Tuesday, August 13, 2019

8 Things to Know About Homeschooling High School {Not Back to School Blog Hop}

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Hello there! Are you stressed? Are your unsure where to begin? Are you in a comma from all the information out there? I hear ya.

Homeschooling the high school years seems scary. It's a daunting task many of us homeschoolers fear. When our kids are little, high school seems so far away. We tell ourselves... we have plenty of time to figure it out. But somehow, it seems to creep up on us faster than we anticipated! I know it was that way for me. So rest assured, you are not alone.

So today, I thought I'd share a few things I've learned over the last year. This will be my second year homeschooling high school and I now have TWO kiddos in high school. Crazy, I know!

1. You don't have to do follow the high school curriculum in the state you live in!

Shocker, right? Sure, it might be a great place to start to see what is the typical courses taken, but you don't have to follow them. You can create your own courses and gear your curriculum to your child's needs and likes. If you child knows they want to be a marine biologist create a high school plan that works towards that goal. You can decide your child's courses and credits. I do recommend checking the requirements of the colleges your child may be interested in. Colleges have different requirements for certain subjects. For instance, one college Michael is looking at requires 4 math and 4 science courses. Most of the colleges, we come across have only required 3. A lot of this depends on the type of college and degree your child plans on pursuing.

**You do have to follow your state's homeschool laws, but you are under no obligation to do "school" at home.

2. Your child doesn't have to take advanced or honors classes.

You hear some many parents comment on how their child is in all honors or AP courses. In reality, this is not necessary for your child to take these courses to get into college There are plenty of students out there that get accepted into college and have never taken any advanced classes. Colleges are looking for well-rounded students. In fact, many of the young students I know have admitted that the advance classes are really not that challenging. Many have expressed frustration that the classes didn't really prepare them for college. So create your own course and go with it!

3. You don't have to know the upper math and science classes to teach them.

This is a big one. I can't tell you how often I have been asked how can I teach geometry or chemistry. I'll be the first to admit, it scared me to think I had to teach those course. I hated chemistry! After a little bit of research, I realized it was going to be no big deal. There are plenty of ways for your child to learn these courses, even if you struggled with them back in the day. Your child can learn on their own with textbooks and videos, online classes, co-op classes, or you could even higher a tutor. There are even few homeschool curriculum companies that allow you to register for a few classes. You child would have a teacher assigned to them and work through the material. Don't worry there is more than one way to homeschool our kids. You just have to figure out what works best for your child. For example, this year both Michael and Therese are taking a biology course with a lab at a local co-op. They're excited and so am I. They get to do all the fun labs and I don't have dissect anything on my kitchen table. It's a win-win!

4. You child does not have to be in the public high school to experience life.

UGH!! The dreaded socialization topic. My kids will be so deprived if they don't go to school. Blah, Blah, Blah. Have you heard that one? I'm sure you have. We all have. In fact, we've heard it so many times we'd all be wealthy if we had a dollar for every time we've been asked that one.
So what are are poor deprived children to do? Get involved! There are so many opportunists out there. Homeschool co-ops, homeschool support groups, church youth groups, sports, volunteer work, internships, part time jobs, etc. My kids have made fantastic friends over the years. They are actively involved in our community and get plenty of socialization. Just yesterday I saw a funny meme that summed it all up. It said "Yes, I know my kids are socialized! I'm their chauffeur."  When you're running out almost every day fro different events, I doubt you have a socialization issue.

5. Colleges are not expecting a a set curriculum or a certain list of books.

I'm not even sure where this myth came from. It sounds completely absurd. Every state has different guidelines, so how could their be a master list out there to conform to. It just doesn't exist. When I was starting to lay out my children's four year plan for high school, I looked at a few different resources.

  • Curriculum from three different homeschool curriculum companies
  • Online resources from other homeschooling moms
  • My high school guidelines ( I went to a private college-prep high school)
  • Colleges (to see what was required)

I never looked at the courses our local high school offered. If I though their curriculum was great, I would have sent my kids there in the first place. I did look to see how they broke down the 3 different diplomas students could achieve. So after researching for a few months, I created my own plan for them. Both my kids will graduate high school with an advanced diploma. This is what the homeschool companies and the local school district call it. Since both of them are heading off to college, I wanted to give them the best start. The advance diploma just means they took more classes than what is required for a general high diploma.

This is were your child and you need to sit down and talk. What are their goals? Where do they see themselves? Trade school? Community college? 4 year college? Sit down, talk, and make a plan.

6. You can make your own transcript!

Yes, I know. I've had so many people tell me that your child will need a "real" transcript to get a job or get into college. You can make your own. Be sure it has everything on it that is required. Make it clear and easy to read. There are so many samples out there. Google it and you'll see what you have to do. It doesn't need to be signed or notarized by anyone. I suggest keeping detailed records of your child's work. I created a binder for both my kids. It contains course descriptions for all the subjects they have studied. I got the idea from a book I read for a review a few months ago. You can check it here. It never hurts to be thorough.

7. You child does not have to be one grade level. 

We all know the standard path of high school.

algebra 1, geometry, algebra 2, calculus
earth science, biology, chemistry, physics

You get the picture. It's perfectly O.K. if your child is not on that path. If you child is behind or has a learning disability work with it. Just because Bobby is behind in math a grade doesn't mean he won't get into college. I never took calculus and I was accepted into every college I applied to. Colleges are willing to work with students to help them achieve their goals. I knew plenty of girls I went to college with that were accepted and had to take a review math course. They all went on to be successful business women out in the real world. Our goal as parents is to help our child learn and teach them how to continue to learn. Just because you got all A's in high school, doesn't mean you will in college. It's a whole different world. If we prepare our kids to succeed, they will.

8. Relax and Enjoy the Ride

This is a big one and it's rather important. I know it's easier said than done. I still freak out every now and then. However, I know My kids are working hard, doing their best, and learning as they go. My goal has always been to create life long learners and I think I have done that. Enjoy the ups and downs. Before you know it, they'll be packing their bags, heading out the door, and starting a whole new journey. One that we can't go on. All we can do is pray, hope, and don't worry.

CREW @ Homeschool Review Crew - 2019 Annual Not Back to School Homeschool Blog Hop 
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses - ABC of Homeschooling
Dawn @ Schoolin' Swag - Adding Fun to Your Homeschool Day
Erin @ For Him and My Family - Large Family Homeschooling
Lori @ At Home Where Life Happens Learning Life Skills
Monique @ Mountain of Grace Homeschooling - Homeschooling the High School Years
Monique D. @ Early Learning Mom - Homeschooling With Autism
Yvie @ Homeschool On the Range - 5 Days of Upper Grades Homeschooling
Abby @ Making Room 4 One More - Time Management for Homeschool Moms
Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool - 5 Days of Homeschool Questions
Amy @ the WRITE Balance - Year-Round Schooling
Annette @ A Net in Time - Homeschooling.
Betty @ Lets Get Real - Homeschooling High School
Cassandra @ My Blessed Mess - Eclectic Homeschooling

2019 Annual Not Back to School Homeschool Blog Hop

Till Next Time,

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1 comment:

  1. This are all great for me to read - especially as we enter our second year homeschooling a high school student.


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