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  1. Leah says:

    Thank you for you suggestions and encouragement!

    Our 15 year old is wanting to homeschool. He’s been struggling the past few years with most subjects, especially math. I’m not sure where to start with him. Any suggestions? Also, I’ve noticed there’s not a set curriculum for 9th graders on your love to learn site. It sounds like you have been able to prepare your children so well, that by 15-16 years old they’re ready for college classes! Amazing! Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for my son. Where do I begin? I feel like he needs extra help in almost all subjects.

    • Diane Hopkins says:

      You are starting with a great advantage…your son wants to homeschool! If a child has a happy attitude towards being homeschooled, you are off to a great start!

      Every person is so very different. And a child does not always grow up to have the same traits. I had one very sloppy little gal who grew up into a “neat freak”. So, there is every variety! I have not been able to prepare all my children for college classes early. Some have been more interested and diligent in their schoolwork than others.

      Now, to homeschooling your son. This is going to be very fun! A 15 year old can discuss things with you, motivate himself to do his work and get deeply involved in projects. I think you two will have a great time. Start with the basics: math, writing, reading. I would do an assessment test and find out just what level he is at. Both Saxon and Singapore Math have free placement tests online that you can use to find out his level. Singapore goes just to 8th grade level. If he enjoys doing online classes, there is a math program that I recommend: Math Whizz. It is on the pricey side but they have a free trial you can try, and my kids loved it and it freed me from doing math. It only goes through 8th grade, so if your son is up to level in math, Saxon would probably be your best bet, along with a DIVE CD .

      For writing, I would just start with a daily school journal—write a page daily on whatever topic he wants. Getting him writing every day is the jumping off point so he can get used to putting his thoughts into words, and it helps you see what type of help he needs…punctuation, grammar, spelling, etc. You can teach his what is needed and watch his writing improve little by little. Then he will eventually be ready to tackle writing about what he reads or researches, in the form of a longer report.

      Reading: pick the most interesting adventure books you can find so he will be motivated! Some ideas right off the top of my head: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Sign of the Beaver, The Golden Goblet, Crispin by Avi, Night Journey, God’s Smuggler (Christian), and many more. These are younger books, but the point is to read, not to challenge him right at first. If he is reluctant, read it aloud and discuss it with him. If he enjoys reading, pick a book at or below his level, so it is enjoyable for him. He can write a narrative of what he has read, as a writing topic.

      As this becomes a daily pattern, you can add in Apologia Science and History, keyboarding (I recommend Typing Tutor Deluxe…great program!), and other subjects.

      The most important thing is to give him time, and materials, to follow his interests!

      Best success!

  2. DAWN Taylor says:

    I am thinking of offering homeschooling to children in our area and I would help them through the coujrses. Do you have any recommendations for me? My son went to pubic school and I realize how bad the schools are. Have you heard of anyone ever doing this for someone elses child? I would like them to pick the curriculum and then I could take the time to be with the children and help them through it.

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