Junior / Senior High Questions..long...would love some help

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LovingJesus
Posts: 306
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:29 am

Junior / Senior High Questions..long...would love some help

Post by LovingJesus » Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:53 pm

This board has blessed me many times when I have read different posts along the way of our home school journey. Thank you Heart of Dakota for a positive, warm, encouraging board with much wisdom shared. I am really here with a long post because I am needing help & wisdom.

I am praying and pondering about the next six years of my first born's education. This of course has me thinking about the next three as well. Next year my oldest will be in 7th grade. I didn't realize I would see this as much of a turning point in our home school journey as I am seeing it. I think this partly stems from the fact it was a turning point in my own education. It was when the split occurred for the college honors prep track from the rest of the class. This split carried out the rest of the way through high school. So when I think of my own college prep education I see the strengths, weaknesses, and how 7th - 12th was one long process in preparation for it. Yet, college is not at all why we choose to homeschool!~ :D On the other hand if that is the direction our children are led by God to go I realize the seriousness of preparing them for a 4 year University.

I am here asking some questions since I think I am suddenly reaching a point where I feel like decisions need to be made. At least for me they need to be made. The first years of my oldest home schooling have not been consistent as far as a specific curriculum or learning style. I feel like I have tried everything, which of course is an exaggeration since it wouldn't be possible to try every home school option at this point in time. My oldest has done (in this order): eclectic pre-school, Sonlight K, MFW first, MFW ADV, 3rd eclectic, 4th 1/2 eclectic & 1/2 MFW ECC, 5th HOD CTC, and this year for 6th eclectic with some Sonlight science & books & Notgrass & Ken Ham & DITHOR & R&S & Saxon. I can't keep going this direction. I actually have a personality that loves consistency, a life without complaining from myself or my kids or others, and staying with one thing so we can get good at it. I really want consistency in his last 6 years of home schooling, since it is how I personally work best. The switching has not been good for his character or education; it is something I regret over all. He tests very high on standardized tests, but that is only a small part of an education to me. The switching has left me tired, and I need to land since I now know quite a bit about home schooling and our many various options. I have also been too easily swayed by other's complaining, including my children's complaining or my own.

The two elements I have been very consistent about are Rod and Staff English from grade 2 up and incorporating some CM methods such as copy work and dictation and oral narration into our days.

I have been consistent with doing math, but not with math curriculum. My oldest is currently doing well in Saxon 7/8 Pre-Algebra, so with math he is on track.

The other element that has been the most consistent is Bible. In many ways it has been the backbone of our home school, and is the part that has worked best. We do like it to be both part of their academics and part of life out-side of academics.

So here are my questions (thanks for reading all of this):

1. Why a curriculum like HOD in the junior / senior high years rather then text books that could potentially give a diploma (I am referring to on-line Highschool diplomas from programs like A Beka).

2. What benefits do you find from using a plan like HOD rather then eclectic? For your children? For you?

3. What benefits do you find for using a plan like HOD, for these upper years, rather then tailoring specifically to the interests of a teen? For your children? For you?

4. Why continue home schooling through these 6 years, rather then jumping into private Christian school? (public is not an option for us, and honestly Christian school probably isn't either)

5. Can a CM / literature education truly prepare for college?

6. Is HOD college prep? For those of you using the senior high years do you see it preparing your teens in the areas of study, thinking, analysis, evaluation, essays, and for tests like the ACT?

I have read some moms doubts of CM methods freshman year of high school. I guess I am having these same doubts as we face 7th.

I have been watching closely this week which books my children pick to read for fun. So far they are all from HOD. I used HOD quite a bit for our MFW book basket. Even Eggelston from Bigger seems to be a favorite (I wish we had done the program).

Last question. HOD is my favorite curriculum. My children always seemed to love the books and resist the work in it (My DH and I do see this as a character issue that needs to be worked on. Sometimes the resistance is the challenge of CM type skills, and other times it is a character issue of wanting the easy road of reading alone). Does anyone else have that challenge? If so, did you over come it with time. The transition from MFW, which we tried more than once, was always a bit rocky since HOD is quite a bit more challenging then the other. It is honestly the most rigorous curriculum I have found. I have been pouring over the Rev2Rev samples, and the questions I am reading require real thinking. The CM narrations I know can be a challenge as they require putting something into one's own words instead of just memorizing it. It requires understanding. My kids can breeze through comprehension questions so easily. I think this is the direction I would like to go, but I am concerned about college prep and if I can help them learn these harder skills enough, over months and months of time, to enjoy them. I am also wondering if having a plan in place is better or textbook is better or trying to tailor to them is better for these upper years. Since I have never homeschooled a teen I really don't know what direction to go in. I am praying a lot and talking to DH a lot, and I have been since late February. It seems to be a process this year.

HOD books they absolutely love! :D

OK I guess that is all! :D

I welcome any feedback from moms with kiddos of all ages! Thank you ladies. I have read this board much more than I have ever commented on it, and it really and truly has blessed me many times.

God Bless,

In Christ,

LynnH
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Location: OH
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Re: Junior / Senior High Questions..long...would love some h

Post by LynnH » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:04 am

I have a daughter who was in ps, in honors classes through 9th grade and then she chose to come home for 10th-12th. She is now finishing up her Junior year at an academically strong Christian University. When she came home HOD didn't have high school guides so she used an eclectic mix of textbooks. My son has used HOD from Preparing on up to we are about to finish up the high school World History guide. So given all those varying experiences I will try and answer your questions.

1.Why HOD instead of textbook? As I said my daughter used all textbooks. She would tell you they got the job done and she did very well on the tests etc, but the information she learned didn't stick with her, especially in the area of history. I don't think they challenged her thinking nearly as much as my sons thinking has been challenged with the activities that are built into the HOD guides. I see this especially in the areas of history and literature. The way Carrie does literature in the high school guides is brilliant. They start 9th grade getting some experience with lit analysis using traditional BJU lit as well as novels and then for 10th grade on up they do her plans for lit that involve deeply thinking and responding in writing about the novels. I read along or pre-read the books and challenge myself to answer her prompts and I can say that they are definitely college prep questions. I also like that HOD has built in projects and my daughter does a lot of projects in college, so I am glad he has had experience with this. As far as getting a diploma from something like Abeka, it just isn't necessary. Colleges seek out homeschoolers and are fine with transcripts given by mom. My daughter got a very good academic scholarship based on her ACT scores and her grades.

2. I covered some of this above, but the benefits I see is that my son knows exactly what is expected of him in a day, no surprises. It is planned out for him yes, but it also teaches him to plan things. He is familiar enough with the plans that he can move things around/push them to another day if needed due to other activities he has going on. For me I know I could never come up with the deep thinking style questions that Carrie does or weave everything together like she does. I did eclectic with my daughter and her high school education was not nearly as complete or well rounded as my son's is. I say all the time that my gifted child had a much less challenging high school curriculum than my son that has some learning challenges. Also Carrie incorporates the textbooks, such as Total Health, that I would want to use anyway. The benefit is they are all planned out for me.

3. I don't see it as an either or. I have been able to tailor things towards his interests. He goes to co-op so he can do musical theater and voice lessons. I count that as a 1/2 credit of fine arts so we dropped the art projects in the WH history guide. Next year I need time for him to focus on ACT prep so I am dropping one of the government credits. It is very easy to sub in different electives. We also use a different math because it is a better fit for him. I know many who sub in a different science depending on their sons interests or future career path. I will do that his senior year so he can take an exercise science class. He goes to a parkour class in the middle of the day on Tuesdays, so that is when he moves subjects around or tweaks a little as needed. He takes full responsibility for all that. He gets up early and starts school so he has time to pursue his passions.

4. I love these days with my high school age son. I am right there to hear his heart and hear his thoughts on some deep issues. The discussions we have would not happen if he was in school. They are discussions about things that I wouldn't want ps or even christian school teachers having with him. In school he would be pulled in a 100 different directions and few if any of those would be towards his family or God. It doesn't mean it is all sunshine and roses, because it isn't, but I am glad my husband and I can be the ones to help learn self discipline, a work ethic, and most importantly to live a life seeking out God's purpose. It also really helps with the transitions from parent/child to adult/adult that takes place once they move on from high school.

5.I think CM/literature learning does an excellent job of preparing for college. They have to think as they read, which is a very important skill to learn. Carrie has the perfect blend of CM for some subjects and traditional textbook for others.

6. I have already covered this above, but most definitely it is college prep. My daughter has so many friends that went to ps or christian schools that have really struggled with college because they were either used to being spoon fed exactly what to think, were used to deadlines being extended, used to teachers spelling out directions over and over, or did very little writing in school. Carrie has covered all of these. My son is great at reading and following directions because the guide is written to him, he understands the work has to be done by the end of the week and he meets that deadline even if he switches stuff up some. In the high school guides, especially as they move up to the 11th grade guide they have to figure out what is important to highlight in order to give a written or oral narration or to support his answer to a question. She adds things like opinion narrations. He also does paragraph writing every day on various topics. In my mind you can never get enough writing. My husband sees people come out of top ranked engineering schools who have no idea how to formulate a paragraph or support their points. He grades my son's essay assignments and is always saying, can I send my employees to you, because my son with dysgraphia writes better than these top engineers.

This has been a long response, but hopefully it helps as you think things through. As far as not giving in to the whining I would ask God to help you with that. To teach our children that their whining and complaining won't get them what they want or get them our of hard work is probably one of the most important college/life skills we can teach them in this day and age of entitlement.
Mom to:
dd 22 college graduate and employed as an Intervention Specialist
ds 18 US2, Loved Preparing, CTC , RTR , Rev to Rev, MTMM ,WG, WH and US1
http://www.graceandfur.blogspot.com/

Nealewill
Posts: 1611
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:08 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Junior / Senior High Questions..long...would love some h

Post by Nealewill » Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:31 pm

Lynn did a wonderful job of replying to you already and I don't really have much to add to that.

From a college professor stand point, a huge part of being prepared to enter college is more about learning how to learn and completing your assignments timely. And my statement does go so far as to boldly state that I it really doesn't so much about what you learn but can you learn. Obviously at some universities and for some degrees, they want certain things on a transcript. But for most of us, that isn't necessarily an huge issue. For myself, I went to a top notch high school that was very college prep. I can honestly say that I have pretty much forgotten most of the information from my classes and I also have forgotten at least half of the class I took. Upon graduation, I went to the state university and gained a degree in accounting and then a masters in accounting as well. I now teach accounting, finance and math classes for IWU (I was math major prior and have enough credits to teach math as well) and what I see between my A students and my C students is that my A students complete assignments on time and thoroughly and my C students don't. HOD does that for you! They teach you how to follow the directions. If you can't follow the directions, then you are going to have a hard time succeeding in your college classes. Yes, you can get hung up on taking duel credit and some people are interested in that. I personally thought I would be but I am not so much anymore. As my kids grow, depending on what they want to be when they grow up will determine if I need to tweak things to meet graduation requirements depending on college goals. And I am fine with that. However, in my state though, HOD covers more than necessarily for general graduation requirements. I am also not to worried about scholarships at this point since a lot of that has to do with test scores and many other factors not necessarily school related.

And I do agree with everything that Lynn stated and many of those reasons are why I am planning to use HOD for my kids all the way through as well. I love the curriculum. I love that it is interesting. I love that my kids have to think. I love that the curriculum is God focused. And I love that my kids seem to enjoy it. For us, it is a great fit and we will continue on.
Daneale

DD 13 WG
DS 12 R2R
DD 10 R2R

Enjoyed DITHOR, Little Hearts, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, R2R, RevtoRev, MtMM

Tidbits of Learning
Posts: 303
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:18 am

Re: Junior / Senior High Questions..long...would love some h

Post by Tidbits of Learning » Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:52 am

I agree with the other posters. The times are changing with college prep at the high school level as well. I have 2 students in school now and within the last few years with them starting high school I noticed that schools are not the same as when I went. They are not reliant on textbooks. They are teaching to learn. English is probably my biggest example--it is a lot of novel studies with annotating, Socratic discussions, and 1 research paper a year. That is the Pre-AP English courses design now to prepare for AP English. It is exactly how HOD is teaching English Literature.
Dual enrollment is actually very limited for the high schoolers that are in public school. They can only take 1 class a semester that the school board pays for if they are in the gifted program. Senior year they can take 2 a semester if they have all their credits already for graduation requirements. It is not stressed as much as when I was coming out of high school and states were paying for it for high schoolers indiscriminately and people were finishing school with their associates already. That doesn't happen now. Schools stress AP courses with AP tests for college credit and CLEP tests over dual enrollment. It is full price tuition for the homeschoolers dual enrolling and you can't apply for financial aid as a dual enrollment student.
My student who did HOD for 4th-6th grade and 8th grade, took the ACT in 9th grade after returning to school and scored high enough to be eligible for the state scholarship on her first try. Yes, I think it develops the skills for the ACT and we didn't even get started in the high school guides well before she wanted to go to high school for sports.
2017-2018
dd17-12th grade at school
dd16-11th grade at school
ds15-9th grade at hybrid school
ds11-CTC 6th grade 2018-2019

rumkimom
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:25 am

Re: Junior / Senior High Questions..long...would love some h

Post by rumkimom » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:06 am

It is full price tuition for the homeschoolers dual enrolling

I think that must be dependent on the state or college.....My oldest (not HOD) was able to take an online college course (at one of the local community colleges) each semester this year at the reduced cost ($150 instead of $600). We did have to have our district sign paperwork for us to get her in and it was not a problem at all.

I do highly recommend checking that out as an option for your child's senior year. My daughter will have 6 college credits before she is done with high school and also learned how much more is required in college.
----
Wendy C.
DH-Owen
Emily (19 - graduatated from UCC spring 2018, Fashion Design Program)
Melody (17 - Rev 2 Rev-unit 21, IEW for writing, grammar, completed math)
Steven (12 - CTC, IEW for writing, grammar, spelling, TT Math)
Clarence (10 - PS)

Tidbits of Learning
Posts: 303
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:18 am

Re: Junior / Senior High Questions..long...would love some h

Post by Tidbits of Learning » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:17 am

Yes, it does depend on where you are at...here there is new legislation going in that says the college will only get reimbursed the discount for dual enrollment for public school students. Up until this year, homeschoolers got the discount as well. There is new legislation stipulating reimbursement to colleges in our state allowing only public schoolers to receive the discount as the school district pays the colleges the difference. :(
2017-2018
dd17-12th grade at school
dd16-11th grade at school
ds15-9th grade at hybrid school
ds11-CTC 6th grade 2018-2019

LovingJesus
Posts: 306
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:29 am

Re: Junior / Senior High Questions..long...would love some h

Post by LovingJesus » Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:19 pm

LynnH wrote:This has been a long response, but hopefully it helps as you think things through. As far as not giving in to the whining I would ask God to help you with that. To teach our children that their whining and complaining won't get them what they want or get them our of hard work is probably one of the most important college/life skills we can teach them in this day and age of entitlement.
Thank you so much Lynn for your long detailed response. It was helpful to read on multiple levels. It always helps me to gain insight from those who have already covered the years of parenting and home schooling that we are currently doing. Your experience home schooling both with texts and with HOD and your comparison of the two helped immensely. I gravitate more towards the type of education HOD offers, and it helps to read your thoughts on it and the types of questions that you are finding in the High school guides.

I completely agree with your last paragraph. As parents we have not tended to give into the whining or complaining, but as their teacher mom I certainly have. Yes, it has created some entitlement issues that we have been working through. I seem to have a soft spot in the area of school work that hasn't been good for them or me. Sometimes it is difficult to know how much to expect as their teacher. I think that is where a curriculum like HOD can be helpful.

Thank you Lynn. I appreciated your honesty and wisdom.

Thank you also Danaele. Your insights as a professor and long-term plans for HOD were helpful to read as well.

Thank you also Tidbits of Learning on current Honors English and AP English in the schools. It helped to read that Carrie is doing what those programs provide educationally.

Thank you ladies! :D

If anyone else wants to chime in, please do so. I am subscribed. :D

FiveLittlePeaches
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:19 am

Re: Junior / Senior High Questions..long...would love some h

Post by FiveLittlePeaches » Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:06 am

There was a great thread entitled "List Benefits of using HOD in High School" started by LynnH on Feb 5, 2015. I don't know how to add the link, but it would be worth the time to do a search and read through the posts. Maybe someone who knows how could add it to this thread. It's a highly encouraging. I need the encouragement, because we're about to start high school in the fall. This is one of the hardest decisions I've ever made, so I know where you're coming from.

Nealewill
Posts: 1611
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:08 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Junior / Senior High Questions..long...would love some h

Post by Nealewill » Sat Apr 23, 2016 6:43 am

FiveLittlePeaches wrote:There was a great thread entitled "List Benefits of using HOD in High School" started by LynnH on Feb 5, 2015. I don't know how to add the link, but it would be worth the time to do a search and read through the posts. Maybe someone who knows how could add it to this thread. It's a highly encouraging. I need the encouragement, because we're about to start high school in the fall. This is one of the hardest decisions I've ever made, so I know where you're coming from.

Here is a link:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15956&p=112415&hili ... ol#p112415
Daneale

DD 13 WG
DS 12 R2R
DD 10 R2R

Enjoyed DITHOR, Little Hearts, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, R2R, RevtoRev, MtMM

FiveLittlePeaches
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:19 am

Re: Junior / Senior High Questions..long...would love some h

Post by FiveLittlePeaches » Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:08 am

Thank you, Nealewill, for adding the link!

LovingJesus
Posts: 306
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:29 am

Re: Junior / Senior High Questions..long...would love some h

Post by LovingJesus » Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:04 pm

FiveLittlePeaches wrote:There was a great thread entitled "List Benefits of using HOD in High School" started by LynnH on Feb 5, 2015. I don't know how to add the link, but it would be worth the time to do a search and read through the posts. Maybe someone who knows how could add it to this thread. It's a highly encouraging. I need the encouragement, because we're about to start high school in the fall. This is one of the hardest decisions I've ever made, so I know where you're coming from.
Thank you FiveLittlePeaches. :) I need the encouragement too. What a great thread! I read through it this morning on and off and found it highly encouraging to read.

God answers prayers. He has been touching me the last few days with how thankful I am to have home schooled my kids through elementary school. I remember feeling this way when my oldest reached Kindergarten. I was so grateful to have managed to not have my kids go to daycare or pre-school. I felt called to home school through high school. I have a hunch that if we manage to do so it won't be a regret, but instead it will be a blessing.

I do though need to do a better job with consistent academics that are building to graduation. I know HOD could help with that consistency. I will keep praying about what God wants us to do.

Thank you ladies for the encouragement.

LovingJesus
Posts: 306
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:29 am

Re: Junior / Senior High Questions..long...would love some h

Post by LovingJesus » Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:33 pm

In case anyone is reading this with similar questions to my own I thought I would share this Highschool HOD thread that I just found. It really is a wonderful thread:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=16185&p=113893&hilit=

Little Women
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:16 pm

Re: Junior / Senior High Questions..long...would love some h

Post by Little Women » Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:01 pm

I'm not sure if I've said this before in other threads. I have a fair amount of experience getting homeschooled teens into college, though only a little with HOD and that on the jr high level. (HOD was never available on the level that my older kids were on, as they are even now just barely finishing high school and I have one graduating college this year.) But perhaps I can help with a few of these questions, anyway.

1. Why a curriculum like HOD in the junior / senior high years rather then text books that could potentially give a diploma (I am referring to on-line Highschool diplomas from programs like A Beka).
We used a similar, lit-based program for my kids all the way through. I spent some time thinking about it and concluded that I was far more concerned about the education they were receiving than with a piece of paper. Quite a few of my friends wound up putting their kids at the community college for most of their last 2 years, getting an AA at the same time they graduated from high school. One of mine would have been ready for this, but I didn't feel that the education they would get there would be as good as what we could do at home. We did use dual enrollment for some things, but for history and literature, especially, I decided I cared more about what they were learning than the piece of paper they might get.

2. What benefits do you find from using a plan like HOD rather then eclectic? For your children? For you?
Plans, for me, mean we actually get it done. Otherwise, it's haphazard and not the quality I want.

4. Why continue home schooling through these 6 years, rather then jumping into private Christian school? (public is not an option for us, and honestly Christian school probably isn't either)
I gave my kids a choice when they got to 9th grade. So far, they've all decided to stay home. (My youngest might choose differently.) They like the freedom they have here, being able to do co-op classes or to stay in their pajamas, being able to take dual enrollment when they want to, having shorter work days, and being able to shift around the schedule if they want a day off for something. They have all been horrified at the amount of commotion in the school when they've been there for a day (taking ACTs or doing a shadow day at the Christian school). They love being home. I also love having my teens at home--they are frustrating at times, of course, but they are also deeper thinkers, can really talk to you, and are genuinely funny! :)

5. Can a CM / literature education truly prepare for college?
6. Is HOD college prep? For those of you using the senior high years do you see it preparing your teens in the areas of study, thinking, analysis, evaluation, essays, and for tests like the ACT?

YES! I'm running these two together. HOD is the most challenging program I've ever seen (with the possible exception of Tapestry of Grace, which I don't love because I don't love the book choices). My older kids, who did a program with a similar philosophy but a lot less written work, so therefore quite a bit easier than HOD, have done very well in college. They both have very good scholarships based on ACT or SAT scores (one is a National Merit Scholar and has a full tuition scholarship) and have done well in their classes. One (who is a less good writer than the other, imho) was told by a prof, "I wish my graduate students wrote as well as you do." And, I'm very serious when I say this, their schooling was LESS intense than HOD's, though it was the most challenging I could find in terms of content, discussions, and questions, at the time.

I am absolutely convinced that you don't have to worry about HOD being enough for college prep. :)
Long-time homeschooler, short-time HOD user.
Mom to
K21: college senior
L19: college sophomore
C15: high school sophomore
J12: 7th grade

LovingJesus
Posts: 306
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:29 am

Re: Junior / Senior High Questions..long...would love some h

Post by LovingJesus » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:10 am

Thank you for the encouragement Little Women! :D

I read your post last night and was so encouraged by it. Your comparison of the two curriculums was very helpful for me. I would say HOD is the most rigorous I have found as well, and the most of what I have wanted. These threads are helping me so much in making me realize that I need to trust the process so we can enjoy the journey before us. It is when I haven't trusted the process of home schooling, or HOD, that we end up trying too hard and ironically end up doing less. I have never figured out exactly how that works, but stress never helps us get done what we have set out to do. The days I have trusted in the LORD's provision, His strength enabling us to do this, and the curriculum He led me to are beautiful indeed. It is helping so much to see the big picture of HOD because I know when I have trusted the HOD process and guides in the past home schooling really does work. I absolutely love what DITHOR adds to our days right now. They read the books that they find interesting, orally narrate to me what they read, and then do the DITHOR assignments laid out by Carrie that make them think through the material. So often it is the thinking that Carrie is providing that will be the greatest challenge of their day. I also love her Bible integration into the program. It reminds me of the interweaving of CTC that just worked. I am so glad I asked. The encouragement from all of you has been wonderful and helpful indeed.

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