Words from the High Schooler

Last month for Hiphomeschool Moms, I wrote about Honoring the high schooler. The response was so encouraging, and for all the kind words, thank you. There was also a great deal of interest in homeschooling the high schooler in general. Nitty gritty stuff, ins and outs, curriculum and more. I plan on devoting the next several months of posts to that on Hip Homeschool Moms. This month, I simply asked my high schooler, Hannah, who is finishing tenth grade, to share with me five things that she loves about being homeschooled during these years.

Here are her answers {in bold} and my thoughts {following} to the question – what are five things you love about being homeschooled during the high school years?

1. I like structuring my day around what I need to accomplish. Remember when they were young? Those years of lesson plans, schedules, and goals? Remember hearing how the goal was to raise an independent learner? Well, it does happen. It just takes time and persistence. Hannah, my tenth grader, and Chloe, my eighth grader, are both very independent scholars. We have a morning meeting and an end of the day meeting regarding their work. This year in the fall, Hannah took the subjects that she was going to study and structured her entire year. I looked it over, made any adjustments, gave some suggestions, and she was on her way. She has mastered task planning, goal setting, and follow through.

2. I am grateful for the freedom to get ahead with my work. This one? Easy to explain. Just as Hannah enjoys structuring her day, she’s also discovered {quite quickly} that she has the ability to get ahead of her schedule. I’ve seen her work incredibly hard at finishing what she can get done so that she can spend more time with her photography or her graphic design business.

3. I can pursue what I want to do with my life. Hannah, when she was younger, developed an interest in blogging. This led to her starting a graphic design business, which in turn led to her discovering photography. At this point, in addition to her graphic design business, she’s established a photography business and has done numerous family shots, and this summer she’ll be shooting a wedding. She has had time to pursue these interests in her life. I really give credit to the freedom that she’s had in her homeschool day with the ability to discover and unearth the gifts and talents and direction that she wants to pursue. But I will tell you that it takes time. It takes faith, and watching, and encouraging as you allow your preteen/teen the freedom to explore her giftings.

4. I am able to be with my family. We’ve instilled in our children the importance of family. No matter what our educational choice would have been the motto would have still been the same — family first. We enjoy our days together. Hannah {and Chloe} have expressed to me how blessed they feel to be a part of their siblings’ lives. In fact, not a day will go by where I don’t see one of them reading to younger siblings, or playing with them, or helping them with their math facts. And this? This is by choice. Family time together is a gift.

5. I love the freedom during the day. At first I was thinking, well how does this relate? But it does. Hannah shared with me how she loves to go to the coffee shop and have time with a dear friend — chatting, discussing academics, praying, having a Bible study, and just hanging out. There have also been times when she’s spent the entire day at the Art Museum. She had time to sketch, to draw, and to journal. No time tables – just free learning. She’s also incredibly grateful for the free time to spend with her grandparents. Often she’ll go over to one of their homes during the day and help out, listen, and just spend time with them. This too is an incredible gift and celebrates family.

So why do I share her words? To encourage you during those years when the schedule is tight, phonics is overwhelming, and you sit at the table every single day. I’ve still got that — I’m teaching a fifth grader, second grader and k/first grader. And I’ve got a preschooler and a toddler in the mix. It is busy. Very busy. But those years when they need you to go through every single question on every single lesson are, in all honesty, short years. If you’ve got littles right now, they will grow and they will learn to be independent. I am beyond grateful to have the opportunity to homeschool a high school student. These years are some of my favorite and most rewarding years so far. Truly.

Just stick with it. Day after day. Year after year.

If you are interested in viewing my daughter’s blog please visit her at Aspire and her photography business at Hannah Nicole Photography.

Rachel lives in the half-a-year frozen land of Minnesota. She’s a Christian home schooling momma to seven fabulous kids, and is the wife to an amazing cancer-surviving husband. In January 2011 her youngest son, Samuel, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease so you’ll also find her passionate about gluten free living and Celiac Disease awareness. Between home schooling, blogging, running her family, and, of course, drinking coffee, you’ll also find her driving her girls to classical ballet or her boys to soccer. She’s passionate about seeking joy and living a faith filled, intentional life. You can find Rachel blogging at Finding Joy

Similar Posts


  1. I just wanted to tell you how refreshing this outlook is. A friend of mine posted this line on Facebook and that’s how I got here. 🙂
    I don’t home school my kiddos, but she does.

    I so often see mom’s just talking about their little ones being home schooled, but the kids don’t have their own voice. Seeing a girl/young woman’s opinions on this is really important. It gives people a view that is often overlooked.

    1. Thank you, Amy. I think it’s so important to listen, truly listen, to our children. In all types of schooling/educating choices. These teenage years are a great opportunity to grow and learn along with our now older ones — and so much of that is taking the time to sit, listen, and enjoy them.
      Thanks for your comment!

  2. There is never a moments hesitation when my 14 year old is asked how she likes homeschooling. She too, is an independent learner and works so very hard at her schoolwork. For me, the struggle with her is to find a balance away from her work, and away from her screen …
    How I wish MI was closer to FL 🙂

    1. I, too, wish we were closer. Isn’t it a beautiful thing to watch them learn independently? When they are young you never think the day will come and then when it does it is so rewarding to watch them venture off and want to learn.
      Love ya, friend!

  3. Rachel, this is awesome. Our Hannah, who is entering 6th grade, has been entirely independent since this year. I meet with her first thing in the mornings for prayer/devotion and then she does her work. She totally enjoys the same things that your Hannah does in regard to “why” she loves being homeschooled. Even though she is younger, I see the pattern and freedom that homeschooling has set for her life. Thank you for sharing this – it just confirms that what we are doing is accomplishing many great things for our family! To God be the glory!

    1. Thank you, Carlie! I love how you start each day with devotion and prayer with her. Do you do that with just her? Or your entire family? I think I am going to start to implement that in our life as well. It’s beautiful.
      Blessings, friend!

      1. Rachel,
        We do a general family meeting first thing in the morning where we read some scripture and pray. However, my daughter and I do a separate time of prayer and devotion after breakfast. It is a sweet time together and I am grateful to God for this special time between mother and daughter 🙂 And my husband does the same thing with the boys when he is home. And of course my husband and I (when he is not deployed) read the word together and pray every night – over the past 13 years it has become like air – we need this time together to survive 🙂

  4. Thanks so much both of you. This post gives me strenght to achieve this journey with my twins, now 3. This is what I wish for them, if that’s what they want too. Very inspiring…

    All the best to your lovely family!


    1. Thank you! It’s amazing how quickly time goes. I’ve discovered that with homeschooling it takes a great deal of “stick to it” type mentality. There are good days, hard days, medium days, boring days, great days — and we just need to keep running the course!
      Blessings to you.

  5. My oldest is a 10th grader and has said the same things about the blessings of homeschooling. I’m really glad you posted this article as there are a lot of families homeschooling high schoolers who feel there isn’t enough information and support.

  6. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing! I greatly appreciate the encouragement. I have seven kids and one due in the next couple months and it is overwhelming sometimes. But my oldest is only 6th grade – she is pretty good about working independantly but you have given me hope for the others. It is when they are young and you have to read everything to them and the toddler is throwing a fit that you might question what you are doing. Thanks for telling me to just keep going! Your daughter sounds amazing! Good luck to her in all her endeavors – how exciting to be able to pursue her own talents and interests while so young. Sometimes I wish I could have had those opportunities but excited to offer them to my children.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *