Where did the time go?
We see our children growing and learning every day, but it is still hard to believe the teen years are approaching and it is about time to start thinking about high school.
Every stage of the homeschool journey has its joys and challenges. I bet you just started to feel like you had a few things figured out with this homeschooling business and then – BOOM – high school is around the corner and you find yourself facing a new set of issues to research and plan for.
Don’t worry, you are not alone! For many parents, the thought of homeschooling high school is especially daunting. For sure it is a very different experience than the younger grades, but rest assured, many others have already traveled this path and we won’t let you take on this new experience alone.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare to become the mom of a homeschool high school student.
Remember These Things As Your Prepare to Homeschool High School
Become Familiar with the Homeschool Laws for Your State
Before your child moves into the high school years do some research to understand what the homeschool high school requirements are for your state. Yes, there will most likely be more requirements than when your homeschool child was younger, but don’t let all of these “requirements” make you feel overwhelmed. Your child will still have a LOT of flexibility for HOW to meet these requirements for courses and credits.
All of the homeschool moms I’ve talked to agree it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the overall guidelines and requirements of high school before you begin to homeschool high school. It’s also smart to re-read them during the high school years as you get further into the process. Trust me, it will all begin to make sense as you move further into the process and gather more information.
To find information for your state you can:
- Contact your state Department of Education website or office.
- Contact your state or local homeschool organizations or support groups.
Your Role Will Change to Coach/Advisor
When your children are younger most of the responsibility for teaching falls to you. You might choose to create your own lessons, use “off-the-shelf” curriculum, join co-ops, utilize online courses, etc. to help your child learn various subjects. However, the task of matching those resources to your child’s learning styles and needs is all yours.
As your child moves toward homeschool high school your role will shift to more of a coach or advisor. Many homeschool families still use a variety of course delivery methods for high school, but it important to get your teens involved in the process of identifying their needs and interests and then finding appropriate courses and learning opportunities to best fit those needs.
For example, I know many parents panic at the thought of teaching high school level math or science. Honestly, most of the teens I’ve met don’t expect (or want) their parents to teach them high school math or science. By the time they reach high school level work most students begin to prefer certain learning resources over others (books, online courses, in-person classes, working with a tutor, etc.).
As a parent, you will want to help your student identify and evaluate course options (and help figure out how to pay any associated costs) but your student should take the lead in this process. Yes, you should still have conversations with your teen to make sure they are planning and completing their school work on time, but you should now be providing support and guidance rather than taking the primary responsibility for teaching.
This post contains affiliate links.
Encourage Your Student to Chart a Unique Path
Even though your teen will face specific high school requirements (based on your state guidelines) it is important to remain flexible and help your homeschool high school student chart a unique plan for their high school experience. Homeschooling offers a great deal of flexibility and this especially true at the high school level.
High school students must meet basic course requirements, but many of your student’s course selections and extracurricular activities can help them explore their interests and build new skills and abilities. Encourage your student to seek new and different learning experiences. Perhaps they can even talk to other students to find out what opportunities they have found to be most valuable and would recommend.
If your teen has a passion for a certain subject, activity, or sport they can use the high school years to focus more time and attention in these areas. They can adjust their schedules to meet the demands of practices and performances or they can tailor elective courses around researching and learning more about these topics.
Some college-bound students may decide to take college-level courses while still in high school. This is typically called “dual enrollment”. Often students use this as a way to get a few of their basic college course requirements out of the way while gaining both high school and college credits.
Seek Support From Other Homeschool Moms
Remember, you are NOT in this alone! Homeschooling high school is a new and different experience, but your family CAN do it, and you can do it WELL!
There is no reason to try to “reinvent the wheel” when it comes to this new phase of your homeschool journey. Many homeschool moms have traveled this path before you, and it’s important to find a few to travel it with you. Reach out, ask questions, be open to new ideas and suggestions….trust me, it will be worth it!
Over the past few years, I have met many families who are homeschooling high school and I love hearing about the decisions they have made and the lessons they have learned. Personally, I am so very grateful for the women I’ve met because we are homeschooling high school – they have shared ideas, experiences, and stories that have offered so much guidance and inspiration. I know I could not have done this on my own. I’m so grateful for all of them!
Because we want to support fellow homeschool moms of middle & high school students we offer a lot of ideas here on our Education Possible website, so we hope you will stop back often and share your experiences as well.
We also have an Education Possible Facebook Discussion Group where families of teens and tweens share ideas and get support from each other. We invite you to join us there.
Homeschool High School Course for Parents
We are thrilled to share a product from some very experienced homeschool moms who are happy to help you gather key information as you begin your homeschool high school journey
Our friends at 7 Sisters Homeschool have created an online course for parents: “Homeschool High School: You Can Do It!” is a self-paced course for parents. It provides a wonderful overview of the homeschool high school process through text, videos, printable forms, and more.
I have worked through this course a couple of times already and it has not only helped to alleviate some stress I was feeling, but also clarify some plans for the coming school year.
We look forward to sharing this homeschool high school journey with you! I know these years will be filled with unexpected twists and turns (both good and not-so-good) but I am convinced we can get through this together.