Homeschool Essentials for High School
©1994-2005 by Ed Dickerson, all rights reserved.
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“Let me begin by saying that you have been a breath of fresh air.” --S. Z.
Unschool High School?
Summer Before High School?

Can you unschool highschool?

The answer depends upon the goals you and the student have set. See more below.

Never Too Late to Detox

If you haven't detoxed already, or especially if you're just beginning homeschooling at highschool age, you'll want to do so this summer. Summer is a natural detox time anyway, so it will be a little easier.

Detoxing: Shatter Schoolish Thinking that Crushes Creativity and Limits Learning 40 pp. $3.25 ppd.

Tell me more about Detoxing.

Goalsetting time!

“I highly recommend [Destinations] for families just starting to homeschool or experiencing burnout and wondering why.” – Ann Zeise

If you haven’t set goals yet, I recommend you do so immediately. There are a number of ways to do this. Of course, my guidebook, “Destinations” has forms and instructions on how to go about this.

However you do it, setting goals cannot begin too early. Parents should start the process before children are school age. By the time the learner reaches adolescence, say 11 or 12 years of age, they should be included in the goal-setting process.

As I continually emphasize, raising children is a process of transferring responsibility. The more responsibility for learning you can transfer, and the earlier you can safely do it, the better for all concerned. By the time children reach highschool age, it is essential that they assume most of the responsibility for their own learning.

Especially if college is a goal, then putting the student in charge of his/her own learning NOW is essential. Why? Because unlike high school, colleges don’t assing study periods, they don’t count you truant if you skip class–in short, the college student is in charge of his/her education. It’s a good thing to give your learner some practice at that ahead of time.

Leaders of business and industry know that if you want enthusiastic performance, give people ownership. Letting the student set his/her own goals gives them ownership of those goals. The goal-setting itself will be a valuable learning experience. More?

What About College?

The college recruiter sat at our kitchen table,

. . . completing financial arrangements for our son. “Could you connect me to the homeschool community?” he asked. “Frankly, we’d like to get as many of these kids as we can.” I had to smile. Fifteen years before, when I spoke on homeschooling before a teacher’s group, a skeptic asked me, “Are you going to be upset when your kid reaches college age, and isn’t qualified to get in?” In the intervening years, homeschooled young people buried those doubts under an avalanche of achievement. Thus the recruiter at my table.

Lobbying the Iowa legislature in 1990, I circulated a letter from a prestigious college stating that they found “homeschool students thrive in our intellectually challenging atmosphere.” A popular homeschooling web site lists more than 1000 colleges and universities that accept homeschool applicants. But acceptance hardly describes the eager attitude of many colleges. As I write this, my two college age children have repeatedly been offered scholarships to attend colleges and universities large and small. A college registrar told a colleague of mine, “Basically, we're looking for a way to say "yes" to homeschoolers.

Many institutions of higher learning still don’t know exactly how to factor homeschool and unschool performance into their admissions calculations. The number and quality of homeschool applicants demand that they do so. Twenty years ago, admissions people began with a neutral or negative presumption about homeschool students. Today they know better. You need not worry about college for your successful homeschool student. More?