The purpose behind these posts is to assure people that even if they do not feel confident in homeschooling some subjects in the formative high school years, there are still options other than enrolling them in a brick and mortar school. Of course, you can always enroll your kids part time in the local public school or you could enroll in a charter school to get extra help. And if you can afford it, try can enroll your homeschooler in a program like Kolbe. We, cannot afford it however, so I have had to come up with other options! And here are some of the things I have discovered.
I have my third high schooler graduating this year, I can hardly believe it. When I first started homeschooling in January of 2005, I always imagined I would enroll my kids back into the system when they reached high school age. I was very nervous about the prospect of teaching them through those years, but as those years got closer and closer I became more and more worried about sending them to a brick and mortar school. I started to question whether going there would really allow them to pursue their dreams.
Homeschooling will not save your child from bullying or peer pressure, but it can diminish it. More importantly, homeschooling through high school gives your child a freedom to follow their interests, which most brick and mortar kids don't have time for. It also allows them to delve more deeply into certain subjects. Most importantly, you get to watch your child blossom into an adult and be there during these formative years in a way many parents can't.
So I thought I would start a little series about the challenges of homeschooling high school and how you can overcome them. These are not guarantees but options to help you navigate the seas of homeschooling high school.
One of the challenges I have found in homeschooling high school is when we, as the homeschooling parent, do not feel qualified to teach certain subjects. This can create a lot of guilt on our part but there are ways around this. For me science has always been my biggest struggle. Elementary school is great, but when we get to the higher grades I find that sometimes I have to read my child's text, too, in order to be of any help. By the time I get to my youngest maybe that will change!
Yet there are other options out there to pursue. For science, look into things like 4H. Helping raise animals through the 4H will teach them amazing things about our earth, animal life, and much more.
Check and see if you have a local college extension program nearby. They often have master gardener classes, as well as other programs that would make incredible horticulture studies
There is also another great program called Explorers. It is an extension of scouting and is all about teaching teenagers about skills such as Fire Fighting, Ambulance, and more. My daughter Mary has been working with our local Explorers for the last year, working on the life saving skills of an EMT. Just last week they disected a lamb's heart among other things. This is an excellent Biology class and if your child really takes to it, by the time they are 18, they could be a certified EMT!
One thing we have done is enroll our kid's at the local community college their senior year of high school. This gives them an opportunity to make sure they are all caught up on the basics like math and writing. Sometimes things just fall through the loops, and this is normal. Even kids who graduate from brick and mortar schools often need a few catch up classes (sometimes even more so). You will be surprised at how many other homeschoolers are there, too. I, personally, do not recommend this till a child is at least a senior. There is no rush.