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Homeschooling through High School            April 27, 2011


Nancy Carter Picture 

Are you nervous about homeschooling through high school? I know that the thought can be intimidating, but I have four words for you: YOU CAN DO IT!


High school is really just a continuation of your child's education. You may need to be more attentive to selecting the right courses to meet your state's graduation requirements and to prepare your child for what he might want to do after graduation, but it's not that hard.


Too many parents think that once our kids get into high school, we should turn into Super Homeschooler and whip things into shape. We imagine that we've got to lay out a four-year plan to the T and create a student who can be all things to all people: the perfect independent, straight-A scholar; a community servant; an athlete; an entrepreneur; an adult who can take care of things at home and has a heart for God. They've got to read all of the great books, amaze the world with science, be financially secure, master foreign languages and instruments, perform in community theater, and participate in local political campaigns. That's a pretty hard standard to live up to, and I honestly think those unrealistic expectations are what make people scared to homeschool through high school. You think of all that you want your child to be, you know that he's still the kid who throws dirty clothes on the floor, and you worry that you don't have what it takes to prepare him for life.


Folks, please remember that your child is not going to be perfect, and though you and your homeschool may not be perfect either, God doesn't ask for perfection. He just asks for our obedience.


Quit comparing yourself to the public schools and their structure for a high school education. They aren't perfect either. A personalized education is always best. Enjoy the freedom that you have to homeschool and don't miss out on some of the most wonderful years of your child's life.  


My oldest graduated last year, and I am so thankful for the time we had together. Though I had learned a lot about homeschooling since we first began, we still had rough days and I still made mistakes, but God was faithful through it all. I'm so thankful that He uses imperfect people every day. Aren't you?


Enjoy every minute,


~Nancy Carter 

Nancy Carter
THM Editor


P.S. The Schoolhouse Expo is coming up next month, May 16-20. It has a wonderful high school track that will help you prepare to successfully homeschool through high school. Susan Wise Bauer will discuss all of the types of writing that high school students should master before going to college, Janice Campbell will explain how teens can earn college credits during their high school years, Dr. Brian Ray will share important research about homeschooling, Kim Kautzer will present "Teaching the Timed Essay," and Carol Topp will encourage you with "Micro Business for Teens." Don't miss out! Buy your ticket today! 



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Deborah WuehlerMercy Every Minute
Deborah Wuehler, TOS Senior Editor

Hearing the words "high school" brings fear to those who have not walked down that path yet. Since graduating my two oldest, I can tell you that high school is just like all the other years. You pray, you do your research, you pray some more. You check with other homeschoolers, you read books and websites, you go with your child's interests and work his studies around that, you start putting names of subjects down on a transcript-it's really not that hard. It's just new and a bit different, which is what homeschooling was to you in the beginning, too. But you persevered and were glad you did. Persevere through high school and you'll be even gladder. There is something powerful about homeschooling all the way through.


Today, my 17-year-old had a counseling appointment at the local college. When questioned about his extensive credits, 4.0 average, and many educational experiences at such a young age, he simply said, "I was homeschooled, so I received the best education ever!"


People will inevitably question you, "What about high school? What will you do THEN?" As if high school is some magic point in time when you must stop educating and throw your kids to the wolves. When do we stop listening to the call of God for our children and our family-when society says we should? Sending kids out at this critical age has been devastating for many families. They wish they never bent to their child's wishes to "go to school" and kept them home where they belong.


What about all the "fun" they'll miss staying home? They're going to miss that feeling they get when the popular cheerleaders in the school assemblies encourage the whole crowd to participate in the school cheer! You might remind yourself that they'll also be missing the reasons for the school assembly: graphic displays of safe sex practices or homosexual speaker day or any number of God-blasting philosophies.


Home is where fun and education should happen. Home is where it all happens. It is the starting point as well as the leaping-off point for all of life. Home is where babyhood happens, where elementary learning continues, where junior high kids shine, and where high schoolers graduate with excellence. You can do this. There is no need to fear when the Lord is on your side. He is the author and finisher of your life and your homeschool, and He will be with you through to the end of the race.


The LORD is on my side; I will not fear . . . " Psalm 118:6




P.S. My Hannah (16 in May) has her sights set on graduating next year, so she has a lot of planning and preparing to do. This will be the first year she will use her own TOS High School Schoolhouse Planner. I pulled it up for her to look through today. She can't wait to print out everything she wants to put in her binder and start using it now and working all the way through her goals to graduation and beyond. Hannah was really impressed and had this to say about the planner:


"This planner has homeschool forms, weekly planning for school assignments, and due dates so you never lose track of your schedule, forms for academic goals (daily, weekly, monthly, semester, and yearly). One thing I found that stood out to me was the section on the high school transcript. So many different options to help keep your school and personal life organized. Test score sheets, recipes, articles, lists of every kind, school subjects-the list goes on! The more I read, the more I am convinced that every high school teen needs this planner! It seems like no matter what you need for anything in high school, the High School Schoolhouse Planner has what you need. It has so much information and so many forms, I cannot begin to name them all. But one thing that came to mind when going through this was that it isn't just for high school. This planner can be used for college students, too! I highly recommend this product to anyone in high school who would like to have more order and more options to help your busy homeschool life become a little easier."



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Gena Suarez

Hey from Gena

Gena Suarez, Publisher of TOS   


Homeschooling Through High School--Oh yeah. I love this topic. Lots of parents come up to our booth at conventions and ask for advice or want to share their fears/concerns about the dreaded "high school years." They don't think they can do it, but their fears really are unfounded. They see one of our older boys working the booth and wonder if their bouncy, hyper little monkey will ever grow up and be able to stand still long enough to make a customer contact, much less an actual monetary transaction.  


One lady approached me, very concerned, about her child's math program. Which one should she use, how formal should it be, etc. She seemed pretty serious about the whole topic of math and being able to teach it. I figured the kid was in junior high or maybe even starting high school (we weren't too formal with math 'til way later--and my college boys were 4.0 in every math class they ever took at our college here in Tennessee, even the crazy insane math like Probs & Stats--eeeek). But the funny thing was when I asked her how old her child was, she said "Four." I about fell over. FOUR? You are talking about formally mathing your 4-year-old (*gales of laughter*-- politely, of course). I just found it humorous because my 4-year-olds are lucky if they get to measure out sugar and water for Jell-O in the kitchen. Can you imagine Sani (3) with her nose in a Saxon textbook next year (*more gales of laughter.*)? Talk about a hyper little monkey. She'd probably tear out all the pages and make paper dolls. But at least she'd count them first.  


Anyway, please don't worry about high school. Work and play with your kids now, let them pursue their interests, cook with them, do math games, concern yourself about the formal stuff later. If your kids are anything like my munchkins, they'll be fine. And I have six of them (two college age, one about to graduate high school, one in ninth or 10th--not sure--and two babies). It all works out because you're surrounding them with enriching learning resources, talking to them (conversations are KEY), and keeping them home where they belong. Introduce the more formal learning later on, and it's all good. Just lock away the video games and other distracting junk and encourage them to find pastimes that educate and cause them to flourish both in character and in academics. Soon your eight little monkeys jumping on the bed will be gentle, focused adults who love the Lord, who can think, and who will rise up and call you blessed. Good trade up. I'll take it. 





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Todd Wilson The Familyman
Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries


There's something about the words "high school" that sends shivers up the spines of countless homeschooling moms. Somehow high school has become the next level of Homeschool Mario Brothers.


Doomsayers are quick to offer their advice about buckling down, extensive recordkeeping, and making sure you have all your ducks in a row. Mothers who previously enjoyed their children and homeschooling become scared to death, doubt their efforts, and begin to wonder if they should put their kids in school so they can get a REAL education that will prepare them for college and beyond.


That kind of advice poisons the homeschool mom's mind and generates lies straight from the pit of hell.


Mom and Dad, don't believe for one moment that high school is any more difficult OR vital than teaching third grade. The truth is: You are perfectly suited to train and teach your high schooler. God created you to be able to prepare your children for life.


Oh, you may not understand algebra, biology, or world history . . . but it doesn't matter. There are plenty of options available to help you through those subjects. High school is the best time to homeschool, and YOU CAN DO IT.


And don't forget to . . .


Be Real,





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It's Just Common Sense

Ruth Beechick, Curriculum Specialist 


Debbie Strayer, Homeschool Consultant 


My children's high school years of homeschooling were truly a delight. I was grateful to be such an involved part of their lives and honored to be considered such good friend material! We charted a path, with Ruth's help, that allowed us to stay the course of using the unit study approach that had always been so successful for us. We integrated language arts into everything, decreasing the time spent working on isolated subjects, and became skilled observers and recorders of all that we did.


While many around us felt they had no recourse but to use textbooks or prepared courses, we took steps that were truly bold for us. We used the course outlines from our state's educational website, which we kept in a notebook. I would mark off objectives as they were covered, writing the date next to the goal. I kept a folder for each course we claimed credit for, which included lists of materials used, reports, projects, and perhaps photos of field trips or related activities and a summary of what was completed.


Once the course objectives were broken down like this, we were free to use the library or other resources we already had and to deal with the topics from our family's viewpoint. People became valuable resources as we learned from those who had expertise or experience in the topic area, equipping the children with the ability to come up with a plan to learn just about anything. It also allowed us to customize the plan to fit their particular bents.


When young people become confident learners, where they learn won't matter. They will be successful. Don't be too quick to send your children to learn from others, even in the high school years. There will be plenty of time for that. Cherish the relationships and blessings that come from your time together.


~ Debbie 

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Contest Central  

For the month of April, 2011   


History of Holidays


Each year I try to make some attempt to incorporate holiday themes into our lesson plans, but I rarely do anything that leaves any real, lasting impression. Very little of these mini-units could even qualify as teaching. And so I was excited to find Amy Pak's unit entitled History of Holidays from Homeschool in the Woods ( This CD-ROM allows you to make an actual lesson for holidays instead of the typical coloring page or crossword puzzle, and the lessons are more fun than any word puzzle ever thought of being. Each holiday lesson shares history and actual hands-on activities that can be enjoyed by all ages. Best of all, it is created by Amy Pak, who is well-known for her high-quality art and educational helps. The activity creations aren't the kind that get stuck to the refrigerator and then discarded a month later; these are treasures for notebooking and for keepsakes. . . .


Most lessons include one or two pages of text, providing background information and history for the holiday to be studied. The Christmas unit includes four pages of text, and these include a chart comparing Old Testament verses of prophecy with New Testament verses that fulfill those prophecies. Each holiday is beautifully shared, and though the study is geared toward elementary-level students, I had students ranging from kindergarten through eighth grade who thoroughly enjoyed the lessons. . . .


Read the rest of the review here. Win this CD-ROM for your family!



Email Deb with your name and mailing address and the subject, "History of Holidays" for a chance to win* this CD-ROM!


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Magazine, LLC ("Company") is sponsoring the April Contest Central contest running from April 1, 2011, to April 30, 2011. You must be 18 years of age or older and follow all rules to participate. Entering the contest constitutes full and complete acceptance of, and a warranty that the entrant has read, understands and agrees to, all contest terms and conditions, including without limitation all of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC Contest Rules ("Official Rules") and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Writer Guidelines and Terms and Conditions for Submitting Queries. All Official Rules apply. Entry also constitutes full consent and unlimited permission for Company to print, publish, broadcast and use all intellectual property and personal information submitted as part of the Contest entry on the Internet and in any and all Company publications in accordance with the Rules. Entries become the sole property of Company and will not be returned. Employees and independent contractors of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, Contest sponsors, individuals or entities furnishing Contest prizes and their family members may not participate in this contest. Company reserves the sole, discretionary right to determine contest winners and to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the contest or the Rules at any time with or without notice or cause, subject to applicable law. See Official Rules for details.

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