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.
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)
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:
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.
top image courtesy of depositphotos