When deciding to homeschool, only some parents make the decision to homeschool through highschool as early as 5 years old. A larger number of parents want to “see how it goes”. When we started out, we put that decision in the Lord’s hands and decided to see where we were at when the time came.
It turned out, we decided to homeschool through high school. And, it turned out to be the best decision we ever made. Below are 5 reasons we found to homeschool through the high school years:
Build a Strong Christian Foundation and Family Relationships
The time between middle and high school is an important period of personal development during the teen years. You’ve raised your child through elementary and middle school years in your Christian faith and family values. Now you face the decision as to whether to send your child to a school or continue to homeschool through the high school years.
It was at this time, my family felt we were really just getting down to business and entering a time when my children would be tested and we wanted to be more present in their days during this season. We wanted to continue to build that firm foundation for when our children entered college or went out on their own.
And now that I have one graduating from college, I feel we made the best decision for our family. That firm foundation really paid off during those college years. Homeschooling through high school gave our family the time together to build strong parent and sibling relationships during a key time in their development toward young adults. There is more time to talk and enjoy activities than if they were in school all day.
We cherished the time we spent with our guys at this age building lasting memories at a different level at this age before much of their time was taken up with college.
Time and Opportunity to Pursue Interests
Homeschooling through the high school years gives students the time and opportunity to explore and pursue their passions and personal interests. Those can be in the form of specific courses, internships and apprenticeships, entrepreneurship, jobs, clubs and organizations, hobbies, volunteering, or just reading about a subject that fascinates them.
For our family, this time was a great investment in character development and practical experience. Through leadership positions and hands-on training, it helped my guys discover their talents, interests, and future career options. And, it was exciting for us as parents to be able to have front row seats to witness their discoveries and watch them bloom!
It was a great learning process with successes, failures, and life skills they obtained to build on for the future.
Map Your Own Course of Study
One of the wonderful aspects of homeschooling is the ability to map and tailor your course of study to your own interests. Both my boys studied the required courses to meet state graduation and college admission requirements. But what was exciting for them and helped them stand out during the college admission process was the additional course load they pursued or unique courses they took to meet those requirements.
This consisted of specific and particular subject areas that defined their personal interests and reflected who they were and where they possibly might want to go in the future. Some of these were college classes or online classes that would not have been available to them if they had attended a nearby school. It also gave them additional credits that were applied to their college transcripts. These types of classes assisted them in determining what they wanted to study in college and to which colleges they wanted to apply.
It was also what made “school” interesting to them. They helped me with designing their high school scope and sequence and what resources to use in their schooling. We would begin each spring and finalize their selections each summer.
Homeschooling during these years decreased the amount of drama. As former middle and high school teachers, we intimately knew the atmosphere of schools where hundreds of teens spent hours together in close proximity. And, now with social media and texting, that time together is extended.
Homeschooling allows teens a chance to relax and decompress in a quieter atmosphere among family and away from peers. It allows children an opportunity to turn off the “noise” for a while, step back and gain a more balanced perspective of situations. It’s difficult to do that if you are forced to sit in class or walk the hallways all day every day with tumultuous hormones and feelings all around you.
Homeschooling gives your teens the “space” they need to “chill” and figure out their own thoughts and feelings about “things”. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt that you’re there if they want to use you as a sounding board instead of another teen.
Learning to Work Independently
When my first son started college, it was very rewarding when he came to me one evening and thanked me for homeschooling him. He had done this during the years, but this was different. He was now completely on his own with his studies and professors. He told me that he could really see how the years in high school where it was his responsibility to follow a syllabus I drew up for him for his courses (with his input) helped him in college.
We used high school as a training ground for independent study and time management. He was grateful for that practice and habit formation, now that it was the norm in college. He felt more prepared and confident than a number of his fellow classmates.
Now that both my guys have graduated high school and have done extremely well in college (not just academically), I can’t see us “not” homeschooling through high school. I feel it was actually the most important time to homeschool them. The most trying times were during the high school years. But, the most rewarding and fruitful years were spent homeschooling through high school.