It was the year before my oldest began high school at home and I was in severe panic mode. Was it possible to continue with our relaxed, teach-our-children-how-to-learn philosophy, or were we stuck with creating a school like atmosphere for the next four years?
Enter Senior High: A Home Designed Form+U+La. Ignoring the many (many!) forms and trying not be intimidated at the 428 pages, I dug in to the meat of the book, the heart-to-heart chat between Barb and her reader. Her informal, sometimes scattered, presentation was refreshing to me. I truly felt as though I were sitting over coffee with the author, as she shared her passion for Spirit-led, joyful home schooling. Highlighting madly, and stopping frequently to pray, I knew I had found a kindred spirit who understood both the why’s and the how’s of home schooling high school.
We now have two home school graduates (with five more to go) and I have read this book twice. It’s the book I recommend most to fellow homeschoolers and so I knew it had to be my first review for The Curriculum Choice.
Barb Shelton’s first priority is that we seek the Lord for what He wants for our children. This book is not just a How-To manual, but a devotional that speaks to your soul. She challenges us to not stress and strive after the world’s standards but to seek God’s. I re-read this book, and plan to read it again soon, as I find I frequently need this reminder.
Once we decide what is best for our family and our individual students, she shows us how to transfer this into courses, creating credits and transcripts, documenting both traditional and non-traditional classes. This was exactly what I needed! While we do have several more traditional courses, this gave me the confidence and know how to put together my own courses, to document independent learning, to complete transcripts and issue diplomas. The book is jam packed with forms she has created and permission is granted to copy what you need for your household. I didn’t find that I used a lot of the forms but I did learn a lot from simply reading how she had structured and documented her student’s learning.
The philosophy, encouragement and documentation how-to were the highlights for me, but this is a jam-packed book, containing more than I can cover in one review. Sections include:
- Jumpstart Plan
- Out of Fear and Into Freedom
- Requirements, College, Promotion and Graduation
- Record Keeping System
- Potpourri of Curriculum Supplements
- Grading Guidelines and Portfolios
- Personalizing All This Stuff
- Formulating Your Framework
- Designing Your Classes
- Organizing Your Materials
- Completed Class Plans
- Lifestyle of Learning Applications
- Resources, Reviews, and Glossary
If you get that panicky feeling whenever the thought of home schooling high school strikes you, I’d highly recommend this book. The author’s website, Homeschool Oasis , also contains many helpful articles to encourage you in your home school high school adventure.
-Lori is a highly caffeinated home schooling mom of seven. She can be found rambling and reviewing at Hearthside Homeschool Reviews…and More.
So glad to see your first review here, and glad to read this one! High School is a good ways off with my oldest in 4th, but I’m keeping my eye out for a copy of this book and will grab it up before we hit middle school. Thanks!
I have read this book before and found it to be a great resource. We have three more years before High School and I am sure I will read it again when we get closer.
.-= Diane´s last blog ..More Art Work =-.
Fantastic review, Lori!
Great review. And while I know you & I have a whole lot in common, I think I tend to be more traditional-ish — unit studies just don’t work in my household, not exactly anyway, and while we tend towards “relaxed” well, I don’t know, we’re far more structured than you seem to be.
Is this book still something you’d recommend to me? I need to figure out just what exactly I’m looking for in Continuing Education for this teacher, huh? I’m going to pick your brain about it at some point.
.-= Debra´s last blog ..Download N Go: Whale Tales =-.
Great review! It sounds like I really need this book. Although I am trusting the Lord and preparing…deep down I am worried about “doing” High School right. I’m going to go check out her site. Thanks, Lori!!
.-= Heather´s last blog ..App Review:Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Piano =-.
Great review! I have a 9th grader and have read a book or two about high school, but I think this may be one I really need! Your homeschool philosophy is similar to ours and I’d love to know how to continue our “lifestyle of learning” and be able to count it as credit!
Lori-Hearthside Homeschool Reviews says
Thanks for all the encouragement, guys!
Debra- I know I have already answered your question on another forum, but wanted to respond here too, in case anyone else reading this has the same question. Yes, I think this would still be a wonderful book for you. While Barb has a definite leaning towards delight directed/lifestyle of learning, there is much to be gleaned for the more traditional homeschooler as well. She shows those of us who are more relaxed how to translate this into credits, it should be even easier for those who are more structured to take her advice and translate that into credits and courses. It will also help you to determine what it is you want for YOUR high school (which will look nothing like mine and that’s great too!) and how to set a course to get there. This is a God send for those of us who are relaxed homeschoolers, but there is much to be learned for those who are not. The casual, relaxed writing style may be difficult for some (I loved it) but the information is there for the taking and well worth the read.
.-= Lori-Hearthside Homeschool Reviews´s last blog ..Senior High Form+U+La at The Curriculum Choice =-.
Lori: Is this the newer version or the older book? My dear friend gave me the older version and I was wondering if there were a lot of updates? I hate to miss anything.
Lori-Hearthside Homeschool Reviews says
This is the newer version, that isn’t all that new. Unless there is a new, new version I haven’t heard of yet! whenever this question is asked on the yahoo group, Barb states that there are a lot of updates and reading the current version is important. Not having seen the old version, I really can’t say!
.-= Lori-Hearthside Homeschool Reviews´s last blog ..Not Me Monday: The One Where I Almost Lose My Pants =-.