Making the decision to homeschool is a life-changing one that will make a lasting impact on your child and family. If you’re new to homeschooling, you may feel anxious or intimidated by what’s in store. It’s accurate to say that homeschooling requires effort, commitment, and work–but the end result is clearly worth all of it. We’re explaining why in this three-part blog series about homeschooling elementary, middle school, and high school students. We’ll also share our knowledge on the importance of learning styles, what homeschooling requires from you as a parent, and how Bridgeway Academy makes the perfect homeschool partner.
The Importance of Learning Styles
Do you know your child’s learning style? Most parents probably have a vague idea of how their son or daughter learns best–whether it’s by listening, observing, or even touching. And with high school students, it’s easier to determine how they learn best since they’re already experienced learners.
Let’s take a quick look at specific learning styles and what they mean.
- Visual learning: Visual learners are insightful and sensitive to the needs of others. Many visual learners ultimately understand the solution, but they likely struggle or get frustrated with the steps necessary to get there.
- Auditory learning: Auditory learners are expressive and able to communicate well with others. They tend to retain information more thoroughly when the information is reinforced through sound, and they learn best through lectures, discussions, and listening to themselves process information.
- Kinesthetic learning: Kinesthetic learners are sensitive and very aware of feelings. They are movers and shakers, learners who need their bodies to be in action in order to learn and master skills. They connect well with learning that involves emotions, imitation, role-playing, and field trips.
Based on this information, you probably know the learning style of your middle schooler. If not, take Bridgeway Academy’s Learning Style Assessment to find out! Our Learning Style Assessments identify:
- Learning style, personality style, and ideal learning environment for the whole family.
- Insights on what works, what doesn’t, the potential struggles, and the incredible strengths inherent in each different learning and personality style.
- The best ways to interact with your child based on both of your personality styles.
Why are learning styles so important? Because most traditional brick-and-mortar schools teach a whole classroom of students the same way. Except kids learn in different ways, which means that some students will get it, but many will not. And, unfortunately, since teachers are mandated to get through a certain amount of curriculum each year, lessons won’t stop to allow those struggling students to catch up.
This cookie-cutter method of instruction often results in lack of comprehension, students who are left behind, and even apathy toward school. What traditional schools seem to forget is that what works for one child might not work for another. And the saddest part about that is every student in those classrooms possesses the intelligence to excel in school–it’s only a matter of understanding learning style and teaching the material accordingly.
Homeschooling (especially with Bridgeway Academy) allows you the freedom and flexibility to tailor your child’s studies to the way they learn best. And that’s so important when homeschooling high school students, because when you know your student’s learning style, you can choose a curriculum that’s specifically designed for that learning style, and you can personalize your instruction in the same manner.
The Parent Commitment
All new homeschooling parents want to know about the level of commitment they need to provide when instructing their kids. It truly depends on the child’s age, the type of instruction they’ll be receiving, and your schedule.
Younger students (generally elementary school-aged) require more guidance, attention, and instruction throughout their school days. Most middle schoolers are somewhat self-sufficient and, as a result of that independence, feel less need and/or desire to rely on their parents for information.
High school? Multiply that by 10…and then throw college preparation on top of all that. So, on one hand, most high school students are independent and more than happy to learn on their own. On the other, with college or other post-graduation plans on the horizon, you’re going to need to get involved because:
- These are extremely important years for students academically, especially if they’re looking to continue their education after high school.
- They’re just as critical activity-wise, so make sure your student is participating extracurricularly in clubs, sports, volunteering, or other activities–they are absolute musts for college applications.
- If you’re the parent of a junior or senior, the college search and application process can be overwhelming.
As far as school itself, if your high schooler is thriving independently, great! If not, you may need to take charge and work together to create a solution that allows for their independence without sacrificing academic performance–because grades in high school really matter! Either way, a measure of oversight is highly recommended, as some teens tend to lose their focus–especially as the end of the school year approaches. Homeschoolers suffer from senioritis, too!
Bridgeway Academy’s high school homeschool programs offer comprehensive learning options for every learner and every type of student. For the more independent-minded student, our Self-Paced Online courses allow them to take control of their academics while you provide guidance and instruction as needed. On the other hand, our Total Care Textbook learning may require a little bit more instruction from you during the school day as the work tends to be more hands-on and instructor-led.
As for your “typical” school day, that can be decided upon by you and your high school student. If your teen isn’t exactly a morning person (and not many of them are), it’s perfectly fine to start your homeschool day at 10:00 or 11:00 am! That allows your student to get a good amount of sleep and wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day–especially important if he or she has an after-school job. What you do after that is entirely up to you!
Your school day can last however long it needs to be and look however you want it to look. Schoolwork in the morning and then a field trip or–gasp–driving lessons in the afternoon? Sure! Or, as we alluded to earlier, maybe your teen works a few days or nights each week–you can set up a schedule around the job. Homeschooling offers the flexibility of teaching and learning when it works best for you and your family.
As the parent of a high schooler, your days may vary greatly depending on what type of student you have. If you decide on all online classes, you should have plenty of space in your day to fit in your own work (even full-time) or anything else you need to do. If your child requires a little extra instruction and guidance, more of your day will be spent teaching. Given that many high school students, especially upperclassmen, prefer to work more independently, you’ll likely be able to enjoy the gift of time…something that may not have been possible even a few years ago!
Bridgeway’s Total Care Programs – Perfect for High School Students
Bridgeway Academy offers the perfect homeschooling options for high school students. Along with the Self-Paced Online courses we mentioned earlier, our Total Care Live Online program immerses high schoolers in virtual classroom environments with classmates from around the world, led by engaging and experienced online teachers.
And for juniors and seniors who are thinking about college, our Dual Enrollment program is perfect! With Dual Enrollment, your student can experience college-level academics now, reduce the amount of credits they will need later, and gain a leg up on their peers in the college admissions process. Oh, and it saves you money! With College Now!, advanced high school students can earn both high school and up to 24 college credits–a full year’s worth! Plus, through a partnership with Ohio Christian University, your motivated student can graduate high school with an Associate Degree! This program not only provides a head start on college studies, but it also offers an amazing opportunity for students to interact with college professors and develop the self-management skills they’ll need for college–all while still in high school.
These high school programs include:
- Accreditation that is recognized around the world
- Unlimited support from expert homeschool advisors who are with you every step of the way
- A complete year of record-keeping, including report cards, transcripts, permanent records, honor roll, and that valued diploma upon graduation.
Sure, homeschooling a high schooler has its challenges. But with the right tools and support (not to mention an expert homeschool partner like Bridgeway Academy), your entire family will truly appreciate the advantages homeschooling provides, and you’ll love every single step of the journey.
Call Bridgeway Academy today at (800) 863-1474 to speak with a homeschool expert about our high school options.