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mlktwins

Mom of 8th graders freaking out -- LOL. Homeschooling high school???

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I have been on the WTM boards for years and have learned so much from so many people.  I am now entering the should I homeschool high school final decision phase (meaning if I'm putting them in PS for high school, I really need to do it for 9th grade) and am so nervous to make the wrong decision.  My heart and gut say to do it, but I don't want to mess up my boys and their chances for college, etc.  I'm not sure I have it in me.  I'm sure there are a ton of threads on this and I will search for them also, but I'm curious if anyone has homeschooled high school that, looking back, wish they hadn't?  And...why do you wish you had sent them in the first place?  No judgements from me :-)!!!!

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I have not homeschooled high school (my twins are 7th grade) but I understand the nervousness! We have decided to put them in high school for various reasons, with the caveat that it is totally not permanent -- if after a fair shot, lots of reflection and family discussion they decide to come back home, no big deal.  (though of course finding online classes or making our own mid year WOULD be less than ideal).  But I would rather have them try it and come home in ninth than to not try it and always wonder.

The reasons WE are considering are -- 1. We will be moving to an area with better high schools with more opportunities (that's the plan anyway)

                                                               2. My son wants more structure and more peer relationships than he is getting and the types of organizations that offer that are slim where we live now.  If they were more plentiful then our conversation would be a lot different!

  There are more but those are the main ones.  But we will for sure be making a big pros and cons list and including everyone's viewpoint and experience!  

Oh, and my oldest was public schooled all the way through and has a lot of input that she shares with the kids.  And there were definitely things that she loved and things she despised, but they value her input and find it helpful in making decisions and being less afraid of the change.  

 

Good luck!

Edited by SanDiegoMom in VA
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My oldest is in 10th grade, so we are navigating it right now.  So far it's been better than I feared.  Next year I'll have 9th and 11th graders, and looking at DE options!  

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I homeschooled two all the way through, no regrets. Both are in college and doing very well. They did both do some dual enrollment at the local university in junior and senior years, that may be something you want to explore. 

You won't mess up their chance at college. If they have their eyes on very specific schools you may need to jump through some hoops like extra SAT subject tests, but it's certainly doable and many WTM kids have gotten into highly selective colleges. Of course you can't guarantee that any more than your local high school can. 

This is what I think most people have to do in order to homeschool high school successfully: 

*Rough out a schedule for the year. You may not follow it exactly, but you have to have an idea of how long various subjects are going to take. Many teacher manuals have pacing guides which help a lot (this will take half a day, this will take two days, this will take one day). There is a lot of work in high school and you can't catch up as easily as you could in the earlier grades. Make sure to allocate time for vacations, holidays, sick time, and catching up. 

*Document, document, document! Keep the title for each text used along with a copy of the table of contents (helpful for writing course descriptions, planning upcoming courses, knowing if a student is ready for an outsourced course). Write down all extracurriculars, interests, and volunteer activities (will need for some college apps and scholarships). 

*Create a timeline for all four years that includes planned subjects along with important dates such as first practice ACT, first actual ACT, college visits, college apps, all with deadlines when appropriate. This can and will change over the years but it will help tremendously to map it out before you begin. 

I know that some people just take it as it comes and do fine, but I think most people benefit from a plan and it keeps you from having the stress of falling behind. It also shows that you can do it if you wish. 

Edited by katilac
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Thanks for starting this thread, OP!  My oldest is an eighth grader and about six weeks ago it hit me all at once that it was Decision Time and I started freaking out, too.  

DS13 really wants to homeschool high school and DH is strongly in favor of it as well.  Like you, it feels like the right decision but the stakes also feel a lot higher.

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3 hours ago, SanDiegoMom in VA said:

I have not homeschooled high school (my twins are 7th grade) but I understand the nervousness! We have decided to put them in high school for various reasons, with the caveat that it is totally not permanent -- if after a fair shot, lots of reflection and family discussion they decide to come back home, no big deal.  (though of course finding online classes or making our own mid year WOULD be less than ideal).  But I would rather have them try it and come home in ninth than to not try it and always wonder.

The reasons WE are considering are -- 1. We will be moving to an area with better high schools with more opportunities (that's the plan anyway)

                                                               2. My son wants more structure and more peer relationships than he is getting and the types of organizations that offer that are slim where we live now.  If they were more plentiful then our conversation would be a lot different!

  There are more but those are the main ones.  But we will for sure be making a big pros and cons list and including everyone's viewpoint and experience!  

Oh, and my oldest was public schooled all the way through and has a lot of input that she shares with the kids.  And there were definitely things that she loved and things she despised, but they value her input and find it helpful in making decisions and being less afraid of the change.  

 

Good luck!

We have pretty decent schools in our area.  The problem is that the school we are slated for isn't the best unless they are in the IB program, which we are applying for.  Also, different schools offer different specialty programs and those applications are due Feb. 1st.  One of my boys is interested in either computers or engineering, but the school with the specialty program for IT is closed this year for people outside the boundaries.  What do I do with that?  And, the nice, smaller high school I would want them to attend (with the Cambridge program) only offers 1 computer class.  The next county over has very good schools also, but the kids go to the school they are slated for boundary-wise.  The specialty programs make it harder for most students and parents and commuting and transportation to the other schools is involved.  They want to stay home.  My DH is on the fence.  It will be on me (except for funding) to make it happen if they stay home.

We do have a ton of excellent homeschool opportunities in our area though.  Thank you so much for you insight.

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26 minutes ago, katilac said:

I homeschooled two all the way through, no regrets. Both are in college and doing very well. They did both do some dual enrollment at the local university in junior and senior years, that may be something you want to explore. 

You won't mess up their chance at college. If they have their eyes on very specific schools you may need to jump through some hoops like extra SAT subject tests, but it's certainly doable and many WTM kids have gotten into highly selective colleges. Of course you can't guarantee that any more than your local high school can. 

This is what I think most people have to do in order to homeschool high school successfully: 

*Rough out a schedule for the year. You may not follow it exactly, but you have to have an idea of how long various subjects are going to take. Many teacher manuals have pacing guides which help a lot (this will take half a day, this will take two days, this will take one day). There is a lot of work in high school and you can't catch up as easily as you could in the earlier grades. Make sure to allocate time for vacations, holidays, sick time, and catching up. 

*Document, document, document! Keep the title for each text used along with a copy of the table of contents (helpful for writing course descriptions, planning upcoming courses, knowing if a student is ready for an outsourced course). Write down all extracurriculars, interests, and volunteer activities (will need for some college apps and scholarships). 

*Create a timeline for all four years that includes planned subjects along with important dates such as first practice ACT, first actual ACT, college visits, college apps, all with deadlines when appropriate. This can and will change over the years but it will help tremendously to map it out before you begin. 

I know that some people just take it as it comes and do fine, but I think most people benefit from a plan and it keeps you from having the stress of falling behind. It also shows that you can do it if you wish. 

Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I am a planner by nature and am very detail oriented (I was an auditor in my former life -- LOL).  With twins, I only get one chance to get this right though. I don't get to practice on one and do better with the other -- LOL.  

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13 minutes ago, JennyD said:

Thanks for starting this thread, OP!  My oldest is an eighth grader and about six weeks ago it hit me all at once that it was Decision Time and I started freaking out, too.  

DS13 really wants to homeschool high school and DH is strongly in favor of it as well.  Like you, it feels like the right decision but the stakes also feel a lot higher.

You're welcome :-)!!!  This is so stressful!  I will be good once a decision is made.  Just having a difficult time with making the decision.  And...I'm doing it with twins!   Mine want to homeschool too.  DH is on the fence, but it's time to decide one way or the other.  It does feel like the stakes are a lot higher!!!

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7 minutes ago, mlktwins said:

 I don't get to practice on one and do better with the other -- LOL.  

 

My oldest does complain loudly about being the guinea pig! 

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If you put them in high school, it should be because they and you really see the opportunities there as a plus for your kids now and in the future.

It should NOT be, because you are afraid to homeschool high school because that is totally no big deal, and once you start you'll see that.  (yeah I mean theres some paperwork and research to do, but it's fine.)

One of the biggest reasons people put their kids in high school is because the kids are very social, but all their homeschool friends went to school and there aren't many kids left, and they feel excited about a big place with lots of possibilities and daily interaction.  These kids see the plusses and minuses clearly, don't tend to be a target of bullying and they are generally not introverts and looking forward to more interaction, even though they understand it'll be an adjustment...I've seen a few of these kids and they often thrive.

Another good reason is sports- the kid is similar to the kid above but the driving force is access to sports and then sports in college....these kids make friends on the sports team and may need some time adjusting to the busier schedule but can usually enjoy and thrive.

FOr the most part, my friends IRL that put their kids in high school solely for the reason that the parents were afraid to mess up homeschooling high school, had a pretty high rate of bringing them back home.  The kids don't see the point, the days are very long and demanding, both socially, academically and just pure energy-wise, and there's a huge adjustment. Unless the kid is really invested (which again usually isn't going to happen unless they are a social go-getter, or very good and on Varsity or JV sports team), the kid will be pretty tired, grumpy and miserable and the mom will have an uphill battle on her hands.

 

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If they really want to stay home, I think you'd be in for a big uphill battle on your hands.  THey sound like they are interested, hard working and academic students?  I would homeschool, in this case.  The sky is the limit for them, and you ALSO have a lot of great programs for homeschoolers in your area, AND there's so much online...

I wouldn't mess with a good thing.

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5 hours ago, mlktwins said:

... the school we are slated for isn't the best unless they are in the IB program....  Also... One of my boys is interested in either computers or engineering, but the school with the specialty program for IT is closed this year for people outside the boundaries...

...They want to stay home...

...We do have a ton of excellent homeschool opportunities in our area...


All of your background info here leads me to suggest that homeschooling high school sounds like it would be a perfect fit for your family.
 

5 hours ago, mlktwins said:

...It will be on me (except for funding) to make it happen if they stay home...


Actually, no, it is NOT all on you. 😀  Certainly not all on you to TEACH everything at the high school. Rather, your job in high school shifts more towards FACILITATING your DC's education -- finding resources that best help them learn, for some things being the available as tutor/mentor to explain or assist in their self-learning... And there has been such an *explosion* of resources, curricula and options to help homeschoolers, that I think you will find it is not at all scary to do high school, as you are fearing -- rather, you get to really enjoy the fruits of all that you've worked hard towards in the earlier years/grades -- having deep discussions, making good memories, watching them spread their wings and *fly*, developing towards that adult parent/child relationship that you will have for the rest of your lives...

There are loads of options to help you with the "teaching" of high school:
- curricula with video teaching lessons, and some with grading options
- online classes for completely outsourcing a course (or 2 or 3 or 4)
- taking a single class with a local public, private, or charter high school (if allowed by your district)
- many school districts allow homeschoolers to participate in the schools sports, band, and after-school clubs
- homeschool co-op to support doing your science labs or other possible subjects
- dual enrollment that provides simultaneous credit for high school AND college courses
- hire a tutor or mentor to help with advanced/specialized studies, or oversee a subject you feel weak in, or to assist if needing remedial help
- using podcasts and books and local resources to facilitate a DC's learning in a special interest area
- using college intro-level lecture series to increase course rigor (often these are FREE, through MOOC (Mass Open Online classes), or Teaching Company videos checked out through your local library)
- involvement in community-based groups and activities that can count as hours towards a credit (or as a great extracurricular to "shine" on college admission applications/essays)

 

9 hours ago, mlktwins said:

... I am now entering the should I homeschool high school final decision phase (meaning if I'm putting them in PS for high school, I really need to do it for 9th grade) and am so nervous to make the wrong decision.  My heart and gut say to do it, but I don't want to mess up my boys and their chances for college...


You are very conscientious, and I don't see how you could "mess up" their chances for college. 😉 If anything, homeschool parents are able to give their students a much BETTER shot at attending the colleges of choice because the parent is being the personalized coach and "college/career" counselor for their DC. SO many schools no longer have a school counselor, or if they do have one, it is just ONE person trying to help literally hundreds of high school students through the process of high school and college admissions. 😵

Also just want to encourage you that, even if you live in an "all-or-nothing" school district (i.e., either start with the high school in 9th, or have to homeschool, as the high school won't accept the student's credits partway through), it really is NOT an "all-or-nothing" decision for YOU and DC. There are still options! If you find that all-at-home homeschooling high school is not working, look into one of the many options: virtual academy or all online classes or correspondence school; switch to dual enrollment; look for a university-model school in your area; enroll in a private or charter high school that doesn't have the same restrictions on accepting homeschool credits as the snooty public school... etc.


Also, I'd just like to suggest that you might find it more helpful in making your decision if you broaden the scope of your question from "homeschool vs. public school for high school" ... to "what are our DC's gifts/passions/interests/goals and what are DH & my overall goals (physical, spiritual, emotional, relational, lifestyle, academic, etc.) for our DC, and what academic option best helps us achieve those goals?" How to "do" high school is just one piece of the big picture puzzle of family and "living life". 🙂 JMO!
 

9 hours ago, mlktwins said:

... 'm sure there are a ton of threads on this and I will search for them...


No need to search. 🙂 The "best of the best" of the threads on homeschooling high school are linked in the 2 pinned threads at the top of the high school board:

High School Motherlode #1
   post #1 linked threads on:  addressing fears, planning for high school,
   post #2 linked threads on: all the high school tests -- AP, IB, SAT/ACT, PSAT, CLEP, etc.
High School Motherlode #2
   post #1 linked threads on: transcripts/record keeping; credits; grading/GPA; course descriptions; more
   post #5 linked threads on: high school subjects (Math, Writing, Science, etc.); outsourcing; dual enrollment; extracurriculars; etc.

I think you might esp. find these first threads from Motherlode #1 helpful:

Addressing Fears about homeschooling High School
For those of you with 8th graders considering homeschooling high school (encouragement of what high school can look like)
Will I ruin my kid's life by homeschooling for high school, and other questions
Talk to Me About High School Fears (will my homeschool transcripts/records be accepted by colleges?) 
Teaching a high schooler next year.. I am terrified! (encouragement of what is needed, how to plan)
Approaching high school, confidence flying out the window (can I do it at home? what about outsourcing? extracurriculars?)
Please describe the reality of homeschooling high school (time commitment; typical day; what do you do)

Homeschool vs. Public (or Private) High School
Pros and cons of homeschooling high school 
Just curious: why do you send you DC to public school [for high school] (discussion on why/why not homeschool high school)
Rising 9th grader wants to try public school 
When you teen decides, “I think I want to try high school next year.” (experiences?) 


BEST of luck as you think through your options, and find what works best for your DC, for you, and for your family as a whole! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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I have graduated 5 kids from our homeschool and our 6th is a Jr. I have zero regrets, but more importantly, my kids are thankful they were homeschooled through high school. I have asked all of them and all of them respond that they have no regrets about not going to high school and that homeschooling was a blessing.

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2 hours ago, Lori D. said:

 You are very contentious 

 

That's a bit rude, Lori! 😄

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I agree, don't make this decision out of fear! My kids wanted to homeschool and I did too (except when I was shaking in my boots!). Both have told me they are glad they homeschooled, and I'm so thankful for that time we had together! 

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1 hour ago, katilac said:
   3 hours ago,  Lori D. said: 

 You are very contentious 

 

That's a bit rude, Lori! 😄


Wahhhh! Auto-corrected to the wrong word in the worst way! 😱😭

Edited by Lori D.
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I loved homeschooling high school almost as much as I loved homeschooling early elementary. Teens start to mature into rational young adults during these grades and being with them feels like a reward for surviving the middle school and tween years.

These boards, I think, make the prospect of homeschooling high school, and the college admissions process, seem far more daunting than it is. I've got 2 successful college grads now. Neither took any AP courses (and one went to a competitive private liberal arts college). I followed their interests, helped them find internships and mentors, even loosely unschooled some subjects. I drove them to community college classes, and delighted in listening to them bubble wth enthusiasm over those classes. I read aloud. We took the odd day off to go to the zoo or to the movies, just to spend time together before they headed off to start their lives. 

Both are very grateful for the education they received. 

9th grade doesn't have to be that different from 8th grade. Sure you keep records and keep an eye on college admission requirements, but it probably isn't that different from what you've been doing. Shoot -- I didn't bother putting together a transcript until the summer after junior year!  

 

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11 hours ago, Lori D. said:


Wahhhh! Auto-corrected to the wrong word in the worst way! 😱😭

We know how kind and helpful you are, Lori.  It was obviously an autocorrect funny!  I didn't even read it correctly until katilac quoted it.  My mind auto-corrected for you!!  🙂

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14 hours ago, katilac said:

 

That's a bit rude, Lori! 😄

OP here!  Here is the funny part!  I knew what contentious meant, but I looked it up again to make sure I had it right -- LOL!!!  I was shocked for a minute because I puffy heart LOVE Lori D.'s posts!  I like conscientious better -- LOL!!!  Gave me a good laugh!  Thank you Lori D. for providing the links to the other threads too!  So helpful!!!

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I am in the process of going through 29 years of hs records (15 boxes down!) and over and over I'm thinking--wow! My kids got to do SO much because of hsing! We skipped a lot of high school and went straight to college. 😉 

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8 hours ago, mlktwins said:

OP here!  Here is the funny part!  I knew what contentious meant, but I looked it up again to make sure I had it right -- LOL!!!  I was shocked for a minute because I puffy heart LOVE Lori D.'s posts!  I like conscientious better -- LOL!!!  Gave me a good laugh!  Thank you Lori D. for providing the links to the other threads too!  So helpful!!!


And, MLKtwins... I am SOOOO sorry about that terrible typo/auto-correct!!! 😫 Thank you for your graciousness in figuring out what I really *meant*!

[Note to self... always re-read/proof-edit posts!] 😬

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13 hours ago, mlktwins said:

... I puffy heart LOVE Lori D.'s posts! 

 

3 hours ago, MerryAtHope said:

YES! Me too!


Even when she's being contentious! 😂

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Echoing what others have said - high school is far easier to actually do than to read about on these boards sometimes 🙂

I've only graduated one so far, but I have 2 other current high schoolers right now, and both their academic and social lives are far, far, far preferable to what I see in their ps friends. My oldest is thriving in a difficult major at a well respected university and is easily navigating the transition, and my high schoolers have margin in their day to pursue passions and activities in a way their ps friends just don't have time for. And the ps drama they hear about from their ps friends is something both they and I are very very glad to skip out on! 😉 All that plus I get to spend lots of time with them every day watching them become these awesome and unique young adults and hearing what's on their minds and in their hearts. 💙

If your kids want to hs, then go for it!

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I've had 3 homeschooled all the way and on to college -- every one a slightly different path and outcome. So, plan for them to be individuals! LOL

My 4th kiddo is 15 and just took her first class dual enrollment, with a homeschooled buddy. Her big victory (besides the A) was that nobody (even the prof) figured out she was homeschooled or just 15 until the end of the semester. Now, on to driver's ed.

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OP here again!  Thank you so much for all the positive responses!  Looking at my original post, I realize that I wouldn't be getting the responses I originally asked for because those people might not be on this board anymore -- LOL.  It was lovely to get all the positive, encouraging ones instead!!!

I went to my first specialty program information night at a PS last night (by myself because the boys had swim practice and a meet this weekend).  Freaked me out a little bit more -- LOL -- because it was for their Biotech and pre-governor school programs, one of which would have my boys taking Geometry and Algebra 2 simultaneously in 9th grade.  If I keep plugging away at this, we should have Alg 1 and 2 done by the end of the summer (or by December if I know I'm homeschooling and relax a bit) and will do Geometry next.  We wouldn't be too far off target, but it wouldn't be at the same time, while adjusting to school and all the other classes.  Anyway, we go to another one information session tonight (IB program) and one next Wednesday (Cambridge program).  We are also going to an open house at a university model school next weekend and we have a homeschooling high school and creating transcripts seminar the weekend after that (I've been to this the past 2 years also, but I'm bringing the boys and hopefully DH this time).  I am going to talk to 2 moms in my area that successfully home schooled high school (AP classes, etc) into good colleges.  I am currently reading through the class offerings for the public school.  I need to keep in mind that they make everything sound so awesome, but it isn't always as great as it sounds -- LOL.  I figure this is all great information to use in creating my own 4 year plan if that is what we decide.

This will sound silly, but I felt a little better when I went into one of the English classrooms and saw that they are in the middle of reading a book that we already did a literature study on this year.  It's the little things sometimes!

Thanks again and I welcome all the positive comments ya'll want to offer :-)!!!

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A few years ago, DH, dd#1, & I went to the public school one district over (as our local one is not homeschool friendly) for a tour and talk w/the guidance counselor. DD was able to sit in on some classes with a girl she knew.

We had several take-aways: Several things my kids do for fun/on the side are credit classes there. There were things they could offer that we just wouldn't (not couldn't, just wouldn't be likely to) likely do here (shop, broadcasting, journalism). There were other things we do here much better than what they offer (foreign language). This PS would LOVE to have my kid and were willing to be flexible in her class placement based on her test scores and transcript up to that point.

My kid came home more determined to homeschool because she likes the flexibility. Fast forward to now. Dd#1 is a senior. She has several really good options for college including one full tuition and one (likely) full cost of attendance offer. My late-blooming (late to read, horrible speller, allergic to the pencil) child has successfully taken three DE classes at a local state college including a 400-level English Lit class where her essay & short answers from the midterm were used as Top Examples for the rest of the class.

She's a tough kid (both to raise & homeschool) so I've increasingly outsourced for her (including math and at least some of her four foreign languages). My next kid is a sophomore and she's not outsourced for anything (at her request). She loves the extra time she has for drawing, painting, photography, and writing. I have three more after her.

Homeschooling high school is a scary thought but it doesn't have to be a scary execution. (Meant as a pun.) It isn't for everyone. SWB says that in retrospect she should have sent one of her kids to school. She has sent her youngest to school. So, YMMV. 

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Update:  So we went to the IB program information night.  This is at the school that would also be our base school.  My boys were not thrilled to be there during the "talk" from the IB Director (LOL), but then we went and met some teacher's (Spanish and History) and saw some of their robotic's creations, etc.  We also saw some neighborhood friends (swim team buddies and parents) that we talked to for a bit.  I got some extra info on the other 2 schools we would consider applying too.  The info was not good on the smaller school on our list (which we were very interested in because of it's size); especially for my mathy kid.  The mom said he would probably be teaching the math classes there -- LOL.  I just don't think it would be challenging enough.  My other son started talking to the robotics team and was enjoying the interaction.  Long story short...they both walked out of the school saying that was the program they wanted to be in if they go to PS.  Now the problem I face is whether they both get into that program -- LOL.  If not, they (or one) could still go to base school and then reapply for 10th grade.  I am still continuing all my research, but felt a little better with this option.

So stressful!  Why do they have to pick their career path in 8th grade for goodness sakes?!?!?

 

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I personally would not have sent my STEM boys to an IB school.  STEM is the IB program weakness.  And the kids we have know who have attend IB schools have had tons of busy work.  Overloaded with nightly homework.  (One was doing homework every night until 1 or 2 am.)  

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4 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I personally would not have sent my STEM boys to an IB school.  STEM is the IB program weakness.  And the kids we have know who have attend IB schools have had tons of busy work.  Overloaded with nightly homework.  (One was doing homework every night until 1 or 2 am.)  

Thank you for this!  So...at this school, they would have to get into the IB program, but in 11th grade, they could either branch off and do a traditional IB diploma (math, science, history, English) or choose an IB certificate in their Capstone program (more engineering and robotics stuff).  I am still researching, but I want all info (like you are providing) as I am new to this!  And yes, they would not be thrilled with busy work, especially one of my boys.  Unfortunately, I still need to apply by 2/1 or this option is closed to us (probably forever).  I will have another couple of months for a final decision if they were accepted. 

The first school I went to has a Biotech specialty (with some engineering).  My kids aren't particularly interested in science (they know what they need to know), but in 11th grade, they could branch off and take a few engineering courses.  I thought they were pretty vague when discussing this and found out that they've just added the engineering piece and is still very new.  I'm not sure I want to commit them to something that we aren't sure how it will turn out.  The computer sciences school is closed to transfers so that is out.  That is also the biggest school (3,300 kids) and lots of problems (suicide and drugs).  We live in a somewhat affluent area and kids have spending money.  I haven't even let mine have phones yet -- LOL.  

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25 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I personally would not have sent my STEM boys to an IB school.  STEM is the IB program weakness.  And the kids we have know who have attend IB schools have had tons of busy work.  Overloaded with nightly homework.  (One was doing homework every night until 1 or 2 am.)  

Also, what did you use to fulfill the STEM requirements/interests, etc. for your boys through homeschooling?  Local opportunities, on-line, etc.?  I am putting out feelers here locally, but just want to do the right things for them.

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For me, it really just depends on the kid.. their desires, personality, goals, etc.  Both of my children were homeschooled from the beginning. My daughter went to public school starting in middle school & is now a junior in high school. She’s dual enrolled at the college and will early admit next year. She is thriving. My son went to public school for a couple of years and asked to come home. He hated it.  He’s been back for two years now and is a freshman in high school and plans to homeschool through his senior year. He attends a co-op, takes online classes & will dual enroll in 10th grade. He honestly requires very little oversight from me. He is also thriving.  I’m not sure where you live, but in my area homeschoolers have excellent opportunities to succeed and pursue college. If it would hinder our future goals, however, Im sure we would look at the decision more objectively. But for us, I find homeschooling high school to be a lot easier than the the younger years and I feel it affords my son the same opportunity as my daughter. 

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2 hours ago, mlktwins said:

Update:  So we went to the IB program information night.... and saw some of their robotic's creations...they both walked out of the school saying that was the program they wanted to be in if they go to PS...


I suggest homeschooling and asking if the school would DSs onto the school's Robotics team. A lot of schools allow homeschoolers to participate in activities like that, esp. if the homeschoolers help to "up" the ability of the school team to be competitive, or if the parents are willing to invest a lot of time helping out -- teachers ALWAYS need parent assistants! (:D
 

2 hours ago, mlktwins said:

... Why do they have to pick their career path in 8th grade for goodness sakes?!?!?


(((hugs))) I know if *feels* like that, but it's not really true. 

The interests of your DSs will change over the 4 years of high school. Even if they go into it with one of what they want to do in high school and later as a career, the odds are *very* high that they will have switched to a completely different career area of interest by 12th grade. And the majority of *college* students make a *radical* switch in major/degree program partway through college. And some people switch *after* getting a degree!

So you can relax a little about having to pick a career in 8th grade, lol. 😉
 

1 hour ago, mlktwins said:

Also, what did you use to fulfill the STEM requirements/interests, etc. for your boys through homeschooling?  Local opportunities, on-line, etc.?  I am putting out feelers here locally, but just want to do the right things for them.


Well, what is the "right" things for your DSs will depend on a combination of what's available to you, *your* goals and abilities, and the goals, interests, and abilities of each *DS*. So no one "right" answer. And what works for one year of high school, may not for a later year of high school, or may no longer be available, or new options may suddenly be available.

All that said, I came up with these ideas after just 10-15 minutes of online searches -- you'll be able to spend more time and be more specific to your area to come up with actual classes, activities, and resources. 🙂 Have fun researching and finding the things that will let your DSs really run with their interests! Warmest regards, Lori D.

local STEM courses
- homeschool co-op
- class at a public, private, charter high school
- local shop or group that offers classes (coding, electronics, rocketry, robotics, engineering)
- dual enrollment courses at your local community college (CC) or universtiy

local STEM activities
- join an after school club/extracurricular
- sign up this spring for a week-long teen summer workshop offered by your local CC, 
univ, or other provider
- participate in (or consider leading!) a 4-H STEM group (rocketry, robotics, computer science, electrical engineering)
- find (or start!) a Lego FIRST robotics group
- look for an all-ages (or high school/adult ages) community-based group in robotics, rocketry, electronics, coding, computers, etc.
- NOT local: travel and go to a summer camp for robotics, engineering, or other

online
Kinvert -- courses in robotics, programming/coding, 3-D printing, etc.
Future Learn: Robotics
Robo Hub: The Robot Academy - Open Online Robotics Education Resource
iD Tech Autonomous and Self Driving Robotics Lab
FREE coding resources: Code Academy, Code.org, Scratch, Khan Academy
FREE electronics resources: Build Electronic Circuits,
edX: Robotics, Engineering
Coursera: Robotics, Engineering

other resources
Robot Shop -- kits and robotic toys
Creation Crate -- engineering kits
K'Nex Engineering challenges

Edited by Lori D.
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4 minutes ago, Lori D. said:


I suggest homeschooling and working towards getting DSs onto the school's Robotics team. A lot of schools allow homeschoolers to participate in activities like that, esp. if the homeschoolers help to "up" the ability of the school team to be competitive, or if the parents are willing to invest a lot of time helping out -- teachers ALWAYS need parent assistants! (:D
 


(((hugs))) I know if *feels* like that, but it's not really true. 

The interests of your DSs will change over the 4 years of high school. Even if they go into it with one of what they want to do in high school and later as a career, the odds are *very* high that they will have switched to a completely different career area of interest by 12th grade. And the majority of *college* students make a *radical* switch in major/degree program partway through college. And some people switch *after* getting a degree!

So you can relax a little about having to pick a career in 8th grade, lol. 😉
 


Well, what is the "right" things for your DSs will depend on a combination of what's available to you, *your* goals and abilities, and the goals, interests, and abilities of each *DS*. So no one "right" answer. And what works for one year of high school, may not for a later year of high school, or may no longer be available, or new options may suddenly be available.

All that said, I came up with these ideas after just 10-15 minutes of online searches -- you'll be able to spend more time and be more specific to your area to come up with actual classes, activities, and resources. 🙂 Have fun researching and finding the things that will let your DSs really run with their interests! Warmest regards, Lori D.

local STEM courses
- homeschool co-op
- class at a public, private, charter high school
- local shop or group that offers classes (coding, electronics, rocketry, robotics, engineering)
- dual enrollment courses at your local community college (CC) or universtiy

local STEM activities
- join an after school club/extracurricular
- sign up this spring for a week-long teen summer workshop offered by your local CC, 
univ, or other provider
- participate in (or consider leading!) a 4-H STEM group (rocketry, robotics, computer science, electrical engineering)
- find (or start!) a Lego FIRST robotics group
- look for an all-ages (or high school/adult ages) community-based group in robotics, rocketry, electronics, coding, computers, etc.
- NOT local: travel and go to a summer camp for robotics, engineering, or other

online
Kinvert -- courses in robotics, programming/coding, 3-D printing, etc.
Future Learn: Robotics
Robo Hub: The Robot Academy - Open Online Robotics Education Resource
iD Tech Autonomous and Self Driving Robotics Lab
FREE coding resources: Code Academy, Code.org, Scratch, Khan Academy
FREE electronics resources: Build Electronic Circuits,
edX: Robotics, Engineering
Coursera: Robotics, Engineering

other resources
Robot Shop -- kits and robotic toys
Creation Crate -- engineering kits
K'Nex Engineering challenges

Thanks again Lori D!!!  What I meant with having to decide a career path is that the kids in my area, the advanced diploma kids through PS, need to enter a school through a specialty program.  It is very competitive here (Northern Virginia) and very competitive (sports and academics) to get into many Virginia colleges.  Many kids are pushed to specialize in a sport at an early age and parents have them on the travel teams, get them private coaching, etc. That is what I meant by these kids having to make a decision in 8th grade.  It is hard to transfer to a different specialty program after you get started and, for many kids in our county, leaving a specialty program and going into a regular program at their base school isn't something most parents and kids want to do.

If I homeschool them, we would be able to relax and see where there interests lead them while making sure we cover all our bases regarding graduation and college admission requirements.  That is a huge + on the pro side :-)!!!

Thanks for all the great information and resources, as usual!!!  I have them on Khan Academy (one is working on the programming stuff) and they are set up on edX.  I couldn't remember Coursera last night and was going to research that his weekend.  Thanks for the link!!!! 

 

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On 1/11/2019 at 11:07 AM, mlktwins said:

Thanks again Lori D!!!  What I meant with having to decide a career path is that the kids in my area, the advanced diploma kids through PS, need to enter a school through a specialty program.  It is very competitive here (Northern Virginia) and very competitive (sports and academics) to get into many Virginia colleges... It is hard to transfer to a different specialty program after you get started and, for many kids in our county, leaving a specialty program and going into a regular program at their base school isn't something most parents and kids want to do...


I totally understand -- that sort of mania does mean it's pretty tough for homeschoolers to enter a public high school mid-way.

But that doesn't mean homeschool graduates don't get into competitive universities. 😉 All you have to do is look at the annual thread of college admission acceptances to see that homeschoolers are very competitive for getting into college, too -- many with partial or even full scholarships. 🙂

Class of 2019 acceptance thread 
Class of 2018 acceptances (list view) updated: 3/21
List view of class of 2017 college acceptances
List view of 2016 acceptances 
2015 college acceptances list only

You might look at what the homeschool admission requirements are for some of the VA colleges that you think your DSs might want to attend, or that would be a good fit for your DSs, to see if doing some AP or dual enrollment would make them more competitive for admission. If so, then that helps you plan for high school. (Note: a lot of top tier and competitive schools just happen to be located in VA -- those schools are harder across the board for ALL students everywhere to get in to. If you are open to your DSs attending an out-of-state university, you can increase their competitiveness for admissions and scholarships. 🙂 )

Old Dominion University
   - no special/additional homeschool requirements
   - very high acceptance rate (81% -- i.e., of every 100 applicants, 81 are accepted)
   - stats needed to be competitive
     ACT score 24-29 (puts the student in the top 30% of incoming students)
     ACT score 30+ (puts the student in the top 4% of incoming students; i.e., very few students scored high)
     GPA of 3.75+ (only 18% of incoming students have this GPA)

Virginia Tech
   - no special/additional homeschool requirements
   - higher acceptance rate (73% -- i.e., of every 100 applicants, 73 are accepted)
   - stats needed to be competitive
     ACT score 30+ (puts the student in the top 31% of incoming students; i.e., about 1/3 of students scored high)
     GPA of 3.75+ (over 70% of incoming students have this GPA)

George Mason University
   - no special/additional  homeschool requirements
   - higher acceptance rate (68% -- i.e., of every 100 applicants, 68 are accepted)
   - stats needed to be competitive:
     ACT score 30+ (puts the student in the top 18% of incoming students; i.e., less than 20% of students scored high)
     GPA of 3.75+ (39% of incoming students have this GPA)

George Washington University
   - no special/additional  homeschool requirements
   - stats needed to be competitive:
     ACT score 30+ (puts the student in the top 63% of incoming students; i.e., almost 2/3 of students scored high)
     GPA -- not reported

University of Virginia
   - no special/additional  homeschool requirements (uses the Common Application)
   - top tier school, lower acceptance rate (27% -- i.e., of every 100 applicants, 27 are accepted)
   - stats needed to be competitive:
     ACT score 30+ (puts the student in the top 75% of incoming students; i.e., 3/4 of students scored high)
     GPA of 3.75+ (over 94% of incoming students have this GPA)

Edited by Lori D.
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@mlktwins Specialized programs don't lock kids on a career path.  Most specialized programs are academically solid college entry programs that simply tend toward a slight slant in a specific direction.  Students can definitely opt for a different path forward after high school graduation.  No specialized program is going to prevent students from changing gears in the future.  At most, it may mean that they don't start at an advanced level in college (like placing out of cal or histories, etc.)

My kids have taken different approaches depending on the student.  Most coursework has been done at home with me as the primary teacher.  I pick whatever sources we want to use, I generate their assignments, and assign grades, etc.  A few have taken online classes like ChemAdvantage's AP chem and AoPS.  They have taken some courses DE.  (My grad student DE at VCU without any problems.  We met with admissions. I took in his AP scores for cal BC and chem and his ACT scores and they let him DE up to 9 hrs per semester.)  

FWIW, my kids have not faced any difficulties during the college admission's process.  They submit transcripts generated by me and signed by me.  As a homeschooling parent in VA, putting together college app materials is not difficult.

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On 1/11/2019 at 11:20 AM, mlktwins said:

Also, what did you use to fulfill the STEM requirements/interests, etc. for your boys through homeschooling?  Local opportunities, on-line, etc.?  I am putting out feelers here locally, but just want to do the right things for them.

The *best* thing I could have done for my STEM kid was homeschool him because he had time/margin in his day to explore those interests in depth and was not overloaded with busywork in other courses. He did English and history and foreign language of course, and even challenged himself with an English Lang AP and Spanish CLEP (because he wanted to avoid the humanities completely in college LOL) but he had loads of time every day to ponder and grapple with difficult AoPS challenge questions and concepts and teach himself various programming languages from MIT Open courseware and create various electronics projects and inventions. IME, you don't have to find resources for a STEM kid, you need to give them time during the day to find their own resources and let them have at it, as they are usually highly internally motivated for that.

Edited by Momto5inIN
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On 1/7/2019 at 4:19 PM, mlktwins said:

We have pretty decent schools in our area.  The problem is that the school we are slated for isn't the best unless they are in the IB program, which we are applying for.  Also, different schools offer different specialty programs and those applications are due Feb. 1st.  One of my boys is interested in either computers or engineering, but the school with the specialty program for IT is closed this year for people outside the boundaries.  What do I do with that?  And, the nice, smaller high school I would want them to attend (with the Cambridge program) only offers 1 computer class.  The next county over has very good schools also, but the kids go to the school they are slated for boundary-wise.  The specialty programs make it harder for most students and parents and commuting and transportation to the other schools is involved.  They want to stay home.  My DH is on the fence.  It will be on me (except for funding) to make it happen if they stay home.

We do have a ton of excellent homeschool opportunities in our area though.  Thank you so much for you insight.

Just thinking aloud -- I went to an IB program night last week and it sounded like the first two years the kids were integrated in honors classes that were available to all and didn't actually take the IB courses until junior and senior year. So they didn't really get to fully be with their "cohort" their first two years.  The school we visited was a lower-scoring school overall so it took away some of that "school-within-a-school" aspect for half of high school.  Would that be the same for the school you visited? 

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18 hours ago, SanDiegoMom in VA said:

Just thinking aloud -- I went to an IB program night last week and it sounded like the first two years the kids were integrated in honors classes that were available to all and didn't actually take the IB courses until junior and senior year. So they didn't really get to fully be with their "cohort" their first two years.  The school we visited was a lower-scoring school overall so it took away some of that "school-within-a-school" aspect for half of high school.  Would that be the same for the school you visited? 

Yes, it appears to be the case.  This would be our base school, but is also one of two IB schools in the county.  Our neighborhood is about 2 miles from one of the best schools in the county, however, our neighborhood is slated for a school further away (we are right over the boundary line).  Unfortunately, the other school is also closed to transfers (they also have the one of the biggest problems with opioids in our county).  Anyway, our base school is located in a neighborhood, which will have a lot of under-performing students and ESL students as regular students.  There are Pre-IBDP courses that the IB 9th and 10th graders will need to take that non-IB students are allowed to take.

I'm already tired of going through all the motions for PS just trying to get them applied and accepted -- LOL.  One of my boys just started doing macroeconomics on Khan Academy on his own today -- in his free time!!  The other one started programming Java on Khan Academy today - in his free time!  PS is out today for snow.  

Edited by mlktwins
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On 1/7/2019 at 11:39 AM, mlktwins said:

I have been on the WTM boards for years and have learned so much from so many people.  I am now entering the should I homeschool high school final decision phase (meaning if I'm putting them in PS for high school, I really need to do it for 9th grade) and am so nervous to make the wrong decision.  My heart and gut say to do it, but I don't want to mess up my boys and their chances for college, etc.  I'm not sure I have it in me.  I'm sure there are a ton of threads on this and I will search for them also, but I'm curious if anyone has homeschooled high school that, looking back, wish they hadn't?  And...why do you wish you had sent them in the first place?  No judgements from me :-)!!!!

I have one out of college, one in college, a hs junior, a hs sophomore, and a current 8th grader - I love homeschooling high school.

It is my absolute favorite age to homeschool.
If someone told me I could only homeschool FOUR years, I'd choose all high school - or maybe 2nd grade (for solid reading) then ages 15-18.  
I found while we covered so much more in high school than middle school, it was far more autonomous.  I love the discussions, the thoughts, the rabbit trails.

No, I'm so very grateful I had the opportunity to homeschool the four I currently have - potentially the best part of my homeschooling career and we're in years 17-18?

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13 hours ago, BlsdMama said:

It is my absolute favorite age to homeschool.
If someone told me I could only homeschool FOUR years, I'd choose all high school - or maybe 2nd grade (for solid reading) then ages 15-18.  
I found while we covered so much more in high school than middle school, it was far more autonomous.  I love the discussions, the thoughts, the rabbit trails.

 

Yep. where's the "I agree" emoji?  And I have 3 high schoolers (oldest is 17).  Homeschooling high school is a lot of fun!  

My kids are a little...ummm...unusual and they weren't thriving in a public school environment (oldest two went to ps briefly).  Mine definitely wouldn't be ok in an IB environment.  Mine need a LOT of free time.  My oldest is heavily involved in a local charity (and I mean heavily involved - as in, she'll be running it one day).  Four of mine work with special needs adults at an equestrian therapy center.  Two of my kids play several musical instruments.  One does Musical Theater.  Two of the girls are in a small ballet company.  My son plays competitive high school football where they travel all over the place to compete (sigh).  Two in Track & Field, three in ballet.  If I told them they wouldn't have time for all that, because they'll be doing homework every night after school, there would be an absolute mutiny.    

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On 1/11/2019 at 10:20 AM, mlktwins said:

Also, what did you use to fulfill the STEM requirements/interests, etc. for your boys through homeschooling?  Local opportunities, on-line, etc.?  I am putting out feelers here locally, but just want to do the right things for them.

Ok, mine are not going into STEM majors, but what we have done are local opportunities. Currently, my girls are in an Astronomy club with scouts that pairs with the City Astronomy Club and NASA. Plus there is an intro to robotics with scouts that they can do. The team doesn't do well in competitions from what we have seen. lol. In the past we did a FLL and we went to state with a homeschool team, while scouts did not do well. They don't put in the time with it that we could as homeschoolers. But for my current 9th grader, it is enough of an intro. The families I know here with kids going into enginerring use the votech school and dual enroll as homeschoolers, doing half the day at home for some courses or dual enrolling at community college half the day, then votech in the afternoons. 

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Ok, for us. I now have an 11th grader and a 9th grader. I was nervous to start too. The toughest part has been putting myself out there to find schools who would allow her to take the PSAT and finding a testing site for the required reading exam for driver;s ed to fulfill our law for that here. But after that, registering for ACT and SAT is all online from what I understand and shouldn't require calling around.  I have seen my first do fine on exams that she has taken (National Latin exams, the standardized reading, the PSAT, etc.) 

As far as the actual educating. It hasn't been  bad. I have found an online class where I needed it. They have done some co-op classes for science which have been great. I know in the future if I didn't have that for my lab classes, that I think I would be just fine with a couple of them, and would outsource Chemistry. But I know there are options, so I am not worried.  Beyond that, we are doing our others at home and are very happy. Everything just carries on the same as it did in elem and middle school. 

I love the freedom that we have. I can incorporate art, therapies, stopping to focus on skills where needed instead of moving on, and go super deep into their interests and outside projects just like we always have. I give my kids the transcripts that schools are used to seeing. I know they are covering what is necessary. But I love that it is notebooking, art, read alouds, field trips, hands on that is a bulk of how they are learning about the world just like always. I love seeing their projects come to life. For us, Scouting brings a lot of this. They start there on badgework or in clubs or field trips or service work that introduces them to so much. I love the art projects my artist daughter does and the fact that we can take advantage of so much for her learning: online classes, a co-op class, community classes with an artist, lots of free time at home to finish projects, field trips, etc. 

ETA. and even though my odd would do fine in a DE class, I can't even really find a subject I want her to do one in. So I think we will just continue to do her full senior year at home. I just can't seem to find one that would be a good fit. We shall see! It is not set in stone yet, but I feel like I have a handle on her plans at this point. My younger is a little interested in looking at vo tech next year just to see what types of art classes are available, so we may end up sending her to a classroom before her graduating sister. 

 

Edited by 2_girls_mommy
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My girls (10th and 12th grades) are very happy to be homeschooling high school and wouldn't have it any other way.  They love it.  My oldest tried a private school for the first semester of her freshman year, but was miserable so we brought her home.  I really wish that it had worked out differently for her.  Honestly, I am not convinced that I made the right choice continuing to homeschool them through high school.  In many ways I do believe that they would be better served having gone to school. I did the best that I could, but I don't believe that the education that they received was/is better than they would have received from the private school.  However, I do believe that they will turn out okay.  Fortunately my older daughter is only applying to one college and it is not very difficult to get into.  I am hopeful that she will be accepted, especially since we are not requesting any financial aid or scholarships. If she is not accepted, she will have to go to community college and then we will try to transfer her later. I am planning to have my younger daughter do more dual enrollment, so that she will be able to prove herself to colleges.  She won't apply to any super-competitive schools, but I do want her to have some choice.

Good luck on your decision! it is a difficult one.  Many many people on this site have homeschooled high school successfully, so they have great advice.  I will say that I have enjoyed every single second of having my girls at home.  We are very very close. I suspect that eventually I will feel nothing but positive about homeschooling high school.  

 

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Many thanks to all of you for your input and encouragement.  I have another question if anyone cares to respond - I really only have a few IRL people to discuss this with :-).

Part of my hesitation for either homeschooling or public school is that my dad is 83 and it is just me, DH, and my boys around to help care for him.  I managed to get him moved to a safe one-level apartment in the fall (all very unexpectedly) and he is good for now.  I will be cleaning out and selling his house this spring so that part should be done before high school begins.  I have people to help me drive him to less important appts and have someone cleaning his apartment.  He is 10 minutes from me.  I lost my mom in 2001 so it is just my dad now.

In addition, my in-laws are both 93 and living in their house of 50+ years.  My DH will have his sister, brother, and SIL (along with me and boys) to help with when the other shoe drops - and it really is just a matter of time.  They are not in the best of health.  

Do you think it is better for to homeschool through highschool and have a more flexible schedule (for non-outsourced courses at least) where we can work weekends and in the summer to make up time should an emergency arise or would it be better for them to be in a school where things keep chugging on?  In school, they would only have so many days to be absent and I know it is difficult to make up work in high school.

I wish this wasn't a concern, but after dealing with my dad almost full-time for 3 months last fall, my eyes are wide open.  Thank goodness the boys kept plugging away and I taught and checked work as needed/possible.

Gotta love the sandwich generation - 13 year old twins with a 51 year old mom and 3 aging parents.  So hard!  

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(I did a double take when I read your last line.  😎 I'm very close to your age with 5 grandkids and a 9 yr old!)

I don't have any perspective on what it is like to deal with kids in school, but my dad passed away when my oldest was 17 and our 13 yr old was 6 months old. When my dad got sick, they were still living in their house.  I moved them into an assisted living facility with the help of my sisters.  (all of my other siblings spent their time harassing me about why I shouldn't be moving them out vs. actually doing anything helpful.)  It was beyond hard. I had my parents' health care power of attorney, so I was making all of my dad's medical decisions b/c he didn't really understand.

My mom moved in with us when my dad died, and she passed away 14 months later.  It was rough.  No way around it.  I was managing drs/therapy appts, meds, dietary issues (which were huge), etc.  My oldest sister's dh was a CPA and he managed all of the finances and was executor of the estate.  (That is a huge job.)

I don't think I could have coped if I had been tied to anyone else's schedule b/c I felt like each day was survived on a wing and a prayer. But, I had 7 kids at home and our Aspie was hitting puberty hard and was nearing the peak of his worst behaviors we have experienced during his life (which at one pt lead to having to have him committed b/c we couldn't cope with his violent behavior.)  It is a time in my life that I try not to think about too much bc it was definitely mostly coming up for air.

FWIW, I don't think there is a right answer or even a good answer.  There is simply the answer that your family can function through in the best way that you can.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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2 hours ago, mlktwins said:

I wish this wasn't a concern, but after dealing with my dad almost full-time for 3 months last fall, my eyes are wide open.  Thank goodness the boys kept plugging away and I taught and checked work as needed/possible.

 

I have a 9th and a 8th grader. My kids have a four year plan in case something happens to me. They have like plan A, B, C for their four year high school.

What I also did was to front load in summer because some electives can be done as summer intensive classes as my kids don’t mind. Our summers are hot so my kids rather be in an air conditioned classroom. My 9th grader did economics and statistics in summer so that supplied a math credit and an elective credit. It lessen the stress for us going into 9th grade knowing two credits are completed.

My husband and I aren’t from the US system. We are just winging it as we go for our kids. 

Edited by Arcadia
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I sat with my sister to show her my record keeping and transcripts and files to have someone to take control of finishing the girls up if something were to happen to me in the next four years. Dh would be having a hard enough time managing the house, the preschooler, the logistics, grief (I assume, lol,) that I know he would need a helper to finish them off. I have a general plan of what to do if something happens. I would like to review it with her once a year. She thinks it's morbid, but it makes me feel better. 

I have had a terrible year, one where I lost 3 siblings in 6 months all while pregnant. I had travels out of town for hospital stays and arrangements. Then over the next  years I have dealt with two deaths after illnesses, my step mom and my step dad. Both were hard, but not as much on me as the siblings. Those were all unexpected and so close. It was a crazy year. My kids weren't in high school yet. The oldest was only in 6th. It threw off my plans for the year, but we got through it. I can't imagine if they were in a public school and had to miss all the family stuff and would have been expected to hold up their grades and at that time. There were days we were barely surviving and couldn't think straight about little things like eating or driving or other daily activities.  Staying active in co-op and those few outsourced classes helped them stay somewhat scheduled and normal. But we had flexibility with the rest. We utilized the summer to keep my oldest going in math and writing when things had calmed down. We did some major hours in the content subjects when I felt human again to finish up the year in those. Now that I am going through high school I am sure we would do the same- stick with outside assignments and kids' part time jobs and volunteer work to keep as much of a schedule as possible and let the other things rest when we needed to and pick them back up when needed. And it would all work out too. I know since I have been through this before that I could go through similar in the future. We could go through job loss or unemployment. We just don't know. But we just keep going. 

Edited by 2_girls_mommy
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(((hugs))) mlktwins and 8FillTheHeart and 2_girls_mommy for the tough circumstances of caring for aging/end of life parents and loss of siblings.

Agreeing with 8 that there is no one right/good answer. Depending on the circumstances and particular personalities, teens can be so very helpful in those kinds of situations (able to self-educate, able to cook / clean / lift-and-carry, drive (if over 16), etc). And homeschooling is usually more flexible schedule-wise than public school for bending around tough circumstances such as caring for aging/ill relatives. And the life lessons learned by teens walking through failing health/end of life with mom and dad as they care for the grandparents can be profound -- not anything that an extra few credits on a transcript can ever approach. But, again, the particular circumstances and people involved may be too overwhelming to handle a prolonged time of elder care while simultaneously homeschooling.

No crystal ball to know for sure, but based on the details you shared, it sounds like your dad is unlikely to have high needs for a few years yet -- and a good chance of not having higher needs from you until your DC are done with high school. It does sound like your DH's parents will likely have higher needs before your DC are done with high school -- but that won't all fall on *you*, as there are more people to share that load.

Just a quick side note: one thing that might help is if your DH and his siblings got together *now* and discussed dividing up the workload (ex: one sibling oversees finances/paperwork, one sibling oversees healthcare making appointments/driving, and one sibling oversees house/living situation). And also, it would be a good idea if all 3 siblings sat down with parents and got basic paperwork in place with them -- power of attorney, power of medical attorney, do not resuscitate/other medical directives, a will or living trust, list of all the assets and bank accounts, etc.

So sorry you are reaching that stage of having to think about these things! Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

Edited by Lori D.
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