Category Archives: Handcrafting High School

Homeschooling high school makes many secular homeschoolers nervous! Let SEA Homeschoolers help you homeschool high school with these insightful articles sharing how other members of our Secular, Eclectic, Academic Community are doing it.

March 16th, 2017 by 

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

November 8th, 2016 by 

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 …

November 3rd, 2016 by 

Our Year Studying Politics 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 happen this week, …

June 20th, 2016 by 
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. http://bie.org/about/what_pbl         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? Project Based Learning: …
May 6th, 2016 by 

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 …

March 21st, 2016 by 

Handcrafting High School On the Road, Sinks Canyon, WY 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 …

March 3rd, 2016 by 

Handcrafting High School: Year 2, Custer State Park 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. …

February 27th, 2016 by 

Handcrafting High School: Year 2, Month 1: Re-member 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 …

February 18th, 2016 by 

Handcrafting High School: Year 2, Month 1 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 …

December 28th, 2015 by 

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 …

November 22nd, 2015 by 

Handcrafting High School: Year 1, Month 9 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 …

May 25th, 2015 by 

The Home School History Project: 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 …

May 24th, 2015 by 

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 be …

May 4th, 2015 by 

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 …

April 5th, 2015 by 

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 could, …