A lot of threads I've been reading here and elsewhere seem to show that quite often HS kids end up going to a public high school. Any idea as to why this is? Is it that they want the broader socialization? They are sick of HSing? natural rebellion from parents?
and if you have kids that did take this route how was their transition from HSing to a public high school?
Thanks in advance!
widowed from Marc Nov. '09(love you more babe) mom to Sophia (9) Emma (8) Lily (5) :
Joy was one who wanted to go to high school after having been home schooled for 1st-7th (we don't do K). So I suggested she start with 8th grade since it's a review of the previous 7 years. She loved the high school experience. Erica, on the other hand, hated high school. I think that she went just because Joy did. After doing 10th and 11th grade, she came back home and did her senior year as independent study. Angela needed the structure of a school environment. Both Erica and Angela were home schooled for middle school. Joy and Angela have made friends in high school that are still in their lives 10-15 years later.
We are doing things backwards with Dylan. He did K-5th in public school, did middle school at home through charter school. Now that he is at the end of 8th grade, his intention is to home school through high school.
I think, from reading home schooling boards, that a lot of parents don't feel qualified to teach high school. Or want their children to have the same high school experiences that they had or didn't have--football games, dances, clubs, etc. And some are like me and allow their teens to make their own decision about their education at that point.
My kids are pretty mature in their orientation to their learning, something I credit to our homeschooling. They certainly haven't "sold out" and adopted the mentality of typically always-schooled high school students. They are amongst the minority of students who are highly engaged by their learning, who want to be there, who are motivated by what they're learning and (although it seems paradoxical to many, on the surface of it) have almost no interest in earning grades. They do earn top grades, but they generally don't notice. They don't bother reading their report cards, for example, and eldest dd had no idea until her junior year that there was such a thing as the honor roll, or that she had been on it her entire time at school. What they care about is learning lots; the grades are beside the point. I also love that my kids are secure enough in themselves and what they stand for that they have worn their quirkiness proudly and continue to be exactly who they always were.
For me homeschooling has been a way for my kids to flourish being who they are, pursuing their own interests and strengths. High school has not derailed the foundation we built when they were younger. It's now part of what they do, but it serves them, rather than the other way around.
I don't suppose one would ask "Why do so many homeschooled kids choose to go to college rather than continuing to learn at home?" At some point we accept that institutional learning can offer something of value to our young people -- and I would hope that "something of value" would be more than just a few letters to put after their name. For my kids, living where they do, that value in institutional education was something they saw playing a role when they were 14 and 15, not just 18 and 19.
Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up
Great post Miranda.
I can't speak for the high school experience except to say that my oldest has always expressed a desire to try out high school. She didn't start homeschooling until third grade though. Currently she is in 6th and still plans to attend high school. Until this year, she had been enrolled part time because we really like the gifted and talented program in our school district. It is one day a week for grades 2-5. She misses it terribly this year. She is a very social person and while I don't think you need school for social skills, there is a social environment available in the high schools--dances, games, clubs, etc. that isn't found elsewhere in our community. Our high school has a closed door policy on everything except sporting events so she wouldn't be able to attend the dances, etc. with her other friends if she remained a homeschooler. If hs doesn't work out, she can return home.
I think for many families, there is a concern that they won't be able to 'properly' teach high school-level courses. It's also a handy 'backup plan' -- if a parent is concerned that they won't homeschool well, but really want to do it, you can say "we can try it through middle school, but if we're not satisfied with things we can always send them to high school to finish things up." So they have the confidence to try, to start, without worrying that it's an all-or-nothing venture.
Whether those fears and concerns are legitimate varies a lot depending on the child, the parent, and their educational styles. I agree that there are kids who need more structure and sometimes public high school is a good way to achieve that. I also agree with the comparison with college -- at some point, some kind of institutional education will be a good idea for a great many kids, so what's the difference if they start at 18 or at 15? The difference can be the difference between a good college and a crappy high school, or the difference between the maturity level of the individual kid at various ages.
I happen to think that the most important time to homeschool, in general, is the first years -- up to middle school age. That's when the psychological and physiological development of attachment is most critical for growing kids, and when they're most prone to the potential damage of peer orientation, the potential quashing of creativity and curiosity, etc etc -- all the usual advantages of homeschooling that we tout. By the time they're adolescents, most homeschooled kids are "built" and can withstand the pressures of public high school.
In our particular case, my son is turning 14 and will be 'grade 9' next year. He's actually been involved in middle school in terms of being in the band, so he has had some exposure to school culture without having to live ALL of it. So I've asked him if he's interested in going to high school next year. And he's not. Not yet.
But if and when he is, he can try it. Our local high school is pretty good. It's where I went and I have MOSTLY good memories, unlike elementary and middle school. ;) It's a HUGE school with over 1500 students (there were 3000 in my day, before the city opened a second high school) so there are lots of clubs, programs, and customized courses. Grades 9 and 10 are pretty 'standard', every kid has the same classes like in middle school. Grades 11 and 12 are completely customized though, with tons of interesting and intriguing elective course options, like theatre tech, fashion design, computer game programming, etc etc, as well as multiple levels (including IB) for the standard core courses.
There are things that I can't do at home with my son. I can't give him the experience in theatre tech. He can't learn that from a book. And it's a hard thing to get apprenticed in without some kind of experience. So if he's really interested in theatre tech, going to high school to take that course is not a bad option.
And he is intrigued by some of the 11/12 course options. So we'll re-evaluate every years. :)
My daughter is only 5 so we still have a long journey ahead of us. And she's more independent and self-starting, where my son has various obstacles where he does need more structure and more active "teaching" or at least organization. I wouldn't be surprised if she's the type who self-schools all the way through high school. But I dunno. We'll see. :)
My dd (homeschooled from 3rd to 8th grades) decided in 7th grade that she'd like to go to a high school for performing arts. She's a dancer and is very passionate about it. We have a lot of PA schools here in NYC. In the fall of 8th grade, we went to a few open houses, in November and December she auditioned for 3 schools, and in February she found out she was accepted to the best PA school in the country. She's a sophomore there now and it's been the most incredible experience for her. The transition from homeschool to public school was fine. There were no issues at all - and it's a large school (2500 kids).
It wasn't rebellion, being sick of homeschooling, and certainly not for the socialization. It was a chance to continue pursuing and furthering her interests. Oldest dd(18) homeschooled for 8th grade only and then went to a high school for journalism. Writing has always been her passion and she did very well there. Ds(11) is still homeschooled and will probably go on to a high school focused on whatever his interests will be. We're already looking at high schools for art, science, and film. :)
DD(20) Hair Stylist in Manhattan
DD(18) Graduate of the (real) Fame school, now a Dance Theater major at a performing arts conservatory
DS(13) Experiential Charlotte Mason homeschooler
I was homeschooled from 3rd- 8th grade. Because my older sister had decided to go to the public high school, I figured that was the thing to do as well. So I went to 9th grade at the local high school and hated it. I was used to learning at my own pace (usually above average) and found myself miserable with peer judgement. So after much thought and discuss with my mom, I homeschooled the rest of high school. Because we weren't equipped for science (no lab, etc) and my mom was not comfortable with upper-level math, I took several math and science classes at the nearby community college. Because of these classes, I brought 26 credits to college with me. Since I planned to go to college, we kept detailed records of reading, writing and other learning experiences to include with my college applications. It seemed to serve me well. I went to a public, "ivy league" type college in my state and recently graduated from veterinary school. I felt like the key to successfully homeschooling through high school is to keep a detailed transcript and utilize all the resources in your area.
Wife to B since 6/2004, Mama to T (10/11) and (8/13). We:
for me it's a matter of integrating at a convenient time.
my homeschooled daughter started public school in grade 3 (then left midway grade 5) and, although she is quite easy-going, she did experience some mild feelings of being an 'other'. she was called down to the office for tests that no one else in her class had to take. she was pounced on as new and then quickly discarded. she was never shown where the toilets were :)
my homeschooled son is different kettle of fish, not easy-going at all. i am encouraging him to 'try' highschool in grade 9 when there is a large influx of new people - and everyone will be trying to get their bearings.