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Why homeschool high school? I don't wanna...or do I? Input, please...


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We've homeschooled the whole way through. I have loved it. The boys are doing well.

 

BUT, I have always said I would NOT continue past eighth grade. We have a decent public high school. My husband teaches math there. I really admire many of the teachers and like the philosophy of the school in general. We know many families whose kids are thriving there.

 

But...

 

After doing my own thing for so long and reaping the benefits of that, I find myself cringing at the idea of watching my son jumping through all the hoops. Their schedule is pretty much planned out for four years. Do this, then that, at this time, for this long, etc. There is very little space in the school's graduation requirements for kids to pursue their own interests.

 

So, if you are very glad to be homeschooling for high school, could you tell me why? What's the best part of it? What are you SO glad your child gets to do?

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My son has graduated, and I have few regrets. One positive of continuing through high school is that you put off jumping through hoops for a few more years, although our schedule and focus changed a lot during the high school years. I found high school more rewarding in some ways, but we had less time for fun. Another benefit for us was that my son had more time to pursue his interests in music and computers and less negative peer pressure. For us, some form of outsourcing in the form of co-ops and community college was something we needed, but it also complicated our lives. We loved having control over our choice of materials and a flexible schedule!

 

ETA: Life wasn't always easy, pleasant, or perfect and home schooling a high school student is a LOT of work. On balance, though, it was worth it for us. YMMV!

Edited by Tullia
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My son has graduated, and I have few regrets. One positive of continuing through high school is that you put off jumping through hoops for a few more years, although our schedule and focus changed a lot during the high school years. I found high school more rewarding in some ways, but we had less time for fun. Another benefit for us was that my son had more time to pursue his interests in music and computers and less negative peer pressure. For us, some form of outsourcing in the form of co-ops and community college was something we needed, but it also complicated our lives. We loved having control over our choice of materials and a flexible schedule!

 

 

:iagree: with all of the above.

 

High school is the reward for surviving the hormonally challenged middle school years. By the time your teen is 16, you've got an interesting young adult to talk with and share books with. It is pure pleasure. Sure the material gets meatier and you may find yourself needing to outsource a subject or two, but your lives are not swallowed whole by the public school system. You don't have to jump into the AP/SAT testing rat race. Your teen can work with mentors during the middle of the school day if needed, they can spend hours in a theater production or practicing an instrument or a sport, and still get a good night's sleep.

 

The biggest challenge is playing college guidance counselor and navigating the college admissions process, but this we on this board have witnessed many successful homeschool grads get into wonderful college programs and we've helped one another along the way.

 

My kids didn't want to be with their age-mates for 6-7 hours a day. They did not like anything they saw in the social scene of the local schools and have never once felt they missed out by not attending high school. If anything they've been impatient in college for their peers to grow up!

 

High school was as wonderful as the early homeschool years. I'm so glad we stuck with it, even though for me it meant lots of driving as my kids didn't get their licenses early enough to be driving themselves to community college classes! But the conversations in the car were priceless, and our warm relationship continues via text messages, facebook and Skype now that they are both 3 time zones away in college.

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First, every family is different, and circumstances can shift, student needs can change, and homeschooling all the way through may not be the best option for every family, or even for all the students in the same family -- so don't feel you HAVE to homeschool high school if that is not in your family's best interest. :)

 

 

However, since you ask "why do it", and "what's the best part"... Here you go! ;)

 

For us, the best part was all the wonderful shared experiences, discussions, and relationship that we enjoyed with our DSs that we would not have had if they were gone from the house most of the day at a school, and then focused every night and weekend on homework. If we had sent them off to school at high school, I would have missed getting to reap the fruit of all the intense labor I had poured in for the years before -- academically and relationally. Because we homeschooled, conversations came up about life, their future, how to make choices, world events, etc., that we never would have had if they had been schooling away from home.

 

I am SO glad our DSs got to step out and really enjoy some extracurriculars that developed wonderful thinking/discussing skills, and maturity, leadership qualities that they would not have had time for if they had been in a brick-and-mortar high school. I'm SO glad we could move at a slower pace that allowed our one DS with mild LDs to be able to succeed!

 

 

Here's a list of "whys":

 

- enjoy relationship and time with your student

- time and ability to do big projects

- flexibility of scheduling

- ability to follow/develop a passion

- tailor academics to specific student needs

- incredible discussions

- freedom to move at own pace

- ability to be involved in extracurriculars and/or volunteering

- potentially better academics

- ability to sample a wide variety of class types (on-line/distance learning, DVD lectures/video tutorials, co-op, individual local class, etc.)

- potential dual enrollment (gain simultaneous high school and college credit)

- no time-wasting assignments -- everything counts

- avoid peer pressure and all the NEGATIVES of "socialization" solely with one's "peers"

- encourages student how to be an independent learner

- no wasting time of "teaching to the test" (so much of classroom time is based on prep for state educational quality tests)

 

 

 

 

And I *highly* recommend these past threads, filled wiith MANY detailed, thoughtful responses of why homeschooling high school has been so wonderful for so many families, and what have been the benefits (the why) to homeschooling high school:

why homeschool high school

please tell me again all the reasons why I should homeschool high school

aside from academics... what are the benefits your family has experienced from homeschooling high school

please tell me the benefits of homeschooling high school,

 

 

BEST of luck as you think through what is best for your family for the high school years! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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We are homeschooling for academic reasons. My children are both gifted and were not adequately challenged in school. Homeschooling allowed my DD to use materials that are of an appropriate level; she took her first college course at age 13. If she had attended the local high school, we would have tried to get her into an early college program at a boarding school five hours away, starting in 11th grade- because there is no local option for a more challenging school. This is much better.

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High school is the reward for all the hard work you have put in homeschooling the younger yrs!! This is the age where they discuss deep thoughts and are forming their own opinions about their world view.

 

Homeschooling high school allows for a broad range of topics to study vs. the limited standard school selection. This yr my 8th grader is studying 3 foreign languages (Russian, French, and Latin) and she plans on continuing with them throughout high school. Our 11th grader has taken 2 sciences every yr and has designed his own independent dark matter study this yr. He is also taking a philosophy of science and religion course that we designed that he loves. His literature course is designed to expand on the topics in the philosophy course. These courses have allowed us discuss all sorts of topics that would not come up in normal conversations and definitely not in a public school w/a world view that meshes w/ours.

 

And as been previously posted, it allows complete flexibility to move at the students pace. For example, my 8th grader has had a dose of "moving at a class pace" vs. her pace and she can't stand it. She is taking a Russian class online and she has asked to not continue w/the class at the end of the semester and go with a private tutor instead b/c she feels the class in hindering her progress since it moves at snail pace. Our 11th grader is taking 300 level college math and 200 level college science.

 

Homeschooling high school is not easy at all. It takes hrs of preparation on my part and strong commitment to stay on top of what we are doing. But, it is a blessing to watch them grow into young adults. These yrs fly by and once the move out, life is different. (not in a negative way, but your relationship will be different) Love the time you have w/them.

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Previous posts have said it better than I ever could, but I would like to add one other thought.

 

My son is in the middle of his junior year of college. (Yikes! Where does time go?) On more than one occasion, I have asked him "Do you regret having been homeschooled?" His response begins with The Look. You know The Look--the one in which your young man seems to think that Mom has grown several heads and is out of her mind.

 

Friends who have graduated from the local high school told him how lucky he was to be homeschooled, that he did not have to deal with the banality of daily life there. So initially he thought homeschooling saved him from that particular school experience. Then he realized that he started college well prepared and with more focus than most students. We can't credit that one exclusively to homeschooling but it certainly did not hurt.

 

As this young man moves through college, I believe he is grateful that he had time to pursue passions. Time is a luxury that homeschool can afford. He is an archaeology major, but he still pursues a passion from homeschool days, that of photography. He takes classes with art majors and holds his own.

 

I don't know how much I can credit to homeschooling. I do know that I love receiving an email with an amusing anecdote that connects back to something we did together in high school. Perhaps we would have this same close relationship had he attended the local high school but we certainly would not have had so much time together, memories that I cherish now.

 

Yes, the college stuff was nerve wracking. Yes, there were some unpleasant testosterone rages along the way. Like childbirth, that is swept aside as we marvel at the outcome.

 

Only three weeks until The Boy comes home!!! Am I excited or what?!?!?!?

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Previous posts have said it better than I ever could, but I would like to add one other thought. My son is in the middle of his junior year of college. (Yikes! Where does time go?) On more than one occasion, I have asked him "Do you regret having been homeschooled?" His response begins with The Look. You know The Look--the one in which your young man seems to think that Mom has grown several heads and is out of her mind. Friends who have graduated from the local high school told him how lucky he was to be homeschooled, that he did not have to deal with the banality of daily life there. So initially he thought homeschooling saved him from that particular school experience. Then he realized that he started college well prepared and with more focus than most students. We can't credit that one exclusively to homeschooling but it certainly did not hurt. As this young man moves through college, I believe he is grateful that he had time to pursue passions. Time is a luxury that homeschool can afford. He is an archaeology major, but he still pursues a passion from homeschool days, that of photography. He takes classes with art majors and holds his own. I don't know how much I can credit to homeschooling. I do know that I love receiving an email with an amusing anecdote that connects back to something we did together in high school. Perhaps we would have this same close relationship had he attended the local high school but we certainly would not have had so much time together, memories that I cherish now. Yes, the college stuff was nerve wracking. Yes, there were some unpleasant testosterone rages along the way. Like childbirth, that is swept aside as we marvel at the outcome. Only three weeks until The Boy comes home!!! Am I excited or what?!?!?!?
My kids are not in high school yet, but I wanted to say that I'm really looking forward to it because it seems to me stuff will finally start to get interesting. Stuff already is as they are getting older. I can't imagine missing out on that. I also like the idea of them having time to pursue interests.

 

I had a few second thoughts when my son was making the transition from taking cc courses along with home schooling to taking courses full time and commuting to the main campus. However, we saw by the middle of his first semester that things were going to be fine academically and I stopped holding my breath. He also did a good job of working through some of the negative things that are part of the community college experience. He's transferred this semester, has made new friends, reconnected with few old friends, and enjoys being in a place where the majority of students take an interest in academics.

 

Things do get more interesting during the high school years, but there's also some natural "pulling away" from parents--that isn't a bad thing--but it can put a strain on relationships and sometimes that translates into students being reluctant to talk about what they're reading or discussing writing projects. We found that making sure ds had time to pursue his interests was essential; it faclitated his achieving more independence and made our interactions in "required" subjects a lot easier. He he had an outlet chosen by him and for which he was fully in charge--especially once he had a driver's license.

 

I've bolded part of Jane's response because some of my friends who sent their children to school tell me they are lonely and feel that their children are "gone" even when they're home for holidays--most of them don't get those emails with amusing anecdotes. Home schooling your child through high school, especially if you use a classical framework, gives you common intellectual ground. Like Jane, I enjoy the occasional e-mail that connects to a home school memory and am counting days to the end of the semester. I'll be cooking and freezing for the next couple of weeks, because ds says he misses home cooking. (I'm not that great in the kitchen, but the poor guy has gotten tired of the menu choices available in the dining hall.)

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OP here...

I can't believe I've even considering it!

 

A main concern is that my boys, while bright enough and capable, are not gifted academically; they are not thirsting for more and more knowledge, and have an unfortunate tendency to do as little as they can get away with. They are ordinary good students who do pretty well. I wonder how those types of kids kids do at home.

 

What I love about homeschooling is the freedom. But, how much of that is there if I'm working for credits and college admission and prepping for the SAT?

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OP here...

I can't believe I've even considering it!

 

A main concern is that my boys, while bright enough and capable, are not gifted academically; they are not thirsting for more and more knowledge, and have an unfortunate tendency to do as little as they can get away with. They are ordinary good students who do pretty well. I wonder how those types of kids kids do at home.

 

What I love about homeschooling is the freedom. But, how much of that is there if I'm working for credits and college admission and prepping for the SAT?

 

First of all, don't judge your sons' academic potential by what you are getting at ages 11 and 13. They don't have any "skin in the game" as the saying goes. School is something imposed on them, not something that matters for their future life. Being a working adult or a college student isn't a tangible reality to them yet. Also their higher brain functions are probably not fully engaged due to puberty and growth spurts and still being a kid.

 

Second of all, so what if they turn out not to be academically motivated? Why can't they still be homeschooled and focus their attention on what ever it is that DOES motivate them? You can tailor a fine academic program around their schedule, rather than the way it is when kids are in public school.

 

I've had one of each -- the academic powerhouse and the non-academic, git 'er done and let me do my thing kid. The non-academic still had to work for credits, but those courses were designed around his interest. Sometimes they were the bare minimum. But he learned to write a mean essay, got through math, came to enjoy learning for learning's sake. His transcript also reflected his non-academic coursework, which in his case was all theater. He never took an AP or SAT or ACT, started in the community college and is excelling in a professional school. He has been a paid theater techie since his senior year in high school and has an impressive resume.

 

Some homeschool kids I've known have loved going to public high school, and did just fine there. Sometimes kids need to answer to someone other than mom, so high school is the answer to preserving the family relationship. One of my kids had an umbrella charter school that provided that outside motivation, the other finally "fired me" (as we like to joke) from math and science and he went off to community college to get the advanced courses he craved and I couldn't provide.

 

So much to consider!

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I, too, was eventually "fired" from math, and ds likes to joke that he should have done it sooner. He's also the first to admit that he was part of the problem. :smash: (Btw, I'm not really sure what that emoticon means, but there were days when.....)

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We've homeschooled the whole way through. I have loved it. The boys are doing well.

 

BUT, I have always said I would NOT continue past eighth grade. We have a decent public high school. My husband teaches math there. I really admire many of the teachers and like the philosophy of the school in general. We know many families whose kids are thriving there.

 

 

 

I could have written this post a few years ago. Our original intentions were to homeschool through middle school only. Like you, I have a husband who teaches at a public high school. Our local schools have a pretty high reputation and most off our children's friends and the children of our friends are very successful.

 

The "why" part of your question was simple for us. During her 8th grade year our oldest began to express a desire to remain at home. After prayer and discussion, my husband and I decided that we would ultimately allow her a significant say in the decision. She was very successful and is an easy child to teach. We cautioned her that changing course mid-stream could be difficult (this varies locally) so I we researched that and made sure that we all understood the commitment level that would be required. Our second child also made the same decision. Does your student have a preference? If the child was successful and relatively mature/responsible, I'd consider that strongly.

 

While I was overwhelmed at the "idea" of homeschooling high school, the reality has not measured up to my intial fear. We've outsourced as needed/desired via online classes, co-ops/partnerships with other families, and now through dual enrollment. With my 11th grade dd my role is now primarily that of a guidance counselor as most her classes are now outsourced. My 9th grader may end up doing more of her coursework at home, but it's been quite manageable, truly.

 

I agree with many of the benefits others have mentioned. I've remained closer to my teens than I had expected too. They have more time to pursue non-academic interests and to delve more deeply into certain academic topics as well. Although our schedule is more intense than it used to be, school is still signficantly more efficient/less time consuming than it is for their friends who attend a brick and mortar school. When you consider that my oldest is likely to have about 30 college credits done by the time she graduates, it's been a very effective/efficient use of time.

 

Honestly, the college application process is quite nerve-wracking, BUT even in our locally great schools the guidance counselors are extremely over worked. My dd is receiving significantly more one-on-one advice related to testing, preparation, school selection, etc. than she would in another setting. For instance, locally even very strong juniors are NOT encouraged to take the PSAT. Our local community pays for all 10th graders to take it, but encourages 11th graders (even those who could potentially stand a chance at NM) to concentrate on prepping for state required testing and SATs. A couple of dd's friends have missed out on some great opportunites due to lack of guidance. They have great parents, but I think they are perhaps overly trusting in guidance staff to help their children get admitted. Her dual enrollment advisor at our local uni. has also been amazingly helpful.

 

I'm thankful that my oldest urged us to revisit this issue. Our decision to continue with homeschooling has been the right one for our family.

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OP here...

I can't believe I've even considering it!

 

A main concern is that my boys, while bright enough and capable, are not gifted academically; they are not thirsting for more and more knowledge, and have an unfortunate tendency to do as little as they can get away with. They are ordinary good students who do pretty well. I wonder how those types of kids kids do at home.

 

What I love about homeschooling is the freedom. But, how much of that is there if I'm working for credits and college admission and prepping for the SAT?

 

We had multiple reasons for homeschooling high school. An easy one to talk about is the time to develop interests. I think whether you have that time depends on whether you intend to jump through all the standard hoops. There are gifted students who manage to have very high standardized test scores, take ten AP classes, and still have time to play Hamlet in the community theatre, invent a better radio, become fluent in two foreign languages, start their own business, go to the olympics, and organize a soup kitchen for their community. If you have more ordinary students, then you are going to have to pick and choose where you spend your time and energy. This is where homeschooling can help. It is more flexible. If your student intends to go to college, then you need to cover the standard college prep material, but it is possible to double up or customize some of that material to support specific interests. If you student has a passion for the medieval period, you will still need to do a math book a year but you can customize the other subjects to focus on that interest. You can practise the various academic skills (like writing) by researching subjects that interest you. You can go more lightly on the rest of history and literature and focus on that area. You can experiment with trebuche's (no idea how to spell that) in physics and medicinal herbs or how roses are bred in science. And so forth. It is also possible to slim down the academic requirements to make room for non-academic ones. So, for example, if your school system requires health and pe and you think you have covered those things adequately in daily life, your own homeschool does not need to have those as requirements.

 

As a homeschooler, colleges will probably give more weight to standardized test scores, but you can pick and choose which of those you will devote your precious time to. Colleges will also want to see some sort of confirmation of your transcript, but there are many ways to do that: AP tests, SAT2 tests, community college classes, CLEP tests... You don't have to do them all. You can look at the sort of colleges your student is likely to go to and then make a plan aimed at those colleges. For example, we chose to do community college classes and SATs and ignore everything else. Another family might choose a different path. In our (very limited) experience, you don't have to jump through every single hoop.

 

I think that if you think just by homeschooling high school you will wind up with the next inventor of a cure for cancer, you might be in for a disappointment. There are subjects that seem to be taught more efficiently with a good teacher. It is important to identify those early on and farm them out because otherwise they can suck up all that hard-won spare time. It will be easier to find spare time to develop interests if you have a student who doesn't struggle with academics and need to spend extra time on them.

 

You might like to read Cleo's recent post. She is struggling with some of these sorts of decisions.

 

Homeschooling high school is very scary and it is hard work, but for us, anyway, it is very very worth it.

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We've homeschooled the whole way through. I have loved it. The boys are doing well.

 

After doing my own thing for so long and reaping the benefits of that, I find myself cringing at the idea of watching my son jumping through all the hoops. Their schedule is pretty much planned out for four years. Do this, then that, at this time, for this long, etc. There is very little space in the school's graduation requirements for kids to pursue their own interests.

 

So, if you are very glad to be homeschooling for high school, could you tell me why? What's the best part of it? What are you SO glad your child gets to do?

 

Questions:

 

Do your kids pursue their own interests now? What do they do with the freedom that homeschooling has given them up to this point?

 

When you think about life after high school, what does that look like? Are you comfortable with something other than college? What do the kids in your circle do after high school? Do children of friends and family members attend college? If so, what kind? (Community college, state uni, private schools, or ivy league?) Do you feel pressure to do the same?

 

Now matter what you want your days to look like, your four-year goal and your method of approaching that goal are going to dictate what your days are going to look like. Homeschooling doesn't create the freedom to do things differently. People do. If you are comfortable doing things differently in high school and your kids are up for the challenge, they can become pretty interesting people. If, however, you want the safety that the system provides, then you might just be reinventing the wheel. There are plenty of homeschoolers who are spending a ton of time and energy trying to mimic what they could get down the street for free. If you think you might just end up imitating what the system is doing anyway, you might pour your energy into helping them become interesting people within the system.

 

Think about homeschooling high school as an opportunity. An opportunity with a cost. What do you plan to do with the opportunity? Are you OK with the costs?

 

Peace,

Janice

 

P.S. Not trying to be rude here - but I don't WANT to convince you of anything. If you're not eager to do it, I wouldn't even attempt hsing high school. It's a ton of work.

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OP here...

I can't believe I've even considering it!

 

A main concern is that my boys, while bright enough and capable, are not gifted academically; they are not thirsting for more and more knowledge, and have an unfortunate tendency to do as little as they can get away with. They are ordinary good students who do pretty well. I wonder how those types of kids kids do at home.

 

What I love about homeschooling is the freedom. But, how much of that is there if I'm working for credits and college admission and prepping for the SAT?

 

Now, I'm not trying to pressure you or anything, :D, but want to stress that my son was not truly accelerated in any subject except music composition. When he was motivated to share, he often had exceptionally mature insights about things he read. However, neither of those things manifested until his high school years. He struggled with math. We can laugh now, but he admits he was something of a slacker and had to be closely supervised. There is more structure in high school, but the content is fun. I was terrible at chemistry lab in high school; ds and I did the MicroChem lab course together and I did so much better the second time around. And, I really understood the chemistry calculations the second time through--in high school I got through them by rote learning.

 

I worried unnecessarily about test scores. The one exception for us was that my son was out of math sequence for PSAT in a big way--had that not been the case, I think he had a real shot at being a NM scholar, but it was not to be. However, by the end of high school things had evened out. My opinion is that if you're pursuing education using a classical framework and are reasonably diligent, the test scores will fall into place and only minimal test taking practice is required because the content will be in place. However, that assumes there aren't other issues such as special needs or extreme test anxiety which affect a student's ability to do well on tests. Even when there are challenges, home schools are often well equipped to deal with them.

 

I can't remember who wrote this, or even the exact wording but it was something like this; a classical education provides a level of skills and breadth of experience which allows ordinary people to do great things. We were part of a fairly large home school group and I've seen the benefits of classical education for children who are in the middle and those who are far from the middle of the curve in both directions. Classical education works, and I've never found anything better, but that didn't stop us from outsourcing when needed.

 

Now, if my choice had been to follow a typical ps program of study at home or do it at school, I might have been more likely to have chosen to send ds back to public school. We have a new classical charter school in our area now, but for my son home school was the only option for pursuing a classical education. Anyway, I don't mean to rant on and on and find myself doing just that :blushing: . Best of luck with your decision; I feel confident that you will make a good choice that works for your family.

 

ETA: I agree with Janice in NJ. It is a ton of work, and if it's not something that works for you and your sons then don't feel like you are missing out or depriving them by choosing a different path. Not everyone wants to spend time doing high school chemistry again with their child. My son used to roll his eyes when I got excited over the lab actually working out the way it was supposed to. I didn't break anything the second time around, btw! My father had to pay the school a lab surcharge because I exceeded the allowed breakage. I pity my high school lab partner!

Edited by Tullia
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You've received wonderful responses already, msjones, many of which express my own feelings.

 

In addition, one highlight for us was the opportunity for my daughter to pursue subjects that are not available at our local high school such as Latin and Geology (which are now my college student's major and minor).

 

Regards,

Kareni

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...Now matter what you want your days to look like, your four-year goal and your method of approaching that goal are going to dictate what your days are going to look like. Homeschooling doesn't create the freedom to do things differently. People do. If you are comfortable doing things differently in high school and your kids are up for the challenge, they can become pretty interesting people. If, however, you want the safety that the system provides, then you might just be reinventing the wheel. There are plenty of homeschoolers who are spending a ton of time and energy trying to mimic what they could get down the street for free. If you think you might just end up imitating what the system is doing anyway, you might pour your energy into helping them become interesting people within the system.

 

Think about homeschooling high school as an opportunity. An opportunity with a cost. What do you plan to do with the opportunity? Are you OK with the costs? ...

 

 

There are other reasons for continuing to homeschool for high school other than finding the time to let your children develop their interests. Good, valid reasons. If, however, that is your main reason, then I agree with Janice: I think you need to ask yourself how comfortable you are going to be straying off the beaten path because you may well find yourself there. We also live where there is a good public school and I saw no reason to re-invent the wheel, but even for those of us who set out deliberately to do that for high school, stepping off that path can be pretty uncomfortable at times, perhaps almost more so because we aren't homeschooling out of necessity, because the school is unsafe or academically unacceptable. As you struggle through the trials of dealing with 15 year olds, you will have days when you wonder why you are doing this when school is a perfectly good option. As you watch yourself teaching some subjects less efficiently or less effectively, you will have to remind yourself that there is value in those rabbit trails and that it doesn't hurt the student to have to do the work of figuring things out for themselves occasionally. It is a ton of work and you will worry about neglecting the younger one. If you are going to worry so much that you aren't going to be able to enjoy any of the good things like the flexibility and the family closeness and the satisfaction of watching your child blossom into an interesting adult, then you might want to take advantage of your very nice school system. Not that I want to discourage you... On the other hand, you might find that it is endlessly frustrating to watch your child struggle through a long assignment which doesn't teach him anything, or deal with a teacher who dislikes him, or learn to hate a whole subject because the whole year the class focuses on aspects of no interest.

 

As Janice said, there are advantages and disadvantages...

 

Nan

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I can't believe I've even considering it! A main concern is that my boys, while bright enough and capable, are not gifted academically; they are not thirsting for more and more knowledge, and have an unfortunate tendency to do as little as they can get away with. They are ordinary good students who do pretty well. I wonder how those types of kids kids do at home.

 

What I love about homeschooling is the freedom. But, how much of that is there if I'm working for credits and college admission and prepping for the SAT?

 

 

The other ladies gave you wonderful advice and thoughts from their own experiences addressing these concerns of yours! :001_smile:

 

I just wanted to add that you and your DSs will transition a little at a time into the various high school needs. 9th grade is not that hard; it's just the next step up from 8th grade, plus adding a little record-keeping and beginning research on your part. You do NOT have to know about all those topics now! Or even at the end of 9th or 10th grade! Really, you learn about the different high school topics as you need them, which makes it manageable. And your DSs will grow and change and mature so much in the 4 years of high school, you will be amazed -- just like the other posters are sharing. :001_smile:

 

 

And when you're ready to think a bit more about the possibility of homeschooling high school, if you feel led that way -- maybe some time this spring, or summer -- there are some wonderful past threads full of riches to hold your hand for getting started and to encourage you. And feel free to post specific questions! Lots of wisdom from the ladies on this board -- as you are already seeing and receiving in response your thread right here! :001_smile:

 

Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

 

PS -- And in case you want to have handy links to some of those past threads, here are links to two good past threads to to start with:

 

Homeschooling High School... Where to Begin?

(links to a wide variety of past threads on specific, helpful "getting started" high school topics)

 

High School Time Table

(what needs to happen and when in high school)

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What great answers from everyone!

 

I didn't plan on homeschooling high school either. The main thing for me was the relationship. It has been such a valuable thing to really get to KNOW my dd and develop a relationship where we communicate. I didn't want to take any chances with that. Second is the academic freedom to choose subjects and topics that suit her and keep her interested. She also is (or was) a "just good enough" girl. Oddly enough, this year is the first year she seems to be coming out of that. I am so glad I get to see it first hand!

 

Oh, and also the family life. Yes, the school day is busier now. We still have evenings and weekends free to pursue spiritual and family activities together. I know other HS kids working 2 hours homework a night plus extra cirriculars.

 

ETA, I did let DD have significant input. If she was hard core wanting to go to PS, I would have done so. She wanted to stay home!

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Tailoring the education to match the child:

 

OK. Chiming in here. Yes. This. This part is a HUGE reason to homeschool. The biggie one for me. The ability to turn on a dime to tailor the education to match the child is priceless. A huge advantage when you are building skills. For example, my youngest has never loved reading. And he reads slowly. But he is an insightful reader, so he does catch a lot. Sometimes we work on speed: I choose high interest titles that he can buzz through to encourage him to practice gliding through content. To balance that I choose deeper titles that are more satisfying when read slowly. Balance. Building skills without just focusing on his shortfalls. (Let's face it: sometimes you just need to be able to read quickly.) Another example: algebra II. His sloppy work was really starting to impede his productivity. For the last month, we have been moving more slowly through the content, but I have been focusing on neatness. Diligently. And he's improved. Drastically. A very, very important thing handled!

 

Hsing allows you to build skills at the child's pace. Priceless.

 

However, there is a downside. Content. It is just more efficient to dump in content if you're an expert in the subject. Really. It's a LOT less work if you're wildly proficient with the content. And let's face it, there is still a ton of content to cover at the high school level. A TON. This is where the heavy lifting takes place.

 

So that's the big trade off. If you are diligent and reasonably wise, you can use the advantages of hsing to build solid, solid skills in your kids. (Wise: the ability to see when your precious little person is below-average at something. We all think our kids are great. Sometimes it's an eye-opener to discover that our great kid isn't so great. Let's be reasonable. At least 50% of all kids are below the 50th percentile. I think that's an arena where a lot of homeschoolers miss the mark. There is a big, wide world out there. Most of our kids are eventually going to have to compete in that world - a world where Christian forbearance doesn't play a prominent role. Learning to see our kids' skill sets clearly is a tough one. Probably the biggest hurdle.)

 

But even if you are wise and use your time to effectively develop your child's skill set, that content issue is still at your heels. Driving you. Pushing. Generating self-doubt. Anxiety. You silence it. You make progress. But it's just not efficient to teach every single subject every single year for the first time. Sure kids are resilient. They learn. But a master teacher is a master teacher. It's just a fact. You can do well if you work hard. You can. But once you see a master teacher at work, you never forget it. It does knock you for a loop. Tough to recover from.

 

You recover. You do. But you don't forget it. And it can temper your zeal. Just being honest. Diligence and hard work isn't a cure all. It's a tool. A good tool. But it's not everything.

 

Lori generated the following list. I agree with her; these are good reasons to hs high school. I have a TON of respect for her, so it's easy to agree. But many of these could be flipped on their head depending on the day.

 

- enjoy relationship and time with your student Relationship? Yes. And no. Depending on the day. Time? Honestly sometimes I truly think less time spent together would be better for us both.

- time and ability to do big projects It depends. Most of our big projects have been done during summer break. There was no time during the year to do big projects. (We used outside classes, so we ended up tied to the school calendar.) If my kids had been in school, we still could have done the projects during summer break. So it was a wash.

- flexibility of scheduling This isn't what I thought it would be in high school. I felt more restricted with this than I thought I would from all of the discussion/hype leading up to it. I think this is something that deserves more discussion from homeschoolers. Reality missed the mark; I was expecting something different. Having said that - youngest son is pursuing music with a passion so his schedule is goofy! But we still have to do the work, so today we are doing a ton of "school" (It's a Saturday.) So yes, we are flexible with the schedule. But it stinks. We are in session on a Saturday. Flexible? Yes! But that's not necessarily a "Yippie" positive. :-)

- ability to follow/develop a passion Yes. This. True. But this isn't an either/or proposition. My youngest has a passion that doesn't fit into any of the traditional subject areas: math, science, english, history, or foreign language. So it's in ADDITION to all of that junk. Period. It's extra. So yes, he can follow his passion, but it doesn't replace all of those high school subjects. We still do those.

- tailor academics to specific student needs Yes. True. But you still have to plow through a ton of content. It takes longer to tailor a suit than it does to just wear it off the hanger. So tailoring is extra. Is that a plus? Yes. But it requires resources.

- incredible discussions Yes. And no. Depends on the day. Honestly? You get a handful of amazing discussions that hold you over through the heap of "Ahhhhh....... I don't know. Ummmmmmmm......." I remember (clutch after) the good times, but the bulk of the time was/is spent wondering, "Why do I bother?"

- freedom to move at own pace Sometimes this isn't the blessing I thought it would be.

- ability to be involved in extracurriculars and/or volunteering Kids in the system do a bunch of volunteering. It's required by most districts. (My kids were shocked to find that there were kids in choir who didn't want to be there. Shocked.) Extracurriculars? I suspect it's easier for kids in the system to get involved in things without their parents. I have had to nudge my kids toward experiences. My parents never nudged me toward anything. I think my kids would have had a wider range of choices if they had been in the system. There's a lot going on at our public school. A ton!

- potentially better academics Or not. Honestly? We use nearly all secular materials. Live and learn.

- ability to sample a wide variety of class types (on-line/distance learning, DVD lectures/video tutorials, co-op, individual local class, etc Yes. This is a huge advantage. But you have to work for it. It doesn't land in your lap like a flyer from the guidance department.

- potential dual enrollment (gain simultaneous high school and college credit) Yes. But the kids at our local public can do this too. For free. We have to pay full price out of pocket. A three-credit course runs just under $500 at the CC. A four-credit science course with lab runs over $850. So who has the advantage here?

- no time-wasting assignments -- everything counts A solid advantage. Solid! Except when they are confronted with time-wasting assignments from outside classes. Oh. My. Goodness. The WHINING!!!!!!!

- avoid peer pressure and all the NEGATIVES of "socialization" solely with one's "peers" Yes. Solid. But they all have to learn to navigate this eventually. So it's not something you can avoid; you just delay.

- encourages student how to be an independent learner Not always. Sometimes they just learn how to cheat. Sometimes they just get hopelessly bored and/or frustrated. Or sometimes they just get lazy. That whole "independent learner" idea needs a major revamp in the homeschool world as far as I'm concerned. That was the second biggest myth that left me feeling flat and ripped off. (The biggest myth was that homeschooling inspires a "love of learning". Nope. People do that, not systems.) No one here became an independent learner because of homeschooling. IMO they all became independent in spite of homeschooling. Just being honest. I think that expectation is toxic! You get that because you work for it, not because you homeschool. There are plenty of independent kids in the public school. Plenty.

- no wasting time of "teaching to the test" (so much of classroom time is based on prep for state educational quality tests) Not for state tests anyway. But we did spend a ton of time prepping for the SAT/ACT rounds. The stakes are high for homeschoolers. Way high. It is what it is. So this is a myth too: homeschoolers have to teach to certain tests. First, colleges want to see those scores. Then they want to see a bright and engaging student. In my experience, you don't get an interview without the scores. So we end up wasting oodles of time teaching to the test too.

 

So - Lori is right. Those are all good reasons to homeschool high school. Great reasons. But approach them with reasonable expectations. Homeschoolers don't derive benefits in those areas. People do. Homeschooling is a tool that you can use to have a great relationship/life with your teens. And it's a great tool to use to provide a great education - for college and for life! But it's a tool.

 

Some folks wield it with great precision.

Others forget they have it at their disposal. (Or maybe they think that it works without being used.) I don't know.

Most of us waver between precision and hacking. ..... and then sighing heavily at the gash marks .... and then coming on the boards here and saying, "You can't really notice this, can you?" as we point to the bloody gouges in our self-esteem that everyone is trying HARD not to stare at because they are so, so obvious. *giggle*

 

Peace,

Janice

 

Enjoy your little people

Enjoy your journey

 

ETA: Oh - to answer your question: on a positive note - I am SO glad ds gets to do this (See link below). He spends about four hours a day at the keyboard - two at the pipe organ and two at the piano. The organ is primarily available during the day, so this would be tough to do if he were tied to a 8-3 school day. So, yes, we have plenty to be grateful for when it comes to homeschooling. I'm glad that it's an available, well-supported option. But you do have to work hard to tailor an education to a child. It's worth it. But there is a cost.

 

http://westside.org/325264.ihtml

Scroll down to find the 11/11/12 service. The lad plays the postlude which occurs around 1 hour and 8 minutes in. (You can drag along the bottom to the end of the service.)

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Woke up this morning feeling like I didn't really answer your original post, which asked for reasons TO homeschool, and feeling like I had been pretty discouraging about it. So... I am posting now to try to alter that.

 

I homeschooled three of mine, two for high school. Of the last two, one is in college now and the other is a senior in high school, taking mostly community college classes. I am stunned and awed by who they have become. It is abundently obvious that homeschooling is responsible. I am not saying they wouldn't be good people without that, but they would be far less interesting and far less well-educated. We jumped through plenty of college hoops - lots of community college classes, some standardized testing, and careful attention to covering the standard college prep subjects. When my sons were at home, we had a routine school day with time slots for various subjects. And still... my sons traveled extensively in and out of the US. They were competative gymnasts. (If you have non-academically oriented students, homeschooling can allow you to have a heavy sports (or other non-academic interest) schedule AND STILL allow you to do a good job with academics. It can also allow you to do extra in the areas that your child needs without impacting the child's main interest.) They had time to develp academic interests during high school, things they had been interested in when they were younger but somehow had gotten lost in the 11-14 years. Amazingly, these interests were their very own, things they studied entirely on their own without any particular encouragement (other than occasionally giving them school day time) on my part. Homeschooling gave them something that my husband and I didn't learn until we were much older (30's and 40's): they began applying their study skills to learn the things they wanted to learn. We had no idea this would happen. It was amazing and sometimes alarming (check out nanobeads some time) to watch. Instead of passively waiting for something to happen, they go out and make it happen. Again, there are times when this surprises and even alarms us as parents, but when we look at their friends, all products of our nice public school system, waiting... waiting... for life to begin, we think this is preferable. Mostly. Always providing they survive. One of the problems with homeschooling is that you show your children the way out of the box. That means that they know there is a way out of most boxes, including ones it would probably be wiser to stay in, if you see what I mean. On the other hand, you are all used to talking to each other, so you have a much better chance of being able to reason with them. On the other other hand, you have taught them to argue and are used to listening to them, so they are more likely to be able to talk you around to their point of view. But anyway...

 

My youngest was just telling me the other day that he was very grateful that he was homeschooled because it made him want to take charge of his own learning and study and really know things in a way that he doesn't see happening with his friends.

 

Nan

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Sometimes homeschooling high school feels like this. If you KNOW the subject, you think you're all set. Right?

 

Not always. Sometimes you need experience in teaching the subject.

 

I came across this link somewhere on these boards; can't find it now. But lots of time is spent feeling like this. I almost wet my pants watching this. I showed it to my dh last night; he too almost busted a gut. LOOK at their faces. Do they look like they are enjoying all of the "pros" listed above? I agree with Lori; I do. Those are good reasons for hsing high school. Great reasons.

 

But a lot of days are like this. A lot! Oh. My. Goodness. I just didn't know. I just didn't know. If I had understood how MANY of these days I was going to have, I wouldn't have felt like such a dunce when it kept happening over and over and over.....

*giggle*

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdxEAt91D7k

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I am stunned and awed by who they have become. It is abundantly obvious that homeschooling is responsible. I am not saying they wouldn't be good people without that, but they would be far less interesting and far less well-educated. We jumped through plenty of college hoops - lots of community college classes, some standardized testing, and careful attention to covering the standard college prep subjects. When my sons were at home, we had a routine school day with time slots for various subjects.

 

It can also allow you to do extra in the areas that your child needs without impacting the child's main interest. They had time to develp academic interests during high school, things they had been interested in when they were younger but somehow had gotten lost in the 11-14 years. Amazingly, these interests were their very own, things they studied entirely on their own without any particular encouragement (other than occasionally giving them school day time) on my part.

 

 

I've homeschooled two in high school. One is currently a senior in college, the other a junior in high school. I agree with a lot of what the others have said. Hsing high school is definitely not easy by any stretch, and you do figure out quite quickly which areas you, personally, are weak in. Fortunately, though, there are a lot of outside resources available that you can use to take part of the teaching responsibility off of yourself.

 

I've found that mine have been more motivated to work for an "outside" teacher than they are for me when they reach high school, so we've used a mix of classes at home, on-line, at a local hs coop, and at a local CC. As some of the others have said, I think I've been able to give them an excellent education sans a lot of busy work. I've also been able to put extra emphasis on subjects that are either interesting to them or subjects where they need some extra development time.

 

A great deal of the benefit of hsing high school, though, I think rests on the social side. There seems to be something developmental about kids from the ages of about 13 yo - 17 yo that makes them desperate to be like their peers, so I don't think teens do well when they spend the majority of their time with peers. They definitely crave and need some peer time, but spending lots of time with peers seems to make teens more focused on being like everyone else and having what everyone else has. They are willing to give up their own special interests and talents to fit in with the group. I know there are some kids who can go to school everyday and not seem to be sucked into the peer web, but I really think that these kids are the exception. There are also cases, depending upon the school, where the peer group would be a good influence on the student. Sadly, though, I don't think either of these cases is prevalent. My own observation shows that most kids who are thrust into a school situation tend to get caught up in the peer culture there, whatever it is.

 

IRL, I've known three families who have sent previously homeschooled teens back to school at ages ranging from 13 - 15 yo. In all three cases, these kids, who were very sweet, bright, and motivated prior to entering school have turned into kids very focused on being like everyone else and having the same jeans, boots, cell phones, etc. as everyone else has. Sadly, they have lost their individuality and spark.

 

So -- just another thing to think about when weighing the homeschool vs. away school options for high school.

 

Brenda

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I so appreciate Janice's realistic assessment of possible pros/cons to homeschooling highschool. I have always assumed I would homeschool all the way through, but the closer high school gets the more intimidated I am. The first year of high school is looming... next year. I'm still fairly confident that we will homeschool, but I'm looking at options for outsourcing like never before. I fear that I lack the will power to hold my ds accountable. I fear that I lack the will power to address my own weaknesses. One minute I want us to plot a rigorous course and accomplish great things. The next, I want us to relax and enjoy it. I'd like to say I could customize it to his interests and win back the spark of former years, but I fear I don't have it in me - to do the hard work or to inspire spark. Part of me wants to have these lovely, if rare, great conversations.... part of me just wants to have a list and check it off.

 

Sorry I have nothing to contribute, and I don't mean to hijack, but I appreciate this thread!

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OP here...

I can't believe I've even considering it!

 

A main concern is that my boys, while bright enough and capable, are not gifted academically; they are not thirsting for more and more knowledge, and have an unfortunate tendency to do as little as they can get away with. They are ordinary good students who do pretty well. I wonder how those types of kids kids do at home.

 

 

These are my kids, not gifted but good students who do well. One reason I have continued homeschooling through high school was a fear I have of my children ignored and drowning in a sea of mediocrity because they are Not gifted or learning disabled. I am/was concerned about low expectations in our ps. My oldest did fine at home; she is now dual enrolled at the cc and expects to get an AA. My youngest is a freshman and will probably complete some DE classes as well. Right now he is content to be in an atmosphere where his breaks can include lego time :glare: :laugh: .

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- potential dual enrollment (gain simultaneous high school and college credit) Yes. But the kids at our local public can do this too. For free. We have to pay full price out of pocket. A three-credit course runs just under $500 at the CC. A four-credit science course with lab runs over $850. So who has the advantage here?

 

- avoid peer pressure and all the NEGATIVES of "socialization" solely with one's "peers" Yes. Solid. But they all have to learn to navigate this eventually. So it's not something you can avoid; you just delay.

- encourages student how to be an independent learner Not always.

 

 

I SO appreciate the advice & experience of those of you who have older children.

I hope it'll help me with our son as we get closer to the high school years.

 

We've said there are advantages and disadvantages to homeschooling. There are definitely things I will do better than the schools here and there are also experiences my son will miss out on as well. I think Janice did a great job of mentioning some specifics, but I wanted to disagree with these.

 

My worst teaching experience, almost on a par with student teaching, was when I had a class full of students from a local high school taking College Algebra for dual credit during the school day. It was the only time I've ever had an entire course get W's or Fs. It was miserable for me and not that great for them. They earned those grades though. And from what I've seen of students at our cc, even if I'm paying out of pocket for my son, he'll be at the college expecting to work for his grade and not just have it handed to him. (The schools in our state have policy at almost every district that students can't score below a 50. It's so they don't get discouraged. So students miss a test and expect it won't affect their grade.)

 

I'd definitely rather pay out of pocket for a dual enrollment course but have my son enter it expecting to work rather than expecting that attendance alone is enough to pass.

 

Peer socialization is something I feel my son doesn't get enough of. But as an adult, I do get to choose who I'm around much more than I could in school before college. Even in college with a cohort, you're not trapped with the same students in the same way you were in high school, so I do think waiting for that can avoid the worst of it entirely. (I may be wrong about this; time will tell how it is for my son.)

 

And I wanted to say THANK YOU for the independent learner comment! I had to find motivation myself in high school after a move when there was a major educational drought. I learned how to be motivated myself, majorly organized, and push myself educationally. I am not sure how I'll navigate that with my son and I do worry about possibly adding to learned helplessness since I'm pushing the planning and decisions. That'll be interesting to see over the next few years. That's one of my big concerns.

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...IRL, I've known three families who have sent previously homeschooled teens back to school at ages ranging from 13 - 15 yo. In all three cases, these kids, who were very sweet, bright, and motivated prior to entering school have turned into kids very focused on being like everyone else and having the same jeans, boots, cell phones, etc. as everyone else has. Sadly, they have lost their individuality and spark.

 

So -- just another thing to think about when weighing the homeschool vs. away school options for high school.

 

Brenda

 

 

I agree with Brenda. This has been our experience as well, so much so that I wondered if it would happen when we added in community college classes. It didn't. My son has very little chance of being like many of his fellow students at the cc. They are mothers, policemen, people who were rescued out of war zones in Africa, people fleeing poverty in the Carribean, people who work full time on top of going to school, people whose previous experience with school involves teachers being knifed or shot. These are mixed in with your average uninspired, unambitious batch of young adults taking classes because it is easier than working. Apparently, a few of the former make the latter look more like what they are. Like Dana, my husband and sisters and I have all found no adult social situation that was like high school. Or rather, we have occasionally found one, but it was easy to avoid. People somehow automatically become nicer when they graduate from high school lol. We talked about this a lot when we chose to homeschool high school and concluded that because our extended family situation tends to be time consuming and all-absorbing, we would need to work hard to get our children outside social experiences. Despite our best efforts, we probably still didn't give them enough, but we do believe that those social experiences are more true models of adult life than the ones they would get in high school, so while not ideal, homeschooling worked out better than public school.

 

I have a direct comparison because our oldest went to public high school. We never intended to do high school. When the time came to send the middle one, he didn't want to go and I didn't want to send him, so we re-evaluated. We still thought we'd send the youngest. When the middle one began doing community college classes, we realized that there was no reason to send the youngest to high school. The community college isn't perfect. I'm pretty sure that AP English at the high school is much better English than composition 1 at the community college, the sciences are more homeschool-like in the number of papers and projects than the cc classes, which crank through the textbook, and my sons aren't getting the math class experience of a group of bright students working through very difficult problems or proofs together, but we were able to make up for some of that at home prior to beginning cc and we consider it a small price to pay compared to the relationship, the interesting extras, the opportunity to develop that self-motivation, and being able to avoid the negative social side of high school. I also can compare my sister's public schooled children to my own. All of hers are doing/did fine in our excellent public school and one is thriving - taking advantage of all it has to offer. Or at least as much as her parents will let her - some of her friends are taking a million APs and have become miserable because they do nothing but study now. They have the family closeness, etc. So what is missing from their experience? The things that make my two younger ones so unique - the intensive club gymnastics training rather than public school sports, the travel, the independent experiments and research and inventions, the general independence... That is why I talk about homeschooling in terms of the flexibility to provide those things and the freedom from the social pressures of public school. In my experience, those are the two things that are different. (And capitalizing because this applies to the original poster and I'm hoping she won't miss it: BUGS USED THE PHRASE "DROWNING IN THE SEA OF MEDIOCRITY". OUR OLDEST WAS MORE AVERAGE ACADEMIC SKILLS-WISE AND OUR EXCELLENT PUBLIC SCHOOL CATERS TO THE HIGHLY GIFTED. HE FELL BETWEEN THE CRACKS. (I was able to strengthen the younger two's academic skills by specifically teaching those skills TWTM-style.) Another of my siblings has children in private school. It will be very interesting to compare the three approaches in the end.

 

I did not set out to homeschool. I find it extremely scary. I felt (and still feel) exactly like Another Lynn. She put the feeling of being pulled every which way by conflicting goals extremely well. Homeschooling isn't a cure-all. In my experience, we are always the exception to the standard outcome, so I never bought into the homeschooling myths. The amazing part is that they came true for us!

 

Nan

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We've homeschooled the whole way through. I have loved it. The boys are doing well.

 

BUT, I have always said I would NOT continue past eighth grade. We have a decent public high school. My husband teaches math there. I really admire many of the teachers and like the philosophy of the school in general. We know many families whose kids are thriving there.

 

But...

 

After doing my own thing for so long and reaping the benefits of that, I find myself cringing at the idea of watching my son jumping through all the hoops. Their schedule is pretty much planned out for four years. Do this, then that, at this time, for this long, etc. There is very little space in the school's graduation requirements for kids to pursue their own interests.

 

So, if you are very glad to be homeschooling for high school, could you tell me why? What's the best part of it? What are you SO glad your child gets to do?

 

 

 

I am responding to this on the other side of the fence, so to speak. I have a 9th grader and a 10th grader who both started public school after 9 years of homeschooling. We aren't sure what younger son will do next year and have been assessing the pros and cons of a variety of choices.

 

My 10th grader decided to enroll at the public school so that he could take AP Physics and AP Computer science. Also, by taking these classes at the public school this year, it will be easier for the school district to pay for University classes next year. Note: when my son was 13, I had a hard time imagining him being successful in college level classes (ever) for a variety of reasons. I wondered how he would manage any kind of structured math or LA class for high school. Now he is doing wonderfully and I anticipate him transitioning to the U. classes next year smoothly. They change a lot from 13 to 16. :)

 

My 9th grader decided to enroll at the public school as well in order to benefit from science lab classes. He also wanted to have live math, Spanish and computer programming classes. We looked into the community college for both kids but decided on the public school. Our high school offers a large selection of AP classes, engineering classes and computer programming classes, all interests my boys have. The school is high achieving, best in state, etc etc. My kids have not had any social issue problems but they pretty much stick to themselves. They are not concerned about fashion or gadgets and we have talked about these issues, so I do not think that it is something they are struggling with but I don't know. I think I worry more about them fitting in than they do. They have been surprised by the amount of swearing in the hall ways and the number of sexual references and jokes but this has not rubbed off on them.

 

Some pluses so far, particularly compared to homeschooling:

 

They are learning materials beyond my scope, especially in Computer Programming. Both kids have been interested in computer programming for a while. We have completed a few online courses, including Coursera (excellent!), but we were progressing quite slowly. The programming they have learned in 3 1/2 months at the public school has exceeded my expectations. In class, when DS is stuck on a problem, his teacher helps him work through it. When we did programming at home, when we got stuck, we spent a lot of time searching for solutions and sometimes we simply could not resolve the problem. Also, for each unit the kids have opportunities to work with class mates. It is not a graded group project, but a time to share ideas and collectively learn the material. My kids have enjoyed this setting with other similarly geeky kids.

 

Outside accountability has increased their level of performance. OK, I am honestly having a hard time elaborating on this without making us sound like slackers. =) At home, we were pretty relaxed. We pursued information because it was interesting and stimulating. I did not have a specific standard for a level of performance in some subjects as I felt we were continuously learning and as such, it wasn't always needed. So, we cruised along at a comfortable place, but didn't necessarily strive to reach beyond a certain comfort level. In their classes, meeting and exceeding the teacher expectations plays a huge role in their academic output. They both really want to get As. For kids who were hardly ever graded, I am surprised what a huge motivator this is for them.

 

Access to additional opportunities. The high school has helped with test prep and job shadowing. DS hopes he will be able to get a summer internship with help from his instructor.

 

The drawbacks:

 

My kids spend all day in school and every evening they are swamped with homework. We have had to cut back on outside activities severely.

 

A lot of their homework is repetitive busy work.

 

My kids work slowly and meticulously. They want to do their very best on every assignment, but they are learning that there simply is not enough time in the day to do that. They find it ironic that the class rooms have posters encouraging students to *do their best* but the type of homework they get does not actually encourage that. Instead it encourages them to hurry up and get this done as fast as possible so they can actually get some sleep. If they learned to minimize the amount of time spent on homework, they would have more time for outside interests, which really just frustrates me.

 

When they are done with their homework, they are much more likely to want to zone out.

 

Loss of flexibility for changing classes. Younger DS is locked into a class that isn't the best fit for him (boring him to tears) but he cannot switch to more challenging subject. If we were homeschooling, it would be easier to change track, but in the public school it just doesn't work that way.

 

Now that they are in ps full time, it is harder to work ahead on subjects. You are stuck in whatever pace the school offers. In one class, if DS asks a question beyond the scope of material covered, the teacher brushes him off (doesn't even offer to explain it after class or what have you).

 

Teacher personalities affect their learning experience.

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Sometimes homeschooling high school feels like this. If you KNOW the subject, you think you're all set. Right?

 

Not always. Sometimes you need experience in teaching the subject.

 

I came across this link somewhere on these boards; can't find it now. But lots of time is spent feeling like this. I almost wet my pants watching this. I showed it to my dh last night; he too almost busted a gut. LOOK at their faces. Do they look like they are enjoying all of the "pros" listed above? I agree with Lori; I do. Those are good reasons for hsing high school. Great reasons.

 

But a lot of days are like this. A lot! Oh. My. Goodness. I just didn't know. I just didn't know. If I had understood how MANY of these days I was going to have, I wouldn't have felt like such a dunce when it kept happening over and over and over.....

*giggle*

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdxEAt91D7k

 

Words don't do that video justice....my husband and I just watched it and he thought I was going to pass out I was laughing so hard. I have not laughed that hard in a loooooong time!

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Didn't want to expend board space by quoting Trilliums' entire post, but want to say that hearing different perspectives is one of the things about these boards that was most helpful to me over the years. I've enjoyed following this thread.

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Tailoring the education to match the child:

 

OK. Chiming in here. Yes. This. This part is a HUGE reason to homeschool. The biggie one for me. The ability to turn on a dime to tailor the education to match the child is priceless. A huge advantage when you are building skills. For example, my youngest has never loved reading. And he reads slowly. But he is an insightful reader, so he does catch a lot. Sometimes we work on speed: I choose high interest titles that he can buzz through to encourage him to practice gliding through content. To balance that I choose deeper titles that are more satisfying when read slowly. Balance. Building skills without just focusing on his shortfalls. (Let's face it: sometimes you just need to be able to read quickly.) Another example: algebra II. His sloppy work was really starting to impede his productivity. For the last month, we have been moving more slowly through the content, but I have been focusing on neatness. Diligently. And he's improved. Drastically. A very, very important thing handled!

 

Hsing allows you to build skills at the child's pace. Priceless.

 

However, there is a downside. Content. It is just more efficient to dump in content if you're an expert in the subject. Really. It's a LOT less work if you're wildly proficient with the content. And let's face it, there is still a ton of content to cover at the high school level. A TON. This is where the heavy lifting takes place.

 

So that's the big trade off. If you are diligent and reasonably wise, you can use the advantages of hsing to build solid, solid skills in your kids. (Wise: the ability to see when your precious little person is below-average at something. We all think our kids are great. Sometimes it's an eye-opener to discover that our great kid isn't so great. Let's be reasonable. At least 50% of all kids are below the 50th percentile. I think that's an arena where a lot of homeschoolers miss the mark. There is a big, wide world out there. Most of our kids are eventually going to have to compete in that world - a world where Christian forbearance doesn't play a prominent role. Learning to see our kids' skill sets clearly is a tough one. Probably the biggest hurdle.)

 

But even if you are wise and use your time to effectively develop your child's skill set, that content issue is still at your heels. Driving you. Pushing. Generating self-doubt. Anxiety. You silence it. You make progress. But it's just not efficient to teach every single subject every single year for the first time. Sure kids are resilient. They learn. But a master teacher is a master teacher. It's just a fact. You can do well if you work hard. You can. But once you see a master teacher at work, you never forget it. It does knock you for a loop. Tough to recover from.

 

You recover. You do. But you don't forget it. And it can temper your zeal. Just being honest. Diligence and hard work isn't a cure all. It's a tool. A good tool. But it's not everything.

 

Lori generated the following list. I agree with her; these are good reasons to hs high school. I have a TON of respect for her, so it's easy to agree. But many of these could be flipped on their head depending on the day.

 

- enjoy relationship and time with your student Relationship? Yes. And no. Depending on the day. Time? Honestly sometimes I truly think less time spent together would be better for us both.

- time and ability to do big projects It depends. Most of our big projects have been done during summer break. There was no time during the year to do big projects. (We used outside classes, so we ended up tied to the school calendar.) If my kids had been in school, we still could have done the projects during summer break. So it was a wash.

- flexibility of scheduling This isn't what I thought it would be in high school. I felt more restricted with this than I thought I would from all of the discussion/hype leading up to it. I think this is something that deserves more discussion from homeschoolers. Reality missed the mark; I was expecting something different. Having said that - youngest son is pursuing music with a passion so his schedule is goofy! But we still have to do the work, so today we are doing a ton of "school" (It's a Saturday.) So yes, we are flexible with the schedule. But it stinks. We are in session on a Saturday. Flexible? Yes! But that's not necessarily a "Yippie" positive. :-)

- ability to follow/develop a passion Yes. This. True. But this isn't an either/or proposition. My youngest has a passion that doesn't fit into any of the traditional subject areas: math, science, english, history, or foreign language. So it's in ADDITION to all of that junk. Period. It's extra. So yes, he can follow his passion, but it doesn't replace all of those high school subjects. We still do those.

- tailor academics to specific student needs Yes. True. But you still have to plow through a ton of content. It takes longer to tailor a suit than it does to just wear it off the hanger. So tailoring is extra. Is that a plus? Yes. But it requires resources.

- incredible discussions Yes. And no. Depends on the day. Honestly? You get a handful of amazing discussions that hold you over through the heap of "Ahhhhh....... I don't know. Ummmmmmmm......." I remember (clutch after) the good times, but the bulk of the time was/is spent wondering, "Why do I bother?"

- freedom to move at own pace Sometimes this isn't the blessing I thought it would be.

- ability to be involved in extracurriculars and/or volunteering Kids in the system do a bunch of volunteering. It's required by most districts. (My kids were shocked to find that there were kids in choir who didn't want to be there. Shocked.) Extracurriculars? I suspect it's easier for kids in the system to get involved in things without their parents. I have had to nudge my kids toward experiences. My parents never nudged me toward anything. I think my kids would have had a wider range of choices if they had been in the system. There's a lot going on at our public school. A ton!

- potentially better academics Or not. Honestly? We use nearly all secular materials. Live and learn.

- ability to sample a wide variety of class types (on-line/distance learning, DVD lectures/video tutorials, co-op, individual local class, etc Yes. This is a huge advantage. But you have to work for it. It doesn't land in your lap like a flyer from the guidance department.

- potential dual enrollment (gain simultaneous high school and college credit) Yes. But the kids at our local public can do this too. For free. We have to pay full price out of pocket. A three-credit course runs just under $500 at the CC. A four-credit science course with lab runs over $850. So who has the advantage here?

- no time-wasting assignments -- everything counts A solid advantage. Solid! Except when they are confronted with time-wasting assignments from outside classes. Oh. My. Goodness. The WHINING!!!!!!!

- avoid peer pressure and all the NEGATIVES of "socialization" solely with one's "peers" Yes. Solid. But they all have to learn to navigate this eventually. So it's not something you can avoid; you just delay.

- encourages student how to be an independent learner Not always. Sometimes they just learn how to cheat. Sometimes they just get hopelessly bored and/or frustrated. Or sometimes they just get lazy. That whole "independent learner" idea needs a major revamp in the homeschool world as far as I'm concerned. That was the second biggest myth that left me feeling flat and ripped off. (The biggest myth was that homeschooling inspires a "love of learning". Nope. People do that, not systems.) No one here became an independent learner because of homeschooling. IMO they all became independent in spite of homeschooling. Just being honest. I think that expectation is toxic! You get that because you work for it, not because you homeschool. There are plenty of independent kids in the public school. Plenty.

- no wasting time of "teaching to the test" (so much of classroom time is based on prep for state educational quality tests) Not for state tests anyway. But we did spend a ton of time prepping for the SAT/ACT rounds. The stakes are high for homeschoolers. Way high. It is what it is. So this is a myth too: homeschoolers have to teach to certain tests. First, colleges want to see those scores. Then they want to see a bright and engaging student. In my experience, you don't get an interview without the scores. So we end up wasting oodles of time teaching to the test too.

 

So - Lori is right. Those are all good reasons to homeschool high school. Great reasons. But approach them with reasonable expectations. Homeschoolers don't derive benefits in those areas. People do. Homeschooling is a tool that you can use to have a great relationship/life with your teens. And it's a great tool to use to provide a great education - for college and for life! But it's a tool.

 

Some folks wield it with great precision.

Others forget they have it at their disposal. (Or maybe they think that it works without being used.) I don't know.

Most of us waver between precision and hacking. ..... and then sighing heavily at the gash marks .... and then coming on the boards here and saying, "You can't really notice this, can you?" as we point to the bloody gouges in our self-esteem that everyone is trying HARD not to stare at because they are so, so obvious. *giggle*

 

Peace,

Janice

 

Enjoy your little people

Enjoy your journey

 

ETA: Oh - to answer your question: on a positive note - I am SO glad ds gets to do this (See link below). He spends about four hours a day at the keyboard - two at the pipe organ and two at the piano. The organ is primarily available during the day, so this would be tough to do if he were tied to a 8-3 school day. So, yes, we have plenty to be grateful for when it comes to homeschooling. I'm glad that it's an available, well-supported option. But you do have to work hard to tailor an education to a child. It's worth it. But there is a cost.

 

http://westside.org/325264.ihtml

Scroll down to find the 11/11/12 service. The lad plays the postlude which occurs around 1 hour and 8 minutes in. (You can drag along the bottom to the end of the service.)

 

I really needed to read everything above this morning. Sometimes I need to be reminded that what I'm engaged in really is challenging and hard. It's not just a matter of my failing at what everyone else is succeeding wildly at.

 

It is worth remembering that homeschooling high school is in fact hard work. At least it is for me. Not so much the content as the time management and leading my kids to develop good habits part. That is hours of repetition.

 

The reality of high school is that it is so much more rewarding and so much more demanding than I imagined when my kid was whizzing through Saxon 3 and I had his progression through calculus in 10th grade all mapped out. Then I was so quick to say that I'd "just get together with other parents in a coop." I had no idea how much work a coop was or how everyone involved would have some area of compromise.

 

Off to do more Latin quizzing.

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I really needed to read everything above this morning. Sometimes I need to be reminded that what I'm engaged in really is challenging and hard. It's not just a matter of my failing at what everyone else is succeeding wildly at.

 

It is worth remembering that homeschooling high school is in fact hard work. At least it is for me. Not so much the content as the time management and leading my kids to develop good habits part. That is hours of repetition.

 

The reality of high school is that it is so much more rewarding and so much more demanding than I imagined when my kid was whizzing through Saxon 3 and I had his progression through calculus in 10th grade all mapped out. Then I was so quick to say that I'd "just get together with other parents in a coop." I had no idea how much work a coop was or how everyone involved would have some area of compromise.

 

Off to do more Latin quizzing.

 

I had to run and do more Latin quizzing. It's semester final day and 1 of 2 kids are done. Yeah.

 

No only do coops present a lot of demands on time and curriculum (and money potentially - our area has a lot of support center groups that are something like a la carte cottage schools. But they can cost a couple hundred dollars per class, not to mention the cost in time and money of traveling to them.)

 

What I hadn't anticipated until last year is how much having an outside class with a set schedule and an outside instructor drives that to the top of the priority list. Even when that class is just an enrichment elective like art. I cannot describe how much ire there was in our house last year when a whole morning would be devoted to catching up with two weeks of neglected art assignments. Nor how frustrating it is that this year Latin has pushed physics, math, German and history to the sidelines. Sometimes for good reason. Sometimes because one of my sons has not used his time well and now must put all his remaining time into Latin or drop a grade.

 

So the answers to how to do high school are much more nuanced than I envisioned years ago. I am so thankful for the willingness of experienced homeschoolers (as well as those who've put their kids into ps) to come and discuss the realities of how high school played out for them.

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Adding to something Janice said about good teachers. Yes, I agree: they are amazing. This is one of the reasons my older high schoolers go to community college. I cannot do justice to chemistry. Unlike Janice, however, the places where we saw the least benefit to teaching oneself were the skills rather than content. Content is usually efficiently covered (if not in the most inspiring way) by a good textbook. Skills like writing and foreign languages are different. It was most mysterious - a good foreign language teacher can move my family through the material much faster than I can, despite it appearing that we do the same things. When you are covering the basics of a foreign language, speed is nice. You want to get to the functional point fast because learning speeds up when you get to the point where you can practise in real situations rather than contrived ones - read real books rather than textbooks and have real conversations rather than scripted ones. Ditto for a good writing instructor. In many cases, there is value in going more slowly and exploring or tailoring the information to one's interests, but I'm not sure the basics of writing and foreign languages (and I suspect math) are among them. Grin - one of the tricks to homeschooling high school is knowing when to give up and farm out something.

 

Nan

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First: thanks, Janice for the link to the "Math Class" funny -- hilarious! The whole family loved it. :smilielol5:

 

Second: yep, you're right, Janice. I did not give a balanced view -- just a list of potential positives. So thank you for providing some alternative perspective. :001_smile: I also really appreciate Dana's perspective on Janice's perspective ;)

 

Third: I also really appreciate Trillium's and Nan's yet-another-alternative-perspective on the pros and cons of public school. Which leads me to...

 

Fourth: I think so much of this comes down to what are each family's specific options are, and what the pros and cons to each are. For me, to unravel that Gordian Knot (look at me! I just made a classical reference! :laugh:) that takes the form of thinking through the answers to a LOT of questions.

 

And then once making the decision, to rest in it. That doesn't mean I don't keep an eye out for new and better options and alternatives as we go -- I just mean that I (try to) stop second-guessing my decision, relax into the decision and run with doing my best, knowing there are going to be good days and bad days and "meh" days. As there will be with WHATEVER you decide about schooling.

 

 

Finally, I think all the very different responses in this thread just emphasizes that every single homeschooling journey is going to be unique, due to a combination of factors. Things like:

 

- each student's attitude and motivation (or lack of)

- each student's unique abilities/interests and ultimate goals (or lack of goals)

- family goals (for example, for some homeschooling is about a lifestyle choice, or about character development first, and academics second)

- resources available locally

- community trend (for example, in other threads, Creekland has shared how the overwhelming majority of high school grads in her area don't go on to college, but head for blue collar jobs -- and homeschoolers may follow the trend they see around them)

 

 

BEST of luck whatever you decide, original poster! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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We're only 16 weeks into high school and I'm glad we've chose this path. Ds has no desire to attend public school and I'm up for the challenge. So much great advice in this thread, I need to go back and read again.

 

Today, I'm fighting the urge to make ds do his extra credit history assignment because his test scores were terrible. I'd rather sit down with him and watch Napoleon Dynamite, which neither of us has seen all the way through. We're both having a bad day, Tuesdays seem to be our bad days. Instead he will be writing an essay on Alexander the Great after lunch. Yippee (dripping with sarcasm) this might take all day and then some. However, I wouldn't trade this experience, we do have great days that make this worth it.

 

My standard reply about homeschooling high school has been "Yes, he's just getting interesting, of course we'll homeschool high school." People do ask. Even those who agreed with homeschooling elementary and middle school seem to see high school as something completely different. My reply on some days might be a laugh and ask if they've ever woken a non-morning 15 year old boy at the crack of dawn. It's not pretty. But sleeping in is a perk, being around this interesting individual is a perk. It's his education, it's important, it's important I don't mess it up. Even with more onus on him, I still feel this huge responsibility. If it wasn't working I'd evaluate our situation, but it's working for some reason. We have a long way yet to travel and I appreciate the many on this thread who have cleared the path ahead of us. I don't feel so alone it in because of that.

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This reason probably doesn't apply to most people reading this thread, but just in case someone comes along for whom it will be useful....

 

We never knew if we were going to be moving back to the US or to another part of Switzerland....The European and many international schools' systems are quite different than the American system and so ds could have easily lost a year of work just because credits would not have been able to be transferred or really applied to a homeschool high school diploma (they do the mixed math and mixed science)....Plus he didn't have the level of German (as 3rd language) needed to get into the public high school and the International schools cost a fortune ($27k easily) if your company doesn't pay....After the first year at home, well the second year had the same analysis - possibility of losing a year. After the next year he graduated and it seemed to be over before we knew it (though I got some grey hairs in the process)....

 

Analysis - it can be useful for people who move around. :-)

Joan

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What I hadn't anticipated until last year is how much having an outside class with a set schedule and an outside instructor drives that to the top of the priority list. Even when that class is just an enrichment elective like art. I cannot describe how much ire there was in our house last year when a whole morning would be devoted to catching up with two weeks of neglected art assignments. Nor how frustrating it is that this year Latin has pushed physics, math, German and history to the sidelines. Sometimes for good reason. Sometimes because one of my sons has not used his time well and now must put all his remaining time into Latin or drop a grade.

 

 

Snipped quote and my bold.

 

So true!

 

Last year for grade 9, DS took Chemistry and Engineering at the school. Not only did they disjoint the daily work flow at home, they also soaked up an inordinate amount of his time. The home schooling portion ended up being put on hold, generally until the weekend, many times. Sat and Sunday, were spent on at home subjects in order to stay caught up. DS took part in several extra curricular activities as well (sports, robotics, book club, volunteering). Oddly enough, part of the reason he decided to go full time to ps was to simplify his schedule. Last year it was as though he was being pulled in 10 different directions all at once. Now he just has ONE big pull. :)

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Snipped quote and my bold.

 

So true!

 

Last year for grade 9, DS took Chemistry and Engineering at the school. Not only did they disjoint the daily work flow at home, they also soaked up an inordinate amount of his time. The home schooling portion ended up being put on hold, generally until the weekend, many times. Sat and Sunday, were spent on at home subjects in order to stay caught up. DS took part in several extra curricular activities as well (sports, robotics, book club, volunteering). Oddly enough, part of the reason he decided to go full time to ps was to simplify his schedule. Last year it was as though he was being pulled in 10 different directions all at once. Now he just has ONE big pull. :)

 

 

Yep, I had a conversation with one kid last night on the way home from swimming. I explained that I consider his coop art class a cool enrichment (he's passionate about art), but not a core subject. And that since we are behind my proposed schedule for several other subjects, his art work is to be done after his work in other topics. If he can fit drawing into his afternoons or evenings, great. But foreign languages, math and science will no be languishing while he crams to complete an art assignment the day before or day of coop.

 

On the other hand, I am using his literature coop class to fill a core need. That class does have to get done.

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What I hadn't anticipated until last year is how much having an outside class with a set schedule and an outside instructor drives that to the top of the priority list.

 

 

Yes, we found this to be true, as well, when doing dual enrollment in the senior year. Between making the outside class the priority, and all the sheer busy-ness that goes with the senior year, we also had to push aside -- or rather, outright drop -- the History I had planned for that year. Fortunately, we had more than enough History to cover the required 2 Social Studies credits -- and the extra counted towards electives. So we didn't *need* the History -- it just would have been "nice" to get that last bit in.**

 

 

But then, the advantages of the dual enrollment: it was an invaluable stepping stone experience for the realities of college, it counted for both college AND high school credit, and 2 semesters = 2 years worth of foreign language which freed up the junior year for more intense work at home...

 

Again, we're back to weighing the cost, balancing the pros and cons of each academic choice. For us in this case, doing an outside class for one year of high school was well worth it.

 

 

** = BTW: I think that's another whole question that the parent has to wrestle with in homeschooling high school -- it's your last window of opportunity, but you have limited time, so you're not going to be able to do everything YOU wanted and planned for on paper. Life happens and can turn your plans upside down. Your student gets ideas of what he/she wants to do with his/her life which doesn't fit in at all with *your* plans. What is the priority for this student? For your family? Another series of choices, trying to maximize the best, the benefits, and reach as many goals as possible -- and accept the downsides of the choices, let go of the goals that are not the priorities, let your student grow into who they are designed to be...

 

 

Cheers! Lori D.

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** = BTW: I think that's another whole question that the parent has to wrestle with in homeschooling high school -- it's your last window of opportunity, but you have limited time, so you're not going to be able to do everything YOU wanted and planned for on paper. Life happens and can turn your plans upside down. Your student gets ideas of what he/she wants to do with his/her life which doesn't fit in at all with *your* plans. What is the priority for this student? For your family? Another series of choices, trying to maximize the best, the benefits, and reach as many goals as possible -- and accept the downsides of the choices, let go of the goals that are not the priorities, let your student grow into who they are designed to be...

 

This is/was also a hard part for me to navigate....you can get all these great ideas from the board and books and websites....then how does that mesh with the real person you have before you? How to personalize the path?

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Yes, we found this to be true, as well, when doing dual enrollment in the senior year. Between making the outside class the priority, and all the sheer busy-ness that goes with the senior year, we also had to push aside -- or rather, outright drop -- the History I had planned for that year. Fortunately, we had more than enough History to cover the required 2 Social Studies credits -- and the extra counted towards electives. So we didn't *need* the History -- it just would have been "nice" to get that last bit in.**

 

 

But then, the advantages of the dual enrollment: it was an invaluable stepping stone experience for the realities of college, it counted for both college AND high school credit, and 2 semesters = 2 years worth of foreign language which freed up the junior year for more intense work at home...

 

Again, we're back to weighing the cost, balancing the pros and cons of each academic choice. For us in this case, doing an outside class for one year of high school was well worth it.

 

 

** = BTW: I think that's another whole question that the parent has to wrestle with in homeschooling high school -- it's your last window of opportunity, but you have limited time, so you're not going to be able to do everything YOU wanted and planned for on paper. Life happens and can turn your plans upside down. Your student gets ideas of what he/she wants to do with his/her life which doesn't fit in at all with *your* plans. What is the priority for this student? For your family? Another series of choices, trying to maximize the best, the benefits, and reach as many goals as possible -- and accept the downsides of the choices, let go of the goals that are not the priorities, let your student grow into who they are designed to be...

 

 

Cheers! Lori D.

 

 

Nodding vigorously. This was our experience as well, both parts - the cc part and maximizing part. We opted to spend the first two years focusing on the special things we could do as homeschoolers and the second two years making the transition to traditional academics (via cc classes). During the second two years, some special things from the first two years were continued, but others definately had to be dropped or approached in a more conventional way.

 

Nan

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We sent my daughter to a private high school this year after 8 years at home and I've been questioning that decision nearly daily.

I've found that she was better prepared than I feared and that she is more capable than she knew.

The challenges have been utterly draining and completely unexpected.

One of those has been social. Freshman aged kids aren't all just a little wacky. Some of them are seriously maladjusted and provide serious impediment to the merely wacky ones' learning.

The other is that we discovered a vision problem that we had been able to accommodate all these years, but became an issue in need of intervention when faced with the schedule and grades.

 

We will be weighing whether to base the remaining high school years from home or continue this canned program over the coming months and I appreciate this thread very much.

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Well, ladies, I have to say that y'all are just about the nicest group of people I've come across on the internet! Such helpful, well-thought-out replies! This thread has given me a lot (more) to think about.

 

I asked my husband what he sees as the main drawback to the school where he works (and where the boys would attend). He said "the social scene." That didn't surprise me. We live in a large urban area and it's a large urban high school.

 

There are many gifted teachers at the school. I know them personally, admire them, and know they work hard and are good at what they do. They are the main reason I want my boys to attend go there.

 

Part of me is just tired of homeschooling. But, part of me doesn't want to quit now, just when the boys have become so interesting.

 

They would like to keep 'homeschooling.' We do attend a public 'parent partnership' school part-time. (I know many of you don't consider me a homeschooler -- that's okay. Just being clear about what we're up to!) We can take the classes we want and do the rest at home. They have good friends there, and the social scene is decent enough.

 

I want to thank you again for your thoughtful replies. I really appreciate those of you who took the time to help me out. I'll be checking out some of the linked threads later on tonight.

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Well, ladies, I have to say that y'all are just about the nicest group of people I've come across on the internet! Such helpful, well-thought-out replies!

 

Nodding vigorously!

 

Yes, this is another advantage of homeschooling high school. You interact here on the high school board with people who really make you think about what you are doing and why - who challenge you in so many ways.

 

So there is the 'personal growth' for Mom aspect of homeschooling high school which doesn't seem to happen in the same way when kids are sent to school....The responsibility is SO great that we have to doubt ourselves at various times which makes us dig deeper! You can't imagine the character qualities that are developed by persevering. :-) This is really a unique group of people.

 

Joan

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