This applies to neurotypical children, as well as those with special needs:
Let me tell you about our family, so you’ll see if we can homeschool high school, you can too! 🙂 Our family is a good example of non-traditional homeschooling. We started out pretty classic partway through the third grade with a rigid and rigorous re-create a brick-and-mortar school at home curriculum and ended up with an eclectic hodgepodge of classes and self-led learning that is a pretty common form of unschooling. We didn’t do any AP or dual credit classes, but we did pursue learning that my daughter was passionate about, including video game programming, robotics, engineering, and American Sign Language.
My daughter also has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of high-functioning autism, and a bunch of associated alphabet-soup labels, including visual and sensory difficulties, plus learning disabilities and language problems. She has OCD, stress, and anxiety issues. She has an autoimmune disease that attacks her hair and is very painful at times. We had to accommodate her learning styles, her abilities to perform certain tasks, and her response to pressure and stress. (See the article “How do I homeschool a child with learning disabilities?” for some hints on adapting your homeschooling to your child’s learning styles or differences.)
In addition, my daughter has had health problems her entire life, we skipped part of a year of schooling to care for her grandmother in the hospital and hospice the last months of her life, and she’s tagged along while I’ve been primary caregiver for her grandfather, especially her entire last year of high school. Oh, yeah, and she did a lot of extra work taking care of me when I was housebound with autoimmune disease for a year or so. Did I mention my daughter has Asperger’s Syndrome and doesn’t respond well to stress or change? Needs a lot of down time?
On top of all that, she has a mom (me!) who’s ADD and a bit scattered at times… maybe a little more than “at times!” 🙂
Did it work for us? You betcha! (Although we wondered at times… So if you’re wondering if you can do it – welcome to the club!) My daughter scored well on her ACT (math not so much!), earned scholarships, and was accepted into her university’s honors program. Did I mention we didn’t do any of the rigorous “Harvard at home” uber-schooling that some do. (If it works for them and they enjoy it, that’s great! We’d just have had a daughter and mom with nervous breakdowns if we had followed that route.)
If we can do it, you can too!
Not every homeschool student will choose to go to college, opting instead for apprenticeships, internships, immediate entry into the workplace, the military, or other life paths. But many homeschool graduates will choose to attend college.
Homeschooling is an effective and viable way to complete high school on your way to the college of your choice. It’s actually incredibly competitive, because you get to gear your education toward your future college interests. Not only that, but while most colleges eagerly accept homeschoolers, many actively recruit them, recognizing that homeschoolers have an edge in being successful in college. They are usually more mature, more willing to study and work at college, and more used to being self-motivated in their education and meeting goals.
“Gone are the days when homeschooling parents had to wonder if their children would be discriminated against by admissions boards. Homeschool graduates have been earning high marks at the most prestigious colleges for many years now. Gone, too, are the days when ‘college’ meant living on campus and receiving a traditional four-year degree. Young adults now have a world of ways to earn a college diploma—from correspondence schools to online degrees and ‘college at home.’”(http://www.hslda.org/highschool/college.asp)
This isn’t to say that homeschooling is perfect; in college, you’re going to have to work at recognizing inflexible deadlines and teachers who probably don’t care if you were sick, worked overtime, or had a real-life emergency. You can’t procrastinate or expect teachers to move deadlines. And getting a few days behind can seriously affect your entire semester. Public-school students will have those things to learn also, but they’ll probably have had a bit more experience with dealing with inflexible teachers, rather than a parent who might cut them some slack. Not a game-changer, though!
Okay, back to homeschooling high school. Does not going to an accredited high school affect your college admission? What are the requirements for high school graduation? Answers to these and more questions are given below!