Sunday, February 18, 2018

Homeschooling high school

We have been homeschooling our kids since they were in 5th, 3rd, and 1st grades (in 2010). We basically jumped right into it when we moved to a state which didn't have a Christian school nearby. We knew before our kids were school-aged that we did not want to send them to a public school. When our oldest started kindergarten, she went to a Christian school that was associated with our church. We loved that school! The teachers love Christ and the students are taught the subjects from a Christian perspective (and with excellent academics!)

In 2010 we moved to our current location and there was not a Christian school anywhere nearby, so we were forced to quickly decide what to do. I had always been of the mindset, "Homeschooling is great, but I will never homeschool my kids!" (as a matter of fact, I had made that assertion before!) Well--having decided to not send them to public school--and having no Christian school around--we plunged (unenthusiastically!) into homeschooling. Quickly we learned to enjoy the freedom we had throughout the school day/year and we really all enjoyed it! We were able to do multiple subjects together with all three kids (history, science, Bible) and we were a part of a great homeschool co-op which provided "fun" extras. As the years progressed, we really have loved homeschooling, spending so much time together as a family, sharing our time and values as a family. We have also had the opportunity to teach our children from a Biblical perspective. AND we had lots of friends who were homeschooling also.

Fast forward to I have 3 teenagers -- one is in 12th grade, one is in 10th grade, and one is in 8th grade. We are still homeschooling. The kids' subjects are more difficult, their school days are longer, not so much "together" learning... Most of our former homeschooling friends have sent their kids to the public school, folks who were homeschooling for religious as well as non-religious reasons have sent their kids to school--so many, in fact, that my kids are now kind of really the isolated ones--the only ones they know nearby of their ages who are still homeschooled. So why are we still homeschooling? Well, for the same reasons. We wanted our kids to have an academically challenging excellent education with Christ at the center. Some people say we're too protective. Well, fine, if that's how you see it, I'm okay with that :) . We are able to share character lessons with our kids at each turn and keep them away from swearing all day and drugs/alcohol, and more.

Is it easy? No :) Does anyone want to hear about our "fun activities" -- no (not so many cutesy projects any more!) Are we still doing it? YES! Friends ask how we decide to still homeschool, as their kids are telling them they want to go to school. My answer is that we made a commitment years ago and it's just not an option. We want to be the ones to guide their education, not the state. We are following what God has laid on our hearts and He will bless us.

**I will say that although our kids are not going to public school, per se, our oldest one is dual-enrolled at the Community College. Is this going against our conviction? No, we don't believe so. We work with her to choose appropriate courses that will prepare her for her chosen college next year, and the social influences and pressures that are present at a public high school are really not there in the community college, she is in classes with students from 60 years old to 16 years old, and has class sizes of about 10 students.

So--just my thoughts. Homeschooling high school can be a lonely, tough time. It is not easy :) but our relationships have definitely benefitted and we have so many opportunities to soak our kids in Gospel truth. And when I say lonely, PLEASE don't jump on the "not enough social interactions" bandwagon :) My kids still have what I might consider too many social interactions ;) -- robotics teams, 4-H, cyberpatriot team, youth group, ballroom lessons, art class, music classes, fiber group, and much much more! I think the "lonely" is for me, but it's just a phase. One I am privileged to participate in. :)

So--here we are, still plugging along, following what God has asked of us--and relying on Him, and thankful for His care and sustaining of us.

Why did I write this? Who knows!?! Just a thought in my mind :)

Anyone else out there homeschooling high schoolers?

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