Saturday, February 11, 2012

Homeschooling high school - part 1

I think one of the questions I was most often asked when I first began homeschooling was whether I was going to homeschool right through high school.  My oldest was in grade two at the time!  I still had a little time to consider the question! But suddenly here we are, my oldest on the homestretch of grade nine. I have observed a few things and made lots of mental notes over the years in preparation for this time of homeschooling.   Some things I know for sure:

First.  Speaking from an Alberta, Canada perspective, there are lots of options in terms of grade 12 outcome. You CAN get a high school diploma.  You CAN pursue a legitimate transcript of course marks accepted by universities.  You CAN challenge the grade 12 exams without enrolling in a public school.  You CAN bypass a formal high school "accomplishment" document altogether, and instead use a portfolio to gain admission to many post-secondary institutions.  Or take community college courses.  Or enter the work force directly.  Or take university courses online (eg Athabasca), then transfer into a specific university as a mature student. This is only a taste of the possibilities. People, there are options.  

Second. The homeschooling pyramid.  It goes like this - you will never have any trouble finding other families homeschooling kids grade six and under.  But above grade six, the pool starts to decline, as more parents do send their kids back to school.  We personally have not found a lot of other homeschooled highschoolers in our area (there are a few), and so we do a lot online.  And that impacts a lot of things.  More on that later.

Third.  There is a paucity of good online practical information on homeschooling high school, especially in terms of blogs.  While I don't have a lot of time to sit and surf the net, when I have googled this I don't see much.  And it sure would be nice to see some blogs written by seasoned homeschooling moms/dads sharing their journey in the high school years.  To encourage the rest of us.  Because it can be very intimidating.  Hmmm, I know a few moms who have been through it start to finish ... maybe a few guest posts?  Or, if you know of a good link, please pass it on here!

Fourth.  High school years get a bad wrap and mediocrity, combined with adolescent rebellion becomes the sterotypical expectation of our teens.  See this link for more.  Need it be so?  By homeschooling, we have eliminated the potential for a LOT of the negative socialization that our youth face in school (peer attachment, bad crowds, alcohol, drugs, dating, texting/sexting, disrespect for self and others, etc).  And so homeschooling becomes a wonderful opportunity to fill your kids with good things, create bonding experiences and traditions, and build your kids UP.  They are capable of so much more than we imagine and it is our goal to instil in them that mindset.  We are not raising teenagers.  We are raising young adults, who have an awesome mission in their life as set out by God; our job is to help them discover it.  That being said, hubby and I are realists - we fully expect bumps - we fully expect that our teen may try to secretly set up a Facebook account without permission and then get caught.  Just sayin.  There will be days, right?  Pray lots, right?

And finally.  God is the author.  He is writing the story.  I tell myself that lots!! So long as my husband and I act responsibly and prayerfully in our decision-making, I believe God will make good.

Heaven is the goal, not a high school diploma. God will make good.

I plan to continue the homeschooling high school posts as we live it ... I have absolutely no wisdom in this area, just observations and opinions so far.  As we gain experience, I'll be sharing it with you, and maybe we'll all be a little wiser then :).  God bless!

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