Homeschooled Through High School:
Diana Waring Presents
Wow! What a delight to be here with all of you. Thanks so much to Thaleia for inviting me to be a guest blogger on this very exciting site.
And, you know, homeschooling during high school is one of my favorite topics, because the opportunity to homeschool my three teenagers was the highlight of our parenting journey!
But before we go there, may I share with you what research shows about homeschooling our kids all the way through high school? During a convention workshop, Dr. Jay Wile talked of a study done by Lawrence Rudner, in which homeschool, private school, and public school students were compared. The first part of the study showed that homeschool students start out ahead of private school students—and keep that slight lead all the way through high school. Private school students are slightly ahead of public school students. . .until eighth grade. At that point, public school students begin to diverge, losing ground rapidly compared to both homeschool and private school students.
What is even more fascinating, however, is to see the second part of the study in which Rudner compared full-time homeschool students to partially homeschooled students. During the elementary years, their scores basically overlap, with not much difference shown. But beginning in 6th grade, those who were homeschooled full time begin to show a marked improvement over those who were partially homeschooled, and this difference increases dramatically through high school years.
What does this mean for us? Good question! Basically, the Rudner study shows what many of us have experienced, and that is that the real payoff in homeschooling comes during high school.
Isn’t that wild? How can parents at home hope to compete with fully-equipped and professionally staffed public and private schools, especially when we think of the sciences, math, English, foreign language, and social science courses that are required to enter university?
I think the answer lies in the fact that no child is an empty-headed robot waiting to be filled with information. Instead, they are filled with ideas and interests and struggles, in amazing and specific-to-them ways. They each have unique families in unique circumstances with unique opportunities as well as disadvantages. Though almost all institutional education is set up as though students were all alike—read by six, sit quietly, learn through verbal presentations, regurgitate memorized facts onto paper—the truth is that the ways kids learn varies widely.
And that, my friends, is the secret homeschool parents have found. When you homeschool, you have the freedom to approach learning in different ways, at different times, in different subjects. If your high school students need to MOVE in order to get it, then give them the opportunity to improvise an outdoor game—which cements the knowledge into their brain (and yours!). If they need to sing to express their thoughts, set up the chairs for an impromptu concert and discover what they’ve learned! If they love to design, they’ll be motivated to finish their schoolwork quickly in order to get to the “good stuff” of architecture or art.
This way of homeschooling high school students is certainly not “business as usual,” but it IS what unlocks the door to their amazing potential.
Remember, stay relational!
Diana Waring, author of Beyond Survival, Reaping the Harvest and the History Revealed curriculum published by AiG, discovered years ago that “the key to education is relationship.” Beginning in the early 80’s, Diana homeschooled her children through high-school—providing the real life opportunities to learn how kids learn. Mentored by educators whose focus was to honor Him who created all learners, and with an international background (born in Germany, university degree in French, lifelong student of world history), Diana has been enthusiastically received by audiences on four continents.
Haven’t read other posts in the Homeschooled through High School Series? Catch some more below: