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Part 2 -Home Schooling High Schoolers

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The Boyer Blog: Part 2 -Home Schooling High Schoolers

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Part 2 -Home Schooling High Schoolers

Reasons #4-#7 Why I am Glad I Home Schooled Through High School

#4. The Opportunity to Individualize Your Teen’s Curriculum

We grew up assuming that the government schools taught the information that every child needs to know to live a successful life. That just isn’t the case.

Back in the early- mid 1950’s when Russia started getting ahead of us in the space race the schools began increasing courses in upper sciences and math to encourage more students into entering those fields.
That is great if that is where your child’s interests lie, but it’s just not for everyone!

Many parents stress over this so much that they just give in and put their kids back in school at this point thinking there is just no way they can teach those advanced subjects to their children.

First of all, if there is a subject that you feel you can't teach, there are so many helps today with online courses, community colleges, tutors, teach yourself courses, etc, that you can get the help you need without submitting your teen to the great disadvantages of putting him into a government schooling situation.

Evaluate, though, if those courses are really the best use of your students’ time and energy. That answer will vary for each of your individual children.

If your child wants to be an electrician he should be able to begin pursuing courses that will benefit him in that goal while in high school. He doesn’t need to waste time learning things he would need to be an astronaut or a doctor. The government schools have long been all about control, not what is best for children.
They are designed to produce followers who don’t question, but just do what they are told. I see its effect even on us as parents who were trained there. We just assume if it’s taught in government schools, our kids need to learn it too! Don’t try to fit your child into a mold that the public schools have created.
Our son, while in high school, seemed to have a mental block with algebra. I finally just gave him a general intro to Algebra and made sure he had a good basic math preparation. When he decided to go to college for a government degree, he found he needed one course in Algebra. By this time, he wanted to do it to meet his goal. So he took a 2 wk intensive at community college, passed with flying colors and entered college!!

To be successful as a parent/teacher, all you need to do is : -teach your child how to learn, -foster a love for learning in your child, instead of creating burnout -build young people with real character, and they can learn anything they would ever need to know.

Our goal is to build self-directed learners. Never feel like you have to have to know everything and spout it off to kid. You just point them in the right direction and guide their learning!!

Learn to be creative in how you direct their learning. Learn to teach to their passions and interests.

When I assigned Tuck his first research paper, I let him choose the topic. It was on hunting white-tailed deer. He enjoyed the research because it was something he wanted to excel at and did a great job, even though writing is not one of his passions.
Let them explore their passions, even if it's not what you think of as being traditional "school" subjects. Maybe, like in Tuck's case, it is hunting, birding, leather work, garden ponds, or tree propagation. Encourage them to pursue those God-given interests. You'll learn a lot in the process too!!

Most of my kids "finished" high school early. When Grace was in high school, she worked hard to finish a year early. So her senior year, I had her spend in reading- she read a course on Constitution, and then various other topics such as current events, issues, biography, historical, Biblical worldview, foundational topics. I just gave her a book list, let her choose, and had her spend approx. 3 hr a day just reading! What a fantastic education she received. I am doing that with all my kids now. No other time in life do they have such an opportunity!!

# 5. Apprenticeship Opportunities

Voddie Bauchum tells about loan companies giving cuts to colleges for student loans as it earns them life-long rewards when the student gets out of school and looks to them for financing for cars, houses, etc.
We often encourage students to go into debt to get a “good education” and instead they end up paying off loans for years to come- set back instead of getting ahead.

College is not for everyone. Our daughter-in-law, Kari, felt strongly that God wanted her to get married and not pursue higher schooling. She encountered a lot of disparaging remarks from well meaning folks, but hasn't regretted that decision.
Evaluate individually how God is leading in each of your children's lives as to determine the direction to point them in.

Expose them to apprenticeship opportunities to let them see how they would like a field before committing themselves to it. I try to invite people into our home and while they are there, ask them what their vocation is, how they got into it, how they like it- would they do it again?
Encourage your kids going to jobs when possible even for a day or two that they might be interested in, to see if it's really what they thought it was before committing to it.

Our boys all apprenticed with their Dad in the drywall trade. Although they didn't really appreciate it at the time, they are thankful that it has enabled them to reach their own goals.
Our oldest son, Rick put himself through college and then law school doing drywall. He couldn't have achieved that with an average paying job.
Nate started his own drywall business at age 19 with a goal to have a house paid for without having to mortgage it. He has recently achieved that goal.
Rick and Tim both purchased older houses and used their skills to fix them up and increase their investment that way.
Kate began a creative memories business as a teen, has a part time photography business and briefly worked a job for friends and learned valuable computer skills.
Christa has natural organizational skills and has been hired by some to help them organize as well as being a nanny and teaching preschool to one of her "kids".
They all received a head-start in developing their careers because they chose not to go the regular route and borrow money for college, because that' what everybody else does.
They live at home until married, save their money, and have a jump-start on a business, or whatever they may choose.

#6. Flexibility of Schedule

During this time in your teen's life, they have ministry opportunities as no other time in life!!
I recently heard of a 14 yr old boy who wrote a book – Defined Conservatism. He was interviewed on public TV as a curiosity to be so young and write a book. He is interested in talk radio. What a start. Home educated kids can enter college, if they choose with a resume, not just a transcript!

Three of my sons have used their construction skills to aid a blind school in Jamaica during their teen years, Rick attended Von Mises economics training seminars, political training opportunities, and was actually employed for a time as a campaign manager for a man running for Congress!

Your kids have the opportunity to attend conventions, seminars, and life-changing opportunities such as Teen pact, Gen J, Answers in Genesis, etc.

On the light side, our family takes an annual beach trip in early Sept, when everyone else is in school. We practically have the beach to ourselves and get off-season rates at that!!
You can take trips to historical places during off time when you don't have to fight the crowds.
There is the opportunity for family first priorities-not tied down to a public school schedule.
Family mission projects, etc

#7. Opportunity to Learn Life Skills

Rick volunteered for the republican party at age 15 , became chairman at age 19, ran Mike Farris and Ollie North’s campaign in ‘93 in our district and then actually ran for public office on the Board of supervisors and won!!
The city administrator commented that it changed the face of the county board as they now were encouraged to look for ways to cut budget instead of ways to spend money- one person can make a difference!

Rick and Tim are involved in our fifth district consisting of 21 counties in VA. They call pastors, involve Christians and make a huge difference. People who sign up to be delegates can make decisions on who the party chooses as candidates- conservative ones or liberal ones!
The girls have served as helping hands to many moms with new babies, our pastors’ family, or with families experiencing serious illness. One of my daughters served as companion/helper to a widowed lady. When my niece gave birth to twins, giving her 5 young boys, the girls took turns traveling to help her for a few months.
Three of my girls have taken missions trips to Romania to be of service in orphanages and with village people.
Carrie went on a work trip St Vincent and did she ever work and minister!
Laura has had a ministry to several elderly people through the years.
All this to say, learn to maximize your teen's time, not by serving them, but by leading them into the service of others. When you do that, you will be surprised to find you have produced a servant prepared to become a leader!!

More reasons next week!!
~Marilyn Boyer

For more on this subject, check out: Why I am Glad I Home Schooled Through High School



Anonymous Deanna said...

I heard your family for the first time last yr @ a homeschool convention. Love the way you are biblically based! I have heard you mention a couple of times about having your H.S. seniors read their last year. Would you be interested in sharing your book list? We are always looking for good books.
keep up the great work!

April 23, 2010 at 11:28 PM  
Blogger Marilyn Boyer said...

Here you go. We are giving out our booklist this week- just a $1 download. It's not exhaustive, but the last one I used with my family.(See Part 4 of this series)

April 29, 2010 at 8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you still have the link to your booklist?

June 16, 2010 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger Kari Boyer said...


June 16, 2010 at 9:09 AM  

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