The Boy has never fully de-schooled after his 6 years in Public School. I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps it’s because we didn’t want to move him from a very stable educational foundation or maybe I just found it easy to rely on the traditional model to keep him focused. Anyway, we now find ourselves at a crossroad.
He has a definite goal in mind: to be a helicopter pilot. Therefore, my goal as his mom, is to provide him with the necessary tools. This means when I know something is not working, I need to adjust. Quickly. Good thing we are flexible.
I was introduced to Project-Based learning a couple weeks ago. This sent me on a search on how to apply this to high school. And what did I find? Would you believe that in Seattle they have a high school that revolves around Aviation?? Don’t tell my son…we’d be moving to Seattle in a heart beat!
Article Featured about the High School http://www.raisbeck.com/news/pdf/Alaska_Airlines_Magazine_Jan_2012.pdf
I began to ponder…What if we could design The Boy’s high school years around his interests? What would that look like? How would we accomplish this? Would he be willing to take more control of his learning? Would I be willing to give him that control?
This morning The Boy and I sat down for a chat. I told him all I’d learned about project-based learning. I asked him what he wanted his education to look like. I wanted to know if he was given the opportunity to decide, what would he choose.
We started by figuring the basic requirements he needs to graduate in the State of Oregon (Math, Science, History and English). He asked that the majority of that be reading and not a bunch of busy worksheets and boring textbooks.
Once that was determined we moved to the Exploration/Project learning.
This is where my son’s excitement arrived. We decided to have 4 years of what we call “Exploration”. These are things that enhance his life, to “make him a well-rounded” individual. This is not the typical itinerary for a high school student. That’s ok. He will be learning the things that HE enjoys. And THAT I’m ok with.