When homeschool families get close to having a high schooler, the questions start. Are you going to send them? What about sports? Don’t they need the socialization? What about prom?! And I’ve seen a good number of families throw in the towel around that time. They send their teens to public school for a plethora of reasons, I’m sure. But for us, seeing homeschoolers switch to public school has made us all the more firm in our reasons to stick with it.
1 – Resources. There are families out there that can tell you all about the struggles of homeschooling in the early years. I’m not one of them. There are a plethora of resources out there to help with homeschooling high school. From full online high schools where I would be completely hands off down to the Teaching Textbooks we’re using to tackle algebra. Homeschooling high school does not have to be a challenge any longer. Is it expensive? You bet. But I’m pretty sure I didn’t spend much more on curriculum than the average public schooler spends on clothes and supplies, not to mention extra curricular expenses. Granted, we have a wonderful family of geniuses at our church that teaches a science class for homeschoolers and a thriving enrichment program that will include a full-blown stage production for our high schooler this year, not to mention the semi-formal class dinner. I understand not everyone has this. I fully understand how blessed we are to have such things available to us. The choice was made easier because of this but the choice was not based on these things. It’s about priorities for us. What’s our biggest, above all else priority?
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9
2 – Spiritual Growth. The high school years are turbulent at best for most teenagers. For a Christian teen in our society of shifting morals, high school would be a mine field of social issues. Abortion. Same sex marriage. Transgenderism. Granted, teenagers can have very strong faith but they are still just teenagers with hormones and self doubt and insecurities. Putting them in a place where they will instantly be at odds with the curriculum and world view being taught would challenge even the strongest young believer. 1 Corinthians 15:33 comes to mind. While good habits are being solidified in my teens, I don’t want to corrupt that. Will they be around unbelievers? Yep, every time we walk out the door or go to a family gathering. But the daily influence and teaching of my children will be based in our home and on the Bible. That is their main influence. I do not believe that the daily stresses of high school would benefit the spiritual growth of a teenager. I also do not believe that as a teen is growing in their own faith they should be put in a place of constantly walking out the Great Commission. Should teens be taught how to share their faith with unbelievers? Yes. Should that activity take up 8+ hours, 5 days a week? I don’t think so.
Now with all that said – please hear me. I know homeschooling is incredibly hard. I know it’s exhausting. I know your brain hurts by the end of the day. But aren’t they worth it? As we look ahead to what our society is becoming, isn’t it all we can do for our children to take each day and instill in them a Godly education?