HOMESCHOOLING HIGH SCHOOLERS
by Tamara Eaton
Even veteran homeschooling parents sometimes panic at the thought of homeschooling through high school. When tempted to worry, it's helpful to start thanking the Lord for all He's accomplished in your homeschooling in the past, knowing that He will continue to carry you through to the end!
Here are some practical tips:
- Realize it's more important to give your child the "tools" he needs for learning and researching, etc., than that you cover ALL the subjects. You'll NEVER be able to cover EVERYTHING, even the very best schools can't do that. What you want is to help your child develop into a lifetime learner.
- Prayerfully research and list the subjects your child needs to cover during high school in order to meet his future goals--college? Trade schools? Entrepreneur? Make these priorities and don't get so caught up in all the "frills" or "field trips, etc" that you neglect these areas.
- When you see a weak area (and we ALL have them!), research your options to cover this area most efficiently, then talk to your child and plunge in with enthusiasm. It's amazing how much can be accomplished in a short time if you're concentrating on one area without distractions.
- Take note of all the gifts and strong points of your child and APPRECIATE them. Don't get so caught up in the "weaknesses" that you no longer see the strengths. God has made us all so unique, with special gifts and we want to develop those areas in our children (with His help!).
- Talk to other parents who are homeschooling their high schoolers and encourage one another. Homeschool parents come up with GREAT innovative ideas for covering even those sometimes "tricky" subjects like chemistry or physics.
Finally--and most importantly--ask the Lord to show you what to do for high school and how to prepare your child for the future. He loves your child even more than you do (imagine that!) and He will bring you through the next few years triumphantly. Who else knows the end from the beginning and the past, present and future and promises to lead you every step of the way? Nothing is hidden from Him either, so He has the complete picture-- sometimes we only see a little part of it.
Isaiah 46:9-10 "... I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure."
Psalm 9:10 "And they that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee."
James 1:5-6 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering."
Psalm 142:3 "When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path."
Just think of it--infinite wisdom--available to us, but only through prayer and commitment to Jesus. No wonder the enemy would seek to distract us from prayer! It's an awesome, truly amazing privilege to be able to go to the Lord for EVERY need and see His faithfulness! Put your faith and confidence in Him today--you are NOT alone, He will lead your family and give you His peace--just ask Him!
These materials have been recommended by Christian Homeschool Forum members who are currently homeschooling their high schoolers:
- CHRISTIAN HOME EDUCATORS' CURRICULUM MANUAL: Jr. High and Sr. High by Cathy Duffy-- Cathy Duffy has done a marvelous job of covering many different homeschooling needs and materials. Not only does she describe many programs and materials, she gives helpful teaching advice, suggestions of what to study and when to study it, tips on learning styles, graduation options, etc. (Available from most homeschool catalogs, including the online chfweb.com Homeschool bookstore)
- THE RELAXED HOME SCHOOL by Dr. Mary Hood-- Very practical, encouraging and easy to read. The author suggests ways to make learning as stress-free as possible for all ages. Gives advice on how to prepare your teens for college or career or both, as well as record keeping.
- HOMESCHOOLING HIGHSCHOOLERS by McAlister and Oneschak -- This book comes in two volumes (I think the two volumes have now been consolidated into one). First volume is all the information about evaluating the high school years, career and college exploration and preparation, goal-setting, transcript making, course outlining, etc. It is brief enough for you to not be overwhelmed yet still carry away all that you need to know to do high school. The second volume includes more coursework examples and extra forms for a whole year of transcript and course description forms.
- APPRENTICESHIP PLUS (Patterning Learning Upon Scripture)-- Inge Cannon gives a seminar that is absolutely invaluable (and comes with a comb-bound book of workshop notes/graphs, etc.). Concerns "high places" in homeschooling, burnout, *real* goals for highschoolers rather than being subject to the "norm" in homeschooling-- like diplomas/accreditation. Warming to review again and again. Available from: Education PLUS (864-281-9316) PO Box 1029, Mauldin, SC 29662
- SENIOR HIGH: A Home Designed Formula by Barb Shelton-- Barb walks you through the steps of finding a "big picture" vision for your homeschooled child's high school years. Especially helpful is Barb's encouragement to seriously seek the Lord for His plan for your homeschool and not just imitate the world's or anyone else's "formula" or expectations for high school. She has helpful ideas for applying real life learning to high school "credits" (if you choose to go that route) and various reproducible forms for record-keeping, planning, etc. Senior High: A Home Designed Form+U+La is available from: Barb Shelton, 182 No. Columbia Hts. Rd., Longview, WA 98632 (BEShelton@aol.com )
- SCROLL'S HIGH SCHOOL GUIDE TO HOMESCHOOLING EXCELLENCE by Diana Johnson is a very good, concise book on the essential considerations and approaches for homeschooling a high schooler. It contains a detailed list of books at every grade level, and can be used to construct a total curriculum plan for 9th thru 12th grades. Topics include: record keeping, schedules, figuring and applying credits, various homeschool styles, alternative high school diplomas, grading and alternative methods, early admissions to local colleges, remedial to advanced level suggestions. Resources listed include: video, correspondence, satellite, and umbrella schools. Course listings offered include remedial to advanced level suggestions. (She includes information about Texas law, and the first version is a bit Texas specific, but a revision is planned in the near future that will be more general.) Available From : The Scroll Christian Bookstore, 2719 University Blvd., Tyler, TX 75701, (903) 566-8263 (903) 566-3166 Fax
© Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.
Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.
We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.
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"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."