Our High School Adventure

secular homeschooling

I’ve mentioned our own personal homeschooling activities and challenges over the past few years, and I’m a little sad to say this may be the last one. The site isn’t changing or anything, and I will keep making fun worksheets for a while yet, but we are no longer doing homeschool ourselves. I thought I would share a little insight on where we are, and thoughts on transitioning to high school.

Why traditional high school?

First of all, why did we choose to go back to school for our 14-year old daughter? A couple of reasons actually. The main one was that as a rural-living single child, she was really lacking in social interaction. Regardless of what other homeschoolers may say, this can be a real issue. She needed time with peers that more homeschooling wasn’t going to deliver given our situation in life right now.

After that, I realized that going to college or university without a proper high school diploma might be tricky. Homeschooling is a lot less common here in Canada, and though most colleges have little notes on their websites saying they take homeschool students for admissions, the details are pretty vague. They often are “on a per case basis”, so I’d be kind of planning blind to managing our curriculum for 4 years without a goal in mind. It was just a much safer bet to get the proper paperwork. And so, she has started grade 9 this past September.

How is she doing?

I was a nervous wreck as grade 8 came to a close. Was she ready for the dog-eat-dog world of teenage social life? Did we cover everything she needs for her classes next year? How would she adjust to the more structured environment and responsibility of assignments?

Academically, she’s beyond her peers in all subjects this term (math is next semester and may be an issue). I’m actually a little dismayed at how much simpler high school has become since my day. We really worked hard in gr. 8 to get the hang of basic essays because I expected a lot of writing work in various high school subjects. Well, in English they have been covering how to put a paragraph together. I worried for nothing.

Socially, also doing OK though the behavior of other teens confuses her a bit. By spending more time around adults (even her profoundly juvenile mother) has made her more mature than her peers. She’s not interested in the drama or the dishonesty of gossiping. I’m impressed actually. She doesn’t feel the need to “fit in” or present herself in any way but authentically after avoiding many years of peer pressure growing up. It’s given her more confidence than I expected. I though it would be the other way around, with her being more susceptible to others’ opinions.

So overall, she’s doing very well. Unfortunately, being academically ahead, she’s not putting in the effort I would like to see. Why study for a test when you know the material and are already getting 90s in the class? It has put a damper on her motivation and the subjects are not that challenging. I do hope next year is better.

Our homeschooling time has ended and it’s so satisfying to see that the end has been a good one, with few regrets no big holes in our education. I may have to update that last point after we tackle math next month. Keeping fingers crossed.

Do I miss the daily interaction with my daughter? Definitely.
Do I like having the house to myself all day long? Also definitely.

And now our high school adventure begins.


Terri Wilson

Terri Wilson

Terri Wilson is a secular homeschooling mom who is making up a website because she apparently doesn't already have enough to do. She lives on a small hobby farm and spends too much time making printables and talking about homeschool stuff.

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