Homeschooling High School: You Can Do It!

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Graduation cap and textbooksMany parents are worried about homeschooling high school. There are more records to keep, credits to prepare for and keep track of, the ACT/SAT tests to study for and take, driver’s ed, and the list goes on. All that plus the hormones, attitudes, and dating. It is understandable that many homeschool parents consider putting their students into public school when they hit the high school years.

However, my experience was the opposite of this. My parents started homeschooling us when I was going into the 8th grade. I loved the freedom of learning at my own pace. My parents did not keep track of my credits, although I think we did come up with a transcript based on the subjects I took and the extra things I learned. When it came time to go to college, my ACT scores were strong enough to get me in, and I had no problems keeping up as a college student.

Fast forward 20 years: My husband and I decided to homeschool our daughters as our eldest was entering middle school. I took on teaching the high school years quite a bit different than my parents did. I took an organized approach homeschooling high school: I over-planned and kept track of everything we could use towards high school credit. I kept a three-ring binder for each girl and documented everything portfolio-style.

HSHomeschoolRecordKeepingWhen you’re ready to start planning your homeschooling high school record-keeping, here’s a complete tutorial on how to set up a high school binder for homeschool record-keeping.

My daughters both graduated high school a year early and tested well on the ACT. Although one of them is taking classes at the local community college, neither is very interested in pursuing a college degree at this point in time. I knew before my daughters finished high school that they might not want to go to college, but I always want them to have the option to change their minds.  So for now I have their high school portfolios completed and ready. Even if they aren’t ever needed, the experience of making the portfolios was good practice for when my boys — now eight and two — hit high school age.

Guardian Academy Diploma

As you approach the high school stage of homeschooling, it’s important to take a look at your state’s graduation requirements as well as the entrance requirements for any colleges you might consider. Generally, most require 4 credits of English, 3 credits of Math, 3 credits of Science, 3 credits of History, 2 credits of Foreign Language, 1 credit of Fine Arts, and 7 elective credits, which equal 23 credits total. In Oklahoma, you can’t get your driver’s permit unless you have taken and passed the 8th grade reading test, so make sure you find out about things like that in your state. In many states, driver’s education can be taken at home with an approved curriculum and counts as 1/2 a high school credit.

So if you are considering homeschooling through high school, be encouraged: It isn’t as hard as it looks! I enjoyed the high school years with my daughters. It just takes planning and some organization for your high school record-keeping.

Are you approaching the high school stage of homeschooling? What are some of your biggest concerns or challenges? If you are already homeschooling high school students, what tips have been the biggest help for you? We’d love to hear what’s working for others and what questions you have about homeschooling high school in the comments below!

Rosanna Ward is a devoted wife of 22 years and mother of four children, two of which are homeschool graduates. She currently homeschools her 11-year-old son Joel and 5-year-old son Leif. Rosanna is a homeschool graduate and a graduate of Oral Roberts University who has been homeschooling since 2005. She and her husband own two Daylight Donuts shops. She is also publisher of Tulsa Homeschool Happenings. Rosanna loves to study History and Genealogy: Her genealogy blog is called “Rosanna’s Genealogical Thoughts.” She and her family reside in Sand Springs, Oklahoma.

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