Why do many people quit homeschooling at the senior high school level? Teaching high school courses may seem difficult, students want to be involved in sports, parents fear homeschoolers will sacrifice social activities, or parents develop homeschool burnout and no longer wish to continue.
Here are some tips for making it through homeschooling high school and reasons why it can be very rewarding.
Concern: Homeschooling High School Courses is Hard
Encouragement and Ideas: Some resources to help with hard high school subject areas are: purchased curriculum (including teacher edition), online courses, tutors, trading teaching time with other parents, YouTube or other online platform lessons, and community classes. One excellent way to teach a subject is for the homeschool adult to learn along with the student.
Concern: What About Homeschool High School Sports?
Encouragement and Ideas: Many homeschool students go to public high school for the sports. Depending on the area and school system, there may be options. Some cities have strong community sports leagues that will welcome home-educated kids. Some school systems allow homeschoolers to join high school teams, even without taking any classes on campus. Some areas have public-school-supported ‘homeschooling’ campuses or programs, in which case students would have access to anything available to public school students. Lastly, if enough families work together, homeschoolers may be able to form their own teams and/or leagues. For instance, a special bowling league would be simple to set up at a local alley.
Concern: What do Homeschoolers do About Clubs, School Dances, and Prom?
Encouragement and Ideas: Many homeschooled kids belong to clubs such as 4-H and scouting. Other special interest groups (chess clubs, book clubs, or volunteer groups, for instance) are an option as well. Homeschool teen groups are set up in many communities and the kids and adults involved organize social opportunities such as dances (including Proms), fun gatherings and parties, and events like graduation ceremonies. See aabc_homeschooling for more ideas and information.
Concern: Parents may be Facing Homeschool Burnout
Encouragement and Ideas: If burnout becomes an issue, perhaps the style of homeschooling can be changed, at least for a while. If the same curriculum has been used for years, perhaps an online program or another type of learning could be adopted. A family trip to learn U.S. History by seeing the country could go a long way in refreshing attitudes. Spending a month on a volunteer project or starting a small business could mean learning across the curriculum while changing the community. Doing a large home improvement project as a family could lift everyone’s spirits and raise home value while math, design skills, etc. are learned. There are also opportunities for high school aged teens to do internships or get a part time job. All these things bring new skills and knowledge to the student while giving the teacher a break and time to refresh. There are many ways to fit homeschooling into home life and Homeschool During Illness.
While these are not all the concerns of those entering the high school years, it is good to remember that continuing to homeschool through graduation can give a student unique opportunities. They may not be exactly the same as those of their public schooled peers… but they will be their own and they can be molded to fit their life goals and values.
Myths About Homeschooling
More and more parents are making the decision to home school their children as an alternative to public or private education. The reasons are various and range from protecting children from school dangers such as shootings, fights, or bullying to not wanting their 11 year old daughters to receive the state mandated HPV vaccination. Some parents are more than satisfied with the public school system.
Other parents want to take control of educating their children from a public school system they see as falling short in many areas. Not all public or private schools are sub-standard, but many are merely teaching students just enough to pass a test in order to meet state and federal requirements for funding. The growing number of homeschooled kids seems to indicate parents are looking for an alternative.
Despite Misunderstandings, Homeschool May be a Viable Alternative
Homeschooling is one of those alternatives and may be misunderstood by the general public because so many people just don’t know that much about it. This misunderstanding often leads to a great deal of misinformation and fear of the educational concept. However, once the pros and cons of homeschooling are understood, this option may be a possibility for those looking for another option. In spite of known benefits and strengths, the myths of homeschooling endure.
Inability of Homeschool Parents to Teach
Evidence proves otherwise. A report by Lawrence Rudner of the University of Maryland stated that homeschooled students performed well on tests of academic achievement, typically scoring in the 70th and 80th percentiles. Homeschool students are academically equal, or in some cases, more academically advanced than public school students. More and more colleges and universities are becoming more aware of the academic abilities of homeschooled kids and as a result, are offering financial aid and special academic programs. Harvard, Stanford, and Yale are among the most homeschool-friendly institutions of higher education.
Also, parents know their own children better and have more of an interest in their child’s education than any teacher in any school. This sometimes means some homeschool parents feel inadequate to the task of teaching. In the past, this was a major concern with a parents ability to teach effectively. Because of more parent-friendly curriculum, almost anyone can be a teacher these days. Most curriculum comes with the lesson plan already prepared and is designed to aid parents who may not think they are teachers. Some self-directed curriculum is even designed to allow older students to work on a computer by themselves or with a teacher online.
Homeschool Students are Not Properly Socialized
For some reason, most people seem to think that homeschool kids are not socialized. Some think it harmful to isolate kids from social interaction with same-age peers in a public school with a minimum amount of adult supervision for 30-40 hours every week. Surprisingly, some parents choose to homeschool for this very reason. Learning occurs through the process of practice with adequate feedback and homeschool kids learn from the adults around them.
Public school students also learn social skills from the same-age peers around them, 25-40 other children in the same classroom who typically do not have the social and communication skills of adults. Students schooled at home may actually be better socialized to interact with people of all ages, not just same-age peers. Engage a homeschool kid and a public school kid in conversation and determine if there is a difference in social development.
Concept of Home Schooling is Greatly Misunderstood but Growing Anyway
In spite of the general public’s misunderstanding of the whole concept of homeschool, there are now more students being taught at home than ever before. The availability of quality home based educational curriculum has greatly increased due to the rise in the numbers of kids now in homeschool. Apparently, more and more people see the positive benefits of schooling at home over what is offered by the public school system.
The concept of teaching kids at home is becoming more popular for many reasons. Most misundersatnding comes from people who simply aren’t fully informed about all the aspects of homeschooling. If the concept of homeschool seems new and foreign, take some time to learn about all the various aspects of home based education before making a judgment.
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