In this series of articles we are trying to provide some help for secondary home-schooling parents in "thinking outside the box."
Many times it just takes a single idea to give a parent and student what is needed to move on. For example, take the idea of "double crediting." This one idea has resulted in getting our children way ahead in their academics. It provides motivation to home-schooling students in so many ways you wouldn't even have thought possible. We think that the idea of getting double credits toward both high school and college is one of those that can take home-schooling in high school from being an event to being a performance.
So when should you start with this idea? At what age can a student start doing high school and college work at the same time?
Answer. When the student is ready. It could be as early as age 11 or 12 for something like Spanish or another foreign language. Remember, it's the content of the subject that determines the credit awarded, not the age at which the student learns it. And it can be done in the home by using some rather simple, straightforward means that have been around a long time.
For those of you who have read our articles in the past, you know that we advocate that a child who has mastered the basic elementary school subjects is probably ready for high school work. What you need to do is put together a Grand Plan for the child and then dive in. [Again, our "Christian Homeschool Student Planner" has a Grand Plan built right into it.]
Maybe you start slowly and review things that the child needs to bone up on, while starting ones that the student is prepared to handle. Maybe not. It depends on you and your child.
Starting with some basic liberal arts courses is probably quite a good place to start. Here's a place to learn more:
Now that you have a good handle on how to put together a course for your secondary school student in a liberal arts subject, with a CLEP exam to validate and get college credit, the next question is, "Can I put together a high school curriculum using this approach?" Well that of course depends on your personal desires, goals, and objectives for your child. And what level of material your child needs to complete a subject. Every student will be different.
It's not our job to tell you what courses should be in your child's high school curriculum. Nor is it our job to tell you what the tools are that you should use. But we can certainly give you some examples of how a curriculum might look using our Grand Plan. This is what a Grand Plan might look like using this approach: http://link.crosswalk.com/UM/T.asp?A1.34.8013.3.684955
Please keep in mind that we have just given you this example of a Grand Plan to illustrate a way that you could use these products to put things together. We are not trying to say that every student will do well with these tools. One might and another might not.
Your job as the parent is to understand the learning styles, temperament, disposition, limits, and strengths of your child(ren) and put together the courses needed, in the way that you think will be required, for your student(s) to excel. We believe that this will look differently for every student.
But that's the beauty of home schooling. We can design each child's curriculum uniquely, based on that child's desires, bents, likes, and dislikes. It can truly be a custom-made education!
Can you now see how valuable having just a few key ideas can be in helping give your high school students a vision for the future? We have been amazed at just how much "ownership" our sons and daughters have taken when given the right tools in the right plan.
Home schooling through high school shouldn't be a drag. We found it to be some of the best years of our home-schooling life. Raising our children to love God and be responsible with their lives has been our goal. It's nice to have some tools that have made it that much more achievable. Hopefully you can find them useful in your case, too.
David and Laurie Callihan are authors of "The Guidance Manual for the Christian Home School: A Parent's Guide for Preparing Home School Students for College or Career," and the brand new "Christian Homeschool Daily Planner" (with their Grand Plan built right into it). Learn more at http://link.crosswalk.com/UM/T.asp?A1.34.8013.4.684955.