All though elementary and middle school, I was a pretty easy-going homeschool mama. I learned to be flexible in my planning and scheduling, and I put together really fun units and courses for my kiddo. I thought I had it all down. And then high school came near, like a dark cloud looming on the horizon.
Insecurities hit hard and fast. We can’t keep going like we are! It’s fine for middle school to be fun, but high school? That’s when it all gets real, right?
I didn’t just shift…I turned a hard 180 and completely changed everything. We moved in one fell swoop from an eclectic method that fit my son well to a tightly structured, formal schedule that left us no room to breathe.
It all spiraled from there. And believe me, it wasn’t pretty.
Fortunately, I realized the truth early on: homeschooling high school is just not that hard!
The Truth of the Matter
I came to understand that a lot of the fears about homeschooling high school are things we as parents put on ourselves. Most of them simply aren’t real! Yes, high school does require some changes, and it does need to be more rigorous, but that really isn’t that hard to do.
When Insecurities Hit
The hardest part about homeschooling high school, for many of us, is a combination of two things.
First, it’s the last few years we have before sending our kids out into that great big world. Once that thought hits us, several more follow.
Have we done enough?
Will they be prepared?
How will my child get into college?
Will they be able to get a good job?
Will they be living in my basement for the next 20 years, blaming me for not doing more? (Ok, this one might not hit consciously, but it’s real!)
Second, high school seems like uncharted territory. All of a sudden, there are papers to write, chem labs to teach, and algebra to try to remember. What about British lit? And Calc? And…and… The list goes on, and we only have four short years to shove it all in.
Time to Change Perspective
I’ll be honest with you: in some ways, high school does mark the end of cuddling on the couch with a chapter book and really “fun,” activity-filled units. Teenagers just learn differently than elementary and middle school kids.
However, that doesn’t mean that high school is hard, or that it marks the end of the “fun” homeschool years. It’s actually incredibly fun in a lot of ways – those ways are just different.
High school is when your child will start to really explore their interests in new ways, to dig into deep ideas and want to share them with you. They’ll develop a sense of humor that will surprise you, and they’ll start to make connections that you never would have thought of. And you get to be there for it, walking alongside them the entire way. And trust me, that’s a pretty incredible thing.
When my son hit the high school years, I learned that I can no longer protect him from all the world will bombard him with. I can, however, prepare him. High school is an amazing time to do that.
Over the next several posts, we’ll be talking about different questions, concerns, issues, and joys that come with homeschooling high school. We’ll cover ways to approach different subjects, how to handle electives and format transcripts, and ways to approach the college questions. We’ll also talk about the changes and growth that come with high school – everything from ways to keep communication strong to things that are important to focus on.
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