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Homeschooling high school can sometimes feel like jumping onto a moving treadmill. Everything counts, we’re told. And in truth, it mostly does. Feeling the weight of this (not to mention the unspoken but always present specter of post-secondary education and/or job prospects), our efforts at educating our teens can feel rushed, frantic— and more than a little stressful for all involved parties.
The bad news? Yes, you do have to find a way to check all of the boxes.
The good news? No one is standing by with a stop watch.
I needed to be reminded of this recently, when Jack (15) sat across from me and pointed sheepishly towards the box in his Sonlight Chemistry Schedule that listed a quarterly test.
“I really need to study for this,” he winced. I was a little taken aback. After all, this is the boy who read Napoleon’s Buttons for entertainment. He enjoys math; he loves science. Our discussions over the Chemistry program had revealed that he was not exactly loving the nitty-gritty of the study, but he seemed to have a decent enough grasp on the questions, and his labs looked great. What, then, was the problem?
“I just don’t know,” he admitted when I probed a little deeper. I scanned the schedule again and it occurred to me that maybe it wasn’t what was being presented, but the length of window he was getting to synthesize the information. Yes, it’s written to move through a module every two weeks but what if that isn’t what works for my child?
Isn’t this why we homeschool? To help them actually LEARN?
I’ve spent years telling newcomers to the homeschool club that the Guides included with Sonlight Packages aren’t meant to hold them hostage but rather, to set them free. Time to take my own advice and give my son the room he needs to not just check off boxes, but to fall in love with the process and particulars of a science that reflects so much of God’s glory. Since we’ve worked together to add just one extra “study day” to each week, the difference has been amazing. My son has a better attitude, and he feels like the topics are a stretch, yes… but that he can and will succeed in this course.
I hereby give myself the power—and the permission— to slow down!