Homeschooling High School – Should You?

There are quite a few good resources out there for homeschooling high school, (not for homeschooling a Waldorf-inspired high school per se, but homeschooling high school in general).  Many parents whose children are in seventh or eighth grade wonder if homeschooling high school is for them.

We are three years into homeschooling high school with our oldest child now, and looking at options for our eighth grader for high school next fall.  I think it is important to at least look at options for several reasons…

  1. I don’t know how it is in your area of the world, but here while every student can be “accepted” to public high school in the later high school years, the school system does not have to accept the credits already completed and may make the student re-do classes.  This is important to know.  At least  in my area, it is much easier to enter into high school when it begins in 9th grade and pull out and finish up homeschooling than it is to start homeschooling and then try to enter public school  in 10th or 11th grade!
  2. Homeschooling, for the most part, can be a very decentralized process – so that could mean a lot of driving and extra money toward classes or things that might normally be “free” in school and wouldn’t involve you driving.  For example, our oldest has taken some AP classes.  This involved extra time in finding these classes, and extra money to pay for the classes and the driving to and from the classes.
  3. Is you child super extroverted or introverted?  I know some extroverts who are still happy to homeschool high school, and some extroverts who are happy to do something like dual enrollment, but there are many extroverts who want to be a in a school environment and be involved in all the traditional high school things withinin a more traditional high school community.  Some want a much bigger social pool than the sometimes small numbers that homeschooling high school leads to, depending upon your area, so that may also be a factor to think about.
  4. How well do you and your teenager work together?  If it is going to be nothing but you nagging your child to get work done, or if  you feel your child tends to withdraw and not want to work hard for you, you might consider a more traditional high school plan.  It is hard to facilitate something with only one other (reluctant) student, and sometimes a group does lead to more interesting projects, more interesting perspective, and more interesting conversations.  You can create this with work at home for sure – open up your house to all homeschoolers for projects or perspectives around a study area, for example, but some students thrive in a more traditional environment.
  5. In this vein, does your child prefer in-person learning or do they prefer to learn on-line?  Not every student enjoys on-line classes, and while there are on-line high school classes for subjects, some students want or learn better in  a classroom experience.
  6. Are you decent at keeping track of records?  Do you know when things normally happen as far as standardized testing, financial aid deadlines, college applications?These things are important if your child wants to apply to a four year college as you will be playing guidance counselor along with your other roles in homeschooling.

If you think it sounds like I am against homeschooling high school, I am not. We are homeschooling high school, after all, and looking at doing it again!   However, I think some of the homeschooling high school sites tout homeschooling high school as this thing where the student works independently and you have interesting conversations, and  that’s about it, and are not pointing out some of the larger issues to think about.  Homeschooling high school takes time and availability of the parent, and it also depends somewhat upon finances, ability to get your student to places if options for homeschooled high schoolers in your area exist as far as outside classes or activities,  the homeschooling high school community in your area, and your student’s goals  for what they want to do after high school.  Sometimes post-graduation goals are best met in the home environment, but sometimes a more traditional path can also work, and some students prefer this.

For those of you homeschooling high school, what are the things you thought about with this decision?  Share your wisdom!

Blessings and love,

Carrie

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