Monday, March 22, 2010
Is it Possible to Teach High School at Home?
The question being posed this week on the TOS Blog Cruise is "How do you teach advanced subjects?" I've switched it up a bit in asking..."Is it possible to teach high school at home?" After all, that is really when the advanced subjects come in to play. I would say - absolutely. I would also go one step further and say that I think it's more important to teach high school at home than even the early grades.
This past weekend I attended my state's homeschool convention. Dr. Jay Wile from Apologia Science was one of the keynote speakers. He actually discussed this topic during one of his messages. It was called "Why Homeschool Through High School." It was very compelling.
One thing I remember Dr. Wile discussing is the fact that as a homeschool parent you can't teach all the subjects well. We are not experts in those subjects. However, we are experts in something else - finding a way to either learn the information in order to teach it or finding someone who can help teach our children - a tutor.
I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am reaching the limit of my ability to teach my oldest son in math. It was never my strongest subject and it's one reason I used a video based math program. However, at this point I have a choice. I can either learn with my son or find him someone who can teach him.
In the information that Dr. Wile shared during his talk he shared some interesting statistics. You can see this for yourself by clicking here to see the handouts. As studies have shown time and again, homeschooled students do better than their public school counterparts academically (and even socially). What I found interesting is that some of the statistics shared this weekend held this up, but showed a greater distance between the two groups in high school when those harder subjects have come in to play. You may also want to check out the notes from his other talk as well - "Homeschooling: The Solution to Our Education Problem."
I think it is important to teach our students how to learn for themselves. By making them independent learners who want to learn rather than just learning to pass a test, we give them a life long skill - something that will help them in all aspects of life.
Even though I am still a few years away from teaching high school, this weekend has changed my mind about what I plan to do or rather cemented what I have wanted to do. When we first began homeschooling we had always thought we'd given B13 the choice when he reached high school - to either continue homeschooling or trying out public school. However, now I feel very strongly that home really is best.
So take on those advanced subjects. I don't think you'll regret it.
I'll add a link to the top once the Blog Cruise is posted tomorrow so that you can read some more opinions on this subject.