Homeschooling can be intimidating. Homeschooling high school can be really intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. Whether you have homeschooled from the beginning or just starting, there are a few things you should know before you make the decision to homeschool your high school student.
Homeschooling High School: 3 Things to Know
It is best to decide ahead of time what your student’s future plans will be. If they will be attending a university, their courses will be different than if they plan to do an apprenticeship or go to a vocational school. If future plans are still undecided, it is best to go ahead and plan for a more challenging course load from the beginning.
First, you need to know your state’s graduation requirements. Next, check a few colleges to see the minimum courses required. Now you are able to make a loose plan of core courses to satisfy those requirements. When planning high school, plan all four years at once. There will always be wiggle room, especially for electives, but the essentials will be planned.
What records you keep prior to high school depends on your state’s or your umbrella school’s requirements. Many do not require anything more than an attendance record. Some might require a list of classes taken and standardized testing results. However, when it comes to high school, you should document much more. Not only is this important if it’s needed for a college interview, but it also makes great memorabilia. Colleges look at more than just courses so be sure to include any other achievements, clubs, hobbies, volunteer activities and anything else that showcases your student. There are two ways to record all of this — transcripts and portfolios.
- Transcripts will show all of the academic courses taken, grades and overall GPA. It is also a good idea to include relevant test scores. Course descriptions can be on a separate page but is ideal for homeschoolers, especially since many electives that homeschoolers might take are not offered in a public school setting.
- Portfolios are more like scrapbooks. You should include photos, newspaper clippings, ribbons, certificate of achievements, etc. A portfolio will portray your student as a whole individual, more than just an academic reflection.
Customize Your Courses
The true beauty of homeschooling is that your student can learn what they really want to learn. They do not have to be forced into the typical learning mold but rather have a learning experience that is customized to their interests. There is so much freedom, especially when deciding on electives. Think outside of the box. You are not limited to a small selection of courses. You can look to others to teach what you don’t know. There are tons of online courses and/or professionals that you might know that would be willing to help your student.
One of my closest friends had a son that wanted to start his own business. He had no desire for college and already had a great business idea and contacts. She customized his high school years to include accounting, marketing, economics, plastic molding and few other courses that were specific to his business launch. (It’s been three years since he graduated and he successfully supports himself and his new wife now.)
Yes, homeschooling high school might be intimidating but it is so rewarding. You can equip your student with everything they need for their next chapter of life, regardless of what that will be for them. Most importantly, during this time you can teach them the important things that never make it on to a transcript like work ethic, honesty, integrity and more. Use this time to build a solid foundation in your relationship. After your student graduates high school, your personal relationship will change. Plant the seeds now so that your future relationship can blossom. Most importantly, enjoy the journey.