If you’re like me, with the start of a new calendar year, thoughts of finishing the last five months of school begin creeping into your mind and you wonder what you need to do to get ready for the next school year. September will be here before you know it, right?
You may have given the idea of homeschooling for high school a little thought or maybe you have not allowed it to cross over yet. But eventually, if you homeschool all the way through elementary and into middle school, you will have to think about whether or not you want to keep your children home for high school.
Don’t let high school scare you. It’s super fun! It’s a great time to be with your child, helping him or her develop into an awesome young adult who desires to serve the Lord. So many teachable moments happen when you homeschool your teens all the way through high school. However, the thought of it can be overwhelming.
There are many ways to homeschool for high school. The options range from traditional school at home to classes outside of the home to online classes offered by homeschool umbrella schools and even many public school systems. If you worry about your teen having enough social time, make sure the opportunities are there for getting to know peers.
People often worry first and foremost about the credits. Oh, the credits. How in the world do you know how to do them? Well, that’s easy. Most public schools require four English credits, four Math credits, four Science credits, three Social Studies credits, two Foreign Language credits, one Physical Education, and one Health. The balance of the credits required for graduation is for Electives of your child’s choice.
Here is an example from the state of Georgia: http://www.gsfc.org/main/publishing/pdf/2009/Grad_Guidance.pdf
Now looking at your public school requirements is the first step but only the beginning. Next, take a look at the colleges that your child is interested in attending. If no preference has been made yet, then just check out the entrance requirements for your local colleges and maybe some favorites out of state. This will give you an idea of what might be required to enter the college. Even if college is not affordable for your family or your child has not yet decided a career path, I recommend preparing her for college anyway. That’s step two and that will give you a skelton for the classes your child should take in high school.
Before we go any further, let me answer the question: What is a credit? When your child completes 75% of a textbook, that’s a credit. But what if you are not using a traditional textbook? What if you change books midstream or use various library books—if you customize your curriculum? Usually, if you spend a school year on a course, that’s a credit—regular daily work for 180 days. A half of a year would be a half credit. For more details, check out this link at H.S.L.D.A. http://www.hslda.org/highschool/docs/EvaluatingCredits.asp
Okay, so you know what classes your child should take and how much time should be spent on those classes. Now what? Well, now you get to start teaching those classes. First, you want to set up a schedule for the classes. Map out the curriculum so that you can get it all done in your 180 days. Leave room for holidays, sick days, work days, volunteer days, and anything else that might interrupt a normal schedule. That way you won’t get behind.
Hopefully, this little snippet from my brain has helped dispel the rumors that homeschooling for high school is too hard. Watch for more homeschooling tips in the near future.