However, it really makes a lot of sense for us.
J has a late August birthday, putting him on the young end of his "grade-level". Boys, especially, often are slower to launch into academic areas like reading and writing, so being young in a grade can be a developmental disadvantage. For some kids,like my son, readig and writing continue to challenge and cause struggles. It hasn't been an issue up til now, since as homeschoolers we have been free to adjust and individualize and adapt everything we did. But we utilize more outside classes in high school, and the work load increases greatly. A 5-year plan allows us to spread the high school work out a little more, giving him more time on reading assignments and more time to develop his writing skills to the level he needs to be at before college. For instance, we use Tapestry of Grace for history and literature, and it is a very reading-intensive program. The curriculum is arranged by the week, but the amount of reading per week is compatible with a strong, fast reader. Since J is a slow reader who needs time to digest, we will spend two weeks on every week of the TOG curriculum. There is still plenty of content to fulfill a whole credit - we'll just have the chance really cover the material rather than skim it.
I just have to guard against my impulse to pack even more into high school, since we have that "extra year". Kind of defeats the purpose of spreading the work out. But an extra year does give the opportunity to include additional things that you might not have time for otherwise. hmmm,
I just need to be a little creative....
Also, J is an athlete, and an extra year in high school will allow him even more time to build his skills and work on strength and conditioning. He doesn't know right now if he wants to play at a college level, but he loves his high school athletic experience, and we can let him get as much out of that as he can.
So, in a nutshell, a 5-year high school plan gives the following advantages
- time to build up weak academic areas
- opportunity to include other areas of study that we might not have had time to include in 4 years
- more time to devote to developing talents and interests, like athletics, music, dance, etc.
- ability to spread academic work out to accommodate a job or travel
- time to mature and grow in knowledge of our faith before leaving home