When I began homeschooling twelve years ago, I no idea what high school years would have in store for us. When we announced we were going to homeschool, I think the most commonly asked question was, “How long to plan to homeschool?”. A close second might have been, “Will you school your kids all the way through?” Our answer was always the same, “We will take one year at a time and make our decisions accordingly.”
As the years have passed, (at lighting speed) we have always evaluated our past school year in May and after input from each child we it has always been unanimous to keep this homeschool adventure rolling.
Now I have two high school students, a junior and a freshman. At this point, I would call myself more of a guidance counselor than a teacher to my kids.
My goal when starting my kids in elementary is to train them to be mostly independent by junior high. This allows more freedom for my kids (and myself) by the time they reach high school. Yes, I still oversee their workload each day, I still hold them accountable to get their work done, but they have freedom and flexibility built into their days.
One of my favorite things has been helping my high school kids examine what they are interested in learning, what areas of curiosity they want to explore, what career options they are considering. I take that information, then we come up with elective courses that scratch that learning itch and get them excited (or at least interested) about their school day.
The point of taking this approach is to give them ownership of their education. I want this to help prepare them for college, the work force, or whatever is next for each of them. I want my kids to be self motivated in learning and having the skill set to get the required work done.
I am enjoying the journey of guiding them through how to manage their time, prioritize their workload, think for themselves, solve problems by thinking outside the box, and learning how to best use their God-given gifts. It’s very exciting to be a part of such a growing experience for each of them.
My three oldest children are boys, and continuing to homeschool in the high school years has aloud me the opportunity to really pour into my relationships with my boys. I am not saying I couldn’t do this if they were away at school all day, but it sure is easier when they are with me all day.
My oldest and I have had so may good conversations in the past 4 months about his future, career choice, college choice, scholarships, and part time jobs. I am so grateful we get to incorporate all this into our daily life. I think it helps us to communicate better and helps me to speak into his life and give advice on certain areas.
The most valuable part of homeschooling high school that I have experienced so far with my kids is giving them the gift of choices. My kids are not the same, and I don’t think their education should look the same. They are unique, and I want their high school experience to be rich, beneficial, and be a real launching pad into adulthood.
For some of them that may be college, for others it may be a vocational education that leads them into a trade/business owner, or maybe it will be a path straight into the workforce like my husband.
No matter where the Lord leads them, I want them to know it’s okay if they don’t have all the answers to their future at seventeen, and that there isn’t just one path available to them.
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