Well I was doing a little reading over on MommyLife and she introduced me to another wonderful blog – KS Milkmaid! Christina is homeschooling her six children on their Fuller Family Farm. I love how she values what each child is learning and considers it their ministry. And I love how they’ve got the natural thing going on at their farm. Oh the Lord seems to be drawing many people back towards the natural lifestyle.
She has a great entry on *homeschool transcripts and how you don’t have to waste a lot of time covering subjects in the typical public school fashion to fulfill high school graduation requirements, but rather you can build a solid education around your child’s passion (think Unit Study) while including all of the important subject areas. She gives a great example of how her son’s passion for deer hunting could be developed into studies that would be appropriate for a high school transcript.
Here’s how she explains it:
My oldest son is passionate about deer hunting. If he were going to college, I would develop a transcript based on this passion alone. It sounds ludicrous at first, but reason with me for a moment.
He would be allowed to hunt deer but with requirements that would allow him to put together a transcript acceptable for college. He would have to demonstrate a full knowledge of deer anatomy. He would have to include a booklist he used to gain his knowledge. He would include a comprehensive report on deer anatomy, too. I would require him to process the deer from start to finish, showing his practical application of the knowledge he has obtained.
Andrew would be required to use my art history books and find hunting pictures from all of the major historic art movements. This would start with prehistoric cave drawings and end with modern art. He may be required to produce his own art work in whatever medium he chooses.
He would be required to explore occupational opportunities for hunting, or hunting related skills. This might include a report of the guide and recreation industry, as well as specialty butchering shops. He would be required to submit a profit report of these industries. He might even interview a guide or spend time with a specialty butcher.
He would be required to read A Look at Life from a Deer Stand by Steve Chapman, and give a book report. I would ask him to submit his own article emulating the author’s style. Equally, he could be required to find poems, stories, and reports about hunting through the major historic movements in literature as well.
The possibilities for creating a solid transcript in deer hunting are endless. My son is passionate about a lot of things, so I would treat each of his interests with the same approach.
I would also require him to help me create his high school transcript which would allow him to have credits in spreadsheets and office work.
You’ve really got to go *read the whole entry to get the whole gist of it though. This was just so affirming and refreshing. We’re relaxed homeschoolers and while I see the fruit of this approach, I battle the fact that others really try to get you "back in the box" once it’s time for the high school years. But I want so much more for my sons’ education than what I had. I want them to really know how to research, learn and apply what they’ve learned in their lives, not just spit out required information for tests and transcripts and I love the way Kansas Milkmaid integrates the two.
Of course if you’re looking for more information about homeschooling a high schooler, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you toward my favorite ebook on the subject – Homeschooling the High Schooler: From Transcript to Graduation.
*9-10-08 Edited to add – Since this entry is almost 2 years old now, Christina had done some bloggy housekeeping and removed the original link. When I realized that, I asked her if she’d mind reposting that entry and she kindly said that she’d try to. I really appreciate her going to all of this trouble just for lil’ ol’ me! The new link is working now, but don’t miss out on all of her other great entries and check out her online store too!