To prepare youth for success in entrepreneurial (and free) cultures, education tends to emphasize originality, creativity, breadth, depth and leadership skills rather than rote memorization, standardized curricula or socialization. The latter skill set is vital in societies with strong upper classes employing the lower castes, but the former is essential to free democratic nations.”
I’ve graduated five students from my homeschool and there are some things I’ve done that I can recommend and some I’m not as sure about.
I’m sure it’s great to-
1. Let teens earn money. It’s great for learning life skills, social skills, and personal responsibility.
2. Ease up the academic schedule. I don’t give my teens a full academic load because I want them to have some time to study things they are interested in. I'd rather have them learn deeply than be overwhelmed with shallow learning in many subjects.
3. Facilitate interest led learning. We’ve participated in speech clubs, music lessons, and enrolled in or created film or entrepreneur classes in order for our teens to have opportunities to pursue their own interests.
4. Send them to a discipleship program. Either as a gap year or a 12th grade experience we’ve had our teens do some sort of discipleship program. These experiences included Bible teaching, mission trips, and mentorship and have been integral in our children continuing to grow in their faith.
5. Help them build a great transcript. @homescholar has some great resources for this, but we essentially take all the interest led learning, college classes, and work experiences and build a great transcript for our students. These transcripts helped them get accepted to private colleges with scholarship money but they ended up graduating from a nearby university so they could graduate debt free.
Some things I’m not as sure about-
1. I’m not as sure about community college in high school. My oldest few had a great Christian community on campus when they went which helped, but I think it’s important to research the teachers and content before you take that route.
2. Online classes-I’m also not a huge fan of online classes. Teens need community and interaction with people and being online can end up being a gateway to wasting time on gaming, chat rooms, and other non productive pursuits. Again, every teen is different and I’d assess your choices based on their maturity.
What I’m doing now-
1. My teens now are enrolled in an in person co-op class for science and math classes and we still do morning time, history, and Bible together at home. Nothing can replace great, in person discussions with you or another mentor so be sure to include that (Hero Education by Oliver deMille is a great book about mentorships).
2. I’m doing my best to find work experience for my teens, either helping on our little homestead, working for neighbors, or working at local businesses. A good work ethic is integral for success in life and it helps us navigate changing times with confidence when we know how to work.
4. Instead of using packaged curriculum for high school we are simply reading through The Peaceful Press book lists (currently Kind Kingdom 2), and supplementing math, science, and foreign language. We also talk often about current events, read and discuss the Constitution, and teach critical thinking through these stimulating discussions.
5. I’m helping them acquire life skills in high school because knowing how to manage money, care for children, grow a garden, and care for animals are also important aspects of a good life. (Get a helpful life skills checklist with the Chore and Routine Pack)
6. I’m encouraging a personal relationship with God. In changing times we need discernment to make good decisions and since wisdom is a gift from God I want my children to know him and his word.
What are your best tips for high school? How have you changed your perspective over the years?