Wow!! Is it really possible that my oldest son is starting 9th grade? It seems like just the other day he was learning to read!! Time really does fly, and this is my first year of homeschooling a high schooler. I have to tell you, I spent a LOT of time this summer stressing over this big step!! (I’ve blogged about it before 🙂 ) However, after doing some research and talking to some experienced homeschool moms, I’ve discovered that high school really doesn’t have to be all that scary!!
For starters, the moms I talked to who have already graduated their children from high school have been very encouraging. We live in Florida, which is pretty homeschool friendly, and none of them have had any trouble getting their kids into college!! Also, quite a few of them had their children take advantage of our state’s dual-enrollment program, which allows high school students to take community college classes while still in high school, and earn credits towards their AA degree!!
Early in August, I began researching my state’s graduation requirements and printed them out to place them in my “high school tracking” binder. I also looked into requirements for our local colleges as well. Our plan is for our sons to do two years at a CC before transferring to a state school. Right now, my son’s goal is to eventually work for the FBI. After doing some research about what it takes to get there, we have a tentative plan for him to go to the police academy first, and then, while getting experience working as a police officer, to pursue his degree in some type of law or forensics field, before applying to the FBI academy (which he can’t do until he is 23).
So for me, that means that some of his high school electives will probably be concentrated in these areas. We are lucky as current homeschoolers to have a plethora of options for many different classes that suit our kids interests, whether they exist through co-ops, online classes or DVD’s. Having a direction for where he wants to go is very helpful for me in planning out his courses for the next four years.
I’ve also found very useful information on the HSLDA website. They have a lot of free information (including examples of transcripts, record logs etc.) on their site, and members can get direct support with questions from their high school consultants. I downloaded a few of their brochures, along with all of their transcript examples.
Donna Young also has some great record-keeping paperwork available to download on her website as well as information about high school in general. From here, I am using the time sheet to keep track of my son’s hours so I can determine credit. She also has samples of transcripts and information about calculating your child’s GPA on the site as well.
It often seems that many homeschoolers begin to waver when they get to high school. I can understand why…looking at it big picture can be a little scary. Obviously, we all want our children to achieve their goals in life, and I know that I personally was questioning my ability to give my son what he needed to do that. What’s important to remember is, that if the Lord has called us to do this, He has also promised to give us what we need to accomplish it!! I am confident that God will guide me to the support I need to complete this journey with my kids, and I am thankful for the support of moms who have gone before me.
Now that we have actually started school, and I can see how things are coming together, I am a LOT less nervous. I am actually having a LOT of fun, and so is my son. We have things set up so that he takes on a lot more responsibility in getting his work done. I use the planner pages from the TOS Schoolhouse planners to print out his schedule for each week, he grabs his planner and gets to work. I am there for support and guidance as needed, but I was careful in choosing curriculum that had a lot of support built in, so he does most of his work on his own, and I supervise. I am thankful that I am going to be able to spend each day with him, these four years will go by quickly, and then he will be on his way to living his own life! I want to soak up all the time with him that I can between now and then.
So, if you are beginning this high school journey, and like me, you have some anxiety, take a deep breath!! Seek out support from those around you, and do some research online. I think you will find that homeschooling high school is easier than you thought, and a lot more fun!! 🙂