How can homeschool parents of High School children give them the education they need in the environment of their Home School?
For many, this is a challenging question, and it is answered in differing ways. Some rely heavily on books, some make use of the internet, others use satellite and DVD, and still others are involved in co-ops. Most use a mixture of these methods, and are happy with the results. A significant number, however, find they are not completely satisfied with the mix of classroom time and home study time. The more classroom time the children get, the more subjects they are able to master, but the less time the parents feel that they are actually home schooling. Contrarily, the parents sometimes find it difficult to discipline themselves to teach all the subjects at home that they would like. There is an excellent solution available that provides enough classroom time to insure the students are doing their assignments and explaining any difficulties that arise, but also focuses the vast majority of their school work time at home. It covers most of their high school subjects except for math and science. The solution referred to is, of course, the class “World View Studies”. This three-year class only meets once a week for three hours, yet the student completes almost all high school credits except for math and science. This is accomplished via all the work that the student is directed to complete at home as he/she fills out their syllabus. In fact, it is recommended that the student spend about three hours per day in homework studies. The first year the student reads all of the Iliad,
the Odyssey, the Aeneid, Plato's Republic, the first part of Genesis, all of Job, the Gospels, Acts, Romans, D. A. Carson's How Long, O Lord?"(an excellent book on the Christian view of suffering), about 1/2 to 2/3 of Augustine's City of God, parts of Francis Scheffer's Trilogy and his Genesis in Space and Time, plus yet other works. The study of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle is included in the course content. Added to all this are the many papers the student is required to write - including those that compare Mars and Satan, God and Zeus, Augustus Caesar's claim to be the son of God vs Jesus Christ's claim, and many others. They also give speeches, participate in formal debates, and are trained in logic (the last item being accomplished by playing the class game "Propaganda", which all the students enjoy). These last items are not a part of the curriculum in the syllabus, but are added by the class itself. See this link for more information. They students learn to identify the world view of the author they are reading by asking themselves 7 questions from the perspective of the writer:
- Is there a god or gods, and what is his/their nature?
- What is the nature of man?
- What is the nature of the universe?
- What is the cause of evil and suffering?
- What happens to man at death?
- What is the origin of evil?
- What is the meaning of history?
The class is quite rigorous to say the least.
Can't the student learn the same thing on his own with his parents as his only teacher?
Of course, he/she can, at least in theory. However, Reality tends to be something other than "mission accomplished" for many of us. There are some super moms/dads that manage their house, career, etc, and find time to complete a high school curriculum such as this, but they seem few and far between. For most of us, we do the best we can, because we understand the value of homeschooling, but we don't always accomplish all we want in our home. This class fills that gap. Even more than helping the students understand the material, the teacher of this class "keeps the parents honest" - ie, keeps them on schedule, forcing them to insure that the student completes all his/her studies and papers on time. At least, that's how it worked in our family.
What is an appropriate age/grade to start a student in this class?
One of the glories of homeschooling is that we do not have to conform our student to the same mold that everyone else uses. As a result, there are a mix of ages. While the grade level is considered to be high school freshman, the age of the students typically range from 14 to 16 at the beginning of the year. Exceptional and mature students at age 13 have started this class, as have older students at age 17. As long as the family is committed to schooling their child using this class, it can be a good fit for a variety of ages.