Homeschooling… (even) Highschool?

Homeschooling even High School @hsbapost

Next year our home school will be venturing into a whole new frontier, we’ll be homeschooling>> high school?! Yes, our oldest child will be entering the ninth grade, and to say that I have been a little bit overwhelmed, nervous and quite intimidated by this fact for some time now would be a bit of an understatement. However, I’m finding that the more I read and hear from those who have gone before me, the more encouraged I am that YES, we can do even this!

I thought that I’d just share some of the (online) resources from which I’ve recently been gathering information and gleaning encouragement and direction as I’m preparing my own mind, and planning/ mapping out our (tentative) itinerary as we begin this next leg of our homeschooling journey together.

It’s really not even our actual *learning* together/ educating part that I’m most concerned about (besides being able to fit everything in!)… I have all kinds of wonderful ideas and plans for that- if I can just stay focused! No, it’s more the record keeping and transcript-planning-college-prep/pleasing part, etc. that has my mind all in a jumble and my stomach doing somersaults. Thus, I’ve been surfing the net and listening to other homeschoolers who have already done this, and whose kids have or are successfully attending college or trade schools, etc.

First off, I have been so encouraged and blessed by the writings of Lee Binz, The Home Scholar. She specializes in helping parents homeschool high school. Lee’s 5 part mini-course, “The 5 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make Homeschooling High School.” is available for free, and she also offers a Total Transcript Solution for purchase. Her Squidoo page offers a myriad of helpful lenses, such as Homeschool Record Keeping in Highschool, each one offering tons of topical information (be sure and scroll down the page to see the table of contents) and an abundance of other free resources for your encouragement, as does her blog, including informative articles such as “What Is A Homeschool Friendly College?”.

Being a homeschool mom with Charlotte Mason aspirations, I was (gladly) reminded last week that though there will be challenges, and some necessary planning on my part, the basic mainstays of our homeschool will stay the same! My own inclinations and vision for our homeschool were re-confirmed as I read the first of a three-part series, “Basic Mainstays: Homeschooling through High School the CM Way, part 1″ posted over at SimplyCharlotteMason.com‘s blog. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of these articles!

Also as I was surfing the net, attempting to educate myself, I found this interesting Squidoo lens, created by a “worldschooler” named Andi, Unschooling Teens: Freedom and Education, that appealed to my/our own *relaxed* bent. Lots of information and encouragement there, scroll down the page to check out all of her links and anecdotes! She writes,

I’ve been through the whole thing – all the way until I was accepted into my top choice college and awarded 60% tuition in grants. (My second-choice offered me a free ride – tuition, books, and room & board.)

And you know what? You can do it too. You can follow your interests during your teens years and have an incredible launch into your adult life.

Here’s some more FYI articles and resources for homeschooling through high-school that I’ve found helpful so far and will be combing through (again and again, I’m sure!) over the next few years.

We realize how close we are to ending our homeschool adventure with this child. The world, in the guise of a college admissions officer or an employer, will soon be evaluating whether we have succeeded at our homeschooling task. How absolutely frightening!

Fortunately, we can dilute this fear by carefully planning the high school years. This involves understanding the expectations that await our students when these four short years are over.

We are and always have been “relaxed-eclectic homeschoolers”, meaning that our studies don’t necessarily begin at the same time each day, our days are structured more by rhythms and routines than they are by schedules and time slots, and often-times the plans will even change, depending upon ______. However, one thing I’ve really focused on this year, that I think will help me immensely in preparing for and making the most of the years ahead, has been consistency in having our study plans prepared and ready each week, and then having the discipline to follow through with most of our plans.

I’m not exactly sure why this has been so hard for me over the years, besides just the fact that I’m generally convinced that my kids are learning worthy lessons in most of their free-time, aka. unstructured learning, anyways. Also, I’ve always been a pretty easy-goin’, free-flowin’ artsy/creative type… And so, although I’m usually fairly relaxed and confident that it will all work out right in the end, I’ve had my share of panic-stricken moments as I’ve wondered if there’s really even any hope for me to do a good job of this whole homeschooling through highschool thing with my kids?!

When I read this article about Homeschooling through highschool by Janet Leake, a fellow self-proclaimed “relaxed homeschooler”, I was reminded (again!) to relax,  even as I plan and diligently apply more discipline and structure to our studies where and as needed, and also relieved to hear someone speaking my language who has done this! She writes,

Ignore the people that say “You’re not going to try to homeschool in high school, are you?” as if you were embarking on some wild rafting trip. Homeschooling is fun, and it’s even more fun with older kids. They can do more, think more, persevere in long-term projects, and even help with the driving on long field trips. Removed from the most damaging parts of peer pressure, they’re a lot easier to get along with than when they went to public school.

and,

The “relaxed homeschooler” attitude seems to work best for our family, and I recommend it for high schoolers. Choose your battles—win the war. Does it really matter if they start promptly at 7:30 on algebra, or do their coursework in a certain order, as long as it gets done?

As soon as I’m discouraged and tempted (again) to think that I could never homeschool (highschool), I am reminded “Is anything to hard for the LORD?”, and that with His help, some good planning and consistent efforts to meet our goals, we shall homeschool through highschool and will hopefully even do a good job of it!

…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

~ Philippians 1.6

We would love to hear from you! Please share any of your own thoughts, recommendations of resources or any other sage advice that might help to equip and encourage all of us homeschooling high-school newbies, and upcoming hopefuls too!

Embracing the adventure,

[Beth1]

the  brew*crew adventure

all images are from allposters.com and pixosphere.com

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Wow! What a fantastic list of resources! I’ve bookmarked this post as I’m sure I’ll want to refer to it many times as we go through high school. We were kind of thrust into high school midyear this year as my daughter decided that she wanted to “catch up” the year that we repeated for 5th grade. Thankfully, I was considering this year to be our “practice” year for high school, so I was already keeping better records for her than I had in the elementary years.

    I’ve had several of my readers ask me to do more posts about preparing for high school. I’ll be referring them to this post as I begin offering more of my own tips over the next several months. Thanks for posting such great resources — and for including one of my posts!

    • says

      Wow Kris… Interesting, I’d actually considered holding Nathan back one more year before plunging ahead into 9th grade, especially since he told me that he didn’t mind, “whatever you think is best, mom” he said when we talked about it… just to feel more *established* going into the highschool years, work on his writing skills, etc., and my husband reminds me that one more year of maturity wouldn’t hurt before hitting college either, esp. since we’re hoping to do some dual-enrollment. I’ve pretty much decided to just keep him where he is. Hmmmm… *sighs* Anyways, you’re the first other homeschooler I’ve met who also held their child back a year. I just don’t want him to regret it later, hurt his morale, etc., when his friends/cousin his age are graduating and he’s not yet, and wouldn’t want to shift gears mid-way through highschool, ya know! Also wondering if I’m making too much of it and need to buck up and move ahead already?! 😉
      Anyways, so glad to offer up what I’ve found helpful thusfar. TIA for the mention!

  2. says

    Wow, Beth. I have a 7th grader this year and I have to say I have been in knots trying to figure out how I’m going to prepare them… I’ll be lingering over this very informative post! Thanks for your research and thought! Love you!

    • says

      lol Thank you Monica, I cannot remember the last time anyone referred to something I said/did as *brilliant*- you’ve made my day, week, maybe my month! You’re welcome, and ty for commenting!

  3. says

    I’m bookmarking too! My sweetie is going into 6th grade this fall, but it’s never too soon to start planning and saving resources. I am not stressed about it at all, but I do want to be diligent and make good choices for her sake.

    • says

      Jimmie, I have a daughter going into 6th grade this fall too, but please, I don’t want to think of her doing highschool too, not yet?! lol You’re right though, never too early to plan… Amen to the good choices and due diligence, for their sake!

  4. says

    Thanks for all of your comments! This is SO on my mind lately, and I’m trying to balance my preparations and decision-making with prayer! I’m just so glad to be on this wonderful journey with my kids and so many other amazing homeschooling families. I am SO glad to be able to give back a little with some encouragement along the way, as I have gleaned SO much from my mama peers over the years! Readers, please continue to share any of your ideas, resources and encouragement with us! I am hanging on every word. 😉

  5. says

    …a wonderful reminder from a friend this morning, as I *work* with my children, and on our plans for the future, to above all: pray for them… “[The Adversary] is much more afraid of our prayer than our work.” ~Elisabeth Eliott

  6. says

    Lisa, Thank you for pointing out both LindaFay’s and Barbara’s blogs! Yes, I totally agree that they are fabulous resources, and both have offered me such rich inspiration and helpful directives over the years already! This year we set up Nathan’s Apologia notebook per LindaFay’s suggestions (along with a schedule from donnayoung.org- another great resource!) and it’s worked superbly. We’ll continue in this manner as we progress through Apologia’s sciences. (See: http://higherupandfurtherin.blogspot.com/2007/07/how-we-organize-apologia-notebooks.html). I’ve also been gleaning from Barbara-HarmonyArtMom’s ideas regarding Apologia: http://harmonyartmom.blogspot.com/2010/03/making-apologia-science-texts-work-for.html
    There is so much more great info. on their blogs as well, and I encourage all to take some time to visit them!

    Lee,
    You are SO welcome! Thank you for all the work that you do every day to encourage and mentor the homeschooling community!

  7. says

    Thank you for this very informative article. I would recommend Diana Johnson’s book – “High School at Home, You Can Do It!” as an excellent resource. As well, I agree that Lee Binz is a great resource. I purchased her “convention in a box” program and have been slowly working through “Homeschooling High School with Excellence.” This DVD has over 4 hours of material. I do think one of the best ways to lessen nervousness about homeschooling through high school is to seek out excellent resources to help.

    Samantha

  8. Loralee says

    Thanks for the encouragement. My son just started 9th grade in January, and has been struggling with Algebra and Physical Science for the last few months. Your quote from the Word, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” almost made me cry, because I was feeling like we could never get through 4 years of this… Blessings, Loralee

  9. says

    Totally bookmarking this as I am going to START homeschooling my children next year after we move from Ohio to California and my oldest is entering ninth grade and I am freaking out! I know we can do it, but I have such a steep learning curve and I know your experience and these links will help me! Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing more about your homeschooling your own ninth grader!

  10. Millie Johnson says

    I am sitting here with tears in my eyes..I have struggles so much with high schooling my 9th grader next year. I am a single parent who owns a day care business. I really appreciate your encouragement especially in God’s word. My son is counting on me to continue his education. I am tired and God gives me strength each day. Just seems there is not enough time. So I am concerned that there will be not enough time for him, but….God is there anything too hard for God. I just need to get with other like minded ones and even those who have been telling me I could do it, so I can see how.
    Thank you so much…

  11. Darlene Roebuck says

    My son will be entering the ninth grade as well. He is gifted and I just hope I keep him in the right direction.

  12. Darlene Roebuck says

    A Great book to read is College-Prep Homeschooling by David P. Byers, Ph.D.
    I love every aspect except I found my own curriculum that will work for us.It will give you the courage to homeschool through highschool.

  13. Keri says

    We are also preparing for Homeschooling a Highschooler. Talk about nervous! Thankfully, I can get online and find Great Blogs like yours and tons of Great resources to help ease my fears and help me prepare 😉
    Anyways, I wanted to add a great link I found recently.

    http://letshomeschoolhighschool.com/
    Is it just me or did the years go by way to fast? High School! Already?! Sigh…

  14. Linda says

    Thanks for such a great article! I have a 7th grader, but I am already beginning to look into high school. I found a resource that I don’t think I saw in your article or your comments. The site is http://www.letshomeschoolhighschool.com and it has provided me with a wealth of information about homeschooling high school already, including a long curriculum listing. I thought I would add it to your already great list of resources. Thanks again for sharing!

  15. says

    When I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify
    me when nnew comments are added- checkbox
    and now each time a cokment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment.
    Perhqps there is a means you can rmove me from that service?
    Cheers!

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