Are you homeschooling highschool or preparing for it? Today, I’m sharing five crucial lessons I taught my kids during their high school homeschooling years. These insights might help you view highschool from a fresh perspective and focus on what truly matters. While your priorities might differ, these lessons offer a solid starting point. Tune in to discover the top five lessons I taught my kids during homeschooling high school.

Top 5 Lessons I taught in Homeschooling Highschool

When homeschooling, every year we considered if it was right for us to keep on homeschooling.  We kept doing this until we entered highschool with our eldest, Joshua. Many homeschooling parents feel the pressure when highschool arrives, fearing they should have it all figured out, knowing what happens is important and will impact the rest of their child’s life. 

As Joshua reached around year nine or ten (2nd or 3rd year of high school), we realized homeschooling was our long-term commitment. This shift prompted me to change the questions I asked myself:  Instead of asking ourselves if homeschooling was right for us, we questioned if our current plans aligned with our children’s needs. So my question wasn’t about homeschooling per se, but was checking that we were making the right plans for how we were homeschooling.

 

Aligning Choices with Purpose

I think looking at our why or “why are we still homeschooling?” is a really important question for all families to ask as they head into the highschool years and the follow-up question is always: “Are we making plans and choices that help us reach our why?

Before we explore the top five lessons, we need to know our purpose of highschool. It’s not solely about getting a job or career – or getting into university for training for that job. I certainly wanted those things for our kids but when I stepped back and thought about the highschool years, it is really just school for teenagers.

As a homeschooler, I had the opportunity to look at it differently. You’ve probably heard me say that the strength of our homeschooling is based on the strength of our parenting, and so coming into highschool years is exactly the same. The strength of my highschool homeschooling was going to be as strong as my parenting my teenage children.

So I approached highschool with the question – What does this child need to do well in the next season of their life? Of course, that includes getting a job or getting training for said job, but the job isn’t the be-all and end-all of the next season of their life, and I wanted to keep that in mind.  

Top Five Lessons for Highschool Homeschooling

I’ve created this list as Peter and I reflected back on what we did, and what our kids actually benefited from in their next season of life.

 

1. Faith and Character Development

Transitioning to highschool doesn’t stop the importance of growing in faith and character. These things are important throughout all life – not just in Primary School. Faith and character are lifelong personal growth issues, and we wanted our children to have that understanding but also to know that Adulting in general is about walking your faith and living out your character, with your values. We wanted them to take ownership of these things.

In the teen years, in the highschool years, it’s very much about helping them take ownership for their faith, dig their own wells. That was a message that really struck my heart when I was in, I think about year 10 or 11, was that I had to dig my own wells in terms of my faith. I couldn’t stand on my parents’ faith, though of course, that’s a huge blessing that I grew up in a Christian home and and learned the things of God in my childhood and in my youth, but I had to dig my own wells. I had to have my own relationship with God and my children are exactly the same as are yours. 

Faith is how we relate to Jesus and how we live because of our relationship with Jesus. And character is how we relate to people, how we care for our responsibilities based on our moral values. As a Christian, my moral values are based on what God sees as right, so they’re kind of intertwined but also separate. We need to help our children find an expression of faith and character in their expanding world. Because that’s one of the characteristics of the teen years, of the highschool years is that our children’s world is expanding. 

I still prioritized a significant amount of their study time into studying from a Christian or Biblical perspective, including Bible study. One of the changes that happened between primary school and highschool, though, was that they were looking at how to study the Bible and how to find answers to the questions that they had.

Though my children all had faith through their teen years, they asked plenty of questions, they had doubts. They wanted to be sure that what they were told as a child they understood and wanted to believe that as a teenager moving into their young adult years. So their daily Bible study, not their devotions, but their Bible study, which was a part of our homeschool rhythm was mostly around books that helped you grow as a Christian and the Spiritual disciplines.

But while they lived in our home, we expected basic common courtesy of how they related to each other and to us, how they cared for other people and handled their responsibilities. I still held them accountable to think about their choices, both their physical and their attitude choices. Just because they were in highschool, they weren’t exempt from that family standard of how we interacted with each other and other people. 

My highschoolers were interested in knowing more about the Bible and having a relationship with Jesus. So it wasn’t me pushing that on them. If your kids aren’t interested, if your teenagers aren’t interested, I’d probably still study character and have Family Devotions, but you can’t Bible Bash your teenagers, it will backfire on you. 

There is no one-size-fits-all all. It’s something you have to think about, process and see where your teenager is at. But I would say maintaining faith and character as a part of their homeschooling studies was an important part of their learning.

 

2. Learning Skills and Curiosity

Primary school was about learning the skills to learn and our focus was General Knowledge. Of course they did their learning to read, their phonics, their handwriting, the grammar, maths and typing and history, geography, from a broad general knowledge perspective.

But in highschool, this broad general knowledge became more focused on the individual strengths and interests. But the skills of learning stepped up as well. So we looked at things like time management, research, note-taking, critical thinking, digital literacy and wise habits about the internet and screen time. We worked on having a teachable attitude so they could learn from others and not think they had it all sorted themselves. 

And then there’s the skill of self-reflection. I know that my kids found in further adult learning institutions Learning Journals were a big part of learning these days, but in our homeschooling they learnt to record what they were learning, to record what they were thinking, and so that transitioned into university Learning Journals quite easily. 

In highschool the kids had more input in how they studied and what they studied within the scope of what I saw was appropriate or necessary for their age and abilities. They did have to fit in with some family commitments but they had more autonomy to plan their study blocks of time so I pretty much gave them their study blocks and then they managed what they studied when and how within that as long as they were available for whatever they needed to join the family.

I did try and have one-on-one catch-ups each week with the highschoolers to see how they were going and what they were struggling with and how I could help them. This helped keep them accountable but also kept me in the loop because ultimately I was still responsible for them even though they were independent learners. So I needed to know where they were up to and where I needed to step in to help them or redirect them. 

 

3. Nurturing a Biblical Worldview

A Biblical Worldview is applying God’s Word to how we understand or see ourselves, the world and our place in the world.  It’s how to look through the lens of the Bible to see the world and all that is in it and how it is functioning.

In highschool there was an opportunity to take that concept of a Biblical worldview, and help them see their particular interest or field of interest with a Biblical worldview. So each of my children was interested in different things: philosophy, humanities, apologetics, businesss and art. They were probably the main areas that we helped each of them see those topics through the lens of God and His Word, how God saw those things.

Some of the key skills that they needed to be able to do that was a general knowledge of the Bible (Biblical literacy). They also needed to learn how to apply God’s Word to their personal life, because we believe that God had something to say about every area of life including the things that they were actually doing and that set the groundwork for them to then see the other fields of study that they were interested in pursuing maybe for a career, or maybe just out of interest through God’s eyes too. How God saw those things, and what was God’s truth in that field of study? 

We also discussed other religions and worldviews, so there were critical thinking discussions as we compared worldviews and their implications on society. I had them read books written by Christians in those fields of interest. So, whether it was politics, defense like war strategy, business, leadership, ministry, art all of those things we found people who had written books addressing those issues from a biblical perspective, and that was a part of their highschool curriculum.

My hope was that as they moved into adult education they would be prepared to stand on their faith even if they were the only ones in the room.

 

4. Effective Communication Through Writing

It was important to me for my children to be able to think and talk and write, to be able to communicate ideas. I didn’t worry too much about the structure of an essay. What was important to me was that they knew how to research, think, answer questions, and to take thoughts out of their head and put them down on paper. Each university has a different take and even different disciplines have different takes on essays. Sometimes you even get a lecturer that wants things written a certain way, so I didn’t give them a definite way to write. Instead, we gave them the bare bones. I wanted them to be able to write a well-structured sentence, a well-structured paragraph, and a basic five-paragraph essay. But the most important thing was that they could think, find answers, and put their thoughts into words. 

Now, the downside of that was that they didn’t learn to answer questions that they didn’t want to answer or weren’t interested in answering. So if I were going to do it again, I would probably at least introduce them to that idea to let them know that university assignments aren’t actually about what you want to write about, they are about what the lecturer wants you to write about. And so that puts a slightly different twist on it. But my kids have all done fine with delivering university-level assignments. They could write because they could think, and then put their thoughts down on paper.

 

5. Valuing Volunteering Efforts

Volunteering was another aspect that I encouraged our highschoolers to participate in – whether it was in the community or in the church, and as they did so, they developed and fine-tuned skills: practical and relational skills such as teamwork, leadership, punctuality, communication and organization, problem-sovling, time management, planning – as well as feeling and being aware of others – empathy, compassion, kindness, generosity etc.  All these things (and more) come to the fore when you get involved in something bigger than yourself, and I think that is an important things for these years.

Often teenagers can become so self-absorbed and to have a regular opportunity to volunteer, to give to other people, regardless of the context of that volunteering, then that helps them see the world as a bigger place than just themselves and their dreams and their ideas and their goals. So that was an important family lifestyle that we made time to volunteer in our community. And of course, the different kids volunteered in different ways, but it was a part of what we prioritized.

Homeschool Highschool gives you unique opportunities

So there you have it. There are five things that I felt were important to teach our children or teach our teenagers when they are in the highschool years. Usually, we would think it’s important to have a highschool level of math, they need to understand each of the main civilizations in history, do a certain level of science, and so forth to make it a successful highschool experience. But I believe if you teach your children these five things, then they will have the wherewithal to handle the other subjects when necessary for them.

Each child, of course, is going to be different as to what really is necessary for them to study, to be prepared for the next season of their life. But we don’t want to prepare just the person who’s able to hold a position at a university class. We don’t want to just have a brain walking around, well developed, well informed, with good skills. We want a whole person who can engage with people, who can look after their personal responsibilities. 

You know, adulting is all about managing your time, your personal health and well-being, your resources, your money and your property. We want our children to be able to be responsible. We want our teens to transition into adulting. So we need to prep them. And that’s what highschool years are about, it is prepping them for the next season of their life, which includes some academic stuff, but not only those things. So we want to make sure that we continue to give them a holistic education, not just an academic school life. 

Heart-focused Action Step

So a heart-focused action step for this week is to ask yourself what your thinking about highschool is, clarify with yourself how you see homeschool highschool.

What is the most important thing for you in highschool? 

And then ask yourself are the choices that you’re making either reflecting that why or building up towards it?

If you aren’t at highschool level just yet, you’re preparing for highschool. We’re always preparing for the next season of our children’s lives. So primary school is preparing for highschool. Highschool is preparing for young adult life. So if you’re still in primary school, are you doing the things that are necessary for your children to do well in highschool?

If you’re in highschool, are you doing the things necessary that will prepare your children to do well in their young adult life?

Follow on Social Media:

 

0 Comments

Let me know your thoughts...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The download link is on it's way.

Individual Education Planning Worksheets - brainstorming every area of your child's life.

Get your Planning Worksheets

I will email you the download link so you can start looking at all the different spheres of your child's life before you make any curriculum choices. 

The download link is on it's way.

An Alternative to Chocolate

An Alternative to Chocolate

Not that I have anything against chocolate - but these jelly beans can help your kids share the message of Jesus, his love, death and resurrection at Easter time.  

The download link is on it's way.

Parent Guide: How to make your Family Bible Study Really Work

Family Bible Study is Tricky with all the Different Ages

 

But there is a way to make this a rich learning and bonding family time.  This Guide includes tips, planning worksheet, and discussion prompts.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download yourCharacter Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download your Character Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

The download link is on it's way.

Download your Cheat Sheet

 

A quick reference to help you discern between a heart attitude and a lack of skill for when your child loses it!

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on its way.

Make God your First Response

Print out this parenting reminder to call out to God in the middle of the moment.

I'm excited to share this download with you. Watch your inbox.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

 

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Our children hear different words when we react to when we respond. Do your children hear blah blah blah when you correct them? Includes a parenting poster.

Download Parenting Poster

 

When we Respond instead of React we find a way to deal with the heart not just behaviour.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Character Lesson Guide

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

When family relationships get tense - look for the niggles.

Heart Focused Parenting Resource for the Intentional Parent

 

Your download will arrive in your inbox shortly. 

Print it out and use to teach the hearts of your kids.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Free Email Course

Daily emails  (6 days) to help you walk towards being a heart focused homeschool family!

You have joined the email course. Watch your email inbox!

Find ways to Re-engage your Student

Download this checklist and stir your child's curiosity

Watch your Inbox - the Checklist is on it's way!

FREE Parenting Worksheet

This worksheet will help you move from addressing behaviour to really parenting the heart, one issue at a time.

 

 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Personal growth starts with an honest assessment

The download link is on it's way. Please check your email.

Give Effective Consequences

Think before you React

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

 

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

One Another Verses

Be Intentional in the Teen Years

Use this Cheat Sheet to remind you of how you can love your teen.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

#14 Heart Booster from Resource Library

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Download your copy

Download your copy

Blending Life and Lessons - and start your journey of changing your thinking about education.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Download: One Another Verses pdf

Download this list of One Another verses and teach your children how to love others.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Raising Kids with Character

ATTEND LIVE : FREE PARENTING WORKSHOP

A bonus for Heart Booster readers:  Learn how to teach character to your kids so that they can live their lives making values-based choices.

 

Live Session:  5th May 2021, 6.30pm AWST

Replay available until 16th May 2021

 

I'm so excited about this workshop - thanks for joining me!

Raising Kids with Character

REPLAY OPTION : FREE PARENTING WORKSHOP

A bonus for Heart Booster readers:  Learn how to teach character to your kids so that they can live their lives making values-based choices.

 

Replay available from 6th May until 16th May 2021

 

I'm so excited about this workshop - thanks for joining me!

Raising Kids with Character

WAITLIST

 

The Raising Kids with Character parenting workshop will be offered again this year - details yet to be confirmed.  Join the waitlist so you don't miss out. 

I will keep in you in the loop as soon as decisions have been made!

Bonus Reading list

 

Sharing my Homeschool Belief File

Knowing what you believe and why about education and homeschooling helps you make good decisions.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Build your Family Routine
Starter Kit:

Assess and Plan how to use your time wisely with this worksheet bundle.

Instant download, and then join the Heart Boost Weekly, by confirming in your email.

Success! An email link is being sent to you!

Success! An email is on it's way!

Free email course

... delivered to your email inbox

Success! An email is on it's way!

Download: Family Devotional Activities (PDF)

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Download:Workshop Resource

This is a digital product. Download and print - but please don't share. 

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

#21 Heart Booster from Resource Library

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Free email course

... delivered to your email inbox

Success! An email is on it's way!

FreePrintable Posters

... delivered to your email inbox

Success! An email is on it's way!