the Way to the Service Project

The first month of tenth grade might have been the best month we ever spent homeschooling. You might be thinking, “Well, Yeah! You were traveling and hanging out. How could that not be great?” 🙂 That is true, of course, but it was more than that. The planning and intent for this trip focused on enriched learning. The choices for where we stayed and what we did were planned with the intent that what we studied on the road would enrich our understanding of a situation in science, culture, and/or history. We were not disappointed. I am behind in...

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An Eclectic and Effective Approach to Foreign Language Studies

One of the most universal plights of the average homeschooled highschooler is the matter of learning a language, as four years of language studies are required for entrance into most colleges. Since homeschoolers are both blessed and burdened, depending on the situation, with the removal of the guidelines and restrictions that bind your ordinary public high school student, many homeschooled teens and parents of homeschooled teens turn to groups, forums, and other networks of exchange in search of the most effective means of studying a language at a mature college preparatory level. This is by no means a pointless...

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Handcrafting High School: Year 1, Month 9 through the Year’s End

We school year round with lots of breaks. That doesn’t matter to a planner like me though. Every year I have a start date and an end date.  The year-end date for this year was the day we picked Sean up from Stanford. Our life was a whirlwind during the time leading up to that. Talk about eclectic! And academic! And we always keep it secular! Science is not a small part of our life! Planning for next year The previous month I had Sean work on some short nonfiction essays. As he was working on these I realized...

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The Homeschool History Project: Handcrafting High School: Year 2: American Government

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana I interpret this quote to mean that through studying history people are less likely to repeat past mistakes. I think this is an important reason for studying history. In the United States the best way to accomplish this is by participating in the election process and at least voting. It disturbs me that young people, those who are likely to live the longest and therefore be affected the most by voting decisions made now, are not voting. It seems to me, they are not ensuring that the world they’re...

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Handcrafting 10th grade: The Plan for 2015/2016

Eclectic? Absolutely! Academic? Of Course! Innovative? You Know It! It’s Organic, Too! (I am a chemist, after all! ;-)) History: American government & politics with writing History and the upcoming election will be the main focus this year. The Homeschool History Project – This is a name I came up with. Sean is designing a website to go with it. I posted about the Homeschool History Project in a separate blog piece, https://blairleeblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/the-homeschool-history-project-handcrafting-high-school-year-2-american-government/ If James, Sean’s 30 year old brother, gets his campaign finance reform NGO started, volunteer once a week for him. Big History with online group – https://www.bighistoryproject.com/home – Sean will...

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Handcrafting High School: Year 1, Month 8

What a crazy month April was. We moved for the third time since the summer of 2012, and we aren’t in the military. First we moved from the mountains to San Diego where there is a larger homeschool community. That house was too far inland, so we moved closer to the coast. That house was too far from rowing and our adult kids, so we moved closer to both. As you can imagine our friends and family think we’re crazy, or that we really like to move. I feel the feather in Forrest Gump. In addition to moving, we...

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Handcrafting High School: Year 1, Month 7

Some months a handcrafted education looks like a carefully detailed pattern has been followed as if I bought something from Butterwick, cut it out carefully, pinned everything meticulously, and sewed all the pieces exactly to Butterwick’s specifications. Other times a handcrafted education looks like a crazy quilt. It has a little of this and a little of that. It looks like I ran out of the fabric that I was planning on using and began to wildly improvise. This month looked and felt like a crazy quilt. It was productive, satisfying, and dizzying. We crammed in everything that we...

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Handcrafting High School: Year 1, Month 6

Oh my goodness! What a busy month February was for both Sean and me. There were times this month when I felt like I barely had time to breathe. I actually realized TWICE! that I had showered and forgotten to shave. I remember being super busy close to the end with biology too. There is a point when writing a book where I can see the finish line, and I am ready to be there, so I work as hard as I can even at night. I did not finish it this month, in case you are wondering. (The book has...

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Handcrafting High School: Year 1, Month 5

If you have read my previous handcrafting high school posts, it might sound to you like I have it all together. I admit I am proud of how we’re doing. But I have been working hard for nine years to figure it out. And any time a homeschooling parent says to you, as I did last month, that they started out using the classical method and it didn’t work for their child, there is a lot of pain and some tears associated with that statement. We have hiccups and issues even now. Sean just turned 15, and I deal...

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Homeschooling High School Teleconference

Once again I have the written text for my answers. I have learned that I have to write my responses down before participating in a talk. That is because I am not a linear thinker. When I talk I often interject tangents or go in different directions. I write my answers down ahead of time so that I will stay on point! There is much more in these answers than in the talk. I think best and most completely in writing. But the talk has answers to these and other questions from Jai and Meg that are not included...

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