Homeschooling Why and How

Sample After-high-school Curriculum & Evaluation for one homeschooler

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Our son went to school for the first time at age 16.  Because he was not interested in their diploma, we insisted that he be allowed to take whatever classes he wanted.  They had to say ok because there is no law that says one has to work for a diploma, only that one has to attend school or homeschool.  He took tough courses like Japanese language to test his mettle, but also useful classes like drama for his public speaking poise and auto shop to learn more about cars.  School was mostly boring and easy though he did enjoy going to all the dances and events.  He had enough after two and a half semesters and went on to get his GED.  What follows here is what our son wrote for his goals the year after he had gone to school.  Please, don’t read and think it’s about bragging because though to be honest, I was a bit impressed when I read it 🙂  I know most homeschoolers, if they wrote down everything they wanted to learn or know how to do would come up with much of what’s on this list plus their own impressive and unique interests.

2001/2002 School Year Goals.
Learn dad’s shop:  Learn how to cover for dad if he’s not feeling well.  Learn how each employee job works.Learn technical info like taxes, rent, overhead, and other accounting information.   (He’s now very, very good at managing money.)
Guitar: Learn all the chords or most of them and get to the point where I can teach myself songs and read tab.
Gymnastics:   Learn back handsprings, back flips and misties on ground.  Plus improve handstands and trampoline abilities:  front rudy, back rudy, etc.
Video editing:  Learn the complex programs: Final Cut, Premiere and perhaps After Effects.  And put out  high quality videos. (He now earns a good living doing this, having created a cinematography business that does mostly weddings but also corporate events, real estate videos and more and has a crew of six second shooters, editors and an a/v crew.  Click here for the website.
Photography:  Learn about filming: exposure, lighting, angles, and  effects with both film and photo cameras.
Self Defense:   Learn basic techniques, improve form.  Learn some forms, spar with dad, learn throws,  and street fighting safety.
Cooking:  Learn how to cook on my own: rice, veggies, meats, pastas, and more complex dishes.
Sewing:  Learn how to patch and hem my clothes.
Rifles:   Learn how to use Dad’s guns.
Auto Mechanics:   Learn more about cars.

Thoughts…School recap..
Mom and I have been very diligent in doing the school work.  I’ve learn a lot of stuff this    year.  Here are the goals I made and how I think I did.
Learn Dad’s shop:  Learn how to cover for Dad if he’s not feeling well.  Learn how each employee job works.  Also learn technical info like taxes, rent, over head, and other accounting information.  Turns out there wasn’t as much to learn about Dad’s shop that would serve me as I thought there would be.  But I did get stuff out of it.  Bookkeeping and watching Dad work a little more might be a good idea but this goal is basically done though I’d like to learn more about bookkeeping and Dad’s magic.

Guitar:  Learn all the chords or most of them and get to the point where I can teach myself songs and read tab.  I became quite decent at guitar.  I took a few lessons and completed all my goals.  I will continue to play but more for recreation.
Gymnastics:  Learn back handsprings, back flips and misties on ground.  Plus improve handstands and trampoline abilities:  front rudy, back Rudy, etc. The class I am taking is good and I’ve achieved a good deal on this but this is also an ongoing goal.

Video editing:  Learn the complex programs: final cut, premiere and perhaps after effects.  And put out high quality videos.  Since the class got canceled, it complicates my goals but I feel gotten very good with Final Cut though not mastered.  (Videography is his profession now.   (He learned most of his video skills by making edits of his skating and of his friends and by his own research.  He went on to become a professional inline skater, competing in X-Games twice and traveling all over the US and a few countries.  Click here  to see his skating website.)
Photography:  Learn about filming: exposure, lighting, angles, and  effects with both film and photo cameras.  That one class was all I wanted to learn.   I feel this goal is complete on the snap shot aspect, learning more on filming is a good idea.
Self Defense:  Learn basic techniques, improve form.  Learn some forms, spare with Dad, learn throws, and street fighting safety.  I have gotten much, much, much better with this with just a little work.
Cooking:  Learn how to cook on my own: rice, veggies, meats, pastas, and more complex dishes.  Is on the schedule for after spring break.
Sewing:  Learn how to patch and hem my clothes.  Was easy and I have competed this goal.
Rifles:  Learn how to use Dad’s guns.  I have completed this goal as well.
Auto Mechanics:  Learn more about cars.  On schedule for after spring break.
Other things I learned and did.
Astronomy:  Learned a lot got a lot out of it.  I learned many amazing things like where we are and going through space in relation to everything else.
Megamemory:  Done, there is a 21 day program I am going to do but the tapes are done.  I learned a lot about how my mind works and expanded my memory and learned tricks to remember things.
Nutrition/Human Body:  This has be my primary goal the last few months.  I learned so much about vitamins, minerals, proteins.  I really know my stuff now.  Completed goal.  All the main things about the human body went from knowing very little to a great understanding.
Money Management Seminar:  I learned very much about my money and what to do.  I plan on learning more about money management but this has been a great start.
My Rights:  I learned about the Bill of Rights memorized the articles and made a list of questions with Mom that we sent in to the prosecuting attorney to be answered.

So as you can see these aren’t like “completed courses.” Many of the goals/skills are ongoing and I will continue to do them.  There will be a time where enough is enough but things like gymnastics and business there is really no end and my goals are unpredictable.  I could achieve a Front Rudy soon or months — it’s hard to tell. Unlike reading a book which you can figure the pages and all that on a daily account.  Looking back so far I’ve done well and learned about a lot of things that I’ve been curious about for a long time.

After Spring Break Goals…
Nutrition applied:  Build on what I know by breaking down Mom’s, Dad’s and my diets and seeing where they can be improved.
Cooking/Shopping:  Learn from Mom what she gets and what’s good and how to cook good and healthy.
Weather:  Learn to tell from the sky or winds and such what’s happening with the weather and about what they’re talking about on the news.
Self Defense:  Read the Bruce Lee books and shadow box every school day
Grammar/Math:  Work on either every school day just a little.  On the side classes during breaks after school hours
Gymnastics:  Get the back and front flips with spins better.  Get comfortable with backflips at the beach and such.  Gainer off of something into water.  when wrist heals, handstand and Round Off work.
Dad’s shop/Business:  Go in around 2 more times, watch him at work watch how he plans and the synergy of the business.  Build on my financial knowledge with Dad about his shop and money.
Art:  Painting with mom improve what I know.  Work the right side of my brain.
Guitar:  Learn more improve.
Video: Learn and Improve, learn about After Effects.  Finish Final Cut Pro 2 book I have.
Auto:  Read some books on auto to improve my knowledge
Advanced Megamemory:  do the Advanced Megamemory tapes
NLP Success Mastery:  Do the NLP Success mastery tapes as well
Additional reading:  An Open Heart.  Dear Isaac.  The rest of the Rich Dad Poor Dad books.

Future Goals:
Sign Language  (he did end up doing this for a while in adult ed classes)

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