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HIGH SCHOOL OPTOUTS

Filed at 10:19 am under by dcobranchi

Hard to find anything to disagree with in Michael Smith’s latest Washington Times column:

Interestingly, many parents intend to home-school only until sixth or seventh grade. It’s a strange paradox. Many home-school families plan to stop home-schooling right at the time when there is the greatest need for the one-on-one tutoring and high-quality education home-schooling provides.

Why don’t these parents have a vision for home-schooling through high school? The main reason is a concern about the ability of parents to teach high school level classes. At first glance, it’s an understandable fear, but it is nonetheless unfounded.

I’d love to see every HEK make it all the way through high school at home, but if that doesn’t work for the family, at least try to get them through the emotionally tumultuous middle-school/junior high years — the added maturity will make the pressures of senior high easier to handle.

22 Responses to “HIGH SCHOOL OPTOUTS”


Comment by
Jason
March 21st, 2005
at 10:32 am

I think there’s a lot to be said for HEKs taking the ala carte approach to their education as far as community colleges are concerned. My local community college (Anne Arundel County College, near Annapolis MD) offers courses that would fit this bill nicely. I guess my point is that while home educators may be well-qualified to teach some (or even most) subjects, some of the more advanced math and science courses offered by community colleges can be used to fill in the gaps.


Comment by
Tim Haas
March 21st, 2005
at 11:02 am

Oh, absolutely. I didn’t mean that “at home” to be literally and solely at home. Quite a few community colleges in Jersey are actively working to attract HEKs. In fact, that’s what we plan to do for Alex’s science credits in the next couple of years.


Comment by
Andrea
March 21st, 2005
at 11:44 am

Another reason many parents opt to send their kids to the local high school is the “need” for a diploma. They feel without it, getting into college is too hard, which we’ve also seen is unfounded.

I agree, it is the *best* time to be homeschooling. Teens have such interesting brains. I know mine haven’t learned half of what they know from me, they got it all from (ta da!) BOOKS!

My oldest is “graduating” from home this year, and we’re throwing one big ol’ party. He knows it’s not the end of his life-long learning, though. 😀


Comment by
Chris
March 21st, 2005
at 11:46 am

The only thing I would take issue with is his comments on voting. The apathy is well deserved. Our choices in recent elections have been between big government republicans and bigger government democrats. Hardly a choice to get excited about.


Comment by
J Aron
March 21st, 2005
at 12:56 pm

Some HEK’s go to high school for the sports too. That’s fine.. it’s a choice.


Comment by
Jason
March 21st, 2005
at 1:25 pm

One thing I noticed: my wife was homeschooled and is now having some issues with her college transfer application. No big deal, but in hindsight she wishes that she had done more community college work and assorted other ‘documented’ classes during her high school aged years. I think it’s important for home educators to keep up with SATs and ACTs while simultaneously pushing for the abolition of same. Just a thought.


Comment by
Tim Haas
March 21st, 2005
at 2:26 pm

Jason, what kind of college is she transferring into? State schools are often rather annoying about home education, but generally if there’s college work to go on, they don’t look back further.


Comment by
Denise
March 21st, 2005
at 6:15 pm

I did it the other way, I started homeschooling my daughter at the end of her 8th grade year and we’re about to finish up her senior year of high school.

I was worried about the classes that I’m simply not strong in – math and science and foreign language. We did about 3 months worth of algebra and got to the point where I was struggling more than she was and we opted for a virtual high school experience for the course. She liked that so well that we signed up for Biology and Spanish 2 and then stumbled into a webmasters class simply because she loves building pages and heard the teacher was good (she heard right).

We weren’t 100% sure we’d stick with homeschooling when we first started in April of last year, but now we are very sure. It’s been good for both of us and we’re looking forward to finishing high school in 3 years rather than 4 and doing some community college classes next year!


Comment by
Dee Dee
March 21st, 2005
at 7:44 pm

I’m wondering where the writer found the information on students being returned to schools in middle/high school. It seems to be in direct opposition to what I see in my area. That seems to be a time when parents are pulling students to homeschool rather than the other way around.


Comment by
Tim Haas
March 21st, 2005
at 8:40 pm

That’s interesting, Dee Dee — my experience as a group leader conforms to Smith’s. How about it, other commenters?


Comment by
Chris Elam
March 21st, 2005
at 9:29 pm

Hmmm….

Here’s an anecdotal bit of evidence here in Houston.

There are roughly 80-100 high school graduates at each May homeschool ceremony by HCYA. Every homeschool group for six or seven counties participates. Some groups hold their own ceremonies, but they are much smaller. To be generous and assume that for every kid at a ceremony, there is another one who is not… you’re still talking at best, a maximum of 400 homeschool graduating students in a metro area with thousands of homeschooling families.


Comment by
Daryl
March 22nd, 2005
at 6:43 am

OT-

Tim,
Can you please email me the login script? I can’t access the drive yet where I stored it. Thanks.


Comment by
Andrea
March 22nd, 2005
at 8:02 am

In my area, about half the families that were homeschooling, say, five years ago, either stopped for various reasons, or sent the older kids to high school.

There really isn’t a lot of support here.


Comment by
Rikki
March 22nd, 2005
at 9:34 am

At the current time, with two years under my belt, I have no intention of sending my kids back to prison…erm..public school again.

My oldest child is technically a 7th grader. Putting her back in school will stifle her creative writing habits. She writes stories every single day, usually for 4 hours at a time FOR FUN. There’s no way she’d have time to persue that activity and complete the required busy-work that public schools dole out every day.

I recently switched from Saxon math to Math-U-See, I’ll use that up through trig, then the local community college will allow home educated kids for calc and advanced courses. 🙂 By the time she’s 16, I expect we’ll be using mainly college courses.


Comment by
Jason
March 22nd, 2005
at 10:35 am

Tim – Luckily my wife is going to use her transfer credits to move from Anne Arundel Community College to U. of Maryland in College Park. Had she attempted to enter U of M as a freshman, she would have to provide unspecified ‘transcripts and documentation’ along with an SAT score. As a transfer student, however, all she needs is 30 credit hours and the appropriate GPA: and a fat student loan, of course! Lesson learned: home or co-op educators need to keep an eye on state standards for university admissions while lobbying to reform the standards in order to bring them in line with our agenda! Play by the rules when you have to, fight to change them and ignore them whenever you legally can.


Comment by
traci
March 22nd, 2005
at 10:57 am

I was the stress of getting my oldest through his last six years of middle & high school that made us decide to homeschool our youngest.

As my son became older it was clear that parents were only seen as school fundraisers & any input on curriculum wasn’t welcomed by the school district. For thirteen years I did the school/sport/field trip volunteer thing. Just to stay informed about what happened in school.


Comment by
Daryl
March 22nd, 2005
at 2:38 pm

WARNING– HERESY AHEAD!!!

I have to admit that we’re at least entertaining the possibility of enrolling our older daughter in a g-school for high school. BUT I plead special circumstances. The NC School for the Arts is a drivable distance and has a good rep among ballet companies. There are a few things that I don’t feel I could successfully teach. Ballet is one of them.


Comment by
Chris
March 22nd, 2005
at 4:31 pm

I think I’d be willing to pay to witness Daryl trying to teach ballet 🙂


Comment by
J Aron
March 23rd, 2005
at 7:54 am

Hey Daryl, never mind your new job – you could make a fortune here – looks like Blogger friends here would pay serious money to see a snapshot of you in a tutu.


Comment by
Daryl
March 23rd, 2005
at 12:24 pm

Chris, I think you’d be wiser to pay NOT to see me in a tutu. I know my legs; they ain’t pretty.


Comment by
Rikki
March 24th, 2005
at 12:00 am

Every wife should have a picture of her husband in a tutu. It makes a great bargaining tool. 😉


Comment by
Jason
March 24th, 2005
at 12:55 pm

Rikki: you are dangerous. – Jason