Planning, Data, and Golden Threads

Written by Shannon

One of my daughters celebrates Summer Solstice so it’s brought a new awareness for me about how different cultures and beliefs recognize the season changes.

I often talk about “seasons” in terms of the seasons we have in life, but I’ve not really paid attention to how our life events correlate or not with actual seasons.

Interestingly, looking back at my Facebook memories yesterday, I realized that a few major events – like embarking on a 4 week road trip with three of my teens and Z making a switch in his reading (listening) material after a two year deep dive – actually aligned with the beginning of summer. Fascinating.

Anyway, yesterday both Josh (my 23 yo son) and Rachel (my friend and fellow homeschooling/unschooling veteran mom) were discussing topics for me to cover here this summer.

There are just so many choices, cuz there are so many possibilities for homeschooling high school with our teens. So many amazing things our teens can – and will – do during their high school years – and throughout their lives.

Right now, in the homeschooling teen’s space, the conversations around “planning for high school” are coming in hot and heavy. And some of it is irritating me.  In our conversations yesterday, I was debating how to handle that conversation, in a way that is helpful to you, without telling you “how to homeschool”.

It is always my stance to support you in your journey, to encourage you to embrace your teen’s interests, passions, and deep dives, and to customize the high school years to your teen, your family, your methodology, within the homeschooling laws that apply.

There is not one way to homeschool high school. And not one way to plan for homeschooling high school. There are considerations. There are options. But there is not one way.

And if you choose not to plan ahead at all, the world won’t end. Your teen will still have options – lots of options.

And if your plan goes awry, that’s okay too.

Everything your teen explores, in every way, builds experience and knowledge, and gives them – and you – data. Information.

Data about what works best for them, what they like or don’t like, about who they are and what appeals to them.

Some interests are deep, some are shallow. Some are deep for the entire teen years, and then one day they say, “no… I’m done…” No matter how long it lasts, It is all good data.

Sometimes it’s not really about the interest or activity, but about the people, the community, the sense of belonging…

Or how they feel accepted and/or appreciated for the skills and talents they bring…

Sometimes they’ll stumble upon something that sparks a light within, a wonder and joy that just ignites as “This is it”… and it lasts for a time… or forever.

We don’t know, can’t know, how long an interest, a passion, or a deep dive is going to last.

And yet, there are golden threads that appeal to our kiddos that we may not recognize until later, when we look back and see how it’s been a constant throughout the teen years. Like my oldest daughter’s love of story and how that’s informed her choices…

These golden threads, weaving throughout their life, showing up through all their experiences and growth. This amazing-ness that is who they are, that special-ness that is unique to them, that they bring to the world.

The Planning for High School conversations that come from a place of “you must” or that feed into the pressure, the fears, and the doubts and niggles that we have (and we all have them – to some extent), annoy me.

Planning for and living out the high school years is as individual as your teen, your family dynamics and culture, and your methodology.

Over the next few posts I’ll try to share the range of possibilities, across methodologies and styles, and my experiences of what worked and what didn’t as I grew as a homeschool mom, and with my different kiddos.

Options. Simply options and possibilities. Find resonates with you, what works for you. For what’s important to your homeschool and your teen. And know, you can change what isn’t working, at any time.

One size does not fit all – in every season, for every kiddo in your family, for every season you are in…

You can customize to you, to your teen, and your dynamic at any time. And it can change with the season, and the season of life … And it will be okay.

As always please reach out if there’s a question or scenario that you’d like me to dive into or a fear or niggle that you’d like some additional insight or perspective on.

Until Next Time, Happy Summer!

Read More Articles:

Planning for High School Part 1 - Choices & Laws to Know

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