4 Steps to Planning High School at Home

Summary:  This is a tutorial on how to plan high school at home.  Including tips on transcripts, curriculum and more.  Every mom can homeschool their teen.  We did it and our daughter is was not ruined!In fact, she loved being homeschooled. #homeschoolhighschool

When we began thinking about high school, it was more than a little daunting to us.  (Don't miss the sale at the end of this article.)

We had been homeschooling for years but the thought of doing high school meant that we would have to make transcripts, assign high school credit and other things that we did not yet know how to do.

I checked out some homeschooling high school blogs, and talked with my friends, to get advice from them on where to start.  That helped a lot.  And we also continued with some of our curriculum favorites from our middle school years....

We went ahead and homeschooled all the way, and I am so glad that we did.  Homeschooling prepared her well for college, and kept our family relationships strong, throughout the important teen years.

Today I'd like to share 4 steps for planning high school at home, based on our experience doing just that.  

Let's start with looking at the Core Studies and Graduation Requirements.  Then, secondly, let's look at how your teen's special interests and how they can help you craft your high school planning.  Next, let's talk about curriculum, then...

Finally, let's talk about the value of making an overall plan, or your best guesses for what to do for the high school years at home...

1. Core Studies and Graduation Requirements

When I talked with my homeschool friends about high school, they said to start at the end, not the beginning..

What?  Start at the ending?  

I recommend looking at where my teen might be heading, once she graduated from our homeschool.  By looking at what your teen will need to graduate, that will tell you what core courses will be needed, and that is a good starting point.

Since my daughter wanted to go to college, we researched the college entrance requirements at a few colleges that she might like to attend.  That gave us a list of core studies that she needed to complete.  I am writing an ebook all about that.

If your teen is not heading to college, you will likely have A LOT of leeway, as to what courses to do in high school.

Most states give the parents a lot of choice as to what to study during the high school years, and when to graduate your student from homeschool.  But some states do not.

So it's important to know the Homeschool Graduation Requirements for your state.  That way, we would know what was required, then we could add in all the extras, like electives, field trips, etc.  Below are resources for that, but keep in mind....many states do not set out a specific list of homeschool graduation requirements....

To find out more about homeschooling in your state, I suggest connecting with your state homeschooling group. This link lists all of them, throughout our country.  In WA state, for example, we got to decide these for ourselves.  But if your state has requirements for homeschool graduation, it is good to know that first.

Our second step was to consider what special interests my teen had, or was interested in developing...

2.  Special Interests and Electives 

My husband and I talked a lot with our daughter about her needs and interests.  My teen was excited about learning video-making, doing some photography, and taking irish dance classes.  

We made sure to leave lots of room in our plan for developing these interests.  If your teen doesn't know what they are interested in yet, they will have plenty of time to discover that during their high school years.

What are your teen's interests and gifts?  
High school at home allows us to foster, grow, and encourage them! And homeschooling gives your teen lots more time to explore their own interests and discover their talents and gifts.

High school electives and activities can also help with getting into college, and my ebook will have more info. on that.

Thirdly, here's how we chose our high school curriculum...

3.  Choosing your Curriculum

My teen knew she needed to complete her requirements in the basic subjects (LA, social studies, math and science).  But, we still did not forget about her interests.  They framed her electives.  

Curriculum Search Resources:

- CURRICULUM DIRECTORY at Let's Homeschool High School

This curriculum directory for high school is the most complete one I have seen.  And it includes TONS of links, with many reviews.


Here veteran homeschool bloggers share curriculum reviews of resources that they used in their own homes.  I am on the author team there and share my favorite high school curicula there and also in my book below, too.

Finally, we went about setting up our best guesses for making an overall high school plan.....

4.  Making an Overall Plan

Involve your teen in the process.

One thing that really helped us was to create an overall plan for high school.  Of course, it was tweeted many times....

We just made our best guesses for what to do when...and wrote it out on notebook paper.  This helped me to feel confident, as I knew that I would not forget something that my daughter needed to get done before graduation.

I have tons more posts on high school and college, too - on Pinterest.  Plus a post on Making an Overall High School Plan here.

I love getting your comments and I also offer free homeschool help on my facebook page with IM's.  Not that my daughter has graduated college, I have more time to answer questions from families.

Do you have a college bound teen in your house?  

But first, are you looking for a truly encouraging group for high school moms?

You are invited to join my very encouraging group for high school moms, called at Homeschooling through High School.  Lots of moms just like you there, sharing triumphs and challenges.  Get your questions answered there, too.  

Feel free to Join us here.

Now, 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 at Amazon $11.99 

Kindle version of my book on SALE for 30% off
SALE price for Kindle is $4.89 

Sale starts Monday, February 17th.

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 SALE at $4.89 all week, through February 23rd

College in Mind - 2nd Edition

It has 17 downloadable high school planning printables on:

Making your overall plan
Writing the college essay
Dealing with reference letters
Writing those course descriptions
Choosing your curricula
...and more.

More high school posts are on Pinterest here: Homeschooling High School Pinterest Board.

Also on the blog:

Thanks for stopping by,


Betsy is mom to her college grad whom she homeschooled from age 3.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh school & college and wrote the bookHomeschooling High School with College in Mind - 2nd Edition.  She offers free homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting

Want to stay in touch?

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Revised 2020, All Rights Reserved

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