High school…it’s a word that strikes fear and anxiety in many homeschool moms. Most find themselves asking questions such as
- How will I teach my high schooler advanced math and science?
- How do I prepare a transcript?
- How do I teach my child to write an essay?
- Will my child be able to get into college with a homeschool diploma?
I asked these questions too! I was nervous about moving into the high school years of my daughter’s educational journey. I was overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start. As I read books and talked with other homeschool moms, I discovered two principles that helped me relax, enjoy this new stage, and homeschool high school with confidence.
Know Your Homeschool Purpose
The first principle is to know your homeschool purpose. When you know your destination, you can determine the best route to get there. When you don’t know where you want to go, you wander aimlessly. The same is true of our homeschool journey. In order to make decisions about curricula and activities, I need to know the goals and objectives I want my teenager to achieve.
My husband and I brainstormed the goals for our homeschool our very first year. Those goals continue to guide our decisions as we homeschool high school. Our homeschool goals are for our children to
- become devoted Christ-followers.
- develop well-grounded Christian beliefs and articulately defend them.
- develop disciplined habits of lifelong learning.
- be involved in meaningful ministry.
- achieve academic excellence by acquiring and applying knowledge and thinking critically.
- develop and practice a healthy lifestyle.
- develop practical life skills.
- develop an appreciation of fine arts.
- develop a passion.
Do Your Research
The second principle is to do your research. I talked to homeschool moms who had graduated children from homeschool, read books, and completed an online course about planning high school. Doing my research helped me feel confident, prepared, and excited to walk alongside my daughter through her high school years. The following resources were particularly helpful.
Books And Online Courses About How To Homeschool High School
Homeschool High School Made Easy by Lea Ann Garfias
Lea Ann provides many concrete examples of how to structure various high school subjects. She shares how she encouraged her children to learn independently and how she tailored her children’s high school experiences to their own interests and learning abilities. I do not agree with everything she suggests and recommends but I did appreciate the many tips included throughout the book and will be incorporating many of these in our homeschool high school.
Homeschooling for College Credit by Jennifer Cook-DeRosa
This book was full of options of how to accumulate college credit while still in high school. What I appreciated most, though, was that Jennifer did not put earning college credit (or a college degree) above the high school experience. Above all else, you should ensure your teen’s high school experience lines up with your reasons for homeschooling.
Transcripts Made Easy by Janice Campbell
I appreciate how simple and straight forward this book is. She provides advice for creating a four-year plan, what colleges expect to see, and options for different situations. The book also has multiple examples of what to include on a transcript and how to format one. This is not the only resource you will need to plan your student’s high school years, but it is one you will want to have on your shelf for quick reference!
Homeschooling High School by Design Online Course by Heather Woodie
I was stuck planning my daughter’s high school journey. I didn’t know where to begin. This course demystified the process by laying out a step-by-step plan to attack creating her four-year plan for high school. Once I had the four-year plan ready, planning each year was much simpler.
The Best Homeschool Planners For Homeschooling High School
Time management and assuming responsibility are important life skills to teach your child. Using a homeschool planner is a great way to help your child develop and practice both of these skills. These are my top three recommendations for homeschool planners.
Homeschool Planet is a robust online homeschool planner. I love that it is easy and flexible. You can include as much or as little detail as you want or need. You can access from a desktop/laptop or a mobile device. And it’s a bonus that it builds student responsibility and independence since they can work on assignments and mark them as complete through their own login. To learn more about this robust planner, check out my review including a video walkthrough of the program.
Asana provides a little more flexibility than Homeschool Planet but does require more effort to set up. Depending on what you need from a homeschool planner, this free option may provide the structure and freedom you need.
The Practical Planner by Susan Chrisman
The Practical Planner is a simple planner for Charlotte Mason homeschool moms who prefer to plan on paper. It is large enough to hold lesson plans for three high school students at once and includes a section to record books read and community service. Your child will have one central location to find his lesson assignments each week.
You don’t have to be afraid to homeschool high school! You can do it! Revisit your homeschool goals (or set aside some to time to set goals) and remember why you are homeschooling in the first place. Then, do your research and make a plan. You got this!