The number of students who have been homeschooled their entire lives is increasing, and more teens are leaving public schools to be homeschooled. Parents who homeschool their teens do it for the same reasons they homeschool their younger children. They are concerned for their teen’s spiritual and character development as well as their social and academic welfare. Teens who homeschool through high school enjoy doing so because they get to study their favorite subjects in depth and learn from apprenticeships, work, or travel. Here are ten reasons why you should continue – or start – homeschooling high school.
1. Academics – Homeschooled students are motivated to acquire long-term knowledge because they enjoy learning rather than merely doing unnecessary busy work or studying to pass a test. Also, they can do more in-depth studies of subjects that interest them. The parent and student, not a government bureaucracy, decide what is important to learn. Homeschooling allows teens to learn at their own pace, at a level that is appropriate to them. No preconceived agenda is in place to force them ahead or hold them back. They can receive a superior education tailored specifically to their needs rather than tailoring their education to meet a state curriculum standard.
2. Socialization – The definition of “socialize” is “to make fit for companionship with others; make sociable.” It does not mean spending every day confined to a classroom in competition with 25 or more students from the same age group and socio-economic background. Homeschooled teens get plenty of socialization from church groups, volunteering in the community, and other outside activities. They can learn about the real world by being a part of it, without needing artificial settings to provide exposure. For example, while teachers are preaching multiculturalism in the classroom, homeschooled students are out in the field experiencing other cultures. Thus, the social interactions of homeschoolers are more varied among people of all ages, races, and situations in life. This diversity gives them a healthy and realistic view of society.
3. Reduced Peer Pressure – Homeschooling allows parents to limit the influences of bad temptations and negative peer pressure. Homeschooled teens are exposed to much less pressure in terms of clothing styles, music, language, and interest in the opposite sex. Homeschooled teens will value morality and good taste rather than materialism and “fitting in” with the crowd. Consequently, you won’t find any peer dependency among homeschoolers. Freedom from peer pressure encourages self-confidence and independent thinking. Thus, homeschoolers often have a better self-concept than their public schooled peers and are free of the cliquish behavior that is so commonly found in schools.
4. Personal Safety and Emotional Well-Being – Many parents want to protect their teens from the dangers of drugs, gangs, shootings, sexual abuse and promiscuity that often take place in schools today. Homeschooled teens will be glad to avoid being subjected to the constant and merciless teasing, taunting, and bullying that frequently occurs in school. Homeschooled students are free to develop their self-confidence without the constant fear of criticism, embarrassment, failure, or being made to feel inferior.
5. Less Stress – As mentioned above, homeschooled teens can concentrate all of their energy on learning, serious thought, and creativity, without being worried or preoccupied by peer pressures or other problems brought on by the outside world. In addition, the mad morning rush hour of getting ready for school and hurrying out the door to catch the bus can be eliminated, which reduces everyday stress on both mom and teen.
6. Flexibility – Homeschooling allows teens and their parents to take advantage of flexible scheduling for work, travel and leisure. This means that you can create your own timetable and don’t have to follow a traditional school calendar. You can arrange your days around family and personal needs, fitting studies in when and how they best work for you. Vacations, field trips, and other outings can be taken on a more frequent basis, and planned for off-peak times when the crowds are smaller and the costs are lower. Likewise, homeschooling provides the freedom to go for a walk, stop and smell the flowers, linger at the park, etc. without having to watch the clock and hurry to class.
7. Environment – Contrary to popular opinion, public schools are not a normal learning environment. They are too institutionalized and crowded, taking away the teen’s private life and not allowing any time to just be themselves. Homeschoolers on the other hand are nurtured in a relaxed, positive atmosphere surrounded by family members who naturally love and care about them. Home learning is integrated into daily living, not limited to certain hours of the day. Likewise, there are no limits on the places where you can go to learn, whether it’s a museum, the woods, a seashore, or even the mall. Homeschooled teens can even take classes at the local community college, where they will be surrounded by students from all walks of life who are serious about learning.
8. Life Skills – Homeschooled teens can obtain valuable practical knowledge and gain important life skills by participating in their parents’ daily lives, as well as by spending time with and learning from extended family members. Similarly, homeschooling high school provides an opportunity to get out into the community, encouraging wholesome activities such as volunteer work and other character-building skills that are not always taught in schools. Parents can be sure their teens have a firm foundation of morals, values, and skills to succeed in the world.
9. Time – Homeschooling high school makes additional time available for personal pursuits, hobbies, and extracurricular enrichment activities. Opportunities for field trips, specialized classes, and private instruction in art, music, and so on are virtually unlimited. Homeschoolers tend to lead a less hectic lifestyle with long, uninterrupted blocks of time for writing, reading, thinking, dreaming, playing, or working. This encourages concentration, focus, creative thinking, and independence. Homeschooling also leaves extra time to participate in volunteer community service activities, which provide another great learning experience.
10. Family Togetherness – Homeschooling high school enables the family to spend more time together, which nurtures family relationships. Homeschool families have the opportunity to develop a depth of understanding and a commitment to one another that is difficult to attain when family members spend their days going in separate directions. Teens will develop strong bonds with siblings and parents as they spend lots of quality time together learning, playing, working, and helping each other. Birthdays and other family days can be celebrated in special ways.
The concept of attending high school before going to college has become ingrained in the public consciousness as the quintessential American experience. But that’s not the way it has to be. Homeschooled teens can still participate in activities such as sports, music, and proms, so they will not be missing out on anything. In fact, they will end up with many fond memories of their own experiences homeschooling high school. These teens will appreciate the independence of homeschooling and enjoy having the time to discover what they really love to do.
What do you like about homeschooling high school? Share your thoughts below!