So, if college is not in the picture, what does high school
look like in our house?
Pretty much like homeschool has for 12 years. You see, the
world’s standards for my children are not the same as mine. This is why a
transcript is not important in our home. The “state” may require a set of
credits, but what do those credits mean if college is not in their future? The
SAT is not as important to me as knowing that my children are fully functioning
In our home, we say that we are raising “people, not
high-school graduates.” If I want my kids to grow up into functioning adults, I
want them to be able have a healthy, God-honoring marriage, manage a home, and
raise children, “walk in the truth,” and “glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
The jobs or careers they have are secondary in importance to all of these.
No matter the path they choose, we believe that all of our children should have some basic abilities:
reading fluently for enjoyment and education (to avoid "boredom" and to further their education throughout their lives, learn new skills, and to teach their own children)
language arts mastery (superior grammar, spelling, and writing skills allow for convincing communication, no matter what lifestyle they choose)
math for real life (giving them the ability to be creative or productive through handicrafts, and also the ability to manage finances wisely)
good work ethic (allowing them to do any work that is necessary with a good attitude)
Obviously, this is not all, but it certainly includes a more detailed list under each category.
In my daughter’s case, specifically, we know that she plans
to pursue one of her hobbies as a means of income. Her hobbies are many and
useful, and she already enjoys a small business sewing for friends. She also recently signed up with Origami Owl to become a consultant (Designer), since they accept girls under 18. She is
already extremely capable as a homemaker. She is well read and can carry on
intelligent conversation. I am not bragging; I'm stating her qualifications as a near-adult.
So her high school path is preparing her for her specific
future. Academics have taken a backseat to “real life” studies. Her schedule currently
looks like this:
Reading (some for
Sonlight history and some picked by me)
(Algebra and “personal finances” – she recently opened a checking account)
(writing based on history, current events, or any topic we discuss)
(Biology 101 series)
(HillsdaleCollege online course)
Character Improvement (Polished Cornerstones)
In her free time, she reads even more, listens to
audiobooks, makes quilts, cooks from scratch, decorates her room, dallies in gardening,
plays Minecraft, and helps to care for her 4 younger siblings.
Our desire is to train daughters who are homemakers, and
sons who can provide for their families (so their wives can be homemakers). We
have always encouraged our children (both boys and girls) to consider living at
home until marriage. There are several reasons for this:
accountability: even young adults
benefit from wise counsel, parental authority, and someone to answer to.
In the security of home, they can explore their independence while seeking
support from those that love them most and know them best. If there is a
courting or dating relationship, this is especially helpful.
economy: living at home is just
cheaper, hands down. If a young man or woman plans to have a home and
family, they are wise to save money until marriage and prepare for that
family, rather than spending their meager income on rent and utilities
just to “be out on their own.”
relationship: the relationship
between a young adult and their parents is new and different compared to
that of a teenager and their parents. A new friendship and respect
develops in both directions, creating a special bond that will benefit the
young adult when they do finally move on.
The younger kids in our house say they “will
always live with Mom and Dad.” We know that will change as they grow, but we
never say “you have to move out when you graduate!” or anything of the kind. We
look forward to these new, young adult relationships.
Before my daughter arrived at her decision not to attend
college, she considered several possibilities: cosmetology, interior design,
and cake decorating. But after further research into each specific field, she
was able to narrow her choices based on the type of schooling required, the
type of work or hours required, the stress of the job, and how it would affect
her future in being a homemaker. Her goal is to learn to do something that will
allow her to work from home (if a job is necessary to support herself or supplement
her husband’s income). None of the above choices seemed appealing after deeper
thought. This process took about 2 years; it did not happen overnight.
So as her senior year begins, we will enjoy the transition
from child to adult, and spend each day talking, learning, discussing, and
planning for whatever future God has for her. It’s actually a very refreshing
and exciting time!
So, what if one of my kids wants to be a doctor? What if my
daughter finds herself a single mom at some point? What will she fall back on?