How Can I Teach High School? Fears and Concerns Series (Part 7)

I must admit that whenever we see our secondary students sent to public programming, whether physically to school or online to “get their diploma” or to “get their credits” or to “prepare them for post-secondary,” I am deeply disappointed.

I wonder where we went wrong, and how we could have prevented this calamity. I also question how parents can so quickly give up their faith and trust in God to put their confidence in man, especially when most people know what little personal benefit they actually got out of school.

We do everything we can to help, support and encourage parents and students to continue with the superior option of home education, but we are but one voice in a crowd of people driven by fear. Stories of the failure of unaccredited home education are abundant, but hardly accurate, yet they have great influence on people who do not know any better.

Bad news travels fast. The enemy specializes in bad news and if he can get students away from parents, he has a far greater potential to negatively influence them. Parents should be keeping their children home where they can protect them, not only physically, but ideologically as well.

Please pay close attention to the following statement: Students do not need high school accreditation or diplomas to be successful in life or to gain admission to post-secondary institutions.

All they need is a personalized education that will uniquely serve them in their lives. And this is only possible when completing their secondary level education at home within the family.

Admittedly, when children go through puberty and start the secondary stage of learning, determining to continue the education at home may lead you to our next concern. When reaching higher levels of learning, parents often express their fear of not being able to teach their children at this more complex level.

If this is one of your fears or concerns, I have good news for you. You don’t have to. In fact, you’re fired! Just kidding, but not really. Think about it this way.

When children reach young adulthood and take ownership of their education, they can continue learning in ways and means that you may never have experienced or imagined. This is where home education really starts to show its superiority.

Home education is not playing school but providing opportunity for learning, and when the children start finding their own opportunities, your job is done. Maybe not entirely done, but your job description will certainly change. Your role transitions from being the teacher to being a mentor. You will now need to slowly get out of the way and encourage them to teach themselves.

After all, you are not the one that needs to learn the algebra, or the biology, or the economics, or whatever it is they are studying. They do. You may be required to assist your children on occasion, but you should not have to teach them. Let them do it. Let them discover it. Leave them to learn it, in their way, at their own pace. Students given this freedom usually accomplish much more in far less time than their school peers.

Of course, there’s always that couch potato or sloth, but he’s not common and the condition is usually not permanent. Usually this comes as a phase of puberty when all the energy seems to be going into growing a body. Indeed, they may seem to be losing more than they are gaining for a while, especially boys, whose favourite subjects may become sleeping and eating during this time, but this phase eventually passes.

Breaking free from the school method and giving the students the control over their education empowers them to take responsibility and to develop what God has created. It actually gets easier for the parents as the students take on more complicated concepts.

I have seen home education fail at this secondary stage. However, this is usually when the student either goes to school, brings school home, or when the parents attempt to mimic a school approach to programming.

When considering that school specializes in one-size-fits-all programming, having anything to do with school at this phase essentially eliminates the very advantages to home education.

Students do not need to learn all the subjects nor all the levels or concepts within each subject. It should make sense that to tailor the program to the student’s ability and interests will save a lot of valuable time and allow for early maturation and specialization.

There is no need to fear not being able to teach secondary level students. They can teach themselves. In fact, that was the secret to my success as a high school teacher. I directed my students. I encouraged them to take responsibility for their education and I helped them get it.

I consistently got better results than my colleagues and received innumerable “thank you’s” from students for having taught them how to learn, but actually all I had done was to expect them to learn and master the concepts. Even as a high school teacher, I got to the point where I rarely taught! And the results were obvious!

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