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 – Why Do It?

Many people look at home schoolers and wonder how and why they do it. Some people think home schooling is a hassle and think "why don't you just send your kids to school so they can be taught by a professional?" It all depends on your world view.

If you believe that you don't have as much to offer your child as a teacher does, then you will think that home schooling is not for you. Actually home schooling can be a positive experience for both parent and child. The parent gets to do some soul searching deciding to take on this endeavor and the student has the benefits of individualized attention and curriculum.

Homeschooling is legal in most states and can be done without fear of doing something illegal as it was at the beginning of the home school movement or in many countries today. We have a tremendous privilege to be able to choose how and what our child learns. There are many people in other countries who would love to home school their children, but are just not allowed to.

Choosing how and what your child learns can be seen as a huge burden and responsibility, but actually can be very rewarding. When you pay attention to what your child likes and how he learns best and then you find a system of learning that you both can live with, true learning takes place. Most school classrooms can't offer the individualized curriculum that home schooling offers. You can't just take your children out of school and let them play, but playing games and creating projects can teach your child many valuable skills.

When you examine what you truly believe about education and learning and trust the fact that this child was given to you to teach and enjoy, then you can move towards home schooling with confidence.

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.

The Impacts Of Home School Education To Children

Home education is simply conducting learning discussion at home. The parent or tutor is the teacher while the children are students. Studies found out that there were about 2 million home schooled students in America and the number increased up to 5 – 12% over the previous decade.

Long before the constructions of academic institutions such as universities and colleges, home school education has long been practiced at home. As the old adage goes, "the home is the first school of children while their parents are their first teacher" holds so much truth. Unless parents are teachers, education at home provides alternative venue and option to teach children basic lessons such as colors, shapes, and basic math and science as well formative values.

Probably the best thing about this approach is that the parent and child are able to spend more time together. This will deepen their bond or relationship and will provide opportunity to exchange familiarization of their own personalities. This way of teaching makes it possible to customize the time and be flexible about. Parents are able to choose the discussions to suit their children's habit, preferences and ability. They are also able to monitor their children and work with them closely. The following are found to benefit and create impact on home schooled children and parents as well:

1. Individualized Attention – the most effective benefit of home schooling is that child enjoy the privilege of having a "teacher" closely and solely focusing on the child's progress

2. Freedom to Diversify – Parents are also able to customize the curriculum and make sure it fits the needs of the child. Parents should take note that Home school education still follows particular federal policies and laws.

3. Social Adjustment – Children find extra-curricular activities exciting and fun. Incorporating field trip with cousins ​​of same age, or trip to museums with a kid next door is a fun way to learn. It will also help children overcome lack of social interaction as critics say of this method of teaching.

4. Family Bonding – bringing the parent and children closer

5. A Good Education – having to create a venue to foster holistic development of the child

When considering this approach to your children, it helps that the entire family is involved in the decision – making process as well the discussions, activities and other home school components (such as field trips, trip to museum, zoos and playgrounds) as well. Also, assessing your financial capacity will help your visualize the amount you are willing to shell out for home school education. If financial sources are uncertain, be resourceful and look for alternative materials to suffice the needs. Families who have tried home schooling have good lessons and experiences to share. So talking to these families will help you visualize what you are putting yourself into.

Either way, the parent must be sensitive and conscious to children's needs and wants. Although it has been proven that this type of methodology is beneficial to children, the parent must always assess the development of the child to make sure that the home school education fits their children.

Home Schooling and Down Syndrome

Making the decision to home school any child is difficult – if not daunting – for any parent, and especially those that have children with special needs, such as Down syndrome.

Do the benefits of educating a child at home outweigh those of an education within the public sector? How can one be sure that homeschooling is appropriate for their child? These questions can only be answered by each individual considering the option. However, once the decision for home schooling has been made, there are several things that should be done that will help your child reach their maximum potential in this educational arena.

First and foremost are the child's individual needs and their learning process. What spectrum, or how severe, is their learning disability? How are their interaction skills with others? What goals are sought and how do you get there? Because each child is different, an individualized plan is critical.

The Individualized Education Program, also known as the IEP, is required for all children that attend a public school. This assessment is also essential for children being home schooled. The IEP analyzes the child's specific needs and helps to identify a specific program with goals and effective strategies for learning as well as teaching. The plan allows for flexibility so that the child can learn at their own pace and their success can be measured more effectively.

There are several steps involved for the IEP, as well as measurement and re-evaluations, but this highly effective tool is beneficial for students, parents and caregivers alike. Information on the IEP, the steps involved and what can be expected can be found at the below website (1)

The second strategy for creating a successful and positive home schooling education is the environment in which the child will be learning. Having a separate area in the home is essential to the homeschooled student. This area should be used only during the educational process, and at no other time. This area helps to establish the mindset of learning time, just as being at a school or in the library, helps a child to make the correlation between quiet and reading time versus the cafeteria at lunch. The room should be filled with the required learning tools and materials. Some parents also include items that can be used as rewards once a child has successfully completed a given task, or the learning session. The National Home Education Network (NHEN) has excellent resources, links and information for home schooling along with forums, support and help for those just beginning the process or those that have been homeschooling for years. (2)

Structuring the learning times in homeschooling is also vital, while leaving room for flexibility. Many families home school during specific hours, while others find breaking the education times up allow the children time to absorb what they have learned within a short period, before either reinforcing that same material in a different manner or starting on new goals. Again, this is a matter of personal preference and what works best for your child. Karen, a parent in Ohio, has found that short breaks between learning sessions with her son, Tom, allows much needed mental breaks when the material seems excessively difficult for him, but has found that he has exceeded goals that they never believed he could accomplish in the beginning. Her schedule is flexible, with the attitude, "If he is doing well, and completing tasks, we keep going!"

Finally, homeschooling should be both fun and educational. The limits of teaching and learning are boundless. Children excel in rewarding learning environments and most often exceed goals and expectations when given an exciting and fun curriculum. Nearly everything can be made into a fun learning activity, limited only by our imagination. And, for those who may struggle with that portion of teaching, hitting the local library has excellent sources to help boost that fun and creative side we may have buried.

The decision to home school is both rewarding and challenging, but by assessing your child's needs and creating a workable program with an IEP, setting up the environment with the tools necessary to get the job done, having a workable schedule and an exciting and rewarding atmosphere for your child to learn, excel and grow in, you will find that both you and your child will flourish beyond expectations. So, get out those bubbles, tickle fingers and silly faces and enjoy the entire process!