Homeschool parents sometimes shy away from teaching advanced classes at home. Especially during the high school years, parents may question themselves as teachers, citing a lack of experience in certain subjects, or the inability to remember much of anything they learned in high school anyway.
Even with an expensive curriculum and a great set of lesson plans in hand, it is very common for parents to question their own ability to understand high school material. Feeling they must be able to “teach” the material and be qualified to help solve problems, too, the anxiety over teaching the tough stuff can be too much for some parents to bear.
In these cases, one of two things usually happens: (1) either parents end up teaching weakly diluted versions of tough courses — not rigorous enough to qualify as high school work — by using easier texts or teaching only chapters they can understand; or, (2) they omit advanced courses from the high school curriculum altogether.
So, while most homeschooled teens receive a top-notch education in high school, at least in some homes, teens are being under-served.
Do you understand the impact of skipping the tough stuff in high school?
Let me explain how this practice is both counter-productive and unfair:
Avoiding advanced coursework in high school means teens may miss out on key classes needed for college, jobs, and adult life.
Imagine a student applying to college without the high school prerequisites, and not getting in? Imagine a student managing to land a job after high school, but missing the important skills to really be successful?
Skipping upper-level classes can rob students of great experiences.
Imagine a student not taking a class he might have excelled in? Imagine a student not being exposed to a subject she might have really loved? Now imagine if those same students had chosen those areas to major in at university, leading to careers they really enjoyed — but were never given that opportunity?
Avoiding hard work teaches nothing, except how to avoid hard work.
What’s wrong with struggling anyway? Will everything in life always be easy? Children whose parents gloss over the tough stuff may be more apt to do it themselves. Teens who are taught how to escape hard work may never know the satisfaction of conquering something really tough on their own.
When homeschooling high school, there is NOTHING wrong with a parent admitting he or she cannot teach a class, and finding other ways for their students to learn.
Do you know anyone who can teach everything?
When approaching tough subjects in high school, just assume there is a way for your teen to learn without you, and set out to find it. You will.
Even the toughest high school classes (think: Physics, Calculus, AP U.S. History or Macro-Economics) can be successfully taught in homeschool with little help from parents at all. Research tells us that students succeed in homeschooling regardless how much education their parents have anyway.
There is no need to shy away from the tough stuff any more. Let me know if you need help finding the right products.
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