**Update- my miracle curriculum was not actually a curriculum, it was a tutor. It seemed counter intuitive to hire a tutor (wouldn't that just take more time?) but in reality, it helped that they had someone who was a professional math teacher who could explain math in many different ways. This sped up the time they spent on any one lesson and helped us best use our time. I also believe this led to a more thorough understanding of the concepts covered than a "teacher in a box" DVD's or online lessons would have provided for us. We also utilized our co-op classes to the fullest. Because the high school teachers were so very good at our co-op, it reduced the overall stress on me, and let me be mom!**
**Update - again I can't say enough good things about our co-op teachers. Yes, classes cost money, but they were well worth the time. We also used the local community college to achieve some of our high school requirements. Because my children were about to test into these classes at about 15 years old, they were able to complete much of their "high school" work online via the community college and receive both high school and college credits! Because the classes were online, they allowed for parental supervision and support and discussion of controversial ideas with parents before they ever had to discuss them with a professor.
**Update - Watch out for dropping too much too soon. One child dropped everything in pursuit of a job, but really he still needed to be participating here and there with friends. Later, he regretted his decision, even though he was successful at work. It is important to edit, but don't edit out all the activities where you see your friends. Find a way to give credits for those activities so that you can fee that you are having fun and accomplishing something at the same time. Some kids are anxious to grow up - weren't we all?? But keep in mind you only get to be a kids once, so encourage them to slow down a little bit and worry about work when they are a bit older. **
Will we have time for chores?
**Update - In our home this practically looked like house cleaning about one day per week, so the cleanliness of the home depended on the day you visited. Teens are still growing and need time to rest, keep that in mind when planning around school work, friend time and perhaps their part time job. I found that I sometimes felt like the maid!**
**Update - Friends are an interesting creature in high school. Some kids have dramatic shifts in priorities and personalities, don't be surprised if your 7th and 8th grade friends, or even freshman and sophomore friends, look very different with your junior and senior high friends. By this time, you have probably already found a "good" group of friends, just be watchful. Sometimes even "good" kids make very bad decisions, become rebellious, and abandon their faith in high school.
For us it was also a good idea to associate with groups that shared our beliefs (more than just in the name) and we avoided groups that were in controversy or had unstable leadership. We later realized just how much these choices had protected our kids from some very bad influences.**
**Update - no season is forever, as my kids got older and better at completing school, we were able to re-engage in LOTS of field trips and other activities, but not so many recurring activities. We stuck with our co-op, but we dropped weekly music and karate lessons (we were blessed to be able to incorporate these into our co-op) This eliminated time out and travel time three days a week.**
**Update - I regret no field trips, no snow days, and no fun outside play! I do regret sleeping in some days, but other than that, those fun days made for the best memories. You really can't mess them up until they are in middle school. I encourage parents to focus on FUN in history and science, and on FUNdamentals in Language Arts and Math until their child is in the 4th or 5th grade. Once you hit middle school there will be plenty of time for staying home and studying! Remember - they are only young once!**