How Long Will We Keep Homeschooling? (Homeschooling Through High School)
Update: We have moved to homeschoolden.com.
This is the question our family gets asked most often… or some variation of it… Will you homeschool through high school? How will you teach the tough subjects like calculus?
My son will be entering 6th grade this year… In our area he would be entering middle school. DD is a 4th grader and ED will be in 1st grade. (You know, we’re homeschoolers so really they do work on whatever level they’re at, but for convenience sake I’m mentioning their “grade.”) Whew, where did the time go?!!
Even when the kids were 1, 3 and 5 or 2, 4 and 6 people would ask how long we were going to homeschool. My answer has always been, we’ll take it one year at a time. It depends on what the kids want and what works best for our family. I equate it this way… do you ask the parents of a 5 year old… “will you send your child to public or private high school or homeschool them?” No one asks that to parents as they drop their child off for their first day of kindergarten… and for that very same reason it is difficult to tell anyone whether ED (just starting 1st grade) will still be homeschooling 10 years from now.
At this point, all the kids still want to homeschool. We try to keep the material challenging and engaging. We know what gaps they have in their education/skill set and work very hard to overcome their shortcomings while supporting their strengths.
One huge advantage we have as homeschoolers is the fact that the kids have no commute time. While it’s just 30 minutes (by school bus) to the elementary school my kids would attend, the middle school commute is usually 45-50 minutes each way. The zoning makes it so that our kids wouldn’t go to the school closest to them. That hour to hour and a half is time that we can spend reading or doing other things. It also means that my kids have some “down time” after their academics are done and before they head off to their evening activities. With my son in competitive gymnastics, this is an especially valuable thing for him.
Homeschooling through high school is not as scary because we’ve had benefit of watching my nieces and nephews as they approach (and finish) high school. My niece and nephew (17 and 15) have been doing online college classes and are very self-motivated… working through reading lists and course work that they have (with their parents’ help) designed. My niece has read many classics that I never covered! I have no doubt they’ll be incredibly successful in college.
So back to us… how will we tackle the tough subjects? There are so many options. It could be that the kids attend high school. We could homeschool with textbooks and other resources (as we do now). Or they could take online or community college classes when they’re ready. There are lots of options… and we’ll take it one year at a time.
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