Depending on what career or college plans your kids have, high school can be the most difficult part of their homeschool experience. At this stage it isn't just making sure they learn what they're supposed to—schoolwork must be transcripted, credit hours accounted for, often a job and classes must be balanced, and if the student plans on going to college they'll have to study for and take entrance exams.
Thirty years ago there was almost no literature to help parents or students pursuing high school at home. Fortunately that's changing, though many of the books take (in our opinion) too standard an approach, simply guiding students through the getting-into-college process because everyone knows that all Americans are supposed to go to college.
While college is certainly the best option for some students, it's not for everyone. If you don't have a clear goal in mind before starting freshman classes (you want to be a doctor, an English professor, or an engineer), chances are you'll end up with a four-year degree, massive debt, and working a job you don't care about or even like. For those going to college because they don't know what else to do, there are other options.
Traditionally, those without the wherewithal to attend a higher education have opted for trade school or apprenticeship, two options that remain easily obtainable. Entrepeneurship is increasingly a possibility in the days of mass communication and social networking, and as kids raised in the Digital Age are equipped with almost innate technological skills.
But just as college isn't for everyone, neither are trades. Many careers require college degrees (and beyond), and there is benefit in attending college (if you can afford it) simply to obtain a higher level of education. Unfortunately, secular institutions are increasingly unsuitable places for young students to study. As Christianity is marginalized more and more, paganism and humanism are seducing students from the faith of their childhood.
We suggest two options: Christian college, or distance learning. Christian universities like George Fox, Corban, Hillsdale and New St. Andrews are committed to providing top-notch education from a biblical perspective. Typically such schools focus on the humanities, though there are some (like LeTourneau University in Texas) that offer degrees in math and the sciences.
Distance learning is harder work in some ways because the student doesn't just go to classes. Instead, he takes CLEP tests, online classes and exams, finds alternative ways to earn credit, and basically completes degree requirements at an accelerated pace and without leaving home. This is an excellent option for those wanting to pursue a career that requires a degree but isn't dependent on it—Accelerated Distance Learning by Brad Voeller is an excellent resource.
Whatever path you and your student decide to take, make sure you preface it with consideration and prayer. If your kid wants to become a mechanic, don't force him to get a liberal arts degree at the local university; if he wants to teach philosophy or become a neurosurgeon, however, help him discover the best way to accomplish that goal. The books in this section are designed to help you make these decisions, and once you have, to help you realize the objectives you establish.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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