Thursday, December 25, 2014

high school homeschooling

Chana is in the middle of applying to High School.  When she came home from sleepaway camp going into 7th grade, she told me she wanted to go to High School.  My older daughter Sarah went to High School (SKA) after never having gone to school at all and after being unschooled for the last few years of elementary school except for Chumash and Math.  Chana was completely unschooled until 3rd grade, when we started doing Chumash.  I did not unschool Chumash but unschooled everything else, including Math.  A lot of math came up naturally until fractions, when we just dropped math completely for about 3 years, except for an occasional lesson when it came up, where I tried to help Chana understand fractions, or the occasional math conversation, which didn't intimidate her or annoy her, and which she enjoyed, because she wasn't generally feeling overwhelmed with math.

When she told me she wanted to go to High School, I said, "Well, you're going to need to do math."  It turns out that unschooling math, which was a bit of a terrifying step for me, was an incredible choice.

  • She easily picked up 3 years of math in 3 months (I heard these kinds of things happened in unschooling and I wouldn't have quite believed it if I didn't see it myself)
  • She got to play for 3 years instead of struggling with subjects her brain wasn't ready to handle yet
  • She doesn't feel intimidated or stressed by math
  • She doesn't feel bad about herself or feel like she is "bad" at math
So she is preparing for the Algebra regents now, so she can enter 9th grade.  She filled out her application and she went to the open house.

She sat through the mini lessons.  6 mini lessons, 6 minutes each.  About half an hour of lessons.  They were very cute, interesting, some of them hands on.  (For example, the English mini lesson had us write our own 6 word memoirs.)  Chana came out of them a bit shell-shocked.  Chana has always been a kinesthetic learner, not as inclined to read or to listen or to see as to touch and do.  The idea of sitting from 9am to 5pm and passively have people talking at her was a bit horrifying to her.  

She drew up a list of pros and cons of school vs. homeschooling.  You can see that something that annoys her about homeschooling is that I drag her to classes for things she doesn't want to sit through.  Kal V'chomer for more hours a day.  I suggested part time, but she didn't feel that she gains advantages from that.

potential friends

less time for animation
violin difficult
lots of work
bored in class for lots of hours
being with people I don't want to be with

full time homeschool
more time for animation
more time for violin
more time to do stuff I want
freedom of movement 
choice of activity
can make fun of teacher

few friends
forced to be dragged to classes I don't want
have to be friendly to other homeschoolers

part time school/homeschool
can have a school atmosphere but for less time

still no time because have work and other stuff
have to do schoolwork
can't make friends part time

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