It seems to be somewhat of a trend for people to homeschool through elementary school, and even through middle school, but then once their children reach the high school level many choose to put their kids in public school. I’ve heard many say that it’s because of sports – they want their children to be able to participate on a sports team and maybe have a chance of going into college with that sport. (That’s a whole other blog topic and not where I’m going with this though. haha!)
One of the most common reasons is that many say that they aren’t qualified to teach high school or don’t feel capable of providing a high school education for their child. I’m not here to say that anyone and everyone can homeschool their kids all the way through, because I’m sure there are some who should not, but I think more people are capable of it than they realize. Having just graduated one from high school and currently homeschooling one in his junior year of high school, I can tell you that it IS possible! Not only that, it’s enjoyable!
If you are homeschooling younger kids and you’re not sure what you are going to do when they get to the high school level, you need to think about a few things before deciding that it can’t be done.
- Many of the high school classes that are required by state law for graduation and/or for college admission are basic classes that a parent is capable of teaching – even if that means learning some of it right along with them.
- By the time students reach the high school level they should be able to do part of their work in an independent fashion if provided with the proper textbooks and/or materials. There were things that I didn’t “teach” my kids – I directed their day/week/year and graded their work to make sure they were understanding it and keeping up. We might talk about it or they might ask me questions but I didn’t prepare a teaching lesson and teach to them daily. (This, of course, does not work with every subject though.)
- If there is a class that the student and parent feel inadequate to accomplish on their own (science and math classes are usually the most popular ones to fit into this category) there are many places you can go without having to teach this in your own home.
This last point actually brings me to the main p0int of this post. I know – it took me long enough to get here didn’t it!
I want to share about the different places that you can go to get these classes that you’re unsure of.
One of the most common ways that homeschool high school students take upper level classes is by taking concurrent classes at their local college. Many colleges offer these classes to juniors and seniors in high school for free tuition (fees are still charged usually) and not only does the class count for high school but they also receive college credit for the class, just as if they were already a college student. Many homeschooled kids choose to do this so that they can get a jump start on their college education and save time and money.
Another option available to homeschoolers are homeschool co-ops. Most communities with a large enough number of homeschoolers have plenty of co-ops to choose from. I can think of somewhere around ten in my area and that’s without researching and looking for them – just simply hearing people talk about them.
Private tutors are another resource that many people choose to use. There are many teachers and even homeschool moms who are more than happy to offer their services for a reasonable rate in order to spend one-on-one time teaching your child.
We even used to have just a small group of families at our church that took turns doing a lesson and hosting a class time for the kids. It helped relieve some of the pressure of doing it all plus it allowed the kids to have some fun learning with a few other kids besides their own siblings. In fact, I’m doing that this year. I am doing British Lit with my son and we’ve invited a few other kids to come over and participate so I’ll be teaching several other kids along with mine and their parents will be able to just send them and know that that subject is being taken care of.
If you’re not sure how to go about finding these things, my best advice would be to look for yahoo groups that are local, ask around at your church to see if there are any groups meeting, if your state has a statewide organization check their website to see if they list support groups, and attend local support groups so that you can talk to other moms and find out what they’re doing.
Offering your high school kids a great homeschool education is definitely doable – it requires a little effort, planning, and researching but it’s so worth that work!!
If you need help finding things in your area I’d be glad to try to help you out! Feel free to comment or e-mail me directly through my contact page and we’ll get started looking!!