Anyone who is thinking about homeschooling their High School student feels nauseous, frightened, and more than a little worried.  Seriously, anyone in their right mind would.  It’s downright scary.  Now it matters.  If you, as the parent, mess up now, it will permanently affect your kid’s future. No pressure.  

The temptation is to homeschool during the younger years and then put them into a more traditional school setting during high school because high school can seem so daunting.  It matters now because I need to G35C2270have a transcript and each class needs to be creditworthy.  I know when my oldest was in 7th grade I went to the convention and went to every class on preparing for high school.  I started noticing that there was a small herd of us that seemed to be going to all the same classes.  Finally, I asked the person next to me what grade their child was in and the whole room of us realized that we were all parents of students that were going into 7th or 8th grade and we were all terrified of making a mistake. It actually made me feel a lot better to see a whole room of parents that were as nervous as I was.  Now 7 years later, I can tell you that it was a good idea to prepare then, but I didn’t need to have so much fear.  My kids are thriving in high school and indeed, beyond into college.  It has been worth every sleepless night, every panicked call to my best friend, every hour spent on their transcripts to see who they are becoming and how they are stepping in to God’s path for them.

In High School you finally reap the benefits of all those other years of homeschooling.  I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into my kids and the high school years are when you start to reap the benefits.  I never thought I could say this with a straight face but high school has been a wonderful blessing and some absolutely great years.  There are some real quantifiable benefits to homeschool through High School.

  • Better Academics – Just as in the younger years, in High School we can tailor a child’s education.  We can meet them where they are and that will show in their test scores.  They are also more likely to attend college.  Statistically, 76% of homeschool students had taken college courses versus 46% of the same age group of 18 – 24 years olds.
  • In 1999 Stanford University accepted 27% of homeschooled applicants which was twice the acceptance rate of publicly and privately schooled students.
  • MIT states on their webpage that, ” they have a long history of admitting homeschooled students and these students are successful and vibrant members of our community.”
  • Studies show that in testing, homeschooled students score significant higher than either their public or private schooled peers. If these stats don’t convince you that you can provide an academically strong education through High School, I dont know what will. National Home Education Research Institue
  • Biblically Strong – The ability to mentor and disciple our children.  After high school graduation, homeschooled students are statistically shown to internalize the values and beliefs of their parents.  We spend two years reading and studying through the entire Bible so we know what God’s Word says and then we spend the next two years studying Worldviews, Apologetics and learning how to answer challenges to our faith.  We study philosophy and psychology and learn to be Bereans by taking every theory and testing it against what the Bible says.  We study Logic and Rhetoric so that we have the skills to defend our faith.  We work hard to develop habits like everyday Bible reading, daily prayer, accountability and keeping fellowship with others so that when our kids leave home they know how to and have practiced the habits that help them to keep their faith strong.  We are so blessed that homeschooling has allowed to spend this kind of dedicated time to disciple our kids while still having time to give them a strong academic foundation.
  • The ability to help your child find and develop their passions.  How To Be a High School SuperstarDo Hard Things and Start Here are three books that changed our homeschool and allowed Connor to follow his passions through high school and are now helping Caileigh and Collin to do the same.  I know I talk about this often but I can’t tell you how strongly I feel about it.  My kids are learning who God made them to be and to follow His leading in their lives now.  Get these books and read them now before you even start planning the academics.  
  • The time to Volunteer – We have told our kids that they must accumulate a total of 100 hours of Volunteer hours to graduate from our High School.  Volunteering has helped our kids start changing the world now.  Our teens need to know that they can change the world around them right now.  It helps them to see that the world doesn’t revolve around them.  It helps them to follow James’ mandate in James 1:22, “ But prove yourselves doers of the Word, not merely hearers who delude themselves.”  We require our kids to pick a place to serve in church by the time they are in 7th grade.  It’s an easy place to start, most churches desperately need the help and they can serve alongside us.  My kids, depending on their interests, have done sound, manned the computer, helped in the toddlers class, led small groups, cleaned up the church grounds etc.  Once they get in High School our kids have branched out.  Connor taught STEM classes to kids around the country via the internet, flew to California and taught kids in inner city LA and has moderated and mentored kids in the SCRATCH community.  Connor volunteered more than 100 hours in the summer between his Jr and Sr year alone.  ( One of the unexpected benefits of this was major scholarships because of his dedicated volunteer work ) Caileigh mentors a group of third grade girls during our churches Princess Classes.  She helps to teach and shows them what modesty and purity really look like.  The 20 minutes she spends with those girls are far more powerful than anything I say.  Collin co-leads a weekly small group of 4th and 5th grade boys.  Those two teen boys who lead that group of rowdy boys are a Godsend and are changing the lives of those 15 kids.  The twins also volunteer through their Robotics team teaching STEM camps, deliver meals and this fall I think we, as a family, will lead a First Lego League team.  We need to teach our kids to the value of volunteering while they are young.  Now, the downside to all of this is that I have to drive them to all of these things but I can see the growth in my kids and the lifelong learning they are getting so I am willing to step into that.
  • One of the real benefits that I didn’t expect, was the fact that my kids have had the freedom to be who they have been created to be.  They have had very minimal “peer pressure” to fit into a certain mold.  I have a College student who confidently wears bow ties, composes beautiful piano pieces, has spoken at conferences around the world and still likes to Geek out about the newest Rebels cartoon with his siblings.  I have a daughter who dyes her hair blue in support of her Robotics team, draws beautifully, can program,  plays the guitar so sweetly, can wield power tools and still loves to play with her 4 year old cousin.  Collin confidently teaches 15 boys a week, can machine a part, consistently wins the “Most Christlike” award at Bible Bowl but can also wipe the floor with his Dad on video games.  They are happy to be who they are and are confident in that.  I don’t see that same freedom in most kids in more traditional school settings.  That is a huge benefit in my mind.  They are in the world but not of the world.  They are not isolated but they have been protected from the worst of peer pressure until they are old enough and mature enough to handle it appropriately.

 

I know the thought of homeschooling through High School is daunting but the benefits are so very worth it.  In the next couple of weeks, I will get into the nitty gritty of structuring and planning along with a list of my favorite resources, but I feel like the first place to start is the benefits and motivations of homeschooling through high school. It’s so very worth it, if I can survive it both as a graduate of homeschool and now as a parent of a homeschool graduate, you can too!

Make sure you have read Middle School Vision Casting and Passion led High School!

 

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