Have any of you ever watched the movie ‘Miracle?’ It’s a 2004 movie starring Kurt Russell. He plays the US Olympics Hockey Team Coach, Herb Brooks, who leads the young men under his charge to victory against the Russian team in the 1980 Winter Olympics. The Americans won gold that year; they were vastly considered under-dogs as the Russians were a formidable team greatly feared by all who played them. Two of my favorite quotes from the movie are:
Great moments… are born from great opportunity. And that’s what you have here, tonight, boys. That’s what you’ve earned here tonight. One game. If we played ’em ten times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight, we stay with them. And we shut them down because we can! Tonight, we are the greatest hockey team in the world. You were born to be hockey players. Every one of you. And you were meant to be here tonight. This is your time. Their time is done. It’s over. I’m sick and tired of hearing about what a great hockey team the Soviets have…This is your time. Now go out there and take it.
Two days later the miracle was made complete. My boys defeated Finland to win the gold medal, coming from behind once again… I’ve often been asked in the years since Lake Placid what was the best moment for me. Well, it was here – the sight of 20 young men of such differing backgrounds now standing as one. Young men willing to sacrifice so much of themselves all for an unknown. A few years later, the U.S. began using professional athletes at the Games – Dream Teams. I always found that term ironic because now that we have Dream Teams, we seldom ever get to dream. But on one weekend, as America and the world watched, a group of remarkable young men gave the nation what it needed most – a chance, for one night, not only to dream, but a chance, once again, to believe.
I want to focus on two words for one minute: Opportunity and Believe. While you read the five reasons why you can homeschool high school, let those two words percolate in your mind as you grab a cup of tea, sit back and relax.
1.) You can do it.
We were always a homeschooling family, and things weren’t going too badly at all until high school came along. The naysayers came out in droves then. People asked what I was going to do for Math and Science. After all, I didn’t have a Science background. They wondered if our children’s college prospects would dim with such an ‘education.’ Yeah, you’ve all heard it too, I’m sure. I always thought it strange that not one of them ever offered to teach those hard courses so that our kids could get into college. But, I’m here to tell you today that you can do it. Our kids are in college now and doing well.
Some people would say that moms are intimidated by the prospect of teaching high school. I understand that fear. It doesn’t help that we moms have been told that this accomplishment is best left up to the experts. Well, too many of us have been listening to that spiel for decades. Unfortunately, what the experts have produced have not encouraged nor comforted us; their assurances ring hollow in the face of another school shooting, another high school teacher sex scandal, another school district misappropriating education dollars, another teen bullying scandal ending in death and yet another year of sub-standard student performance in Math, Science and English with the requisite excuses.
Are you tired of it all moms? I know I am. Yet, so many of us are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Some of us are already bogged down with stressful jobs, maybe we have a special needs child at home, maybe our financial circumstances are in thebred zone, and maybe our marriages aren’t going too great at the moment too. I know we’ve been through all of that. I’m no different than all of you. Just like you, I want good things for my family, I want my marriage to be happy and most of all, I want to see my own children thrive and navigate successful adult lives with courage and wisdom.
So, this first tip says, ‘ You can do it.’ I want to reiterate the importance of telling you this. Once you decide to press on, your perseverance each day will determine success. This holds true whether you’re good at Math and Science or you can’t tell the difference between a beaker and a pipette. In future posts, I will show you how you can homeschool high school with tools already out there, whether you can homeschool full time, part-time or just help your child with homework.
2) You don’t have to know everything.
No, you don’t. Sure, it’s still hard work, but the main reason you are doing this is to train your kids to be able to navigate the adult world with confidence and courage. Naysayers might say that sending them to school does that. No, it doesn’t . All it does is prepare them to navigate a small segment of the population not always indicative of the real world. Our schools are bogged down with politically correct rules, and I see young people graduating high school without the tools of financial responsibility, the social graces and skills which make for a smooth transition to the work world, or the ability to interface with people of all ages, circumstances and origins. School is just a small sub-section of society.
I went to public school and I can remember being devastatingly shy. I was always in the ‘uncool’ group, and definitely not in step with the current norms created by the cool kids of yesteryear. However, in our homeschool, we taught our kids to be the ones to set the norms instead. The ones who would tell others to do the right thing, whether it was cool or not.
3) You will never regret it.
It’s hard to go through the day to day motions and not feel discouraged. Oh yes, we had late homeworks and days of shoddy work as well. You might think it should never happen. But it does, doesn’t it? It’s part and parcel of homeschooling. Life has always been a battleground. It has never been any less so just because others think you should send your kids to high school. In my town, parents have to deal with drugs in our local high school, peer bullying and under-aged smoking. How about sex education? The schools are deciding when, how and what your child learns about porn, marriage, and pedophilia. Well, what’s a mom to do? What if you ARE satisfied with the high school your child goes to or you have little ones that you are currently homeschooling and you just cannot handle the extra high school load now? No problem. Just keep the lines of communication open with your high school teenager. It’s what they need more than anything else. Be a safe place for them to ask questions, no matter how uncomfortable those questions are. The relationship you forge with them will give you great comfort and courage when they’re far away in college in the future and you’re missing them greatly. You will never regret it because they will never forget that you were there for them.
Homeschooling high school can be a daunting task, but I promise you it’s something you will never regret doing. Read Part 2 (coming soon) for a continuation of two more tips,along with personal anecdotes, and my personal philosophy about homeschooling high school.