Intimidated – that’s what I felt when I thought about teaching high school. Even though our oldest daughter was mostly self-taught by that time, I still had more questions than answers.
- How would I ever help her with high school math or science?
- How would I ever learn to make a transcript?
- What about gaps in her education?
- What about PSEO—Post-secondary Enrollment Options?
- Did she need to be preparing for college?
That was about 14 years ago and there are a lot more resources available now than there were then, but many of the reasons to homeschool high school remain the same. Here are 7 important reasons to homeschool your highschooler.
They need you now more than ever
With hormones and emotions gone wild and decisions to be made, they need to feel like they belong. What better group to belong to than your family? Homeschooling will give you more time together as a family and will help them develop closer relationships with you and their siblings. This will be their peer group. Friends come and go, but siblings are forever relationships.
We decided not to have teenagers
No, we didn’t just get rid of them when they turned 13.
“Teenager” is a relatively new term – something between children and adult. We skipped teens and went straight to young adults.
We had sort of a bar mitzva. A coming-of-age dinner where Dad read them a letter he had written to them. He told them we thought they were ready to be adults. He asked them to make a commitment to us and the Lord to keep themselves pure for the spouse the Lord would provide. He asked them if they were willing to stay under his authority.
After this they got more privileges, but they also got more responsibility.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 1 Cor. 13:11, NKJV
Homeschooling allows you to focus on character development over education
You can use the Bible as your main source of education.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” Deut. 6:7, NKJV
You can catch up on academics, but character training needs to be done daily. It’s difficult to repair character issues, so we need to place these above academics. Training our children in Godly character must be at the top of the list. I know it’s challenging to stop in the middle of your day—again—to cover something you just covered five minutes ago, but you will reap the rewards down the road.
It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Frederick Douglass
You get to choose what “gaps” your child will have
By this age you will probably have some idea of your children’s strengths and weaknesses. For instance, one of our children has dyslexia. She just doesn’t get along with numbers very well. As we realized this, we focused on developing her consumer math skills rather than higher math skills because we knew she would never do something that required great math skills.
Instead, we gave her the life skills she needs to cope with daily living—measurements for cooking, balancing a checkbook, how to handle her finances, etc.
You get to teach them to love learning
How do you do that? By making learning fun. Of course, some learning is just work, but there are a lot of ways to learn that don’t require sitting at a desk reading a book or doing workbook pages.
I didn’t have Pinterest or the internet to help me, yet we came up with a lot of ways to learn—like Dan doing dissections when they cleaned fish, collecting Monarch butterfly caterpillars and watching them become butterflies, or going for walks and hikes and discussing what we saw. We also worked at a food shelf and delivered Meals on Wheels weekly so they would consider serving a regular part of life.
Teach them how to learn
Knowing how to learn gives them to freedom to explore subjects outside the classroom.
If they know how to look things up or figure something out they will be able to learn anything they need to know. I was surprised several times when they already knew things that I was planning to have them study.
You end up developing a lifestyle of learning
By teaching them how to learn and to love to learn you are developing a lifestyle of learning. Learning is no longer relegated to school hours, but takes place everywhere—you expand their learning to everyday things: baking, cooking, cleaning, going for walks. All of life becomes a learning experience.
As we enter another school year, remember, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” Prov. 16:9, NKJV
©Write the Vision
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Phyllis is an ordinary woman serving an extraordinary God. She has been the joyful wife of her best friend Daniel for 31 years and became a stay-at-home mom 30 years ago after retiring from a management position. She homeschooled their three children, Emily (28), Rebekah (26), and Eric (24), for 20+ years and they are now continuing their education and working. She wrote a column on mothers and daughters for five years and has published several books. Her favorite is Purposeful Planning. Visit her on her site at Write the Vision – www.Phyllis-Sather.com
As I prepare to begin teaching high school next year, I am reaching out to those homeschool mom friends who have gone before me. Phyllis is one such friend. I am thrilled she was willing to share with you about her experience homeschooling high school!