How to Plan to Homeschool High School - 4 Easy Steps -

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 the 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. 

Have you seen my book on college yet?


Do you want a step by step guide to high school and college, plus my exclusive guide to the Common Application for homeschoolers? 

I have gathered together all my best tips for high school and college and put it into my new book, Homeschooling High School with College in Mind, 2nd Edition

It gives you everything that you need to plan your high school homeschool for your college bound teen.  Plus how to help them get into the college of their choice.

Amazon for only $11.99
Paperback is on Amazon 
This book is an easy-to-read guide to college for homeschoolers, recently updated with 7 NEW chapters, including:

- My own homeschoolers guide to the Common Application
- How to write the Counselor Recommendation Letter
- Where to find college scholarships
- SAT/ACT Prep
- How to make your own homemade courses
 Included are also 12 homeschool high school planning printables to make your record-keeping easier.

10 easy to do steps to homeschool high school with college in mind. And it really is NOT that hard!!  

This book does not tell you how to homeschool high school.  Instead it gives you guidance for doing it your way!  

Keep your nurturing homeschool style and showcase their accomplishments to the colleges!

Recommended by: 
Lessa Scherrer, Certified College Counselor
                               from College Inside Track

"Betsy has a wealth of understanding and knowledge to share with the parents of college bound homeschoolers.  She provides support, encouragement and step-by-step advice on all aspects of the homeschool high school and college application process. This book is a must-read for parents considering homeschooling high school and for parents in the thick of the application process."

And help for record keeping!  With my exclusive high school and college planning printables.

The high school and college planning forms include:

College Entrance Requirements Form
Overall High School Plan
Curriculum Planning Sheet
High School Credit Record Form
Transcript Form
Activities and Awards Form
Homemade Course Form
Writing the College Essay Form
Course Descriptions Record Keeping Form
Reference Letter Request Form
PE Record Form

For more information, click here - Frugal College Prep for Homeschoolers or to buy it here - my book on Amazon  

And don't worry about forgetting things!

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

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?  
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