Homeschooling high school can seem a little daunting, and many homeschooling moms fear they don’t have what it takes to help their children succeed. Although we may confidently homeschool elementary and even middle school, the stakes seem to get higher and suddenly the doubts creep in. We can be left asking is it too hard to homeschool a high schooler?
Why is this?
Because we start to buy into lies such as…
- There’s no way we are qualified to teach every subject.
- Our kids need opportunities that are only available if they attend public school.
- Homeschool students have a difficult time getting into the best universities.
Let’s replace the lies with TRUTH!
3 Truths About Homeschooling High School
Homeschooling High School Truth #1
The Lie: There’s no way we are qualified to teach every subject.
The Truth: Being qualified by the world’s standards isn’t a prerequisite for homeschooling high school.
Let’s start with what you don’t need: expertise in each subject. Homeschooling isn’t about how much knowledge you have, but in your ability to learn alongside your children, help facilitate their educational opportunities, and know where to find help when you need it.
Perhaps the most powerful lesson you can teach your children is how to become a life-long learner. Show your students that discovering how to learn enables them to take charge of their own education, even beyond the years of living in your home. And because you aren’t an “expert” in every subject, you will be able to model just that.
You become a facilitator of learning as you and your high school students choose different resources, look for classes that are available in your community and online, and reach out to others who know more about a subject than you do.
What’s available in your community?
- A community college or university
- Local theater
- Courses offered through your city
- Co-ops or homeschool groups
Take advantage of these things as a part of an intentional high school plan to give your students a well-rounded education.
Homeschooling High School Truth #2
The Lie: Our kids need opportunities that are only available if they attend public school.
The Truth: Homeschooling high school offers unique opportunities that exceed anything that others think our teens are missing by not attending public school.
Sure there are opportunities that public schools offer, but that doesn’t mean that equal (and even better) opportunities don’t exist for homeschool students.
If anything, homeschoolers have even more opportunities than their public school counterparts because of the time, freedom, and flexibility that homeschooling offers.
You’ll notice that several of the following opportunities allow our kids to develop community with peers and adults alike. The lack of socialization argument seems pretty silly when you look around and see all of the things homeschoolers are involved in today.
High School Field Trips
Field trips can play a crucial role in your high school student’s education. Consider visiting traditional places like zoos and museums, as well as places specific to what your high school student may be interested in when it comes to a career. News agencies, marketing companies, florists, and other local businesses are other ideas. They are often willing to talk to an interested teen and show them around.
Educational Family Vacations
Visit historical sites, explore museums in both large and smaller cities, and go to the places you are learning about in your studies as much as possible when traveling. Think of vacation time as a “field trip on steroids”! Whether it’s a trip to Washington DC after studying the federal government or the Grand Canyon after studying geology, travel gives students the opportunity to see learning come to life.
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Teen socials and dances, that parents are actually welcomed to attend and supervise, provide a great opportunity for teens to get together in a responsible and appropriate way. If your city or a community college offers dance classes—such as swing or ballroom dancing—have a group of teens sign up together. Then plan a social for them to show off their skills.
Other socials that are easy to plan include:
- Game nights
- Holiday parties
- Movie nights
- Going out to eat together
- Bingo night
So consider working together with other homeschooling parents to share the load of planning socials for your community’s high school teens. Your student will love it!
4-H is a non-profit organization. Through 4-H programs, students will learn a variety of skills with hands-on learning opportunities in the areas of STEM, agriculture, healthy living, and civic engagement.
Many homeschoolers are a part of 4-H clubs. If your area doesn’t have one, you may want to consider starting one yourself. 4-H offers scholarships to teens, leadership opportunities, conferences, and a variety of competitions and activities students can be involved in.
Homeschool teens are involved in sports including swim teams, basketball, volleyball, tennis, golf, and more. Some participate with private schools while many have started their own teams and leagues. A few states even allow homeschoolers to participate with their local schools’ sports teams.
Homeschooling High School Truth #3
The Lie: Homeschool students have a difficult time getting into the best universities.
The Truth: Homeschool students are not only getting into universities, those universities actively pursue them.
At times there may be different requirements from some universities. But that doesn’t mean homeschool students are not accepted into universities all over the United States. Universities often actively recruit homeschool students. They know that they tend to be self-starters, responsible, creative, and socially active students who serve their communities.
If a university education is one of your family’s goals, know that you will need to keep some records, create a transcript, and have your student take a test such as the SAT or ACT. However, this isn’t difficult to do and there are many resources designed to help such as the following ones.
Resources for Homeschooling High School
Lee Bintz has spent over 10 years helping parents homeschool their high school students at The HomeScholar.
She has multiple books and resources to help parents navigate the high school years including Setting the Records Straight: How to Craft Homeschool Transcripts and Course Descriptions for College Admission and Scholarships.
Cheryl Bastian of Celebrate Simple has created a couple of resources for homeschooling high school.
“High school is not a one-size-fits all experience. The journey is unique for every student. Celebrate High School equips parents and students of any educational philosophy with easy-to-follow explanations, ready-to-use examples, and parent testimonials.”
This is a “ready-to-use guide parents can reference as they walk alongside their teens and young adults through five personal development credits
- Nutrition and Wellness,
- Personal Fitness,
- Personal Awareness and Career Exploration,
- Philosophy, and
- Personal Finance
Each course intentionally prepares learners to be future-ready while gaining a better understanding of who they are and what they believe.”
You Can Homeschool High School!
Don’t believe the lies! You can homeschool high school successfully. Thousands of homeschool families have gone before you and found it to be a rewarding time for both parents and students. So focus on the truth and continue to give your students an education based at home.
So, Mom, I have to know, which of these three truths is the most important to you?