My first homeschooler hit high school back in 1994. In those days, the handful of us in our area that planned on homeschooling all the way through felt like pioneers- most kids in those days went into the school system at 9th grade.
How to Homeschool High School
Now that kid has a PhD in philosophy and teaches college students fun things like classical philosophy, philosophy of music, logic, and phenomenology. (Dr. Micah Tillman co-wrote our popular e-text World History and Philosophy, a useful way to get that high school world history credit.)
When Micah started the college search, homeschoolers really had to work hard to prove that their education was valid. Now 20 years later, my youngest has applied and was accepted to college with no sweat at all.
We’ve learned a few things along the way.
Here are 5 things we’ve learned about homeschooling through high school:
1. Show power in key academics
Colleges will often look for honors or AP levels in courses that are in a student’s “career pathway”. (This simply means the subject that will probably be the teen’s major in college.) Since most of my kids didn’t know what their college majors would be when they were underclassmen, we “leveled up” their gifting areas (Language Arts and Social Studies).
2. It isn’t ALL about the academics
Colleges are often looking for well-rounded students who will enhance the school’s culture and image. We made sure my kids had lots of community service and a mixture of long-term involvements (church youth group, homeschool service group, choirs, sports, and band. They also had short projects with organizations that reflected their interests like Urban Promise, Samaritan’s Purse, missions trips, etc.
However, the REAL reason my kids were involved in all these things was NOT to develop the college transcript. It was to develop their CHARACTER. I wanted my kids to be other-minded, culture-creators who were not afraid to pursue the callings that God placed on their lives.
3. How can they know what they’re here for if they haven’t experienced it yet?
Many high schoolers don’t know what God is calling them to do because they haven’t run across it yet. Good ways to handle this problem include
- out of the box high school courses (Psychology, Human Development are 2 good ones that my kids completed. Or try Early Childhood Education for a kid with an interest in teaching the little ones.)
- out of the box field trips, activities, and service projects
- really heavy-duty career exploration as a course
4. Don’t go it alone.
Talk to moms who have been at it a little longer than you have. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Don’t beat yourself up for struggling sometimes. Consider purchasing a Homeschool Coaching Session from one of us here at 7Sisters if you don’t have someone in your local community to whom you feel comfortable asking questions.
God knows exactly what each of our kids needs in high school. He doesn’t leave us to figure it out in our own strength.
Click the “High School” tab in the navigation bar at the top of the website for information on “leveling-up” courses, transcript formation, how to do “out of the box” courses, and more high school stuff.
Here is my vlog on “The Perfect High School Transcript”