The last few weeks (oh who am I kidding? MONTHS!!) have been filled with perusing curriculum, thinking about high school credits, electives, checking state requirements, and all the fun that goes along with planning for homeschool high school.
It may be a wee bit overwhelming at times.
Part of me is trying to balance the fact that GOOD GRIEF, MY BABY IS OLD ENOUGH FOR HIGH SCHOOL and the responsibility of providing a solid education. All that ‘pressure’ that I originally felt when we started to homeschool oh-so-many-years ago has been multiplied exponentially.
Keeping it real here.
Or maybe this is just me – I realize that is entirely possible. That said, a few deep breaths, a few friends that are walking the same road with me, and lots of prayer – and slowly a plan is beginning to emerge and take shape.
Laying out the Framework
If you haven’t already read it, the post Homeschooling in High School by Kris from Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers will be a huge help to you. Over the last bit, I’ve been reviewing several of the key suggestions she made, including;
use the 8th grade as a trial run
start keeping transcripts now
look at college admissions to guide your coursework (our oldest already has a college in mind)
remember his/her interests
consider a co-op
Using all of the above, another mom and I had a mini pow-wow of sorts where we bounced ideas off each other and came up with a basic framework for the next five years. We looked at the requirements that our state has for a basic and advanced diploma, took notes, and then began mapping out the courses.
Don’t Forget Local and State Requirements
In our state, students can begin earning high school credits in grade 8, so the four year plan became a 5 year plan. Truthfully, this works out great, because it gives us a little bit of a buffer and also the option for some dual credit earning (the ability to take college classes and earn both high school credit and college credits when eligible).
Your state also may have limits on how many credits can be earned prior to the 9th grade year, so be sure to check on that before planning too much the 8th grade year. A great starting point is visiting HSLDA.org.
The Tentative Plan (for now…)
Based on our local county guidelines, we’re shooting for an advanced diploma. For us, this means fewer ‘electives’ and more of a focus on science (4 years), language/lit (4 years), math (4 years), history (4 years), foreign languages (3 years) and other key subjects too.
We’re starting early (8th grade). Next year will officially be her 8th grade year, but our oldest will be working on credits toward high school including math, language, foreign language, world geography, and science. An elective or two may be thrown in there as well, but it will depend on her course load and double checking on what the state allows.
Several of our classes will be done together with some other families in a small co-op setting. Right now we’re planning on our literature class and possibly science or some fun electives together.
After talking with our oldest, we’re put together a few ideas for electives and classes that are tailored to her interests: art (drawing or pottery), a Greek mythology course (for 1/2 credit), and a few other ideas are spinning. We don’t want to forget the fun things! Need help determining credits? Check out this article from HSLDA.
Transcripts are being formatted now. Rather than waiting, I’m trying to come up with something that makes sense for my brain now. Based on the grading system for the school and such, I’m keeping track of the credits that are being earned and staying on top of it all as we go along.
We’re keeping the end in sight. Laurianna already has a college in mind (she may be a wee bit of a planner…). We’ve picked up some brochures and started looking at dual enrollment classes for her junior and senior year and what classes will (or won’t) transfer in so we have a good idea on what to expect as she progresses each year. It may seem a bit early, but having an idea has been really helpful.
A Peek at Our Plans
All that said, do you want a peek at our tentative plans? Keep in mind this is NOT set in cement – it’s just to give us an overview and something to base things on. There is plenty of wiggle room allowed – we may move a few of the classes around in the upcoming months.
click on the image to view a larger copy
If you’d like, you can download a blank copy of the High School Planning form to work on your own high school planning. It’s nothing fancy – but hopefully will help you out!
I’m curious – what electives and FUN things are you hoping to build into your child’s high school years? And how much do your state/local guidelines play into your plans? (Ideas are always welcome!)
Middle and High School Planning Pages
If you’d like to get a little more detailed, be sure to check out the middle and high school planning pages as well. This set includes credit and class tracking pages, as well as high school requirements for graduation – and more.