Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Interests + Opportunities = Electives {Homeschooling High School}

When I talked last month about Making High School Plans, I hinted that I'd be sharing the fun part of picking high school classes this month -- electives. For the most part, I've given Addison a lot of freedom to choose (or create) elective courses that fit her interests and the opportunities she's had over the past few years.

One of Addison's biggest interests is music. She sang with the Tucson Girls Chorus for the first three years of high school. For her freshman year, she added an online music theory program to her chorus rehearsals to create a class named "Music Theory and Performance." For her sophomore year, we created a "Music History and Performance" class using the Discovering Music multi-media course by Carol Reynolds, PhD. Her rehearsal schedule increased quite a bit this past year as did her volunteer time spent with a younger choir, so I counted that time as sufficient for a full credit of "Music Performance."

Her participation in the Tucson Girls Chorus led to an amazing opportunity this past year. They were invited to travel and perform in China for three weeks this past summer. Since she had some extra time in her school schedule, she started studying Chinese using Middlebury Languages for a semester. She didn't know a lot of Chinese, but she knew enough to be somewhat useful on a few occasions. She's particularly proud of the night when she helped one of her friends ask if the dumplings she was ordering were meat-filled or vegetarian.

Perhaps the best thing she learned from her Chinese studies was how to write her name in Chinese characters. I noticed them on her luggage tag when they were leaving on the trip.

Later she told us about an evening when the girls were all signing autographs after their concert. Several young Chinese girls approached her asking for her autograph. She wrote her name in English and then thought to write down the characters. The girls looked at it and then suddenly realized that they could actually read what she had written. They sounded it out and started cheering for "A-dis-son." It's perhaps her favorite memory from the trip.

I'm thankful that homeschooling allowed Addison to follow her interests and to take advantage of all the opportunities she found along the way. It's perhaps just a nice bonus that her work could count as high school credit on her transcript.

Homeschooling High School Blog Hop 2015

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1 comment:

  1. Love the stories of how the bit of Chinese she had learned made for wonderful memories as she traveled in China!



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