When most homeschooling mommas start their journey, they cringe at the thought of homeschooling through high school. And I for one totally understand the panic. It’s one thing to think about what to teach your child but it’s another when trying to navigate preparing them for life after high school. Let this post be a good dose of comfort and a wealth of information to help you make the most out of homeschooling high school.
Preparing for Homeschooling High School
Thinking back to your old middle and high school days, you may remember the big prep that went into that transition. There were specific classes to choose between, electives to consider, major tests to plan for, and so on. Contrary to popular belief, all of that is just as necessary for homeschoolers as public and private school students.
Instead of waiting until the high school years have begun, consider starting the journey during your child’s 7th and 8th grade middle school years. If you’re reading this and find yourself in the summer before your child begins 9th grade, no worries… you can make it work with no stress and overwhelm.
For beginners, look at the following key areas before the high school years begin:
- Weak areas. Note any subject areas that could use an extra brush up on skills (think English, Math, Reading, etc.).
- Recordkeeping. If you haven’t gotten a handle on recordkeeping, now is the time to start. Find a good set of printables to help with keeping accurate attendance and grades. This will come in handy for transcript purposes.
- Independent work. If your child isn’t able to work independently yet, this is a great time to fine tune those skills. They’ll come in handy later.
- Explore curriculum options. Dabble with a variety of resource options such as online courses, co-op groups, tutors, and college courses.
Working through these few areas will definitely help set you and your child for homeschooling high school with grace and ease.
A Simple Guide to Homeschooling High School
Use the tips below for mapping out your students upcoming high school years. This isn’t an exhaustive list; however, it’s enough to get (and keep) you started on a comfortable track!
When you reach the high school years, there comes a list of requirements to consider in order for your student to do several things such as graduate and get into college. Even if college isn’t on your child’s radar, you’ll still want to make sure they reach the minimum for a complete transcript. This includes having a certain number of credits per subject and a grand total to receive a high school diploma.
Set High School Goals
Together with your high schooler, set several high school goals to help them see the light at the end of the tunnel. This can include goals for completing a certain number of classes for particular subjects, electives, a finish date, and things to explore in the process. Most students agree that having goals in mind helps them stay focused while giving them something to intentionally work toward.
Set Goals for Life Beyond High School
This may seem like a little much for a 14 year-old soon-to-be 9th grader; however, you and I both know how fast these years come and go. Your freshman today will be taking senior pictures tomorrow. Not to rush the time, but setting a few goals for life beyond high school will help put into perspective the true meaning of these years. This is the time to help them decide if they have visions for attending a community college, university, study abroad, start a career, and so on.
Explore Career Interests
One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is the ability to cater your child’s education to their unique needs and interests. When it comes to homeschooling high school, this benefit is given its time to shine. Have your student explore a variety of career interests so you can adjust their courses to accommodate what they choose. This also gives them plenty of time to make changes if necessary, instead of changing majors three times once beginning college.
Explore Elective Options
With career interests in mind, elective options can be carefully chosen and easily selected. Instead of taking a bunch of filler courses, your student can actually prepare for college, trade school, or a job during or after their high school years. Electives can also help your high schooler consider a variety of resource options (as mentioned before).
Go Beyond Core Studies
Remember that although your student is preparing for adult life, there are many more experiences that go beyond the core studies. Don’t take away those field trips, road trips, and local co-op groups. And don’t hesitate to take those nature walks and count them on their transcript. You may be surprised by how much your high schooler can do that seems so much fun while offering lots of learning moments in the process.
Words of Encouragement for Making the Most of Homeschooling High School
As you begin your journey of homeschooling high school, there are a few words of encouragement I’d like to leave you with. For starters, always keep in mind that the journey will look just as unique as your child. It doesn’t have to look like your friend’s way of homeschooling and it doesn’t have to line up with that Instagram post you saw last week.
Also keep in mind that this is still a marathon and not a sprint. Although the years of homeschooling are coming to an end for your high schooler, it still doesn’t have to be rushed. Take your time and allow your high schooler the time they need for adjusting as well.
Lastly, embrace and welcome any changes that occur. Remember there is still time for your child to choose whether they want to follow through with higher education, or not. There is time for them to change career paths, or stick with the one originally selected. The idea is to make this a memorable and impactful time for your high schooler.
What are some ways you’re planning to make the most out of homeschooling high school?