Did you know I have a highs school student? I KNOW, shocking isn’t it? I remember so clearly the fun of my lad as a little guy, his questions as a middle schooler, and then planning for highschool. It’s been quite the journey for us. I thought today would be a good day to show you how homeschooling works for us. So today, Independent Learning: a high schoolers day in the life.
My son’s day starts, depending on the week we are in. Part of his schooling is with the local highschool, and the rest is through online or textbooks. He does 98% of his school work in his bedroom either sitting on his bed, often with his cat next to him, or sitting on his desk.
At the beginning of the year we take the time to count out the number of schooling weeks, the chapters/lessons in his course material, and then decide how much he need to accomplish weekly to be done by the end of the year. The end result: he can be independent in how he does his work.
With Covid running rampant throughout the country our schools have moved to a quadmester system. Two subjects for two months. then another two subjects for two months and so on and forth. In reality this has turned into one subject for one week, and then one subject the following week.
Since there are some subjects I can’t teach (aka manufacturing) he takes the odd course at our local high school. Those days start early! Currently, that consists of him sitting in front of the computer for three hours per day (spread throughout the day) and then working on his homework for another couple hours, and also fits in whatever other schooling he’s working on.
The benefit of quadmesters is they have taught my son the joy of just focusing on two subjects at once. This is much easier, he finds, than doing little bits of four subjects.
His course load
So this year he has two subjects the high school, Com Tech and Manufacturing. His at home courses are algebra, geometry, physics, Language Arts, French, and Geography. Sometimes things change up a bit depending on what reviews we have in the works from the crew but I mostly try to just work with what we’ve set up.
We learned this year that through army cadets that he can get credit through the training he does with them. So once things start up again… this will be a boon to his scholastic achievements. At this point, his training takes place on Monday evening, online. We hope in person, weekend training, will occur again before year-end.
At Home Days
When he has full days at home to learn he tackles one or two courses per day.
His current routine:
- 930 care for his mice, have breakfast
- 950-1130 work on schooling
- 1130-1215 play online games with friends
- 1215-150 spend time with dad (dad works late shift so this is their time together) We’ll have lunch, devotions, watch TV, play games and/or they’ll work on some project together.
- 150-200 read aloud time
- 2-5 school work
- 5 ish he often helps me with things like shovelling snow, moving stuff my bum arm gives me trouble with, goes for a walk with friends, etc. We often use this time to catch up with where he is with his schooling. Does he have any questions, things we need to cover together, stuck on an idea, needing reminders about getting projects done rather than having to go back etc.
- 6-7 he’ll do little things to finish up his school
- 7-9 is his free-time to do whatever he wants. currently, with covid, that means playing computer games with friends.
- 9-10 mom time, we watch tv or play games
- 10 Bedtime. This sometimes varies as late-night conversations sometimes happen.
We wouldn’t have gotten to this point without laying the ground work of trust and work ethic. My lad likes to learn, and over the years, he’s needed to learn how to work independently.
Part of learning independence was looking at the sheer variety of courses there is at SchoolhouseTeachers.com (affiliate link). Having this resource as one of the benefits of being on the homeschool review crew has been helpful.
Want to learn more about teaching independence to your students? There are 3 or 4 sessions at the Canadian Online homeschooling conference (affiliate link) all about teaching our students to be independent. You aught to give them a listen! Free to listen, $17 to have forever!