Sometimes I wonder if I share too much of our failure on the blog, and if that means you might discredit my thoughts on improving. Sometimes I wonder if our imperfect homeschool is worthy enough to have a blog. But then I remember that this is real life and you likely don’t want to only read about the great times. When we make friends, we share the good, the bad, and the ugly. And today, as I share our homeschool and all its imperfections, I’m joined by other iHomeschool Network bloggers. I’m not alone, and that feels good.
I hope that feeling of not being alone feels good to you, too.
It’s no secret that high school has been a bumpy road for us. I must say, we make some really awesome plans, but then those plans meet real life, and things start to unwind, slowly but surely. Whether it’s resources we thought were great, but then didn’t work out the way we thought, or lesson plans that are forgotten about, missed, or have swiss cheese follow through. Add it all together, and you get a really tough first year.
Honestly, it felt like every time we checked in on progress, we were taking two steps forward, one step back. It was incredibly frustrating for all of us.
During middle school, I basically graded items as they were finished, just looking to see if it was sufficient or not. I didn’t keep track of grades, and so there wasn’t much of a back log of work to be graded. Oh, what a mistake that was. I’ve learned my deep, intense hate for grading work. I avoid it whenever I can, and after 30 minutes of grading papers, I have to set it aside so my complete lack of motivation doesn’t filter in to the grade I’m awarding.
What I’ve learned? Find as many self-grading resources as possible. Then at least when I force myself to sit down and grade papers, it takes less time, and don’t fall as far behind.
You may have noticed I write far less about credit by exam. Why? We’ve backed off, big time. I’ve learned that Kira needs and wants small steps in her learning. She doesn’t want to do intense study sessions to retain lots of new information, which is what credit by exam requires at her stage. To go from first addressing a subject in middle school to then passing a CLEP or DSST exam means you are skipping the high school step, and you need to actively study with notes, and practice, practice, practice. That’s not how Kira wants to use her time, even if she likes the idea of passing the exams.
Will we continue with credit by exam? Yes, but at a slower pace. When Kira shows an active interest in a subject or an exam, I’ll absolutely get the resources to make it happen. Otherwise, we’ll let her take the smaller steps that high school work allows.
So what’s the road forward?
I use more resources online to build the bridge between our motivation and our goals. What are some of our favorite resources to make this happen?
- Homeschool Planet – to keep us on track, both with completing lesson plans and with ensuring grading is fully recorded.
- Jumpcourse – An interactive and engaging way to study for CLEP and DSST exams. Kira loves it, it’s self grading, and they have a guarantee you’ll pass, otherwise you get to retake the course.
- Currclick classes – Online classes covering a wide variety of subject areas. This means literally no work for me. Yay!
Our homeschool is far from perfect, but the fact is we are still meeting our goals. In sha Allah (God willing), Kira is gaining knowledge, exploring options for her future career, and building a strong personal identity in a healthy way.
Join the other iHomeschool Network bloggers and hear about their imperfect homeschools. It’s not all rainbows and lollipops, so let’s get real!