You can homeschool high school! Really! You can do it!
I decided to make a 5-year plan instead of a 4-year plan for high school.
This plan would be from 8th grade to 12th grade. There are some courses you can use on their transcripts from 8th grade so I thought it would be good to include that in our plan. This would give us more time and flexibility to get everything done we wanted to accomplish.
What Do You Want To Give Your Children?
I think of education as a gift. I’m giving my teens a gift of a Christ-centered, well-rounded education that will bear good fruit in their lives for years to come.
I thought of all the things I
wanted to teach my child in high school—things that would bless them in years
to come. How about you? Why not go ahead and make a list of your dreams for
your son or daughter. What gift of education do you want to give them?
My list for each child includes things that are the same and things that are unique for each child. For instance, I want all my children to read Communist Manifesto in high school so that they can understand the socialist agenda in American universities and colleges. I also want them to study worldviews so that they can recognize the different worldviews that are predominate in our culture. Most of all, I want my children to know and memorize God’s Word, applying it to all of life.
Here are some examples you might want to put on your list:
- Read classic books that have changed the world
- Use Bible study tools
- Make and live on a budget
- Understand physics, chemistry, and oceanography
- Grow in their gifting of: (fill in the blank)
Don’t just shove a bunch of classes at them. Choose courses that will benefit them for life and lay a solid educational foundation if they will be going on to college.
Now it’s your teen’s turn.
What do they want to learn in high school? Some of them may have a career goal in mind. Others may have a dream of playing sports at a particular college.
When Should You Start Planning?
Seventh or Eighth grade is a good time to plan the high school years with your husband and teen. (seventh if you want to do a 5-year plan)
I recommend reading a few books on homeschooling the high school (like Unlocking the Mystery of Homeschooling High School) student and talking to other moms who have (or are!) successfully homeschooled teenagers. Other homeschooling moms can lead you by the hand and help you through the questions and decisions.
I sit down and make a five-year flexible plan for each child.
Realize that your plan will change over the years, but it is good to have a rough idea of what you want to accomplish.
I keep a folder for each child’s homeschool plan on my computer. One file in that folder is their high school plan. I start one for each child when they are in eighth grade. Each year, I have to adapt the plan as opportunities arise for them to take various classes.
Let me make it very simple for you.
Pretend that the following is your high school plan for you high school child.
Eighth Grade: Old Testament Survey/World History I/Algebra I/Western Literature (3.5)
Ninth Grade: Church History/World History II/Geometry/Biology/Oral & Written Communication/British Literature/Spanish I/P.E./Drama (0.25) + Piano (0.25) = 0.5 Fine Arts Credit/Growing in Christ (0.5) + Courtship & Dating (0.5) = 1.0 Character (8.5 credits)
Tenth Grade: New Testament Survey/USA History/Algebra II/Chemistry/Essays & Research/American Literature/Spanish II/P.E./Sewing (0.5 Homemaking)/Godly Womanhood (0.5 Character) (8 credits)
Eleventh Grade: Worldview & Apologetics/Government & Current Events & Politics/Pre-Calculus/Shakespeare/Fiction Writing/Drawing & Watercolor (0.5) + Drum Lessons (0.5) = 1.0 Fine Arts Credit/The Christian Family (0.5) + Starts own Business (you make it a course) (0.5) = 1.0 Life Skills (6 credits)
Twelfth Grade: The Great Commission/Economics & Business & Personal Finances/Calculus/Great Books/College Prep Writing/Runs own business as course 1.0 Life Skills/Leading worship as a course 1.0 Fine Arts (6 credits)
Total credits (32 credits)
Juggle Things Around When Educational Opportunities Arise
When Opportunities arise, I take advantage of them and go to my high school plan to make changes. Often I will juggle things around so that I can make sure that my teen takes the important courses.
So, if there is an opportunity to take chemistry with a pharmacist, I will switch chemistry and physics around. Or maybe the pastor is teaching a worldview course in my teen’s freshman year. I sign her up, but change my plan, moving worldview to ninth grade and church history to eleventh grade.
Some classes, of course, need to be take consecutively (like Math!), but most classes do not! My high school plan for each child changes every year. But it helps to have the basic plan, because I realize that all the classes have to fit in somewhere.
Another thing to remember is that you can do an intensive class in a month during a break from normal school or you can do semester classes like colleges do. With math and literature, I don’t recommend shortening the time frame because your child can only do so many hours of math a day before he is burned out! But, this can be a great way to get something “out of the way” quickly.
Your flexible 5-Year Plan is a servant, not a master. In my life it has been a great blessing and helped to guide us through the high school years, making planning simple.
God bless you as you make
your own five-year plan. God is good and He will lead you in this adventure!
Until next time, Happy Homeschooling!