You Can homeschool through high school, andI want to show you not only that it’s doable, but that it’s totally worth it. Many homeschool parents see more than a few small hurdles to teaching their kids at home during the high school years.
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Some of the most common fears about homeschooling high school:
- I’m not qualified to teach things like higher maths and lab sciences and foreign language.
- How will they be able to go to college with a homeschool diploma?
- They’ll miss out on things like prom and sports.
- I don’t know how to keep a transcript.
- How will I know what credits they need to graduate?
- How do I calculate things like GPAs and course credits?
There are probably more than these, but if you are contemplating homeschooling high school, chances are you’ve thought about at least a few of the above statements.
I know I did. Yup. I spent an entire year filled with anxiety over high school. I fretted and researched. I worried and prayed. I talked with other moms who had homeschooled their own high school kids. I asked our son, Noah what he wanted, which was to keep on homeschooling. And still, I almost bailed. Almost threw down the white flag and registered my son for cyber school.
The things that I had believed to be true when my kids were younger still had to be true. God gave me these kids and He gave me the desire to teach them at home. We prospered at home education. My kids grew and flourished given the ability to school at home. And if God were still calling us to this, then I could trust that He would equip me, right? My husband and I went round and round discussing and praying. But at the end of my son’s 8th grade year, we’d come to the decision that yes, we were going to go for it.
Once the decision was made, I dove into research. I needed to know what the graduation requirements were in our state. Once I had those, I could create a general plan for each subject. I still considered heavily what interests Noah had, so that I could tailor certain subjects accordingly. And we were still part of a co-op that was entering into high school classes at the same time we were. I bought some books on high school record keeping, invested in some curriculum, and off we went.
There was a learning curve for us all, with a few bumps along the way. But looking back, I’m so thankful that we chose to continue homeschooling. And with our oldest now graduated and our daughter Fiona graduating this spring, we feel confident in our decision.
If you’re currently considering homeschooling high school, here are some steps you can take before you commit:
- Go to your state’s education website and looking up graduation requirements. You’ll want to know how many credits are required in each subject and which subjects are necessary. Print this out, as you’ll be referring to it as you plan.
- Once you know the basic graduation requirements, Create a 4-year course and credit outline.
- Spend time with your child discussing what interests he or she has within different subjects. Which foreign language does she wish to study? What type of science class interests her? There are so many options you’ll find that you can use for course credits. For example, our older two took a Forensic Science credit one year at co-op and loved it.
- Determine how you’ll work around classes you do not want to teach. For instance, we have relied on our co-op for classes that require a lab, as that is easier to do in a group setting. Plus, I don’t like teaching science! Electives like Speech and Debate are also best pursued in a group setting. You’ll also have the option of dual enrollment courses, which I highly recommend. We have two colleges nearby, one being a Community College and one, a private, Christian college. Our kids were able to take classes their junior and senior years that were incredibly helpful, filled in credit requirements, and helped prepare them for college-level work. That’s a win all the way around.
- Research course options. Just as in the elementary and middle school years, there are many options for learning. You can choose online classes, co-op classes, traditional textbook classes, college classes, etc. Or like us, you can choose a combination of the above.
- Relax. The reality is, you won’t teach them everything they need to know in 4 years. And whether you were public schooled or private schooled, you didn’t learn everything either. Your job as a parent is to teach and prepare them for life OUT of your house, and there’s no reason you can’t do that effectively with home education.
Here are some online resources for you to consider:
- Easy Peasy High School A website that has free courses that you can customize to fill out your child’s high school curriculum.
- Khan Academy Website with hundreds of free video-based instructions on every subject under the sun.
- Time4Learning Complete homeschool curriculum for every grade, in every subject. Affordable, video-based lessons
For high school record keeping, transcripts, and course building, I recommend the following.
- Setting the Records Straight: How to Craft Homeschool Transcripts and Course Descriptions for College Admission and Scholarships
- Homeschooling for College Credit
- Homeschool High School Made Easy: Find Your Why . . . Then Find Your Way (Easy Homeschool)
And yes, there are all sorts of extra curricular opportunities for high school homeschoolers.
Of course! There are area proms for homeschoolers. But it’s also fun to go with a friend to his or her school prom or formal. Lots of options for this.
Yup. We are fortunate to have a homeschool sports league, but other options include playing sports for your local high school, community league, or Christian school.
Group classes? Labs?
Will my kids get into college?
Yes. We have many friends who have chosen the homeschool route for high school and their children have graduated and moved on into college, the military, missions, and work just like their traditional school counterparts.
If you homeschooling high school is something you want to do, you CAN.