Many families begin homeschooling their children in the early grades because they aren’t happy with what’s happening in the school system, or they have a bad experience and decide to pull them from school, or they’ve heard wonderful things about homeschooling and want to try it, or for a multitude of other reasons.
But then they come toward the high school years and they suddenly get the idea that they can no longer homeschool. Why is that?
I’ve heard several reasons why parents consider giving up homeschooling during the high school years, and I hope that by answering some of the objections you might have, I can convince you to consider continuing this amazing journey you have begun.
One reason people consider giving up homeschooling when their children are high school age is because they don’t feel capable of teaching every subject. And it is true that none of us are experts in every subject. However, I’m pretty sure that every homeschooling parent I know finished high school. So we’ve all learned the majority of subjects that our kids will be learning in high school. We just need to build up our confidence that we can teach it. Some nights, I was poring over the book, teaching myself the lesson that I would be teaching my child the next day. Sometimes, we learned it together. And, occasionally, I couldn’t get it at all, and we’d turn to the internet, or videos, or even a friend to explain it.
But if there’s a subject you’re really not confident teaching, might I suggest a co-op (several families work together, with parents alternating weeks that they teach, which I have found works especially well for science), registering for a homeschool class or hiring another parent to teach a subject, or enrolling in a community college class. This can be the best option of all, because the student receives college credit and high school honors class credit; plus, in California at least, it’s free!
Another reason parents decide not to continue homeschooling when their child reaches high school is a fear, misplaced I believe, that their child will “miss” something if they don’t attend high school. That “something” might be sports, prom, or even having a locker. (Yes, I really have heard people say, “But they won’t ever have a locker.” To which I answer: you can buy one online.)
Don’t let a fear of what your child might “miss” overshadow the benefits of homeschooling high school. Because the good news is that homeschooling has become such a popular option that there are now a multitude of choices for homeschoolers. There are homeschool sports leagues, such as the one my son was involved in for basketball. Our PSP purchased an entire biology lab, so that students would have all the supplies they needed for lab sciences. Homeschool groups abound that offer dances, proms, etc. In fact, my daughter attended 3 homeschool proms! The group we were in also offered quite a few other events for high schools students, including Grad Night at Disneyland. And, lest we forget, just because our kids are homeschooled doesn’t mean that they don’t know any kids who go to school: my son attended 2 “regular” proms and a homecoming dance with friends, and my daughter attended quite a few public school football games because her cousin was in the band.
But one of the greatest fears that I’ve heard from parents is their concern over their child getting into college. That, I can promise you, is an unfounded fear. Not only did both my children get accepted into every college to which they applied (12 between the two of them), but I can introduce you to numerous homeschoolers who have gone on to college, and done well. I will even bet that there are homeschool graduates among the adults that you meet on a daily basis. There are very few colleges today which do not accept homeschoolers. In fact, many actively seek out homeschoolers, due to their well-rounded knowledge, varied activities and ability to learn independently.
As mentioned above, many homeschoolers take classes at their local community college. The benefits extend well beyond that of dual enrollment credits. Having college credit looks good to university admissions directors, which often boosts the acceptance level of homeschoolers. Whether taking a few classes to cover the subjects you don’t feel comfortable teaching, several classes to give your child a head start on college credit, or enough classes that your child graduates high school while concurrently earning an associate’s degree, community college is a great bonus for homeschooling high school.
Many parents think that once their child has “gotten the basics”, they can now go to school. I believe that our children need us even more in the high school years. They need the guidance of their parents and other adults. They need the chance to blossom and grow, in a safe environment, away from so many of the problems and temptations of typical high schools. And they do not need to be introduced to drugs, alcohol, bullying, etc., just because they’re now teenagers. Your child can learn so much, and develop into a strong and capable adult. And you can be right there with them throughout it all.
Perhaps I have not touched on your particular concern regarding homeschooling high school. If that’s the case, please comment below and I will be happy to do so. I believe that every family can homeschool high school, and I’d hate to see anyone give up on the idea before exploring all of the possibilities.
Go ahead, I dare you: homeschool high school!