Need to plan high school at home after years of sending your child to public school? These planning tips will make the transition to homeschooling smoother for you and your teen.
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How do you go from attending high school at your local public school to being homeschooled for the rest of your high school career? Whatever the reason a parent and a teenager make the decision to homeschool, there are many benefits to homeschooling high school.
In addition to benefits, there will also be challenges. The good news is those challenges will be well worth the end result. Even better, planning for high school at home does not have to be difficult at all.
But before we jump into the planning, let’s talk about the challenges of homeschooling high school for a moment.
Challenges of Homeschooling High School
For many, the idea of homeschooling high school seems like a daunting task.
The challenges of homeschooling a high school student, whether or not they have recently attended public school, can include the task of finding the right curriculum and materials, needing to teach courses that may be unfamiliar to you personally, or outsourcing those courses to online homeschool sites, co-op groups, or maybe even dual enrollment in college.
As a parent we take on new, different, and greater responsibilities as we become our teenager’s main teacher in life and academics.
The responsibilities of our high school students also change. This can prove challenging as they realize there are no other classmates to hide behind. Instead, they must be the ones to answer the questions and they can’t get lost in the crowd.
Because of this dynamic, our high school students will need to change the way in which they interact with their schooling now that they are homeschooling.
Benefits to Homeschooling High School
For most high school students in public school, they will fill out a slip of paper where they will list the courses they would like to take the following year.
But what happens when the courses your high schooler wants to take are filled up or they don’t fit into their schedule? Class availability can also change if courses are cut due to budget restraints.
Regardless of the reasons, teens in public schools often have to settle for courses that are their second or third choices. In turn, they may be disappointed and lose the opportunity to take courses that align with their future career goals.
The Hope That Comes with High School at Home
When one homeschools, a high school student will be able to truly follow their dreams.
After meeting state requirements, they can begin to take electives that will help them explore their job aspirations. A future photographer can take courses on cameras, image editing, and photography.
A high school student who is looking towards a career as a lawyer may be able to dual enroll in college courses to help jump-start their career. They can take electives that help them better understand how the government works and how to manage their own business.
The flexibility of homeschooling is really one of the great benefits of moving from public schooling to homeschooling.
Life Skills in the High School Years
By going from attending public school to homeschooling, your high schooler will be able to demonstrate skills that allow them to step out from the crowd. They will be able to work on a schedule that fits their needs.
Maybe they want to have a part-time job—now they will be able to do that and learn to manage their time with their studies. They will be able to take a more active part in the planning of their own homeschool day.
In addition to working outside the home, being homeschooled will help your high school-aged children learn more about how a home operates.
They will no longer be trapped in the bubble of public schooling. They will be home to help with daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, and the general running of the household. All of these things are important skills that go hand-in-hand with the academics they need to learn.
How to Plan High School at Home After Public School
Planning out the homeschool day for high schoolers can be done rather easily. The key is to know the homeschool laws for your state and to identify admission requirements for possible colleges, if your teen plans to continue schooling after high school graduation. Use you teen’s goals for college and/or career along with state laws to plan high school at home.
Once you identify those goals alongside your teen, that should shape your child’s transcript and, in turn, your day-to-day routine for high school at home. This will include core subjects and electives selected to satisfy graduation requirements.
Feeling overwhelmed by the idea of creating a high school transcript? Check out this guide from 7Sisters Homeschool. We found it to be a huge help!
From companies that just offer one subject area to others that offer a full curriculum, you can order print materials or have your homeschooling highschooler take all their classes online. And many of these companies offer planning materials help you out.
Need help finding high school courses for your homeschooler? 7Sisters Homeschool has lots of fun and affordable ideas for you!
More Resources for High School at Home
High School Planning Tools for Homeschoolers
When it comes to the logistical aspects of planning high school at home and communicating that plan to your student, consider using the free Trello app. If you don’t like the idea of a DIY planning system and prefer something already set up for you, we recommend Homeschool Planet’s organizational planning software.
In addition to planning resources, I invite you to check out Heather Woodie’s Homeschooling High School by Design course. It’s an incredible tool for guiding your teen through high school at home, especially if you need help wrapping your mind around a high school experience that could look quite different from your own.
As for curriculum options, here are a few of our favorite suggestions for you to consider.
Our Favorite High School Curriculum Options
- WriteShop – Writing curriculum for homeschooled high school students
- Classic Literature for Teens – Online book studies that encourage independent learning.
- College Prep Science – In person science labs and online science classes for high schoolers.
- Beautiful Feet Books – High school history and literature curriculum
- Music Appreciation Classes – Self-paced online music classes
- CTC Math – Online math courses from K-12th grade.
Our son was in public school until 10th grade. Needless to say, it was a leap of faith to move from his attending our local public high school to being homeschooled for his last three years.
We discussed all of the benefits and challenges we would all be facing as he moved to being homeschooled. In the beginning, it did seem overwhelming at first, even though I had been a high school teacher myself, but like anything that poses a challenge, the rewards have been well worth the effort.
In closing, if you are thinking about moving from public high school to homeschooling high school, I would recommend it.
At first what seemed to be a scary journey has turned into a wonderful quest for our entire family. And planning out the day is not as difficult as one might first think.
Kristen is a housewife and mother to a teen stepson and two younger children (son, 5, and daughter, 3). She is a certified social studies teacher and has worked as a volunteer at a National Park site, in the education department of a metropolitan zoo, and as a high school history teacher.
Kristen has maintained a blog where she relates her family’s learning experiences since 2015. A Mom’s Quest to Teach is a regular column covering elements of teaching and learning (with an eye towards homeschooling), parenting, crafting, and all of the discoveries, joys, and daily roller coaster rides that occur while being a mom.
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