How & Why: Our 2-in-1 High School Year

After all the battles we had about Lindsey’s desire to go to public school (which she did last year), she has decided to come back home for school this year.

If Lindsey stayed in public school, it could take four more years, or two years plus two summers of math in summer school to meet graduation requirements. welcome back to HOMEschool chalkboardIf a student has not successfully completed Math, English, and Science for a grade level, the student remains “officially” in the lowest grade they have completed. This meant she’d still be considered a freshman next year, even though she’ll be 18 in January. Thinking realistically, why would she even want to continue on that way? For kids in that situation, looking at graduating high school at 20 or 21 years of age, the likelihood of quitting school skyrockets.

Summer school is expensive: $550 for one class ($275 if the student only needs one semester’s worth of the class). Summer school also takes up all but a few weeks of the summer, and is at only one location in our county, about a 40 minute drive each way (and she does not yet have her driver’s license). None of these things made any of us eager to sign her up.

She isn’t behind in every subject, so having to continue on for that long simply because one subject has given her so much trouble seems ridiculous. And in homeschooling, the fact is she wouldn’t have received a failing grade because A) we’d have gone back over things she didn’t understand instead of just moving on with the rest of the class, and B) she would’ve gotten credit for the 180+ hours of time she put into math this year — but in public school she gets NO credit for that.

In order to meet state graduation requirements, Lindsey needs a total of 10 more credits; in a typical public school year, students earn 7.0 credits. This means she needs the equivalent of about 1.4 years of school, but it will take far longer if she has to adhere to the rigidity of public school schedules and requirements.

In homeschooling, we are flexible. We can set the pace, we can do only the subjects she needs, and we can skip the fluff. Rather than looking at two to four more years, we can do this in just one year if we stretch a typical 9-month school year into 12 months. At that rate, we’re really not even accelerating the pace of schooling, but simply increasing the length of the school year.

That means, if she works diligently and if all goes as planned, we’ll start her school year in June, and she will complete state requirements for graduation in the summer of 2013.

After I explained all of this to Lindsey, it didn’t take her long to decide.

Of course, I’ll be sharing as we go, so stay tuned and follow along with Lindsey’s “senior year… sort of” (as she described it)!