Looking back over our family scrapbooks is such a treat! Can it be that this time REALLY has gone so fast? It is unbelievable to look at those pictures from our "First Day of School." So many great memories! So much fun! Funny to see Matthew as an eager 5-year-old kindergartener—in one picture all dressed up, complete with his shirt tucked in! In the next few moments he transgressed to his "water-boots" ON THE OUTSIDE of his pants…shirt untucked…and his "standard" camouflage baseball cap! So funny! Yet…now…

Now, this little boy has turned into a young man right before my eyes! Shirts are tucked in probably because he now works so hard to exercise and keep fit! Those water boots have lonnnnnggg been traded in for BIG tennis shoes that I "lovingly" trip on as I cross the room lovingly because I REALLY know it won't be much longer that I will get the treat of tripping over his shoes. And…no more baseball caps either! Matthew is now as particular as his father about his hair, even though this year we found his very first GRAY HAIR like his mom! Now…

Now, we are wrapping it all up after 12 years of homeschooling. High School is reality now! But only for a little while longer!

Days are full working through those last few school requirements, learning real life skills alongside of Mom and Dad, and best of all - much more of real life companionship than ever before. While Matthew finishes his last required credit before graduation and a full slate of extras that we wanted to be sure to include in his curriculum, we have been looking back and looking ahead with a whole host of emotions. We are wrapping it all up to get ready to pass the torch!
So, wondering about what Homeschooling High School is like? What it looks like? What really needs to be taught in these last few years at home? Come home and join us right-smack-dab-in-the-middle of our journey!
Family-LIFE! Wrap High School Around Your HOME Not School!
As we enter into the High School years, we enter into a time of great pressure! Not only do we want the very, very best education for our children, but we find that our days are more limited than ever to accomplish this great task. Then, add to this the external pressures that come from every angle. It gets VERY tough to discern which way to go or what homeschooling in the high school years should really be like.
Instead of cramming "school" into these years, God has a better plan! During these last few years it is even more vital than ever that we develop our homes and our family lifestyle. These are the years that we must continue walking step-by-step into the great design that God has for our family! More than ever, we need to include our children in our daily life, mentoring them so they will be prepared for their life. As we do, all else will fall in place…the choices, the schedule, and the struggles…all will fall into place.
Want to make learning a lifestyle but have no idea how to begin? First, look at ways to encourage RELATIONSHIPS. Wrap all around your family. Set a priority on family life. Set up a family schedule that begins by wrapping the day around your husbands' schedule. Balance all else to fit in around their daily schedule. Then, it will be easier to guage whether other things such as extracurricular activities, studies, work, or apprenticeships can work into the family schedule. With our family many, many good things have not fit in because we simply could not balance the demands with our priority of a strong family-centered life. These are small losses in view of eternity!
Secondly, find ways to work together. Academics in high school only take a small part of the day. It is easy to either let them get out of hand, monopolizing life OR lose track of every day. Make a concentrated effort to work together, teaching them what you know. In our family, this means that Harold includes the children while he builds, repairs, or welds. For me, it means that Elisabeth and I are spending hours sewing, crafting, and baking. No one is stuck off working by themselves. When we added our new offices for our ministry onto our home, we planned the offices so that everyone could work together. These are just a few of the little things that we are doing to work together and learn together. Find ways to work and learn together in your family!
Finally, think of how YOU learn! We have noticed through the years that the very same ways that Harold and I continue to learn topics of our interest as adults are the best ways to encourage our children to learn.. When either of us want to learn something new, we read all that we can find on that topic. We research the topic using all reference materials that we have available to us (books, magazines, newspapers, Internet, Encyclopedias, reference books, PEOPLE, etc.). We access people who KNOW and LOVE the topic that we are interested in. We get busy "doing" hands-on what we want to know. If you think of how we learn, you find that these are the OLD WAYS that students used to learn before education became so progressive. These are the OLD PATHS. If you are like Harold and me, you will find that some of your learning techniques are as old as the sun. But, these are some of the best ways to teach your children how to learn now and—even better--encourage your children to become lifetime learners.