How to Prepare for Homeschooling High School
Lately, I have received numerous questions on how to prepare for homeschooling high school. The thought of taking that next step makes even the bravest of moms feel apprehensive. In this 3-part series, I’ll share with you the most important things you need to be doing right now.
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It is essential to plan your child’s high school course of study well in advance. Waiting until August of your teens’ freshman year will cause too much anxiety on your part. The spring before the 9th grade is a good time to begin. But, first you need to know your requirements.
Part One – Know Your Requirements
It is important to first find out what is required of your teen before you start selecting courses. Check your state’s requirements; ask your teen about his or her interests; and inquire about college admission requirements. Let us start with your child’s interests.
Your Child’s Interest
Ask your child what courses he or she has interest in studying and possible career goals. It is common for a teen to be unclear regarding a future vocation (completing a career assessment may be helpful.) This is a big decision. Do not be surprised if he or she changes his or her mind later. At least you have a starting point in knowing what courses to add to the schedule.
State’s Graduation Requirements
The second step to take before selecting courses is to find out what your state’s graduation requirements are. A number of states require homeschooled students to have an equivalent education to the public school system. This involves completing certain subjects and number of credits in order for a student to graduate. The state of Indiana has the Core 40. This requires a student to complete 40 credits in specific classes prior to graduation. Those courses include the core subjects, fine arts, career-technical, physical education, health, and three electives.
You can find out what the graduation requirements are by looking at your state’s department of education website.
Check if there are different types of diplomas and the requirements for each. Indiana has four types of diplomas: the general diploma, Core 40, Core 40 with Academic Honors, and Core 40 with Technical Honors. The latter two diplomas have additional requirements. Note: It looks like there are changes for the graduation requirements coming in 2018.
Please note: Most states do not provide a homeschooled student with a diploma.
College admission officers look for a student who has a more challenging course load and takes advanced courses. This gives the officers insight on how well the student will perform at a college level. This typically requires taking additional credits in English, math, and foreign language.
It is wise to begin communicating with admission counselors at potential colleges early. The majority of the counselors welcome such communication. Some colleges even offer guidance counseling for homeschoolers. This involves assisting the student and parents in the course selection process and offering additional help. Investigate schools in your area to see if they offer this type of service.
Knowing what your requirements are will make it much easier when you begin selecting courses.
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