**This post was written for a friend who lives in Indiana. Requirements and resources vary by state.**
Homeschooling is no easy task, and beginning your homeschool journey in high school is especially difficult. BUT it is not impossible.
This post will take you through transcripts, curriculum, and SATs.
- Find out how many credits you have and get a recent transcript. Find out how many you need to graduate.
- Know your learning style.
- Create a 4 year plan. This is crucial.
- Research high school requirements in your state. If you live in Indiana, you’re in luck.
In Indiana, you get 1 credit per semester. Therefore, Algebra would be 2 credits. In all the other states, (or most of them) you get 1/2 credit per semester. Therefore, Algebra would be 1 credit. I didn’t get this at the beginning, and therefore in Indiana terms, I had like 80 credits at the beginning of my 4-year plan. Well, got this straightened out and am down to a normal 50. :)
- One semester course is half a year.
- A one semester course is 1/2 credit. (one credit in Indiana)
- Two semesters, a full year course, is 1 credit. (two credits in Indiana)
- A one semester course is approximately 70-90 hours of study.
- A full-year course equals about 120-180 hours.
Transcripts are a major part of high school, and you need full transcripts to get into college. Firstly, and this is important, KEEP TRACK OF EVERYTHING YOU DO. Buy a planner.
Creating a transcript: http://www.smockityfrocks.com/2013/01/how-to-prepare-an-official-high-school-transcript-for-your-homeschool-graduate.html
Keep track of all books you read, both for leisure and for school. Reading a lot of classics looks GREAT on a resume, and most are free on iBooks, Kindle, etc.
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
- The Chosen – Chaim Potok (my favorite novel ever!)
- A Farewell to Arms
- One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
- To Kill A Mockingbird
- Old Man and the Sea
- Animal Farm
- War and Peace
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin
- Catcher in the Rye
- Pride and Prejudice
- The Count of Monte Cristo
- The Three Musketeers
- Les Miserables
- A Tale of Two Cities (and any other Charles Dickens)
- Scarlet Letter
- Pictures of Dorian Gray
- Treasure Island
- The Great Gatsby
Curriculum is one of the most important aspects of homeschooling high school. Here is a list of curriculums I have HEARD positive feedback from but have not used.
A note: A BEKA is a very rigorous Protestant curriculum. It is great college prep, but note their history is extremely biased to a point where it almost gets false. They treat all Protestants like they’re perfect and all non-Protestants (Catholics included) as tyrants and dictators. Their history books are half fact and half opinion. This really bugs me. Their spelling and science curriculums are great though! The math K-8 is also a recommendation for gifted students. One thing though; it is said every textbook has some type of spelling/grammatical/factual error. I have used this curriculum for 4 years and I have never found a error. A Beka truly is a great high-quality curriculum.
Most states require 3-4 years of math. I would HIGHLY recommend using some type of DVD with math. Otherwise, you will be sunk. I would not recommend Teaching Textbooks because I have heard it is very basic and will not get you through the SATs, ACTs, etc.
- A Beka – This year will be my first without A Beka math. A Beka elementary math is challenging, but high school A Beka (they’re reprints of a 1910’s curriculum) and they are WAY too hard without explanation. A friend used A Beka throughout high school and her kids learned no math in college – A Beka taught them everything. A Beka is extremely advanced and no doubt anyone who does it will succeed greatly.
- Math-U-See – MUS has Honors pages for more advanced work. My sister is using this curriculum this year, and Cassondra from Beyond the Cover blog used it through high school and loved it.
- VideoText – advanced and on DVD.
- Saxon – I am trying Saxon for the first time this year! I am using the DIVE CD’s. If you get this, I have heard positive things about edition 3, but very negative reviews on edition 4.
- A Beka
- Stobaugh – Stobaugh’s American Literature, British Literature, and World Literature count for two credits each – one in writing and one in literature. These college-prep analytical programs are very intense, with daily warm-ups and concept builders, and weekly tests and essays. I am using American Literature this year.
- Sonlight – I have heard many wonderful things about Sonlight, and I HIGHLY approve of their book lists. Since they have books from a variety of authors, this prevents the bias of one person. It is a Christian curriculum, but Sonlight isn’t afraid of truth. I LOVE their book lists! Sonlight incorporates language arts and history together. It is also multi-age, which means a tenth grader and eleventh grader can use it together.
- Stobaugh - to go with Stobaugh’s language arts series, I am using Stobaugh American History this year.
- A Beka - You will need a dictionary with pronunciation for this.
- Marie’s Words – I’m doing Marie’s Words this year because it is SAT prep and it is all visual – and I am a visual learner.
- Big IQ Kids - For a FREE SAT-prep list of spelling words, use this list! Just print off the desired list and study each list for twenty days.
- Apologia – rigorous and great college-prep. Students have been known to pass CLEP and AP exams with Apologia.
- A Beka
- The 101 Series – less rigorous, and on DVD. I am using this for Biology 101.
Make a list of your desired curriculum choices. Up top, write online store names like eBay, Amazon, Hearts at Home curriculum store, and the product’s website. List prices and compare. Amazon has saved us hundreds of dollars.
Free apps for high school students: http://lechaimontheright.com/2013/06/free-apps-for-middle-and-high-school.html
AP: Advanced Placement and CLEP
Many thanks to Angie from HOPE Homeschool Consulting for providing this information!
AP1. For information on AP and other tests, visit this link.
2. Home Education Council of America online course.
3. Use an AP or College prep curriculum. Do some research if others have passed AP/CLEP exams with that curriculum and how well they did.
4. Do some AP prep.
5. Take the test at a local high school.
6. List course as Honor on your high school transcript if you pass. Do not list it as AP since it is not taken with a certified teacher.
This article from the Home Scholar talks about how investing money into delight-directed (passion) learning can really make your homeschool, and set your student apart from others during college. You don’t need a curriculum, you (the parent) doesn’t have to know what they’re doing, all you need is passion.
Your passion could be specific (Russian history, WWII, animal science, guitar) or as the Home Scholar figures out, it could be chess.
Lee Binz, The Home Scholar, also has great information specifically on homeschooling high school. She has a number of mini-eBooks and has freebies all the time. Sign up for these here.
For more information on homeschooling high school, check out my homeschooling high school Pinterest board.
Homeschooling High School by Jeanne Davis is a great book.
Drop a comment by if you have anything to add or have any questions. I will do my best to reply!
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