Did your pulse rate jump when you read the title of this blog post? Be honest - did you feel even a twinge of anxiety? Does the mere thought of homeschooling all the way through high school, for lack of wording, freak you out?
No worries, fellow homeschool moms. It freaks all of us out, and it's perfectly normal. In fact, if you were to tell me that no aspect of being totally responsible for your children's college preparatory education in all it's confusing facets worried you, I'd wonder if you weren't actually a robot.
The upside of the anxious feelings that go hand-in-glove with high school education is that it causes you to take seriously the business of homeschooling. And for some of us, we've been taking things easy for far too long. Let that nervousness drive you to ask yourself the hard questions that will make you a better home educator in the long run.
Whatever you do, don't stick your head in the sand and convince yourself that it will all simply "work out somehow" when it comes to your child's high school education. That's not Biblical! God is a god or order, not disorder. He has very specific plans for each one of your children, and while His plans are not cookie-cutter (i.e. ~ the misnomer that every young person must attend college), they certainly aren't willy-nilly either.
Let me clarify a bit. If you have a son, that young man will likely wed one day. And he will be the breadwinner for his family. You job is to prepare him for that role. His future may or may not include a college education, but it will almost certainly include the need to get and retain gainful employment. The education you provide for him during his high school years lay the foundation for his future. It's a very important stage of his life, and as the person responsible for his education, homeschooling mothers need to take it seriously. Yes, it is hard work. But it's important work, and it's worth while work. I cannot think of one thing I regret when I look back over my son's high school years...except that I didn't work harder to provide him with the best possible academic preparation for college.
I'm not going to argue the pros and cons of a college education for our daughters. I firmly believe the Lord will clearly guide every homeschool family that is willing to ask (and receive!) His wisdom. He knows the good plans He has planned for all our daughters, and He will show you exactly what path to take. I have four daughters, with three of them currently in high school. As I prepare their school work each week, I am aware that they aren't all headed in the same direction. God has specific plans for each of them, and He shows me how to prepare them as I seek Him continually.
So my best advice to you is to pray ~ a lot. And to take these years very seriously. God will honor your hard work, and He will answer your prayer for wisdom...and for endurance! One other piece of advice I will offer is to plan ahead. Examine your state's graduation requirements (often these vary from one school district to another). Our state requires two years of foreign language, two years of science with labs, and a course on Kansas state history - so I make sure each of my children has at least two years of a foreign language (two studying Spanish, one studying Latin), and two years of science with labs using curriculum like Apologia (and yes, we actually do the experiments & I keep a log of the time spent on each experiment; that is our lab time at the end of the year) or ACE Biology (video driven, but still counts as a full high school lab), and a thorough study of state history. These are just a few examples of ways that I take high school education seriously. I could share many more, but I think you get the idea.
You can do this - don't let that twinge of anxiety intimidate you. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength, after all, and nothing is impossible with God. So dive into your student's high school years with a prayerful heart and a willing attitude, and you will find success.
Lord bless you and your high school students!
Day 222 done :)
Jan L. Burt