Spunky of Spunky Homeschool asked the other day about homeschooling during the high school years:
Why do many homeschoolers put the kids in public school for the high school years?
What does it take to “finish well”?
What are the options for high school?
I have some thoughts on the high school years, although I don’t have it all figured out. Here’s what I wrote in Spunky’s comments:
Dual credit, online classes, homeschool co-op classes are all options we have used. I think finishing well requires looking at the options and weighing them carefully. My eldest could not have received nearly as good an education in our public high school as she gave herself at home. She’s very self-motivated and studious. She will graduate next year from a private college that she attended on full scholarship. Second child is different, lots of potential but not very disciplined. He taught himself guitar and web design for his ninth grade year—that’s all he did. Not that he didn’t have other assignments; he just didn’t do much of anything else. So he’s had to play catch-up, and he will be graduating this month at almost-19 years of age. For a child like this one, you need to be very clear about what your requirements for graduation are and then encourage them to meet those requirements in a way that achieves the goal. Public school would not have been any better for him. First, the public high school would not have required as much of him as we did, and he could have coasted through. Secondly, if he did as little his ninth grade year in public school as he did at home, he would have been placed in remedial classes–a disaster for an intelligent, but undisciplined, young man. So our options were limited to homeschool, homeschool, and homeschool. So far, for two children, we’ve done what we needed to do to make it work. I have two more in high school, and they’re doing some things at home, some classes online, and some classes outside the home.
I still think I can put together a better education with their cooperation than the public school can. I’ll post some more about this subject soon; I know lots of parents are looking ahead to the high school years with conflicting emotions: fear, trembling, hope, ambition.