Tips for Homeschooling High School

Homeschooling High School
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Is this the year you’re setting out to homeschool a high school student? You are a rock star! You’re also probably a little nervous and maybe wishing someone would give you a step-by-step “how to homeschool high school” plan. Well, let’s do this!

Start With a Brain Dump

However you make notes or like to journal, begin by writing, typing, or voice texting your thoughts somewhere so they can be saved. As with anything else, you are not bound to them. Just get your ideas down on paper and start there.

Consider College-Prep Requirements vs. Trade School & Job Readiness

There are two basic tracks to follow when planning your student’s high school path: college-prep or trade school/job readiness. Personally, we’ve always felt it wise to require a college-prep course load because our incoming freshmen haven’t always been sure about what they might do after high school. Keeping them on a college-prep track assured that they would be ready to apply for colleges when and if the time came.

We have one son who has firmly decided not to go to college, and since he graduated from high school five years ago, he has held steady jobs that interest him. Having a college-prep high school foundation hasn’t hurt him in any way, but had we not given him that and he’d chosen to go to college, he would have found himself far behind.  

Choose Courses

Print the Free Compass Classroom High School Subject Tracker!

Once you’ve decided which “track” your student will be on during their high school career, you can begin to plug in which courses they will take. If you want to know what courses fill these requirements in your school district, state, or country, you can do a simple web search. School districts do provide that information. If you cannot find it online, call the office of education.

Here’s a sample from one of our own homeschool graduates:

Grade 9: English I Algebra I Spanish I Art I Choir Swimming

Grade 10: English II Geometry Spanish II Biology World History Survey Art II Choir. Swimming

Grade 11: English III Algebra II Spanish III Physics U.S. History Survey Choir

Grade 12: English IV (community college), Calculus, Spanish IV (AP or community college), Science course from community college, Government and Economics, Choir

Your 4Year Plan Should Not Look Like Others!

Your student’s plan will, of course, vary from ours. If you can map out your four years with an understanding of how classes will fit into the plan, you’ve done the groundwork. Once that is done, you’ll simply begin plugging in the classes that meet each requirement.

To do so, take a look at what is available on the homeschool market. Does your student do best with a book and notetaking? Will they thrive in a live online classroom setting? Do self-paced video courses work best for them? Do they need a live lab set-up, provided by a co-op or community college? 

Student Input Is Vital!

When a student takes a measure of ownership over the classes he or she has chosen, they tend to dive in with at least a little more enthusiasm. They also have no one to blame except themselves, and teens do love to remind us when we made them do something and it didn’t turn out the way we all had hoped. The high school years are a great time to learn personal responsibility!

Author, Kendra Fletcher

Kendra Fletcher is a mother of 8, speaker, author, and 22-year homeschool veteran. She is the author of Lost and Found: Losing Religion, Finding Grace, and Leaving Legalism, and she regularly writes for Key Life Ministries. The Fletchers reside in California, where they play in the Pacific Ocean as often as possible. Find her here:


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