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Changing mid-stream?

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Joined: 13 May 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:33 pm    Post subject: Changing mid-stream? Reply with quote

Am I the only one whose H/S student changed midstream? After a miserable freshman year in public school covering english, algebra, pe, health, world geography, biology, french 1, and art, but a decent GPA (3.3/4), I said she could homeschool the this year. I shelled out $$$ for chemistry, world history, english & geometry from Keystone. . . She finished chemistry (1 credit) with an "A" & showed no interest in finishing the other subjects.

After spending a few months "deschooling", she seems to have become an "unschooler" instead:
--Reading uncounted stacks of fantasy, sci-fi & historical fiction for fun
--Writing quite a few character sketches, plot outlines, story idea synopses, editing my work/nagging me about doing more writing on the novel we are working on together (~ 60 pages so far)
--Researching Viking, Russian and Japanese history
--Reading/watching piles of manga/anime (mostly subtitled) & bought several Japanese books & translated a little of the manga bought from Japan,starting to learn hiragana & katakana writing systems
--A little geometry and trigonometry from workbooks
--Some painting, sketching & experimenting with computer graphics as well (She was into html & web design a few years ago & had done several websites ~ 11 or 12 years old). She says she wants to start taking art & computer classes at the community college next year & major in graphics design.

Is it worth nagging her to try & get her to finish some of the courses I already bought & to more heavy duty college prep work or just write up what she's done on my own transcript forms & be done with it? Maybe let her "graduate" at the end of the next year or so using college classes as "dual" credit? Our state has no particular requirements for graduation for private schools/homeschools. I guess I could count the above as: literature (1 credit), creative writing (1 credit), intro. to japanese language/culture through popular media (1 credit), math (1/2 credit), art (1/2 credit), world history (1/2 credit).

If it was your kid , , ,would you be okay with her plans & approach to the rest of high school? I don't see her as a schience/engineering type, more the artistic/creative type. I'd like to see her study enough additional math to make a decent score on the entrance exam; her english scores should be ok. I know there are a lot of unschoolers across the U.S., I just never thought our family would use that approach.
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Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 2122
Location: Missouri, US

PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 10:55 am    Post subject: Re: changing mid-stream Reply with quote

For the most part, she should be allowed to choose her own subjects, but she also needs to work towards some sort of official graduation, which means at least minimal levels in all the subjects required for high school graduation in your state. Also assume the required entrance levels for an art major.

What this means is probably:

- Adequate skills in reading, writing, and writing mechanics (sounds like she has this covered just fine)
- Mathematics up through Algebra II (you can download sample tests from a variety of places online if you aren't sure she's covered all of this)
- At least two sciences, possibly three (Biology covered, so probably Anatomy and/or Physical Science, to go best with art?)
- A couple areas of history (Russian and Japanese history might cover this)

Plus whatever your state throws on additionally, plus what a decent art college requires for prereqs. She has the electives covered just fine, especially if she can learn Japanese well enough to score decently in a language exam. Even a mediocre level can net 6 credit hours, with 12 being max.

Bottom line, unschooling works to an extent, but she may still have to do one or two subjects she doesn't enjoy, and the subjects she does enjoy should be gone over formally with a course outline to make sure she didn't miss anything. I also recommend following up core subjects with nationally standardized subject tests.
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