Thursday, December 1, 2016

Easy Ways to Homeschool High School

“Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” Goethe

Update 5/15/2020 and this is my first homeschool graduate
People look at me like I just sprouted wings when I answer YES to their question of, "Are you going to homeschool throughout high school?"

I mean, we've been doing it for 3 months now during freshman year for my oldest and it's going well. He enjoys it and doesn't want to go to "normal" high school, as one of his Catholic school friends put it. Guess what? Homeschooling might be the NEW NORMAL for a lot of people! BAM! Take that!*

Yes, it's a leap of faith but that's what we took 10 years ago when we first started. Has everyone learned to read on schedule, is everyone caught up on math, do they all know their state capitals and important historical and scientific facts? Nope. And I'm not freaking out about it as much as I used to.

The worst that happens is my youngest two need help in religious education classes and at coop with their writing and reading. For now. They will pick it up and be off and running when they are ready. I can have this kind of confidence because I saw it with my 13-year-old, my 15-year-old and also my 11-year-old who is just NOW starting to read great (thanks, honestly, to Instagram messages and postings and texting her friends).

Oh, and the other bad thing that happens is when they play a game in gym and have to know the state capitals to advance, and my kid is like, "HUH? That's what GPS and Google and your computer and phone are for and when do I ever need that information?"

I feel like I have to address the social thing, even though it's super ridiculous. My high schooler is overly socialized. Like I spend a fortune in gas socialized. He gets a full day on Wednesdays ... I'm talking 10:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. ... at our local Catholic homeschool coop and then Theology of the Body for Teens. And Mondays he takes Latin there. Then there's Boy Scouts, and he's currently the Senior Patrol Leader in his troop. Oh, and there was that field trip to the World War I museum he recently went on and that field trip to the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum (socializing AND learning at the same time ... WAHOO!). And I'm forgetting a ton of stuff. But don't worry, because even though Kansas doesn't seem to care what I do, I keep an Excel spreadsheet for my high schooler for the purposes of his transcript. I keep track of hours and he's doing great.

He has a lawn care job (when he's not soccer reffing or working at the gymnastics place or babysitting or altar serving funerals for income) and works with friends. He is always going to movies with friends and hanging out with friends and adults like extended family and there you go. Oh, and did I mention he's starting to DRIVE?

All YOU have to do is Google "homeschooling high school" and check out all the bazillions of links, like:
  • Curriculum links for real books
  • Khan Academy for math and more (free!)
  • Time4Learning (we used this for a year). Here's my referral code!
  • Virtual school (we've used it; free!)
  • Discovery K-12 (put your own thing together FREE)
  • Reading Eggs (we use it)
  • Math Seeds (we use it)
  • ABC
  • IXL Math
  • CTC Math
  • The math they use in public school that made my kids cry because it was timed and stressfu
  • Life of Fred (we love it)
  • The What Your (fill-in-the-blank-grade) Grader Needs to Know series through 6th grade
  • Starfall
  • Saxon, Seton, Singapore, Teaching Textbooks, Catholic Heritage Curricula
  • And about 75,000 other resources that are either free or middle-of-the-road  or costly.
And yes, question-asker, I have lots of friends who have homeschooled up until 9th grade then decided to send their kid to high school. I try to never say never these days, and I realize we could be sending a kid to high school someday. I have 5 kids and they all have different personalities and dreams and goals and wants and needs. I respect that. It's working for us right now and I am going to just be totally thrilled about that and enjoy every minute of it.

So, don't worry, Friends Who Send Your Kids to School and Family Who Sent Your Kids to School ... I got this.

*Disclaimer: I did not write this post to spark a debate. I fully realize homeschooling is not for everyone. I can't imagine my parents homeschooling me! I just wrote it to point people who ask to a post so they can read my views instead of getting the deer-in-headlights look from me because they have caught me in the middle of a busy day to ask me a very complicated question! Do I think my kids will be perfect if I homeschool them through high school? Of course not. They are subjected to some of the same temptations as any other teens, and they have hormones just like any other teens.

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