In less than a week we take child #2 to begin her freshman year in college. I find that making the "college trip" each August causes me to stop and reflect on the whole subject of homeschooling high school students. What a daunting proposition that was when our oldest was finishing junior high and facing the dreaded mountain of high school! I am so grateful that we didn't turn tail and run from the challenge, but took the time to research this new leg of our journey, sought out "trail guides" who had gone before us, and decided that with God's help we could scale this mountain.
Yes, there is indeed a "handbook" for tackling the mountain of homeschooling high school. Cafi Cohen's book, Homeschooler's College Admissions Handbook is a must-have for those considering the high school leg of their homeschool journey. Rather than discussing the philosophical ramifications about homeschooling high school, it is packed with practical suggestions, sample schedules and transcripts, and testimonies from homeschool families already well into this leg of their journey.
Choosing your "tools" is another important task in preparing for the high school journey. Many homeschoolers I chat with assume that they are ill-prepared for teaching high school level materials so they turn to an on-line or video solution for their students. While there is nothing inherently *wrong* with those choices, I liken this to taking a bus to the top of a mountain instead of making the hike. While the destination is the same, the journey is so very different. Don't miss the opportunity to tackle a rich high school experience with your teens. Great literature, heart-searching discussions, ministry opportunities, job shadowing ... just a few of the ways to make the journey more memorable.
Finally ... find some "veterans" who have made the journey before you. If you don't have access to skin-on mentors, take advantage of technology. Sonlight has some pretty amazing resources to help make your high school trek more doable. From an active forum for parents of high schoolers to video workshops outlining the "how-tos" for doing high school at home ... you won't lack for supplies for your journey.
As we pack up and head out next Tuesday morning, I expect my thoughts will range from excited to bittersweet. The journey up the high school mountain with this student has been entirely different than that of her older sister. There have been some rock slides, some unexpected downed trees and potholes in the trail ... but there have also been some incredible sights, some amazing discoveries, and the immense satisfaction of having finally reached the summit. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
Still on the journey ...
Sonlight Customer Champion