I remember long ago, when my oldest was in middle school. It was a stressful time because I was spending a fair amount of that time worrying about high school!
I wanted to homeschool high school, but in those days there weren’t many folks doing that and I felt intimidated!
- How would I teach what I didn’t know?
- How could I create a transcript?
- Would my college-bound teen get into college?
- Would he have a chance to be the person God wanted him to be if he was educated at home?
I was blessed to find a circle of 5 women who were facing the same thing and felt as intimidated as I did. We met together to pray and share research we were doing on how to homeschool high school.
Then we did it! And the good news is, you can do it too! Homeschooling high school years have been the best years of all!
That oldest son is now a PhD in Philosophy teaching with Stanford University’s online high school. He is married to a homeschool graduate with an MS in Library Science (and is a digital archivist and subject-matter-expert in digital archiving).
In fact, all his siblings have graduated colleges and are gainfully employed. SO homeschooling high school has worked for them.
You can do it! But let me give you one encouragement: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school.
- Some teens need to be college-prep
- Some teens need to be prepared for a trade
- Some teens need to be ready for the military
- Some teens need to go into ministry
God has plans for your homeschoolers and it won’t look the same as other homeschoolers. That’s good news! You can trust God with the process and with the outcome.
As we got busy homeschooling high school, I started co-oping some of the moms who prayed with me. AND some of those moms would become my colleagues at 7SistersHomeschool.com. So, God even had a plan for me!
Over time, our co-op grew into an umbrella school for homeschool high schoolers. I served as an upperclassmen advisor for almost 2 decades. I was blessed to have the opportunity to help hundreds of homeschool high schoolers meet requirements for graduation and have the opportunities to learn to become the people of character that God designed them to be.
Let Me Share Some Transcript Basics for You to Know When You Homeschool High School.
Each state has different graduation requirements. You can check with Homeschool Legal Defense or your state Department of Education to clarify the requirements for your state.
Most of the time graduation requirements are similar to the list that our teens used:
- 4 credits of English/Language Arts
ELA generally includes literature, writing, editing/grammar, vocabulary and sometimes public speaking. It’s a BIG credit.
- 2-4 credits of Mathematics
Algebra, Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus (some students will need this for college acceptance, others will not), Financial Literacy/Consumer Math
- 2-4 credits of Social Studies
American History, World History, Geography .5 credit, American Government .5 credit, Economics .5 credit, Social Science .5 credit (such as Psychology or Human Development) or Elective Social Studies .5 credit
- 2-4 credits of Science
Biology, Chemistry, Health, science elective such as Anatomy and Physiology, Physics, Marine Biology, etc
- 1- 3 credits World Language
Must be in the same language such as Spanish, French, German or Sign
- 1-2 credits Physical Ed
- 1 credit Fine Arts
Art, Drama, Dance or Music
- 1 credit Technology
Includes any computer-related topic such as keyboarding or coding, photo/movie editing, church technology- sound systems
- 2-3 Electives
These are important because they add *sparkle* to the transcript- also intentional character and spiritual development. They can include subjects of personal interest such as Career Exploration, Apologetics, Home Ec, Bible, Philosophy, or extra courses in Arts, Science, History, Language or Literature.
When You Homeschool High School You Can Use Some of Your Electives on Soft Skills
The term *soft skills* is the buzzword for *character* or even *manners*. Developing character or soft skills is one of the best things we can do with our homeschool high schoolers.
Soft skills are important because they:
- Prepare teens for life
- Help them become the kind of person that God made them to be
- Make them more employable
- Help teens feel confident to walk into numerous social, business, church or family settings and conduct themselves well.
Homeschool high schoolers with soft skills are often teens that have had character development as part of their homeschool high school experience. Homeschool moms often include soft skills development as part of a Career Exploration elective or Life Skills elective on the homeschool transcript.
Here are 5 kinds of character development/soft skills training for homeschool high schoolers:
Homeschool high school years are good years to review basic manners that will help a teen to look and feel good about themselves.
- Saying *Please* and *Thank you*
- Holding doors open for others, or walking through a held door and saying *thank you*
- Using technology politely when in a group and social media politely at all times
Teens feel better about themselves when they can remain calm, especially in public. Teens need to be skilled at the 3W’s of composure:
- What am I feeling?
- Why am I feeling that way?
- What am I going to do about it?
Teens need practice on discerning when it is best to be quiet, when it is best to stand up for themselves. Just like the best role model, Jesus- sometimes he held his peace, sometimes he called Pharisees *white-washed sepulchers*.
Look out for those who are weaker
One of the loveliest things I’ve seen in our local homeschooling community is the kind and inclusive treatment of young people with differences or disabilities. I remember the teens gathering to play a game that involved some tag. One young man had cerebral palsy and could not run. It always warmed my heart to see how the other teens would stumble over their shoelaces and fall so their peer would be able to tag them! This was such lovely Christlike character.
It is my belief that the fruit of the Spirit can grow best in a prayerful spirit. I’ve noticed that prayerful teens are often more natural in acting with Christlike behavior.
Trusting God with the Process When You Homeschool High School
When you trust God with the process and the outcomes of homeschooling high school, you can plan more peacefully and educate more patiently. Then you and your teen can create a just-right transcript and great character-developing experiences. You can do it!
Vicki Tillman wants to help your homeschooling high school experience to be the best homeschool years of all. She is homeschool coach, blogger and high school curriculum developer for 7SistersHomeschool.com (and a mental health counselor). She has graduated all 4 of her sons (and her daughter) from homeschooling. You can do it, too!