Even though I have graduated two already, and number three is three-fourths of the way through high school now, I still am asking myself, “How do I fit it all in?!”
By the time my children reached high school age, I figured they should be able to be independent learners, for the most part. (If I “did my job” properly while they were at the elementary/middle school levels, then I’ve already taught them to love learning. Still, I’m here if they have questions or need assistance with anything.) However, I also provided an outline, or list, of what I wanted them to cover during their high school years. Some of it has been the same for all three of my high schoolers; some of it has been specialized for each individual.
For example, they all had to cover the basics: math, English, history, and science. How they did that is individualized, as far as resources used, etc.
So… First step: Decide what has to be covered. Some colleges/universities require four years of math, for example, and some only three. Some require three or four years of science, some only two.
Second step: With your student, write up your “game plan,” what subjects will be covered which year, and maybe even decide together what resources you will use. Also, decide together what extra-curricular activities you may wish to include. Will your student have a part-time job to work around? Will your student do dual enrollment at a community college at any point?
Third step: Together fill in the calendar, or student planner. Teach your student to fill in the deadlines, etc. I think this is where I may have failed, to some degree, with my oldest. My daughter, though, seems to be naturally inclined to journal and fill in calendars, etc. This serves her well now; she often writes her work schedule on a calendar, so the rest of us will know what her schedule is. My current high schooler does plan to attend college, so now is the time to be teaching him how to closely manage his time.
Fourth step: On that calendar, you will also want to fill in any extras, like co-ops, field trips, music lessons…and the student’s work schedule, if he/she does have a job. Also, if your student will be taking tests such as PSAT, SAT, or ACT, you’ll want to write those dates in.
This will give your student a greater sense of independence.
What if your student has younger siblings? Well, this is one of the reasons you’re encouraging independence — so you are able to devote the extra time the younger children demand. Still, there is plenty that can be done together as a family, which is one reason I like unit studies so well. And, I read aloud to the children. My daughter sat in on a lot of the books I read aloud to the boys. Now I am reading several books aloud to both boys, especially related to history.
Do you have any tips for fitting it all in? Please share.
Next month we will be discussing graduation. Please come back then.