While I am a recent graduate of homeschool high school, I have been homeschooled all my life. The fruits of my experience are endless and I am forever grateful to God for calling our family to this way of life. I am likewise grateful to my parents for embracing this call.
While providing our education, my parents have first and foremost tried to give us a love of learning. My mom adopted the motto: "We're homeschooing for Heaven, not Harvard". This means that their primary goal is first to teach us how to love God; academic achievement is just a plus.
Through homeschooling, we have learned to love God, love our Catholic Faith and love each other more. We have been blessed with the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the sacramental life as a family, to spend lots of time together and to choose our books from the top Catholic curriculum providers.
To put together a unique Catholic curriculum for our family, my mom has always used a mix of great books and resources from different curriculum providers: Seton, Catholic Heritage Curricula, Bethlehem Books, etc. There is a wealth of materials offered by these companies for Catholic home school families.
In addition to books, we've found field trips and unit studies great learning experiences for the whole family. Even preparing a meal or doing household chores are learning experiences. In fact, my parents term homeschooling "a way of life". Everything can be an educational experience.
My mom has been asked in the past how she teaches subjects that she doesn't know, or isn't strong in. The answer: mom doesn't always have to teach every subject herself. In high school, I took one year each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics with a group of high school peers. Each class was taught by another homeschooling parent with expertise in that subject area. My dad, who is an engineer and very strong in science and math, has spent a lot of hours tutoring me in those subjects. For Spanish, my older sister and I took classes at the community college.
To finish this description of my education, I would like to provide you with our answers to some frequently asked questions:
1. Are they socialized?
The way my mom would answer this question is: "Hey, talk to my kids for a few minutes, then ask me if they have a problem with socialization!"
Although we did not have the "normal school" experience of socialization, I believe we had a more enriching experience of socialization. Not only did we learn to socialize and interact with our peers, but with people of all ages. In fact, we have always had so many educational opportunities and social activities outside the home that we had to choose and prioritize what would be best for our education.
2. Do you give them test?
Our parents do give us tests. While taking classes outside the home, we had tests. In preparing my application for college, I studied for and took the SAT test.
3. What about P.E.?
There are plenty of creative ways to get physical education. My sisters and I are longtime members of the Little Flowers Catholic Dance and Theatre Troupe, which provides P.E. in the form of dancing. And how about a family hike, volleyball, Frisbee or baseball game?
4. How long will you homeschool?
My parents have always said that we'll be a homeschool family for as long as God wants us to be, which is probably forever. In fact, if He calls me to be the wife and mom of a family, I hope and pray that He calls me to homeschool my children, too.
5. They'll miss the prom!
What do you miss in a prom? A dance, a formal dinner, dressing up? We have the opportunity to do all these things at our annual Father-Daughter Ball. This highly-anticipated event is even better than prom because it fosters purity, as well as healthy relationships between dads and their daughters. We foster healthy friendships between guys and girls through other activities such as choir, music groups, theatrical plays, picnics, etc.
6. What about graduation?
Each year we have a wonderful graduation Mass and presentation of diplomas for all the eighth grade and high school graduates form our homeschool group. This beautiful Mass and ceremony far exceeds any secular graduation.
7. Can they go to college?
Yes, we can go to college. Homeschool graduates have gone on to graduate from colleges and universities with honors and degrees. They have gone on to become successful in all different walks of life. Many colleges are now even soliciting homeschool graduates because of their high academic achievement, cultivated social skills, active involvement in community service and all together well-rounded character formation.
To sum it all up, I wouldn't have wanted my high school years to be any other way.Return from Homeschool High School Sarah to Homeschool High School