Choosing homeschool vs. outside experiences

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Choosing homeschool vs. outside experiences

Unread post by RachelT »

Smoakhouse wrote:I have been listening to many of Mr. Hazell's workshops over the last few weeks. They are great! I highly recommend you listen to them if you have not already. He gives lots of tips you can begin using immediately as well as many things to ponder.

As I reflect on what we have done in the past and how I want to change for the future, I'm not real sure how it works in real life. I'm thinking specifically about my 10th grade daughter. I guess I worry more about #2 because she is so different than me. #1 is more like me and more academic minded. I will have to change my approach to fit #2.

She is not particularly academic inclined, she love drama, dance and singing. But I think we can rule out Broadway. :-) I'm perplexed on how to help her see how to use her passion for life and God. I try to point out her strengths as a people person. She is very good about making others feel comfortable and included. But it's hard to even get her to think about her future, let alone make goals. I thought having something to work toward would increase her motivation. She is very much a here and now person.

Mr. Hazell suggest that students should start focusing on the things they enjoy and are good at once they are in High School. But how do we keep up with the required English, Math & Sciences while leaving time for drama, dance & voice lessons? Not to mention performances & recitals. I want to be sure she has all the credits she needs to go to college which in TN means 4 years of math & 3 years of science. She struggles with these classes and they take a large bulk of her day. We are most definitely not finished by noon. ;) I want to be sure she has time to develop her writing skills which would be beneficial in any type of performing art career. I'm also trying to be sure we cover life skills and bible study. All those things you wish you had known when you got married. :) It just seems like so much to work in the next 3 years! I had planned to limit the number of extra curricular activities, but the more I have thought about it, those may be the very things she needs for her future career. Not more algebra. What is a mom to do......

Thanks for "listening". I think getting it on paper helps a lot. I would love to hear your thoughts.
Hi Cheri! I am not remembering a lot about the workshop presentations that I have heard at the moment, but I wanted to speak about your daughter's passions for just a moment. I wanted to tell you the short version of my story. I was a good student, but more interested in music and drama than other subjects.

Around my freshman year I got the idea to make a list of goals for myself and to really think big. I can't remember who told me to do that, but someone did. I kept the list for a long time and one of the goals was to earn our state's Academic Honors Diploma, while another goal was to have a lead role in one of the annual musicals. I had other goals, but I won't bore you with them all.

Well, I took the classes that I needed to take for the Honors Diploma - and made the grades needed, too. But I also worked with my counselor to figure out how to get my foreign language done in less time (taking one language for 3 years instead of 2 languages for 2 years each) and I even took a correspondence course over the summer one year to get a credit out of the way for something. Those credits allowed me more time for electives my senior year so that I could be the editor of the school newspaper, be in the advanced choir, swing choir, and have leading roles in the musicals, and also take "band" for my pom pom squad/dance team! I am sure I drove my parents just a little crazy with all of my activities! However, I had to learn how to manage it all before going to college and while I was still under the roof of my parents' home.

So, I took the math and science that I needed, but didn't do extra and I used my electives for the areas of study that I really had a passion for. I am glad that my parents gave me that freedom because they could see that God had placed that desire in me. I ended up getting academic and talent (music) scholarships for college and went as a voice performance major. In my sophomore year, I decided that I didn't just want to perform (where it was all about "me" and spending lots of hours in a practice room by myself), but I really wanted to work with other people, especially children, and eventually have a family. I chose to change my major to music education. I enjoyed teaching children in schools, but now over the last several years I have also learned how to lead worship, lead church choirs, and home educate my own children. God gives us talents (like musical ability) and also personality traits (like wanting to work with other people, or not), and it can be really cool to see how He keeps teaching us and showing us what we can do for Him with those abilities!

So, if your daughter wants to do some of these other things and you are helping her to get the academic studies completed each semester, God may have a plan for some of those other areas that one day will become clear to her. He may have need of her abilities in music or drama in the future. You never know and even if she doesn't become a professional, she may gain confidence and skills that help her in other areas of her life later down the road. The arts can play a huge role in teaching memorization skills, presentation skills, working with other, and communication. They can be fun, but they can also teach us many things. Yes, I lacked cooking and cleaning skills when I got married just days before turning 22 and never really had lived on my own, but I'm still working on lots of things!
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Julie in MN
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Re: Thoughts on Mr. Hazell's Workshops

Unread post by Julie in MN »

What an interesting conversation topic. I'm enjoying reading the thoughtful ideas here.

It is indeed hard to do everything, or to do everything well. But there should be some room in high school for "electives," and those credits can really be tailored to the student. If kids are doing foreign language and Bible every year, as well as the core 4 each year, then there is a solid day for you with little room for extra classes. But homeschoolers probably won't have the kind of homework and busywork that public schoolers do, which is why I think most professional kids (actors, athletes) end up homeschooling in some form or other.

But even within the basic credits, you do have some opportunity to tweak things. I chose to have my older dd experience a lot of opportunities, because I thought that was something she needed. I had her audition for two small parts in plays, and so theater was part of her English credit those years (including reading the script and the original play, doing some writing about it, and the natural public speaking & other lessons learned in the intensive months of putting on the play). I had her enroll in every flute-related experience I could, which replaced her ps "band" credit with fine arts/music credits in our homeschool. I also had her sign up for one summer camp that resulted in a public school credit (a business venture camp), so I gave her a credit for that. And other summer opportunities were mostly extracurriculars, which are also important on a transcript.

My youngest is a different egg -- he will probably do more academics, he's spending time learning to drive right now (dd waited until she was an adult), he will probably continue to take off a week of school each winter in the mountains with his brother (he's making up that schoolwork now), he will probably be less willing to give up his summer hours (although he's getting in most of his volunteer hours with VBS), and I imagine he may take advantage of more opportunities in his last 2 years of high school, but they won't be the same kinds of things -- he was talking about EMT training today.

I guess I'm saying that you can tailor things for the kid,
but some of it will be done during "off hours"
and other things might be subbed for regular curriculum (a good resource for that is Senior High Form-U-La).

I hope to hear more ideas!
Last edited by Julie in MN on Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thoughts on Mr. Hazell's Workshops

Unread post by gratitude »

Smoakhouse wrote:I have been listening to many of Mr. Hazell's workshops over the last few weeks. They are great! I highly recommend you listen to them if you have not already. He gives lots of tips you can begin using immediately as well as many things to ponder.

Mr. Hazell suggest that students should start focusing on the things they enjoy and are good at once they are in High School. But how do we keep up with the required English, Math & Sciences while leaving time for drama, dance & voice lessons? Not to mention performances & recitals. I want to be sure she has all the credits she needs to go to college which in TN means 4 years of math & 3 years of science. She struggles with these classes and they take a large bulk of her day.
Your title caught my eye since I love listening to David Hazell's workshops on CD!

I feel like I shouldn't be on here since my children are so young, and you have received such wonderful advice from moms of teen-agers who know where you really are in parenting. The art question though caught my eye.

These are only questions, please discard as needed:
1. Is college something that is important enough to you, or her, or both to push through all of the college prerequisites?
2. Have you considered art/performing art school instead of college (the pre-requirements are different than college)?
3. What are the goals for performing? Enrichment, career, career for awhile?

Just some thoughts...

I have a few cousins who were gifted in the arts, and not so gifted academically, who went to art school instead of college.
I have a few friends who went to Juilliard & London Music Academy instead of college.
I am married to a professional glass artist, who became one after college. College was, hmm.. not time well spent? (Don't get me wrong, I have a degree, I think college is valuable; but it isn't for everyone).
I have had neighbors & friends who were professional artists who went to art school.

A performing career doesn't actually require writing skills, or science, or math. It requires motivation, talent, hours of practice, focus, determination, hours of practice, and being very good at one thing.

Prayers for direction for both of you.

P.S. We are friends with one couple from church who volunteers hours and hours of time for an annual Broadway show at church; it is the way they have chosen to use the DH talents and gifts of voice that God has given him.
Last edited by gratitude on Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thoughts on Mr. Hazell's Workshops

Unread post by gratitude »

Smoakhouse wrote:Great thoughts here. I'm so glad you all have jumped in with different ideas.

College prep is important to me. I have always said it was my job to prepare them for what ever they wanted to do. While many skills can be learned as you need them, you can't go back and get a college prep diploma. She would have to take non-credit classes before she could even start college. I think that would be enough to prevent her from ever going. She is just 15, who know what she will want to do at 18, 21, or 30+.

Motivation seems to be the key to getting is all done. But unfortunately my daughter has little in the academic rounds. Failing grades does not seems to bother her. I am still very involved in most of her school work, especially math & science. I keep trying to let her try to be more independent but when I do the quality of the work goes way down. And I have to pull her back to the kitchen table. I will have a kindergartner next year and this is going to get harder.

I thought making goals would help to motivate her, but she has not interest in making any past some vague perform on Broadway. I'm planing on taking her to some college plays hoping that seeing drama on a college campus will give her some motivation.

Thanks for the encouragement.
What if she doesn't want to go to college? Would that be O.K.? Could she use her gifts in your community?

I was a lot like your dd at 15 I urge caution. My parents pushed college, and I was academically gifted but not inclined. It backfired in my mid-twenties. Be careful. How much does she need to find out her dream is unrealistic or isn't what she really needs or maybe even isn't what God calls her to do? Have you shared her the reality of the Broadway life; perhaps this alone would help her change her mind?

You can not put a square peg into a round hole, no matter how hard you try. You can though help re-direct the square peg to a healthy hole that it needs to go into with the Lord's help.

As long as her desire for Broadway is this strong it is going to make it difficult to focus on other things. I have an idea her desire might be much stronger than you realize; my mom would have said mine was vague too. A good sobering reality of the arts could change her mind. Christians do work in the arts, my DH is one of them and I have Christian friends in the arts; but they are few and far between. This means the art world is a sobering reality, and requires Christians to work as a light in the darkness. This sobering reality, I would think, could turn most 15 year olds away from a desire that may not be God's best for their lives. Does she know how most people on Broadway really live?

You know your dd better than anyone in the entire world. I hope you can help her work through this desire she has, and help her use her gifts for whatever His plan is for her life.

Take Care.
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Re: Thoughts on Mr. Hazell's Workshops

Unread post by RachelT »

Hi again! I don't know if you read Karen Kingsbury books, but some of her fictional novels deal with some of these themes. She has various main characters who are involved in theater, specifically in Hollywood films, local Christian theater productions, and college theater. Now there is a new series (Baily Flanigan series) with only the first book out about one of those girls going to audition for a real Broadway show and moving away from home to go work there. I have not completely finished this book, but I will soon and the second book will be out in June.

What I LOVE about Karen's writing is that she deals with tough topics and shows the consequences of bad choices of the characters, but also shows grace and the unconditional love of God. She is always using the circumstances in the books to teach others about the Lord. I do not know where the new series will go with the main character heading to NYC, but I think it might show some of the realities of that kind of life, just as she contrasted the "worldly" Hollywood lifestyle with Christian film-making. I would suggest that you pre-read any of these books before sharing them with your daughter because they do deal with adult themes, at times.

Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
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Re: Thoughts on Mr. Hazell's Workshops

Unread post by cbollin »

my story...

my dad graduated high school in 1962. was on the vocational track. He worked with his hands -- repairing industrial sized electrical motors. He signed up for physics but the school made him take "electronics". The teacher said "Jimmy, you know all of this stuff already. I already gave you an A. You teach it this year to your friends." So, my father got to teach other high schoolers while he was one of them. Of course he gave his friends an A. I mean, come on.. this is the guy who took the mufflers off of his motorcycle and zoomed down the hallway without getting caught. LOL LOL I loved it when he told that story to my oldest a few weeks ago.

but my point? He always wished he could have taken physics. He was happy when I took it because I let him study from my physics book. Of course, he took me down to the shop and showed me just what all of those physics things were. v = ir. and I was never really tall enough to ride the bike.

anyway... he wished he would have been allowed by the schools at that time to take college prep classes. He's smart. He is. book learning is easy for him on stuff he likes. He took over his dad's business and ran it for decades. after his first heart attack, sold the business and became a pilot and computer geek. never went to college. He was a CEO of a small business.
by the way...who else is singing it ...
start spreading the news.... I'm leaving today..... I want to be a part of it.. New York New York.
well, the closest I ever got to theater life: being on stage with a microphone, and making a roomful of people sweat to cardio strength and stretch routines.

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Re: Thoughts on Mr. Hazell's Workshops

Unread post by 1974girl »

You should really have her take an aptitude test. I think all kids in highschool should be made to take one. 80% of people end up doing something other than in their field. My DH for example majored in wildlife biology but has sold insurance since one year after his college graduation because of lack of jobs in this area. When he took the test mandated by the insurance company before they hire someone, he scored as high as you could score. He had no clue that he would have been good at sales. His parents didn't even believe it but after 13 years of successful sales, they believe it now.

Kids too often go into what they want and do not seek God's will. They think that if they like it, then God must be in it. That is not always true. Some kids go into things because of pressure from parents, teachers, or they go into it thinking only about $$$. Have her read A Purpose Driven Life (or something similar), take a real aptitude test for highschoolers, and pray about it.
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Re: Thoughts on Mr. Hazell's Workshops

Unread post by TriciaMR »


Random thoughts, not having any high schoolers, but having been a high school student :)

I knew what I wanted to do by the time I was 14: a computer programmer. I knew I would have to get good grades to get a scholarship (or two), so I buckled down, took all the computer classes I could in high school (took them all by 11th grade :) ), got a decent scholarship and was able to get a degree in computer science.

It was great, and I'm glad I did it. In college I remember thinking, "I want to work for Sun Microsystems one day." And you know what, God answered that dream, too. I worked for them until the day before my oldest was born.

But, I knew exactly what I wanted and went for it. I'm one of those kind of people. Not everyone is.

Then, I had a baby and became a stay at home mom. I don't think I wasted my degree or my career. This is what God has called me to for now. Once the kids grow up, who knows?!? Maybe I get to start a whole new thing.

As far as teaching "life skills." Some random thoughts:

1. Is she doing laundry? Sorting whites vs. lights vs. darks; using bleach, fabric softener. Using a Top Loader vs. a Front Loader?
2. Can she cook a meal? Maybe this is something you do together Saturday or Sunday and start to put together a cookbook that she can take with her when she leaves home.
3. Does she know basic cleaning skills: mop, sweep, clean the bathroom(s), vacuum?
4. Get her a checking account and teach her how to balance her checkbook or use Quicken or something.
5. Does she know how to: check tire air pressure, check oil level, check transmission fluid level, check brake fluid level? (My dad made sure I could do those, and change a tire before I could get my drivers licence. But, I'm more mechanically inclined than some.)
6. Does she know how to budget? Does your family have a budget? Maybe it's time to include her in those family budget discussions.

And then there is nothing like the "mother of necessity" teaching you life skills. You have a baby, and you have to learn how to feed and take care of it, but if you're the youngest, it may not be a skill you have. But, guess what, you learn and your baby survives it.

I like the idea of taking an aptitude test to see if you can narrow down her interests.

Is there a local theater that she can join in the summer? We have some stuff in our local parks and rec for drama/acting.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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Re: Thoughts on Mr. Hazell's Workshops

Unread post by jasntas »

Trish, I loved your story about your dad making you know how to check the oil, change a tire, etc. My dad did the exact same thing, and I am NOT mechanically inclined. (It takes me back. My dad passed away a few years ago. ;( )

I smiled when I read your question about laundry sorting. My dc, 7 and 10 are learning to do this now. They each have their own laundry 'basket' thingie in each of their rooms and about once or twice a week I have them sort their own laundry. They also help fold their own p.j's and towels. They know how to start and load the washer and dryer. They were just sorting and folding socks today. That's a new one I just added. My ds kept finding ways to be distracted while my dd kept at it. Classic for him. I am not looking forward to hs with him.

They both also take turns helping with lunch.

I'm starting to feel like maybe I 'am' doing some things right. ;)

My ds has been taking Tae Kwon Do for the last 2 years and is a brown belt. (That's a little over half way to black. Most people think he only has one belt to go so I thought I would clarify.) Up until a few months ago he loved it and rarely complained. It is getting increasingly more difficult because not only does it become more challenging but the student must also continue to keep up all the skills learned so far. He now wants to go back to baseball. Well, he only remembers the 'good' parts about baseball. He wanted to and did quit baseball because he thought it was too much work, etc. I was really surprised he enjoyed TKD as long as he did. He really doesn't have much when it comes to sticktuitiveness. My dh has told him that we will think about baseball but we both want him to stick it out and become a black belt in TKD. We both really feel that he would regret it if he doesn't. We also feel it will teach him perseverance and endurance if he sees this through. I know he is still young but ... BTW, if life happens and things change such as a move or something, we have told him that would be different because then he would have to quit for a reason that's out of his control.

I don't know how any of this is helpful. I don't have a teenager yet and as I stated earlier I am not looking forward to my ds and hs.

I have enjoyed all the stories and advice. Sorry I really didn't add much.

I love the aptitude test idea.
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Re: Thoughts on Mr. Hazell's Workshops

Unread post by Smoakhouse »

Wow Ladies you have such fabulous ideas! I'm blown away.

I have started a list for school prep week - the week before we offical start - to include...
a study skills DVD,
a personality test,
the book "What Color Is My Parachut for Teens" (found on my shelf :-) ),
setting goals: short term & long term,
then buying school supplies.

I have included as much practical life skills in her classes as possible.
Already, she can cook, took many cooking classes at Viking, has discipline: gets herself up and ready when we have to leave the house. She has her Black belt in Karate.
Wait! Why can't this kid get her math and science finished before 4:00 pm?
I think the bottom line is motivation. Maybe some of the above exercises with help her.

Thanks so much everyone.
Cheri in TN
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Re: Thoughts on Mr. Hazell's Workshops

Unread post by gratitude »

Smoakhouse wrote:Cheri,
It's Ok with me if she decides not to go to college as long as she has other plans and goals. But with a college prep. diploma she can just as easily change her mind back.

Do you have any suggestion on how to share the reality of Broadway with her? Thanks for your insight.
Do you know anyone who has spent time in NYC trying to do Broadway or has done Broadway? Do you know anyone who knows anyone? A teacher at a nearby University who spent time doing so? Talking to someone who has done so is the best way.

Does she show enough talent for Broadway? If not, could you gently break this reality to her so that she can begin to re-direct her thoughts. If so, is her teacher indicating to her a possible career on Broadway and encouraging her to go that direction? If so, I think if it were my child I would pray a lot with them about it; but my children are young so I know that I truly don't know what I would do unless I am ever in those shoes.

Has she ever seen Facing the Giants by Sherwood Pictures from a Baptist church in Georgia? The first time I saw the film I thought it was done by Hollywood, then half way through I thought, "who did this film?" The point would be to show her Christians who love the Lord and love drama and use it to serve him as VOLUNTEERS. The amazing part of their church, which now includes 4 films, is the fact that they have done all of it without a paid staff (except the staff of the church of course). What a beautiful opportunity and blessing these people have had to work serving the Lord with their gifts and the blessing of relationship with one another while doing it. If you rented it, watch the behind the scenes.. it might really help her see some avenues - besides Broadway - for art. The prayer scenes are very touching in the behind the scene clips. The obvious love for the Lord and sharing this love through film.

I had a close friend, bridesmaid, who spent two years in NY trying to make it on Broadway. She is a Christian, she has a beautiful voice. When we were roommates in Seattle she tried out for the NY MET every year, and did a lot of musicals/theater in Seattle. Practiced a ton, we lived in a very poor apartment, etc. I spent hours at that time practicing and playing classical piano. She was very very good. Amazing voice. Her teacher had sung for the MET in NY, and encouraged her to go to NY. She now has a lovely son and husband and lives in a small city in the west. The point is few people make it. If she is dreaming of Broadway, the reality is a lot of money for a lot of voice lessons - a lot of try outs - poor apartments - for some a lot of debt - for some a lot of poor moral choices (this depends on the strength of their Christian faith, and of course most of them don't have that background) - and some make it.

(Added later):
I thought I should add that the above paragraph talks about the reality of 'trying to make it on Broadway'. I don't know anyone on Broadway, so I don't know what it is like for those who make it. I did study at one point though under one of the best pianists in the world who debuted in Carnegie Hall at age 11. Well, for those who do make it his life was similar in some ways I suppose to ours. He lives in an older home with a lot of grand pianos, 3 children, his wife, and practices & teaches a lot, and performs a lot. Hmm.. not the average American, but I think they enjoy it. Notice though 'he made it' at age 11. This is a BIG key to success in some areas of the arts; it depends on the field.

(Back to original):
Personally, I would encourage a Christian to do the Sherwood Baptist route for sharing ones gifts with the Lord and others.

I just remember not telling my goals and plans to my parents. My goals were VERY focused. This is my only insight for you. So many who go the 'try' for Broadway, get caught up in it somehow and don't necessarily communicate it to others except those who will 100% support the dream. Does this make sense? My goal of course wasn't Broadway, but it was similar.

O.K. now I am so embarrassed I think I will climb under a rock... &)

May the beautiful Bible in MFW help to guide her every step of the way.

God Bless.
Last edited by gratitude on Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:13 pm, edited 7 times in total.
Julie in MN
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Possibly adding in 11th grade questions..

Unread post by Julie in MN »

kayben wrote:Hi, I have a question for those using MFW high school along with other programs. This coming fall I will be doing 3 programs. I will have 4 (including one with special needs) using ECC. I will have a 6 year old using first (joined by his 8 year old sister for phonics reinforcement), and a 4.5 year old slowly making her way through K. I am already a bit overwhelmed when my public school 10th grader requested to possibly be homeschooled next year.

He is quite smart but unmotivated. He is involved in Soccer, indoor and outdoor track that he will have to leave behind as they don't allow for homeschooled kids to participate in our public school system. So, this is a big decision. I guess that was a little background to ask if this program is too intense for a kid who I cannot be on top of all the time to complete work. I truly would hope that he would step up and get the work done, but I am not sure. I am thinking of possible PACE work in order to have a concrete gauge of whether the required work is getting completed or not, but I love the MFW High school programs. I also don't know what I would place him in.. he has completed World History and Government in school. bottom line... can 4 programs be done without losing my mind?? :) Thanks in advance:)
Hmmm, it would be nice to be able to give it a try for a week or 2 and see how he does, but there will probably be too many things you don't have to even try out the sample week. Maybe at least print out the sample and go over with him what the day would be like?

I'd also make sure he really gets the sports sacrifice (or research other sports options such as homeschool groups), as well as the sacrifice of the whole graduation ceremony and such. Some of us don't care about those things, but some of us do.

If you do choose MFW, you could begin with AHL. At least that first jump in would be a little less pressure than jumping in to the 11th grade year. It sounds like he's already had the world history that would be in MFW's 10th grade, and the government that is half of the social studies credit in MFW 11th grade, so he wouldn't be behind if he started with 9th.

You might want to think through your goals for him. The ancient history credit in AHL is not always included on transcripts, although for us Christians it's nice to have our kids absorb the entire Old Testament and compare it to other ancient things (literature, architecture, history, etc). Going through the entire Bible in high school was one of my personal priorities.

The other option for 11th would be to do US1 but sub out the government semester for either Economics in a Box (from US2) or something else you want to get in. He would still benefit from the other credits in US1 - Worldviews/Bible, American Lit, and one semester of US history. You might even do the MFW Government to get the Christian perspective and just give it a different title, such as Civics.

Just some wandering thoughts. I really have no personal experience homeschooling so many, but I know MFW was written by a mom of 6 kids.

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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Re: Possibly adding in 11th grade questions..

Unread post by kayben »

Thank you for your insight and suggestions. I really appreciate the honesty, especially recognizing that leaving behind Public School benefits can be a big deal. I will definitely check the free sample downloads and see if I can wing a week or two to try it out. I will re-read your 11th grade recommendations a few times to figure out where I need to go, and if we pursue it, I will take a good hard look at the high school requirements of our umbrella school. Thank you again! This is a whole new ball game, as High School was never really discussed, because of sports options. He will certainly need to ramp up the personal responsibility level!
Rebecca loving my Dear DH 25 yrs
Kayla 19 and Married expecting grandbaby #1
Ben 18
Emily 15
Cassie 13
Zoe 11
Abby 10
Cooper 8
Ellie 6
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