The High School Experience

I recently got involved with a conversation on Facebook about homeschooling high school and whether or not they need a diploma.  I always get "involved" in these things.  Sigh.

Anyway, one true comment that was made and I thought I ought to share with you is that if your child has plans to join the military a GED will NOT be enough.  I do know this for a fact.  Your child will have to have some college credit if they get a GED and plan on a military career.

I am not one to recommend a military career.  We have been there.  My advice, other than choose Air Force, is always, "Be an officer."  If you are going to be officer you need college anyway.  So there you have it. 

I mentioned, what seems like a million years ago, my three greatest concerns when I was starting this path of homeschooling my teens through their high school years.  They were:
  1. Would they learn enough without totally destroying their love of learning?
  2. Could they get into college without a diploma?  and...
  3. Would they miss out on the high school "experience?"
I almost feel like it is silly to even write about the high school "experience."  But back of so many years ago, when I first started homeschooling I always assumed I would stop homeschooling at high school and send my kids off.  As the time grew closer I became more and more sure that was not such a good idea.

I am not saying that all people should homeschool.  Some should not.  And if you have a strong family life at home and you are an involved parent the high school experience can be better.  But, the truth is some of the most dangerous places in the USA are our schools.

I am not talking about school shootings and such.  I mean, yes, that is always a concern that we as a nation and world must work to stop, but it is not very likely to happen to your child.  All high schools are filled with drugs, sex, and bullies.  Things that happen in high school often scar us for life.  I was lucky to be able to go to a small private high school.  I was saved from a lot of the things that I started seeing in middle school.  My daughter was even exposed to sexual conversations as early as 4th grade!

Not only are these things a reality but watch the film Waiting for "Superman".  The school system as we know it is not all it is cracked up to be.  Anyone who tries to change it is often laughed off or gotten rid of.  Most kids in schools today are put onto paths.  Often depending on where they live.  If you live in a poor area or near a poor area your child will be less likely to do well in school.  I firmly believe that whether you are rich or poor really has no effect on your smarts, shall we say.  It has everything to do with resources and the school your child goes to.

Those school boundary lines could be the very difference between your child going to college or not.  Living on the "wrong" side a street that is a boundary line for schools could be the difference between your child achieving their dreams or not.

So what it comes down to is the simple realization that no prom could ever compare to your child living the life they are destined to.  Outside of a school your child can pursue interests and feed passions that can lead to amazing things.  Free from peer-pressure they can realize who they are at a younger age without worry about being influenced by others.

High school is 4 years of a lifetime, but they can be the most important years of your child's life.  Those years between 14 and 18, so much is going on in the formation of character and dreams.  How wonderful would it be to grow those years mostly free from the very things that torment most teenagers every day?

We cannot protect our children from everything, that does them no favors.  Homeschooling the high school years, however, does help them find who they are nearly free from the influence and pressure of others.

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