So, why homeschool Middle School and High School? Well, in no particular order, here are some answers for my family:
- Why not? I think it has worked pretty well so far. Don't mess with a good thing.
- I'm not finding another alternative that I like. We've looked at public school, virtual charter schools, and some other non-traditional options (there are no nearby private schools). While many have some awesome "pro" factors going for them, the "cons" are just too big.
- I keep reading and hearing about the importance of sleep. And especially about the importance of sleep for teens. Having to catch an early bus, or having to conform to an online schedule... it would mess way too much with either the kids' ability to spend time with Dad, or with their sleep. Those are just sacrifices I can't make.
- There are so many great resources out there for planning high school, for teaching some of those classes that seem more intimidating than others, or just for fellowship with other parents at the same stage I'm in. It isn't quite so overwhelming when I realize I'm not alone.
- Okay, so I'm selfish. I like my kids. I want to spend time with them.
- I love the flexibility we have -- the ability to go on Boy Scout trips that start on Thursday, the ability to volunteer at the food bank on Wednesday afternoons, the ability to drop (most) school when the grandparents visit, the ability to take a week or two off in September and enjoy the local sights after the tourists have left.
- Okay, so I'm selfish. I look at the literature lists for some of the high school programs and I either a) want to read them myself and wonder why I was never exposed to material like this, or b) want to re-read them and discuss them with my kids. In all my honors English classes, why was I
nearly (gasp) 40 before I first read anything by Austen? Or 35 before I read any Tolkien?
- My kids are such asynchronous learners, I'm afraid in a more traditional setting, their high school experience would be too much like mine. Bored and completely tuned out in half the classes. Clueless, but able to fake it by being a good test-taker, in the other half. I want more for them. You know, like them actually learning something.
- I want them to have more options. Forensic science? Archaeology? Entomology? Differential Equations? A literature class based on mythology? A full year on Rome, encompassing history, art and literature? A semester on Troy, contrasting 'legend' to archaeological evidences? Game design? Attic Greek? I'm quite sure they can't get those in our district. If I have to heavily supplement, I'd rather just take on the whole responsibility. (And all of the above have been brought up in the last month by one of my three older boys as something they want to study in high school.) They won't necessarily GET everything they wish for. But they will have a chance to help prioritize, or to find resources to study it on their own.
- Did I mention I'm selfish? I love the young men they are becoming (I'm in denial about Richard and Trina ever getting to high school age... so no young woman yet!) and I want to spend time with them. And (aside from differential equations) all of the courses they have suggested in #9 intrigue me too. (Yes, we are hitting the point of outsourcing math. I have NO desire to put the effort into learning some of this!)
- And, last (at least for this post) but definitely not least -- because people keep trying to tell me I can't do it. My response is a lot like Locke in Lost -- "Don't tell me what I can't do!"