Many people have questions and curiosities about life as a homeschooled high school student.
“Do your family’s students get a home economics credit for doing the dishes?”
“How do you teach integral calculus?”
“Where in heaven’s name did you get such a nice transmission electron microscope?”
“Is school violence a major issue—are there gangs or bullies?”
“Is that a pipe organ in your living room?”
I am asked these questions and many more hundreds of times each year; usually I say “no comment” or refer the askers to my press secretary or my cat. However, at last I have taken the time to personally answer a few of them; do keep in mind, however, that no two homeschools are alike.
My school football team has never lost a game. Consequently, we have never played a game, either, and none of us know how to play football. That’s beside the point—the point is that we are doing better than Lumberton High School.
This homeschool has a thriving music program. Currently there is a nose-flute virtuoso in middle school here; we had a banjo player until last year, when we banished him to an apartment and gifted his instrument with the ultimate banjo mute (a.k.a, the sledgehammer).
Two thirds of my school’s students have learned to like coffee by at least their sophomore years; the other third has not yet reached its—or, well, her—sophomore year.
There is no policy forbidding me from bringing, cooking, dissecting, or hunting my lunch. Usually the school lunches are quite good, unless the freshman home economics class is in charge for the week. (I failed the home economics class the first time around after catching the stove on fire.)
My school has never had a lab safety issue or explosion, and the school’s decontamination shower has never been used. (Once some potassium permanganate stained the kitchen countertop, but it blended with the pattern anyway.) Personally, I have only eaten one science experiment; I’m still alive and maybe with superhuman powers to boot.
My cat kills things, but usually just mice or Entergy workers. The facility is monitored 24/7 by sniper-archer-ninja freshmen sitting on the roof.
Do not worry about it. I talked to a person once and despite that I think I’m still turning out alright.
Chores-for-grades is a simple system my homeschool has developed for making the most of the home economics experience. Target practice and science experiments are integrated to help with the first-time cake failures and carbonized animal tissues.
Personally, I am quite taken with the field just west of my house—lovely for geological expeditions. I found a baby armadillo there not too long ago.
Calculus? Quantum physics?
Two words: Khan Academy.
School Dress Code
Pajamas are acceptable, but chainmail, swim suits, lab coats, or sometimes jeans are also acceptable. The freshman prefers wearing cloaks and chainmail, but I—the junior or senior or whatever you would like to call me—am nocturnal, so it is of little consequence anyhow.
Like many high schools, my homeschool likes to show school spirit. My family mainly does this by having pep rallies around the dinner table and then watching DIVE videos* together.
I actually learned my alphabet long, long ago. I see no use in wearing letters at this stage of the game.
My sister once whacked me upside the head after I beat her at chess. Other than that, student rivalry has not been a significant factor in academics or trips to the emergency room.
hopefully this has answered a few of your most pressing questions. But again, remember—not all homeschools are all alike, and not many homeschools have such great football teams.
*For the uninitiated: DIVE is homeschool celebrity Dr. Shormann’s lifesaving curriculum. Best thing since the Pythagorean theorem.