High School at Home

There are many questions about homeschooling, especially when you think about high school at home. One of the first questions to ask is can you actually do high school at home.  The answer to that is a resounding yes!  Beyond the idea are the practical considerations.

High school at Home:  Curriculum

One of the things you must consider when deciding how to do high school at home is what curriculum to use.  As the parent of a high school student it is not necessary to teach each of the courses yourself.  There are many options when it comes to curricula.

One choice is correspondence courses, which generally provide curriculum and materials.  Students study the course work at home and then return completed assignments for grading.  It is possible to take individual courses or the entire high school curriculum.

A second choice is distance learning.  This is similar to correspondence courses but often includes the entire course of study.  Distance learning is offered through accredited high schools which cater to home educated students.  While these schools usually offer the full high school curriculum they also offer individual courses.  Both correspondence and distance learning are great choices for students who wish to high school at home.

Families who are looking at educating high school at home should also look into advanced placement courses, CLEP tests, and dual credit courses through community colleges and universities.   An additional option for specific courses would be to hire a tutor.  Keep in mind that it is not necessary to go to outside sources.  Even if the parents are not comfortable teaching a course, they could learn along with the student.

 High school at Home:   Extra-curricular

Students who are going to be educated at home through high school often worry about the things that they believe they will miss out on.  Among those things that they are afraid they will miss out on are social events, sports, and groups or clubs.

The student need not worry too much about these activities.  As for social events, there is a wide variety of options for the student who is doing high school at home.  Many community organizations have activities that are appropriate for high school students and are not dependent on what school the student attends.  Check with local homeschool groups and Co-ops to see what they offer.

Consider events hosted by 4-H, YMCA’s, civic associations, scouting organizations, as well as church sponsored activities.  Not only are these events great social situations where high school students can meet other students their age, as well as people of all ages, but these activities can also offer service and volunteer opportunities. Don’t forget to add these to the student’s transcript as many higher learning institutions look favorably on these activities.

High school at Home:  Athletics

If your student is an athlete, he or she might be concerned about missing the opportunity to compete if the go through high school at home.  While it may require more organization and planning there are opportunities to compete through the local public high school in many communities.

Many private schools will welcome homeschooled high school students to their teams.  YMCA and community park and recreation associations also offer competitive opportunities that are not dependent on the school the student attends.

If your student is looking for athletic scholarships after high school then before they begin their high school at home, they will need to check into the requirements for National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) qualification.  There is a specific set of standards customized for homeschool students.  The beginning of high school is not too early to make sure the student will meet those requirements.

High school at Home:  What next?

Finally, consider what the student wishes to do after high school.  If the student wishes to attend college then the courses selected for high school should reflect that desire.  Check with the higher learning institution that they wish to attend to make sure that the education they receive though high school at home will be what they will need to enter those institutions.  A college preparatory course of study will be required, but specifics for each institution may vary.

If the student intends to enter a trade, then high school is a great time to begin internships, or apprenticeships on a part time basis.  This is not a bad idea for the college bound student also.  For example, if the student wants to be a veterinarian, then working at a vet’s office through high school will not only be good experience but also look good on transcripts.

Consider the student’s interests and goals when charting the course of the student’s high school at home experience.  Remember to use resources outside the home and on the internet when setting course work goals.  Check with colleges and universities to make sure your student will have what they need to get into those schools.  Above all, remember to provide a well-rounded education, include electives, social activities, sports, and working opportunities to ensure your student will be ready for the next step.