When we began homeschooling in 2001, we decided to take it year by year. Don’t get me wrong. I felt homeschooling was a calling, something I was supposed to do. But that didn’t make it any less overwhelming.
So, being the level-headed, open-minded, easy-going mom I thought I was, I lived by the motto: We’ll homeschool until it doesn’t work for us anymore. We’ll let our son decide if he wants to go to public high school.
Now, honestly, I’m not here to judge anyone. I firmly believe that every family has to do what they feel called to do as a unit. But for me, for my family, that motto is a cop out. It’s a non-committal stance based on fear.
Again, each family must follow their own path. I know circumstances change and homeschooling high school isn’t an option for everyone.
But for those of you who have been afforded that option, consider this your rallying cry to HOMESCHOOL HIGH SCHOOL.
I’ve been homeschooling for 13 years. This year, I have two seniors. Allow me to share a few bits of wisdom I’ve picked up along this homeschooling journey as I’ve examined (again and again) my heart and my family.
1. Teens need you as much as infants.
While they can now take care of their own physical needs, the emotional support required to help navigate a child through their teen years multiplies exponentially.
They need your wisdom (even if they act like they don’t want it). They will come to you for advice and midnight conversations.
2) Hold on to your influence and authority.
I’ve watched as too many parents have lost the precious footing of influence and authority in their children’s lives once the child is sent to public school. The opinions of friends, and even teachers, suddenly usurp that of mom and dad.
Even parents who were certain this would never happen to their child have fallen victim, simply due to the teenager’s natural curiosity. Caring about the opinions of friends is great; heeding them above parental authority is not.
3) What’s changed?
Why did you begin homeschooling? Look back and ask yourself if any of your original convictions have changed and why? For me, I felt called to homeschool – and a calling should not be fleeting.
Also, I wanted my children to have the freedom of a self-tailored education. So many things had changed over our homeschooling career. But no change warranted diverting from our path.
4) What’s hard is usually worth it.
Is it just too hard for you? I don’t blame you, I’ve felt that way too. I’ve had more than a few “I can’t do this anymore” moments through these high school years.
However, know that whatever is hard, is usually worth it. Don’t give up when your success may be just around the bend! Reevaluate. Make a new plan. Hire help.
Don’t. Give. Up.
5) Why go to high school when you can do more?
Homeschool offers our children so many more options than attending public school. The flexible schedule allows more time for interest led learning. Or, they can attend college for dual credit, volunteer or intern.
If you’re diligent, your homeschooler will graduate more prepared for their career, or life in general, than if they had spent 6 hours a day in public school.
Homeschooling high school isn’t the right choice for everyone. But it’s the right choice for my family, right now.
I hope you’ll consider staying the course. Do not be intimidated. You can do this!