No one ever really told me how DIFFICULT homeschooling high school would be.
And, I don't think anyone could ever have prepared me for the tremendous weight I was going to feel - knowing that my child's ENTIRE high school education rested on my shoulders.
Everyone always used to tell me why they COULDN'T homeschool, and it was generally because they didn't feel they could teach their children upper levels of math and science. (Believe me, that is the least of my problems.)
Oh - and the ATTITUDE? Some days I think it might kill me.
But you know what?
The truth about homeschool high school is something much different than all of these nagging worries I have day in and day out. The truth about homeschool high school is about something so much deeper than Chemistry or Physics , PreCalc or Latin. The truth about homeschool high school supersedes the best teenage eye roll on the planet.
This truth is something I am discovering day by day, minute by minute.
(*This post was written with express permission from my homeschool high schooler. I don't share much about her here on the blog because I want to honor her privacy and teen years. She is 100% ok with this post!)
The truth is that I'm learning there is great value in doing HARD THINGS. And the truth is that I'm being refined on a daily basis.
The truth is that I'm so glad we've stuck it out this long, and I'm excited for what the future holds.
The truth is that we need to approach homeschool high school with JOY rather than dread.
The Dreaded "High School"
Let's face it, society doesn't have a very positive image of high school. And, if you look around, many public schools are laden with drugs, sex, and any number of things children that age have no business dealing with.
It seems to me that for all of the criticism about homeschoolers not being "socialized" that there is exactly too much SOCIALIZATION in high school.
Of course there is also the fact that high school is geared towards cranking out students who will PERFORM ON A TEST. Children are placed into tracks of courses that pigeon hole them into college, tech school, or remedial studies.
Where do we ever consider the child's HEART and GIFTS in our modern American high schools?
And that is precisely why we homeschool high school.
Thank goodness my child doesn't have to deal with MEAN GIRLS, endless social media obsessions, and bullies each day. Instead she deals with us - her family - who can guide her through these most formative years. We can choose mentors through church and community that help us nurture her passions.
She has a few trusted friends - sweet girls she has known for many years. In many ways I think homeschoolers make BETTER friends because they have time to cultivate relationships and are generally kind and caring to one another. (I won't lie to you - there have been lonely days in our house, but those are learning opportunities, too. There are times in life where you will be lonely and will need to learn how to handle that.)
Thank goodness my child doesn't have to walk like a zombie from class to class, complaining about how much she "hates school." Instead, my child can help determine her own schedule and classes - geared towards what she LOVES.
(I could write a whole post about how she wants to be a music therapist and how we are nurturing this love of music and people with special needs... that's for another day.)
But...How Do You Homeschool High School?
This is a VERY real question.
Honestly, I've been going on faith quite a bit.
I also spend A LOT OF TIME planning, supervising, and just keeping up with everything.
I know what my state requires in the way of credits for graduation. I've been researching about high school classes and college admissions.
Our first two years of high school have been spent in the Classical Conversations Challenge program - which has been an EXCELLENT foundation for my Anna since the 7th grade.
Next year Anna will be in the 11th grade. We have decided that she needs to step away from Challenge to take advantage of some dual enrollment opportunities our state offers. She wants to take sign language in a local co-op (this will help her as a music therapist one day). She wants to get a job and be a bit more independent.
She's learning to play the guitar in addition to continuing her piano studies. She's volunteering with a local special needs group - last week she started leading her own small group!
While part of me mourns that we won't go through Challenge IV, the other part of me is so happy that God is guiding us to new adventures. The world is WIDE OPEN for homeschoolers and that is very exciting!
She's learning how to manage her own time and how to deal with quiet and space, something we believe is necessary to develop the habit of attention and productivity.
So the answer to "How do you homeschool high school?" is this:
Pray a lot. Research a lot. Talk to people just a bit ahead of you on the path. Be prepared to make changes and adjustments. Listen to your child. Don't be too hard on yourself.
Everything will be ok.
So there you have it.
I bet it wasn't quite the salacious truth you'd hoped for, but it's a truth I've been wanting to share with you for quite some time.
Even on the HARD days (and there are many of them - but I guess life is like that, right?) I believe to my very CORE that homeschooling high school has been the best decision for our family.