This post is written with both parents and highschoolers in mind. That is because these thoughts should be points of mutual discussion.
Primarily for Parents
No matter where you are with homeschooling, the end result is in mind. You want your child educated. You want your child to be qualified to go to college or some kind of vocational training. You want your child to be successful.
Let’s start with this. Not every child is destined for a white collar job. There are plenty of good trades such as auto mechanic, electrician, welder, dental hygienist, plumber, contractor and more that are not specifically sit-at-a-desk-8-hours-a-day jobs.
Don’t force your child into a career that is not the right one.
That said, realize there are many options for training, especially in today’s world. Community college is an excellent place to get a start on a career or the first two years of college at a substantially lower price.
If you are on this site often, you will know that I am a proponent of the Ron Paul Curriculum. The reason is, it is an excellent home school curriculum. It will teach your child to be independent.
If you click here you will see the 5 points that the Ron Paul Curriculum is known for. It is right at the top of the page.
The big question is:
Can a home-schooled child enter college?
The answer is “yes”.
However, the Ron Paul Curriculum adds quite a bit of light on that topic. Here is some thought-provoking information about AP tests and CLEP tests.
The basic premise of the Ron Paul Curriculum is that if the student applies him or herself, they can CLEP out of college tests, thus saving money. They can take community college courses, thus saving money. They will be advanced along their college careers in relationship to their peers if they do this. And once you (or your home-schooled child) have a bunch of CLEP successfully completed, is the college going to reject you? Probably not, unless they wanted to squeeze every last dollar out of you by forcing you to take all their courses. Check with the college you have in mind ahead of time.
I cannot say this enough. If you are seriously thinking about how to approach homeschooling, take an afternoon and really comb through the Ron Paul Curriculum site and really understand what they are saying and offering.
That said, there is one type of student this curriculum is NOT for, and that is the undisciplined student. You can read the article about that type of student here.
As a former home school mom, as well as a substitute teacher in public schools, I want to give a bit of my own personal input. I’ve also added some YouTube videos from other moms at the bottom of this page to help round out your thinking.
Let’s start with public school. I did a bit of substitute teaching. The main issue in the schools, at least at the ones I worked at, is discipline or the lack thereof. In today’s progressive world, students know they can create problems for teachers/adults and no one wants to resist these rebellious students because the students or their parents can create problems with lawsuits or social rejection or threat of job removal. It happens, and you probably either have seen it yourself or heard a story about it.
Children are allowed cell phones in classes. “No child left behind” means the class works to the least industrious and least committed child. That’s my impression of how school works.
I saw excellent teachers brought down to the level of common core, which is a terrible curriculum. Teachers teach to the test…there is standardized testing and students must past that so the focus is on passing those test questions.
The standards are low. In my opinion, only a real “nerd” who instinctively loves learning and books can ignore all the chaos around himself or herself and succeed.
This is not to say there are not excellent teachers. There are. But they are forced into a politically correct environment that cramps their teaching style and forces them to drag along at the low level of public policy which is not in the best interest of the children. If you doubt that just look at the fact of how many schools were closed last year (2020) on a lie and how few public officials had the courage to open the schools.
One other thing needs to be said about the public schools, and that is how history is taught. True history is not being taught. A progressive form of history is being taught. It is not healthy. It is not patriotic. It will not help the nation to grow children who are independent, self-reliant, hard workers, and patriotic. It is not useful to train children to be “entitled” “snowflakes” who don’t want to work.
And then, of course, there is the whole problem of sexual education that you have nothing to say about (and that you may not even know about) and the possibility of things being done to your children behind your back and without your permission.
Enough on public school. Onto my opinion of homeschool.
I’ve seen a lot of homeschool curriculums. If I had it to do over, I would use the Ron Paul Curriculum. The reason is it makes the children learn and think indepently and it also focuses on writing. When I was in the public schools, it was unusual to see a coherent, well-written paragraph at the high school level. Children are not being educated.
Plus, I really like the idea of teaching children business courses and a finance course. Certainly, courses in the real world are lacking in public school, and even in some other home school curriculums.
Now the Ron Paul Curriculum does not cover everything. It does not cover foreign languages. It does not cover religious training. And there are other options it does not cover. But it covers the basics well and it tells you that you can add to the curriculum from other sources. There are many good language courses today, so you can add that to the curriculum in your own way.
The big thing about the Ron Paul Curriculum is that the student must be self-disciplined. Now if you have a child who is already self-disciplined, say, in taking music lessons, or art, or sports, or helps out on the farm or any other type of activity which requires the child to stick with it and produce, you will know. You will know if your child is self-disciplined or not.
I know children. I know if I hand them a laptop and homework to do if they will stay on course or try to sneak over to play some video game when they should be working. I know children. You know children. We all know children and pretty much what can be expected of each one.
I’ve never been a proponent of either television or video games, and my opinion and observation is that if children are brought up on TVs, movies, and video games, and that’s all they know, and they think that screen time means playing another game or watching another online movie, they probably will not do well with the Ron Paul Curriculum.
The father who sent in his opinion on that said as much. It wasn’t the curriculum that was the problem, it was the lack of discipline.
Now there are other home school curriculums. Basically, if your child cannot discipline himself, that means you will have to be the disciplinarian. Sorry to be so blunt, but if a child has not learned to do what he or she is supposed to do whether a parent is in the room or not, then you will have to be the disciplinarian in the room. In that case, as to which curriculum to pick, there are many. Do your research to find out the one that suits you.
I personally prefer teaching reading by sight and not phonics. I am for solid math, not artsy math. In other words, I prefer sticking to basic memorization and focusing on the facts. I know everything today is supposed to be “fun” but I find getting directly to business more satisfying, things are learned quicker, and a lot of nonsense is ignored.
But, you pick the curriculum you like. In my opinion, as said above, I think the Ron Paul Curriculum is the best which is why I focus on that.
As for whether home school children can succeed. The answer is yes. If you have a serious home school, regardless of the curriculum, and you keep things disciplined, your children normally, if all the experience I have had with home school is typical of your home, your children should accomplish more in less time. That seems to be typical.
Again, a lot of time is spent in public schools trying to get the classroom in order. My apologies to any teacher who runs a well-run school room, but I am just saying what I say because of what I’ve seen after a number of years. I know there are good teachers, again, but they definitely are handicapped by a system that is controlled by political and policy correctness.
With that said, parents need to go to school boards and help improve their schools. They need to know what is going on.
I’ve rambled a bit from the original topic, but I am trying to get some serious information to you so you can make an informed decision about what to do next.
If either the Ron Paul Curricumlum or a home school option is not possible for you, then definitely consider getting involved in knowing what your school teaches. Get involved in attending school board meetings and help change your local school system for the better.
Primarily for High School Students (and Parents)
So here are some final thoughts on home schooling, graduation, and career planning.
A plan of action is going to be necessary if you are going to graduate from high school and move forward in life. Again, if you go through the Ron Paul Curriculum, you will have a lot of solid preparation for life.
You need to think about what career options you have available for you if you are homeschooled and how you are going to move forward. As mentioned before, there are a lot of solid career options through community colleges. An electrician or plumber or welder is going to earn more than a customer service representative.
So really think long and hard before you dismiss community college. Plus, by going to community college you can usually fulfill undergraduate requirements for much cheaper. And again, as a reminder, if you take the Ron Paul Curriculum route you can even save even more time and money through CLEP testing, if you go that way.
Of course, you can also look into scholarships. Most scholarships require that you do something for them. If you study to be a police officer you will need to be in their service. You can be trained in the military, but right now, with a “woke” military, I’m sorry, but I can’t recommend that until it gets off of its crazy “wokeness” course. This is being written in 2021, so maybe by the time you read it, things will have changed. And even being a police officer, with all of the defunding of police going on and the lack of support of police through “woke” policies, I really can’t recommend that right now. But some day things may revert back to sanity.
Be assured though, it is absolutely possible to succeed and go to college as a home-schooled student.
To a certain extent, since you have to think through this, it will put you ahead of students who just blindly do what they are told and don’t really have to think much about their future. By forcing you to actively think about these questions it will put you in a better position overall.
Here is a final thought for those who think they are better suited for working with their hands. Mike Rowe, a TV personality, offers some scholarships here (at least at the time of this writing). The link to his site is here.
May God guide your choices in life as you make these decisions.
In order to round out a bit more of this discussion, I have added three other perspectives on the topic through the YouTube videos below.