How to homeschool, high school
You survived homeschooling the younger grades and just as you start to get comfortable your child reaches 9th grade. Now what? How do you teach a class you don’t remember or worse yet, don’t understand? How do you figure out what they need to study in high school?
Take a deep breath and let me explain…
It’s the same but different
First of all, high school is just like every other grade. You have all the main core classes, math, science, history, and language arts. The difference is you now have elective classes to choose from and specific core classes your child needs to complete. But it doesn’t have to be hard or complicated.
Each state has different requirements for graduation and issuing a homeschool diploma. Make sure you abide by your state laws. In Oregon where we live, we are lucky enough to be able to issue a homeschool diploma. Surrounding colleges accept it along with transcripts when your child applies there.
I looked up the credit requirements for Oregon high schools and we are following those. These are specific to Oregon but it gives you an idea of what I am talking about.
|Subject Areas*||Graduation in 2012||Graduation 2013||Graduation in 2014 and beyond|
|English Language Arts||4||4||4|
|Mathematics||3||3||3 – Algebra I and above*|
|Science||3 – Scientific Inquiry and Lab Experience*, **||3 – Scientific Inquiry and Lab Experience*, **||3 – Scientific Inquiry and Lab Experience*, **|
Career and Technical Education
We don’t have to follow them. Technically we can do whatever we choose to do for high school but in an effort to make my children’s transition into college easier I decided to follow the same guidelines.
High School math classes
Here is an example of following what the state has set out for credit requirements for math. My son is in 9th grade and taking Algebra I. Next year he will take Geometry and the following year will be Algebra II. His senior year is up to him. He can continue on with math or choose to be done just like the public-school system.
You can do this for all core classes.
Electives and choices
This is the fun part. In high school your child branches out into different classes of their choosing. Some are required such as a foreign language class and some aren’t such as a drawing class. This is exciting stuff. Finally, you get to have fun with choosing school classes. My son chose art this year as one of his electives.
This is the paperwork part but you don’t need to stress I’ve made it easy. I’ve included a free transcript printable for you to use with your child. Just fill it out. Keep track of what classes your child is doing and the grades they received. You will need to keep grades in high school if you haven’t before. This is important because they will need to be able to provide a GPA for college and many job applications. Again, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Figure out your grading system such as 90-100 is an A, 80-90 is a B, etc. Whatever you pick just stick with it so you are consistent all the way through.
Keep track of any volunteer work, extracurricular activities, state test scores, and letters of recommendations. These will also be very important for future job and college opportunities.
Teaching hard classes.
This one is a little bit tricky. You will need to learn along with your child. This does not mean you have to re-learn Algebra all over again. It just means that you need to pay attention to what they are learning. When your child gets stuck, and they will, you need to help them figure it out. If you are struggling there are online resources you can look at. Khan Academy and MathVids are awesome resources and have free videos to help with homework. Another example is Grammarly for help with grammar-related questions. Sometimes it just takes you sitting down with your child and reading through the material. Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know how to do it. There is help out there I promise!
Let’s talk about extracurricular activities for just a minute.
I have always felt that having my children involved in some sort of extra activity was important. There is a balance to over scheduling and under scheduling your children. If they have a passion you should follow it. For my youngest son, it is piano. He loves piano and he takes lessons for it. He also loves drama and the good news is, the drama club at the high school is free. They are in scouts and my oldest does YMCA sports. Somewhere in your community, there will be something for your child. It doesn’t have to be sports. It could be volunteering at the library or joining in the public school’s chess club. Most states allow homeschoolers to join in extracurricular activities with the public schools.
Hopefully, I have covered any major concerns and worries you had about being able to homeschool your high school students. If there are other questions I haven’t covered here, leave me a comment and I will address them in future articles.
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