There is so much to consider when you start out homeschooling highschool. Actually every year of high school you will face different challenges! But before you start to sort out all the how-to’s, you need to be very clear on the most important priority. You need to know your “why”.
Why are you homeschooling high school? Regardless of how long you’ve been homeschooling you need to ask this question and know the answer.
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A little saying that Peter and I constantly remind ourselves of is: If your WHY is broken, so too is your HOW. (Heather McEwan)
It is easy to get caught up in researching for the best “How”
- How do I teach high school math?
- Essay writing for high school? How do I teach that?
- How do we prepare them for University?
- How can we get them job-ready?
And from there we start buying curriculum, establishing routines, and thinking about study habits.
But are these things the most important priority? Do these things reflect your why?
The Most Important Priority For Homeschooling High School
It seems to me that whoever I speak to wants their kids to have faith (if they are Christian parents), have good character, develop their talents, and get along with people. And yet when we follow the dictates of the education system, we fill their highschool years with academics that don’t actually address those primary concerns.
→ Belinda has a short email course that helps you make a transition to a heart focused homeschool. Learn more here.
Here are 3 Priorities For Homeschooling High School That Are More Important than Academics
#1 When homeschooling high school, remember your teens’ heart is more important than their head (the academics)
The high school years are years full of adjustment for our teens. It is in this season of their life that they start to take full ownership of the beliefs and values they hold and have been previously taught.
It never ceases to surprise me how many conversations we had to have with our teens about beliefs and values. Ones that we had already discussed often when they were younger. At times it felt like they must never have heard those things before.
What is really going on though, is that as our children grow older their world is expanding. They now have to connect the beliefs and values that we discussed in their childhood with the world that they are now walking into. So in a sense, it is a completely new situation for them in high school! We have to walk alongside of them being loving, patient, gracious, and forgiving!
We cannot afford to fill their lives with academic pressures that push aside the heart issues. They need to wrestle with them as they get close to being a self-governing young adult.
#2 Your family life is more important of a priority than homeschooling high school
Though education changes as our kids move into high school, the family and family life is still more important than academics. It is in the family life that we are able to address the whole of life growth that our kids need before they reach adulthood.
It is in family life that they grow spiritually. They strengthen their moral resolve. It is there that they learn social, intrapersonal and the life skills they need to be responsible with their resources. These lessons are invaluable for their transition to self-governing young adults and yet, these lessons are not found in an academic program.
Everything is set towards graduating from high school and moving into adult education, but they will undoubtedly do better when they are more grounded and established in every area of their life.
Academics without character and life skills will limit their impact in their chosen field. We have the opportunity to continue teaching and training our children in every area of their life. We cannot discard these important life lessons just because they are now homeschooling high school.
Continue to make it a priority to include your highschooler in the life of your family and watch them continue to grow as a whole person.
#3 Being a mother is the priority over being a teacher
I don’t know what it is but as soon as we put on a teacher hat our mother vibe changes. For some reason, we tend to morph into our most disliked high school teacher from our own time at school. Our kids don’t need a teacher – they need a mother. Don’t get me wrong, mom can teach stuff but believe me a teacher can’t be mom.
Our role as mom is precious. We hold our children’s hearts, we treasure their uniqueness and we pray over their future.
No amount of education, curriculum, and tests will ever replace the value of mom in a homeschooling teen’s life.
If you feel your high school student doesn’t respect you when you move into study time, the solution isn’t for you to become a stern teacher. The solution is heart-based – your child (no matter what age) needs to learn to respect their mother!
Homeschooling high school can be intimidating for many moms.
Don’t let the pressure of academics rob you from the time you need to nurture your relationship with your teen. They don’t need to learn everything before they graduate. Their continued education can take a different track – there are options. But a relationship broken because of striving and conforming to the education processes is hard to fix.
You may well be familiar with the phrase – parenting is heart work. The thing is, it is often our own heart that we need to work on before we work on our kid’s heart. And preparing for homeschooling high school is certainly one of those heart-work moments.
What do you believe is the most important priority when homeschooling high school?
Are you committed to the idea of educating the whole child – not just the intellect?
These are heart-based questions. They clarify what you believe and what you value. Once these questions have been answered you can then do the next important thing…. plan the homeschool high school academics.
Academics need to happen. But we live in a culture that elevates academics beyond everything else. As intentional parents who are homeschooling high schoolers, we can change that for our family.
We need to know our most important priority for homeschooling high school and then make our plans accordingly.
If you want to think more along the lines of being a heart focused homeschool sign up for Belinda’s short email course. She shares key principles behind heart focus homeschool. You will discover what is important to you beyond academics, and how you are going to make that a part of your homeschooling experience. SIGN UP HERE
30 DAYS OF THE BEST ENCOURAGEMENT FOR HOMESCHOOLING MOMS SERIES CONTRIBUTOR:
Belinda Letchford writes at Live life with your Kids! Where she encourages parents to build strong relationships, shape their children’s hearts and use the whole of life to teach faith, character and life skills. Belinda and Peter raised four kids – who are now all adults and have left home. Life is very different now but Belinda continues to support mums to be intentional, relational and heart focused through writing, teaching and coaching. You can also find Belinda on Instagram