Monday, 6 March 2017

#100WaystoHomeEd: What to do About Teens

Thank you all for joining me and home educated families like us in the #100WaystoHomeEd challenge started by Jax Blunt at the Making It Up blog.

Previous to this blog post here was Kelly Allen's about lifestyle education: pop on over to later to see what she has to say here:

I've been allowed to blog about my favorite topic -

homeschooling teens 

(forgive my American spelling and terminology: I moved from the UK to Texas last year and am trying to "go native").

A lot of people seem to hit those secondary years with their children and just lose the plot. It's all "exams, exams, exams," or, in the US, collect those dual-credit hours (for getting the jump on university), and SATs (to nab some scholarship money), but the atmosphere is the same -- time to knuckle down and work, work, work.

All work and no play can give
teens a very dull life!

I think it's sad when I look back at all the fun we used to have: co-ops and playdates, salt-dough maps, nature walks, and Lego.

Remember when you spent
the whole day outside?

It's been one of my desires to keep some of that fun in our studies despite ramping things up for secondary school, because there's more way to learn than simply hitting the books.

We've kept this "living learning" running throughout our entire homeschooling career, making use of co-ops year-on-year. This is when you get together with others to study a subject. History seems to make a good focus, and we've been part of history co-ops since 2005. It was one of the first things we organized when we moved to Texas, and a great way to make local friends.

Co-op 2013

Co-op 2014

Co-op 2017

I also like to incorporate a variety of tools for thinking through the information, and for displaying it in a lasting way. Lapbooking has been one of my favorites in this aspect (see the menu to the right for other lapbooking blog posts). We've also taken the opportunity to act things out, assign independent projects, and even build Lego models!

Lapbooking and Lego!
Who says teens learn only through readin' and writin'?

We still take the odd field trip, too. It's important to contextualize your history if possible. When we lived in England, there were amazing opportunities within a relatively short drive (compared to Texas, anyway), but we continue to grab our chances when we can. Coming back from a recent dog show, we took a detour to visit one of Texas's most important battle sites.

San Jacinto Monument
The battle lasted only 18 minutes
and secured Texas' independence from Mexico.

Thank you for visiting us here at Boyschooling, and seeing how we continue to keep some of the magic from our early years in our secondary-level of homeschooling. This mixes amongst our Charlotte Mason-style learning, outsourcing some subjects via online courses (the English ones of which I am the tutor), dual-enrollment courses at the local community college, and preparing for the national, standardized test called the SAT.

Please browse through the blog posts I've been writing about our journey since 2011, many of the early ones of which were about how boys learn.

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