Most families feel relatively confident they will be able to homeschool in the elementary years, but as your student gets older, your confidence wanes. What if you didn’t do well in high school? What if you didn’t go to school in this country? These are reasonable concerns, but not reasons to walk away from homeschooling high school entirely.
The homeschool laws throughout the US are vastly different from state to state. It’s your responsibility to ensure you are familiar with the laws in the state you reside, and the HSLDA is a fantastic resource to make sure you’re on top of the current laws, and any changes that might occur. The HSLDA is a Christian organization, so if something does not line-up with your existing viewpoint, you can take what is beneficial and leave what is not.
What is a high school credit?
Again, check with your state to see if the requirements for awarding high school credits are outlined. If it isn’t specifically mentioned, you have some freedom to give credit as you see fit. Normally, one high school credit is awarded after 180 hours of cumulative work, with noted progress over the course of the year. What is 180 hours of cumulative work? It is roughly one hour of work per week for 9 months. Some states require that you keep records of the work and time spent, while others do not. Keeping records can be as simple as the old-fashioned classroom rubrics, or fancier online options.
What subjects do you need to teach?
There are some standard subjects that are generally considered necessary, including:
- Math (generally up to and including algebra)
- Literature to ensure competent reading comprehension
- Science including Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry and usually Physics
Your state might require some subjects, or have no guidelines at all. If you believe your child is college bound, check with the college you aim to apply to, so you can get an idea of the minimum requirements. No matter what your child’s goals are after high school, make sure there are some subjects your child enjoys doing! High school does not have to be a total drag, and you can include some really fun classes like auto mechanics, robotics or various art forms etc.
How to teach things you don’t know
Alhamdulilah, in our age of technology, we have a wealth of resources at our fingertips. Between online encyclopedias and reference websites, to online classes aimed for homeschooling high schoolers, and even free virtual schools, there’s no reason your child can’t learn something they want or need to know. Start researching the available resources, and before you know it, you’ll soon be overwhelmed with choices.
How do you create a transcript?
There are many, many services available to create a transcript for your student. My personal preference is using a grade book that automatically generates a transcript, but there are also services available that will take a pen and paper grade book, and print out an official-looking sheet to turn into any place that requests it.
What about college?
College admissions used to be tricky in the days when homeschooling was new in the United States, and people were unfamiliar with both how students were educated, and the quality of their education. With homeschooling on the rise and becoming more widely known, there are far less roadblocks than there used to be. Again, check with your state laws to understand the level of detail you’re required to keep.
Honestly, being nervous about homeschooling high school is normal! It shows that you care and you have a deep desire to ensure that you’re creating building blocks for your child’s future. There are thousands upon thousands of students that homeschooled all the way through high school, and went on to attend successful college careers and employment opportunities. The key is to know what is required of you by your state, find something you think will be easy for you to record grades, and then move on from there. Just take it one step at a time, and InshAllah it will all fall into place.