Thursday, October 29, 2009

Homeschooling and High School

Parents thinking about homeschooling in the early years and then sending them off to the local high school for their last four years may want to rethink that strategy.

Drew Gamblin, a 16 year old gifted student, desires to go to the local public high school after being homeschooled. He hopes to experience "the memories" and graduate with his peers. Gamblin is being held back, however, because Howard High School refuses to recognize his home school and college credit and insists that he retake certain classes.

Drew, a child so gifted he taught himself to write at age 3, craves a high school education and all that comes with it -- debate team, music, drama and senior prom.

After a series of inexplicable decisions by Howard County school officials, such as requiring him to stay in a Howard High algebra class he had already mastered, his parents decided to home-school him and put him in college classes. But Drew insisted on his high school dream.

So he is back at Howard, although it's not clear what grade he is in, and the school district is making it hard to enjoy what the school has to offer. He is being forced to take a world history course he already took at Howard Community College and a junior-year English course he took at home, as well as classes in other subjects he has studied.

The school finally accepted his college Japanese courses after his parents persisted. They plan on appealing the board's decision but "that process could take months" costing him valuable time learning new subjects. Obviously, this was probably not the memory he was hoping to make.

As graduation requirements become more "rigorous" and accountability at the federal level intensifies, stories like Gamblin's will probably become much more common. A homeschooled young lady in our district was hoping to enter the local high school as a sophomore but was told she would have to repeat her entire freshman year. Her parents enrolled her in a private school instead.

Parents hoping to homeschool until their high school years and then enrolling their child in the public school may want to rethink that strategy. Their local school may not be as enthusiastic about the arrangement as you and your child.

However, the up side is that if you continue to homeschool you may find that many employers ARE enthusiastic about hiring homeschool teens because their schedules are flexible and their work ethic is excellent. An assistant general manager of a fitness club shares his experience here.

Also worth a read: An inspiring conversation between a Detroit inner-city homeschool graduate and an executive from the Detroit Public Schools while on the golf course. HSLDA also has a some helpful advice and newsletter devoted to homeschooling through high school.

Subscribe to SpunkyHomeschool by email

No comments: