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Does the thought of homeschooling high school stop you in your tracks? Do you have concerns that it, “won’t be enough,” or, “how can I possibly plan all of this?” If so, you’re in the right place! In this episode of, “Ten Minutes to a Better Homeschool,” host Pam Barnhill is talking about all things homeschooling through high school. 

From life skills, flexibility, and building a supportive community – there are so many great reasons to stick with homeschooling through high school. The high school years present a unique opportunity to not only witness but actively participate in your teen’s growth and learning.

Whether you’re seeking reassurance or advice on intimidating subjects and finding affordable high school options, this episode has you covered. Tune in for insightful discussion and helpful resources, including our brand new course called, Navigating High School. 

Listen to the Podcast

Pam Barnhill [00:00:02]:
Feeling overwhelmed with homeschooling? Wondering how you can streamline your day and boost your family’s success? Welcome to Ten Minutes to a Better Homeschool. I’m Pam Barnhill, fellow homeschooler and your guide to quick, effective solutions. In each episode, we dive into practical, actionable tips that fit your busy life. Whether it’s curriculum choices, time management, or creative teaching methods, we’ve got you covered. And the best part? It’s all in bite sized ten minute segments perfect for a busy parent schedule. So pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea and join me in transforming your homeschool experience one tip at a time. Let’s make every minute count. Remember the first time you tried to teach long division or that science experiment that ended up everywhere but written in the science journal? We have been through it all, and now high school looms ahead.

Pam Barnhill [00:00:58]:
But before you panic, let’s talk about why this could be the best part of your homeschool journey yet. And that’s exactly what we’re gonna be doing on this episode of the Ten Minutes to a Better Homeschool podcast. So if you’re listening to this, you might be wrestling with the big question, should I continue homeschooling through high school? Spoiler alert, the answer is a resounding yes, and I’m here to tell you why. Well, let’s start with the elephant in the room first and that’s fear. Yes. High school subjects can be intimidating. Algebra, chemistry, Shakespeare, it all sounds like a lineup for like the world’s nerdiest horror movie, but here’s a secret. You don’t have to be an expert in each subject you teach your teen.

Pam Barnhill [00:01:43]:
There are so many resources out there from online classes to community college classes. I mean, you could dual enroll and even tutoring services. You’re not the teacher of every subject necessarily in high school, but instead, you’re the facilitator of your child’s education. You are the coach. And if you’re worried that you can’t afford to outsource everything, well, you don’t have to worry about that either. There are so many affordable high school options out there, kind of this hybrid options that empower you to do the work. One of these is, Mr. D’s self paced classes. They’re slightly less expensive than his live high school classes, but they include tutoring sessions each and every week and videos to do the teaching.

Pam Barnhill [00:02:32]:
The same thing with, like, IEW’s high school writing. They have a whole program that empowers the teacher, including monthly webinars that help you know how to do things, like grade your child’s writing. So even in situations where you’re not going to be able to outsource either due to finances or simply because you don’t want to, there’s so many support options out there to help you even if you can’t outsource. So now let’s talk about why. Why should you stick with homeschooling through high school? And there are so many reasons that I’m not gonna be able to list all of them. You’re probably gonna think at the end that I’ve forgotten a few, but let me just give you a few of my favorites. And the first one of these is customization. High school is a time to really tailor your education to your child’s passions, to their strengths, and to their future goals.

Pam Barnhill [00:03:26]:
Now not every 9th grader is going to know exactly what it is they want to do, and so I like to use a method called don’t close the door when I’m planning my child’s education. So until they start giving me a really good indication of where it is they want to go after high school or what it might be that they want to do, we design their high school program in a way that keeps all doors open. So they could still go to college, they could still go to trade school, they might still dual enroll. We’re planning an education for that purpose until they really start telling me exactly what it is they think they want to do after high school. And then we can really dig deep on customizing that education. So whether it’s coding video games, exploring the mysteries of ancient history, or designing their own fashion line, homeschooling allows your child to deep dive into what truly interests them. I’ll never forget it. A few years ago, I had a kid come up to me at a homeschooling convention.

Pam Barnhill [00:04:28]:
He was in his late teens or early twenties, and he had such a fascination with Vikings when he was in high school that he started his own podcast about Viking history. And very few kids who went to school would have had the time to do that sort of thing. And his his mom let him start a podcast as part of his homeschooling, and I think that’s just the coolest thing ever. So this idea of getting to customize for what your kids like to do. The second is this life skills advantage. So this is the second why to keep homeschooling in high school, and that’s just because schooling is not just about academic learning. It’s also about preparing for life. And so when you homeschool high school, you can work on things like budgeting, cooking, time management.

Pam Barnhill [00:05:18]:
These are skills that are often overlooked in traditional settings as part of the daily curriculum because they’re so focused on academics, but these are important things that kids often say they don’t learn in school. I mean, can you remember the first time you stared down your 1040 EZ and you’re like, I’m not so sure that anybody ever taught me how to do this when I was in high school. And homeschooling gives you the opportunity to really lean into doing those things. We actually have a half credit curriculum called Teens on Track that really focuses on productivity, time management, and life skills for teens. We’ll include a link to that in the show notes. One of my 3rd favorite reasons for continuing to homeschool in high school is flexibility. There are so many opportunities out there for internships, for volunteer work, and dual enrollment. It could be really challenging to do all of that with a traditional school schedule.

Pam Barnhill [00:06:20]:
But with homeschooling, you know, homeschooling high school takes about 4 to 5 hours a day, not just the 7 to 8 that traditional school does. And so these homeschoolers have the extra time to do things like pursuing their internships and really digging in and and learning a trade or learning a skill that they otherwise wouldn’t get the opportunity to learn. And, of course, there are always the Simone Biles of the world who are, you know, out there doing Olympic sports and things like that. That’s not most of our kids, but homeschooling does allow time for those kinds of things too if you do have a child who is gifted in sports, whether they’re Olympic gifted or they just really enjoy the extra time from playing travel ball or something like that, and then volunteer work as well. So many great opportunities. So homeschooling allows you the flexibility to do those opportunities without sacrificing academic process because remember, homeschooling is always more efficient time wise than public schooling is. And even though you’re gonna spend a little bit longer time each day doing homeschool in high school, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still more efficient than if they were going into a school setting. Do you want fewer arguments, less tension, and true excitement during language arts learning? Night zookeeper is the answer.

Pam Barnhill [00:07:45]:
Night zookeeper is a game changing language arts program that takes the stress out of teaching by making it fantastically fun and engaging for your child. The program teaches spelling, grammar and punctuation, vocabulary, reading and writing through a preplanned language arts curriculum that your child can use independently, freeing you up to focus on other tasks. Knight zookeeper has hundreds of word games, interactive video lessons, and inspiring writing prompts to keep your child engaged all year and boost their confidence. Your child will also get written feedback on their writing from real tutors so you don’t have to be the bad guy. Thousands of homeschool parents have found success using night zookeeper to transform their children’s attitudes towards language arts learning. Parents like Ali Midday, one of the member liaisons at panbarnhill.com. Ally’s 3 oldest kids have been using Night ZooKeeper, and they absolutely love the feedback that they get from the writing tutors and the ability to create their own characters. They are having so much fun.

Pam Barnhill [00:08:51]:
So if you’re ready to say goodbye to the stress of teaching language arts, give Night ZooKeeper a try. Click on the link in the description to this podcast for a 7 day free trial and 50% off of an annual subscription. Now sometimes people worry about feeling isolated when it comes to homeschooling high school, and just remember, the homeschooling community is vast and diverse. There are co ops. There are online forums. My friend Colleen runs a great one over at Raising Lifelong Learners for neurodiverse kids, and she has all of these teen meetup activities that they can do. There are social groups. I I have to say my kids got their their most social access through all of the kids at our church.

Pam Barnhill [00:09:39]:
We attend a wonderfully diverse parish here in our town, and so they’ve made friends of all backgrounds, all races, all nationalities, kids who go to public school, kids who are in private school, kids who are homeschooled. And those activities are out there to tap into no matter where you are. So you have the homeschool community, but, also, there is community in your wider community as well. And so don’t miss the opportunities for your kids to participate in those things. And homeschooling support, like our Homeschool Better Together community, is a great place for you, the parent, to find support and camaraderie too, and that community is absolutely free. So we’ll include a link to homeschool better together in the show notes for you. And finally, you just want to enjoy the joy of learning together. High school is a time of it’s a time of growth, and it’s not just for your child, but for you as well.

Pam Barnhill [00:10:40]:
One of the things that I’ve been so surprised about is now that my kids are older, I’m actually more reluctant to spend time doing other things that I just enjoy being with them more because I can see the, not the light at the end of the tunnel, but the finish line. And I know that the day is gonna come soon when I’m not going to be homeschooling anyone, and it kind of makes me just a little bit sad. And so I’m really leaning in and enjoying these high school years with my kids and embracing this journey with an open heart and and mind. And, look, you don’t have to have it all figured out at the beginning. You can figure out high school as you go along just like you figured out the rest of homeschooling. You didn’t have all of that figured out at the beginning either. You figured it out and you shift and you changed as you went along. And, yes, your oldest was the guinea pig, just like my oldest was.

Pam Barnhill [00:11:37]:
But before it was over, you got it figured out. So celebrate the wins, learn from the challenges. Remember, you’re not just teaching them about the world. You’re learning about the incredible person that they’re becoming, and I find that teens are just so much fun to be around. It’s one of my absolutely favorite stages of childhood. I enjoy my teens so much. So if you are pondering whether to homeschool through high school, you have got this. With the right resources and supportive community, you can do it.

Pam Barnhill [00:12:10]:
And just to let you know, we have created a brand new course called Navigating High School. This course is designed by a group of moms. We have 24 kids and 9 graduates between us, and all 4 of us speak into this course and speak into some of the fears that you may be experiencing about homeschooling high school. And so you’re gonna get tons of different perspectives. We’re gonna help you banish those fears and also provide you with a whole resource library of information that you need to make it doable about everything from making a plan, forming a transcript, getting your kids dual enrolled, should you take a gap year, and what do you do for a graduation ceremony. We cover it all in the course. So get on the email list at the link in the show notes to get notified. We’re gonna start preselling the course at its lowest price during mid March, and then we’re gonna go live with it in April, and we know that you are gonna love it.

Pam Barnhill [00:13:12]:
So don’t miss your chance to sign up to be notified when navigating high school goes live. Thank you for tuning in to Ten Minutes to a Better Homeschool. Remember, small changes can make a big impact in your homeschooling journey. If you want more tips and resources to enhance your experience, check out our free homeschool better together community. You’ll find additional tools, guides, and a community of supportive homeschoolers just like you. Visit community.pambarnhill.com to learn more and join us. Until next time, keep on homeschooling.

Links and Resources From Today’s Show

Key Takeaways About Homeschooling High School

  • Homeschooling high school provides flexibility to customize your teen’s education based on their interests, and future plans without sacrificing academic process.
  • Homeschooling offers additional time, allowing teens to pursue internships, volunteer work, and dual enrollment opportunities without the constraints of a traditional school schedule.
  • With a multitude of available resources, you’re the facilitator of your child’s education. 
  • The homeschooling community is incredibly supportive of growing teens, offering diverse social activities and various groups for high school students.
  • Homeschooling in high school is not only academic learning but also life preparation. Your child can work on life skills, such as budgeting, cooking, and time management.
  • Embracing the journey of homeschooling through high school allows for learning and growth, not just for your teen, but also for you as a parent. 
  • Parents don’t have to have high school all figured out at the beginning.

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