Homeschooling is a big commitment. Homeschooling all the way through high school is an even bigger commitment. I had the pleasure of homeschooling both my daughters all the way through and today I’m here to share my top five tips to persevere for the long haul.
1. Know Yourself
Homeschooling is a full time job. Always remember that. Learn to view it as such and set boundaries. People who don’t homeschool don’t always realize the time commitment involved. They view you as being ‘home’ during the day as equating with being available during the day, but that’s not true. As you move into high school with your kids their workload only grows. You need to guard your time and your energy. Make sure you take time to nourish yourself so you can nourish your children and not experience the burn out so many homeschooling moms do. Ask yourself what you need to do to be fed daily so you are able to give back to your children? Is it starting the day off with exercise, quiet time, or Bible study? Is it taking a break part way through the day for a short walk? Meeting up with girlfriends at the end of the school day for a cup of coffee? It’s important to take time to develop ways to renew your strength and energy. This requires knowing yourself and what it takes to keep you going at your best.
2. Know Your Kids
All kids are unique. They all learn differently. As you approach high school you’ll hopefully have had enough time to discover how your children learn best—auditory, visual, kinesthetic. Continue to teach in the style that works best for them. Some teenagers do best with very structured learning while others thrive in an unschooling environment. Don’t panic and think you need your kids to do high school just like they do in public schools. The most important thing is helping your children thrive, fostering a love of learning and incorporating self-discipline on their part. When my oldest daughter graduated and went to college she was amazed at how many students told her how lucky she was to have been homeschooled. She’d learned to pace herself and to get her work done independently. So many of them struggled making the shift from structured high school, where the teachers tell you how to manage your time and keep you on track, to college where you are given a syllabus and left to manage your own time.
3. Know Your Options
There are so many options available for homeschooled high schoolers. You can do all your school work at home even including science labs, you can join a co-op for a variety of levels of help, you can do parallel enrollment at your local community college, and you can participate at your local schools for varsity sports in a number of states. Several states have varsity level sports specifically for homeschoolers. Take time to learn the options available to you and figure out which are best for your kids.
4. Know Your State
As mentioned above each state has its own set of rules and requirements. Be on top of the regulations that pertain to you. I highly recommend having an oversight that works as a go-between for you and the state. I had a wonderful woman who’d homeschooled her own kids through high school and she was a great source of information, guidance, and support.
5. Know Your Resources
Know where to look for help in making the best of your high school years and helping your children make the smoothest transition from high school to college or whatever they have planned next. Take advantage of online aptitude tests, check out books on college majors, do a career exploration and connect with your oversight or state homeschool representative to find out what scholarships are available for homeschoolers (my daughter got a full ride). Take the time to discover what is available and you’ll be amazed.
Here are few links that I found particularly helpful:
- Career Colleges – Career Assessment Test
- The Pioneer Woman – I Homeschooled Through High School
Hope your high school homeschooling journey is as fun and adventurous as mine was. I treasure the memories.
Author Bio: Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom, and bestselling author of numerous books, including her latest, Cold Shot (Bethany House). She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporate so many things she loves—the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of one’s faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland, where they enjoy time with their two daughters, son-in-law, and super adorable grandson. You can learn more about Dani at www.danipettrey.com.
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