How to Plan to Homeschool High School - 4 Easy Steps

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Summary:  Planning to homeschool high school is not that hard!  High school homeschool graduation requirements, what are homeschool core studies, how homeschool high school electives add in so much, where to search for your homeschool high school curriculum and how to make a high school homeschool 4 year plan.

When my daughter was in middle school we started thinking about homeschooling to teens years.

We had been homeschooling for years, but the thought of doing high school meant that we would have to manage new things like making transcripts, assigning high school credit and the like.

I checked out other people's blogs and did some research to learn more about high school.  

I realized that doing high school really would not that different from homeschooling younger kids...It just involved more planning and paperwork.  How could I make it easier for those who are coming after me?

I found 4 key aspects to planning for the high school years, and those included the following:

- making a best guess as to where your teen was heading-- college, trade school, community college, work, or?  
- knowing your teen's special interests
- finding curriculum
- sketching out a 4 year plan

Knowing where your teen was heading - That would become your teen's core studies or graduation requirements.  As homeschoolers, most states give us a lot of leeway as far as graduation requirements.  

Their goals will guide you in setting up your own graduation requirements.  Those aiming towards college will of course, need to complete their college entrance requirements.  

Secondly, knowing your teen's special interests - Those will become their high school electives.

Thirdly, you will of course need to decide on your teen's curriculum.  I recommend working together with your teen on this step.

And finally, sketching out a 4 year high school plan can give you peace of mind, knowing that you then have a general idea of where you will be going in the high school years.

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.

Homeschooling high school can be a gift to you, your teen, and your family.  

And you can do it.  You know your teen best and we at BJ's Homeschool are here to help you.  What are your top concerns re planning to homeschool high school?

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 think that your student might be college bound?  

I wrote a guide to college just for homeschoolers, which gives you details that you need to know about planning high school for your college bound teen.

Are you Homeschooling High School with College in Mind?

I helped my 2e daughter get into each of the colleges on her list, including an ivy, a state U, a private faith based college, and one more.  

More info and all the details on on my book are in this article - How to Be Sure Your Teen is Ready for College.

What people and reviewers are saying about it:

"For parents new to homeschooling, this book is full of ideas, examples, and helpful advice. Since homeschooling is about having choices, we like that the author highlights how her family made their decisions and sorted through their options every year. 

I would recommend this book to any homeschool student and parent."  Lit Pick Review

Kindle -Amazon - ON SALE 45% OFF

Also in Paperback -Amazon

Also on the blog:

Are you looking for a little homeschool help?

I offer homeschool help and also free messaging exchanges through my facebook page, BJ's Homeschool.

This can be as simple as asking a few questions and/or any of these:

1.  How do I Get Started Homeschooling?
2.  Choosing  Curriculum
3.  Adapting things to fit my child's needs.  
4.  Homeschooling Styles
5. Am I doing enough?
6. What about Special Needs?
7.  Homeschooling High School
8.  How to Apply to College
9.Washington State Homeschooling10.  Homeschooling preschool, K, elementary, middles, too.  To reach me or for more info, please click here.

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

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is mom to her now college grad, whom she homeschooled from day one.  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?  

Click here to get yours.

This post was shared on my favorite linkups here.

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