For many homeschoolers, the decision to continue to homeschool through high school is probably the second biggest decision they make after deciding to homeschool in the first place. It’s the time when some family and friends will start with questions something along the lines of “you don’t intend to homeschool them through high school, do you?”
It’s a big decision and deserves careful thought and planning. Yes, I said planning and I’ll get back to that in a moment. But first, let me explain that we did decide to homeschool through high school and I’ll give you the reasons why.
It was a “we” decision. Our son always had the option to go back to school whenever he wanted to. Because he played baseball, he spent a lot of time with kids who went to school, probably more time with public school kids than with homeschool kids.
And that may have had a lot to do with his decision. Even by eighth grade, he could tell that for the baseball players who would soon be playing on the high school baseball team, high school was about baseball and academics was something that literally wasn’t talked about.
During high school, he continued to play on select baseball teams whose members were all attending public high school. Of all the players he encountered during that time, he met two other players who had academic interests and extracurriculars other than baseball.
As for why my husband and I decided to continue through high school, well, there were times we were sorely tempted to let someone else deal with him. But, we had our fellow baseball parents to help us keep perspective, although they probably didn’t realize it.
We had known some of these parents since our kids were eight years old and in Little League. And the only reason they could give to send our son back to high school was, but how will he play baseball? As far as they knew, if you didn’t play on your high school baseball team, you didn’t play baseball during the season. Now some of them were aware that there was a homeschool baseball team but that was obviously not real baseball.
Anyway, my husband said that if the only reason they could give to go back to high school was to play baseball, our son wasn’t missing much.
Then there were the nights sitting in the stands, keeping the scorebook with my head down and listening to the other parents talk.
- How much later will the game go, they’ve got to get their younger ones to bed. Tom has to do his Algebra homework yet.
- He’s been having problems and is getting no help from the teacher, the school suggests they hire a tutor.
- They’re making their schedule requests for next year and the biology class she wants conflicts with the English class.
- The AP class is killing her, at least 2 hours of homework every night just for the one class.
- He can’t take the class because it’s the same time as the PE for the baseball team.
- No one told him he was supposed to have taken the SAT already.
- The teacher just reads from the book.
- They won’t let her take the class in International Relations because she hasn’t taken government yet but her schedule won’t allow it until next year.
- We can’t take a vacation this year because we can’t get time off between band camp and the start of football practice.
Don’t even get me started on the personality conflicts with teachers, the competition for class rank, and the whole “race to nowhere” thing. And then there’s the politics that go on in apparently every extracurricular activity.
Not that homeschool baseball didn’t have its own set of politics. It did. It’s just that when an out-of-town game didn’t end until 11:00 at night, our team members got to drive home with their parents and sleep in the next morning.
As for teaching the classes, if that’s something you’re worried about, it’s clear that you haven’t searched the internet or talked to a single homeschooler who has homeschooled through highschool. Ability to teach isn’t the issue, planning is what matters for high school.
More about planning and why you might want to put your kids back into school for high school in the next post.