Monday, August 20, 2012

The Beginner's Guide to Homeschooling High School

All parents have some reservations about homeschooling high school when the concept first crosses their mind. The high school years are important to your child's future, and no parent wants to risk messing up their child's ability to go to college, start a career, or chase other dreams. Teenagers are also more rebellious and challenging than younger children, and if they have special learning needs homeschooling could be a full-time job.

Homeschooling high school is not for everyone, but virtually all parents who do a bit of research realize that it is not as difficult as they thought it was going to be in the beginning. If your child is struggling in public or private school and you believe they would learn better or would be safer at home, this guide to homeschooling will help you decide if this can work for you.

Homeschooling is like anything else in life: you will get out of it what you put into it. Your child will benefit more if you are active in their studies.

High School Curriculum

The benefit to homeschooling high school is the ability to design a custom curriculum that suits your teenager's learning style while preparing them for the future they want to live. Do not underestimate your ability to provide college prep curriculum and to develop coursework and projects that allow your child to explore areas of interest on a deeper level.

Check state requirements and allow your child to explore college programs they may be interested in attending. If they have some idea of what they may want to do after high school, you can look at the requirements for college admission or entry level jobs and tailor your curriculum to prepare your child for those requirements. State requirements are the minimum of what your child must learn. You want to push beyond the minimum.

You could sign your child up for an online curriculum that let's your child off easy and allows you to check out of the learning process, but that is only cheating your child of the future they deserve. Forget about just passing required classes to get the diploma. You want your child to excel in high school so they can excel in the future. Make sure they are progressing in math each year, no matter what level they are at upon graduation. Include the basics, such as English, social studies, and science.

If your child wants to attend college, make sure they are fluent in at least one foreign language by graduation, and it helps to add in some form of fine art as well. This can be painting, photography, novel writing, or some form of dance. Preparation for college entrance exams is necessary as well.

Homeschooling high school also means including electives. You can teach typing, computer programs, and driver's education. Other electives should cater to your child's individual interests and future career goals.

Making Decisions

Allow your teenager to help make decisions about their curriculum and chosen teaching methods. Take them to homeschooling conventions and fairs so you can look at different resources and make decisions together. Your child will be more interested in learning if they have a say in what they are learning.

If your concern is that you do not have the knowledge to teach some subjects at the high school level, look for tutoring centers, private tutors, and college courses open to high school students in your local area. There are also online tutorials that will go in-depth to explain geometry and other difficult subjects.

The worst thing you can do while homeschooling high school is isolate yourself or your child. Join a homeschooling association or a local group. Learn from others, and eventually you will be the one offering the help and insider secrets.

Carolann Henderson, homeschooling mom, website editor and researcher. You'll lots more general homeschooling information, free resources, tips and encouragement on my website. I also have a free gift for you that you will find instrumental in getting and staying organized in homeschooling and all areas of your life along with a free ebook to help you homeschool holidays. You can claim your free gift by visiting my website and signing up for our free newsletter "Homeschool Helping Hands".

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