“I’m fine with teaching kids when they are younger, but high school??? What if I mess them up? What if they can’t get into college? What if they aren’t prepared for life?” Yes the fears and questions abound at the thought of homeschooling high school. But it really isn’t that difficult or scary. You can conquer your fear of homeschooling high school and educate your teens with confidence.
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3 Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Homeschooling High School
When we get to the high school years, we homeschooling moms often feel the weight of responsibility for our teens future in a way we haven’t felt before. At this point in our parenting we’ve come to realize just how fast time goes by. And it scares us that in four short years our teens will most likely be going to college or entering the work force. They will be adults.
We start hearing others talk about high school using using terms like credits, dual-enrollment, transcripts, scholarships applications, internships, apprenticeships…you get the idea. And we find ourselves thinking, “Maybe it is time to send them to school.”
But you can conquer your fear of homeschooling high school.
1. Stop thinking you have to figure out all of the details NOW.
Remember each year is simply the next step. You don’t have to choose every resource right now. And you don’t have to have a detailed plan for each year before they begin high school. But I do recommend that you consider where you want to go.
Begin by setting aside some time to do a little research. You can map out the general courses you expect your students to complete. And you’ll need to find out your state requirements. But a little investment of time in the beginning will give you confidence as you plan each year of your journey in more detail. So take some time before you start homeschooling high school (or now if your child is already in high school) and think through these areas:
- Will my children most likely attend college? Or will they need to prepare for a career they are interested in that doesn’t involve going to college?
- If my children will attend a university, what colleges would they be interested in attending? (And no, your high school freshman do not have to know where they will attend college for sure, but you all may have an idea.)
- What are the required courses for these colleges?
- Does my state have requirements for homeschooling high school?
- What are my teens interested in studying outside of the required courses?
Think of this as a map. As you travel, you may take some different routes. You may decide to spend a little more time at some place than others. Or you may decide to meander a bit through the more scenic places. But knowing your ultimate destination will help you enjoy the journey instead of feeling like you are lost the whole time.
2. Realize you don’t have to do everything yourself or be an expert in all they want and need to learn.
Parents are often intimidated by the courses high schoolers are traditionally required to complete. And let’s face it: we don’t know all the things. No one does.
Yes, you are your children’s teacher. But as the teacher you get to facilitate learning using whatever resources you feel work the best for your teens.
As a matter of fact, you aren’t always the best person to teach your high schoolers and that is OK! Delegating responsibilities to teach certain subject to others makes you a wise teacher. You know your limits and you know what your kids need. Confidently walk in that wisdom and don’t worry about what others think!
So look for opportunities in your community and online resources. There is no shame in admitting you don’t know something. As a matter of fact, it is to both your advantage and your students. You model how they can be life-long learners by showing them how to look for resources to learn outside of the traditional school environment.
3. Know you can choose the how even when you don’t feel like you can choose all of the specific subjects.
We tend to think our kids have to learn in the same way we did. Sure, approaching the elementary years differently is fine, but now things are serious. Textbooks, AP courses, a rigorous education: Isn’t that what high school is all about?
Let me encourage you though, you don’t have to “school at home” just because you are teaching high school. Embrace the opportunities and freedom homeschooling offers. Take into account your students learning styles. Dare I suggest we even keep things fun at times?
Perhaps you want your child to follow a traditional course load, but remember, that doesn’t mean they have to learn it traditionally. It is time to think outside-of-the-box. Talk to your high school student about what they are interested in learning. About how they would like to go about learning.
Homeschooling High School Resources
If you want to learn more about how to homeschool high school I highly recommend a couple of excellent resources:
Cure the Fear of Homeschooling High School by Ann Karako.
What I love about Ann’s book is it’s simplicity. She has a Facebook group called It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool High School. And that is truly her philosophy. Do you hear the message? Homeschooling high school isn’t that hard. You don’t have to fear it.
And this digital book includes eight different printable forms to lead you through everything you need.
Celebrate High School: Finish with Excellence by Cheryl Bastian
One of my favorite parts about Cheryl’s book is how she helps you translate real life experience into high school credits. As it says on the back to the book,
High school is not a one-size-fits-all experience. The journey is unique for every student. High school is the discovery and refinement of skills needed to complement a student’s God-give gifts and talents.
I couldn’t agree more 🙂
You Can Homeschool High School Without Fear
Many moms suffer from a fear of homeschooling high school, but you don’t have to live in that fear. And you don’t need to put your kids in public or private school because of fear. High school is simply the next step of your homeschooling journey. A journey where you are your teen’s guide, partner, and cheerleader.
In other words, you are a homeschooling mom. So be fearless.