August 18, 2008

Having a Plan

Can you still be an unschooler if you make a plan? I think so, especially if those plans are based on the student's desires, made with their consent, and open to change. That's how we operate as human beings. We have hopes and dreams, and whether we realize it or not, we move that direction. If the path takes twists and turns, we adapt, and sometimes we trade plans in for new ones. But we are forever moving forward, and what we do now effects our future.

Why am I thinking of plans? For many years summer would simply slip into fall, but now my kids are old enough to feel the rhythm of change. All their friends are heading back into the classroom, and two of our three will be joining them--Melissa in public high school and Peter in college. This year we can't avoid the feeling of the "first day of school."

Who does that leave at home? This year it's Meg in 10th grade. Meg likes to make plans and have a list to work through each day, so we're in the process of looking down the road and setting the course. One big event will be the ACT. She'll take that sometime this year. We've already spent a few hours at the library taking a practice test. For history and literature she'll read through Invitation to the Classics,create a timeline book, and read or listen to authors as they interest her. For science, we plan on checking out a lot of videos from the local college and see where that takes us. She'll also continue through the Straight Forward Math series,take dance and drama, and be in the high school choir.

But that's just a skeleton of what her year will actually become. Opportunities and interests will pop up here and there and we'll jump for it. I have a blank high school transcript that I'll fill in with recognizable subjects as the year unfolds, but it all depends on what she decides to spend her time on.

Because she's not sure what she'd like to do after high school (college? no college?), we'll do quite a bit of exploration into different careers and possibilities. Anyone have any books or websites to recommend?

Every year is a new adventure, and I'm feeling the apprehension and the excitement of the journey ahead.

5 comments:

Grandma Farm said...

Hi Jena,
Something we used with a couple of our high school aged kids was "Career Direct Youth Exploration Survey" put out by Larry Burkett. It gave our girls the confidence to step forward into areas of interest and see how these interests could lead into a career.
Hope your three kids have a wonderful year in all their different areas of learning!

Heather said...

What is the Straight Forward Math Series like? My husband likes to teach the kids math and we do have plenty of stuff here but I think he would prefer something simpler without all the teachers manuals and such (my dad was a high school math teacher and gave us all his cast off sample math curriculum.)

I have nothing to help you on this. We aren't there yet, though I did read Homeschooling through High School which I would definitely recommend for her as well as yourself if you haven't already read it.

Traci said...

I have to say that I'm not sure how I stumbled upon you, maybe Ravelry, but I am so enjoying learning from you. We are in our third year of homeschooling. I'm so excited to find your definition of unschooling to really fit what we do. It takes a bunch of pressure off of my mind! Thank you for what you do!

Jena said...

Heather,

We like Straight Forward Math because the explanations are simple and the exercises are minimal. So if you don't need a lot of explanation but some sort of practice and a skeleton for instruction, these are great. Not overwhelming at all.

Diane, thanks for the lead on a book. I'll look for it.

Traci, I'm so glad it's helpful. That encourages me to keep at it. :)

Anonymous said...

I would recommend checking out What Color is Your Parachute. I used it when I made my own career transition and it has a really interesting approach that starts from identifying your own interests and passions and uses interviewing with known people to figure out what you could do with that. There is a version for teens that I haven't looked at but might be good for Meg. I suspect your library will have a copy.

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