We’ve already taken an extensive look into the general homeschool advantages as well as the advantages of homeschooling in your child’s early years. Now we are going to look more specifically at homeschool advantages into and through high school. It’s certainly different than homeschooling young children, but it can be just as or more fulfilling to do so.
By now, you’ve found a solid foundation in your child’s learning style as well as your own homeschooling style, and most likely, things are going pretty smoothly. You’re closer to the finish line of your child’s education now, but you can still change things up as necessary, as their needs might also be changing. This is where there will be a turning towards either college preparation or vocational training, so be ready to explore some brand-new ideas.
Homeschool Advantages to Starting Over
It can sometimes take a while to figure out exactly how to go about adjusting to a homeschool environment after your child has attended a public school. The good news is that it’s totally okay to work backward to find out where and when problems may have started while your child may have been enrolled in a traditional school. If you’ve pulled your child out of public school, please don’t assume that you have to start where they were. Because most of the time, it’s not where they should be anyway. Start by paying attention to the subjects they hate most. Talk to them. Ask questions about what they were doing that was most unappealing and you’re likely to find the root cause in the disruption of the learning process.
I found that somehow, my daughter had never actually learned the foundational blocks of addition and subtraction while in school. Now that it had come time to add in decimals and fractions, math was the primary source of tears in our early years of homeschooling. It wasn’t until her “fourth-grade” year that I decided to go all the way back and start from the very beginning to find out where things had fallen apart. We worked through the lesson plans of two workbooks that year as she quickly picked up on and added to success after success.
You can do the same in any subject, no matter which homeschooling style you’re using. Sometimes, it’s just as simple as going back until you find out what was left out. Yes, it’s time-consuming. And yes, it’s likely to make you angry that you’re even having to do it at all. But the advantage of seeing your child “get it” makes it so very worthwhile! Once they reach a comfortable place, you’ll find that they most likely finish their work faster than the time it would take in a public school or private school setting, because they’re working at their own pace in a personalized way, and not a teacher-dictated timeline for a group of students as a whole. The flexible schedule allowed in a homeschool environment is a benefit not only to the learning of the homeschool child but to the schedule of the homeschooling parents as well.
Homeschool Advantages of a Safer Environment
I absolutely cannot leave out the very important advantage of homeschooling to keep your child safe from emotional, mental, and physical harm. Bullies are real and so far, no amount of legislation has made an impact in stopping it. Suicide rates among preteens and teens are skyrocketing. Anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses are climbing at an unprecedented rate. Gun violence is still ongoing. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Some homeschool parents have actually pursued homeschooling simply because they feel like they have no other choice. While Christians know it’s a heart problem, society at large believes the unprecedented moral decline we are seeing can be satiated with prescription drugs, laws, and working hard to avoid the possibility of offending anyone. Never mind that this leads to adult dependence on all of these things.
Our public school counterparts that host programs like D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) are just as quick to alert social services if you are not drugging your child for their hyperactivity and “attention deficit” disorders. The same public school system that demands signed permission slips for aspirins and antacids, if your child takes them during school hours, are the same ones that can assist your child in obtaining birth control and abortions, without parental consent. In fact, according to the Planned Parenthood website, children under the age of 18 do not need parental consent to obtain an abortion in the following states (as of June 2018):
- Washington, D.C.
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
As our world continues to decline in so many ways, having the ability to keep your child safe is of the utmost importance. And it’s one of the biggest homeschool advantages for your child, starting at ANY age.
Homeschool Advantages for Mental & Physical Safety
During the middle school years, the body and mind go through some tremendous changes, even without any of the outside stressors that assault them in the public school arena. Just trying to make sense of all the changes in their own mind creates a very challenging time. Homeschooling offers the advantage of being able to allow for a little breathing room when things get trying. Allowing your middle schooler to have free time for reading, hobbies, music, or other extracurricular activities, or even simply playing can bring enough peace to carry them through. This should be in addition to your patience, support, and guidance, which solidifies their comfort zone.
You’ll also have the advantage of allowing them much more time to move, which is beneficial for both the body and the mind. Some type of physical activity, whether taking a long walk between two particularly trying classes or playing a little basketball before lunch could be just the thing to turn a day around quickly, something that public school students don't get the benefit of doing.
The advantage of sleep may not be overlooked, but it is often misrepresented for homeschoolers. A full night of quality sleep is incredibly important for middle and high schoolers and not having to make an early morning commute on a bus (or buses, depending on your location) can provide just the extra time of rest they need. As a homeschooler, you can set your own hours too, so if you’d rather start formal studies at ten instead of eight, it is completely in your power to arrange it.
Finally, you can round out the proper care of the body by making sure your preteens and teens are well fed throughout the day. As picky as this age group is, it’s not surprising to find that many of them will eat very little or skip lunch altogether because there’s nothing in the school cafeteria that they “like”. However, at home, you can keep all the nutritious foods and meals that they will eat and you’ll even save money doing it.
Homeschool Advantages of Guarding Against the “Politically Correct” Agenda
I remember when my son was in a public school in the first grade and a note came home about the need to teach acceptance of ALL religions. What I actually found out later was that the school was providing prayer rugs and private rooms for the Islamic students to pray and some parents weren’t happy about it, myself included. After all, my own son had been sent home from school for attempting to pray with a little girl in a wheelchair. THAT was considered “forceful” and “improper”. And no one, especially those in positions of authority, was putting forth the least effort to accept HIS religion.
These days, being politically correct encompasses so much more than that! As we are constantly told to “protect trans kids” and be accepting if children want to cross-dress, we are forced to decide whether this is something we want to be instilled in our own children. After all, there’s a saying going around that says something like, “If you have a cat that is a vegetarian, we all know who’s making the decisions.” For Christian parents, this goes far deeper than political correctness. While we might not all share the same beliefs, the idea that we should be free to practice our own, without being forced to forego them in public places, shouldn’t be forbidden just because it’s Christianity and not Islam or Atheism.
Homeschooling gives us the chance to breathe freely, pass our spiritual values down to our children, and not have to worry about our children being forced to accept, or worse still, take part in, something that we absolutely do not believe in nor support.
Homeschool Advantages of Getting a Jump on Higher Education
In public school “getting ahead” isn’t really possible. At least not in the same ways that homeschoolers can get ahead. Homeschooled teens have many advantages over their public-school peers including the opportunity to prep for college with an exceptional transcript, to stand out in the admissions process thanks to their different experiences, and even to take some general college coursework prior to graduation.
When you add in any vocational training your child may already have accomplished, as well as possible volunteer work or entrepreneurial endeavors they may have achieved, they have a definite leg-up in the college arena. Many homeschooled children might decide to start a training program, internship, or apprenticeship that will put them ahead of the curve by graduation.
The fact is, your homeschool student has the benefit of being able to pursue their passions and create a proven record based on learning through their strengths and interests. Being able to set your own requirements for graduation can also help them focus on the route they’re going to take after high school. There’s no comparison for this in the public school model. The result will be a more well-rounded and better prepared young adult who will start their chosen path with great strength and self-confidence.
Homeschool Advantages of Raising Independent Learners
The last couple of years of high school can be an excellent time to start letting go of the reigns a bit if you haven’t already done so. This opportunity for independent study not only gives your child a necessary boost of self-confidence in this “fledgling-adult” stage, but it can also help them prepare more thoroughly for college. In that particular educational setting, they will have to assume full responsibility for themselves, including keeping up with assignments, test dates, attendance, and all that goes with it. There will be no constant reminders for falling behind, and if they don’t find their footing before this phase, they may flounder and possibly fail.
During the last couple of years of your child’s homeschool experience, you may get a lot of unsolicited advice from outsiders who will tell you (with absolutely no ties to anyone who’s ever been homeschooled) who will tell you that your child will never get into college from homeschool. I’m here to tell you, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, some colleges actually recruit specifically from homeschool families, with many others that are very friendly towards the homeschool transcript and the child behind it.
Once upon a time, it was harder for homeschool graduates to be seen as viable college students, but much has changed. Homeschooled grads began to show what they were made of by scoring higher on both the ACT and the SAT. College performance of those who have completed homeschool often trumps that of the public high school graduate. Homeschooled students have higher GPAs in college as well.
Homeschooling High School Is Great For Introverts OR Extroverts
I know that God creates our children, and each one of us in fact, in His own image. At the same time, we each have specific and unique attributes that make us exactly who we are. My son could talk a fence post out of the ground while my daughter could go days without speaking to anyone and she wouldn’t feel like she’d missed a thing. And the best part is, neither of them feels as if they HAVE to change to fit a public school view of what’s “successful” and what is not.
Children should be allowed to be ok with who they are and with respect to how socially connected they’d like to be. Forcing an extrovert to be more introverted, or to try to make an introvert more people-friendly, is a really bad idea in my experience. It causes them to have to pretend to be someone they certainly are not and likely will never be, which hurts everyone involved. Yes, there are certain amounts of real-life an introvert will have to deal with. And an extrovert has to learn that in some situations, being seen and not heard isn’t a bad rule to follow. But these situations still allow them to feel like it’s ok to be themselves at the same time.
Homeschooling allows you the freedom as well as the opportunities, to make academics, socialization, and everything life has to offer a richer experience by far. And you’re going to be glad you made that decision someday.
If you have concerns about starting homeschooling into your child’s high school homeschool career, one of the best moves you can make is to attend a Great Homeschool Convention. You’ll gain extensive knowledge from listening to our many speakers, attending valuable workshops, and visiting the vendors who are there to offer curriculum, resources, and, most importantly, advice on what’s ahead.
You should be able to attend the Great Homeschool Convention nearest you. If you have far to travel, you’ll be pleased to find that we offer hotel discounts, military discounts, and free admission for our active clergy members, all intended to make your visit with us a little nicer.
To find the convention location nearest you, CLICK HERE.
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And remember, Great Homeschool Conventions are: Equipping… Encouraging… FUN!