How to Homeschool A High Schooler
Whether you’re just starting out on your homeschooling journey or you are a homeschooling veteran, you could be looking at the high school years and wondering where to begin. Let’s face it: your kids might be college-bound or going directly into the workforce, but either way, they need to have high school-level courses on their transcripts to graduate. Are you comfortable with that thought? If you’re thinking about homeschooling a high schooler and are feeling a little hesitant, ask yourself, “Can I do this?” I’m going to tell you, “Yes! You most certainly can.”
Most people would begin planning high school by researching the subject matter and determining which topics should be studied in which grade levels. And while those questions are indeed important, I’d like for you to consider a bigger picture. On graduation day, you won’t see your student as a science subject, English essay, or math equation. You will see a competent young adult who is preparing to take his or her place in the world. How can we help them succeed?
4 Markers of High School Student Success
Communicating Effectively Across All Ages
When your children have graduated from your homeschool, they should be able to speak intelligently with people of all ages. Understanding the logic behind a conversation and feeling comfortable participating in discussions that include topics such as science, math, and biblical studies is a critical skill to master. But mastery takes practice. Where will your student gain the necessary tools? Apologia purposefully designs curricula that is specifically written in a conversational tone. Each of our elementary, middle school, and high school courses is written to the student in a conversational format. This is very different from other textbooks that talk to the student in a dry, factual format. At Apologia, the materials are engaging. The textbook is the expert, and your student is involved in a conversation within the subject matter. Beyond that, Apologia allows your students to stop and think about a bigger picture they can contemplate and discuss with others. With an Apologia homeschool curriculum on your high school transcript, your children are going to come out of their studies comfortable talking about their subject matter because we’ve already built the conversation into the curriculum.
Explaining Concepts Learned in Their Own Words
Students need to be able to explain complicated subject matter in their own words. Anyone can parrot a memorized fact from a textbook. But will they remember it? Ask yourself, “Can your student explain something?” If students can place the knowledge they’ve gained into their own words, they understand the material. They should be able to explain a topic in words that a 5-year-old can understand. That shows true mastery and the ability to logically think through something and come up with understandable examples. They should also be able to have a conversation with a 70-year-old who spent a lifetime working on the subject matter. That shows the ability to listen and learn, to ask questions for clarification, and to know when they need to research a topic more fully to grasp it. With Apologia, your student will engage with a curriculum that continually asks them to put things into their own words. We explain materials in multiple ways to ensure that no matter what your student’s learning style, we’ve got you covered and offer a variety of learning formats.
Having Wisdom and Positive Character Traits
We all want our children to be wise and moral. And what does that mean? It means that we want students to rely on God; we don’t want them to rely on what society is telling them what they should think. We want them to see the bigger picture and to know their unique place in the world. Apologia meets that need, too, by creating all of our course materials from a Biblical worldview. We believe God created everything visible and invisible. School is just a way to understand a small portion of what God already knows. Proverbs 13:20 tells us, “Walk with the wise and become wise.” Apologia curriculum walks (and talks) with Biblical wisdom so that you can rest assured that your student is receiving God’s instruction.
Demonstrating a Strong Work Ethic
At the end of the high school years, students should have a good work ethic so they can succeed beyond the home. Too often, students will do what they’re told, and that’s it. You know your student should be independent in their homeschooled high school years. They should be working towards their own goals. Apologia helps your child take the personal initiative to succeed in their high school years. And what Apologia does to help that happen is to create a flexible schedule for your children to hold themselves accountable.
Another way we do this is by creating study guides so that students can prepare for tests. And the nice thing about Apologia is we don’t just leave them with, “The answer is B.” We’ve explained to them why the answer was B. So, if a student gets a wrong answer, he or she can understand where the mistake was made. There’s no sense in advancing if you aren’t building on a strong foundation. Apologia helps you build your vision for your homeschool. Ultimately, at Apologia, we want your students to be able to evaluate and appreciate the knowledge they’re getting so they can interpret the world around them and then act effectively within that world. We want them to be responsible citizens who become the next generation of leaders.
So, ask yourself how you can ensure a successful high school pathway. Figure out what your big picture is for your family, and then set up your curriculum to reflect those goals. As homeschooling families, we are not part of the system, we have flexibility. It’s beautiful to be able to do all of that. You know, if you’re using the Apologia curriculum, we will help your student thrive. Knowledge should always be a gift to your student. Apologia wants your students to enjoy what they’re learning. We want them to be fascinated with it, we want them to be totally in awe of God’s creation. And if, at the end of the year, your students have an appreciation and an understanding of the beauty of Creation and a desire to learn more, then your year has been a success. No matter what you choose, the fact that you are purposefully making the right choice for your family makes your homeschool a success. I wish you joy in your high school journey.
Learn more about the Apologia courses we offer, the learning formats we offer, and the materials you can use to shepherd your family. May God always watch over and bless your family.