Homeschooling high school is a totally different experience today than it was “in the good ol’ days.” But it’s also a different stage in the homeschooling journey for everyone.
Many homeschoolers with young children enjoy those early years of hands-on learning: playing educational games on the floor, being outside and experiencing life together, using meal prep and snack time to teach simple math concepts and shapes. So much fun!
And truth-be-told, I loved those times, too. Which was why, years ago, as our oldest children approached high school, I started to get nervous. There were not that many homeschool curricula options for basic high school subjects, and I began to think that I would have to maintain the hands-on approach, or at least be the primary teacher, for classes that were way over my head. For example, how would I ever teach things like advanced maths and sciences? Additionally, by that time, our family had grown, and I found myself chasing after two toddlers and a baby. I realized that my prep time would be limited, and my energy level and attention span was already stretched. What’s a mother to do?
Fortunately, after a considerable amount of searching and prayer, we were able to find solutions to those challenges. But boy, some of those years were, um, shall we say “opportunities” for building my faith.
After graduating our second teen, there was a space of 10 years before our third teen entered high school. And as I mentioned above, the high school experience was so very different.
Besides a huge increase in the availability of high school curricula, we discovered the convenience of online classes. Today, well-taught and well-priced online courses can be just the ticket to round out a robust high school program in your homeschool, too. And here’s why.
3 Reasons to Take Online Classes to Finish High School
By the time your teen is in high school, they have begun to develop a healthy set of study skills. Actually, your teen may even have completed a self-taught course or two – and the ability to be a self-directed learner will do them well in college. Completing those higher level courses online in Junior and Senior year may present them with both variety and a rigor that may be difficult to provide otherwise. And parents do have options: you might have them take a complete course online, such as this World History course, or put together a series of “mini-courses” to craft a unique elective or a more-advanced required class. Once you come up with a plan, it’s easy to look at what your teen will need and move forward from there!
Another reason to consider a self-paced online class to wrap up their high school years is the flexibility that it provides. When a parent is the primary teacher of a subject, it’s much more difficult to handle family needs while maintaining a flexible teaching schedule. But it’s even harder when a parent is also employed, whether inside or outside the home, and whether part- or full-time. This flexibility extends to the student, as well. So your teen can continue to develop their own time management skills by balancing their work hours with their study needs.
Finally, online courses allow your teen to experience other educators’ approaches and requirements, which will prepare them well for college and career. They will learn how to interact with professors and manage these relationships on their own while still at home, enabling the parent to oversee and help them in the process, when and if necessary. If they take dual enrollment courses online, they can earn college credit while still in high school. If they’re not college bound, they may still be able to take courses to prepare them for a more hands-on career.
These are only some of the reasons you might want to consider having your teen take online courses as the finish line looms on their high school career. We’d love to hear some other reasons you may have in the comments!
Pat Fenner has graduated 4 of her 5 children from “homeschool high,” and is a newly-retired home educator. She encourages and equips other moms to do the same on her blog “BreakthroughHomeschooling.”