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Join me as I “hopscotch our way” to homeschooling through high school!
As I’ve made mention before…it’s not really that hard to homeschool through high school (although I do admit it’s not for everyone!)…
When the time comes, or even if you find yourself in that season now, the one thing that will “make or break” this experience is the plan.
As with anything else, those who fail to plan…(c’mon, say it with me) plan to fail. Trust me, folks, these 4 short years will FLY by, no matter how long the days themselves may be. And with deadlines related to testing, college applications, scholarship applications, perhaps gap year planning, and such, well, even if you have to make adjustments, a plan is essential!
And speaking of all those dates, if you don’t already, this is a great time to start using a planner. Read my review of a paper-and-pen planner and a more techie online version.
Guide to Homeschooling High School – Step 1: Make a Plan
Planning has 2 components…
- Personal research – This is best done by the teaching parent/s first, but most definitely should include your teen, too. Parents, are there State requirements your child must meet or reports that you must submit? What kind of budget do you have for books and classes? What are your options for resources – online classes, co-ops, junior colleges where they might offer dual enrollment opportunities? Together with your teen consider their interests and abilities, gifts and talents. Are they considering a gap year? If they’re college-bound, it’s a good idea to make a “short list” of schools and see what their admission requirement are to ensure your plan is closely aligned.
- Moving forward – Once you’ve got those issues in play…start plugging in how you’re going to accomplish it! We’ve found it easiest to go ahead and create a tentative transcript, filling in the major subjects and penciling in the electives and such, year by year. You can always change up the order of the classes as need be, and at the end of each year you will want to wrap up that year’s classes with complete class names and grades, but this way you have your plan in one neat little place.
…and 2 considerations:
- Be flexible/creative – For example, suppose your plan includes American Lit in Sophomore year and British Lit in Junior, but your local co-op is offering a British Lit class this year, during your child’s Sophomore year. No worries – go ahead, sign ’em up, and update your transcript/plan. One instance this may not work might be math, which is traditionally offered in Algebra I – Geometry – Algebra II order; but I have a friend whose child did Alg I – Alg II – Geometry, and did fine, even with her SATs. Additionally, you may find that you can creatively use courses that might otherwise be considered electives to craft a fairly rigorous and supremely relevant course of study. If your son is still an active Scout, you can definitely include the work required for some of the upper-level Boy Scout badges as part of their coursework, and many American Heritage Girls badges can be used by your daughter in middle- or high-school in the same way.
- Be organized – It doesn’t matter if you say “you aren’t”…at least keep good records for these 4 years. Not only does the time fly by (along with your memory), but teens are an active bunch, and you may miss out on an activity or responsibility they had that is transcript-worthy.
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Read through these posts in my series – Your Easy Guide to Homeschooling High School:
- Get a Plan
- The Power of Creative Electives
- Developing Leadership Skills in Your High Schooler
- Your High Schooler Needs to Watch These Before Graduation
- Tools for the Teacher: How to Ensure Your Teen Has a Thriving High School Experience