Homeschooling Through High School: Three Things to Consider as You Plan

Are you planning to homeschool your high schoolers?

I know that, unfortunately, many homeschool moms feel as if they can't keep their kids at home when they hit the high school years. Fears about how daunting homeschooling through high school could be paralyze them, and they end up enrolling their kids in "real school" for the high school years.


But homeschooling high school doesn't have to be scary, Mama. And the benefits of doing it are tremendous. At the time of writing this post I've graduated two and have two more high schoolers, and I wouldn't trade any of that time.

Sometimes a good plan can help you conquer- or at least control- your fears. So here are some things you to consider as you begin making your homeschooling high school plans.

Planning for homeschooling through high school

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Planning for college...or not


We don't subscribe to the idea that every kid is headed to college no matter what. I think our culture pushes kids to college when they don't have any idea whether or not God is leading them there. That can often result in school debt and in kids who have degrees they can't use. I think college can be great and have it's place. (I have a Master's Degree.) But I don't think God leads every kid on a path that leads to college.

Now, with that controversial paragraph thrown out...we have had our two (so far) high school aged kids follow a "college prep" track as far as what our local school system requires for a high school diploma. Our thought is that at the age of 14 or 15, you're probably not clear on exactly what God has planned for you. It's better to follow the path to a diploma that will allow you to get into college than to scrap the idea and then later have to struggle to get into college if that's the route you need to go. But if you have a child you know won't go to college, I think it's fine to move in that direction as well and not worry about high school and college requirements.

Knowing the requirements


Speaking of requirements... In order to make sure that we planned for a high school diploma, I took the time to find out our state's requirements for graduation. I haven't found any centralized web site for this. So I literally googled- What are South Carolina's requirements for high school graduation?- and I found the state educational website which gave me a nice listing for things my children would need to graduate- what courses, how many courses, specific courses. I took that information and made a checklist sheet of sorts on Google docs. On that checklist I add courses taken each year so that we can see exactly what's needed and what they have left.

I don't know about every state- and, again, I really recommend that you become really familiar with those- but in my state, homeschoolers don't really have to meet the same graduation requirements that public schoolers do. (This is what HSLDA says about graduation requirements- In most states parents are under no duty to imitate the public school standards for graduation, and parents can decide what students must do to receive a diploma. A few states have high school graduation requirements in their homeschool laws. Read your state’s law to see if there are any graduation requirements that apply to you, and contact HSLDA if you have any questions.) I chose, however, to go by the state requirements because that's usually what colleges are looking for. And, as I said above, we are working toward equipping kids for that if that's where God leads.

And those transcripts


The very idea of a transcript made me quiver when I was a year or so out from having a high school student. The idea loomed over me and made me truly fear this homeschooling through high school idea. The fact is, though, that high school transcripts aren't scary at all...if you do a little research.

A transcript is simply the record that you keep of the high school credit classes your student takes. There isn't anything magical about an "accredited" transcript. Most colleges don't require them. If your child has a college or colleges in mind, check their requirements.

Usually you can keep your own transcript for your student. This post has step-by-step instructions for creating a high school transcript. You can also download a free high school planning packet that includes a graduation requirements worksheet and transcript templates.

Resources for homeschooling through high school


Big Future by the College Board- great wealth of information intended for students to be able to read and use easily. There's information about testing, graduation requirements, choosing a college and much more.
HSLDA Homeschooling Through High School
Donna Young- This is an amazing site with so many household and homeschool printable forms. For high school she has graduation checklists, planing guides, transcript forms, and more.
Let's Homeschool High School- has curriculum recommendations, college lists, information about requirements and more
High School Prep Genius- This is a book that I had the opportunity to review the summer before Kathryne's freshman year. It's an awesome resource. It is geared toward the high school student and has some information for parents. The very best thing about it is that it helps the student set up a notebook that guides them through the four years of high school and into college preparation.

Planning for homeschooling through high school


Once I took time to think through these things and plan, high school didn't seem as scary. And now that I have kids on the other side of the high school graduation line, I can reassure you that homeschooling high school isn't as difficult as we sometimes make it. And I encourage you to think through these as you do your high school planning.


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