So where to start? I used to blog about homeschooling. I blogged because most of the people around me were unfamiliar with homeschooling, and I wanted to show them what it was like. I wanted to reassure the grandparents. And then, I wanted to share what we did with other homeschooling parents. Over time life got busier. And then came Facebook, and the blog languished.
But we never stopped homeschooling. It’s been a grand experiment, and we’ve seen it through. My kids have never been in a public or private school. We started homeschooling in kindergarten, and now the youngest is in 9th grade and the two oldest are off at college.
Are we happy we did it? Was it right to homeschool all the way through? For us, yes, absolutely. I say so, and so do the kids. And homeschooling did not hinder my older two when it came to college admissions and college readiness/performance.
We’re down to our final homeschooling years now. In just 3 1/2 years the youngest will graduate from high school, and then that’s it. When you think about it, that’s my life’s work, right there.
Homeschooling is much more popular now than it was even when we started. It’s inched closer to the mainstream. But I’ve noticed a curious thing, and that is as homeschooled kids move into the high school years, they often stop being homeschooled. If there’s a time their parents are going to put them in school, that’s the time. This happens for many, many reasons. Sometimes it’s just time, and it’s what needs to be done. But sometimes it’s done out of fear of college. Once college begins to loom as a reality, it’s easy to panic over credits, and admissions tests, and AP classes, and lab access, etc. The requirements seem daunting. Many of us homeschool with a philosophy that doesn’t seem to mesh well with a checklist of credits and requirements; we start to believe that our philosophy has to give way to “playing the game,” and we let the fear make our decisions for us. We worry. We want the best for our kids, and we don’t want our own homeschooling limitations to hold them back.
The truth, as I have seen it, is that none of this has to happen. As many good reasons as there are to send a homeschooled child to a school for their high school years, fear of requirements or the idea that you have to scrap your beloved philosophy of education doesn’t have to be one of them. Yes, you can homeschool high school on your own terms, and yes, your child can be successful that way, can get into college, and can even get scholarships. You don’t have to do it alone, but you don’t have to do it on someone else’s terms, either.
So if you’re worried about homeschooling high school, stick with me. I’ll try to help you see what’s possible, and how to do it the way you want to do it.