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NoPlaceLikeHome

Will I ruin my kid's life by homeschooling for high school and other questions?

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:seeya:I have always read much more than I post, and I remember you from when you went by your name. I wish you the best as you figure your course of action. My oldest is in 7th, and high school is looming very large on the horizon. I think most people feel like homeschooling gets a lot more serious in high school.

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The OP has 5000+ posts. It isn't likely that she's a troll. Is it possible for a parent to regret having home schooled a child through high school? Is it possible for someone to regret having been home schooled through high school? Yes, it is. I have seen a few stories like that, even here. In fact, didn't SWB mention at some point that she thought perhaps one of her children would have benefited from a brick & mortar school?  Why would it be beyond imagining that maybe home schooling high school does not always work out for the best for a given child?  "Ruin" may be hyperbole, but when one is agonizing over the question of whether home schooling or b&m schooling is better, that may be the best word to describe their fears.

 

I can assure you that I am not a troll. Some folks here know me in real life. But I, too, have been struggling mightily with exactly this question as I look toward 10th-12th grades for my oldest. I can completely understand the op's current angst.

 

We have what everyone locally considers to be a "top high school." It is even known by name in Asia. Realtors actively advertise in Asia, and people buy/rent in this district just to be able to attend that school.  The school is a pressure cooker, and it has the grades and science & other awards to show for it.

 

I love home schooling. I love the way my three children are so close because of the time they spend together, the books we've read together, and the places and things we've been able to share. I love the fact that they don't have to move lockstep through some arbitrarily set curriculum or sequence of classes. But my oldest are in 9th now and high school feels so much more high stakes. I'm overwhelmed with anxiety about whether I should be using that b&m high school.

 

I know logically that part of the success of the students at the b&m is not the teachers or the texts that they're using. (The teachers I talked to at an open house were not particularly impressive, and the texts are only typical public high school texts.) Most of the students' success is due to the hard core academic focus/culture of the families at that school. They use tutoring centers, test prep centers, the local CC's to take summer classes before taking the honors/AP classes at the high school during the school year.  They learn the mandated textbook material very well.

 

I also know intellectually that I don't think what the local b&m offers is what truly makes an "educated" person. I can see the value of a Great Books sequence of study. I've read about amazing people who had a Great Books type of education. (Most recently C.S.Lewis.) I know I can find good Great Books courses online taught by people who are passionate about them and who are more knowledgeable than I am.  But I just cannot fight off the question of whether my kids would be better off at the local b&m, following a known, proven(?) path?  Am I "depriving" them of a better education by home schooling?

 

Anyhow, I completely get the OP's use of the word "ruin" because I, too, feel like that when wondering if I'm making the best choices for my children.  And sometimes it helps to be able to hear those success stories again.

Totally agree. The other factor complicating my decision is that the school he attends is just like you describe and repeatedly gets into top ten lists for high schools nationally. OTOH I also know that with the great instruction he is getting, that he could learn a lot more were he at home. But then I worry that I will "ruin" it for him.

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 I also now that with the great instruction he is getting, that he could learn a lot more were he at home. But then I worry that I will "ruin" it for him.

 

My worry is that I'm not sure mine would learn more at home than they would at the local school.

 

If we try to do the same classes at home as my children would take at the school, they'd probably learn more at school or, worst case, break even.  The school has some decent, veteran teachers who've been teaching their subjects a while. I tend to think one gets better and better at teaching a subject the more experience one has with it. (Until one burns out and teaching quality/effectiveness starts to move down the other side of the curve.)  Our b&m teachers would be better at teaching the standard material than I would.

 

My big internal conflict is more around the thought that maybe there's better material to study at this stage? Maybe a chronological, integrated hist/lit study would have more lasting benefit at the high school stage, and then there'd be a foundation/context for specific studies in college? 

 

And so I churn.

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No you won't ruin your kids chances. I'm graduating my first homeschooler this year. She's been homeschooled since 11th grade. She just got a ton of college acceptances and scholarships. If you're worried about social stuff, try to look for a coop in your area. You can connect with other homeschoolers.

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I've skimmed all of the posts - just wondering - does your son have a preference whether he goes to school or stays home?

 

That was the deciding factor for us.  Our dd shadowed and toured several high schools, but ultimately decided to stay home after weighing her options.  I think his success will also depend a bit on which way he is leaning.  ?

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

I had little panic attacks as high school got closer for us, but as usual, my imagination was worse than reality.  

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I do not have a stellar student. He didn't take an AP class or win any national awards. We've had a chaotic last 2 1/2 years with sanity breaking stress levels. Numerous times, I've thought I'm ruining him, on other days I think I've given him the best gift I could - time and freedom to learn things he is interested in. My dad is in the hospital again and today ds took his new Japanese manga, his Japanese dictionary, his Japanese textbook, and studied grammar and vocabulary while we sat with my dad. Because I've incorporated something he loves into our high school, he's focused on learning. 

 

I like the ebb and flow of learning he's found lately. It resembles my college schedule more than a high school one with classes metered out at 50 minutes each day. He'll start college in the fall. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was nervous. But I haven't ruined him, and if high school could be screwed up by circumstances or a semi-motivated student, then we'd be the case study. We haven't stopped, we've moved ahead and adjusted our sails as needed. 

 

There are things I regret we couldn't do because of budget and location, but his time has been filled in ways he could have never done in a B&M school. 

 

Additionally, he's happy, he's confident in being his quirky self, and he has goals that will motivate him in college. I probably would have never considered homeschooling high school without the wisdom of this board. Poke around on some of the pinned threads, read the college acceptances, and ask questions. 

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No you won't ruin your kids chances. I'm graduating my first homeschooler this year. She's been homeschooled since 11th grade. She just got a ton of college acceptances and scholarships. If you're worried about social stuff, try to look for a coop in your area. You can connect with other homeschoolers.

 

 

I noticed your dd's acceptances on the college acceptance list. Congratulations to both of you. Can you say anything about your approach to the high school years and applying to college that might help those of us just headed into that phase?

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I asked my oldest who is in college now this kind of question.  I know I messed up in stuff, but did I "ruin" you in high school years?

Her answer was "thank you for not sending me to group high school."   All through high school years, she was very active in youth group at church.  On the student leadership group in that group.  And there were a mix of public and private school students.  She was glad she was not experiencing what they did from the stories they told.

She is very social and was able to be in homeschool honor society, church group, archery as sport, do community service.   our loca group even does a prom!  and fancy graduation.

 

Even in her college classes, she's glad she was homeschooled.She doesn't feel like a freak on it. 

 

We were able to provide a good path (used mfw as written and added in electives of our choice. had to add in a couple of brit lit novels in 12th grade to make cover school happy). She did very well on ACT.  got scholarships.  is double majoring in electrical engineering and computer science at her first choice university.  lives on campus.  is an officer elect in professional group.  has social time, and even some community service b/c the college values doing stuff in the community.   She's doing very well in classes (having to carry 18 credits each semesters in double major)

 

middle gal: has some mild learning challenges.  I don't think she's be the kind, gentle person she is if we weren't homeschooling.   I'd have to find a small private group school if we didn't homeschool.  She's able to volunteer in week at church for cleaning.  We can do school work at our pace, even if it takes longer than older sister did.  She can be outside and dig in the yard, and attend to the cats, and just be who she is.

 

yes, homeschooling in high school takes work and all of that from parents side.

 

*picking the academics.  If you have super goals, find the people doing super goals on the high school forum.   I don't consider myself among those. but we did get super results.

 

(what did I do: I went with mfw, and it really served us well for oldest.   Even now in English Comp, and last semester in a discussion based humanities class, she was asking for some of the stuff she used in high school as part of a paper she was writing. (I need a source for this... and I remember that book and this article....).  

 

*There are online options for those who need some AP classes.  (we didn't go that route and still got into college of choice,

 

*get your four year plan.  lots of ways to do that.  no need to detail right now.

*help them to read and stay on syllabus.

*turn projects in on time.

*then you add in social for what they need

*job or volunteer time

 

With my oldest, I have some peole snark off at me at times saying that if she would have not homeschooled she would _________.  (fill it in your self with ideas and concepts of "done better" gone to a "better college" (ha! we like the results we got!), or not be on the high functioning side of aspergers, or have adhd).    I think the stuff that isn't blog worthy in her would have happened no matter where she went to high school.  Even with the adhd and how we let her be herself in that, she able to learn how to learn.   When she got to college, she was able to go to the disabiltiies office and get accommodations she needed.

 

she's a freshman in college now.  :) and homeschooled the whole way.

 

 

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I see several have had the good fortune of having homeschool groups for older kids. Where I am there appears to be a good amount of co-ops for younger kids and not for older kids:( Now on the plus side I think I could cobble together quite a few activities in our metro area but it still seems somewhat daunting to me. 

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I see several have had the good fortune of having homeschool groups for older kids. Where I am there appears to be a good amount of co-ops for younger kids and not for older kids:( Now on the plus side I think I could cobble together quite a few activities in our metro area but it still seems somewhat daunting to me. 

I wouldn't let the lack of homeschool groups discourage you.  Homeschooling is not common in my area.  My kids have never been involved in any activities exclusive to homeschoolers, but they still have a lot of friends through their extracurricular activities and are very happy homeschooling high school.

 

Good luck with your decision.

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I see several have had the good fortune of having homeschool groups for older kids. Where I am there appears to be a good amount of co-ops for younger kids and not for older kids:( Now on the plus side I think I could cobble together quite a few activities in our metro area but it still seems somewhat daunting to me. 

 

We homeschooled just fine without that. We have a social group that meets once a week in the park for playing, but DD never had any kids there she related to and we stopped going.  DS met two friends in the playgroup, but the majority of his friends he met in his martial arts classes. We never had any homeschoool coop for olders that was remotely useful. Not necessary.

 

 

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The other issue that complicates it for me is the fact that he is an only child so if I am not successful in extra-curricular activities or other social avenues then it would be just me and him:( 

 

I am hoping to make the best decision for my kid and his happiness.

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The other issue that complicates it for me is the fact that he is an only child so if I am not successful in extra-curricular activities or other social avenues then it would be just me and him:(

 

I am hoping to make the best decision for my kid and his happiness.

As the mother of an only child, that's not necessarily a bad thing. I'm on my tablet, I'll post more when I get home.

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What worked well for my boys as far as finding friends was finding a shared interest around which a group could coalesce.

 

My boys got into playing various strategy & role-play card/board games with a few boys at the park. There are now 9-11 teen boys that get together once a week to play their games at the park while younger siblings are playing. Twice a month or so they also get together at someone's house (usually ours) to play/talk/eat. It's a great group of kids and I am so happy that my boys have them as friends.

 

One tip.... I've found that being willing to host their get-togethers, (and especially to feed them!), has gone a very long way in fostering the relationships between the kids. I'm a complete introvert, but when I finally forced myself to host the kids, I discovered that teens are really easy, or at least these teens. Give them a space to play, have plenty of food & beverages available for them to help themselves, and they're happy. The house does not have to be perfectly clean; they don't notice.  I don't have to be a great cook; they eat too fast to notice. I do not have to keep them entertained; they prefer to do their own thing.

 

If your son likes certain games or certain activities, put out an invitation on your local home school boards and see if you get any responses.  Really, if a young person has just one, good friend, isn't that enough?  And it may build from there as others with similar interests appear and want to join in.

 

 

(ETA: My daughter is just getting to the teen stage, so I don't know if the above works as well for girls. Any suggestions from those who've btdt with teen girls, would be tremendously appreciated!)

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The other issue that complicates it for me is the fact that he is an only child so if I am not successful in extra-curricular activities or other social avenues then it would be just me and him:( 

 

I am hoping to make the best decision for my kid and his happiness.

 

I can't emphasize enough, as a public school parent and public school graduate, who loves public school, school is not the water you add for instant friendships.

 

Friendships during adolescence are hard! A lot of times I felt like it was just me. I did have friends but my friends were mostly through band, one single class, not the other classes. Some through church, but really that one class and activity. Many people I know felt this way.

 

There are many reasons I'd encourage someone to choose public school. Just making friends is not one of them. I know you and your son can find activities and friendships. Start at the Y and Parks and Rec, volunteer, lifeguarding, working at a nature conservancy, keep getting out there and it will happen.

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An introvert has an opportunity to thrive while homeschooling.  He can explore his passions in his own way, with no external influences.  He can learn confidence, while marching to the beat of his own drum.  He can find other like-minded groups, outside of a school setting.

 

My introvert is now homeschooling high school.  In the last year, he has found many peer groups through clubs and university classes and competitions.  Just be prepared to do a lot of driving, when he finally decides to bloom!

 

A PP is correct when she says that homeschooling is a great way to set your child apart from other college applicants.  That is assuming your kid has intense interests and follows them in unique ways.

 

Best of luck.  You can do this.  No worries!

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