There are two kinds of parents who consider homeschooling high school. Some parents ooze confidence and super-human academic and organizational capability. They often have near-perfect children, compliant in every situation. They have plenty of time to digest detailed information about high school. They thrive off research, and enjoy learning the nuances of senior year before their child becomes a teenager. If you are reading this ebook, you are most likely not one of these people!
My biggest fans, however, are parents who live in "the real world" of real stress. They can be slightly terrified sometimes, or even occasionally freaked out, and they often feel a little overwhelmed by all the details of homeschooling high school. I have met these parents at conventions. I know you are out there! But I also know how much you love your children and want to do a good job. If you're one of these parents, I want to offer you support as you plan your high school courses. In this ebook, we'll discuss college prep requirements for each high school subject area, and learn some strategies for choosing and teaching some of the harder subjects.
There are two questions that I hear very often from parents who are planning to homeschool high school. The first one is "How do I get them to do the work?" Unfortunately, children are free moral agents, who sometimes do not cooperate; but I can give you some general tips that can help. The first thing is to get your spouse to play the role of the principal. Sometimes, the job of homeschooling can be so overwhelming, it's helpful if you don't mix-up the job of educating your children with the job of consequences. If you can defer the consequences to your spouse when you are the primary teacher, then that can help you.
Another solution is to define some clear, natural consequences with a direct 'If…then' statement. "If you do not turn in your math assignment for the day, then you may not leave the front door." Just as you did when your children were toddlers, it can be effective to take what is most important to your teen and withhold it for the purposes of making sure that they get their schoolwork done. Their computer, cell phone, or whatever it is that they truly love and can't live without is a good thing to use for natural consequences.
The second question that I often hear is, "How do you get them to work independently?" Many people think high school students should be able to teach themselves. The truth is, you don't suddenly wake up on the first day of 9th grade and discover that your child is perfectly willing and capable of working independently.
Instead, it's a training process, and it's very much like teaching a baby to walk. When kids are ready to walk, they don't just stand up and walk; you spend a long time hunched over them, following from behind, holding them up, encouraging them on, and holding a cookie so that they'll want to walk independently. Frankly, they fall down an awful lot. They're not called toddlers for nothing; they toddle and then they fall. Like that, expect your teenagers to try to work independently, and expect them to fail to act independently.
Your job is to follow them from behind, to pick them up and hold their hands, to guide them. The resources here will help you do your best job.
This post is from my Coffee Break Book, Planning High School Courses. Regular price is $2.99 on Kindle. Grab your copy here February 1 - 5 for free!
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