Homeschooling high school seems like a long list of to-dos. You spend hours each day chugging away at math, English, social studies, science, foreign languages, fine arts, and electives. You've got to earn those credits for graduation while also thinking towards future plans of college, vocational training, or military service. There’s little time left for anything else!
Once you reach the high school stage, most parents have abandoned the four-day homeschool week in an effort to cram in all the necessary academics.
After all, when kids were little the school day was short. Seriously, how long does it take to run through math and language arts with a first grader? Toss in a fun science project or fascinating historical story and you could call it a day. It was simplicity itself to homeschool four days a week and keep the fifth day for field trips, cleaning house, and family fun.
But it seems high school teenagers don’t have time for fun. They are tied to the books five days a week.
I’m here to tell you high school kids still benefit from a four-day homeschool week just like their younger siblings.
We can’t teach everything in high school. In fact our teens often outpace us in subjects. The solution is to have our teenagers meet with a mentor, especially in an area they’re particularly interested in.
Planning a four-day week in high school leaves plenty of time for teenagers to spend an entire day each week with a mentor on the fifth day. For instance spending a day tagging along with a lawyer or riding in a police car with an officer helps teens figure out what they do and do not wish to do as a career.
Teenagers are expensive. They like having money in their pockets to spend with friends on trips to the mall or the movie theater. A four-day week gives teenagers the time they need for a job that both lines their wallets with extra spending cash and also teaches them responsibility.
Even when teenagers don’t have paid jobs, they often pick up volunteer work. Your teen may wish to spend an afternoon playing music in the nursing home, telling jokes in the children’s hospital, or making sandwiches at the local mission. Having a day free each week makes working a bit easier to fit into an already busy schedule.
Taking that fifth day off every week gives you a chance to sit down and enjoy in-depth discussions with your kids without worrying about skipping math or not finishing science. You have the time to spend chatting about literature, history, and science as well as the latest gossip about their friends.
Bake cookies, brew tea, and talk about current events. There’s time for long discussions which shape your children’s world views for years to come.
With college costs rising exponentially, no family wants to invest in two or three years of college for a teen to finally determine a life's calling and switch majors—again. A four-day homeschool schedule allows leeway for a teen to practice and master a particular area of expertise whether it be art, music, computer coding, or athletics. That expertise may result in scholarship dollars to help fund further education. At a minimum, a teen with a defined passion and skill has a much more refined trajectory towards choosing a college degree.
Finally, teenagers often need a makeup day for catching up on missing assignments. Sometimes kids wake up on Monday too sick to study. Other times there’s an awesome opportunity to tour the state capitol. Occasionally you just need the option of taking a day off to pop popcorn, watch movies, and enjoy time as a family. Make-up days are still needed even when the kids reach high school.
Just because your children are reaching high school, the needs of the homeschool don’t change. A four-day week helps you stay on track, have time to enjoy field trips and fun activities, and meet with mentors.