Homeschooling High School with Confidence -

Overview - Preparing to homeschool doesn't have to be hard!  This article tells you all about the keys to homeschooling high school, including assigning credit, searching for homeschool high school curriculum, making those homeschool transcripts, and.... what are core studies, anyway?  

Is homeschooling high school really not that hard?  Have you seen that saying around on the web? 

What do you think?

Well, first I would say yes it really is not that hard.  But then I would say no, it can be hard in some ways, too.

It was harder for us than middle school, just because there were more things to think college, or trade school, or entering the world of work....Where will my teen be heading?  

So what's a mama to do? 
For us, we knew that our teen wanted to go directly into college after graduating.  We wanted her to have the high school years to just be a high schooler, and decided not to go the dual credit route, except for a course or two.

Are  you nervous about continuing to homeschool all the way through high school?  

I was, when contemplating it during the middle school years...My daughter was doing so well with her homeschooling, that we wanted to continue all the way, to allow her to explore her interests and prepare for the next step in an individualized manner.  

Today I'd like to share how I became confident as a mom who was homeschooling her teen.  

There were four key pieces of information that were important to me for my high school planning....And once I got them under my belt, my confidence grew....a lot.

Once I could understand how to deal with Credits, Curriculum, Core Studies, and Transcripts....Then I was ready to take on high school with confidence.  

If you have these 4 tools under your belt, more specifically, having:

- an understanding of high school credits
- resources for choosing your curriculum
- an understanding of what core studies your teen would need
- how to's for making your teen's transcript.....

Then you will be much better equipped to take on the high school years.

First of all, let's talk start with high school credits.

1.  Assigning High School Credit

It is not that hard to assign high school credit.  Here are 3 ways to do just that.

I call them ...................1.  the Textbook method
                                         2.  the Hours method
                                         3.  the Mastery method

All of the work that your teen does earns high school credit!   This includes courses that you make yourself, volunteer and paid work hours, internships, time spent reading, etc.  

The textbook method is the traditional way.  

The hours method involves keeping track of the amount of time spent in learning activities.  

The mastery method refers to assigning credit based on demonstrated mastery of a subject or a skill. That could be video making, playing an instrument, etc.

We did a lot of different kinds of learning, and all of it counted!  I have a post on this, which you can find by searching my blog for "3 Ways to High School Credit"

It is also included in my book, mentioned below.

Secondly, let's talk curriculum.....

2.  Curriculum Search Resources

First we started with our favorites from middle school.  I wanted to keep whatever was working  best for my daughter.  For example, we used SOS from for math in middle school, and just continued with it for most of high school.  That was a no-brainer.  

My daughter was a big part of this process.  Together, we searched the internet, our favorite blogs and homeschool catalogs, and talked with our homeschooling friends, to find new ideas.  

Here are my favorite resources for your search:

------ There is a great CURRICULUM DIRECTORY at Let's Homeschool High School

This curriculum directory for high school is the most complete one I have ever seen!  And it includes TONS of links, too! 


This site is full of curriculum reviews, written by a team of authors (me, too!) who have used the curriculum, at home with their families.  There are reviews of curriculum such as Tapestry of Grace, IEW for literature and writing, Oak Meadow, a number of Charlotte Mason options, and tons and tons of many more reviews, too. 

We used a combination of faith based and secular resources.  My book on homeschooling high school with college in mind, has lots more information on choosing curriculum, and what we chose to use in our homeschool.  Along with many other options, too.  You can also find more info on our favorite high school curricula, by searching my blog.

Thirdly, you want to be familiar with what core courses our student will need to complete.

3.  High School Core Studies

Core studies are just the basic high school courses, in math, english, social studies, and science.

What your choose for core studies is most often up to the individual homeschool family.  You do not need to follow the public school graduation requirements, only those laid out in your state's homeschool law.  

Most states do not lay out requirements for a homeschool diploma. It is usually left to the homeschool family to decide when to graduate their teen.  

So in most states, you can shape your teen's high school years around their needs, depending where they will be heading.

If your teens might be going to college, then you will want them to do the core studies that are outlined by the colleges, ie, the college entrance requirements.  Checking likely college websites is essential for college bound teens. I have much more on that in my book, laying out typical requirements for a different kinds of colleges, mentioned below.

If your teen is headed to community college, it is adivsable to just check in with admissions there.  In our state of WA, the incoming students just take an entrance test, which evaluates their math and english skills.  

It is usually SO much less complicated compared than going into a 4 year college, and usually the SAT/ACT is not needed.

AGAIN - You do not have to follow the public school graduation requirements....those are for public school kids!

Now that you have the resources for finding your curriculum, and you understand what core studies are, let's talk about searching for high school curricula.

Before we ordered anything, we spent time talking about my teen's special interests. 

Those influenced our choices for core studies and also became my teen's high school electives!  

What is your teen passionate about?  How do they spend their time, when they have free time?  What are their gifts?What is your teen passionate about?  

The beauty of homeschooling high school is that you get to build and nurture your teen's interests and help them to discover their strengths.  Even with preparing for college, my teen had lots of time to do electives and try out her interests in activities.

Now that we finished talking about credits, curriculum, core studies and a bit about electives, let's talk transcripts. 

4.  Making your High School Transcripts

Volunteering is a great leadership building activity and the colleges love to see this on their applications.

Compiling your teen's transcript is really not that hard!  Really! Here is a post that includes frugal resources for compiling your transcripts, called of course Frugal Help for Transcripts

Transcripts are just a document that lists all of the courses that your student took, with grades, a place to put their SAT or ACT scores, with identifying information on it.  More on transcripts can be found on my blog.

My book below also has a full chapter on how to put your transcripts together, with lots of planning forms and a fillable and editable transcript form for you to just fill in. 

High School was my favorite time, of all of our homeschooling years. 

No it was not easy. Yes, it was much more complicated than the earlier years.  But having my daughter at home meant that she her individual educational needs could be met. 

She also had more time to try out new activities and develop her interests, and go to youth conferences, etc.  And watching her blossom and grow, during the teen years... priceless! 

Have you seen my frugal book yet on high school?

Kindle on Amazon  with downloadable printables
 Paperback on Amazon  

Get my best tips on college from a homeschool perspective!  Make your high school planning easier! 

My book includes 12 high school planning printables plus a fillable transcript form, the type that the colleges are used to seeing!

Subscribers will get the first chapter free! 
Click here to get yours!

What are people saying about Homeschooling High School with College in Mind?

Heidi, from Starts at Eight says:

"If you are planning on homeschooling high school then Betsy's book is the one that you want to have on the shelf" here to read the rest of her review."

  I have tons more posts on high school on Pinterest, too:

Homeschooling high school yielded us so many gifts, for my daughter, for our family, and for her high school education.

What are your top worries or concerns re planning for high school for your college bound teen or for your teen who will go right into a vocation?  I love getting your comments,  and they can help encourage other families as well.  

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope that this post will help you in your important work with your teens,


Betsy is mom to her college grad whom she homeschooled from preK through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool about the early yearshigh schoolcollegeand is the author of "Homeschooling High School with College in Mind".  She offers homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting.

Want to stay in touch?  

Subscribers will get the first chapter free! 

Click here to get yours!

This post was shared on my favorite linkups here.

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