Monday, September 6, 2010

Home School Until High School?

When Tyler was five and we started homeschooling, people would ask us, "Do you plan to home school through high school?" We always told them that we were taking one year at a time.

Most people's concern was the difficulty of high school courses. I wasn't concerned about that because I knew we would have the teacher's manual. :) My vision was to home school them until 11th grade and then enroll them in college courses, either online or on-campus, through the Post Secondary Options Program. This is a program available in our state that allows high school students to take college courses earning both high school and college credits. I took advantage of the program my Junior and Senior year and graduated high school just 12 credits shy of an Associate in Arts degree. However, I was a bit distracted by my social and work life and hoped to guide my boys differently.

Things were going along swimmingly for the most part. The boys were doing great and tested well in their subjects. Tony was trying to keep up with Tyler and tested well above his grade level. As we transitioned from unschooling to more formal classes and their work load began to increase, we started to face more challenges. We also moved to a new area with fewer homeschooling families like us. The philosophies and ratio of boys to girls changed. Then puberty hit and we watched the hormones wash over their brains and completely wipe out all rational thought. Poor things!

Anyway, about a year and a half ago, I was ready to put Tyler in school full-time. He was not ready and preferred to continue at home. He did want to take some elective courses at the school and started last fall. That went as well as to be expected. Public school is as bad as everyone says it is. We did have the benefit of a very open relationship with Tyler in that he told us almost everything that went on at school. I always did my best to stay calm and answer something like, "Oh really? What do you think about that?"

He did fine in his classes at school but continued to argue about his work load here at home. It was pretty comical to hear Tyler tell us how he got 114% on his biology quiz because he answered the three bonus essay questions after arguing with us about having to write full sentences in his history homework. We also had scheduling conflicts and Mike finally decided to take over the schooling last fall. He would do the teaching and correcting in the evenings with them. It was a very busy and very stressful year for him.

Tony was pretty bored and lonely with Tyler gone for most of the day. Apparently the girls and I didn't provide him with enough excitement. :) So, we knew it was time for him to go too. Tyler will be in 11th grade and is taking courses that also earn college credit. Tony will be in 9th grade.

When Mike mentions the boys being enrolled full-time in public school to friends, they always ask, "How does Katie feel about it?" The reality is that I'm disappointed that things did not go like I imagined. I'm sad that my boys just want to be like every one else instead of blazing their own trail and making the most of their student years. However, I realize that they are who they want to be and not who I want them to be. Are there things I could have done differently that may have made a difference? Yes. Thankfully, I have another chance to do things differently.

Does this mean I plan to home school my girls all the way through high school? We're taking it one year at a time.


Lynnette said...

What grades are the boys in?

Mike and Katie said...

Tyler is in 11th grade and able to take some classes at the public school that earn college credits. Tony will be in 9th grade which is a year ahead of his age since he has an October birthday but we thought he would be bored in eigth grade. We're a little worried that he'll be bored in nineth grade.

Nan said...

I'm study about how it work, it is interest for me, in my country doesn't have. Thanks for this post.
Hope your family have a great day.

momto9 said...

WellI admire you who did homeschooling....not sure if I could do it and certainly don't condemn you if you dont!