I was tidying bookshelves yesterday and found my copy of this book (DYOCC).
I started reading it here and there. Instead of tidying, of course. :-)
I flicked to the section "The High School Years."
The author, Laura Berquest writes " The high school years present a special challenge for many homeschooling parents. Often the parents I speak to express real trepidation about homeschooling through high school. Since my own experience of homeschooling older students has been rewarding, I want to assure parents that it can be done, and it can be done well. Further, I have found these years to be, in certain way, the most pleasant time I have had with my children."
To be honest, I have a soft spot for the home educating lifestyle in a family with toddlers, preschoolers, children in the early grade.
But I also love to hang out with my teens.
Mrs. Berquest continues:
"High school age students are ready to give themselves to high and noble things. Their growing love of the poetical is a sign of this newly felt response to the good, the pure and the beautiful. We need to appeal to this desire in our students by making available to them objects that are proportionate to their desire. They are capable of nobility, and we should encourage them to pursue it. "
What noble things can we present to our teens? DYOCC discusses art, music, theology, service, literature. I would add movies - we watch our fair share of "rubbish" but find noble ideas, things to discuss, in many films.
Berquest also mentions the need for uninterrupted quiet.
This is something I know we need to work on - allowing clear space in our days and weeks for quiet time and for prayer.
"Since youngsters of this age are still in formation, this period of their life should not be only, or even primarily, concerned with outside activities, however good those activities might be. In terms of both education and prayer life, high school age students need periods of uninterrupted quiet in which they can think and pray.
While it is true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink, it is also true that if you lead a thirsty horse to water, he usually will drink. Your child's prayer life is not unlike that. You cannot make your teenage son or daughter contemplative and prayerful, but you can encourage him or her to be so by providing the time for daily Mass or weekly/or monthly holy hours...Think about ways to help your children make the faith their own, both intellectually and by pious practices."
We try to attend Mass as a family - this week it was Tuesday evening for the weekly St Anthony Mass, Friday might for the Immaculate Conception, today for Sunday Mass.
Jonathon, Gerry and I attended the Advent programme on Wednesday - and we discussed the ideas with the rest of the kids.
We try to attend Reconcilation as a family each month.
We prayed the novena for the Immaculate Conception and are now praying together a Christmas novena.
And we are working on our failings , being accountable to one another over this work, during Advent.
( Btw, I failed today, before Mass. :-( . I blew it, in a quiet way.)
However, just being together for prayer and the sacraments has an influence, I think.
Seeing each other work on areas and dust ourselves off and try again is a help.
I hope. :-)