Millions of children are homeschooled — a large proportion are in high school right now. Thousands have already graduated, too. Yet, despite the numbers and the testimonials to success, sometimes, parents still feel their teens would be better off in high school.
If extensive data-collection and research, honest discussions as a family, and your gut and intuition, have all led to the decision that attending high school is best for a particular child; and, if the decision is based on a combination of facts and logic (not emotions or responses to events and circumstances), the best thing to do may be to give high school a try.
You may be surprised to read that. But, you see, I already know attending high school is not best. You may not. For some families, going through the process is what it takes to see for themselves.
If enrolling a homeschooler in high school is a thought in your mind, it may be helpful to hear from other parents who have already graduated high schoolers from homeschool. Hearing how they did it and hearing from the students themselves is proof the process really works.
I have also found it tremendously helpful to recommend that families speak to other teens presently attending the local high school. Conversations with students who go there are often very honest and revealing.
Consider these additional points as a part of your thorough research:
- Without exception, ANY subject or skill taught in a high school can be taught via homeschooling. People, books, videos, employers, classes, colleges, tutors, videos, games, software, and mentors exist to teach any subject or skill there is. Period.
- Homeschoolers may specialize in areas, learn technical skills, and work on specific “major” areas of study in high school if they wish. The flexibility and customization of homeschooling makes this extraordinarily easy. Advanced placement, International Bauccelaureate, and other similar programs can be duplicated at home, too. High schoolers can participate in fairs, odysseys, competitions, bees, travel programs, and everything else, too.
- Homeschoolers in high school can learn to drive, hold part-time jobs, and earn volunteer and community service credit. Often, the efficiency of homeschooling allows homeschoolers to squeeze in more of these activities than other students who attend high school from 7-2 and have homework to complete every evening.
- Parents DO NOT need to be skilled in subjects themselves to supervise a child’s learning of those skills. Guidebooks and answer keys exists specifically for this purpose. Besides, by high school, most homeschool students are self-motivated and independent, needing little or no supervision at all.
- Homeschooled students who complete a high school program have indeed “graduated” from high school. Graduation status is the same for homeschoolers as for all other high school graduates around the country, and may be used on job applications, college applications, and more. Families who feel they want to mark this milestone with an actual printed diploma can obtain one, issue one or buy one. Graduation ceremonies are available, as well.
- In most states (check your laws), homeschooled teens can join in high school activities without ever having to enroll at all. If wanting to be a part of the high school community or attending social functions is what a family seeks, many states allow homeschoolers to do any or all of the following: go to proms, take classes part-time, attend dances, play sports, be in marching bands, join football teams, buy class rings, go to concerts, take state exams, and lots more. Schools also allow homeschoolers to “shadow” other students at the high school for a day or two before actually enrolling. (Oftentimes, this is enough to satisfy the urge to see what it’s like there.)
- Homeschool graduates are easily accepted into college. By and large, admissions procedures are exactly the same for homeschoolers as for anyone else. Admissions offices thoroughly understand homeschooling and have no difficulty processing homeschooled applicants. Homeschooled graduates are often sought-after in the applications and favored other others by scholarship committees, too. More homeschoolers graduate from colleges, too, but that is a subject for another post.
If, after 8 or 10 years of homeschooling, careful research, soul-searching and extended discussions, sending a teen to high school is what a family decides is best — the only thing to do, is to try it.
However, basing an important decision like this on myths about high school or lies about what most families do is foolish and irresponsible.
Listing concerns and addressing each one individually is a successful way to alleviate fears and make solid decisions about the high school years. Studying the homeschool research, and understanding that most families today DO homeschool all the way through high school is helpful, as well. Links to the research and to other traditional high school concerns have been provided, below.
Still have fears and questions about high school? Post in the COMMENT area and I’ll reply.
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