Homeschooling High School? Sure, Why Not?
Can I Homeschool High School?
Do you ever ask yourself that? And maybe doubt how you’ll answer?
Many years ago, we started homeschooling our first child, thinking we’d do it till he hit high school. Once we started, though, we found so many benefits to homeschooling we didn’t want to give it up! Now we’ve graduated three, and all have gone to college on scholarship – one even studied a year at Oxford, and no one in college admissions ever blinked at our homeschool transcripts (or ever asked, “But did you finish every page of your 5th grade math book?”)
We’ve found that high school at home is definitely possible, and today is even easier than when we first tried it. You can find online classes, tutoring programs, and self-study resources for nearly any subject (we even learned to speak Mandarin Chinese as a family – and none of us had experience when we started).
Here are three key facts to keep in mind:
1. You can do it! Even if you struggled as a 14-year-old, you’ll bring a grown-up mind to those subjects this time. You won’t be worried about finding a date for the prom or whether your shoes are cool enough, and often, you’ll find yourself learning things you missed the first time. Don’t be shy about growing in knowledge right alongside your students – it’s fun, and we can almost guarantee you’ll be better educated yourself after teaching your children.
2. Start at the end and work backwards. Remember the senior level classes are built on earlier coursework (you can’t do Algebra II until you’ve finished Algebra I, right?) so think about what your student should know when they graduate, and plan backwards to make sure they have the foundations they need as high school freshmen. If you’re not sure what the end of high school might look like, Google the admission standards for your state university and graduation requirements for a public school diploma. And if you look at your 10-year-old and think, “This child will never make it to college,” don’t shortchange their high school as if they don’t matter–you’ll be surprised how much your kids grow and develop the last few years, and their plans will likely change.
3. Trust God and go ahead! “I am God, and there is none like Me,” God said, “declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done.” (Isaiah 46:9-10) Only God knows exactly what your child’s future will be. Don’t fret and stagger because you can’t predict your student’s college major when they’re 12 years old (they’ll likely change interests a dozen times before then). Aim for a broad education that challenges the whole child – academically, spiritually, and physically, too. We’ve never looked back at the things we learned and said, “Well, that was a total waste!”
That’s our strategy in a nutshell. The most important principle, though, is to always remember homeschooling is really about discipleship. Your kids will experience so much change, uncertainty, doubt and fear as they move into the teenage years – don’t you want to be there to answer their questions as soon as they arise? When you teach your own, you re-gain 35 hours a week to interact with your student – and avoid so many distractions and detractions that come in school culture. In fact, homeschooling high school may be the most important years to do it!
|Yours in the battle,
Hal and Melanie
Thinking about high school? Worried about coursework, grading, creating a transcript? Join us September 17 for a free webinar with Lee Binz of The Home Scholar, “The Homeschool Parent’s Guide to High School Grades, Credits, and Transcripts”. Attend live and you’ll also get several downloadable resources, too! [ Click here to sign up or for more information! ]
Copyright 2014. Used with permission. All rights reserved by authors. Originally appeared August 6, 2014, in The Homeschool Minute™, an E-Newsletter published by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. Read this family education magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices. For free homeschool information visit ConsideringHomeschooling.info.