Thursday, July 25, 2013

High School & Plans for My Eight-Year-Old

High School: Plans for My Eight-Year-Old

This summer I have been mulling over our plans for the future, realizing that I am going to have to alter my original intentions when I began this homeschooling journey.

See, from the time I first decided I wanted to homeschool my oldest child, I always said that I did not want to homeschool him all the way through high school.

I wanted him to have an accredited diploma, and I also wanted him to be able to make use of the many free resources public high school offers: foreign language, science labs, sports and physical activities, interesting electives, and so on.

But then, somewhere along the line I kind of forgot how quickly he had been going and what that would mean for enrolling him in high school.

I don't know why it never hit me before, as we have been on this "accelerated education" path for quite some time now. I suppose I just never put the two and two together and connected the dots.

High School: Plans for My Eight-Year-Old

What dots? Well, Hunter is currently somewhere around three grade levels ahead (he started 5th grade halfway through the year he "normally" would have been in 2nd grade). And because of this, I only recently realized that by the time Hunter will be old enough to traditionally start middle school, he will have already completed the entire middle school curriculum.

Which also means that by the time he is old enough to start high school, he will be pretty much done with the entire high school curriculum, as well.


There are several ways I could move forward at this point:

1. Early enrollment. I could attempt to work with the schools to enroll him when he is academically ready for the work, but I am probably not going to take this path.

For one, I have my doubts on whether or not the schools would be accommodating. And two? He would be ready for middle school sometime this fall and the kid still plays with nerf guns and wears Ninjago underwear. He's eight. Interacting with older kids within society? Great. The not-very-supervised, full-of-kids-who-are-bored-out-of-their-mind jungle that is junior high? Not so much, at least not for an eight-year-old.

High School: Plans for My Eight-Year-Old

2. Keep on keepin' on. At the moment I have decided that we will, for now, plan to continue homeschooling for the next few years as we work towards early "graduation" (completion of K-12 curriculum).

The curriculum provider we use (Time4Learning) actually just expanded their offerings (as in, this happened within the last week!) and now have a high school curriculum available, including four years of English, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Hooray!

This was such a relief to hear of this news, as I have spent quite a bit of time plotting out where on earth to buy textbooks, online courses, or in-person classes to cover high school level material, and it was looking so overwhelming (and expensive). Such a huge load has been taken off my back and this now seems doable.

High School: Plans for My Eight-Year-Old

3. High school after high school. In all of this pondering I had this funny thought that even if by the time he is old enough to go to high school he has already completed the entire basic curriculum, that doesn't mean he can't still attend.

Many states and school districts allow homeschoolers to enroll in public school classes part time, taking only a few classes (such as art and choir) without taking the traditional full course load.

He could certainly, as a fourteen-year-old, simply take some free classes such as foreign languages, computer classes, physical education, woodworking, photography, all of those classes that the rest of the world would have to pay big bucks for if they wanted to, he can access for free, simply because of his age.

This is something that could also be possible to do for part of the day while he goes to community or online college for the remainder of the day, pursues his interests, or more.

Of course, I'm not exactly sure where we will be living at that point, or what kind of school district we will be working with, or even if that is something that he will want to do.

But I guess the nice thing about homeschooling, and specifically accelerated homeschooling (finishing early), is that it opens the door to all kinds of possibilities and choices, so he will actually have the freedom to choose how he wants to spend his adolescent years, from an array of nearly endless options.

Hunter is currently 8 years, 4 months old 


  1. 2013/07/28 at 2:42 pm

    I am so excited about Time4Learning High School!( We are going to start 9th grade there in the fall. I, too, have searched for the books, and tried to decide how I was going to get my daughter the 7 science courses, 5 math courses, and 10 electives she wanted. T4L high school just might be the answer for a good portion of that. Consider that your son might find the high school free courses boring after already having completed high school. With correspondence, ecourses, etc he might be able to just move on to college level work. I know I wouldn’t be comfortable letting my daughter “go off” to college that young, but I would consider letting her use distance learning of college work that young. Best wishes and I hope you do get to use the T4L high school!

    1. 2013/07/29 at 9:49 am

      I agree that taking high school courses may or may not be something he is interested in at that point, for multiple reasons (he may find them boring, too slow, too simple, or may not enjoy the high school social climate). I am certainly not planning on forcing him down an educational path he doesn’t find enjoyable, and I would definitely leave that option up to him of whether or not he would like to take classes at the local public school. He’s quite social and may want to go to high school for those electives for the sole purpose of making or being around friends, or he may hate it completely! I have no idea. But like I said I am leaving the option up to him.

  2. 2014/03/24 at 1:25 pm

    I have your elimination communication post bookmarked and send it to all my friends and relatives who think I’m crazy for putting our son on a potty before he’s 2. Thanks for making it all sound so reasonable and easy to understand!

    I was browsing your site and just came across this post, and I was wondering if you have a similar post or suggestion for something I could send friends and relatives who think I’m crazy for even entertaining the idea of home school. I have a feeling they don’t even know what “modern” home school is like, but they immediately make a face and start talking about social skills and being with their peers (because the shark tank that is middle school obviously makes everyone a better person). Even my husband will need convincing for this one, so I don’t have *anyone* on my side.

    1. 2014/05/08 at 1:41 pm

      Hi, I would follow Practical Homeschooling on Facebook. They have same questions from other moms and answers are just so inspiring when it comes to homeschooling. Good Luck.

  3. 2014/05/08 at 1:43 pm

    Hi DomanMom, Have you every considered Classical Conversations. It would be perfect for Hunter as he is already levels ahead. It is quite a challenging program. I am enrolling my 5 year old daughter this year. I have heard that although Times of learning is good but it needs supplements. I have been following your blogs since my daughter was born from BrillKids. Congrats on Baby 3.


Thank you for your comments!