Whether you're brand-new to the homeschooling game or you're a long-time homeschooler watching the ninth grade loom on the horizon, the chances are that you're worried about those high school years--and that's okay! Homeschooling is a journey you don't have to take alone. Today, we're going to take a realistic look at the pros and cons of homeschooling during high school so that you know what to expect (and how to handle it all).
You've probably got a lot of questions about what homeschooling looks like during the high school years, how it works, and what you need to watch out for. Here are some pros and cons to help answer those questions!
3 Key Benefits
There are three big pros to homeschool that we'll cover: the ability of students to specialize in a specific area relevant to their interests, tons of flexibility in all aspects of learning and timing, and a better efficiency in learning for many students.
High school is an opportunity to explore the things that might interest you, and that's especially true for homeschoolers. Without the constraints of a traditional class schedule, students are free to focus on topics that excite, skills that matter, and educational paths that will benefit each unique student.
Homeschooled students don't have to worry about losing sleep to make it to an early class, and they don't have to sit through courses on topics they're already comfortable with. When you homeschool through the high school years, you have the flexibility to design and implement a schedule and educational path that works for both students and parents. Students also have the ability to be flexible in how they learn material, and to learn at their own pace. This is a great perk for students who process information in a way that conflicts with the traditional classroom structure.
Similarly, some students feel that they're wasting time in a traditional high school environment. Homeschooling allows you to cut down on that lost time by focusing on essential topics only, whether that's a specific interest, a potential career path, or a subject a student is struggling with. And, some material is easier to learn than others, so students can breeze through subjects that they learn quickly.
3 Potential Drawbacks
Of course, homeschool isn't for everyone. Here are some of the cons of homeschooling to be aware of, in areas such as socializing, cost, and a lack of structure.
Lack of Socialization
Many homeschool families worry about socialization, especially during the high school years. Indeed, homeschooled students don't have the same opportunities to make friends and develop social skills, but that doesn't mean there are no opportunities to do these things. It does mean that parents and students have to make it a point to find those opportunities The homeschool community -- especially in Idaho -- is thriving with families just like yours who want students to connect, learn together, and develop life-long friendships.
Unfortunately, it can be a little pricey to homeschool a high school student. Curriculum for all those different subjects can start to wear on your wallet depending on your approach. However, partnering with an online school can make that a little bit easier, so be sure to do your research.
Working without Structure
Some students are comfortable creating and following their own schedules; other students struggle without the structure imposed by traditional education. It's also easier to get distracted or to procrastinate in a home-education environment. There are ways to overcome these issues, but it will take work (and probably a little trial-and-error).
Resources For Homeschool
The most important thing to remember about homeschooling is that you don't have to do every little thing on your own. In fact, by partnering with an online high school like ICON, you can make the whole process smoother, easier, and even more rewarding for students and parents alike. A good "partner school" allows you to personalize educational paths without all the stress.
For example, pretend you're a homeschool parent who is excellent at teaching English and knows every grammar rule ever invented, but can't seem to make numbers behave--especially that dreaded high school math. That's okay! By partnering with an online school, you'll have access to teachers, classes, and curriculum for subjects you're not as comfortable or familiar with--and for the topics you are doing yourself, there are additional courses that can enhance the learning experience even further.
Homeschool can be an excellent choice for students in need of flexibility, or those who wish to streamline their learning experience and/or focus on a particular area of learning. Homeschooling does present some issues for some students, as time to socialize is naturally limited, structure can be tricky, and financial costs can be high for parents.
However, partnering with an online school like ICON can help alleviate some of the stress for parents and students, so it's worth learning more if you're uncertain how to tackle the challenges.