5 (surprising) things you need to know about homeschooling high school ~
Written by Shawna Wingert of Different by Design Learning
For seven years now, I have been sharing our homeschool journey here on Simple Homeschool.
My oldest was eleven at the time. My youngest was eight.
It’s been a wonderful, crazy, joyful, stressful, sometimes devastating, sometimes rewarding, always worthwhile seven years.
Today, I find myself helping one child graduate high school, and the other prepare to begin it. My oldest only has six weeks left in his educational journey with me. My youngest has six weeks plus the next four high school years.
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I think because my oldest is preparing for life after high school homeschool, I find myself reflecting on what I know now about the high school years (that I never would’ve thought possible back when we started).
The truth is, most of the past four years feel like blur. They went by so much faster than his younger years homeschooling. They went by faster, but they were also, frankly, so much more fun.
Our days have became equally interesting for all of us. Because they are older, their interests more closely resemble my own. Our discussions about current events, history, and art are far more engaging than I thought possible.
It’s hard to think about it coming to an end, at least with one of them.
With this in mind, I wanted to share the things I wish I’d known about homeschooling high school before we were actually homeschooling high school. If I could go back in time to the mom I was seven years ago, this is what I would tell her.
5 Things You Need To Know About Homeschooling High School
1. Homeschooling High School Doesn’t Have To Be Totally Different From The Younger Years.
When we were preparing for my oldest to begin his freshman year, I thought it would be totally different.
I mean, this is high school right? Doesn’t it need to be more rigorous and less, well, fun?
Turns out, my son’s high school years looked a lot like every other year: interest-led, hands-on, project based learning.
At the end of his senior year, I can honestly say that it worked. We had already figured out how he learns best. I am so glad we didn’t change that to fit some idea of how high school is supposed to be!
2. Don’t Be Afraid Of High School Transcripts and Course Credits.
I was terrified of the transcript at first. It felt formal and threatening.
Turns out, it wasn’t really that hard. In fact, after I figured out how I wanted to do it, I actually looked forward to completing his transcript each semester. It felt like an observable measure of progress (something that can be really hard to come by as a homeschool mom!).
This post by Kara, really helped me relax about my son’s transcript.
3. Your Role Will Change Over The Four Years (and that’s OK).
I was a little taken aback by how quickly my role began to change as my son progressed through the high school years.
I went from being the one in charge of all of things to the one who needs to buy all the things and drive him to all the things. It was a little disconcerting at first, but it was exactly what needed to happen. My son developed a sense of engagement in his learning and independence that we had never seen before.
It’s worth being the accountant and the driver, instead of the teacher sometimes.
4. Your Child Will Have More Opinions (and that’s OK).
Of course it’s okay, right?
I know this to be true in my heart, but I can tell you that when my son had a very strong opinion about applying to four year colleges (he wanted to, I thought it was not a great fit for him) – I missed the years of him pretty much learning the way I thought he should learn.
Homeschooling high school is also just parenting a high schooler. It includes letting go when it’s time (cue tears).
5. The Memories Are Irreplaceable.
Oh my goodness, this one also makes me tear up a little, but it’s true.
The memories we have created together, especially as my son has become more and more of an adult, are precious to me in a way that is quite different from the younger years.
I am not sure I can put it all into words, but this is what I know – these high school years are when homeschooling and being with my kids all the time really started to get good.
I wouldn’t trade the memories we’ve made these past four years for anything.
There is so much more I could share.
I could tell you how impressed I was with my son’s college essays. I could tell you how worried I am about the giant step he is taking in heading off to college in the fall.
But I won’t. What I want to tell you is this – homeschooling high school has been one of the greatest experiences of my life and I am so grateful to be able to do it all over again with my youngest.
Maybe check back in four years. I will let you know how it goes.
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