Planning High School with College in Mind and How To Make a 4 Year Plan

Summary:  Making a 4 year homeschool high school plan, and how to work in SAT/ACT testing and still have time for the fun and following your teen's interests.  It is not hard to homeschool high school with college in mind, if you plan as you go along.  #homeschoolhighschool Note - This post may included affiliate links to products that we love and have used or would use in our  own homeschool. Please see my disclosure policy.

Are you homeschooling a teen and wondering about their chances of getting into the college of their choice?

We homeschooled ours since she was 4 and helped her get into each of the colleges on her list, including an ivy.  It was not hard to do.  The key was in the planning.

But as homeschoolers, we are already experts in planning. We have searched for and chosen curriculum each year for our kids. We have decided on which subjects to focus on and how to teach them to our kids. 

Planning for high school, with college in mind is really no different, except for one important thing.....Now your teen has their college entrance entrance requirements to fulfill.  Finding out what your teen's core requirements will be, was discussed in chapter one of my book, and also in my post called BJ's Guide to College Confidence - What YOU Need to Know.

This was overwhelming to us at first. What we did to combat that, was to plan ahead and lay out a tentative overall plan for the high school years.  

Making this plan helped us in 3 ways..

1.  First, if I had this plan to follow, I would be less likely to forget a requirement or two, and have to scramble in senior year, to fit it in. 
2.  Secondly, it freed my teen to focus on building her interests, because our core studies were already set in mind and on paper.

3.  It gave us confidence to push forward, and enjoy the high school years.

Making an Overall High School Plan

With our list of admission requirements in hand, we sketched out what our high school years might look like.....with our best guesses of what we wanted to do when.

Our overall plan was flexible, and revised and reworked every year, as life happened.  Yet it was a helpful guide for us, and ours looked something like this:


My Teen's Requirements

4 English
2 Sciences with Lab
3 Math with one Math-oriented Science in Senior Year
3 Social Studies
2 Foreign Language

+ Electives to equal 24 - 26 credits

Yours could be similar or quite different.  It depends on the college.  Below is our 4 year plan, which includes the electives and testing schedule that we chose to do.  That will vary, too.

 9th grade

World History 
English (lit and composition)
Science - Physical Science (good prep for bio next year)
Math - Algebra 1
High School Activities (Irish dance, youth group)
 10th grade

Foreign Language - Spanish 1
Science - Biology with Lab
Math - Geometry
English (lit and comp)
High School Activities (Irish dance, youth group, creative writing)

Take the PSAT for practice
  11th grade

Foreign Language - Spanish 2
 US History 
Science - Chemistry with lab
Math- Algebra 2
American Lit (with essay writing)
 Elective Videomaking 
High School Activities (Irish dance, youth group, debate)

Take the SAT or ACT

12th grade

 US Government
Science - Physics
British Lit with essay writing
2 Electives 
High School Activities (Irish dance, youth group, speech and debate)

Take SAT or ACT again if needed

Your plan could be similar or entirely different from mine, depending on:

1.  Your college choice's admission requirements
2.  Special requirements for prospective math/science majors
3.  Your homeschooling style 
4.  Your teen's interests

Then we put our planner away....

Aiming towards college, step by step, allowed us to prepare for the college admission process, while letting us keep our homeschool style going. 

Do you have a college bound teen in your house?  

Have you seen my NEW book yet called Homeschooling High School with College in Mind, 2nd Edition?

Homeschooling High School with College in Mind - 2nd edition

Paperback is on Amazon $11.99 

Kindle on Amazon is only $6.17
with 12 downloadable planning printables

It lays out 10 easy steps for homeschool to college, and covers everything you need to help your teen get into the college of their choice, with 7 NEW chapters. Recommended by Lessa Scherrer, a certified college counselor and a homeschooling mama of 3.

Create your own unique and nurturing high school program for your teen and showcase their accomplishments to the colleges. 

The 17 Chapters include:

>Chapter 1 - How to Start Homeschooling if you are a Newbie
>Chapter 2 - 101 Reasons to Homeschool High School
>Chapter 3 - Researching and Getting Started
  Chapter 4 - Planning High School and Making a 4 Year Plan
>Chapter 5 - Choosing Your High School Curriculum
>Chapter 6 - Three Ways to High School Credit
>Chapter 7 - Making Your Teen's Transcripts
>Chapter 8 - 100 High School Electives
>Chapter 9 - Making Homemade Courses
>Chapter 10 - Writing a Winning College Essay
>Chapter 11 - Course Descriptions and Reference Letters
>Chapter 12 - The Common Application - Your GUIDE
>Chapter 13 - Preparing Your Teen for College Writing
>Chapter 14 - Dealing with College Testing SAT/ACT
>Chapter 15 - Top Sources for College Scholarships
>Chapter 16 - Dealing with “Those Questions” from Others
>Chapter 17 - Don’t Forget the FUN!

>There are 12 downloadable high school homeschool planning printables plus a transcript form for you to just fill in. The kind of transcript form that the colleges are used to seeing.
Review by Lit Pick is here: 

Homeschooling High School with College in Mind Video 

Paperback is at Amazon $11.99 
Kindle on Amazon is only $6.17
with 12 downloadable planning printables.

For more info: College Prep

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is mom to her now college grad, whom she homeschooled from preschool.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh school & college and wrote the book - Homeschooling High School with College in Mind.   She offers free homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting

Want to stay in touch?


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Just encouragement for your homeschool.

Copyright @ BJ's Homeschool 2014
Revised 2019 

All Rights Reserved


  1. Hi Betsy, it's Jackie stopping by from the April Let's Homeschool High School Blog Hop.

    So glad you linked up with us

    I think coming up with an outline for all four years in high school is smart. It makes you think about what you need to take and when so your transcript will college ready at the end of the senior year. Thanks for sharing.

    Let's Homeschool High School Admin Team

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jackie P! I enjoy linking up with Let's Homeschool High School, and the blog hop each month. SO many great posts and ideas to try!

  2. Thank you for the planner links! That was just what I was looking for!

  3. Hi Kristenph,

    Thanks so much for your comment! My friend, Danielle, reviewed that planner on the Curriculum Choice, and loved it...So nice to hear that it was just what you were looking for! Great!

  4. I really think I'm going to buy that 4 year high school planner it sounds pretty amazing. It's great to see what folks are doing that are ahead of me in the journey! Also I wanted to invite you to link up with Finishing Strong Homeschooling Middle & High School it's a weekly link up on Wednesdays! Have a wonderful day!

  5. Thanks, Kyle Suzanne, for stopping by, and thanks for mentioning the Finishing Strong blog hop. So many great posts there! I just linked up with a post on Preparing (my heart) for Graduation, last night. It is so nice to be a part of that community. I hope that you enjoy the 4 year planner, if you decide to try it. Have a great day!

  6. Thank you for sharing more steps towards college!

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

    1. Nice of you to stop by, Jill R, and to host the Thoughtful Spot every week!

  7. It's fun to see the high school plans of other homeschoolers. Some of the plans for homeschoolers say that 4 years of math and science are required for college, but this wasn't true for when I went to college. I think many homeschoolers overdo it, exhausting their teens when they could be taking electives that would help them towards their career choice.

  8. Thanks so much, +Susan Evans, for adding in and sharing your comments! I agree, not every teen needs to have so much math and science. It really depends on the particular requirements of the college. I like the idea of keeping an interest led approach to homeschooling high school, and finding time for those important, and fun, and meaningful high school electives! We had so much fun with videomaking!

  9. Did your daughter always know she wanted to go to college? My oldest is only in middle school but I know high school will be here before I know it but he insists that he has no desire to go to college... I'm afraid he might end up changing his mind and was debating about teaching him as if he was going to go to college. I'm so afraid that he won't be prepared otherwise.

  10. I don't think that any of our middle schoolers really know what they want to do at that age...My daughter did not know what she wanted to do, or whether she wanted to go to college then. By 9th grade, she knew. You are way ahead of the "game", by thinking about this when your kiddo is in middle school. I am working on a post about preparing for college, during middle school, which will be posted in January, in you are interested. I would be happy to chat further if you like, just message me on BJ's Homeschool page, on facebook, and we can talk more. So nice of you to stop by, Mother of 3!!


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