Monday, May 23, 2016

Transitioning to Homeschool High School

Over the past year, we've slowly been migrating Amber to high school level courses and came to where almost everything in eighth grade could earn high school credit.  It took me a while to realize that this slow progression was diminishing Amber's excitement over entering high school. Further discussions revealed she needed a distinct beginning to her high school years.

We decided to have a formal high school planning meeting, much like eighth graders in the public schools here do, where all of the specifics of her high school academic needs would be clearly detailed and plotted.

In order for Amber to feel she had as much control over her education as the public and private high school students, I spent time researching the course offerings at many local schools including my old high school. This research had the two-fold result of giving us new course ideas and helping me define the parameters / descriptions of Amber's core classes.

Our state does not have any specific high school graduation requirements for homeschoolers, which meant additional research on the public school requirements and the expectations of universities Amber is likely to attend. It took some time, but eventually I had a set of documents ready to present Amber at a formal sit-down discussion. I wanted her to understand every aspect of earning high school credit.

I truly thought this meeting would bore her, but she was excited and often checked on my research progress,  "Mom, did you want to have my high school meeting now? I have time and feel ready."  Once the day of the meeting came, I presented Amber with the general requirements for graduation and then specifics for the major she has indicated she would like to pursue. We also discussed what types of courses would ensure she is university ready for almost any degree field, should she change her mind during high school.

It turns out Amber had quite a few thoughts on her academic goals and was able to clearly communicate which goals she feels will be realistic and which will be a stretch. We even discussed how she wants to approach completing all of her goals, including the more difficult items. Amber wrote out, in her own hand, her course plan for the next 4 years and where each credit will go. She was ever so proud to be making her own choices.

Like many high school students, Amber didn't honestly have a wide array of choices to make given that she needs specific sets of credits for college. However, the process of selecting elective courses, history & science topics, and even how many math credits she will earn has given her ownership of her future. She knows what goals she wants to complete and why, instead of feeling like she is in an endless loop of continuous school lessons.

Our planning meeting helped Amber to feel that high school was a real change in her life. We created a tangible beginning to her high school education where she is an active participant in her life decisions.


  1. Loved your plans and ideas! We'll be doing something similar next month. I've got the state university transcript requirements printed out along with some other resources in a stack. Well done! :)

    1. Have fun! We actually enjoyed our meeting.

  2. good job. going to pin this for future reference. :)

  3. Excellent! It is a truly wonderful feeling when one's 'children' take full responsibility for their education. T had an interview today for a day release program at the local college to study engineering. I was so proud watching him go off into the big wide world without me :)