I hope my last-minute homeschool journey brings you encouragement and shows you that you can graduate your homeschooler. Though I’m not an expert, I’m a firm believer that a successful home education is possible even when you start at the last-minute and when you have no idea how you’re going to pull it off.
A little over three years ago, after much prayer, my husband and I decided to homeschool our then Kindergartener, 2nd, 4th and 6th graders. I was so excited! I bought lots of books and set up a space in our home. My girls were counting down the days left in their public school career.
I also have two older children, who at the time were enrolled in a charter school. My oldest would be a senior that fall and my daughter would be a junior. Homeschooling was not an option for these extremely social kids. These two had ZERO interest in homeschooling. They both felt it was weird and that homeschooled kids were awkward.
Since we were going to be homeschooling the little ones, I quit my job and started to do tons of research. The more I learned, the more I wanted to homeschool the oldest two, but I was terrified.
How was I going to make sure my high school senior graduated with the proper credits? How could I even consider homeschooling these high schoolers when I had no idea what I was doing, and high school grades are “for real grades”?
I’m not doing it it, no way, no how.
As that summer came around, I realized how little graduation credits they both had. I was heart-broken, scared and didn’t know how to tell my son he would not graduate. He wasn’t the best student, and we all knew that but the courses the counselors had chosen for him were useless. He had a million elective credits, but no history or english credits. His math grades were extremely low, but somehow he was always promoted to the next level. My daughter, who was about to begin her junior year, had enough usable credits for a 1st semester freshman.
It was awful. I had worked full-time pretty much all their lives, and had been blindly trusting a system that was clearly failing them in every way. I tried to speak to the counselors and the school principal, but neither offered any help. They suggested they continue their studies as they had and that sooner or later they would catch up in community college. Maybe.
That’s when I put on my big girl pants and took on the challenge.
After hearing the news, both had agreed to homeschool and worked extremely hard. In the end, my son graduated that same year with more than enough credits. My daughter graduated the following year with a little more than she needed. They both attend a local private university. He is now a junior with a double major in Film Studies and Theater and she is a sophomore with a major in Visual Arts and a minor in Theater. Both have received partial academic and theater scholarships.
It can be done.
Homeschooling changed their story and it is still shaping their future. The same kids that thought homeschooling was weird and homeschooled kids were awkward are forever grateful for what taking a chance has done in their lives. Both will tell you they wish they’d been homeschooled from the beginning and both want to homeschool their children one day. It was one of the greatest experiences of their lives.
Homeschooling, in itself, can be a daunting task and homeschooling high school is downright scary, especially if you’re completely new at it like I was. Homeschooling high school is possible don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. No one cares more about your children’s education and future than you do. You will always have their best interest at heart and no one wants them to succeed like you do.
These past few years, I’ve met several families that homeschool through middle school. Then, due to fear of high school requirements and college acceptance issues, send their kids on to public or private high school. If you’ve considered to do this in the future, I urge you to pray about it, “for the Spirit of God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7.
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Use the resources you already have.
- If you don’t know where to begin, ask a friend. After being a part of the homeschooling community for some time, most of us have friends with high schoolers.
- Ask your local co-op or PSP leader. The leader in our group had graduated 3 boys by the time we began. She was an incredible source of knowledge.
- Go to your state’s department of education website, and find out your states requirements, as well as the requirements of the schools your children plan to attend, if any.
- Devise a plan of attack. I created this spreadsheet to track my 10th graders’ progress.
- Join online communities for mothers who are on the same boat. One thing I’ve learned is that homeschoolers stick together, and we LOVE to help one another. My favorite community is Homeschool Scopes on Facebook.
This year, I’ll be homeschooling a high schooler for the 4th year in a row and I’ll have at least one in high school for the next 9 years. If all else fails, ask me. I’ll be glad to help!
You can do this homeschool momma!