This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Planning Homeschool High School. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
Homeschooling high school can feel intimidating before you get started! Vicki remembers when her oldest was in middle school, she was so nervous about homeschool high school that she gathered a group of homeschool moms together to have weekly prayer and resource sharing. The confidence they gained from the process gave them the courage to move forward (and some of them ultimately began co-oping together).
One thing Vicki and the rest of the 7Sisters discovered is that they feel SO much better when they get some solid planning accomplished. Join Sabrina and Vicki for a quick, lively discussion about planning homeschool high school.
Here’s the first and most important thing to know:
There’s not ONE right way to plan your homeschool high school year (or all 4 years of high school).
But if we follow this simple journalism-style framework, it will help! WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, and HOW!
The *Who* of planning homeschool high school
While this may seem obvious. You’re homeschooling your teens, that’s who! But, as you know, in homeschooling, the entire family is involved or affected. As Sabrina says, “There a multi-dimentionality to homeschooling high school”. Ask yourself
- Who all will be homeschooling this year?
- What is each family member’s educational experience?
- And, what is each person’s personality?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- Also, what are their learning styles?
- What are their interests?
- Think about: What are the parents’ strengths and weaknesses?
- What are their teaching styles?
- Lastly, what are their interests?
The *What* of planning homeschool high school
This is the bulk of your planning! Give yourself time to pray and sort this out. Make sure to include your teens in the process. Remember:
There’s not ONE right way to teach the subjects in high school. The joy of homeschooling is teaching in the order and with the curriculum that best suits your family and your teens. Here’s a helpful post with no-fail steps to choosing curriculum.
You’ll also love this encouraging episode of Homeschool Sanity about choosing curriculum.
What do you want to teach this year?
There’s not one specific order that you much use to teach History and Language Arts/Literature. There is flexibility in the order of Sciences (although many people teach Biology before Chemistry, often 10th and 11th grades). There is only a little flexibility in the order of Maths (Algebra 1 comes before Algebra 2, unless you use an integrated math).
Here are suggestions for the order of research paper writing during high school.
Check out these suggestions for an order of Literature topics for high school.
What curriculum do you like to use? What works for your teens learning styles? Are their curricula that you can’t stand (Vicki has a difficult time with books that have no photos…she needs entertainment! SO even though her teens might be ok with a bland-looking text, Vicki goes for those that include pictures.)
What courses will you need this year for the transcript? These will get priority in your planning.
- Here’s advice on what courses are needed for graduation.
- Listen to this HSHSP episode on assigning grades.
- Here’s advice on how to figure GPA.
- This is how to record internships.
- Check out this comprehensive guide to homeschooling high school. SO much to read in one freebie post!
How much academics can your teens handle. Non-college-bound teens don’t need to do overkills on numbers of courses or levels of rigor. College-bound teens (especially if they are aiming for competitive colleges) will need more courses and more rigor. Be sure to leave unnecessary stuff out but don’t over stress you and teens.
The *When* of planning homeschool high school
There’s totally not ONE right way to handle the homeschool academic schedule. What works best for your family this year?
- Block scheduling?
- Year round?
- 30 week year?
- 4 day week?
Choose the best schedule to fit your family’s needs. Homeschooling is a lifestyle choice! Ask yourself these questions:
- Is mom working full time or part time? If so when? Working at home or out of home?
- Does a family member do shift work? If so, does the house need to be quiet so dad can sleep on some days?
- Are you morning people or night owls?
- What extracurriculars will your homeschool high schoolers be involved in? (How much car schooling will you need to do?)
Sit down with a calendar. Write in the musts. Fit the curriculum around it. (Really…but just make sure it gets done, of course.) Include your teens in the process! If you are wondering how long it takes to homeschool each day, check out this post.
The *Where* of planning homeschool high school
The location-style of your family’s homeschooling is important in your planning. Remember: There’s not ONE right location for homeschooling high school. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have a dedicated school room? Do you have a dedicated homeschool space? (Vicki and Sabrina both found out that no matter what they planned for *education location*, the entire house was the school room. Their houses are full of bookshelves mixed with other stuff, couches laden with school books, sprawling teens and guitars. That was right for their families!)
- You MUST remember this: There is NO such thing as a Pinterest-perfect homeschool house!
- are you connecting with other homeschoolers for group learning (online, none, local)?
- will your teens be doing internships (if any)?
- Then think about, where will mom *sit with* on courses that need one-on-one time?
- Where will a tutor work, if needed?
- Who needs privacy and space?
- Lastly, here are some tips for preparing your home for homeschooling.
The *How* of planning homeschool high school
The *How* refers to record keeping: How are you tracking your homeschool high school credits?
There’s not ONE right way to keep records, of course! Here are some ideas:
- Sabrina uses plastic file box for ongoing projects and ungraded papers. She moves completed papers and projects to a master portfolio.
- Vicki uses yearly portfolios to keep important papers, tests, log sheets for credits, certificates, etc.
Important records we recommend keeping include:
- Syllabi for each core course. Download this pdf on how-to create a syllabus. Also search *syllabus* for LOTS of how-to’s on syllabi (even some specific-course related syllabi.)
- Course descriptions (useful if your teen might transfer or if their college choice isn’t familiar with homeschoolers…or you just want the ego boost of knowing how cool your teens course were). Here’s a how-to post on creating course descriptions.
- Log sheets for credits. Check out this post on how to earn logged credits.
- How will you log hours? Will you use a spiral notebook and record days and hours, write on a calendar, devise your own log sheets?
- Who is logging the hours (mom or teens)?
The *Why* of planning homeschool high school
If you don’t know WHY your are homeschooling high school, you shouldn’t be planning! Clarify your WHY! Here some of our WHYs:
God is leading in this direction and we have weighed the costs and are ready for the sacrifices. (At least as far as we can know at the time. The rest is trust in God.) Carefully and prayerfully examine your WHY so that you will have confidence in God’s direction.
WHY shouldn’t be: I want to have perfect kids. As our friends the Fletchers, of Homeschooling In Real Life, say: God is in charge of the outcome, not us!
We have found that homeschool high school years are the best years yet! Go and be empowered after you enjoy this discussion with Sabrina and Vicki.
Your teens will enjoy 7Sisters Homeschool curriculum. We share the curriculum that we’ve designed and homeschool high schoolers have vetted for years. It is NO-busywork, adaptable to varying interest levels and abilities. We aim for teens to LIKE what they study in homeschool high school!