Throughout my years of homeschooling high schoolers there are a few things that I’ve learned that are important. I hope that these tips are helpful to you as you homeschool your own high schoolers!
First and foremost, PRAY. Ask for direction and guidance as you help your children become adults. Remember that what we want for our children may not be what the Lord has in mind for your child. This is probably the hardest part of homeschooling a high school student. Your little boy or girl is becoming a young man or woman and they need to be able to make some decisions about their education. It is time to let them own it.
My husband and I graduated our three children and the most important tip that I can give you is to remember that each one is different. What may work for one will not always work for another. Two of our three children were very motivated and progressed through their work with very little assistance. The third one always needed a little more prodding to get the work done. That does not mean that one way was better than the other, they were all just different. Be mindful of the needs of the child. Do they like to learn by doing things on the computer, do they prefer to use books? This was one of the hardest struggles.
Are you pulling your student from a public High School? If so, you may have some challenges ahead. They will be used to having a teacher standing up in front of them teaching them something, and also sharing their (the teacher) thoughts on the subject. We always encouraged our children to think for themselves and to work on their own, I will admit this was hard for me as I was always public schooled and I was not taught to think for myself. We gave them the tools they needed and directed them when they had a question, but they mostly did the work on their own. This should be your goal as your children progress through their schooling. Help them to be self learners, self thinkers and self motivated.
Another tip I can share is that schooling can be done when it works best for the family and the student. If the student has an opportunity to work a job for a few hours during the day, let them work and use that as part of their education. They can do the book work at night when they would be doing “homework” if they were in school. Schedules work for some homeschoolers and they don’t work for others. Some students like to get all the work done first thing in the morning and others like to do it a little later, there is no right or wrong and that is the joy of homeschooling.
We traveled to the State House many times one year to fight legislation and we brought our daughter with us. She was our last student and she loved it. She learned so much that year that we gave her three credits in civics and one in public speaking. She got up and testified to several bills and even sparked applause with several of her testimonies. Our daughter learned how a bill is passed or not passed and what it goes through to even get to a hearing. It was a very good learning experience and she learned a lot. She was able to talk to legislators and many other people and she invited others to come with us. Will she be a politician? (I hope not.) Maybe? Though, she doesn’t seem to be going in that direction, but it was still very exciting for her and something she will never forget. Down the road she may be instrumental in changing laws that will affect her family.Encourage dinner talk about what they learned during the day. Learn along side your child. This can be a very rewarding part of the day, where everyone can share something that really made them think a little. You never stop learning so share that with your children to encourage them.
My husband and I have operated Guilford Christian Academy for over a decade now and have seen many students graduate from our school. It is very interesting to see how creative people have been to get their children an awesome education. It has been very rewarding for us to see where the students have come in their lives as they have become young adults. Think outside the box and make learning enjoyable.
Remember the definition of “Learn” – to gain knowledge or skill by studying, practicing, being taught, or experiencing something. It is not about sitting at the table with your face in a book it is about gaining knowledge and there are many ways that can be accomplished.
Do not give up! Take a breath and enjoy your students, reasonably challenge them but do not overwhelm them. Do not worry about keeping up with the Jones’.
What is your best tip for making it through each high school homeschool day?