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My homeschool journey began a decade ago, when my parents decided to homeschool me in second grade. Before that, I had attended a private Christian school where I learned virtually nothing and was bored to tears. My parents thought homeschooling would be the best choice for me because I could have individualized learning at my own pace—and they were right. Fast forward to 2022, and I am now a proud homeschool graduate, grateful for all the opportunities and flexibility I have had and excited for the future.

Why High School at Home was Great

Uninterrupted classes. There are many reasons why being homeschooled through high school was great for me. One of them was that when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in the middle of my sophomore year, I did not have my academic activities turned upside down the way my public-schooled peers did. I had been taking online classes long before the pandemic, so I carried on with school and homework as usual while my friends struggled to navigate e-learning. And when schools began allowing students to return to in-person learning, I did not have to worry about being around so many people and contracting the virus from them. I stayed safe and happy at home while continuing my education without any major interruptions or changes. 

Preparation for College. Another reason why homeschool high school was great was because it taught me many skills that will prepare me well for college life. For example, juggling up to five online classes at once in addition to “actual” homeschool, participating in extracurriculars, and practicing two musical instruments meant that I needed excellent time management skills. The flexibility homeschooling offers also demands good time management because otherwise, the school year never ends (I know some homeschool families do school throughout the year, but I really need my summer break)! When I go to college, the time management skills I have developed in high school will serve me well.

Worried? Don’t Be!

Parents may be worried about homeschooling their kids through high school. They might believe themselves to be inadequate teachers at the high school level or that they would deprive their kids of “traditional” high school experiences. Let me alleviate those fears and encourage you to homeschool your children through high school—it CAN be done!

Difficult subjects. If you don’t want to or think you can’t teach your high schoolers every subject like you did in elementary and middle school, well, you don’t have to! There are many online programs for all kinds of high school subjects, including AP courses, that your high schoolers can take. Your local homeschool co-ops may also offer classes at the high school level. But best of all, in my opinion, is the fact that some colleges offer dual enrollment classes for high school students, homeschooled or not, so that they can earn college credit while still in high school. This is a fantastic way to save time and money for college while your child is still a high schooler.

Extracurriculars. Another worry you may have is that your homeschooled high schooler won’t get to have all the traditional high school experiences like prom and extracurriculars like sports or music. I am here to tell you that YES, they can have all these experiences and more! 

Personally, I am not a big sports person, but I know homeschooled kids who have joined and played on local schools’ sports teams, so that is definitely a possibility for your sports-oriented high schooler. If your student is a musician like me, you need not fret about limiting their musical pursuits! I have been able to hone my piano and violin skills for over a decade with private lessons, joining a local youth orchestra, and participating in chamber music. 

As for fun things like prom, your homeschooled high schooler can have those experiences too! In fact, my friend and I went to a Christian prom for both homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers last week. It was amazingly fun and goes to show that your homeschooled high schooler can have the same, if not better, experiences as public schoolers.

Internships. One experience that most public schoolers might not get during high school is interning. I am very blessed to have interned for the IAHE this year—it has been gratifying to give back in a small way to the homeschool community that has given me so much, and I have learned many new skills along the way. Indeed, my internship work in social media and graphic design has sparked an interest in marketing for me and has prompted me to look into studying marketing in college.

What’s Next?

In the fall, I will be attending Indiana University Bloomington to major in psychology and hopefully double-major in marketing as well. I gained direct admission, which fewer than half of IU applicants get, into the College of Arts and Sciences. I am really looking forward to college life, and I am confident that homeschooling has prepared me well for it.

I hope this encourages you to homeschool your children through high school—it may be hard, but it is so worth it!

 

          Tiffany Chou successfully completed the IAHE Internship Program this past year and is now a proud homeschool graduate. 

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