We home schooled all of our children (14 of them) all the way through high school. And I am so glad that we did.
Here are 10 tips that I have learned through the years of homeschooling highschoolers that can help to make these years more enjoyable, effective, and productive for you and your kids.
1.Don’t be afraid to substitute creative subjects for what is usually taught in high school. Public schools don’t have the one best plan for education. Every young person is unique. One of my daughters wanted to do biology, advanced biology, first aid and advanced first aid for her science credits. That’s fine. Don’t feel like you have to follow a public school plan.
2. Ask for input from your student. Ask them how they learn best, what they would like to learn, what curriculum looks good to them. The more input they have into what they learn, the more they will invest themselves in learning.
3. Be sure you have an outlet for your high schooler to invest in the lives of others. Teaching them to have a servant’s heart and not be self-focused is key. Teach them to look for needs in others and extend themselves in meeting those needs. If you instill that in them, you’ve been a success. Life is about serving others, not pleasing self.
4. Let your high-schooler get a head start if they have direction for future plans. If they know what career they’d like to pursue, let them do it in high school. Let them take courses that will train them in what their passion is. Let them avail themselves of opportunities while in high school. My youngest graduated from high school this year, but she worked and studied to obtain her private’s pilot license and got that before she completed high school.
5. Interview others who have jobs they might like to consider. If your student doesn’t have clear direction for the future, invite people in your home. Ask them about their careers, their preparation for it, whether they went to college, whether they needed the college training. Ask questions about what they like about their work and what they don’t. Let them, for instance, volunteer with the rescue squad if they are considering the medical field, to see if they would really like that line of work. Find someone in a business they think they might like and let them shadow the person for a week to learn about the job.
6. Make opportunity to get to know their friends, invite their friends into your home. Let your home be a place to hang-out. Our home is ALWAYS open to our kids’s friends, and some of their friends have become like adopted kids to us. You all will be blessed. Befriend your kids friends. Invest yourself in others.
7. Be available to talk to them (even if it’s late at night!) about struggles, fears about the future, relationships, goals, etc. Some of my best talks with my kids was late at night when the little guys were in bed and the house was quiet. Kids weren’t given for our convenience. Be available when they need you.
8. Help them as they sort through values. Don’t be threatened as they set values for themselves. It’s normal for them to sort through your values in order to adopt values of their own. Don’t be threatened if they don’t do everything exactly like you did, but most of all be open to tell them the whys and how you arrived at your own values.
9. Invest your life in making them successful (and part of that is encouraging them to help others to be successful). So many of your own goals in life need to be on the back burner while you invest in raising your kids. Lose your life in making them successful in their God-given passions.
10. Be open to their ideas. Let them try some activities. Don’t be a kill-joy. Enjoy life with them. God has gifted my kids in so many areas that I’m not gifted in. Appreciate their ideas and let them try things. Be involved as much as they want you to be.