Why Homeschool High School

IMG_0491The other day I read a blog post stating quite rightly, that there are really no bloggers writing about homeschooling their older kids.  And she was right!  I can recall trying to find things on homeschooling high schoolers when Rose was about to embark for the 9th grade.  I was totally panicked.  I had always said I wouldn't homeschool high school.  How could I possibly teach them all they need to know?  that was when they were still little though.

When I was faced with actually sending one of my kids to high school outside the home, I knew I couldn't do it!  My husband had taken several criminology classes in college and a guest speaker and juvenile police officer told them that the most dangerous place we send our kids every day is their high school.  I looked back on my years and my husband's.  There had been a shooting at my husband's high school when he was there.  I had been bullied, he had been bullied.  The peer pressure and cliques were so terrible it was beyond reasoning and not at all healthy for any person's psyche.  The more research and time spent in my own high school years I realized that I would rather send my kids to elementary school and homeschool high school than the other way around!

And honestly, after my 9th grade year at public school I was lucky enough to go to a private school, which was much better... but still a lot of peer pressure and cliques.  Which was something I didn't want for my kids.

I was going to be a teacher.  I am just one year short of my masters in teaching... yes, high school.  I come from a long line of teachers, there is a school actually named after my educator grandfather.  My mother was a teacher, my father was a teacher... it is in my blood.  But when I started student teaching in the classrooms, in actual public high schools, my ideals were destroyed.  There were worksheets and down time.... and more worksheets.  Kids in ESL classrooms were given thousands of worksheets.  I am not saying that all high school teachers are this way, I was unfortunate to see too many of them though in my time student teaching.  So many teachers and students were angry, bitter, and very unhappy.  It seemed like teachers really had no say what was going on in their own classrooms.  I became very aware of how controlled it was.  Someone, somewhere (not in the classroom) had decided what these kids were being taught and how.  And the worst part?  This was based on stereotypes and pre-conceived ideas of where people, your children, belonged on the socio-economic scale.  Education was not equal for all.

Back then I dropped out because I knew I didn't want to teach that way.  I couldn't imagine having to teach kids things I didn't believe in and to do it the way they said I had to.  So why would I send my kids to school when I didn't even want to teach there?

I was firmly on my path now.  I was going to do it!  I was going to homeschool high school.  No more questions.  No more doubt.

They like field trips too...

So why homeschool high school?

  • Because, number one, YES, YOU CAN.  Repeat after me, "YES, I CAN!"  Again: "YES, I CAN!"
  • Go watch the film Waiting for Superman.  It is on instant streaming on Netflix.  This is powerful and will give you enough of a reason to homeschool.  This film confirmed all my fears when I was student teaching.
  • You already are homeschooling your kids, believe it or not.  If you have ever read a book with your youngster, recommended a book to your teen or better yet read a book and talked about it with your teen, if you have ever helped your child with their homework... than you have homeschooled.
  • The teen years are dramatic and yes, even scary.  It is a time where a young man or woman should be finding out who they are without the cloud of peer pressure and worry.  Even homeschoolers are faced with peer pressure, I won't lie to you.  But from my experience and what I have seen, most homeschooled kids (the further they are from the high school setting) don't really care one way or the other.  They are too busy discovering life and learning about people that have changed the world not who the quarterback is dating and why oh why isn't them.

  • I am not saying that homeschooling is for everyone.  We all have our God given calling and that is not always to homeschool.  It was the best and most amazing thing for our family.  I have struggled with it, I won't lie, it took years for me to get confident and yet, I still question myself sometimes.  I am human. I am speaking to those of you out there that have wondered about it... even just entertained the idea.  For those questioning whether or not you can homeschool high school.

    The best part?  Even if you only do it for a few months, a year, a couple years- your kids will be fine.  They won't be behind and if they are, don't worry about it.  High school is not all it is cracked up to be. If your child wants to go to an ivy league college they will do what it takes to get there, homeschooled or school outside the home.

    Don't forget how important it can be for your little ones to have their older siblings around too.  If you have a family with any age range like we do, the little ones could possibly never truly know their older siblings.
    Lastly, I would like to talk about the whole diploma thing.  Did you know you don't need a diploma?  There are many options out there.  First if your kids are college bound, they can go to a community college without a high school diploma.  Most community colleges have  early entry programs, which allow your kids to enter without a high school diploma.  You can also keep a portfolio of work done in their high school years and present that to possible colleges.  And yes, you can even get a GED, even though they kind of have a bad rep.  More people are homeschooling now.  It isn't uncommon and you will find that many colleges actually LIKE homeschoolers. Some probably don't, but if they don't you and your child probably don't want to be there anyway.

    I promise to actually write more on homeschooling middle and high school. In fact I made this so long, I cut a chunk of it and am putting it into another post!

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