Will homeschooling my teen cause them to miss out on the experiences I fondly remember from my high school days? Which activities are important to my student? What experiences I would like my high schooler to have?
With planning, homeschooling can provide as many—or even more—opportunities than a traditional school environment for your teen to learn, grow, and thrive!
Will my student find friends?
Extracurricular activities such as 4-H, Scouts, Civil Air Patrol, JROTC, part-time jobs, volunteer work, music lessons, theater productions, debate, youth groups, and homeschool co-ops, etc., are great places to discover friends who share common interests. (And these opportunities can help your teen develop leadership ability and serve the community. Win-win!)
What about the prom?
Homeschooling doesn’t mean your teen has to miss out on the prom—there are lots of options these days! Many local groups host proms or formal banquets. If there isn’t one nearby, you may be able to host one in cooperation with other homeschooling families. Your teen could even attend a public or private school prom as someone’s guest.
What about graduation?
When it comes to homeschool graduations, it’s your school—you get to decide how you want to celebrate!
Want to go the traditional route? Your teen could participate in a state homeschool organization’s graduation ceremony (usually held in conjunction with their convention)—or join a local grad ceremony organized by homeschooling moms in your community.
If those options aren’t available or don’t work for you, you could combine resources with other local families for a joint graduation ceremony.
Are you drawn towards something more personalized and unique? You can have fun customizing your grad’s celebration to highlight their achievements and reflect their personality and interests. This might look like a senior trip, an art show, a concert, an original play, a party, a barbeque honoring those who have invested in your teen, or something entirely different.
What high school sports options are available for homeschooled teens?
As more families choose homeschooling through high school, new sports opportunities are emerging. Here are just a few:
- Public school teams—You can check to see if your state has equal access laws, which allow homeschooled students to try out for spots on local public school teams.
- Private school teams—Many local private schools let homeschooled students try out for their teams.
- Homeschool teams—New teams for homeschoolers are being organized throughout the country by homeschool groups and parents. You could connect with local support groups, check on Facebook, or do a Google search to locate teams near you.
- National and regional homeschool sports associations—Your teen could even compete in a regional or national tournament offered by one of the growing number of organizations providing support for homeschool teams.
Community sports associations offer an excellent alternative to school sports— local opportunities for your student might include neighborhood swim teams, YMCA, YWCA, the Amateur Athletic Union, Babe Ruth League, and American Legion Baseball.
Are homeschool graduates eligible for sports scholarships?
Yes! The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) provides homeschool-specific resources, forms, and checklists so your student can apply to participate in college sports. You’ll need to ensure well ahead of time that your teen’s four-year high school plan complies with the NCAA’s homeschool eligibility requirements, which then opens the door to applying for scholarships.
So are you feeling confident that homeschooling could offer your student not only a personalized education, but also wonderful high school experiences and memories? You are? That’s terrific!
But . . . what does your teen think about doing high school at home? This is a great time to ask them—and in Part 4, we’ll explore that discussion.