The following post is written by contributing writer, Roan of Joyful Always.
Admittedly, for a variety of reasons, homeschooling a high school aged student can be more difficult than homeschooling an elementary aged child. But it is doable.
Currently, I have two high school aged homeschool students. Over the past few years, I have learned a few lessons.
Some days can be overwhelming.
I remember a couple of years ago when my oldest child was experiencing difficulty understanding her Algebra I problems, while my second oldest was frustrated trying to understand 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree levers and wheels and axles. I tried to work the algebra problems that my child had gotten incorrectly, and I got the wrong answer too! Next, I read my other child’s science material and had no idea how to answer the questions. I had a moment of feeling overwhelmed. Tears filled my eyes as I asked myself what in the world did I think I was doing? I cannot educate these children!
I uttered a quick prayer for wisdom, took a deep breath, and the moment of panic soon passed.
I reminded myself that my children’s education is more than equations and simple machines. While I do want them to excel academically, and while I am preparing them for attending college, the big picture is their spiritual and character training, homemaking and creative skills, hard work, and their service to others.
What can you do to ease or prevent times of feeling overwhelmed?
Choose materials that teach to the student.
Apologia science, Teaching Textbooks math, Notgrass history, and Sonlight upper level cores are all curricula that I have used that expect the student to complete his studies independently. I am sure there are other programs available, and using these types of materials relieves you from having to teach and explain concepts on a daily basis.
Ask another family member for help.
An older sibling or your spouse can sometimes easily explain a difficult concept to your struggling student.
Create or join a co-op.
Teaming up with other parents and children can provide a valuable resource. If your talent is teaching English composition and grammar, and you have a friend who prefers math or science, try meeting weekly for lessons. I actually have not used a co-op for high school, but I am thinking of trying to form a small composition class for my son’s high school years.
Expect to have to work with your child on a weekly or daily basis for some subjects.
Not every subject, every day, every school year, but there will be subjects that your child will need assistance with. For our family, this varies from year to year and from child to child. It seems like that with my three older children, at least one of them needs me for one of their courses each year.
Regularly check their schoolwork.
Even though your high school student may be completing his schoolwork independently (and even using the teacher guides to check his work), you still need to monitor his progress on a regular basis. This can be done daily, twice a week, or weekly, but it must be done. I like to meet with my high school student for about 30 minutes at various intervals, checking his work and being available to answer any questions he may have. I also use this time to express my expectations for the upcoming days or weeks.
As a homeschooling parent of a high school student, you don’t have to know it all or even have all the answers. Utilize your available resources. Be encouraged. You can do it!
Roan homeschools her five children who are in grades 1,3,8,10, and 12. She writes regularly about homeschooling, homemaking, running, and her family’s life at her personal blog, Joyful Always.
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