The new home school year is upon us, and that means it’s time to DO this thing! Whether you are a long-time home school alum, or this is your first year homeschooling high school, there are some tools I’d like to recommend for you that will hopefully help keep you organized, focused, and positive about the year ahead.
Here are my top recommended items for your high school homeschooling toolbox:
A Family Calendar
You might think that being on a homeschool schedule means being around the house more, but it’s sometimes just the opposite. Because of the popularity of homeschool co-ops, support group activities, outside classes, and athletic opportunities, a homeschooling family needs a strong centralized place to track their comings and goings. Some families prefer a single hard-copy calendar on the fridge for this task, but our family has discovered that the Cozi app is the perfect solution for keeping us all on track.
Online or Offline Progress Tracking Tools
I’ve discovered that the single-most important aspect of being a high school homeschooling parent is record-keeping. This is true whether you homeschool with a virtual school, a traditional curriculum, or follow a more relaxed, interest-led approach. There’s the tried-and-true 3-ring binder style of record keeping, or the virtual path for parents who feel comfortable with technology. LetsHomeschoolHighschool.com has free resources that can be used with either approach, including our credit planners, credit log, and transcript template. For those who prefer to keep their records “in the cloud,” I recommend using a free tool such as Google Drive.
An Open Mind
It’s a good idea to let the first few weeks of school be sort of a “test period.” It’s not unusual at all to discover that a curriculum you chose, a class you signed up for, or a plan you set out just isn’t going to work for you. Frequent discussions with your teen will be vital to evaluating what’s working and what isn’t and to making adjustments accordingly. Flexibility and change are the name of the game at the beginning of each school year, and if you have to readjust your plans, you’ll be in good company with most other homeschooling families!
Have other back-to-home school questions? Drop by our forum or join us on our social networks and ask away!
Jamie Gaddy, B.S., M.Ed., Ed.D. has been an education professor for over 17 years. She is also a pastor’s wife, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who now homeschools four of her six children (ages 9-15) in a sweet tea sippin’, wrap around porch sittin’, sweet southern Georgia town. Jamie is also a contributing author at Online Education for Kids and MomSCHOOL