Are you planning to homeschool your child through high school? Do you see lots of pros but maybe a lot of cons as well? I hope to address some of the biggest common concerns that I hear from parents with high school aged children.
So many homeschoolers are having a great time until they start thinking about college and as a result high school. Most homeschoolers at this point start to freak out just a little bit… or sometimes a lot. It is understandable, because they are feeling the weight of the decisions that they will make that will influence their child’s long-term educational goals.
I want to encourage and challenge you today to look at the facts head-on and not just believe what our society and school system would like us to believe about homeschooling our children in high school. There are a lot of books available that discuss homeschooling through high school, but in this short article, I will just attempt to point you in the direction of things to think about to help with making this big decision for your child and family.
One of the biggest problems that parents face when their child is going into the high school years is that they are worried about what a college is going to require from their child. That is a very good question and unfortunately not an easy answer. The reason for that is that every college is so different and they all require something different than the next college. Some colleges are actively recruiting homeschoolers and others might not. So research about the colleges your kids are interested in would be a good idea.
If a college require a child to have a high school diploma from a WASC-accredited public school, it still doesn’t mean you have to stop homeschooling. At this point, you could consider several options we have in Santa Clarita in regards to public charter schools that you can work through and still end up with that diploma and some of the charter schools even offer some classes free of charge to the home study students and they give parents the ability to spend available instructional funds on classes or curriculum at outside vendors. Others provide free tutoring and meetings between students and charter teachers on a weekly basis.
Another big concern parents have is how to teach all the subjects that they don’t know anything about or have forgotten. There are several options available to solve this problem. Parents can basically “outsource” the teaching of those subjects they don’t feel comfortable teaching (and that might include all the subjects). They can enroll the student in hands-on high school classes at Learn Beyond The Book like High School Health, Foreign Language (Spanish), US History, Economics/Finance, Math, Literature & Composition, or Public Speaking as well as a number of electives, such as a Music class, Beginning Band or Art and so many more. Another alternative for outsourcing their education would be to enroll students in a local community college class to get the high school credit that way and learn from knowledgeable experts about the topics. If you have an independent student, you could also enroll them in online courses or work through a textbook recommended by a charter school or you can do a combination of all of the above. Any of these options are available to you whether you work through a charter school or whether you file your own private school affidavit and do your own diploma and transcript.
Although this might take a bit more planning on the parents’ side, I believe this makes the best use of the kids’ time. When they are high school age, it is the perfect time for them to really pursue their passions and dreams and actually be able to make something happen in terms of a future career. They could participate in internships, find a part-time job, build a portfolio for entry into their dream college, start a small business, or all of the above. They just have so much more time available to them that can be used to further their specific education for a future career.
One other concern that parents and students might have would involve social interactions with other teens and the concern of parents that their child is going to miss out on the high school experience. Once again there are solutions, for example our Pi Club (Social Club for ages 12+) at Learn Beyond The Book where teens can get together and form long-lasting friendships, is a great place to start. Also, if they are in classes with kids their age, they also enjoy that interaction. They could participate in sports with Little Leagues, AYSO, or other organizations. Many homeschoolers have interesting and unusual sports classes e.g. Ice Skating, Archery, and more.
So as you can see, there is no need to abandon ship when high school hits. Many of us have already successfully walked this path, it is doable and easier than you think. If you have questions on how, feel free to contact me.