Though summer annual evaluation season ended a few weeks ago, I will continue posting frequently asked questions to help equip and empower parents. Knowledge in the high school years is power and adds confidence to the journey.
Recently in our area there seems to be limited diversity in learning environments for middle and high schoolers. Many venues provide only traditional classroom settings or online meetings. This is not the best setting for my child. What other opportunities are available and acceptable?
This is a tremendous question with valid concerns.
First, check the home education laws in your state
Second, having some experience with online learning is beneficial. Online education is growing. It did prepare our graduates for post-secondary education.
Those points being said...
Home educated middle and high schoolers have the opportunity to partake in a variety of learning environments; a definite advantage over their public and private schooled peers.
Our middle and high school students learn widely from a variety of environments. One started a business and learned on the job, everywhere from church fellowship hall craft shows to convention trade show floors. Another learned from independent study, volunteering, and conversation from professionals in the field. Still another learn from contractors, field work, job shadowing, and collaboration with peers. Our home education statute allowed us the freedom to utilize these means. We are all grateful we could fit learning with learning style and student interest.
When designing courses or considering courses for middle or high schoolers the learning environment is essential and often dependent on the learning style and strengths of the individual. For example, if the student learns best by observation, perhaps best fit environments would include laboratory settings, field work, internships, job shadowing, or apprenticeship. In these settings, the student can observe to learn. If the student is an auditory learner the best settings may be research laboratories or classroom instruction.
When the course is complete, if our students were applying for a university requesting course descriptions in addition to a transcript, I made sure to be specific about which environments the student used. Often the environments, being different than a typical classroom or online setting, were intriguing.
Yes, the reward was worth the effort. The contents of the course descriptions, transcripts and cumulative folder were the documents which set a solid foundation for resume writing.
And in the end, as we--student and parent--looked over documents, the accomplishment was a part of our celebration of high school and the ability to finish with excellence.
As you consider the potential learning environments your learner may have access to, ponder how those opportunities may benefit your young adult. The results can be astounding.
Purchase Celebrate High School: Finish with Excellence.