View Full Version : OT: Clicky here if you are homeschooled...

11-21-2007, 01:41 AM
If you are of high school age and are homeschooled, how did you get started? What program do you use? Do you have to pay... Do you do it on the computer or on paper... Stuff like that...

I want to start homeschooling when Im a sophmore next year but my family has never homeschooled before so we don't know what to do. Help us out!! Please?

Becky Morgan
11-21-2007, 02:06 AM
We homeschool. Son is about to turn 18, so this will be his senior year. How you go about it depends a whole lot on state law.
How did we get started? We were always kind of thinking about it, anbd after the school was nasty with the kid at his kindergarten screening, we decided he was never going there. And he didn't.
How do we do it? I haven't really taught him anything for years, in spite of being a former teacher. Once he could read, write and use a computer, he was off to the races on his own. The neat thing about homeschooling is that you can shape it to what you want and where you plan to go after high school. Ours wants to run his own repair business, so he's working on business management, market study and all that good stuff along with the machine shop part of his work. If you're planning to go to college, the military or anything specific, check in with them now and ask how they'd like you to keep records. A little advance planning does wonders.
How much does it cost? It doesn't have to cost anything. You *can* sign up with one of the online schools, but you don't HAVE to. Don't pay for anything unless you can't find it free somewhere:D...you'd be shocked at how much free stuff is on the Net, especially if you have broadband. We don't, nor can our entire area get it, and it cuts us off from a lot we could be doing.
You're old enough that you can probably take community college classes or college courses on the Net or by correspondence, or take AP or Regents' exams to get college credit by examination. . Not only is it a good way to get your high school work done, it's a great way to build up college credit before you go. See if this helps:


Homeschooling may not be for the fainthearted, and it won't work for everyone, but it does work for most people, sometimes a lot better than some schools I know.

11-21-2007, 09:56 AM
The big question: Why do you want to be homeschooled?

11-21-2007, 03:25 PM
Like Britty said, it could be helpful if you told us why you want to be homeschooled.

[long, long ramble ahead]

I went into Independent Studies (ISP) starting in 10th grade, like you're planning. (ISP just means that I don't have a real teacher, just someone to assign me work, unlike homeschool which to me, means you have a teacher that comes to your home, to give you lectures and things). I'm really glad I did; I was able to experience them both, and honestly pick which I liked the most (I had the option of returning to public for 11th and 12th, if I didn't enjoy ISP in 10th).

Getting into it was relatively easy. I talked to one of the counsellors, who told me flat out that I would HATE ISP because the course work is not very challenging. She desperately tried to convince me that I would be miserable and staying in public school was the only option for me.
Other than having to politely disagree with and ignore her attempts to talk me out of it, my mum and I both had to write a letter to the school district explaining why I wanted to go into ISP, which wasn't very hard either.

Once that went through, I basically just went to ISP the start of the year instead of public school. As to which school I went to, I unfortunately did not have many options; the only official school that had an ISP facet to it was the continuation/adult school, so I had to choose between going there for like 10 minutes a week, or going to one of the non-official, very religious places, which I wasn't comfortable with. (or going to a better official school that was far enough away to cause a lot of stress getting to it)

Because I was technically going to a public school still (the continuation one), it was entirely free, although I think if you go the private-school route, you'd probably have to pay

How the homework and stuff was actually done was such; once a week I would go in to see one of the ISP 'teachers', who would assign me work to do (same subjects and textbooks my friends at public took). Because I only went in once a week, the course load was rather light (think homework for three days, instead of five), but I was always given homework for every subject (I ended up taking 8 classes per semester, since I had the time). Most of the homework were paper packets that I was given, and either had to write directly in the packet, or just on a sheet of notebook paper. Personally, I opted to type as many long written assignments as I could, just because I prefer too, but the only class I was required to, was for the typing class.

So obviously my counsellor had a point, since my work was very easy. But what she apparently didn't take into consideration was the fact that I now had much more free time, with which to study other subjects. I basically taught myself a whole range of subjects I found interesting those three years (knitting included, hahah), and I really do think it helped me a lot, now that I'm in college (my spelling, grammar, and typing abilities improved almost instantly, which I'm most happy about)

And on the topic of college; I, perhaps stupidly, did not do the 'apply to as many colleges as you can, and do all the things you will use as reasoning to get in' during my last three years, partly because it never occurred to me that it was that serious (the only person I knew doing it, was my friend with a very overbearing mother who has always forced her to do weird things no one else bothers with), and because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do then, but I knew I did NOT want to go to college far enough away where I had to live there straight out of highschool.

Instead I started taking classes at the community college in my senior year, which was a good idea for me, because not only were my assessment tests scores high enough to stop them questioning the fact that I came from the dreaded continuation school, but I was willingly signing up for classes whilst still in highschool, which the admissions people thought was so admirable. Thus I was able to be enrolled without much todo.

The transition from highschool to college was incredibly easy, especially since I took all online classes my first few semesters, because I was so much more familiar with doing all my work on my own, than sitting in a classroom. But once I started taking regular, on-campus courses, it was not difficult to get used to at all (although I'm still weirded out by the lack of homework sometimes, hahah).

Unfortunately, there is a bit of stigma toward people who were in homeschool/ISP, and usually concerns about 'social awkwardness' and 'ability to function like a normal person' and the like come up. So if you are likely to have family members (no matter how distant) that don't 'get it', you'll need to practice what reasoning you're going to give them. I always hated this part, since the truth (in my case) was NOT good enough for these people, but a 'witty retort' just made them mad, so I had to just lie out my teeth.

It also has the risk of carrying over to colleges, so you may have to work extra-hard to prove there is not something 'wrong' with you.

Although it's entirely possible that had I gone the 'religious school-based' route, I wouldn't have to deal with people questioning my abilities or reasoning, since religious schools seem to equal 'prestigious' in most people I know eyes'....

I hope my very long ramble has helped some. As a former ISP-er, I really encourage people who are looking into it, since I am absolutely sure that had I stayed in public highschool, I would be an entirely different, and much worse, person. And obviously this is not the case for most people, but for the few of us, being away from whatever in highschool that's making you that uncomfortable, does only positive things.

Oh and having the support of at least one parent makes the world of difference, so if your whole direct family supports this, then you are very fortunate.

And just another side-note, utilise every resource you can to gain new knowledge; be it watching shows on like History Channel, or checking out loads of books from the library, or via the internet (a very good resource, if used cautiously). These, above anything I learned in highschool, are what helped me the most now that I'm in college.

And for reference, I'm 19 now, about to graduate from my two-year college with an Associate in Science, and I'm set up to transfer to a four-year, to continue my quest for nerddom.

11-21-2007, 07:27 PM
I would suggest checking with the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (www.hslda.org) to see what the legalities are in your area. Different states have different laws about homeschooling. HSLDA also has some information on getting started homeschooling (http://www.youcanhomeschool.org/starthere/default.asp).

Homeschooling isn't easy, but it can definitely be worth it. Like anything else, homeschooling is as good as you make it.

psammeadred, a homeschool graduate and college graduate

11-24-2007, 04:03 PM
I have 2 homeschooled teens. I highly recommend the book The Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn (sp?) (Google the book title, you'll find it) It can totally change your perspective in how you approach learning in general let alone how to work through preparing yourself for any upper level education you may want to do.

My oldest is 15 and takes classes at the college. Not "college prep" or even "core curriculum" classes, but classes that spark her interest. Languages, art, theatre, mathematics. She's not very degree oriented and that's fine with me. I'd prefer her to be happy than "well rounded" (whatever that means!)