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Homeschooling High School—Making It Work!

  • Tonya Ruiz Contributing Writer
  • 2005 21 Jan
Homeschooling High School—Making It Work!

"We want to go to school," my boys begged for weeks when they were little. Finally, we sat down and asked them, "Why do you keep asking to 'go to school?'" Their reply, "We want to ride a bus." A trip down to the corner, a few dollars and a bus ride solved that simple dilemma.

What do we have to do to make this work?

During our sixteen years of homeschooling, we have faced various and unique challenges from lack of space to the illness of family members. Whenever these trying situations occur, my husband and I always talk over our trials and ask, "What do we have to do to make this work?"

As the kids have gotten older and taller than us, the situations have changed, but the same rules apply—finding the problem and figuring out how to solve it.

In the early days, when I had four children six-years-old and under, my biggest struggle was keeping the housework done. We sacrificed our second car and then hired help that came twice a month to do the major cleaning so I could concentrate on teaching the children.

One year storage and work space was a problem, so we changed things around and bought extra shelves so we could have room for our ten zillion homeschooling books and supplies.

The kids surpassed my math knowledge in about 5th grade so I have always been extremely thankful for the teacher's manuals. Then, last year, we realized our vital need for outside science and math help for our boys – who are in the 7th and 10th grades. We signed them up with a local Christian university that provides some classes and tutors for homeschoolers.

Why Am I Homeschooling?

Lately, my teenagers are inclined to occasionally wake-up with snarl-ly attitudes. On these mornings, I am tempted to send them to military boarding school just to get them out of my hair.

Sometimes, I get discouraged and wonder, why am I doing this? Then I remember—to raise godly children. Ah-ha! With that goal in mind, I have a renewed interested in making homeschooling work for my family.

There are still a few years of homeschooling left for our family (five-and-a-half, but who's counting) and I am sure there will be more challenges to face. Just like before, we will acknowledge the problems and work on solutions.

The Proof is in the Pudding

Our daughters were home throughout high school and then graduated from Bible College. The oldest, Ashley, is married and the mother of my adorable grandson, Jude. Our second, Lindsay, is working in a church music ministry. Our two sons are still homeschooling–one doing high school and one junior high.

You've heard the expression, "The proof is in the pudding." It means that the recipe is important, the ingredients you put into it matters, but results are what really counts. Juggle things around. Figure out what you need to change. Do what you need to do to make homeschooling work for you. In the end, you'll be please with the results. I know we have been. 


  •  If you are experiencing homeschooling challenges, ask, "What do we need to do to make this work?" 
  • Ask your teenager if they have any suggestions for improvement.
    (Disregard any suggestions for more Nintendo time.)
  • Pray and ask God for His divine guidance.
  • Then, make a plan and like the Nike ad says, "Just Do it!"

Lord, help us to teach these children You have given us. Even though it isn't always easy, we know You will give us the strength to make it one more day, one more semester, and one more year. The Bible says, that knowledge, wisdom and understanding come from You and we need all of those in our lives. Amen.

Tonya Ruiz is a dynamic communicator and Bible teacher who speaks nationally about some of today's most important issues. She is a pastor's wife, homeschooling mother and grandmother who calls Southern California home. Her website is www.BeautyQuest.net.

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