How to Plan for Homeschooling High School

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If you’ve been homeschooling for awhile and have forgotten how it felt to be an overwhelmed, slightly-terrified new homeschooling mom (or dad), I can remind you with just two words – high school.

The idea of homeschooling high school is enough to bring back all those feelings of self-doubt and fear that you’d probably almost pushed completely out of your mind. Suddenly, you’re once again worried about how to teach this or that, where to find the perfect curriculum, and what if you forget something really important.

How to Plan for Homeschooling High School - with a free printable worksheet

Relax. Take a deep breath. You can do this.

Homeschooling high school doesn’t have to be intimidating, but it does help to have a plan. I like to map out all four high school years before we start 9th grade, so that I have a plan in place and know that nothing important is going to be overlooked.

First, I start with some general high school graduation guidelines. If you’re part of an umbrella school, they’ll probably have this information for you. Lee Binz’s book, The Homescholar Guide to College Admission and Scholarships is also an excellent reference.

Alternately, you may be able to find your county or state’s graduation requirements online to use as an outline. Most states require 19 or more credit hours for graduation with 24 or more needed for college prep.

If you are graduating your homeschooled student independently, you can determine the credit hours required yourself, but if you have a child planning to attend college, but sure to check their admissions guidelines to ensure that you’ve met the minimums.

The general guidelines that I’ve found to be fairly consistent are:

  • English – 4 credits
  • Math – 4 credits
  • Science – 3-4 credits (at least 2 with labs for college prep)
  • History – 3-4 credits
  • Physical education – 1 credit
  • Health – 0.5 credit
  • Foreign language – 2 credits (of the same language)
  • Electives

To make sure I don’t miss anything, I have a table set up for my kids, listing the grade level, subject, and required credits for each. Then, I plug in the specific courses they’ll be doing each year (or some general ideas if we’re not sure). That table looks something like this:

High School Planning

Those aren’t necessarily the exact courses my kids are using – for example, we’ll probably do an astronomy course instead of physics and I’m leaning toward American Sign Language instead of Spanish, but it give you some ideas of what you can do for each.

You may also be wondering about the English 9, English 10, etc. Some sources I read suggested not listing out literature, grammar, and composition as separate courses. We’re basically hitting a little of each in each English course, so if the secondary schools my kids may be attending are used to seeing titles like English 9 and English 10, I can do that.

For us, there will be much more music in the electives column since that is Josh’s passion. For 9th grade, we listed it as performance, since that was his focus last year. For 10th grade, we’ll list it as music theory since that’s his focus this year.

Similarly, if you have a student who plays sports, you may have more than one P.E. credit. In that case, you’ll want to list out specific titles, such as gymnastics, volleyball, and swimming.

Planning for homeschooling high school doesn’t have to be intimidating or overwhelming. Having an idea of where we’re going each of the four years gives me peace of mind about it. I know we can adjust if needed, but I can also make sure that we’re staying on track on not missing anything important.

If that sounds like you, I’ve created a blank high school planning worksheet that you can download.

>>Download your free high school planning worksheet .

>>Click here to watch a pre-recorded homeschool transcript video presentation with Lee Binz.

Homeschool Transcripts

top image courtesy of depositphotos

This post is linked to the Hip Homeschool Hop and Finishing Strong.

Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. I can’t wait for the webinar, thanks for your post and for the great resources. I have been putting it off because I am a bit intimidated;-) Not the best strategy..I know!

  2. Please check the colleges your children may attend, but the colleges in our area do not consider ASL a Foreign Language. So the credits are not accepted.

    1. Many of the ones in our area do accept ASL. With all courses, it’s a good idea to verify the requirements at the schools your children are considering.

  3. I love the idea of ASL! I think it is a great option for my soon-to-be High Schooler and even for younger siblings who are eager to learn a FL, but are not ready for nor desire to be conjugating verbs-lol

    What are the resources you are using for that? Is it a co-op or online program?

  4. Thank you this was very helpful. I am trying to plan my daughter’s general high school classes. It feels a little stressful as this will let her up for college or tech school or whatever she ends up doing as an adult.

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