Three words – Know Your Vision
I know, I know, you don’t have time to create a vision statement for high school, you have too many practical decisions to make and hours of research before you can make them wisely.
But please, just stop for a moment. Without a clear vision of what you want for your child during these formative years, what will guide you in these decisions?
You cannot google “Best way to homeschool high school” well, you can, but you will be getting vague answers from other people. What you need is answers from yourself and your child. These answers can be your guiding light no matter what educational choices you make during these years. In fact, if you are public schooling for high school, I recommend this even more strongly, make a vision statement…don’t count on anyone else to develop a competent well-rounded adult, you are the only one that can make sure all the boxes are checked.
Of course we cannot teach a child everything there is to know before they leave home, which is all the more reason to take the time to create a vision. Instead of letting the immediate and urgent always get the attention, your vision statement can help you decide to make the time for the things that matter.
I jotted down a vision statement when my oldest was in 8th grade, it has served me well. We have gone to public school, come back home, and began dual enrollment courses. (He is a rising sophomore.)
I am going to take you through my vision statement, and also talk a bit about what my student came up with as his vision. High school students certainly need to play a part in their educational choices, but they are also not adults, they still need your wisdom and guidance.
I am not sharing this to suggest that you copy me or that this is some grand mission statement that all should emulate. I am sharing because sometimes our brains get stuck. My ideas may be just the brain juice you need to get your own ideas rolling.
My favorite way to write mission statements is to get a piece of lined paper and brain dump. This means you write down everything that comes to mind and critique it later.
High School Vision Statement:
Articulate Communicator – obtain excellence in the written word, conversation, and persuasive speech
Learn to Think – logic, philosophy, debate
Understand how money works/cost of living/budget skills
Show competence in Math
Explore interests/passions in depth
Contemplate career choices
Gain habits of effective living
Cultivate strength of mind, heart, and body – learn self-care in all those areas
Be ready for college
Learn excellent/efficient study skills – notetaking, speed reading, careful/slow reading, memorization
Tech skills – programming, web pages, word/excel, graphic design, database(?), accounting software, powerpoint
After this brain dump, I made a chart with heart, mind, and body and listed under each area the subjects and skills that would support healthy development in those areas.
Contrast this with the vision my 8th-grade student came up with:
Robotics, wrestling, track, swim team, learn to drive a car, drive a car, sing, play, have fun, be a villain in a muscial theatre production, talk, karate, eat, drink, sleep, and math
He wrote this two years ago, he has already lost interest in over half of this list. That is okay, that is what being a teen is about, exploring yourself and the world. But to get the most out of this period of exploration I firmly believe the wisdom of adults is needed.
Some of the things on my list are already checked off (such as note-taking), others need more time and attention (becoming an excellent communicator), which is fine, we have three more years.
Take the fright out of the storms of the high school years, by writing down your vision.
What skills and knowledge do you think it is essential for your child to have before they leave home?
If you are looking for practical advice I have found two resources helpful, Lee Binz https://www.homehighschoolhelp.com/
The College Bound column written by Dr. Kuni Beasley in Practical Homeschooling Magazine
These are not affiliate links, just resources I think are worth sharing.