How to Plan High School Courses for Homeschool Students
Homeschooling high school does not need to be daunting. You can plan high school courses for homeschool with ease once you realize that you, the parent, have the option to guide your child down the path that you think is best. As a parent, you have had over a decade to get to know your child—you know who they are and what makes them tick. You know their passions and what they are good at. This makes you the most qualified person in the world to plan your child’s high school courses. No need to limit yourself to a formatted, one-size-fits-all high school curriculum for your child. You have the freedom to choose a customizable approach. Here are a few options to choose from as you begin planning your child’s high school years.
Determine Goals after Graduation
Before getting out the planner and busily penciling in desired high school courses, look at your child’s goals for after graduation. This will determine the courses you will assign. Does your child already have a college in mind? Do your research and find out which courses are a prerequisite for admission. Does your child know what he/she plans on majoring in? Take that into consideration as you choose his/her electives as well, in addition to core subjects.
If trade school is on their radar, plan accordingly. Encourage them to take relevant classes ahead of time so they are equipped, prepared, and raring to go when it is time for them to pursue their passion—cooking, welding, cosmetology, graphic design, etc.
More and more students across the globe are participating in a gap year immediately following high school graduation. This is the perfect opportunity to visit another country—another culture, volunteer at a non-profit, go on a mission trip, or attend a ministry training school.
Look at the specific career goals of your child. Which degree(s) will be needed to enter into his desired career? Make a list of the top schools of choice. Research their admission requirements and plan your child’s courses to meet those requirements. Do any desired schools require SAT or ACT scores? If so, plan practice testing and testing into your child’s schedule after his sophomore year. Once a specific career goal is pinned down, consider an internship or career shadow opportunity. Many opportunities for internships are available in government jobs, agriculture, church ministry, and more.
It is also possible to enroll your high school student, right now, in college even while they are finishing up high school. This is called dual enrollment and is becoming even more popular due to the recent pandemic. Some schools that may have not previously offered this option have now opened up some of their courses to high schoolers so if you are eying a school in the future, it certainly would not hurt to see if they are currently offering any dual enrollment options. Generally, this opportunity is open for a few classes, not an entire degree, but it certainly can help your teen kickstart their higher education at home.
As mentioned earlier, a trade school is another opportunity available to students which you can prepare for ahead of time. Does your child have specific trade goals in woodworking, welding, or interior design? As the parent, you have the authority to create courses during the high school years to place on their academic transcript. While pursuing their passion, keep a record of hours spent. One hundred and twenty hours equal one high school credit and sixty hours counts as half a credit. As with college, check for any requirements and look for specialty courses to add to your child’s high school education that might be related to his specific trade.
Taking a Gap Year
If your teen is hesitant about committing to a specific major or trade, consider allowing them to take a year off. This does not mean you give them freedom to do nothing but encourage them to set goals and do their best to attain them. Research opportunities that align with your child’s interests. Encourage international travel, volunteering, or a Bible training center. Then plan courses that will allow for a gap year as well as specific courses to add educational courses related to gap year goals.
Do Your Research
Be sure to research your state’s graduation requirements and plan your child’s four years of high school accordingly. If your child begins to develop specific interests as early as in his middle school years, go ahead and begin counting hours for elective courses as early as in eighth grade. There is nothing wrong with getting ahead of the game!
Finally, enjoy these final four years with your homeschool student. Just as the early years are filled with awe, excitement, and wonder as your child learns the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic, you can enjoy these final years just as much if not more as you watch your child grow into who he will be in his adult years!