We all want our children to become poised, confident, and productive adults. Home schooling through high school will help you achieve the goals that you and your children have set.
The first and most obvious advantage of home schooling in high school is the time and opportunities available in which you can demonstrate and attempt to pass on your spiritual heritage, your morals, and your work ethic. Much has been written about these already. Im going to write about other advantages as well as provide practical suggestions to make home schooling your teen easier.
Students who home school through the teenage years tend to be more focused on what they want to accomplish with their lives. Those with artistic natures find they have ample time to immerse themselves more fully in their respective talents: writing, art, music, etc. Those who have an academic passion will find they have more time to read, work on the computer, study foreign languages, chart the stars, and follow their interests at a deeper level. Students who are planning a vocational or technical career can begin an apprenticeship or a work-study in their chosen field. Unlike public schools, there is no waiting on the rest of the class, unnecessary seat-work, study halls, disruptive behavior, or threats to their personal safety to take students minds off what they really want to learn and accomplish.
With the proper guidance from their parents, these young people will enter adulthood poised, confident, and with a solid academic and work ethic background. These responsible and independent problem-solvers will be gladly welcomed into colleges and the work place!
Set Great Goals!
1. World Knowledge - History and Geography are cornerstones to understanding current events, political and socio-economic information.
2. Effective Communication Skills - A person who writes and communicates well is a valuable asset to any college or employer. (Being well read is part of the package. Develop and use a good book list.) Computer communication is becoming an absolute necessity. Hint: have your teen write, write, and write some more.
3. Problem Solving Abilities - Our goal should be to raise independent learners who are able to organize, research, and solve problems.
4. Time Management and Self-Discipline Skills - These skills are invaluable for every adult.
5. Self-Sufficiency - Train your young adults in Biblical stewardship and other practical skills such as auto and household maintenance.
6. Integrity - Dont let your teen leave home without it!
Help! Can I Really Do This!?
There are many "ideals" in planning for high school, just as there are for most facets of our lives. With high school, as with the rest of your home schooling, do your very best and dont get caught up in feelings of inadequacy just because Mrs. B is teaching her three teens Latin, Physics and Trig! Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. If one year is less than banner, strive to do better the next.
Love your teens and give them as many opportunities to learn as you can. Help them to learn study skills, life skills, and give them the chance to stretch and grow, and even sometimes fail. Spend time in the Word and help them to see the practical applications of your faith so that they will want to emulate you. At no other age is the "Do as I say, not as I do" adage less likely to work. Remember, whether or not your student has a chemistry lab or AP level courses is not nearly as important as having their faith and beliefs firmly in place!
Now, having said all that, here are some of the "ideals" in preparing for high school and college.
How Do I Know Which Classes My Student Needs?
First, begin with your state requirements. Some states may have specific course work that is required of everyone, including homeschoolers. Other states allow flexibility and leave the final decision with the principal (or parent.) Your home-school organization may have its own set of requirements. Ask. Typically, graduation requirements range from 19 to 22 credits. Below is a list of generally required courses. Second, take your students interest into account. A student with strong aptitude and interest in one area should be encouraged to pursue that area of interest.
If a student is probably college bound, it is wise to structure his course work accordingly. Check with your state universitys requirements for entrance. This will give you a good idea of subjects your child should be taking. If youre not sure about college, its better to prepare him should he decide to go, rather than have him attempt to go unprepared.
In our next article we will discuss, high school credits, graduation requirements, and options for teaching high school courses.
Maggie's e-mail address is Hogan@BrightIdeasPress.com.
Maggie Hogan is a motivational speaker and co-author of The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide, Gifted Children at Home, and other resource books. She and her husband Bob have been home schooling their boys since 1991. Involved in local, state, and national home-schooling issues, they both serve on boards of home education organizations in Delaware. They are also owners of Bright Ideas Press (www.BrightIdeasPress.com), a home-school company dedicated to bringing the best practical, fun, and affordable materials to the home-school market.