the next four years; homeschooling high school

Sometimes I question; don’t we all? Sometimes I wonder if this is the right path.

This really hit me when I went to my nephew’s High School Graduation. I saw all the kids in their black caps and gowns laughing and hugging each other. I watched them give speeches about special high school memories and walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. I watched them all put their arms around each other and sway back and forth while singing their Alma Mater.

I glanced over at Keilee several times to see if I saw a wistfulness in her eyes. A ‘wishing I could do that” look. I asked her on the way home if she wouldn’t like to go to high school and experience things like that. She said, ‘No Mom did you hear their speeches? They thanked their parents for staying up late with them to help with homework and projects. For getting up early to take them to the bus, for helping them study for tests and for understanding when they were under stress from tests. Why in the world would I want memories like that?” I explained to her there is also fun times with groups of friends. Keilee has friends but they are more 1 or 2 people at a time. She is very much an introvert and prefers small groups. She then said, “Mom have you heard Seth talk about his friends? They argue and do stupid things and talk about each other behind their backs. They go to parties that I would hate and do things that I would never do. That isn’t the kind of friends I want.”

My girl is much smarter than I am at times. I know I have acquaintances that may question our homeschooling. You wouldn’t believe how many times I have heard, “But what about Prom?” like that is the end of the world. There are Proms in homeschooling but even if they weren’t it would not be an incentive to go to High School. My Prom? I didn’t go. I only wanted to go with one person and he didn’t ask me so I turned down the people who did. Am I scarred from the experience? Typing it now is the first time I have thought of it in years. Yes I had fun in high school but I did stupid things that I never want Keilee to do. There was so much peer pressure and mean girls and this was before internet and online and Apps like Yik-Yak . I can not even tell you how upset I was when I found out about this app.  I read online about how so many schools are having such a horrible time because of it.  How it was impossible to block because the school can not dictate which Apps kids have.  That is the responsibility of the parent.  Honestly I had to download it just to see.  It pulled from a certain mile radius and updated during the night.  I woke up and read some of the ‘posts’ and honestly cried my eyes out.  You don’t have to sign in with your name or anything so there is ZERO accountability.  You would not believe the things I read.  And I am NOT sheltered.  Kids are brutal to each other.  It broke my heart.   And we live 2 blocks from the high school that this App pulled information from.  The high school Keilee would go to.

Keilee actually watched a SciShow episode about teen brains. She told me that teenagers brains have not developed the ‘Whoa that is a really dumb idea” part of it until they are about 22. Like I said, she is so much smarter than I am at times.

Homeschooling High School scares me a bit. I don’t think there is a homeschool Mom out there who isn’t a bit frightened of the idea of “HOMESCHOOLING HIGH SCHOOL”.  But I KNOW it can work. I read blogs and books that show that it works. It is a bit scary for me because we have always done Interest Led Homeschooling. Keilee does what she wants to do. Thankfully up until now she has always wanted to do so much. She knows what she needs but I have to have some sort of a plan for 9th grade. No it won’t look like the High School up the street but why in the world would I want it to?

I love that she learns while she is crocheting or knitting. That I go in her room and she is watching video after video about Science. That she is so full of knowledge that she learns that she never stops talking about it. She retains information unbelievably.

I think so often about the difference in my education and Keilee’s so far. I don’t remember anything I learned. On the other hand I have learned so much since I started homeschooling. I found out I have a love for history that I never had. Keilee thinks it is cool to be smart, to know things, to be a geek girl. I never remember thinking that. I made good grades; A’s and B’s except for that one time in 4th grade that I got a C in handwriting because I am left handed and my teacher didn’t understand it was hard for me to make letters the correct way. See THAT is what I remember about school. The one time I made a bad grade that I didn’t think I deserved.

The world has changed so much in the last 10 years. I don’t think Education, at least public school education has changed as fast. Why in the world would you learn dates and boring facts when you have access to Google? Ok I have heard the argument ‘but what if one day the internet is gone?” It is like I told a friend recently, if that day comes I don’t think the fact that Keilee can’t remember the exact date the Civil War began is going to be her biggest problem.

So I will spend the summer talking with Keilee and planning and doing some research. That IS what us homeschooling Moms rock at right?

Have you heard of the British philosopher Alan Watts?  He has a wonderful video.  He asked students “What would  you do if money was no object” and tells them to DO THAT!!  I wonder what homeschooling High School would look like if there were no SAT or ACT requirements?  If anyone could go to college no mater what if they wanted to learn?   THAT life is how I want Keilee to spend the next 4 years.   I know it isn’t how it really is but I want to find a way to combine her love for learning and the things she is passionate about and “their” requirements.  Is that even possible?

I hope that high school homeschool will be a lot like we have always homeschooled.  Lots of lovely learning all.the.time.

Older Pics Kei

Homeschooling High School? Pshhhhhffffffff. Of course we can.

Homeschool Rocks!

“In the end, the secret to learning is so simple: forget about it. Think only about whatever you love. Follow it, do it, dream about it. One day, you will glance up at your collection of Japanese literature, or trip over the solar oven you built, and it will hit you: learning was there all the time, happening by itself.” ~ Grace Llewellyn

Linking with
Sylvia at “Friendship Friday”

17 thoughts on “the next four years; homeschooling high school”

  1. I actually can’t wait to see how you guys (and some of the other more interest-led homeschoolers I know) do high school. I find myself, despite thinking I was free from fear about standards, etc. finding it creeping back in as Firecracker’s test scores were not in all respects what I had hoped last year (in GA you test every 3 years). Just over the past few weeks, I’ve remembered how brilliant he is and all the things that he knows that can’t even be measured by a test. 🙂 I’m glad that you and Keilee have such a great perspective!

  2. I have a feeling that homeschooling high school will work out beautifully for Keilee. I just LOVE watching her grow and mature. You are doing a great job with the gift that has been entrusted to you, mom. 🙂

  3. Keilee does sound very wise. I have not a shred of doubt that your amazing girl will thrive in her life, whatever she decides to do. And that she will be happy in her choices.

    My daughter is, in contrast with Keilee (and me), an extrovert. When we discovered that a friend of hers is going to a (“very good”) boarding school soon, I asked her if she’d ever like that sort of thing. She replied, “Well, it would be great to spend so much time with my friends… But I’d NEVER want to give up all this for it!” 🙂

  4. Oh, this post brought tears to my eyes. It really said what has been in my heart these last couple of years. My boys are just finishing 9th and 10th this year. If I hear from one more person (including my mom!) “what about the prom?” I think I’m going to scream, lol. I know Keilee will succeed at whatever she does. Every time I visit your blog, you both inspire me to get away from the part of me that thinks they need to fulfill so many “requirements” and instead go with what they love. I am getting there. I am a slow work in progress, lol. 🙂

  5. I love your posts! I have 2 theatre, homeschool girls. They love theatre, music, dance, writing, and performances. The oldest just finished her sophomore year of high school, and it is mostly interest led. Sometimes I still freak out and think she needs to be covering more stuff, but after looking at all the things she accomplishes I calm down and think she is doing enough. The second girl is staring high school this year. We will keep doing interest led learning, except for math, and thank goodness for Teaching Textbooks and Life of Fred. They are totally different learning styles, so the younger loves TT and the older one love LofF. I love reading your posts, and seeing the wonderful things you and Keilee accomplish together. It also, makes me feel better as a homeschool parent to know I am not alone in the relaxed, interest-led, eclectic style of homeschooling. Thanks! 🙂

  6. Oh, I love this post so much, Karen! I love how you bring us walking through your thoughts, and I LOVE all the things Keilee has to say about school and the things she notices. There are SO many times when I read your words on here or FB where I think, Wow, she sounds JUST like my boy. 🙂
    My boy is doing high school right now—interest-driven high school—and it’s so much easier than I imagined it would be! He loves doing online courses and spending hours watching science information videos and his new goal is to finish 10th grade maths this year, and he is so motivated because he OWNS his learning. He is like an explorer who is never told, “No, that area’s out of bounds.” It is fascinating hearing of all the places he goes, and I’m so inspired by his hunger for learning and his incredible drive and work ethic.
    I think when young people love to learn, as Keilee does, then the meeting of all those Official requirements becomes more like swimming than struggling. I have so much faith in you and Keilee! I know you’re going to have SUCH a blast doing this High School thing. And Keilee will choose every step alongside you, and be so smart and savvy and funny and wise. And I will be inspired again and again, every time I visit here. Love to you both!

  7. I know you can do it because you are already doing a great job and you both want to! Keilee has had an excellent and well rounded education all along. Just keep on doing the good work you’ve been doing! Keep good records of what she’s learning and translate it into academic language. School is definitely not what it’s cracked up to be. Smart girls like Keilee know that! 🙂

  8. Karen this is a great post. I would love to see more posts about how you will actually be accomplishing high school through an interest led method. I straddle the fence all the time between interest led and a more traditional path. My heart really wants interest led/unschooling and my head is always wanting to do what is required and expected. Looking forward to more of your thoughts in this area.

  9. You and Keilee will do great with high school. I know I’m much more relaxed with Miss 13 that I was with her two older siblings, partly because I’ve seen for myself that it really can work – as opposed to just hearing about it from others. A bit like my first baby sleeping through the night. I theoretically knew it would happen but until it actually did I’m not sure I really believed it!

  10. Of course you can. When we first came to your blog you had just been at a science center and had been playing with extracting DNA. Philip read that post and thought that Keilee was already in college. I told him that I didn’t thinks so but probably late high school. I would guess that she already has more knowledge than most high school grads. Philip also tried to plan a field trip to that DNA place. When Google maps told him that it was a 40 hour drive one way he figured that he wasn’t going to convince me.

  11. You two will do great with high school. I know people that have even successfully completed interest-led high school.

    You shared a lot of the same thoughts that we have about homeschooling at various times. I often ask Amber is she feels like she is missing out by being at home. She gives me her “you’re being silly” look and tells me that she doesn’t want to get up early and go to bed early like she did. She doesn’t want to spend her weekends working on projects that are more about the amount of time she spent than learning. She doesn’t want to deal with the mean kids or the drama at school.

    Good luck working out your plans for next year, but I know you will find the perfect path for Keilee. You always do.

  12. Of course you all can homeschool AND it will be great! What ever you all put your hand to will work out just fine. I love reading your thought process.
    Blessings, Dawn

  13. Oh, you CAN do it! I did one year with my oldest son, also concerned, but he’s so well prepared as his new charter school (for this year) that I’m quite confident about homeschooling high school in the future!

  14. I have absolutely no doubt in the world that you and Keilee can and will home school high school very successfully.
    We finished this term’s work today and have a two week break coming up and I reflected how happy I was that they never get ‘homework’ and indeed never need to work past 3 in the afternoon, unless they want to. It is a wonderful childhood, full of real childhood dreams, not desires put there by the peer pressure which is so huge in schools.
    You are right, home schooling ROCKS!

  15. I love this post. I felt EXACTLY the same way when I attended my niece’s graduation. Grace was not with me, but she will be in a few weeks for another graduation. I often check in with her to see where her head is at with high school. She is adamant she does not want to deal with the negative aspects of high school, although I think she would love some of the positive aspects that are so hard to provide at home. Lilah I do not worry about so much…..she is more like Keilee. There is no way she will want to return to school!

    Parenting means giving each child what they need to be happy, healthy and successful. We may have chosen a different path but for the right reasons. All children should be free to choose what works best for them and their family.

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