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Homeschool or High School?

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Homeschool Mom: Deciding between homeschool or high school for our teenage son is one of the biggest decisions our family can't seem to make.

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We are, like Congress, trying to vote on the stimulus package. We have committees and filibustering and all-night arguing going on, because it is that fateful time in all homeschooling families' lives when a child is heading into high school.

You see, elementary and middle school are fairly easy to manage, but high school demands a whole new level of intensity that a lot of families feel is just too difficult to muster. So, the debate is: Should we send our 13-year-old son to the local high school where there is one-stop shopping: swim team, band, art, etc.? Our high school is considered one of the best in Southern California (which may not be all that great of an endorsement). Or should we homeschool?

We know a lot of great kids who are attending or have graduated from the school, so we can be reasonably sure he will be adequately educated and prepared for the future. Homeschooling would demand that I find places and classes, in various ways and locations, to plug him into all he needs. I would be confident, however, that he would be extremely well-prepared and well-educated.

For those of you that have always had your children in regular school, you are probably scratching your head wondering what's to argue. But you see, "the way" of homeschooling has some sincere benefits, and to let those go and wade into the negatives of the public school system is as daunting as organizing homeschool-high school.

For instance, homework at public high school is time-consuming and often filled with silly projects that waste your teen's time. High school is also filled with pathologies that plague our young people -- those have not been a problem for us at all. Right now, my teen plays two instruments, swims and has plenty of time to socialize with friends. (Yes, homeschool teenagers hang out with friends.) He has time to hang out with us, his family, and vacation. There is no rushing in the mornings and life is less stressful in many ways. Not to mention he does well in school and in many ways receives a better education then would even be possible in a classroom setting.

The interesting thing is that my husband and I take turns being for one side or the other. He will say, "Definitely take him to school ... it is the best plan." Then I will cry, "But what about ..." Then we change positions and the debate rages on. The final kicker to the whole decision is when you ask my son, "Son, what would you like to do?" He says, "I don't know, it would be okay either way."

Maybe we should flip a coin or ask the Magic 8 Ball. What do you think about the great debate? If you had the choice, which would you choose: public high school or homeschool?

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