Enough Math?

A mom worriedly told me that her young daughter didn’t do a lot of math lessons this past year. She had worked on her basic math facts and learned to use math in real life situations as they came up, but she worried that this wouldn’t be enough. Could she pass her homeschool evaluation without a lot of other written math assignments to show?

As a young girl, when I was homeschooled as my family sailed the world, I did book work one day a week. Mondays. Only on Mondays Continue reading Enough Math?

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Can I Homeschool This Way?

I see so many questions online that basically ask, “Can I homeschool this way?” or “What’s the right way to homeschool my child?” followed by a bunch of replies which tell the person exactly the right way to teach some child the posters have likely never met, as though children are cogs and there’s only one right way to teach them all.

I have experienced many more schools than the average person. I went to at least thirteen schools (including a couple of bouts of homeschooling that I count as one “school”) between Continue reading Can I Homeschool This Way?

What Counts for P.E.?

Could I count Zumba classes or maybe even walking as P.E.? How about bowling or swimming?

I see questions like these online periodically. Perhaps they are followed by responses that declare that they won’t count unless instruction is involved or that give some other warnings of what it would take to actually count for a high school credit.

Perhaps it’s because I spent quite a number of years attending and later teaching in a wide variety of schools. Maybe it’s because my husband still works in schools. Whatever the reason, these sorts of questions always make me think Continue reading What Counts for P.E.?

The Freedom of High School

Or:  Thinking About Science Next Year

“What kind of labs are you going to do next next for chemistry?” a mom asked me.

“Uh? Hmmm….” I hadn’t thought through yet what science my kids were going to take next year for 10th grade.

“I assumed Chemistry came next after Biology,” she added.

I thought about that. No, actually, when I was in high school, Continue reading The Freedom of High School

Teaching High School Economics

A half-year course in economics is required by the state of Florida to graduate from public school. While we homeschoolers don’t have to copy their graduation requirements, it seems like as good a plan as any; so this year, economics was on my teens’ course schedule. But I never took economics in high school, and the courses in micro-economics that I took at the University of Chicago (which is renowned for its economics department with lots of Noble Prize winners) didn’t seem that terribly relevant to the average person. So what should a high school student learn in an economics course? Instead of just picking a textbook and focusing on it, as many schools seem to, I decided to focus first on what I thought an educated adult Continue reading Teaching High School Economics