Contrary to popular belief, high school is not about graduation. It’s about preparation. High school is a time for preparing to leave home, enter a bigger world, and head off to college or a career. That is true for all students, but there are some unique tips that homeschool students should consider as they enter high school. These tips will help keep homeschool students focused and motivated, but also get them ready for their life beyond high school. These strategies go beyond the core subjects that students should be studying and into a different set of skills that they should be developing and living into. Be sure to discuss these guidelines with your homeschool students, before and during high school, as these will be critical to their later success.
Homeschooling is “real” school. Take it seriously. This is not a time to play too much, try to slide by without learning anything, or look for ways to play video and computer games all day without anyone knowing it. You will know it, and you will suffer for it if you do. As a homeschooler, you have the opportunity to learn and grow in knowledge in a profoundly individualized way, and you should be taking every opportunity to develop a habit of learning. Take your courses seriously. Focus on solid and challenging core academic subjects, and learn and practice effective note taking habits, study skills, and testing techniques. You will need these skills!
Pay attention to the big picture. You are not just working through a checklist of high school courses. You are preparing to be absolutely on your own in a world that looks for ways to “weed out” those who are unprepared. What do you need to be ready? What subjects do you need to add in? What skills will you need to manage your money, your living, your diet? Once you know what you are going to need to become independent post-homeschooling, you will be better able to determine how to get those things now. Then, after you have determined your goals, and the needs you will have to reach them, you can begin working on the details of those steps. Don’t operate in reverse. You have to keep the long-range plan in front of you as a homeschooler or you will end up lost in details and going nowhere.
Learn how to manage your time. Post-high school students, whether homeschooled or not, have said that one of the biggest hindrances to their success has been wasting time. As a homeschool student, you have the ability to determine which subject you will work on in the morning, which in the after lunch time block, etc. You will be able to identify when you do certain things with more efficiency. Many tasks can be done faster and more efficiently if you know how to manage your time. For example, writing an essay can take much less time, if you pre-write your theses and take examples of online essays (https://thewritemyessay.com/do-my-essay/ ). You will also be able to set your schedule to allow the time needed for each task, particularly if you have set the long-range plan in place, mapped out the goals, and are focusing on the details. One of those details is using your time well.
And finally, learn to work more in the areas where you are weak while taking advantage of your strengths. Most students focus on where they are strong and hope that will “see them through,” but a more effective approach would be to do this in reverse. As a homeschool student, you can spend additional time and energy in those course subjects where you have more trouble. You can build up your weaknesses until they are no longer weak areas. At the same time, push yourself in those areas where you are already strong. You will become a stronger, more capable student and you will find that you work yourself out of any weaknesses this way!
As a homeschool student, you may or may not realize it, but you are your biggest investment. You have the unique opportunity to focus on your needs and to take the time to invest in yourself in a way that no other type of students will have. Having the focused energy to do this, the diligence to carry out your plan, and the flexibility of time and schedules that can be adapted to suit your goals are some of the gifts and blessings you have as a homeschooler. Realize this, but then do your job well!