Homeschooling High School: Taming the Fear in 3 Steps ~
Written by Erin Vincent of Nourishing My Scholar
High school is looming, and I suddenly feel lost and full of fear. This homeschool terrain feels different. There are transcripts, SATs, ACTs, dual enrollment, and colleges to think about; additional requirements come with those.
What about trade school or entrepreneurship? Not every high school path leads to college. But suddenly, our lovely interest-led homeschool feels boxed in.
Prefer to listen instead?
As if these thoughts weren’t enough to stress this mama out, there is the fact that my son has reached the ripe old age of 14-years old! He’s transformed into a hormonal, moody creature who prefers to hoard dishes in his room like a dragon hoards its treasure.
How do I traverse this new era of life? This life with a teenager taller than me who says he isn’t interested in anything except gaming and his friends. He has no idea what he wants to do when he graduates.
Am I the only mom facing this scenario? Am I just overthinking it all?
Maybe, but here are three ideas that are helping me navigate this unfamiliar territory:
Homeschooling High School: Taming the Fear in 3 Steps
1. Know you are not alone.
I recently discovered that I am not the only one facing a similar scenario. In one of the Homeschooling High School Facebook groups I’m in with over 32K members, there was a poll about what your teenager wanted to do when they graduated. While tons of kids know precisely what they want to do, just as many have no clue!
Imagine my relief to see we weren’t the only ones!
I decided to reach out to my mom friends who had already graduated their kiddos about my high school fears. They laughed good-naturedly and talked me out of my hyperventilation. Veteran homeschool moms are a wealth of encouragement and wisdom.
But if you don’t have any of these tremendous friends who have been through the trenches and come out the other side, you may want to read a few helpful posts written by veteran homeschoolers.
These helped calm my nerves too:
2. Listen to Your Teenager.
My big takeaway from all of the above was that homeschool is not public school!
I knew that; we’ve been homeschooling for nine years! But somehow, it didn’t feel true.
Sure, your child may need three or four science credits, depending on their possible college route. They may need labs and four math credits. Maybe college isn’t their path of choice and that’s okay too.
It’s not as scary as I was making it out to be. There is still much freedom in our choice to homeschool.
I just had to listen to my son.
My son does have interests outside of friends and gaming. He’s obsessed with J. R. R. Tolkien and Psychology! So I started scouring the internet looking for resources that we could use to build upon those interests and create course credits for English and Social Studies.
My son loves history and has mentioned wanting to study ancient civilizations next year, which would be an additional social studies course.
And math is a no-brainer. We are using Mr. D Algebra 1 next year.
My son wants to continue with his Italian lessons, so I’ll be looking for a few more resources to bulk it up. Now I’m just looking for a good science program.
3. Remember that you’re in this together.
Talk with your teenager about his or her goals and interests. It’s crucial to keep those lines of communication open.
By genuinely listening to what they’re saying and helping to facilitate their educational path, we build better relationships while creating a homeschool as unique as they are.
After a tumultuous week of hormones, research, and tears on my part, I presented a few more ideas to my son. And this was his response to me:
“Mama, I love you.”
I love you too!
“Thank you for everything you’re doing for me.”
Of course, you’re welcome!
“I just felt like it needed to be said.”
My heart wanted to explode with happiness and my fear was tamed. I’m confident now that I can make all of this work for my son. And you can do the same.
You can and will have success in your homeschool with your high schooler! Just remember that you are not alone, to listen to your teen, and that you’re in this together.
What’s Your Homeschool Mom Personality? Take Jamie’s quiz now and receive a free personality report to help you organize your homeschool based on what your personality type needs most!