Nobody says you have to follow some regime, when it comes to graduation. My daughter and I have home schooled my (almost 14 years old) grandson, since day one.
Just having a relaxed attitude about his education, had him reading grown up books by the time he was 5, counting to 100 by his 1st birthday and using logic. When it came to advancing in math, I did insist on memorizing the times tables. Without that, I couldn't see how he could advance. Aside from that, he is not pushed at all. We set the materials in front of him, reserve study time and let him go to it.
A couple years ago, we invested in the up to date GED study book. Now, we use that as our guidelines, to make sure we haven't overlooked anything and to catch weak spots. He has worked his way through that study book and now, only studying his algebra. I need to spend some time with him, teaching him geometrics but the truth is, he already has more knowledge than most high school graduates.
You can teach him more, than any public school, just by every day living. Study workbooks, you pick up at Walmart or any good book store, cover everything you could possibly need. You don't have to spend a fortune.
When it comes to math, develop games you play with each other. Just like when I was cramming the times tables down my grandson, I played 'think fast'. I'd shout out something like "7 times 6" and if he didn't answer within 10 seconds, I blurted out the answer. You know, that made him so mad, because he felt like I wasn't giving him a chance. It worked, though. Big time. Creating competition put the boy on his toes and he was determined, to outwit grandma. I would tell him " if you can add, subtract and multiply at the drop of a hat, you can do anything". Math isn't a brain cramp, it's a brain game.
It doesn't hurt that I love math.
Here's where I think most folks fumble. When it comes to a subject, they can't do themselves, they stumble and make it seem like a bigger mountain, than it is. I'm lousy at algebra and so is my daughter, so we found a friend who was good at it. "Come over for dinner. By the way, would you explain this to my son?"
If you make a child, feel like he deserves to know everything, it's free and he doesn't ever want to be the one who doesn't know....the fire will build. When I run up against a subject, my grandson is bored with, I tell him this: "I don't want you to ever find yourself in a situation with your friends, being the only dummy about something. I want people to think you know just about everything there is to know." It works. It makes him view his education in a whole other light.
Watch your own conversation and be aware of when you've just said something, that went clear over your young student's head. Stop and explain where the term comes from and how it's used. That is a constant education and his learning will be far above anything the public school will ever feed into him.
Think about it. "Hunker Down". He won't need it in high society but do you want him to ever feel like the fool, who doesn't know something? How many terms do you know or use, that your child has never had explained to him. "Mad as a wet hen", "Hell, hath no fury", "As the crow flies". We know and use so many old terms that our children don't understand. At the same time, we talk over their heads with intellectual language, without realizing these kids don't understand but are embarrassed to say anything.
Things we forget are valuable learning opportunities: camping skills, teach our children to trust themselves. Fishing, teaches them patience and reward. A bank account teaches them responsibility. When you're driving, your child is paying attention to things, you'd never dream. He's watching your reactions, reading the same signs you are, picking up on the manners at the 4 way stop. He already knows to stop at red lights and go on green. He's been learning to drive for years, and you didn't know it.
You begin to teach your child to be grown up, when you send him back to the front of the store to get a shopping cart (because you didn't think you'd need one). Such small actions, give a child the opportunity to feel grown up, teaching independence.
One of the first things, even the home school teacher forgets, is listening. By listening, you discover what subjects your child is interested in. By giving him his head, with a subject he wants to learn, he loosens up about learning. Curiosity and 'tinkering', teaches your child more than you can imagine. It teaches them to test things, try things and make judgements.
When it comes to children, I live by boundaries. I set the boundaries with plenty of moving space. I cast no judgement until they come too close to those boundaries. Meal times, bed times, bathing each day, limits on creative clothing
, hatred and social actions, that sort of thing. There's a lot of room to move, in between and certain boundaries are stretched with age. I do the same with the education. By the end of the year, I want to see this much accomplished. That's it. As we get close to the end of the year, I stop and query my student to see how he's doing. It usually reminds him of something he overlooked. About once a week, my daughter will check to see what he has accomplished during the week and if he needs to change subjects. Usually, all she hears is: 'did that', 'finished that'.....We're always surprised. "Aw come on. You're going to tell me you've already gone through that entire history book, both these math work books and read 2 novels? Prove it!"
Home schooling is actually so easy (and so advanced), you have to set a weekly check up or you'll forget your job. It becomes life, instead of a drudge.
We've already planned a GED test. We informed my grandson, a couple years ago, that when he felt ready, we would take him in for the GED test. Once he passes that test, he can go to any school he desires.
I hope my ramblings have helped. Don't forget, grandma's and grandpa's went through school before the great 'dumbing down'. They can be a huge source of education.