High School Daze

I have a precious reader named Carol, who just sent me a question regarding homeschooling.

“I have a homeschooling question for you. I have a daughter who is currently in 10th grade. We are looking into different options for her for school for maybe even the rest of this year, for sure next year. Homeschooling is one of the things we are considering. I know you’re not there yet with your kids, but I was hoping you could point me in the right direction as to where to look for info on homeschooling a high schooler. What do you plan on doing when your kids get that age?”

Well, Carol, I plan on making certain that I’m adequately medicated. I will then play my 8-track tapes that I’ve been saving, at full volume, and rock out to Queen and The Doobie Brothers, anytime my children have friends over. I will wear the same dress, everyday, for two weeks straight. And steadfastly refuse to brush my hair.

And further, I will sit in the back seat with Fiddledaddy, and flick him until he slugs me in the throat. Whereupon I will tattle on him. And take his favorite doll. Just for sport.

Oh, I jest. (Sort of.)

The high school years seem blissfully far away. We’re taking it one year at a time. I really do see us continuing to homeschool through high school. If we see that it continues to be what is best for our kids and our family.

I may sound like a broken record, but honestly, attend a homeschool convention if possible. I know that our local convention has all kinds of seminars on homeschooling high schoolers. In fact, I’ve already started packing for our homeschool convention.

It’s in May.

Depending on your local homeschooling laws, you could also look into duel enrollment. Homeschooled High School aged kids are able to take some local college courses. And there are a number of really wonderful on-line courses available, I know that Bob Jones really excels in this area.

Here is where I want to turn the discussion over to you all who are homeschooling high school aged kids, or have survived and are finished.

Also, I would love it if those of you who are teaching high school in the school system would weigh in with your experiences. What are some of the obstacles you are faced with when working within the “system” while trying to meet the needs of your students?

And let me say, for the record, how much I respect you all who are teaching in the public and private schools. I know that there are many many of you who have such a heart for the children. And that you put in very long hours, and take a lot of heat.

I’ve spoken with Carol a little bit about why she is considering a change. The only thing that she is comfortable divulging right now is that her school system is rather large, and is having a difficult time meeting the needs of students who need extra help.

I know she will appreciate any advice or ideas that you give her.

Y’all rock. Have a great weekend.

I’ll be back tomorrow with “Saturday Stirrings” and my new friend Mr. Linky.

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February 15, 2008

11 Responses to High School Daze

  • My friend, Robin, has a high-schooler. She is also enrolled in the local community college. She loves talking about homeschooling. Her blog is here: http://beaglesarebad.com/moodswings/

  • Public high school is a very scary place. I taught in one and you would frankly not believe the things I sent my students to the office for (a lot of it’s not family-friendly enough for this site). We will definitely be homeschooling through high school and I’m looking forward to reading the answers here!

  • I homeschool.

    My son is a senior this year, and my daughter in 9th grade.

    Right now, as I am frustrated with my daughter, I will not say anything save this….

    If you want them to get good grades, DO NOT allow them to get a part time job. My son went from a 3.8 GPA to a 2.7 this year. All because of his part time job.

  • What chocolatechic said is interesting. My husband has said that he doesn’t like the idea of our kids having part time jobs in high school…she said it so well.

  • We homeschooled our two all the way through and survived 🙂 My kids are almost 5 years apart so there was a lot more available with the 2nd one. But for both I customized our curriculum. One of the big changes between #1 and #2 came because of advice from #1. When he got to college he struggled in his first lab science class. We’d done biology on video with him. He suggested we find a homeschool co-op to participate in for science so #2 would have some hands-on lab experience BEFORE college. So that’s what we did. Had to drive to the next county, but it was only once a week, three times a month. #2 ended up taking quite a few classes through the co-op during high school. So it’s worth checking to see if something like that’s available in your area.
    Every child is different. I know we hear that again and again, but it is true. My son was a hands-on learner, had what I called a “low boredom threshold” and excelled in math. No workbooks for him! My daughter loved workbooks, obsessed about grades, hated math and was a better test taker than her brother. She also had more opportunities as the 2nd born, because the support group had more going on.
    And there’s so much more out there now for home schoolers! When we started ABeka and Bob Jones wouldn’t even sell to home schoolers! We’ve come a long way, baby! 🙂 Actually, the problem is the plethora of STUFF. How do you choose? Find someone whose child is a lot like yours, and ask them what works and what doesn’t. No need to re-invent the wheel.
    Bottom line is, though, no one loves your child or wants him to succeed more than you do. We always felt homeschooling was a great fit for our family for that very reason.
    Our son graduated from college in ’04 and our daughter is slated to graduate from college next year.

  • Check out the homeschooling through high school resources at http://www.hslda.org.

    A lot of your decisions will be affected by whether you see yourself homeschooling the remainder of her high school years, or if you intend to re-enroll her before graduation. If the latter is the case, you’ll want to be in close contact with the school system so that the content of your home school is compatible with the content of the school she’ll enter (or re-enter).

    If you plan to finish out your daughter’s schooling at home, consider beginning with aptitude and interest surveys to help narrow your choices to content areas that will take her where she wants to go after high school. If she’s wanting to go to culinary school, you may want to skip physics and go for chemistry instead. Talk to someone at a local community college about concurrent enrollment for home schooled high school students and take advantage of their guidance counselors. Concurrent (or dual) enrollment is for credit, though some classes may be audited for no college credit, but homeschool credit may be given.

    Find a homeschool support group in your area with parents of older students, or call the mom and/or dad who directs the local co-op. They’ll have lots of information that is relevant where you live.

  • I have a 9th grader this year, and I second the idea to look at HSLDA (just click on the “high school” link on the sidebar.) There are also some books that might be helpful, including ‘Homeschooling High School: Planning Ahead for College Admission’ by Jeanne Gowen Dennis and ‘Homeschooling: The Teen Years’ by Cafi Cohen. Our family participates in a highly academic and structured co-op, but as he moves into his junior and senior years, I will probably enroll him in the local community college or some online courses to round out his requirements.

  • Thank you sooooo much, DeeDee, for posting my question on your blog. If you ever have any questions about Throwing Like a Girl or whatever my blog is about, feel free to ask! I hate to be the one to tell you this, but my son & his friends who just graduated high school all love Queen, the Doobie Brothers, and other classic rock. You will probably have to subject yourself to disco or rap to really annoy your kids. Just forewarning you.

    Also, thanks so much for all of you who took the time to point me in the directions I need to go for more info. I’m not sure what we are going to do, but I want to have options based on knowledge not assumptions. (Does that make sense?)

    Blessings, Carol

  • My kids are 20 and 18yo. Homeschooling through the high school years has been fun. We used a lot of lab science co-op classes when we were in TX and here in CO. My daughter was especially grateful not to be put in a school. She would not have survived, I’m sure. Barb Shelton is one homeschooling mom that has a great high school curriculum plan. I would definitely look beyond text books and look for REAL books on history that make it interesting to read. There are lots out there. Same with science. 🙂

  • Last year I took my 9th grade son out of public school second semester to homeschool him. He was just not being successful in public school despite my best efforts to work with the teachers and counselor. He was also making poor choices in friends. It was our first venture in homeschooling but it was made particularly difficult by the fact that he was NOT on board with the idea. We chose our homeschool program based on the fact that we told him if he would develop strong study habits and work hard we would allow him to return to public highschool. So we had to select a program that was accepted by our school system so he would receive credit for his classes. I will say that overall this was a helpful experience, with me working closely enough with him that I was able to see where his problem areas were. WE also bonded from spending so much time together, even if a lot of that time felt like it was spent at war.

    It was hard to keep seeing the big picture sometimes. Anyway, good luck with your decision, and know that if your daughter is not on board with this decision (and even if she is) homeschooling a teenager can be tough. God bless you for looking outside the box to find ways to help her be successful.

  • Hi Carol.

    I second the motion to contact HSLDA. They can point you to many excellent resources.

    Where you would be picking up homeschooling, I recommend that at least for the first year, you select a curriculum that is all planned out for you. As you go through the year, you may feel the urge to customize and personalize, but you’ll have a good idea of how to organize a school year. And it will give you another year in which to check out all the great resources available to homeschoolers now.

    There is SO MUCH available that it can be overwhelming to choose which program will fit your needs, but it is fun also! I love homeschooling catalogs. Rainbow Resources is tops IMHO. Their catalog contains almost everything and at decent prices. Warning: This is a app. 700 page catalog, take a deep breath and grab a cup of coffee before you dive in.

    Best wishes.