View Full Version : Disussing the pros and cons with an always-homeschooled child

01-18-2013, 10:45 AM
My dd is 12 and would be in 7th grade if she were in school. She has homeschooled since kindergarten. I am fine with homeschooling her all the way through high school (though I'm a little nervous about giving her good lab science, since that's what she wants to pursue in college at this point.) She has no interest in attending classes at the public school -- not even part time at this time. However, she is starting to feel the sting of being left out of some of the "extras" that being in school provides. She played basketball in the Jr. Pro season, but can't be on the school team. She will eventually age out of city league softball as well (the other sport she loves.) Basketball has a homeschool option around here, although it is somewhat weak. For softball, it will eventually be the high school team or nothing. Friends are another issue. With a limited number of homeschool friends to choose from, she has had trouble finding a good, close friend. (She has lots of friendly acquaintances.)

I feel like it will soon be time to sit down with her and have a clear-eyed discussion of what she stands to gain and loose by her choice for high school. There are pros and cons of both sides, and I want her to understand them as much as possible. She will eventually have to choose between softball and homeschooling, for example, but I don't think she realizes that at this point. She has always homeschooled, so she doesn't have a good sense of what school is like -- both the good and the bad of it. We have a pretty good school here in our town, so I think there would be good things about choosing public high school. She is very academically oriented, for example, and I think she would enjoy some of the electives that the high school has to offer. But she likes to sleep in, and getting up early would be a huge con for her. There are many other examples of trade-offs in both directions that *I* can think of, but she has not really given any thought to any of it except that she doesn't want to get up early, lol.

Has anyone else navigated this decision with their middle-schooler? Suggestions on how to help your child realize that some decisions need to be taken thoughtfully because they have pretty big impacts on your life? I thought about maybe inviting a few people we know -- both those who are homeschooling high school and former homeschoolers who made the transition to public high school -- to have a discussion about their experiences, but I don't know if that would be too much. Thoughts?

Stella M
01-18-2013, 02:40 PM
Yes, we've btdt.

It was easy for us to identify the advantages, less easy to anticipate the disadvantages. Yes, we could explain about lack of sleep and ridiculous homework and mean girls and teachers and getting flack for being smart... but you've got to live it to get it, kwim ?

I think I would raise the issues in a casual, conversational way and see if your daughter shows an interest in following up.

01-18-2013, 03:35 PM
I have a 12 year old, also (and 11 and 10). None of them are inclined to go to high school at this point.
Would dual enrollment be an option for you?
We have pursued interests that can be maintained outside of school (scouts, ballet, piano, Chinese, German dance). Although, there are plenty of private league outlets for sports here, too, if they were at all inclined to play a sport. ;)

01-18-2013, 08:35 PM
If your dd hasn't voiced interest in going to ps I would be looking at what non-school options there might be around WRT her interests.

If she is academically oriented she might be better off considering paths such as running start or otherwise preparing her to start taking even one class a term through the local CC (esp math and science LABS) when she is high school age. She might be able to start that as early as sophomore year, which would also mean earning credit towards a college degree (which has pluses and minuses WRT both transcripts and scholarships, so research that).

Ninth grade is often just a plain 'ol terrible year for girls in school, and it can be a tough one to try to transition in esp if you are 'different'.

I'm biased though, since I've just watched my very socially adept ps-all-the-way teen niece go thru Hades (now a sophomore) due to bullying from another girl, etc (and my niece is 'popular' with tons of friends, ended up changing schools). I was one of those kids that viewed high school as something to tolerate and get through as quickly as possible, and finished in 3 years. OTOH I LOVED college and had no trouble making wonderful friends there. ;)

01-18-2013, 10:39 PM
If she's athletic enough to be really serious about a specific sport, I could see the reasons to go definitely. If it's just a hobby or she's someone who could be happy doing a number of athletic challenges, then I would look at ways to fulfill that outside of school. It's not uncommon for high school aged kids to be allowed on adult softball leagues for fun, for example. And some sports, like swimming, diving, tennis, etc. are things that kids do outside of school mostly. Just a thought.

01-19-2013, 12:25 PM
Thanks for all the thoughts. I appreciate it. My husband and I will have to give it some thought together and then have a conversation with her about putting together a plan.