I’ve been a reader of your blog for a few years. I’m a homeschool mom of 4 from Washington state, and my oldest, 13, is getting ready to start high school next year. I always thought I’d send him to public school for high school, but now the time is approaching I’m not so sure. I’ve searched your blog to see how you homeschooled your son through high school.
I know the focus of your blog isn’t on homeschooling, but I’m super interested in hearing how you made sure you planned and organized high school!
Thanks so much,
Yep, I homeschooled Joshua through high school, and Lisey is about to graduate from high school this spring.
Sonia just started high school this past fall, and Zoe starts this coming fall.
So, we are definitely in a high school homeschool phase of life around here.
I am part of a homeschooling umbrella group, which means that we report to this group at the end of each year to prove that we have done sufficient schooling for that year.
How do you know which classes to teach?
Our umbrella group gives us a form to fill out for each year of high school, detailing which classes we’ve done with our kids. The form itself lets us know how many credits of each type students need over the four years of high school and that makes planning easy for me.
Your local homeschool government office should be able to provide you with a list of the requirements, but this site also gives a rundown, state by state.
How do you keep records for high school transcripts?
We send in the high school record keeping form each spring, and the umbrella group then keeps high school records and provides a transcript, which is very handy.
If you aren’t part of an umbrella group, your local homeschool office should be able to advise you on the way they want you to keep high school records.
Our umbrella group also sends an official diploma at the end of high school.
Did you use any outside instruction?
Joshua and Lisey both started taking community college classes during their junior year of high school. They just had to take a math and English placement test, and then they were able to enroll in regular classes.
Before enrolling in college classes, Lisey took two classes at a homeschool tutorial during her sophomore year. Sonia’s in her freshman year, and she’s currently taking two classes at the same tutorial. She will likely do that again next year before she starts at the community college.
I find that outside instruction is helpful for high school science classes, particularly because I am not naturally a science-leaning person. I’m happy to outsource that! And gathering experiment supplies for one kid is a little frustrating; a class is definitely more efficient when it comes to experiments.
Math is another common class to outsource. So far, my kids have done all their high school math at home with me (I am pretty good at algebra by this point!), but Sonia might take geometry at the tutorial next fall.
(I tried two different geometry curricula with Joshua and Lisey and I hated both. So I’m up for letting someone else give it a shot.)
I do think it’s helpful to take at least a class or two outside the home during high school. I took no outside classes when I was in high school (such things didn’t really exist at the time!) and it was a tad bit overwhelming to jump right into a full time college load.
It was manageable in the end, but I think it would have been great to get a little classroom experience first.
What curriculum did you use? Did you make up your own?
I did some DIY curriculum when my kids were littler, but I was not about to do that for high school. We used purchased curriculum for all of their classes in high school.
Was it overwhelming?
In some senses, homeschooling can be overwhelming when you have multiple students just because of the sheer amount of work.
But I didn’t feel like homeschooling during high school was vastly different than, say, homeschooling during middle school.
(Since I know someone will wonder, Sonia’s backpack is Jansport, from Amazon.)
Also, because I am a second-generation homeschooler, I was not feeling particularly stressed about whether or not my kids would be getting a proper education.
Since I knew that my siblings and I did well in college after graduating from homeschool, I figured my kids would be fine. And they are. Joshua and Lisey have been straight A students thus far.
*To be clear, we would not have considered it to be a failure for them to get something less than an A. I’m just pointing out that they were definitely prepared enough for college.
In closing, I’d just add that homeschooling through high school is not as impossible as you might imagine, especially if you utilize a tutorial or community college courses for credits you feel a little less qualified to handle.