Homeschooling High School
Homeschooling high school is a day-by-day, unfolding adventure! Typically, these are the years when you will watch your child bloom and mature toward the adult he will become. Gifts, talents, personality, and hormones all combine to make for some of the hardest and best of times.
Many parents are afraid of homeschooling high school. They are intimidated by subjects like ‘Chemistry’ or ‘Pre-Calculus’ but guess what… you don’t have to learn all of those things yourself… unless you want to! If your child’s reading skills are at grade level or above, he will now begin to truly educate himself.
Your role can now gradually change from teacher to facilitator. Your job will be to try to see that he has all that he needs to learn what he needs to know and to serve as an overseer to keep him on track.
This will happen as you help your child assume more and more responsibility for his own education. Ask him to help choose his curriculum and listen to his concerns and preferences. He will need, at some point during these years, to take ownership of his future; helping to choose his short and long term educational goals and the paths he prefers to take to reach them.
This was a marvelous thing to behold when it took place in my daughter. Almost overnight, it seemed, she went from expecting me to do everything for her and resenting me when I did, to being able to tell me what she needed to do and why, and then how and when she planned to accomplish it! She realized that she is the only person who can make her future happen!
And there are more and more resources available for homeschooling high school to support your child as he learns to teach himself. Check out my high school pages and resources here.
Even if your child isn’t sure what career to choose yet, he will need to begin to consider the possibilities. Choosing a direction or passion to pursue may be obvious for some and may never become absolutely clear for others. This is a time for lots of discussions and prayer and explorations of possibilities... it's an exciting time!
By the time your are ready to homeschool high school, many children are displaying a particular bent.If you have a child who definitely knows what he wants to do, count yourself blessed! Then find books that provide information on the steps necessary to pursue that profession or Google ‘How to become a …’ and begin to work through the requirements and possibilities.
If your child ‘just doesn’t have a clue yet’, that’s okay… He can still prepare in a general way and narrow things down later. There are aptitude tests he can take that may help him decide.
The idea while homeschooling during the high school years is to help him to learn about as many options as you can. Help him to develop or narrow down his interests as needed and to discover which ones will be hobbies and which ones might be life-long loves that will let him support himself.
In our area (Eastern WA), there is a skills center that helps train non-college bound students for careers. High school students can take classes there that will count toward any certification they may need.
There is also a program here called ‘Running Start’. Juniors and seniors may take classes at participating local colleges and earn high school and college credits simultaneously (sometimes called 'concurrent credits').You can ask your public school district if similar programs are available in your area.
My daughter completed many of her ‘Gen Ed’ classes this way during high school. She has been blessed by discovering a passion to pursue and with the Gen. Ed. courses out of the way is now able to devote her college years to pursuing her major in depth and extra courses that support it.
Other homeschooled high school students we know who were ready for a college load, dove right in and in their last two years of high school earned their high school diploma and an associates degree.
Whether or not your child plans to attend college, you will want to help him make a four year plan for high school during the summer after completing his 8th grade coursework. See our Making Plans Page.
By his sophomore year, whether he is planning on college or not, he must begin to think through his future because by his junior year of high school, he will need to have at least some general goals in place so that his schooling supports them.
Now will be the time to look at college or tech school choices, send for catalogs, learn about financial aid possibilities and application procedures.
Consider scheduling time in your homeschool high school for community service and volunteer work during high school because many colleges consider this the mark of a superior student. And giving of ourselves will often serve to deepen our character. Sometimes, a student can find volunteer work in his chosen field of study or he can use time as a volunteer to help him determine if a career area really interests him.
No matter what direction your child chooses, he will need certain life skills.
- He will need to understand the basics of personal finances… how to balance a checkbook, use a debit card He must understand how credit cards work and that debt is to be avoided. He must know how to spend a paycheck wisely.
- He will want to learn how to drive. I am convinced that parents should receive medals for heroism if they survive this particular subject. He will need to know how to care for a car; how to get the best deal on auto insurance and what coverage he needs.
- I believe that every high school graduate should have good keyboarding skills including 10-key. He probably already understands more than you do about iPods, cell phones and technology in general.
- He needs to know what a prospective employer would expect from him in an interview, and later, if he is successful, on the job.
- He must understand his sexual responsibilities and the consequences and impact of his choices in this area.
- Most importantly, he will need to know that there is a friend who is ‘closer than a brother’. He will need to know Jesus. He will need to know what he believes and why he believes it. And that no matter what path he chooses, Jesus will walk it with him. When the arm of flesh fails him, Jesus never will.
As much as possible, take this journey of homeschooling high school together. Your young adult will need your support and encouragement as he makes some of the most important decisions of his life. Remember too, that it is his life, and ultimately his decision.
Try not to encourage him to live out your own never-realized dreams… unless they happen to be the same as his. Even then, he will need your support to pursue that dream in his own unique way.
Help him to think through his goals and decision-making. Point him toward great resources to learn more. Love him through the setbacks and discouragements. You will know what to do when the time comes. Just let your love for him and faith in him guide you.
Visit our ‘Home for High School’ page to learn more specific information and find links to great resources to make the goal setting and decision making a little easier.
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