I know you’re short on time. Which is why I try, through these articles, to give you quick and easy information you can really use. Without a lot of stories and fluff you don’t.
Who has the time? You’re a homeschool parent. There’s a lot to think about.
I get that.
So, real quick, I want to share an important idea. It’s one you might not be familiar with, since it’s one not everybody remembers to tell you.
It’s a shift you need to make if you’re homeschooling high school.
It’s a crucial shift for college-bound students especially.
First, the backstory.
The one where your teen needs to finish a boat load of requirements before graduating high school, if they want to be successful, that is. Which I agree with. They have to. I write about those requirements on this web site quite a bit (start here if you’re not sure what I mean).
Your student really does need all that stuff, especially if they’re college bound. It’s pretty much assumed that all applicants will show up with them. Your student could be at a serious disadvantage if they don’t.
Now, here’s the shift.
There’s actually more to high schooling than just requirements. It’s easy to forget that we’re in the thick of day to day learning. But, it’s important for success, so you have to work this stuff in, too. The shift is about making room in your schedules and prioritizing all this other stuff, too.
I’m talking about stuff like volunteering in and around the community; working community service projects, whether short or long term; having outside interests, maybe in clubs or groups or classes; leadership activities, like Eagle projects or being on the board of a student-run organizations; and anything else that is different from what goes on in the classroom.
It might be a hobby or a part-time job. It might be interning somewhere or helping with a family business. It might be caring for a family member or helping with routine child care around the house.
Basically, everything besides regular coursework is the stuff I’m talking about. It’s the other half of high schooling that many people forget.
Here’s a visual:
1/2 academics + 1/2 everything else = 1 high school experience
Or, probably more accurately for some families, this:
3/4 academics + 1/4 everything else = 1 high school experience
The exactly proportions are up to you.
Why is that stuff important, you ask? How is your kid supposed to have time for some of that?
With creative scheduling and lots of parental support it can be done. All that driving around town, waiting endless hours for your kid to finish, shopping for supplies, and stuff like that. When you’d rather be doing something else, anything else, and sometimes it’s boring as heck, plus the house is a wreck and there’s nothing for dinner, but you’re doing it for your kid. Those kinds of things.
And it’s important for those college interviews, where your kid will get asked about stuff exactly like this. Interviewers want to know about coursework, true, but because lots of students apply with the same grades and the same coursework, it’s the stuff that can help your student stand out.
Plus, it’s fun. It’s needed. It’s important for your teen’s well-being. Who wants to be trapped in the house or seated by the computer all day anyway?
It’s important for scholarship committees that specifically seek applicants with certain areas of interest, beaucoup volunteer hours, and passions that lie outside the mediocrity of traditional high school coursework.
Makes sense, doesn’t it?
The shift is to give as much attention to coursework and requirements in high school as you do all this other stuff. I know it’s easy to forget , so let this be a reminder to incorporate “outside” things “inside” your home education program.
Your teens will thank you for this, by the way. They’ll appreciate your slight de-emphasis from lessons, grades and assessments, and the opportunity to delve into other areas of their lives. They’ll be better for it in the long run, too. You all just don’t realize it yet.
To your success,
Have you read my “Top Ten High School Fears” series? If not, find it right here.
Dr. Marie-Claire Moreau is a college professor who traded in her tenure to become a homeschool mom 20+ years ago. A homeschooling pioneer and the founder of many groups and organizations, she works to advance home education, and is an outspoken supporter of education reform coast to coast. Her book, Suddenly Homeschooling: A Quick Start Guide to Legally Homeschool in Two Weeks, is industry-acclaimed as it illustrates how homeschooling can rescue children and families from the public school system, and how anyone can begin homeschooling within a limited time-frame, with no teaching background whatsoever. A writer, a homeschool leader, and a women’s life coach, Marie-Claire mentors in a variety of areas that impact health, education and lifestyle. A conference speaker, she has appeared at FPEA/Tampa, H.E.R.I., HECOA, Start Homeschooling Summit, Luminous Mind, Vintage Homeschool Moms, iHomeschool Network, and other events. Her articles have appeared in and on Holistic Parenting, CONNECT, Homefires, Homemaking Cottage, Kiwi, Circle of Moms, and hundreds of sites and blogs nationwide. Marie-Claire can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out Marie-Claire’s new book for Florida home educators HERE.