My oldest son is no longer my education experiment. He has passed all his mother’s criteria and the state’s for starting college. Using our state’s Running Start program which allows high school students to earn college credit in high school. My husband and I both used this program and graduated high school with an AA degree.
He passed the test to enter the program with flying colors and begins his first college quarter with English 101, Psych 100, and Math 142 (Pre-Calculus II).
To his mild chagrin, I have not deemed it seemly or wise that he be footloose and fancy-free until the community college’s start date of September 16.
On his own, he’s participating in The Bible Reading Challenge – I printed him a colored version of the men’s plan. Bible reading isn’t really schoolwork, though; it’s just living.
Homeschool High School: Philosophy
For the 8 weeks or so of our school calendar before his classes begin, he has a short checklist with 20 minutes of Khan Academy math and weekly reading assignments in “Philosophy”:
- A Little History of Philosophy by Nigel Warburton
- Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey
- Universe Next Door by James Sire
- Discipleship of the Mind by James Sire
He will finish all three books before he starts CBC. I’m not assigning any work beyond reading. He has a reading journal. He knows how to commonplace and has a place for such things. He knows how to take notes and has a place for such things. He can choose to do what he will with these readings (his plan is to do nothing; I shrugged and told him that was his choice). On Fridays we’ll have coffee and discuss for 30 minutes or so.
Homeschool High School: Theology
I will continue to assign theology readings as he studies at the community college, because he certainly won’t get it there and it is, after all, the queen of the sciences (and humanities).
He’ll be two years at the community college, two years more at home, and over the course of those two years, we will read and discuss Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion.
Twenty pages a day, or five pages for four days, will get us there, and while the content and thought is dense, the style is not. With the right translator (Ford Lewis Battles – not the Victorian Beveridge), Calvin retains the lucidity he was known for in his day (though that was in Latin and French).
He’s assigned to take notes and commonplace from his reading of Calvin – and I’m following the assignments as well. On some yet-to-be-determined regular appointment, we will discuss the assigned readings with the others who are following the same plan (his 9th grade brother, a 10th grade friend on our street, plus the moms).
Homeschool High School: Dual Enrollment
We don’t know what dual enrollment will look like in the day to day yet. I suspect he will choose to do his homework at the college campus and not at home, but he has a shelf for his books and supplies.
He has a full-size Arc binder to use for notes and a half-size one with an academic planner inside. He has pencils and pens.
He does not have a phone or his own computer, though we have two family computers available (and my husband and I each have our own laptop). We’ll see what changes when we experience the reality, but so far we’re sticking to no personal internet devices for as long as possible. And it’s still very much possible, though inconvenient to him.
Homeschool High School: Cheerleader, not Teacher
Personally, I am very pleased with this new stage. I get to doff the mantle of taskmaster and don the role of cheerleader and support.
In a way, our homeschool has proved itself. He passed the test and is objectively verified for college-level studies. He reads. He has his own opinions and articulates them (this is what makes teens obnoxious but it’s actually good). He’s responsible and capable.
Yes, he’s also the oldest, intelligent, and healthy. He’s taken responsibility for himself (that happened about halfway through 9th grade or so) and chosen to use his resources well.
But at least now I know I didn’t squander his gifts and abilities with an inadequate education or lax discipleship.
The time is not to rest and relax, but to go higher up and further in, not growing weary in doing good as I look at my 4 remaining students at home. He moves on. We keep going, emboldened to continue and persevere.