Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What About Wednesdays: How do I Homeschool a High Schooler?

In this inaugural edition of  What About Wednesday, we are going to tackle the topic of, "How do I homeschool my High Schooler?" I currently am homeschooling 4 high schoolers. And boy is it fun! (truth and tongue in cheek all in one!) For many homeschoolers, this is the time in their children's education that they approach with great trepidation. 

You really can homeschool your children all the way through high school. There are even ways to teach subjects you do not know!!!

I want to begin with, homeschooling your high schooler can be an exciting and fun experience! Yes, their education is paramount, you are indeed preparing them for life! And you do not want to short change them, you want them to have the ability pursue their God given talent! No matter where that leads them!

With that said, some of the best parts of homeschooling high schoolers, is allowing them to find their passions! My children love music and sports! So guess what we spend our time doing? Watching/playing sports and playing and singing and listening to music.... Teenagers by nature are social creatures! I think it is very important for them to have healthy peer relationships!  I have included a couple of photos of some of my teenagers, simply living their life!  I hope you enjoy a peek into our high school homeschool journey!

Another aspect that is true for homeschooling all ages, but it really does continue through high school, is field trips!  Many times as our children get older, field trips and other real life experiences are put to the wayside, and replaced for books! Our children, even more so our young adults need to see what the world has to offer them!  What better way to do that, but by giving them the rich exposure to all the world has to offer them!!

There are a myriad of resources available to you, that will help you with figuring out what to teach, when to teach it and how to document it!  I thought that I would put some of those resources listed here!  Now this is in addition to the major curriculum publishers that homeschoolers have available to them.

One of my favorite sources is Lee Binz the HomesScholar. She has some wonderful information that she shares both on her blog and in video. Check out her free resources page here. Just about any high school question you have, you will find the answer on the Home Scholar website! (hint: Look for her video on how to teach subjects you do not know!!!)

Another free resource for you is DonnaYoung.org, by clicking on this link you will be taken directly to her High School Resources page. You can find planning tools and Trancripts templates. This is actually the transcript template we are actually using in our homeschool.

Another resource that has become invaluable to our family is Khan Academy. This website has what seems to be thousands of videos that cover, math, history and science! Whether your children are in school or homeschooled they would benefit from the information on this site.. and it's FREE!

If I had to reccomend one book to purchase it would be the High School Handbook by Mary Schofield. This book will actually help you with both Junior High School and High School. However, if your children are already beyond Junior High School, it is not too late to purchase and use this book! It will teach you  how to plan your high school! A real must have!

Now with that said, you need to check what your state requirements are for homeschooling. Here is a great resource to find out yours! Once you know your documentation requirements, you can move onto your choice of home education.

In most locations, you can also enroll your high schooler at the local Junior College and your student can earn dual credits. Both credits for high school, and  for college!  The benefits of this is two fold! Your student will gain experience and exposure to college level courses. You can also use this option to have them take classes you feel ill equipped to teach, while giving your child the option of earning college credits!

There are also some colleges like Liberty that offer programs for high school students where they can take classes online.  You will also find some online schools that you can use as well. Like American School.  Many people choose these options if they are feeling overwhelmed and unable to teach high school.

And while I am thankful that parents have options, I would like to stress, that these options are costly and not necessary! You can homeschool on your own, all the way through high school. Visit the links listed above, connect with homeschoolers in your area, and enjoy your high schooler!

Now with all of that said, I would like to say, the most important part of homeschooling your high schooler, is keeping their heart! Continue to build that relationship, as you are laying those final foundations before they are off and on their own. Before you know it you will have a high school graduate, and your 'job' (the homeschooling part) will be done!  Take advantage of having them in your home, and having the time to spend with them. And purpose to make it a rich environment!

Happy Homeschooling my Friends!






  1. Christine Forlano TawilJune 14, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Hey, Jennifer...you know one thing I have noticed with the 2 boys going to public high school and Camille going to private high school and now I will be homeschooling one in middle school next yr is the whole text book thing. In public school since the books are owned by the school kids are not allowed to annotate and highlight their text books. Camille at her private school owned her own books and has therefore been better prepared for the annotation and in class note taking required and highly helpful in being a successful college student. I am looking forward to my son being able to REALLY USE his books that he will be using and not have to keep them in pristine shape....what is the use of having a book and not be able to really use them.

  2. Good point Christine! We definitely use our books at our house! They are highlighted, dog eared, underlined..... and well loved and used!
    Another great thing about homeschooling, is you get to decide what books they are using! It actually keeps it fun and interesting all year long!
    Highlighting history with wonderful historical fiction is a great way to liven up otherwise boring stories!

    You will have to keep me posted how your school year goes!

  3. You should see our Math book. It has writting all over the pages. Somehow I just can't get my son to do all of the practice problems on paper. Luckly it is in pencil so it can be erased. Sometimes it does work to his benifit though. I do find him looking at some of those problems in the book rather than trying to find the lesson in his notebook.

  4. Great Article! You gave lots of good information and great resource links. I know I am so glad we made the decision to home school all the way through High school, My oldest graduated this Spring and is off to college and my second is now in the 10th grade. I remember many questions and concerns others had when we said we were going to home school all the way through HS. It was kind of like starting to home school all over again. But I feel it was the best decision and plan on it for the rest of my kids as well.