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Homeschooling for first time in high school


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Hello, my friend is homeschooling for the first time in high school/ninth grade. Has that been the experience of anyone here?

I'm realizing that some of my stories, suggestions, and perspectives may not be the best, as we homeschooled all the way through.

For example, when I was  talking about outsourcing, I kept saying how much the accountability or just outside influence dramatically kicked our kids into gear...well...I thought, does that really apply to a new homeschooler. They have always had that outside coursework, KWIM?  

So, please tell me what the experience & struggles were going from B&M schools to homeschooling re: all.of.the.things.

Thank you!

Edited by Familia
Clarity. I hope!
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We started in 8th grade but dd was taking mostly high school level courses that we were counting as high school credit.  I used the forums here and facebook groups a lot along with my own research on what to do about outsourcing and curriculum.  We didn't use outsourcing for that first year but I did use it the following year for things I found I couldn't teach as well at home as I hoped to (literature and composition) and for things I didn't feel capable of (science labs and foreign language conversation).  Other than those things, just spending a lot of time researching our options really gave me the best ideas of what I thought would be good fits for us.  Dd was easy to homeschool because she was very motivated to do well and organized/responsible.  Plus she really wanted to be homeschooled and was so happy to be out of ps!  

 

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It might be helpful to have your friend think through answers to these questions:
- "Why the switch?"
- "What are your goals for homeschooling high school?"
- "How involved will you, the parent, be in the daily homeschooling, or do you expect the student to work largely solo/independently?"
- "Is the student onboard with the switch?"
- "What extracurriculars and social opportunities are available to your homeschooled teen?"


In answer to your question about experiences of switching from public school to homeschooling at high school:

A friend of mine started homeschooling her only DS with the start of 9th grade. This was back in the early 2000s, so there was no online outsourcing, and far less curricula to choose from. I think they went with mostly traditional things like Abeka/Bob Jones; possibly some Sonlight. He also did some dual enrollment at the local community college for math and science in his last year or two of high school.

Both mom and DS were fully onboard with switching to homeschooling, as DS experienced bullying at the middle school, and the high school he would have attended had poor academic quality. He really blossomed with homeschooling, as we have a large homeschool support group here, so lots of extracurriculars, teen social activities, and friends. He went on to be an electrical engineer, and is married with 2 young children.


My take-away from their experience, as well as the experiences of others on these boards is that:

1. the teen really needs to be onboard with, or at least not resistant to, the switch; dragging a teen through homeschooling high school is a no-go

2. social opportunities and activities really are important -- for some teens, it's a deal breaker if there is no way to express their individuality and develop their identity without trying out a lot of different activities, or have the opportunity to learn skills such as responsibility, leadership, teamwork, networking, etc. with people other than family members

3. outsourcing some things for outside accountability seems to be more critical for some students than others; Writing seems to be the subject most frequently needing an outside person to provide feedback, grading, and instruction (I teach high school Lit. & Writing at our homeschool co-op, and every year several parents tell me: "S/he will write for you and follow through on your feedback, but won't for me." -- Writing appears to be intensely personal for many students, and they greatly resist getting feedback from a parent)

4. high school subjects that most frequently need to be outsourced (usually due to parent needing to hand off a subject or two): WRITING; and then Math, Science, and Foreign Language (in that order) -- but usually because the parent feels inadequate to teach the subject rather than it always being a case of student push-back to parent teaching

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I started homeschooling when my middle child was in high school (Oct of 9th grade). It was sudden and unexpected and my kid was somewhat resistant. We mostly picked up with classes that were being taken at the high school- we dropped French in favor of Russian and since we were clearly not doing Marching Band went on to private music lessons.

I wish I had felt more freedom in those first few years to throw out the box checking. I felt like I needed to follow the traditional high school sequence more than I should have although we stepped away pretty well in some areas. I wish I had left more doors open to the child's interest. 

Find social outlets - scouts, our co-op and gaming were Middle child's primary ones. We didn't do much outsourcing until we started DE and even at the coop really only did enrichment type classes (my goal for coop was more social interaction type classes so we did art classes and theater classes and such). We have always made volunteering a significant part of our homeschooling. 

We used Saxon for math. It was a slog but my kid  had solid math and really needed a guided box checky choice. (For youngest we went different directions which were necessary to his needs). 

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My caution to parents who are considering homeschooling in high school:

If you are on the fence about homeschooling or enrolling in b&m high school, then start with the regular high school, and if you don't like it, switch to homeschooling.  Don't start with the homeschooling then decide after a year or two to switch to b&m school because you are at their mercy when it comes to placement at an appropriate grade level.  They may accept your homegrown history class or your online English class...or they may not, and now you are being placed into freshman English when you should be a junior.  

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Posted (edited)
On 6/17/2021 at 8:45 PM, theelfqueen said:

<<snip>> ...I wish I had felt more freedom in those first few years to throw out the box checking. I felt like I needed to follow the traditional high school sequence more than I should have although we stepped away pretty well in some areas. I wish I had left more doors open to the child's interest...<<snip>>...We have always made volunteering a significant part of our homeschooling. 

Thank you so much for sharing your experience, theelfqueen!  What is really helpful for me to hear is about the desire to follow the traditional high school sequence.  By the time we got to high school, I was pretty confident in following a wonky plan that eventually ended up filling in the (necessary of them) traditional boxes.

Yet, I am often afraid to be this honest to new homeschoolers about not being tied to traditional plans, because of the thought that I may scare them off by sounding too 'unschooling' or something.  I will think about this.  I really believe homeschoolers can cover a vast amount by being open to non-traditional scheduling/timing of classes, and, hence, have precious time for the student's interests.  If I can think of a way to talk about this without sounding unacademic, I will encourage the out of the box thinking more.  Hope this makes sense.

And, @daijobu you make a really great point about considering the future if wanting to jump back in to b&m school.  Thanks

 

Edited by Familia
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Obviously, I went all the way through, but I've known a lot of people now who dropped in at high school or just before. My experience so far is that they want one of two things - either to outsource absolutely everything and don't have much of a concept of how to teach something themselves and starting with high school is really hard on them. OR, they're embarking on homeschooling at this point because of a crisis situation of some sort and mental or physical health is taking priority and making plans based on that assumption is really important.

For the first group, I find that walking through how to outsource smart and how to keep organized is usually really key. For kids used to having all their assignments and work in a one stop place - the school - suddenly having a bunch of different things with different schedules feels like chaos.

Strongly seconding that homeschooling high school is not for the faint of heart and if there's much doubt, send them to school. Their credits may or may not count. It varies a ton by state and by school.

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I've homeschooled all the way through, but I once had the interesting experience of teaching a seminar co-op class with a student who was homeschooling for the first time in high school.  It was a stopgap, and she switched to a different private school after a year.  Her biggest issue was managing her time.  She was absolutely floored that so many students could have some co-op classes that met just once a week and have other at-home classes and they'd just sit down and get the work done.  She kept saying 'How do you make yourself do it?'.   I think it's similar to what a lot of students face when they get to college and think they have all of this extra time, only worse.  🙂  

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22 hours ago, Farrar said:

<snip>   how to keep organized is usually really key. For kids used to having all their assignments and work in a one stop place - the school - suddenly having a bunch of different things with different schedules feels like chaos.

 

21 hours ago, Clemsondana said:

<snip>   I think it's similar to what a lot of students face when they get to college and think they have all of this extra time, only worse.  🙂  

Goodness, I really had not thought of it that way. Thanks!  Of course, I am intimately familiar with homeschooling high school preparing (most) kids to get the work done in college, but never thought about homeschooling in grade school preparing them for high school work.

I think that talking to my friend about time management and how work flows in homeschool is really important.  This will be quite the adjustment.

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