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HELP! Homeschooling High School isn't Working!

homeschooling isn't working



Help! Homeschooling High School isn't Working!


I have heard more than one homeschool mom lament, "Homeschooling high school isn't working!" When you're homeschooling high school, if it works, use it; if it doesn't work, then stop using that curriculum and try something else. You don't even have to teach; your children just need to learn. You don't necessarily have to teach ANYTHING in high school, just make sure they learn. Self-teaching is a great skill to develop.

I didn't know the answers to math or science when I was homeschooling, either (you would think I would, because I'm a nurse, but I didn't!) I completely lost it with our math about a month into Algebra 2. Almost eeryone loses at some point in high school math. Just remember it's not our job to learn it all.

My kids worked on chemistry and physics completely on their own. They took Algebra 2, Pre-calculus, and Calculus independently. I only gave them the tests and had to look up the answers. By the time we got to calculus, I didn't even know what the symbols meant anymore, I only knew that the answer had to look like the answer in the book.

Look at what your children are doing well. Are they becoming better writers than you? Then homeschooling is working; they ARE succeeding. In high school, writing is mostly about practice. Edit their papers for spelling and grammar of course, but it's mostly just about having them practice, practice, practice. It's working! Your homeschooling writing class is succeeding beyond measure!

I couldn't keep up with reading all the school books, either. I have confessed before that I didn't do literary analysis with my kids. I just asked them if they liked the book (to which they usually said "yes" and not much more). They have grown up and did a fabulous job on the honors literature courses in college, so I know they weren't damaged by my weaknesses. They read thousands of books for fun, and I didn't stress out about reading those books ahead of them. So why did I stress out about reading their school books ahead of them? I don't know!

Consider public school for a moment. Would the teacher pre-read every book? No. Would the teacher be able to help with writing more than you? No. What about science? I didn't help my kids in science at all, but my two boys got straight As in college science after homeschooling high school, so I know that it works.

My concern with the complaint that "Homeschooling high school isn't working" is that people forget the alternative. Homeschooling may be difficult (OK, it absolutely IS hard) but it is much more effective than public or private school. It is the one-on-one tutoring, the mastery before moving on, the absolute love for the student that makes homeschoolers succeed. None of those things are available at a public or private school.

There are many resources available for homeschoolers: online courses, tutors, co-ops, video programs, and curricula for every learning style. You may need help, but that doesn't mean that homeschooling isn't working OR that putting your child into school is THE one and only answer to your problems. So change things up and find something that works in your homeschool!

Have you had one of those "homeschooling high school isn't working" moments? What did you do to change things up? Please share in the comments!

HELP! Homeschooling High School isn't Working!

Please note: This post was originally published in December 2007 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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Comments 27

Guest - Ella on Monday, 08 June 2015 10:34

Lee,

Thank you for this article! This is just what I was needing!

I even had a dream a few nights ago that I sent our child to the local public school. Ah!

Thank you again for the article, and for all of your articles, you are such a blessing!

God Bless YOU and your family!

Lee, Thank you for this article! This is just what I was needing! I even had a dream a few nights ago that I sent our child to the local public school. Ah! Thank you again for the article, and for all of your articles, you are such a blessing! God Bless YOU and your family!
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Monday, 08 June 2015 15:53

Thank you, Ella!
God bless you too!
Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Thank you, Ella! God bless you too! Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Anita on Monday, 22 September 2014 11:37

We had a non working moment I will call it, with science. My oldest, an 8th grader, absolutely dislikes it and curriculum I picked out was not at all for her. So we brainstormed about what she does like, which happens to be history. So for this semester, she is picking out books about the history of science in ancient culture! She will give me something in writing or a presentation about what she learned, and we now have a happier student, who will be learning, and mom too!

We had a non working moment I will call it, with science. My oldest, an 8th grader, absolutely dislikes it and curriculum I picked out was not at all for her. So we brainstormed about what she does like, which happens to be history. So for this semester, she is picking out books about the history of science in ancient culture! She will give me something in writing or a presentation about what she learned, and we now have a happier student, who will be learning, and mom too!
Guest - Lee (website) on Monday, 22 September 2014 11:39

That sounds like a great idea, Anita!

Blessings, Laura
Assistant to The HomeScholar

That sounds like a great idea, Anita! Blessings, Laura Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Kathwell on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 08:15

As a public school teacher, I want to assure you that teachers love their students. Yes, I know - no one can love them like their own parents. If you don't like where public schools are headed, tell the politicians and education-for-profit corporations to let the trained educators set the curriculum.
Enjoy your kids - I really enjoy my students!

As a public school teacher, I want to assure you that teachers love their students. Yes, I know - no one can love them like their own parents. If you don't like where public schools are headed, tell the politicians and education-for-profit corporations to let the trained educators set the curriculum. Enjoy your kids - I really enjoy my students!
Guest - Lee on Thursday, 17 July 2014 15:13

Dear Kathwell,

Some of my best friends and close family members are great public school teachers.

Lee

Dear Kathwell, Some of my best friends and close family members are great public school teachers. Lee
Guest - Kel on Saturday, 13 July 2013 08:49

I don't preread every book that comes our way either anymore. I can tell he's reading them because his vocabulary is better than mine and he is only in 7th grade. If I do want to know cliffnotes.com now it's called sparknotes.com can help. Writing he types, types, types. I show him examples of how to do research, biography papers and he copies them to get a feel and idea of how it's suppose to be set up. He gets it. Don't be afraid of letting your children (preteen) copy. That's how they learn too. Now if I tell him to do his on biography or research paper he knows how to set it up and go from there. Children (preteens) never stop developing. Everything time and practice. I have learn in homeschooling, with no pressure and giving them something they enjoy...They fly like eagles and learn beyond what you can teach them. I showed my daughter 10 letters how to write in cursive. She took the book herself and learned how to write all 26 letters with the right strokes. She loves cursive. Key word Love. Did it herself.

I don't preread every book that comes our way either anymore. I can tell he's reading them because his vocabulary is better than mine and he is only in 7th grade. If I do want to know cliffnotes.com now it's called sparknotes.com can help. Writing he types, types, types. I show him examples of how to do research, biography papers and he copies them to get a feel and idea of how it's suppose to be set up. He gets it. Don't be afraid of letting your children (preteen) copy. That's how they learn too. Now if I tell him to do his on biography or research paper he knows how to set it up and go from there. Children (preteens) never stop developing. Everything time and practice. I have learn in homeschooling, with no pressure and giving them something they enjoy...They fly like eagles and learn beyond what you can teach them. I showed my daughter 10 letters how to write in cursive. She took the book herself and learned how to write all 26 letters with the right strokes. She loves cursive. Key word Love. Did it herself.
Guest - Lee (website) on Thursday, 13 December 2012 06:36

Angela,
This youtube may explain it better
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2Lk0CT0rg0
Blessings,
Lee

Angela, This youtube may explain it better :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2Lk0CT0rg0 Blessings, Lee
Guest - Angela on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 22:02

This is so reassuring! I have a question for Lee: you said you gave them the tests and they had to look up answers. So, literally, you gave it to them before reading and they had to hunt down the information as a means of learning?
Thanks again :-)

This is so reassuring! I have a question for Lee: you said you gave them the tests and they had to look up answers. So, literally, you gave it to them before reading and they had to hunt down the information as a means of learning? Thanks again :-)
Guest - Fran on Tuesday, 10 April 2012 09:34

I so appreciate your "mentorship" Lee,,,,,my daughter is middle school age, so I do not feel so stressed about High School,,,,YET. But I do have your book on how to keep records and make transcripts, so I plan to "practice" and be content on just 'guiding her learning' without the stress of having to actually TEACH. Many blessings!

I so appreciate your "mentorship" Lee,,,,,my daughter is middle school age, so I do not feel so stressed about High School,,,,YET. But I do have your book on how to keep records and make transcripts, so I plan to "practice" and be content on just 'guiding her learning' without the stress of having to actually TEACH. Many blessings!
Guest - Lee (website) on Monday, 09 January 2012 10:04

Thank you so much! I appreciate the encouragement
Blessings,
Lee

Thank you so much! I appreciate the encouragement :) Blessings, Lee
Guest - Carrie on Sunday, 08 January 2012 13:23

Dear Lee,

I am praising God for you and His perfect timing by sending this article to my in box on just the right day. I just spent the last hour checking over my sons algebraI from last week and by the time I was done I just knew that "this was not working". Thanks for the reminder that we (home school moms) do not need to know it all. God Bless you and your family.

Dear Lee, I am praising God for you and His perfect timing by sending this article to my in box on just the right day. I just spent the last hour checking over my sons algebraI from last week and by the time I was done I just knew that "this was not working". Thanks for the reminder that we (home school moms) do not need to know it all. God Bless you and your family.
Guest - Heather Berryman on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 23:48

Thank you for your wise perspective, Lee. You always put my mind at ease. Shalom to you!

Thank you for your wise perspective, Lee. You always put my mind at ease. Shalom to you!
Guest - Lee (website) on Saturday, 29 January 2011 19:35

Lisa,
Here is what I know that can help. Look at my article "For the Love of Math" http://www.thehomescholar.com/love-of-math.php
And my blog post about having a "Morning Meeting"
http://www.thehomescholar.com/blog/homeschool-accountability-try-a-morning-meeting/3355/
Blessings,
Lee

Lisa, Here is what I know that can help. Look at my article "For the Love of Math" http://www.thehomescholar.com/love-of-math.php And my blog post about having a "Morning Meeting" http://www.thehomescholar.com/blog/homeschool-accountability-try-a-morning-meeting/3355/ Blessings, Lee
Guest - Lisa on Saturday, 29 January 2011 19:06

My daughter is in 9th grade. She hates algebra and I do not know much about it. I have her meet with a tutor weekly to help her. But day to day she has questions and I can not guide her or show her how to do it. She says she wants to go to school, because she would learn more and is bored at home. We are involved in a co op, but she says it is not enough. I do not want to send her to school, but sometimes I do think she would get a better education then I can give her. I know that is not the best environment and desire to finish homeschooling her through 12th grade. I was only an average student . Any suggestions would be appreciated.

My daughter is in 9th grade. She hates algebra and I do not know much about it. I have her meet with a tutor weekly to help her. But day to day she has questions and I can not guide her or show her how to do it. She says she wants to go to school, because she would learn more and is bored at home. We are involved in a co op, but she says it is not enough. I do not want to send her to school, but sometimes I do think she would get a better education then I can give her. I know that is not the best environment and desire to finish homeschooling her through 12th grade. I was only an average student . Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Lee has three core beliefs about homeschooling: homeschooling provides the best possible learning environment; every child deserves a college-prep education whether or not they choose to go to college; and parents are capable of providing a superior education to their children. Lee does not judge your homeschool or evaluate your children. Instead, she comes alongside to help and encourage parents homeschooling high school.

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