Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Evaluating High School Credit for Home Schoolers

I am a planner.  I like to know what's ahead.  I enjoy planning actually.  It gives me a vision of what my goal is and where I'm going.  

Before I got married, I always had a vision or goal for my life.  You might call it having direction.  

Then, I got married and God took that away.  That may sound strange, but it is something I am very convinced of.  It is one way that God has shown me how real He is and that He knows what is better for me than I know myself.  

You see, I am a strong willed woman.  When I got married, I was what you might call an evangelical feminist.  Within the first six months of my marriage, God convicted my heart about what the Word says about submission and I realized that I needed to submit myself to my husband's leadership of our family.  

This is where my vision comes in.  I can see how the disappearance of my vision when I got married compelled me to trust my husband.  If I had retained that vision, it would likely have made me buck my husband a lot more than I have (I'm not a very silent wife.)  It has also allowed me to join in with my husband's vision for our family.  His vision has become mine.  

When it comes to homeschooling, I have a sense of peace when I am able to see the big picture of what we're doing.  I think this is very hard when you're first starting out with your first child in kindergarten who hasn't learned yet to read or write--the first two big milestones in his or her learning path.  I remember that first year getting very impatient those first two years with Autumn.  I expected progress to come more quickly than it did (little did I know what a quick learner she was at the time).  It's a lot easier now with my second as she makes her way towards becoming a fluent reader and writer.  I have more patience with her, though at times I still have wondered, "When will it click?"  My third little one, our son, is just beginning to learn his letters.  Last week, I forgot my patience and wondered why he couldn't remember the letter I had asked him.  Later that day, I counseled myself that he is a different child and I have time.  He needs my patience--there is no rush.  He's only 3!  The danger in having experience sometimes is that you expect one experience to repeat itself.  Autumn learned her letters when she was 4 in a week.  Sami learned them at the same time, though she was only 2.  Eli is different from both Autumn and Sami.  Eli is Eli.  His path is going to be a little different.

So, today, I sat and marveled at the improvement in Sami's reading in the past week.  I also sat with Eli and took it slow.  With Autumn, I watch and learn.  How will her learning connect in her brain?  Will she remember what she's learning?  How will she develop?  Her experience lays the foundation for my experience.  

Even as she learns, I look ahead--being the planner that I am.  Where are we going?  What is the big picture of what she will be learning?  How will Middle School and High School be different than what we're doing now?  I know, I know.... I'm probably getting way too far ahead of myself.  But, there's a part of me that needs to understand the big picture on a basic level.  The other reason I want to understand the course of a homeschooler's education is so that I can understand my friends' lives and what they're juggling--so that I can be an encouraging friend.  

Then again, maybe it's simply my love of curriculum and education that makes me want to understand the big picture.  I'm not exactly sure...  All I know is that I enjoy understanding and learning about curriculum and educational theories.

The newsletter for the homeschooling umbrella I was in last year included a great article from HSLDA on how to determine the amount of credit for a high school course.  I liked this article because it made it seem much simpler to determine what would count for a homeschooling high school course.  You can read the article HERE.  

What is the vision that I live with now?  I used to have a vision that was focused on my career path.  Now, I have a growing vision for the education of my children.  I have talked with many moms who say they are taking it year by year--to determine whether they will homeschool the next year.  I know the phrase is "never say never", but I think my vision for staying the course with homeschooling is growing.  It is as if I need to commit to it wholeheartedly and not check out.  I know that this is not the answer for everyone, but I am beginning to suspect that it is for me and my family.  I have always said that we will homeschool through middle school.  I was a middle school teacher so that is familiar territory to me.  But, now I'm not so sure if we will put them into school for high school.  I'm still waiting on God to give me and my husband wisdom about that time in our children's education.  Until then, I am glad to gather information and listen to the wisdom of friends who are ahead of me on this homeschooling journey.

Side note:  I know that this is a very (VERY) rambling blog post, but I hope that the rabbit trails all connected together at the end.

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