Helpful Suggestions for Planning Your Homeschooling High School Programs
One of the first tasks you should undertake when trying to decide on your homeschool high school program and curriculum is to check with your state homeschooling regulations for the applicable high school curriculum requirements. You can find some useful information in the Home School Legal Defense Association, (HSLDA) brochure entitle ‘A Guide for Homeschooling through High School’, that includes an abundance of data about course suggestions for all subject areas. As a parent, everyone wants to ensure their child gets the absolute best education possible, so you’ll definitely want to use the years during high school to teach your child the life skills that can be used for the remainder of their lives.
Typical Homeschooling High School Curriculum Requirements
All high school requirements include a well-rounded assortment of courses and curriculum that is challenging to most students. The standard courses should be adequate to ensure those intending to expand their education beyond high school is addressed, and, at the same time, should be sufficient for those who intend to pursue other specialized training after graduating, whether it is from homeschool, private, or public schools. But, generally, all curriculums will include the following during four years of high school:
* English: 4 years
* Math: 2 to 4 years
* Science: 2 to 4 years
* History: 2 to 4 years
* Foreign Languages: Minimum 2 years
Non-Required Courses for Homeschool and Public High Schoolers
In addition to the list of required courses outlined above, you may add a few electives each year based on your child’s interest and intentions after graduating. You can think of these electives as subjects that complement and supplement the required core courses and might include subject matter such as: computer skills; keyboarding; home economics; and SAT prep. And then there are those courses that are a bit more enjoyable and oriented to your child’s interests such as: health, physical education, art, music, and so forth. Again, be sure and check with your state education requirements, as some of these listed as Non Required, may, in fact, be a requirement for graduating. After all, the list in the paragraph above is considered required core courses, while those in this paragraph are not considered core, but could still be a requirement for graduates.
Considering Elective Courses for Your Homeschooled Student
When you are considering possible elective courses, it’s a good idea for your choices to reflect, to a large degree, your child’s educational plans after graduating. There are lots of examples for this, but one might be if your child is considering entering the workforce immediately after high school. If this example is correct, then perhaps a course on personal financial management would be an excellent choice as he would learn, among other things, various considers and issues when buying a car, setting up and reconcile his own checking account, to list just a couple. However, if your child is planning to continue with college, then a prep SAT course or two would definitely be a good choice for an elective.
Deciding Which Courses to Teach Your High School Child
You’ll definitely want to take advantage of one of the primary benefits of homeschooling at the high school level by customizing the courses your child takes to best complement his post high school plans. Here are a few examples that might be helpful:
* English: Grammar, Composition, Vocabulary, American and British Literature, and Speech
* Math: College bound – Algebra 1 and 2, Trigonometry, Geometry, Pre Calculus and Calculus; For Non college bound – Bookkeeping, Consumer Math and Beginning Accounting
* History and Social Sciences: American, World, and Ancient History, Government, State and National Civics, Geography, and Economics
* Science: Physical Science, Biology, Earth Science, Physics, and Chemistry
* Foreign Languages: Spanish, French, Latin, and others
If you child plans to continue on with college, then you should obtain the college(s) catalog(s) he wants to attend to determine its high school requirements for admission. However, if college is not in your child’s plans, then you might select those high school courses that will be more beneficial to him in his desired vocational field.
And, There’s Always an Internship or Apprenticeship
In those situations when your student already knows the vocation he wants to pursue, why now consider an apprenticeship or internship. For example, if your child has a keen interest in veterinary science, then you might consider contacting a local veterinarian and inquire about him working for the vet several hours each day or week. Or, perhaps he wants to develop or expand his clerical skills, then you could set him up to do volunteer work in a local business or church. However, you definitely don’t need to stress out over these possibilities as most of the time these situations and opportunities simply fall into place.
Planning Those Oh So Important Extracurricular Activities
To the vast majority of students, non-curricular activities are extremely important part of the high school experience, regardless of whether it is for homeschooled students or those in the public school system. You’ll definitely want to ensure your child obtains a well-rounded education by encouraging him to participate in several extracurricular activities. Like most courses, these should be planned at the beginning of the school year will the hopes that he will grow into leadership positions.
Be sure and choose these extracurricular activities wisely and with your child’s interest and aptitude in mind, as these can be helpful in assisting your child in developing and maintaining a healthy balance of outside interests, academics, and work. These extracurricular activities are even more important for those students who intend to advance their education after high school, as most college admissions prefer students who were involved in these type activities.