A whole new set of concerns tends to weigh heavily when it comes to homeschooling high school—especially for college-bound students. I asked homeschooling veteran Robbin Moore for her advice. She homeschooled all six of her children from the beginning. Five of them have already completed high school and two have graduated from college, both magna cum laude. She continues to homeschool her youngest child who is in ninth grade and encourages other homeschooling parents as a mentor.
The Epoch Times: How is homeschooling high school different from homeschooling lower grades?
Robbin Moore: Homeschooling is as varied as the families that do it. Every state has different requirements, as do colleges. The only thing that’s really different about homeschooling high school is the record-keeping.
The Epoch Times: What are some common misconceptions about homeschooling high school?
Ms. Moore: That you, the parent, can’t do it because you don’t know how to teach chemistry, physics, advanced math, etc. But it doesn’t matter, as there are books, online classes, DVDs, in-person co-ops, and classes that can teach them.
Another misconception is that your teen will miss out. There are dances and proms, sports, bands, orchestras, clubs, and graduation ceremonies just for homeschoolers. Homeschoolers can participate in organizations like 4-H, where it doesn’t matter how you school. Finally, in some states, homeschoolers can participate in public or private school activities.
Yet another misconception is that your child won’t be able to get into college. Many colleges seek out homeschoolers because they realize they’re already used to independent study, so they perform well in college. Also, homeschoolers tend to be well-rounded, with a variety of activities, including sports, music, volunteer work, and real-life experiences. You don’t need accreditation for an official transcript. Parents of homeschool teens can make their students’ transcripts. Making a transcript is very easy. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, there are many services that will do it for you with the information you supply.
The Epoch Times: What are some of the greatest benefits of homeschooling high school?
Ms. Moore: Getting to pour into your teen in the years right before they leave home, teaching them real-life skills as well as the academics, and skipping the negative peer pressure and bullying that can take place.
For the teen, the main benefit is a custom-tailored school experience, getting to really pursue their interests, and not following a one-size-fits-almost-no-one program. They get to go deep where their interests lie and can just skim the things that aren’t of interest. And of course they can go by their own sleep schedule.
The Epoch Times: How can parents of college-bound students best equip their homeschooled children to get into the college of their choice?
Ms. Moore: Give your student a love of learning. Research and talk to the college(s) and find out what their expectations are.
If your student is college-bound, and your state offers dual enrollment, especially if it’s free, take advantage of it! Some colleges don’t accept transfer credits from certain community colleges, so if your student has their heart set on a certain college be sure to check with the college about what they will accept.
Take the SAT or ACT early so you can retake it. If they don’t do well on one, take the other. Some students do better on one than the other.
The Epoch Times: If you had to give one piece of advice to a parent who is about to begin homeschooling high school, what would it be?
Ms. Moore: Relax! Please do not replicate school at home, that’s combining the worst parts of public school with the hardest parts of homeschooling, and you miss so much of the good stuff. School at home is not the same as homeschooling.
There’s no such thing as the perfect curriculum. Explore your students’ learning style, interests, goals, and dreams and build on that.
I know what you’re thinking, what about gaps? Let me assure you, your teen will have gaps, everyone does. Teachers teaching the same class in the same school sometimes teach different things. Even kids who are only unschooled get into college and do well. You can do this!