Are you facing the high school years in your homeschool?
Many homeschooling parents report that the idea of continuing on and homeschooling high school is daunting to them. And many families make the decision to send their teens to traditional school once eighth or ninth grade rolls around. When my family began homeschooling about fifteen years ago, our motto was, “one day at a time, one year at a time.” At the start of kindergarten with our son, we had no idea where this homeschooling journey would take us.
The high school years
As we got closer to high school, there were some things I learned that helped pave the way for a smoother transition to the secondary years. I would like to encourage you that homeschooling high school is not a daunting task. In fact, the high school years are actually some of the easiest to homeschool.
Freebie! Your High School 4-Year Plan
There are several things you can do to plan ahead now and make getting started with high school an easier prospect. I have a freebie for you that will help you get your student’s schedule planned. Plus it will help ensure that you cover all the courses he or she needs to complete! Get your free High School 4-Year Plan here!
When your child enters middle school, you can start planning ahead for homeschooling high school.
In many states, eighth grade courses can count towards high school credits, depending on the course. In my home state, these courses must be core subjects like English, math, and science. They also must include high school level work. If you are strategic with planning your middle school coursework, you can use eighth grade to add a high school credit or two.
Figuring Out What to Take
You need to figure out what courses and credits are required for high school graduation in your state. You can find this information on your state’s department of education website and from your homeschool accountability association. It is a good idea to re-check this information each year in case requirements change.
In addition, you can look at the admissions requirements for a couple of state universities to see what courses they like to see on your student’s transcript. Or, if your student already has a college in mind, check with them. This information is easily found on college websites.
Making a List and Checking it Twice!
Once you have gathered your lists of courses, make note of the areas where you can use a college requirement as an elective. Now you have an overview of what you need to cover in high school. Use this information on your high school planning sheets.
Tips for Planning for Homeschooling High School
- Talk to your student. Discuss future plans and goals and find out what topics he or she would like to study. If your student has some input with their curriculum and course of study, it will be easier to motivate him or her to get it done. High school work involves a lot of independent study. So, it makes sense that your student would have some say in the curriculum decision-making.
- Plan an appropriate course of study. If you student is college bound, factor in college admission requirements when choosing courses. If your student plans to go straight into the job force or is already pursuing entrepreneurial ventures, high school is the time to start with apprenticeships and technical training.
- Keep good records. In order to make creating a transcript an easy process, keep good records of courses, credits, and grades. You don’t want to be scrambling for this information when it’s time to fill out scholarship applications or admissions paperwork.
- Record life experiences. Keep track of volunteer work, job experience, and extracurriculars. This information will be needed for applications as well.
- Start investigating dual enrollment opportunities. Dual college credits beginning junior year are a wonderful way to get a head start on college. Your student can enter college a semester ahead! Map out these courses as you plan your entire course of study, and remember that a one-semester college (dual enrollment) course counts as an entire year of high school credit.