Homeschooling High School

Homeschooling for High School

Last year I graduated my first child from homeschooling.  I was very apprehensive whether I could do the high school years, but we made it.  My second child is right behind the first one. She is currently in 10th grade and we are moving along, trying new things that we didn't do with my firstborn.  I have been digging for information and doing lots of research to make our high school years the best they can be.  I found a great resource if you are looking for more information on homeschooling for High School, I recommend The HomeScholar.  I have been reading her booklets, perusing her website and listening to her webcasts online and on her site.  She has some great information on everything for high school.  Below are some of her blog posts on specific high school topics.

Teaching Math to your High School Student 

High School English Boundaries

Social Science for Dummies

Science Labs for High School

Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a great resource for families in regard to homeschool laws for your state, getting started homeschooling, homeschooling high school and so much more.
Every year I try to attend a homeschool conference.  Last year it was Teach Them Diligently in Nashville.  One of the speakers , Christine Torre, had some great information on preparing your high school student for college.  Check out her website and information from that session here.

We opted to do the ACT for my daughter.  I also made the decision to do it blind (not really blind but without any prep).  I wanted to gauge where my daughter stood and how she was progressing as a student, since we lived in states that did not require testing, I was not quite sure where she stood.  My plan was to work on the areas where she was weak to improve her test score, but by that time, she did not want to retake the ACT nor take the SAT.  If I could do it over again, I would have had her take the PSAT first around 10th grade to see how she was progressing and then choose the ACT or SAT during 11th/12th grade.  You may want to do some research on the SAT because this year (2015) they are coming out with a brand new test.  I have heard some say not to take the SAT in it's first or second year after revamping but do your research and make that decision for your family.

My daughter had no idea what she wanted to do with her life when she was in high school but I wanted to give her a strong college prep high school program. She applied to two different schools, Southeastern University and Lee University and was accepted to both of them.  She received a scholarship to one of them on her ACT score alone. 

Online Schools or Classes – some of these classes are live, others are pre-recorded video classes while others are teacher led curriculum.  All of those listed below are NOT free and are tuition based programs or classes.  I have used and recommend North Star Academy while the other programs listed come personally recommended by other homeschool families that I know.

FREE Online classes – Most of these classes will be a great supplement to your child's education and not enough work for a credit, but you the parent will have to make that decision.

Dual Enrollment
My daughter did dual enrollment online through The University of Valley Forge.  We were also considering Regent University and Liberty University. Each of these schools gave a discount off their tuition for early start students, meaning that it costs between $99 and $150 per credit. They also limited the number of classes/credits a student can take per semester. We could have started dual enrollment in 11th grade but she was afraid that she could not handle the workload so we started with one class.  She got an A and was encouraged.
My second daughter is currently attending community college in 10th grade. The courses are only $75 per credit hour, better than paying for an online high school.

Transcripts and Grading
Regent University has a transcript template.    Donna Young has hundreds of forms for homeschooling and you can find her transcript info here.  Covenant College gives guidelines and sample transcripts on their site also. You can find more samples at HSLDA. Baylor has a sample too.

To keep track of your child's grades, you can go the old fashioned way (pencil and paper) and use a Teacher's Planner or you can go digital. The digital method comes in the form of a spreadsheet or an online program created for grading. I have done both and found that I like this grade book from FiveJs.  Donna Young has grading forms and spreadsheets too. There are lots of programs out for an online grade book. Some are free, others require a yearly subscription and then there are even some that you pay once price and it's yours to use forever. While I tried the TTD planner, grade book and transcript keeper and really liked it, I am cheapskate and did not pay for a subscription after the free trial.

High School Planning

Regent University has put out a handbook for homeschool parents.  You can find it here
HSLDAThe Happy Housewife
Gateway Christian School (umbrella school we used in TN)
Homeschool Creations

High School Classes by grade with curriculum listed for Daughter #1

9th Grade (all classes done at NorthStar Academy as we lived overseas with military)
Algebra 1 (1)
Ancient History (1)
English 1 (1)
Physical Science (1)
Health (.5)
Spanish 2A (.5) PowerGlide
Took Spanish 1 in 8th Grade public school (1)

10th Grade
Biology 1 with labs (1)  Apologia
US History (1)  Bob Jones
Geometry (1)  Chalkdust
English 2 (1)  IEW coop class
Physical Education (.5) Exercise plan
Instrumental Music (.5) Piano
Vocal Music (.5)
Bible (.5) Trip to Israel, wrote a paper
Digital Photography (.5) NorthStar
College and Life Prep Skills (1) NorthStar

11th Grade
Chemistry 1 (1) NorthStar, Apologia, Model Chem Lab for virtual labs
Algebra 2 (1) Teaching Textbooks
U.S Government (.5) Notgrass
Economics (.5) Penny Candy, supplemental reading
English 3 (1) LLATL
Physical Education (.5) Exercise plan
Spanish 2B (.5) SOS
Driver’s Ed (.5) attended a local driving school
Personal Finance (.5) attended Dave Ramsey classes, did workbook, put together two different budgets (one make minimum wage/other on $40K)

12th Grade
English 4 (1) Dual Enrollment – College Writing and Research
Business Math (1) North Star, Mary Hansen
Home Economics (1) mixed curriculum
New Testament (1) Dual Enrollment
Ecology (1) Dual Enrollment

Child #2 High School Class List

9th Grade 
Algebra 1 (1) Teaching Textbooks
US History (1) Bright Ideas Press
English 9 (1) Total Language Plus
Physical Science (1) Apologia
Fine Arts (.5) Summer missions outreach drama/singing
Spanish 1A (.5) LifePacs

10th Grade
Biology 1 with labs (1) Community College 
Geometry (1) Teaching Textbooks
English 2 (1) Intermediate Writing at Community College
Physical Education (.5) Exercise plan
Instrumental Music (.5) Piano

Vocal Music (.5) Private lessons at Community College
World History (1) Notgrass

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