Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why Homeschool Teens?

On Saturday morning I, along with four other moms who wear the badge of having successfully (??) graduated one or more children, led a meeting on homeschooling in high school for our support group. It was held at the local homeschool bookstore & resource center with about 20 people in attendance. After homeschooling for 14 years and being involved in support group leadership for most of that time, I can tell you that nothing strikes fear in the heart of a homeschooling parent like "the high school years".


I have homeschooled my oldest three all the way through high school, and have another in 10th grade this year. I have survived, and so have my children! And... they are thriving. Now, I know what some of you are thinking. "She must be one of those super- organized, super- patient, super- smart, super women!" WRONG. Just ask my kids. They'll tell you in a flash...
I am not organized, I am not terribly patient, I am not a genius, and I don't own a cape! I have spent hours on my knees, crying and begging God to show grace and cover over all my mistakes. I have grown in wisdom over the years, and embraced flexibility and out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to education. I have changed direction several times when it comes to curriculum and my approach to homeschooling in high school. I guess I am tenacious, and just made myself keep going, even with fear and trembling.
And you know, it really isn't that bad! I really believe the greatest obstacle we have to overcome many times is our own fear. Because the resources and support are there!!! We just have to look for them and take advantage of the opportunities that God places in our paths!

Okay, so the first thing I shared with the assembly of eager and anxious homeschool parents yesterday was this article titled "Why Homeschool
Teens? " by Elizabeth Smith, wife of HSLDA president Mike Smith. When teens are notorious for thinking they know more than their parents, disliking hard work, and being moody and emotional due to raging hormones, why in the world would anyone want to homeschool them?
There really are several very good reasons!
First of all, homeschooling allows more time for building and cementing family relationships, and that is as important in the teen years as when children are young. It takes more determination and hard work as they get older and those things I mentioned above kick in, but the results are worth it. Second, educators tout the benefits of small class size and individualized instruction, and that is just what homeschooling offers a student. Flexibility is another key feature of homeschooling - flexibility to take days off, to lighten or increase the work load, to try a different approach, to develop a particular gift or passion. Safety is another factor that cannot be taken lightly in today's world, and students who school at home are generally spared the instense peer pressure to conform that is part of the "school culture". Finally, when we homeschool our teens, we can invite God to be part of every part of our day and help our teens to develop a Biblical worldview that will help them analyze and make sense of the world by looking at things through the eyes of our Creator and Redeemer.

Not everyone will agree that these reasons are valid or important.
But if you do, then buckle your seat belt and be prepared for a wild and wonderful ride. There will be mountaintops and there will be LOW valleys.... but be confident that with God, all things are possible. :-)

Next, I'll share some resources that will help with the nuts and bolts of homeschooling in high school.


Anonymous said...

You are one of a kind, Beth, and you continue to amaze me and make me proud that I helped raise such a wonderful person as you have become.

Enjoying Life Together in NC said...

The play yesterday was a shining moment for all those high schoolers - and their parents. Great job!!