Homeschooling High School

The last four years of school could prove to be the most challenging for both student and parent alike especially if you are planning on homeschooling high school.  The course subjects will be getting much more difficult, teenagers are entering puberty, dating will commence and interpersonal relationships with other young adults will become more important to your student.

First, the curriculum.  If you’ve been homeschooling prior to this time, algebra has probably already been introduced to your student.  It will now get more technical and you will move onto geometry and perhaps calculus.  Many people loathe these subjects or will not feel comfortable teaching them.  Some homeschoolers hire tutors for these courses, send their kids to local colleges to take these courses there or use correspondence schools.

Tutors can be local college kids who are vouched for by their professors.  Expect to pay $10-20 an hour for their help.  And to protect both parties from any trouble, make the student and tutor work where you can see them just to be safe.

Correspondence courses are not inexpensive.  Both the University of Nebraska and the University of Oklahoma have distance learning courses for high school students.  They cost between $300-400 for each semester’s course by topic.  A full year’s tuition cost for an average curriculum load would run from $3,000-$4,000.

Another correspondence school is called the Keystone High School.  Their annual tuition is approximately $2000 for the online version and about $1500 for the written.

All three schools offer study materials, standardized tests and grading, transcripts and graduation diplomas.  All are said to be accredited by the college rating agencies and allow easy access to institutions of higher learning according to their websites.  These are almost set-and-forget high school learning systems.  If you choose the whole course correspondence method you will have little involvement but to see that the work is carried out and sent in.  Otherwise you can pick and choose the subjects you want your student to learn and teach the other topics yourself or with tutorial help.

Puberty, as you know, brings on a whole new set of problems.  Moodiness, rebellious behavior, attraction to the opposite sex, dating and a whole host of other things are there to deal with.  It may be difficult to keep your student attending to their work or your teaching.  They may begin to argue with you over the curriculum or just about anything else.  They are going to begin speaking their minds about everything and often.  It can be very difficult at times to deal with.  But perhaps if you’ve homeschooled for years up to that point, you may have a very strong bond between you.  Perhaps you can reason better and talk things out.  Good luck with that

Dating, driving and staying away from home are all coming up too.  You’ll be worried for several reasons.  Their safety will likely be your biggest concern, especially after they and their friends start driving.  Drinking and drug use are right up there too especially combined with driving.  Teen sex is another worry around this time.  They’re really too young to have a caring, meaningful relationship, but they’re not to young to do the act.  Teen pregnancy is of big concern.

But you know, there is one other solution to this whole dilemma.  Consider enrolling your student in public high school.  Unless it’s just too dangerous or has a bad curriculum, it would solve a lot of problems.  It would also let your student socialize easier with other kids his age at a time when there’s a lot they want to talk about, but not with their parents.  It would also be a cheaper solution if you thought you were going to have to use tutors or correspondence schools.

If you’ve done a good job homeschooling your kids up to this point, they’re probably more self-confident and well-grounded that any other kid in that public high school.  They will probably be better prepared to face the challenges the last four years of school present.  They will probably make the right choices too.

Unless you have a specific educational curriculum goal in mind for high school, maybe it’s time to let your student spread his wings and fly on his own.  Maybe it’s time to sit back and see how all your hard work the last eight years will pay off.  Maybe it’s time to realize that homeschooling high school isn’t such a great idea after all.