Friday, September 21, 2018

Homeschooling to High School and back to Homeschool

My oldest daughter is a senior and considered a homeschooled student. She was a full time student in Kindergarten, and 11th grade. This year she is taking AP psychology at the local high school and Organic Chemistry and Anatomy and Physiology at the community college. The rest of her day she is homeschooled. Next year she will be going to a technical college and has already been accepted.

Her schedule is strange I know, and she knows. Sometimes it bothers her a little, but she mostly just jokes about it. After being a full-time student last year, she was hoping to graduate from the local high school. Unfortunately that didn't work out.

First day shadowing at dental office

The main issue was the Anatomy and Physiology class. You see, my daughter wants to be an orthodontist. Who knows if that will happen, but that is the path we are working towards now. She completed AP chemistry during homeschool as well as most general education requirements such as government, history, English, foreign language, etc. Last year she completed AP Physics and AP Biology at the local high school.

Therefore, the next classes required for most biology degrees is Anatomy and Physiology and Organic Chemistry. We thought she would be able to be dual enrolled at the high school and community college there by letting the local district pay a portion of her educational expenses. While this was possible, the high school said they would not pay for the Anatomy and Physiology class at the community college since the high school offers Anatomy and Physiology and she had not taken it there. They said this despite the fact that she has met all of the requirements to graduate from the high school and that the high school A&P is not a prerequisite for the college A&P.

While this could work, we felt it would be a huge waste of time. Although by all accounts the high school A&P course is excellent and college-level, there is no way to obtain college credit for taking the course. She would have to take the college A&P course the following year thereby delaying any courses for which A&P was a prerequisite. In other words, she would delay herself a year and take a very similar course two times.

Since the high school said they wouldn't pay for it, they also would not offer credit for it. She could still take the course but to graduate from the high school, she would have to take four classes. (They would pay for and give her credit for two classes for the organic chemistry course, and two additional class credits would have been given for A&P if it was approved.) Unfortunately, there isn't time in the day to take four high school classes plus two college classes especially when driving time and course schedules are considered. That made the decision easy for us. Homeschool again.

As I said earlier, she is taking one class at the high school. This will enable her to stay in contact with the friends she has made at the high school as well as participate in the school play. (Homeschooled students in Michigan are allowed to take any elective courses and participate in any clubs the school offers. No competitive sports.)

Her exposure to the public school system has been good. I think it was important for her to take a few classes and see how the more traditional education systems works. She learned a lot! Not only did she learn the course material, but she saw how structured the system can be. She now understands how much freedom and say she had over her own education which allowed her to progress at her own pace. She sees the difference between learning to seek knowledge verses learning to get good grades. She sees inappropriate behavior and also found kids who can challenge her academically. Although she is quite independent and thinks for herself, she now cares about her appearance and has learned a little about fashion.

Although I'm mildly sad she will not be able to graduate from the local high school, it's probably more appropriate for her to graduate from homeschool. After all, she spent 11 years as a homeschooled student and 2 as a public schooled student. We're just glad we have a good plan for this year and that she has been accepted to the technical college she wanted to go to.

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