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Question: I am at an impasse with my oldest daughter. She is unhappy at home and wants to attend high school. We cannot send her to a private Christian school, and the public high school is an hour and 15 minute bus ride each way. I don't know anyone at the high school to ask what it is like. We moved out far because we thought we would home school through high school and so wanted some space. We registered her with Kolbe this year as an 8th grader to have some records and used some of their materials, but I use primarily CHC for grade school. We have really struggled getting her science done (husband took over this year as I felt totally inadequate to do it). We have also struggled with her learning Algebra this semester. She likes science so this may be part of it, but mainly it's because she doesn't want to be around the house every day and wants friends her age. She wants to have people who know the subjects better too. We live in rural county and Catholic home schoolers we know with kids near her age are busy with school and activities...How can I feel like God wanted me to home school, but yet feel I lack the skills to complete it adequately especially to be able to get her into college. I also don't want her to be unhappy. I tried Christian co-op this year, but that was not enough. What shall I do? I don't want to send her to public school but feel I can't do home school this way either. Please help! Thanks.
Answer:

Dear Parent,

This is a confusing and difficult situation. It seems to involve at least two issues: you do not feel competent to teach particular high school subjects to the extent that your daughter will be well-prepared for college, and your daughter wants more social interaction in her life.

Teaching high school is not as easy as teaching elementary and middle school, and the pressure is on to prepare for college as you are already aware. There are online and video courses to help if you do not feel comfortable teaching certain subjects. Please keep in mind that some certified high school teachers don't always feel confident of their ability to teach either, so you are not alone. I myself have spent years writing and teaching writing, and sometimes I get stumped on how to teach a problem area. 

Regarding your daughter's desire for more social interaction, some children and adults seems to need more opportunities to socialize than others do. I would be a perfectly happy hermit, but my son would not thrive in such an isolated situation. In addition, your daughter may simply want a taste of what high school is like. She probably does not have anything to compare with her present experience in that regard. You have a wider view of the situation, but she is not going to be able to understand the current situation using your wider viewpoint. She can only judge and hope based upon her present feelings and desires.

You may decide to let her try a year of high school and see what that is like. Although you do not know what the high school is like, you could probably visit the school or make contact with someone who does. The private school I teach at often has visiting families and visiting students who are trying out the school for a day or two to become acquainted with the atmosphere. That is a possibility, and once she's had that taste, your daughter may decide that she doesn't want to be regulated day after day by bells and clocks. The crowds and constant rush may be more than she expected or imagined. On the other hand, she may enjoy it because of the variety of social experiences and the opportunity to be part of a group.

 Regardless of whether your daughter goes to a public school, you can still home school her. She will continue to need your love and support and guidance in different areas. Perhaps this summer, you can talk with your daughter and look at some options. The more she feels involved in the situation, the easier the outcome may be for the whole family.

God be with you as you work through this situation.

Sandra Garant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
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