homeschooling highschool…you can do it.
You can do it…
You can finish the race. When I began homeschooling almost sixteen years ago, I started out taking it one year at a time. Each year I prayed and asked if God would have me continue on this journey, and if so would He would give me the strength and wisdom I needed for that year. Our school years were never perfect, and many of my school days went according to Proverbs 16:9… We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps
I made my plans, but the Lord always had something extra on the lesson plan. There were many, many days that held interruptions that I never anticipated. It took me several years to learn, that the key to not being anxious or stressed was to embrace what the Lord had for me that day. Some days, we laid our lessons to the side for just a few hours. Other days, we tossed them altogether.
There were times I had to be careful not to rationalize my own plans, or my lack of planning and motivation as actually being something from the Lord when it really wasn’t. The reality may have been that my day would have gone better had I gotten up a little earlier, or planned a little better. I also had to step back occasionally and make sure I was not over committed to outside activities that took away from homeschooling.
Up until a few years ago, I never had a schoolroom. We always used the kitchen table, recliner, couch, floor, or any other space that worked at that moment. Now that I have a room to do school, we usually still wind up sitting in the recliner, or gathered around the kitchen table. I have wonderful memories of snuggling on the couch with a kindergartener while teaching them to read.
I have used different curriculum along the way, as well as lapbooks and unit studies. I tried to make our schooling fun as well as educational. Unfortunately, sometimes you just cannot make practicing those math problems fun.
As my children grew older, I questioned whether I could actually homeschool through middle school and highschool. As usual, the Lord was faithful and provided resources, other homeschool parents, and co-ops to help teach subjects that I did not feel adequate to teach.
Having now graduated two into college, I thought maybe homeschoolers coming behind me might like a little encouragement as well as resources that are available to help you along the way.
Here is some info broken down by subject that I hope will be helpful to you.
If you do not feel that you are able to teach upper level math, or have the money for a local co-op then you might want to try Teaching Textbooks Math curriculum. For highschool, your child will need four math credits.
Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus worked for us.
If your child is college bound, I would not recommend taking Consumer math as a fourth math. However, always check the colleges they are interested in attending and see what their requirements are for admission.
Khan Academy is also a fantastic resource if you have not checked it out you really, really should.
Your student will also need four English credits. You will want to make sure your children know how to write different types of essays. This is a critical skill they will need to prepare them for college as well as the SAT. The best curriculum for teaching your student how to write the four types of essays is to give them a topic and have them write, edit and write again. As the teacher, use a Rubric to help you evaluate their papers. If you do not feel as if you have the ability to evaluate and grade their papers there are online options like Write At Home that can help.
The four English credits usually consist of the following:
Grammar and Composition, American Literature, World Literature, British Literature.
Apologia Science as well as Bob Jones are both two excellent highschool science texts.
Physical Science with lab, Biology with lab, Chemistry with lab, Physics, or Anatomy and Physiology
I used Switched on Schoolhouse for the highschool history classes. It my opinion is was not great, but okay.
Geography, World History, American History, Government/Economics
At this time, you are required to have two years of a foreign language. I have heard rumor that will be changed to three years sometime in the near future.
Rosetta Stone for homeschoolers in my opinion is the best foreign language curriculum available.
Your student will also need to take physical education, health and elective credits.
Georgia Virtual School is another option some of my friends have used during the high school years. Your student can choose the classes they need. GVA is not the same thing as Georgia Cyber Academy.
Your student may also consider taking a CLEP test to gain college credit while in high school. If they do use CLEP, you will need to check with the colleges that they are interested in attending to see how many CLEP’s they accept.
It would be a good idea at some point for your student to take a SAT or ACT prep class, or at lease use a SAT/ACT study guide. They should begin taking these tests their junior year. In my opinion, they should take both tests at least twice. However, if they do great on the test there is no need to take it again.
You will need to keep good records of the students grades, textbooks used as well as course descriptions.
HomeLife Academy has a great site with lots more information about homeschooling the middle and high school years. I used their services for my children. They keep your grades for you, produce a transcript and send the transcript to the colleges your child is interested in attending. I highly recommend them for homeschool parents.
As I said at the beginning of this post, each year we pray and ask the Lord what he would have us do the next school year. As we began that process for what will be the 2012-2013 school year an interesting option has come along. I will have to say it actually surprised me a bit, and has forced me to seek more intently after the Lord’s will. It was something that I had petitioned the Lord for several years ago. Now, I am trying to figure out if the Lord is answering my prayer. Is this a gift from Him? Through this I have definitely learned to be careful for what I pray, and I had better be prepared if He should answer.
I hope this has in some small way encouraged you that you can continue homeschooling through high school. I am sure there are many others who could offer better information for you, but I hope it has helped a bit.
You can finish the race and homeschool the highschool years.