One thing that has frustrated Ani being in public school is lack of time to do things she wants to do. She wants to volunteer, teach/run writing groups, at some point get a part time job, learn things she wouldn’t necessarily learn at school, and take some college courses. And of course write. A lot.
There are lots of opportunities for 14+ year olds to volunteer where we live. She’s deciding on exactly where she’d like to volunteer, but some options include the library, the zoo, the children’s museum, and the hospital. The library and the hospital are currently at the top of her list.
She wants to teach a writing class to little kids, probably 8-10ish years old. I told her I’ll have to round up some homeschooled kids for that one. She’s thinking about starting a writing group for teens as well. And, maybe, a group at a senior center. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up (and she’s not sure if she wants to teach elementary or high school) so writing classes/groups would be very good for her.
This weekend she starting making lesson plans for herself. She started with psychology. She’s using a combination of an MIT OpenCourseWare Intro to Psychology course and CrashCourse Psychology for that one. For World History I think she is doing similarly (I know she is using CrashCourse World History and think she found a world history MIT OCW course to go with it). For literature, she took the list of books they read in a first year course at a local university and combined that with CrashCourse Literature. She’s aiming high there with things like the Odyssey, the Aeneid, and Dante’s Inferno. (For chemistry she’s probably going to help me teach the little guys and for math she will be using Life of Fred.)
She’ll be doing dual credit starting, at the latest, next fall at a local community college. They allow 2 3-4 credit courses per semester junior and senior years. Kids can do 1 3-4 credit course per semester sophomore year as well, but there are things she to do (like taking the placement test – which she hadn’t done yet because the dual credit is only allowed here starting junior year if you are taking the class at the public school – and that was the plan before she decided to come back home) before starting so if she takes a college class this year, it probably won’t be until the spring.
She’s got several ideas for novels and some of them are really, really good. So she’ll be writing a whole lot. She has a novel writing guide (from IEW) and also an old writing course set that my mother used decades ago. A friend of mine got her degree in creative writing and has agreed to be a bit of a mentor to Ani in exchange for being a mother’s helper sometimes.
I’m still a bit nervous letting Ani take so much control of her high school education and just being the facilitator rather than the teacher. She, however, is really excited about the whole thing. She loves to learn, but that love had kind of gotten dulled by my box checking at home and squashed by public school. It should be an interesting three years.