Many parents sail through homeschooling in the early years, but when faced with the prospect of homeschooling high school, they get ready to bail, for all the wrong reasons! If you're concerned about homeschooling high school, Keys to High School Success will start you on the right path, and encourage you to keep going.
Know Your Child and Trust Yourself
Sometimes I meet parents who are looking for THE specific key to homeschool success. Unfortunately, there aren't any no-fail formulas that work for everyone, but there is one underlying foundational guideline that my midwife gave to me on the day that my eldest son was born, which comes pretty close. She handed me my baby, and gave me the only advice that I need to know, which is 'know your child and trust yourself.' In the same way, when you homeschool and really know your child, you can trust your own instincts. People think that maybe there's a magic wand that they can wave and everything is going to work out. But it's really that love and knowing your child that will ultimately make the difference. I was getting my hair done one day and listening to two moms talk about their children, who were enrolled in public school. One of the moms was describing how her child simply could not make it through a Pre-Algebra class because it was too hard for him, but the public school insisted that he move on to Algebra 1. She didn't think it was a good idea, but the school wouldn't let him retake Pre- Algebra the next year because that would mean a failing grade this year, and they didn't want that because he would be left behind. She asked her son how it was going during the first weeks of Algebra 1, and he said that he was lost, had no clue what was going on, and that he was going to fail. Two weeks into the quarter, she learned that her son had accidentally been signed up for a Calculus class. Instead of taking and failing Algebra, he was taking and failing Calculus. Now, homeschoolers are not perfect, but there's no way in homeschooling that we would make that mistake! Parents know their child better than that. When you know your child and trust yourself, nobody else is better-suited to make decisions about your situation. When people ask me for advice about things, I can give them suggestions and ideas, but I don't know their child. As the parent, you know your child best. So be confident and trust yourself! The love of your child will help you succeed!
Homeschooling high school has so many advantages for a student that sometimes it's hard to see why anyone would choose anything else! The first thing most people correlate with homeschooling is high academic performance. And it's true: homeschoolers have higher academic achievement than their non-homeschooled peers, no matter the level of education of the parent. Statistically, parents who do not have a high school diploma are just as effective in educating their children as somebody who has a doctoral degree. In addition, homeschoolers have better academic preparation regardless of how much the state intervenes. When you homeschool, your child will be fully educated, whether you use an outside educational program or put curriculum together yourself.
Just as levels of parental education or state intervention don't influence the academic performance of homeschoolers, gender and race don't either. Homeschoolers have better test scores than their public-schooled peers, regardless of the gender or race of the child, or their financial situation. No matter your income, you will produce a better-educated child as a homeschooler. Of course, that does not mean that your child will always be in the 87 th percentile (which is where the homeschool average is). It means that by pursuing your child's best interest in homeschooling, they will be better-educated than they would be in public school.
Homeschooling is also the best learning environment for a child. It is safe and secure. You don't have to worry about the physical safety of your children, their socialization, or the negative feedback they might get. Instead, they'll be stronger individuals, who will learn more without being distracted by other things. The socialization that homeschoolers experience is the socialization of the whole world.
When you're homeschooling, especially if it's four days a week, your children have a lot of time to test out what they like to do. They are not locked into a certain path which they have to continue on, based on whether they're mathematical, artistic, or whatever. Instead, through trial and error, they can explore a wide variety of different interests, and find out what they'd like to pursue after they graduate. The time and space available through homeschooling gives students room to explore and experiment with their interests. There really is a homeschool advantage!
This post is a chapter from my Coffee Break Book, Keys to High School Success. Regular price is $2.99 on Kindle. Grab your copy here July 6-9 for free!