When my daughter reached the 8th grade it suddenly dawned on my that I needed to know more about how to homeschool through high school.
I have noticed, by careful observation, that each phase of homeschooling requires a shift in mindset and maybe even curriculum choice. Keeping this in mind I’ve tried to be flexible through the years and revisit how we do things regularly.
Disclaimer: I am no expert when it comes to homeschooling. In fact, as the mother of an only child so I feel I know precious little. Is this a journey you are soon to be on as well? Here are some things to keep in mind on the homeschooling through high school journey.
Why Should You Homeschool Through High School?
For homeschoolers many people plan for their teens to enter public or private school for the high school years. This is usually due to concerns about being prepared for college or life after high school.
Believe me all those thoughts and more crossed my mind as well. I was very nervous as well but since we knew early on that the goal was to homeschool through high school I’ve been checking into how to do is successfully.
Note that I have several friends and family members who have successfully homeschooled through high school successfully. There are various ways and opportunities.
Organization is a good thing and in your homeschool it’s even better. When you homeschool through high school you should…
- Check the homeschooling requirements for your state.
- Check the high school graduation requirements for your state.
- Homeschool according to your child’s future plans which includes picking the right curriculum.
Homeschooling Through High School
What is the Best High School Homeschool Curriculum?
Isn’t that the golden question? New homeschoolers want to know the best curriculum but seasoned homeschoolers know the best curriculum is the one that teaches based on your teen’s unique learning style, achieves the learning goals you have set, and fits the daily budget.
I’ll give you and example.
My daughter is an audial and visual learner. She learns best by seeing/reading. The combination of both is mostly online courses. She also wants to be a missionary some day but would like to get a college degree as well. She’s also an only child.
For our core curriculum we use BJU Press Online which is a Bible based curriculum. We use their online video course and also purchase the textbooks so she can also read the curriculum. You can read a review I’ve written on BJU here.
To supplement the core curriculum we are subscribers to Schoolhouse Teachers online hub. There are over 400 courses and many many resources for homeschooling families. We mostly use it for supplementing her core curriculum. If there is a concept she is struggling with using a comparable course or some of the benefits like World Book helps.
We are also using Journey Homeschool Academy for science requirement (Biology).
How many hours a day should a high school student spend on homeschooling?
Another one of those questions that people ask is how many hours a day should you homeschool your high schooler?
Most high school homeschoolers will be at the books 3 to 4 hours a day. That does not include study time.
My own daughter digs deep into her books for about 3 hours and then she says, “now I have to do my homework and study.” And she will just study in pretty much every spare moment she has. She has certain goals she is going for and to achieve those goals she studies very hard and works very hard to keep her grades up (yes I grade her).
Here in Washington (state) our state requirement is for 180 days (or about 1000 hours) per school year. You can check your state requirements here Homeschool Laws by State.
Is Homeschooling High School Hard?
Another thing homeschoolers might worry about when it comes to high school is if it’s hard to homeschool a high schooled student.
Nothing worth having in life is easy but I won’t necessarily say homeschooling a high school student is hard.
It just takes a shift in mindset. Your little preschooler learning their ABCs is now a teenager able to have deep conversations with you.
Your focus during this time really shifts towards their future. Perfecting essay writing, time management, working on good study habits,
Graduating your Homeschooled Student
Finally what about graduating your child from homeschool? What will you need to do to make that happen?
- First figure out what are the high school graduation requirements for your state? Make sure you’re looking at the requirements for homeschooled students.
- Next what are your child’s future goals? Are they going to college? Colleges have specific course requirements. Make sure to check out the requirements for several colleges, not just one. And follow the path for that goal. Check on what classes they will need for their future.
- Don’t forget to prepare a high school plan that will support those goals. For example if your student is on a college track make sure they are taking the courses they need for college requirements.