Homeschooling High School with Confidence, Competence, and Contentment (a video interview with Ann Karako)

Homeschooling High School Confidence, Competence, and Contentment Ann Karako Interview
Spread the love

Ann Karako brings such an encouraging perspective to this conversation about homeschooling high school. Our discussions ranged from topics like parenting teens, to transcripts, to setting realistic expectations. I came away from this conversation reinvigorated and inspired. Ann convinces me every time I hear her that, really, it’s not that hard to homeschool high school. Don’t miss the full video, and check out the show notes below for some of the highlights!

Be sure to check out the other interviews in our Homeschool Conversations series!

Watch the video, read the show notes, and share with your friends!

Prefer to listen to your content? Subscribe to Homeschool Conversations on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts so you don’t miss a single episode!

homeschooling high school Ann Karako interview

{This post contains paid links. Please see disclaimer.}

Who is Ann Karako?

Ann Karako has been homeschooling for 20+ years and has graduated four children (one more to go). She believes that every mom can confidently, competently – and even contentedly – provide the complete high school education that her teen needs. Ann’s website,, offers information, resources, and virtual hugs to help homeschool moms do just that. 

Ann has written Cure the Fear of Homeschooling High School: A Step-by-Step Manual for Research & Planning and Save Your Sanity While Homeschooling High School: Practical Principles for a Firm Foundation. She also founded the popular Facebook group called It’s Not that Hard to Homeschool High School, which now has over 28K members; and recently she started the It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool High School Podcast.

She lives in rural Missouri with her husband and one child remaining at home, along with two dogs and three cats.

homeschooling high school Ann Karako

Watch my interview with Ann Karako

Show Notes {with video time stamps}

Ann’s decision to homeschool {2:00}

When the Karako’s 3 oldest children were very young, they had babysitters who were homeschool high schoolers. Those teens so impressed Ann and her husband that they decided right then to homeschool, and that they were going to homeschool all the way to the end!

They were eclectic homeschoolers. Starting with boxed curriculum in the early years like many families, they gradually grew more confident in making their own unique decisions.

“The high school years were the best of all,” Ann said.

homeschooling high school Ann Karako

The value of independent learning {3:49}

Early on, Ann realized that having 5 kids in 8.5 years was going to impact the way homeschool looked in their family.

Out of necessity, she began having her children learn independently when possible. But what started out of necessity became a wonderful part of their homeschool. Ann explained, “it became a pillar of my homeschool philosophy, which was to teach kids how to learn.”

What every mom needs to know about homeschooling high school {7:00}

“Please understand that there is no one right way to do homeschool high school…you need to make it suit you and your family,” she encouraged.

Homeschooling high school does not have to be intimidating, Ann Karako assured us. There is no real list of things you must do other than following your state’s homeschool law. It doesn’t have to be as hard as some people seem to think.

Choosing a high school course of study {10:00}

The best way to find out what your child should be doing during high school is to look at what their goals are for after high school. You can go to a college’s website, for example, and see what they expect incoming students to have learned during high school. Go to several websites and that will give you a good idea of what to include during high school.

Other things to consider:

  • Budget
  • Time
  • Family needs
  • Preferred style of homeschooling
  • Learning styles
  • Life skills

Transcripts {15:00}

“It’s a lot easier than you think it is!” Ann said. A transcript is just a list of courses, grades, and the credits earned. It’s not that complicated.

Ann shared some helpful tips for grading and keeping track of things each semester in the video. Her down-to-earth, simple approach will help you breathe a sigh of relief!

Get Your FREE Homeschool Planning Guide

✔4 Questions to Ask Before Planning

✔7 Steps to an Easy Homeschool Plan

Featured Image

Homeschooling high school and preparing for college {20:22}

By junior or senior year, your student should be responsible for managing their entire day’s schedule. Training them over time how to learn independently and manage their time is such an important part of preparing our children for college success. These are important things to practice at home, where the consequences of failing are a lot less.

Ann also had some real-talk about what type of college our children should be aiming for. “There are so many colleges out there that will love your kids just the way they are,” she said. We don’t all have to aim for the top tier.

Our kids don’t all have to have super high test scores or GPA in order to get into college or even to receive a scholarship. Ann shared a personal story as an example and summarized this way:

“It wasn’t that we were trying to make her fit the school. We were looking for schools that would fit her. It’s a completely different mindset.”

homeschooling high school

Parenting teenagers {26:50}

Homeschooling has been one of the key factors in my sanctification,” Ann smiled.

The teen years are challenging, but not necessarily more challenging than when they are young. It’s just a different kind of challenging.

“Be ready to adapt,” Ann encouraged. She reminded us that flexibility is key: “It’s not all about your agenda. It’s about your dialogue and your relationship.”

Ann had a lot of good wisdom to share about listening to our children as they grow in independence and dealing with some of that tension in the changing seasons of parenting. You’ll want to watch the video to hear all her thoughts!

Saving Mom’s sanity while homeschooling high school {34:20}

Ann encouraged us to really start with the basics: our own expectations. What are our expectations for high school? Are those reasonable expectations?

homeschooling high school Ann Karako

“It’s all about expectations. If you’re expecting the perfect experience, it’s not going to happen,” Ann reminded us.

Perfection doesn’t happen for anyone, and that’s ok. Sometimes things will look a lot different than maybe you thought they would. And sometimes that’s even better than what you had anticipated!

When it comes to homeschooling high school, Ann Karako encouraged us, “Think of it as an adventure more than as a plan.” If we think of it like an adventure, we know that we have a map and a destination, but we don’t have to follow one particular path. We have an opportunity to learn and grow!

Ann also emphasized the importance of margin. Homeschooling can become all-consuming in our life, and that is not healthy.

What is margin? Ann defines it this way: “I need to have the space to be kind to myself when the world is not.

She encouraged us to pursue peace over rush and worry. We can have a restful heart even in the midst of a busy life.

{You may also enjoy this conversation I had with veteran homeschool mom Missy Andrews all about where we find our identity and rest.}

homeschooling high school Ann Karako

“My parenting does not affect either the salvation or the sanctification of my kids. My parenting affects my sanctification,” Ann said. It’s God’s job to work in the hearts of our children. “If He chooses to us me, great, but it’s not dependent on me.”

Ann Karako’s favorite part of homeschooling high school {41:20}

“I just love having the kids around,” Ann said. It’s a joy to see our children grow in independence and learning, while still having the opportunity to intersect with our lives throughout the day. So many great conversations, lots of laughter, and deepening understanding of who they are.

Find Ann Karako Online

If you’re thinking about homeschooling high school, Ann Karako has got your back!

Check out all the other interviews in my Homeschool Conversations series!

Homeschool Conversations Video Interviews

Spread the love

Join My Newsletter
Enjoy subscriber exclusives and a weekly poem!

Leave a Comment

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