How do you fit it ALL in?
So many people ask me that question when we talk about homeschooling a high schooler. It is a daunting task, I know. There seems to be so many things that you need to cover and finding time for all you want to do can be challenging. But, really, ALL is a relative term!
First decide what ALL means to you. Because it is going to be different for everyone.
- Do I want my child to graduate in four years or earlier?
- Do I want my child to have AP classes?
- Do I want my child to participate in sports or extracurricular activities?
- Do I want my child to work part time?
- Do I want my child to take online dual credit classes?
There are no universal right or wrong questions. But there are most certainly rights and wrongs for your child. Sit down with your highschooler early on and write down goals – yours and theirs. Even 8th grade is not too early to begin planning.
Next, form a game plan. Nothing happens by sheer luck, and your goals will not be accomplished if you have no plan. Divide a piece of paper into four columns and make a tentative course schedule. Decide how and where those courses are going to be taken.
Now see where there is space and add in the extras. Because let’s face it, anything other than school is extra. Do those things have value? Absolutely! But sometimes our children have to prioritize and make choices. Some kids will do great with full days and months, while others will not. Know your child and help them to make informed decisions.
Invest in a calendar or student planner. Now is a good time to teach your child how to use these basic tools. Write in due dates and work backwards. If a paper is due the third week in March, write it down. Then pencil in the rough draft due the week prior, the note taking the week prior to that, and the outline the week prior to that. Teach your children to think ahead and plan accordingly, always allowing for a few extra days of wiggle room.
Teach your child to become independent. This is big, my friends! If you want a organized, confident college student, now is the time to teach them how to be one. It does not come naturally for most high schoolers. Little by little, subject by subject, you need to teach your kids to be independent thinkers and doers! Teach them how to learn and then let them do it – by themselves. Yes, they will still need some oversight, but it is time to let go of their hands and let them succeed, or fail, on their own. You cannot follow them to college and remind them of when their assignments are due. Let them learn now, under the safety of your roof, rather than by trial and error in the much less forgiving world of college professors.
Everyone has 24 hours in a day. No more and no less. Finding the time to fit it all in during the high school years can be challenging, but with a plan, a little practice, and a lot of guidance, we can find the time to “fit it all in!”