Sunday, July 6, 2014

J is for Juggling {Homeschooling High School ABCs} turned into another one of those weeks where I was trying to write one post, and finally at the last minute, another post wrote itself.

J is for Juggling.

I'm not sure if this is going to be one of those posts that is totally not applicable to the majority of my readers, or if it is one that will strike a chord for many.

But this week, we were busy figuring some things out, yet again, as far as which of the amazing, wonderful programs we ought to use, and which of the fantastic outside opportunities we ought to pursue.  In this specific case, we were looking at a chance to work on some Boy Scout merit badges.  I have three Boy Scouts (Life, Star, First Class) in this house, and some things are worth doing because all three can take advantage.  This particular case involves a decision between two merit badges that all three of them are interested in.

We can only do one.

And who knows what kind of opportunities we'll have in the near future.

My oldest will "age out" of Scouting in ten months <choke, gasp, sob> and after a bit of discussion, I told the kids, "Connor makes this decision, and you all will do what he wants."  That was met with not-so-happy looks from all three of them.  I said, "Look.  We can't always juggle things so everyone gets what they want.  Sometimes we simply have to choose.  And you two..." (pointing at the younger teens) "... are likely to get another shot at something similar.  Connor probably won't.  So he chooses."

That got me thinking about all the things we are juggling, and how many balls we do have up in the air.  And that got me thinking more specifically about high school choices, review choices, and trying to balance it all.  Especially with more than one high school student in the house.

This juggling train of thought led me to think a lot more about all the product reviews we do, and how to juggle that while homeschooling.  We've been incredibly successful, I think, with making things work.  But I know so many who love doing product reviews when the kids are younger, but when they hit high school, they think they have to get serious and just can't handle juggle it all.

I guess, for me, the key is to stay flexible.  I know the kids are going to do some things for high school.  I just don't always know what that will be.  Literature, for instance.  We've reviewed a number of different programs, and honestly, I like getting some different approaches.  So we do one Progeny Press guide, we do a book out of Excellence in Literature, we do a book from Lightning Literature, and we end up with a pretty interesting mix.  If I take the time to look through the materials, I can make sure we are covering a good variety of literary elements, and that we cover different styles.  It is just that I never am quite sure when we are actually "done" with literature for the year.

Another subject we've juggled is history.  I still don't know just what I'm going to call some of the history study that Connor has done, but we've used a wider variety of programs and studied a lot of different time periods.  We've determined that he does need to work through something systematic for the 20th century (somehow, history always seems to stop at the Westward Expansion time period in our schooling), but otherwise, he really has learned far more history than I ever did in high school and college.

The juggling part of things may mean that we do something for six weeks, then set it aside to be picked up later.  That happens quite often.  What I love, though, is that we have so many options available when later does come.  So the financial accounting course that we set aside a couple of years ago?  Yeah, we're pulling that out and doing it now.

All the stuff that we only do for a few weeks is part of the juggling act.  I know my kids are getting a pretty broad education, and we choose the stuff that really fascinates us and dig deeper there.

Ben and Me
My next post?  I'm clueless.  K is for Klueless?  Okay, probably not...

Marcy is posting a word study, and this week is a complete MUST READ -- J is for Judgment.  It's a good one.  There are a couple dozen other amazing J posts linked up too.  Including two others who posted about Juggling!

1 comment:

Kate said...

I really liked this post. :) I totally understand. Just sayin'.