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How to Prepare for Homeschooling High School Part Two

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How to Prepare for Homeschooling High School Part Two



How to Prepare for Homeschooling High School Part Two



One of the things that worry moms about homeschooling high school is being unsure of what courses their teens need to take in order to graduate.  The how to prepare for homeschooling high school part two, explains what those required courses are plus some possible electives.  I have also included a free high school planner for you to download.



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There are standard subjects that all high schoolers need to complete for graduation and for college admission.  There are some students who do not have plans to go to college.  Even so, it is wise for them to prepare for college admission anyway.  Students who do so will find themselves prepared, and without the need to complete additional courses in order to meet the college requirements for admissions.


Core Subjects and Potential Courses


Your teen needs to complete two semesters of study in each core (required) subject.  Those subjects are English, math, social studies, and science.


Language ArtsEnglish

Whether your student is college-bound or not, he/she needs to take four years of English study.  Potential English courses are:

  • Introduction to Composition
  • Advanced Composition
  • Creative Writing
  • Film as Literature
  • American Literature
  • World Literature
  • British Literature
  • Public Speaking

You will notice English and Grammar are not on the list.  Students need to be proficient in those areas before their high school years.



Students need to complete three years of math courses for a general diploma, and four years for those who are college-bound. 

Necessary courses for doing well on the PSAT and SAT:

  • Algebra 1
  • Geometry
  • Algebra 2

The best time to take the above courses is before the eleventh grade. 

Other math choices for the 12th grade are:

  • Pre-Calculus
  • Calculus
  • Trigonometry
  • College Algebra
  • Statistics

General math is usually not acceptable by colleges.  That course should be taken during the middle school years.  Accounting and consumer math are elective options.


Social Studies

Include a minimum of three courses in your teen’s high school schedule.  Potential courses are:

  • World History
  • American History
  • U.S. Geography
  • World Geography
  • One semester of American Government and one semester of Economics



Science is another subject that requires a minimum of three courses for graduation.  Colleges like to see students who have taken the following courses:

  • Biology with Lab
  • Chemistry with Lab
  • Physics with Lab

Other courses to choose from are:

  • Anatomy
  • Marine Biology
  • Advanced Biology
  • Advanced Chemistry
  • Advanced Physics
  • Astronomy
  • Forensic Science


Directed Electives


Directed electives are those courses high schoolers also need to take for graduation.  Those include: foreign language, fine arts, and health/physical education.


Foreign LanguagesForeign Language

Most colleges require students to take three or four years of foreign language studies.  There are many languages to choose from to study.  You might consider using Mango Languages as the curriculum.  You may read my review of Mango Languages here.





Fine Arts

Fine arts provide students with a broader educational experience.  A few students will cringe when they hear they need to take a fine arts course.  There are multiple options available.  Here are just a few:

  • Art Appreciation – You will find the post on High School Fine Arts Course helpful
  • Art History
  • Graphic Design
  • Introduction to Drawing/Painting
  • Media Arts
  • Choir with Performance
  • Music Theory
  • Musical Composition
  • Music History
  • Instrumental Music with Performance
  • Dance with Performance
  • Ceramics/Pottery
  • Photography


Physical EducationPhysical Education

States require students to take one semester of physical education.  Homeschool options for fulfilling the P.E. requirements are:

  • Dance (if not used for fine arts)
  • Sports (basketball, volleyball, baseball, tennis, etcetera)
  • Martial Arts
  • Aerobics
  • Gymnastics
  • Marathon Training
  • Weightlifting
  • Swimming

Earning a semester credit is achievable by keeping track of the hours spent doing the activity.




Electives add variety and additional educational merit to the schedule.  Students use the electives to earn the rest of the credits needed for satisfying the graduation requirements.  Taking electives are typically easy for homeschoolers to achieve, since students are able to seek out their passions. 


MeteorologyVocational Electives

It is wise for students to include some electives that correspond with their career goals.  In example, if they desire to be an animator, they will need to take art and computer science courses.  If students have interest in a science-related field, then they need to take four years of science.

There are way too many courses for me to list, but here are some examples:

  • Auto Mechanics
  • Psychology / Philosophy / Sociology
  • Journalism
  • Meteorology
  • Cosmetology

Students who have no idea what vocational path they want to take will benefit from a career exploration course.  This will allow them to job shadow and assist professionals as they discern their calling. 


Culinary Arts


Miscellaneous Electives

Here are even more ideas for high school electives:

  • Biblical Studies
  • Personal Finance
  • Culinary Arts
  • Home Economics



ArcheryFun Electives

Let’s face it teens are not going to like every course they take in high school.  Adding some fun electives will make things a bit easier.  Consider turning your teen’s passions into a fun elective.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Driver’s Education
  • Archery
  • Woodworking
  • Robotics
  • Interior Design
  • Equestrian Training

High School Planner - H.O.P.E. Home School Consulting

Now it’s time to take the information above and create a 4-year schedule for your high schooler.  You may download the free High School Planner here.  

It’s your turn.  What suggestions do you have for high school courses?


Angie McFarren, Homeschool Consultant

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Please share. It makes me happy. :)

Angie McFarren

Angie McFarren is a homeschool mom of 1 high school student and graduated another who is now attending college. She has homeschooled them since they were in K and Pre-K. Angie is passionate about homeschooling and enjoys Helping Other Parents Educate. She is a Homeschool Consultant and the author of Educate the Home Educator Crash Course. Angie is also on the See the Light Art Curriculum team.

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