Homeschooling High School – The Importance of Junior Year

Junior year is one critical moment in time when you are homeschooling high school. In freshman and sophomore year you can kind of “fly by the seat of your pants”, but in junior year there are certain tasks that you need to do. On the first day of senior year you really want your child to start to apply for colleges. This sounds easy enough and only applies to senior year except for one minor detail. If you don’t know where you’re going to apply on the first day of senior year, it’s kind of hard to actually do the applying.

That is why much of junior year is spent figuring out what colleges your student is going to apply to. You do that by making sure that your child takes the PSAT, and the SAT or ACT. These tests will tell them the approximate test score that they have so that they will know which college they will fit with. You can also go to a college fair so you can get an overview of colleges you may want to attend.

Another important task of junior year is to identify a school that you want to visit and then actually visit the college. Otherwise, you may discover it is not anything like the name that they have on the side of their buildings or what you see in their marketing brochures. You have to make sure that the college is a good fit for your child.

When you are homeschooling high school, pay attention to the college search during junior year and then you can be really successful.

Beginning the Journey of Homeschooling High School!

Homeschooling high school–are you nervous or excited? Or a little bit of both?! High school is a rewarding time to be homeschooling, as your children mature and grow and engage you in more complicated conversations. Along with the fun, though, are some important things you should be thinking about as you enter these high school years, and now is the time to start work!

Your child’s freshman year is the time to begin learning about high school testing. One of the reasons it is so important to start thinking about this during freshman year is that some tests are best administered to a child immediately after they finish a class. For instance, if they’re taking chemistry and you decide you want them to take an AP test in chemistry, they should take the test when they’ve learned the content.

You also need to decide whether your child should take an SAT, AP, or CLEP subject test. Some colleges only accept certain tests, so it’s important to find out which ones will be accepted by the colleges your child will most likely be going to.

And don’t forget to register for those tests so they can actually take them, because all of the research in the world isn’t going to help you if you don’t actually register for the test! To register, all you have to do is call your local public or private high school and say, “I’m a homeschool parent, and would like to know if my homeschooled child can take the SAT or the AP subject test at your high school, and how do I register for that”?

The next thing you want to do during your child’s freshman year, if you’re feeling pretty confident in where you are, is to think about colleges for a minute. It doesn’t hurt to begin looking at colleges with your teenager now. You could identify a primary list of colleges that you might consider. If you’ve always thought, “probably these four are the ones that we’re going to apply to,” or “my child has always mentioned an interest in going to Harvard” or something, then you should begin to look at those colleges.

If you do have some colleges in mind, it’s a good idea to look into their application requirements now, because if the college your child wants to attend is that one college in a million that requires four years of foreign language or something, you want to know that earlier on in Freshman year. You could also consider a college visit in the spring. Most college visits are done during the spring of Junior year; but it’s perfectly fine for you to take your children for college visits in Freshman year or even earlier.

Home Schooling in High School: Planning A Course

You have done your overall planning for the four years and you know which classes your student needs for this year. Now what? There are a number of alternatives for teaching the different subjects.

1. Many purchase textbooks for each class and have the student work through the texts, answering the questions and taking the tests. This can be an easy way with at least some assurance that you are covering all the bases. For a student who works well independently, this could work. It would give that student a starting and finishing point. Skills developed using this method may include reading comprehension, some writing skills and some time management skills. On the other hand, for a student who struggles with reading and writing, or needs more interaction with others, it may not be the best way. Also, it may be boring for some students. While those unfamiliar with the subject matter, using a textbook can help, but remember that no textbook perfectly covers every aspect of the topic that you may consider important for your child to learn.

2. Others choose to delegate one or more of the courses to specialists in those fields. This can be in the form of a local class (home school co-op, community college classes, enrollment in a private school that works with home schoolers) or online.

3. Perhaps you grew to enjoy unit studies in the earlier grades or your student gets bored with the textbook / class choice. You can integrate different subjects into a unit study or just apply the unit study approach to individual classes. At the high school level, you can actually get much more input from your children and allow them to do much more of the planning. Here are some possible steps:
· Find a scope and sequence online for the subject or a grade level textbook (borrow or find at Goodwill or library sale). Using a scope and sequence or table of contents in a book provides an outline or list of concepts usually covered for that subject. You have the option of excluding or including different parts, but this provides a guide.
Brainstorm – make a Mind Map of all the ideas that come to mind. To make a mind map, begin by writing the large topic in the center of a blank sheet of paper. Branch out adding more to this web of ideas and groups of ideas. Write anything that comes to mind. Later you can rewrite using only the ideas that you want to use.
· Brainstorm or make additional entries for each of the ideas on your mind map.
· Enter the activities and resources on the course plan in your planner where they can be checked off as completed.

4. With a little more planning, you can combine subjects like History and English. As you brainstorm you would use the scope and sequences for both of these subjects. By doing this, you can include a number of types of assignments that develop a wide variety of skills including research, hands-on-projects as well as reading and writing. I am not suggesting you double count work done in an integrated class. This can allow for more in-depth coverage of an area.

If the unit study approach sounds interesting, but hard to implement, try it first with one class. As you become more experienced, you can expand to other courses. You may also benefit from working with a home school consultant in this area. As a home schooling parent, you are in the driver's seat of your child's education, and you have many choices.

Home Schooling in High School: Making a Four-Year Plan

Before you begin home schooling your ninth grader, you and your child should sit down and plan out, in general, what you will cover over the next four years. If you have already begun high school, making this plan should be a priority. In the state of Washington, an independent home schooling family must complete courses that approximate the courses that the public school students in their school district must complete before graduation. If you are home schooling through a private extension program, you are responsible to fulfill the graduation requirements of that private school. Other states will have other guidelines, but they should be similar. Be sure and learn about those guidelines from your statewide home school organization. They often have that information on their website.

Most states would have similar graduation requirements. This can also vary depending on what the student plans to do after graduation. First, find out your state's the minimum requirements for graduation. Second, find out what students planning on attending community college should do. Finally, find out the requirements for students who plan to begin at a four-year college.

Another variable is how credits are counted. Traditionally, a one-credit class in high school meets for 50 minutes for 180 days. These credits count 150 clock hours as one credit which is the equivalent of 50 minutes times 180. Schools have diversified this standard, so be sure you know how they will be counted in your state or school district. For the purpose of this article we will assume one credit as 150 clock hours. College-bound students should earn approximately six credits each of the four years of high school, or three each semester. Most classes are one credit, but some are one-half.

Generally, students are required to earn 3-4 credits (or years) of English and Math. History or related classes comprise 2.5 – 3 years, including State History (if not studied in Junior High or Middle School), American History, and World History (and / or geography, government, economics). Lab Science and math-based science is essential for those going into a related area in college. Students need two-three years of science. Other requirements or electives include physical education, health, occupations, world languages, and fine arts.

Other important considerations include:

  • "What does the student plan on doing beyond high school?"
  • If going to college, "What does the college requirements for admittance?"
  • Whether going to college or not, "What job skills can the student learn to gain job experience and a means to help pay for college expenses?

Home school families may get help on these steps with variations of these two:

1. Find a consultant that will help you in your initial planning and anytime you need help.

2. Find a private school extension program to plan with you and provide a constant guidance and possibly accredited diplomas.

For general information, including your state laws, statewide home school organizations and resources visit: http://www.hslda.org

Homeschooling High School Without Tears

Homeschooling requires a lot, but homeschooling high school really takes effort. As a homeschooling mom of six, I am now homeschooling 2 high school aged children. Both of them are very different and have very different educational requirements. Yet, I have found with each of them that I need to keep that motivated while challenging them academically. The only problem I have is that we have a budget to stick to; Which means that I don't have a lot to spend on getting them the variety of courses that they need.

For this reason, I began to research the various FREE online courses that are available on the internet. I began to realize that I literally had a wealth of resources right at my fingertips. There are so many amazing options with the open course warehouse that colleges across our country have made available. These courses are high quality, and are usually from amazing universities such as MIT and even Yale.

During this past year, we have been able to use these courses to gain incredible knowledge, and then to validate this knowledge we have taken the CLEP test that corresponds to each course. This not only gives them viable course work for high school, but also college credit as well! It is definitely a win / win situation for each of them. This used to be a fairly unused method of dual enrollment. However, in the last few years, with the explosion of open course ware CLEP testing for college credit is growing exponentially.

If you are wondering how you can find these courses and others like them, you can use a great web site called Let's Homeschool High School . This site has been invaluable for me as I have planned my children's high school years. I am impressed by the level and quality of the courses that I have used and am even more excited because we have been able to take amazing courses for FREE, with simply the cost of the CLEP tests. My oldest daughter is now applying to colleges, and has most recently applied to Mercer University and was pleasantly surprised at how home school friendly they were.

For those of you who prefer to homeschool via textbooks and not the internet, the same can be done through your local library. You can purchase a CLEP study book and then check out the books you need to study for the exams for FREE. This allows you to get the material and formulate it into a course type setting. You can then easily take the CLEPT test to validate your course and again gain college credit that can be transferred to almost every college in the United States.

Home School High School

Yes for someone who haven't tried home schooling high school, making their own child's home school records and transcripts sounds impossible. They have lots of doubts and uncertainties thinking they will ruin or jeopardize the college life of their child. Well, it's normal to feel that way if we have the reason to do so. But there are times we need to check twice if the way we judge our abilities is right. Maybe we are just lacking self-esteem. Of course we cannot be professional teachers but we can educate our children since we know them better than anyone else does.

First we like to know the reasons why we hesitate to home school our child.

Possible reasons below:

  • Ignorance
  • Intimidated by others who criticize you
  • Complicated
  • Takes a lot of your time
  • We would rather pay someone to do it.
  • We haven't heard of someone who made their own child's records and transcripts
  • We don't know where to find help

Now we try to weigh them up with these solutions :

  • To be an educator of your child requires having the right tools and information. As long as we know how to read, write and willing to learn, we can do it.
  • We must not to listen to misleading and intimidating words around us since they don't know how we feel about the importance of educating our child. Knowing that it is our responsibility as parents to provide quality education to your children will move us to go on.
  • We must avail the necessary tools such as videos, audio, books, e-books and coaching programs that cover all the difficult areas of accomplishing your task.
  • Making records and transcripts is easy, fun and simple. Just to give one example is to learn how to record our student's experience on our own Official Home School Transcript, by subject and by year. This can be delightful since we can do it anywhere, anyplace and at our own convenient time. It need not to be formal.
  • Working to earn money to pay for agency demands a lot of our time than the hours we will spend educating our child. Teaching our child will cost us very minimal amount while agencies will cost thousands of dollars.
  • Many parents have been successful in home schooling high school I'm sure we can too. And college love children who were homeschooled.
  • Today coaching program is available. We are not alone to carry the load. We just need to find out where to avail the assistance that we need.

Reading these solutions may still not convince us that we have the capacity to stand as an educator to our child. We may still have the fear and doubts that we will jeopardize our child's college chance. As I said, it is normal to feel that way. But knowing that thousands of parents had been successful and in homeschooling their child, so we can do it too.