Eight Common Myths About Homeschooling in High School
- Thursday, November 10, 2011
For most homeschooling parents, teaching children during the elementary years is comparatively easy. Basically, you just need to be smarter than a fifth-grader—right? But as your student-child enters the high school years, many homeschool parents are faced with a difficult choice—do we continue on the homeschool path or send our child to a more traditional school environment?
To add to the confusion, there are a great many myths about homeschooling in high school. We will address some of these myths below in an attempt to help you as you make this all-important decision. There is no one answer for all students. Some parents even make the individual choice to send some children to school during the high school years while keeping others at home. However, the truth about homeschooling during high school can make the decision much easier for those who are uncertain.
Myth #1: Homeschooling in high school is too difficult for the average parent.
In reality, homeschooling in high school can be much easier than the earlier years, because your high school student is capable of more independent study. The trick is in finding the right curriculum options. First, start by evaluating your own strengths and weaknesses. For me, I knew that English and history were fine for me to teach, but I have forgotten the 118 entries on the periodic tables of elements, could not (or would not) dissect a frog if my life depended on it and, because of my medical condition (post-algebraic stress disorder), I weep at the thought of higher math. So, for science and math subjects, I may choose to invest in classes, tutoring, community college courses, online or DVD classes, or slightly more expensive curriculum options that provide greater support. The cost is still much cheaper than a complete private school education.
The main difference between teaching children at the elementary level and secondary level is that you will need to become your child’s guidance counselor. This means that you will need to help them explore the career or life path they are fitted for and assist in finding curriculum and extracurricular activities that will prepare them for that calling. This can be a tremendous challenge, but it is also a great way to bond with the adult child who is emerging from your tutelage.
One of the most frightening aspects for many parents is the creation of a high school transcript. However, this is actually surprisingly easy, and parent-prepared transcripts are accepted by at least 68% of institutions and colleges.1 Aslong as independent test scores (from tests such as the ACT or SAT) seem consistent with student grades, the transcripts are rarely questioned. However, it is a good idea to keep a portfolio explaining each class, and save major tests, projects, and papers in case you need more support materials. One great resource for navigating these aspects of the high school years is Diana Johnson’s book: High School @ Home.
Myth #2: If my child does not graduate from a “real” school, he will have problems getting a good job.
Actually, the flexibility of homeschool schedules makes it much easier for homeschool students to be employed while in high school or to participate in volunteer activities that can increase the likelihood of gainful employment in the future. A teen with a high school diploma has an advantage; a teen with a diploma and job experience has a greater one. A survey conducted by Dr. Linda Montgomery revealed that 78 percent of high school age homeschoolers had paying jobs.2 And future unemployment and welfare dependency is extremely rare among homeschool graduates,3perhaps because of the strong work ethic instilled at an early age.
Myth #3: Homeschooling in high school will make it more difficult for my student to get into college.
In the early days of the modern homeschooling movement, this may have been true. But as homeschooling has been tested and proven to produce superior academic results, colleges have become more accepting of homeschooled students. Many, such as Bob Jones University and Patrick Henry College, actively recruit them. Many other homeschool-friendly colleges can be found at www.homeschoolfriendlycolleges.com/completelist.htm. And this list is by no means exhaustive. Studies show that a homeschooled student now has a greater chance of acceptance into Stanford, Harvard, or Princeton than a traditionally schooled student does!4
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