An Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School

Planning on homeschooling your teens? Here’s an authoritative guide on how to homeschool high school.

Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School

An Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School

We 7Sisters have homeschooled our kids through graduation as well as advising hundreds of local homeschool high schoolers. We’ve got a system down that has become our *unofficial authoritative guide* for homeschooling high school.

As you prepare to homeschool your high schoolers, take a look at our guide. Use it to develop your own way to homeschool high school. (Remember: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school. If our way doesn’t work for your family, you can create your own process!)

Here’s a little encouragement to start with: Homeschool High School: You CAN Do It!

Here’s How Homeschooling High School

Step 1: Pray

As 7Sister Kym always says, “Pray first, last and always!” Families who are homeschooling high school need God’s guidance and help. It would be a hard task to homeschool without God’s help! Here are some of our thoughts on prayer and homeschooling high school.

Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School holy spirit
Click here for post on our need for the Holy Spirit.

 

Step 2: Set goals

As 7Sister Marilyn says, “Why would I give up all my free time to homeschool if I didn’t have goals?” Why are you homeschooling high school? Then that’s your main goal. What are the other goals that you and your teen want to accomplish by the time they graduate? Here are some of our ways to set goals for high school. (Don’t forget to invite your teens to participate in goal setting!)

Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School writing
Click here for a post on How to Write Goals.

Step 3: Choose courses that will meet graduation requirements

There are 26 or 27 basic credits that homeschool high schoolers need to include on their transcripts. However, as you choose your courses remember:

  • Each state has specific requirement for graduation (check Homeschool Legal Defense for your state’s requirements)
  • Supervising organizations (like umbrella schools or charter schools) will have their own requirements
  • Individual colleges will have different courses that they are looking for, check college websites for that information.

With those in mind, these posts will explain course requirement that will cover many students’ needs:

Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School transcripts
Click here for the post 26 Credits Needed for Graduation

Step 3: Note the difference between college-bound transcript needs and non-college bound transcript needs

College-bound homeschool transcripts need some course that SPARKLE. These special courses help your homeschool high schoolers’ transcripts grab the attention of admissions officers. Here are some posts that explain choosing and naming these courses.

Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School transcripts
Click here for a post on What to Include in College-Attractive Transcripts.

Non-college-bound teens need to concentrate on other areas, like life and career preparation. Here are some posts with ideas for those teens:

Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School careers
Click here for a post that helps teens explore options.

Step 4: Decide how each credit will be earned

This is the big one! Will your teen use textbooks? Log hours for a Carnegie credit? Take a class online/in a co-op/at an umbrella school? As we always say: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school. Choose what is best for your teens. Here are some posts to make those choices:

Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School earn credits
Click here for the post How to Earn Credits in Homeschool High School.

Step 5: Choose courses and experiences to develop your teens’ strengths

Use the higher levels of rigor (such as College-Prep Level, Advanced Level and Honors Level) to build on your homeschool high schoolers’ strengths. This helps your teens to grow intellectually (and personally, as they stretch their abilities). Here are some posts that explain levels of rigor.

Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School course levels
Click here to read about Recording Course Levels on the Homeschool High School Transcript

Step 6: Choose courses and experiences to explore your teens’ interests and values (Career Exploration)

You don’t have time to not have time for Career Exploration. Much of what homeschooling high school is about is helping your teens explore their interests and values. What is important to them? What are their God-given gifts? What have they discovered about themselves so far? What do they need to know? Here are some posts to help you take next steps with Career Exploration:

Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School life purpose
Click here for practical ways to explore purpose in life.
Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School passion vs possibilities
Click here for a post explaining why values matter for your teens.

Step 7: Choose courses and experiences to help your teens explore their callings

As 7Sister Vicki says, “You were created on purpose, for purpose!” Understanding God’s callings for your teens lives is a lifetime process, but they should get started in high school. Here are some thoughts about helping your teens explore their callings:

Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School find callings
Click here for 3 Ways to Help Teens Find Their Callings

Step 8: Choose courses and experiences that develop character

When you homeschool high school your teens, you can teach them, as part of their education, skills that truly matter. Here are some posts about character building:

Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School skills to teach
Click here for a post about skills that matter.

Step 9: Choose curriculum

You’ve got lots of ideas! Now it is time to choose your curriculum! This is a lot of fun…and a lot of pressure. Think about what is best for your family’s interests, abilities, budget and lifestyles. And remember: Just because one particular curriculum works for your friends, doesn’t mean YOU must use it. There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school!

Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School
Click here for a post on How to Choose Curriculum.

Step 10: Develop life and college or career preparation skills

Homeschool high school years are the time for life and career and college prep. There’s so much to learn. Here are a few skills:

Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School college skills
Click image for 4 College Skills.

Step 11: Create a syllabus and/or course description for each course and keep them in a Master Portfolio

You need a syllabus and/or a course description for each course. You may keep them anywhere (a crate or binder). We suggest you create a Master Portfolio and include these in it. Here are the how-to’s on syllabi, course descriptions and Master Portfolios.

Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School study skills
Click here for a post on Writing a Syllabus for Homeschool Courses

Step 12: Start a transcript

To work on the transcript, you will need to decide order of courses for each year, where to include extracurriculars, service hours, competitions, testing and how you will compute the GPA. Here are some posts to help with that:

Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School
Click here for a post on Making Transcripts College Attractive

Step 13: Decide how to assign grades for each course

We often get questions on how to grade assignments and how to assign grades for courses. This can feel overwhelming if you’re worried that there’s only one right way to do it. Think about your goals for each student. The grading process may look a little different for each one. Here are some posts that will help you decide how to grade:

Step 14: Set up a plan and a schedule (but stay flexible with it)

Homeschool high school is a busy lifestyle. If you don’t create a good schedule, you and/or your teens will get lost in the *forest of wasted time*. Here are some posts on planning and scheduling:

Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School planning
Click here for a post on planning and scheduling.

Step 15: Remain flexible

We can plan our ways but as we’ve often found out, things don’t always to our ways. It is God who directs our paths…and our teens’ paths. Sometimes you’ll end up ditching a curriculum, changing course formats, or dropping a course altogether. That’s okay! One benefit of homeschooling is being able to do what’s best at EACH moment. Here are some posts that help with flexibility:

Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School Blessed are the flexible
Click here for post on flexibility.

Step 16: Do yearly reviews of your goals

Many homeschool high school families have a supervising organization or have reviewers by state regulations. That’s fine, but the most important reviewer is you. How are you and your teens doing with the goals you all have set? Here are some encouraging posts to help you do your own personal reviews:

Step 17: Decide if you will need PSATs, SATs or ACTs

Only college-bound teens need to take these tests. Some colleges are not requiring them any more. Here is some food for thought about whether to PSAT:

Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School PSAT?
Click here for a post on the pros and cons of taking the PSAT.

We 7Sisters have developed curriculum that teens like and helps them move toward the next phase of life. It is no-busywork and adaptable. Check out this post for more on what makes our downloadable curriculum a great fit for many homeschoolers.

For some excellent tips for start-up goals for your homeschool high school, check out this post from our friend, Marcy at Ben and Me.

Remember, God’s in charge of the outcome! Homeschooling high school: You CAN do it! Thank you for allowing your Sisters be part of the process. Thank you for being our 7th Sister!

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An Authoritative Guide on How to Homeschool High School

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at 7SistersHomeschool.com, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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