As my son is getting older, I start to more look at the things he is interested in and how can I meet his needs best. I’m not talking the sports and generic art classes. I’m speaking more to the things he wants to learn, like debate, engineering, and more. How do I meet THOSE needs? How does a person decide if it’s a course you can teach OR if you need to take outside classes? I need to figure out how to be teaching highschool with outside classes. This is still a process that we are working through, but I thought I’d share some of my thoughts.
There are things we have always done, like pay for swimming and archery lessons. He regularly takes karate classes. There’s a homeschool mom who teaches a multi-age art class, when she has a class the lad is interested in, he goes there, has a great time and learns a lot.
He’d been expressing an interest in protective services so I put him into army cadets this year. Not so he can join the army but so that he can learn the routine and regimentation of a disciplined life, learn some important skills and perhaps make some local friends along the way. It has surprised me at how well he has taken to being part of the cadet unit.
I have to admit that his dad and I have encouraged him to consider doing a trade. We know he has the leanings toward a teaching and/or helping profession. He explains and teaches as naturally as breathing so I can see that in his future, but we push him a bit toward a trade because then he can use those skills for the rest of his life. Use them to put himself through higher education if ultimately that’s what he wants. To that end, I’ve enrolled him in the trades program at the local highschool. One class that will introduce him to four different trades with some hands on experience to help him decide if that’s a path he wants to take.
There is the mirade of online courses for Math, foreign languages, Coding, geography, and music. You learn most anything you want on-line, just a matter of finding it. You-tube has tutorials, Khan academy is more than just math, Outschool has a number of fascinating courses, Udacity, and Alison has a course on human anatomy that looks interesting. Whatever interest you have, you are generally able to find an answer on-line. Sometimes free, sometimes paid. Look around and make some great discoveries.
Some additional options for Canadians
A local group called G.L.O. teaches highschool level classes, and I’m quite interested in them, and I suspect once I got my lad on board he would too. I hesitate due to the cost factor.. paying for the books, the teacher, the drive (a good 45 minutes there and then back). I want to sign him up but I don’t know about making it all fit.
- Virtual Learning.
- Acellus Academy.
- Virtual HighSchool.
- Blyth Education.
- ICS Canada.
- Canada ESchool.
- Bright Minds Online School.
- Ontario Virtual School.
- Ontario ESecondary School.
World Wide Options
- International Connections Academy.
- Easy Peasy Highschool.
- Tree of Life.
- Well Trained Mind Academy.
Making the Pieces Fit
I don’t quite know yet how we will make all the pieces fit, but through conversation with my lad, and the willingness to try, anything is possible, even if I can’t teach it all myself. Because honestly.. I can’t teach it all, neither can you, and sometimes we shouldn’t even try. Sometimes our students need a different teacher, one with a different perspective on life, or a different style of teaching.
The biggest thing I find it to keep talking with our students, our children. Making sure they know the options, and have this willingness to put forth the effort. Together anything can happen.
How about you? What can’t you teach? What will you look at with your students? On-line or outside the home classes? What local sources do you have available? Talk to me, perhaps you have ideas I haven’t even considered yet! 🙂