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"By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge
the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches." ~Proverbs 24:3-4

How to Homeschool in High School

June 2006 ~ I just finished reading two new e-books: Homeschooling the High Schooler: From Transcripts to Graduation, compiled by Nancy Carter for The Old Schoolhouse; and Get a Jump Start on College, by Janice Campbell.

Homeschooling the High Schooler is a compilation of advice from selected homeschool authors, parents, and graduates as they discuss preparing students for college and for life. Get a Jump Start on College is a how-to guide in which a homeschool mom shares her firsthand experience with college enrollment. She describes how to earn college credit independently through exams, portfolios, and classes.

Homeschooling the High Schooler and Get a Jump Start on College both contain lots of practical information and encouraging inspiration for anyone with teenagers. These two books go together well, and are essential references for any family with high school students. I could have really used these books a few years ago because my oldest son has already turned 16. Nevertheless, I don’t think it’s too late to incorporate into his education some of the lessons that I’ve learned.

I’ve printed out each of these resources to place in a three-ring binder for immediate use as well as future reference. Judging by the number of sentences and paragraphs I’ve highlighted, I will be referring back to them again and again! Quite a few additional resources are mentioned throughout the various chapters, too, so the next thing I do will be looking up the books and websites that were recommended.

On this page, you can read my review of Homeschooling the High Schooler. Please read my review of Get a Jump Start on College by clicking here. One more must-have resource to add to this set of high school e-books is Janice Campbell’s Transcripts Made Easy. It contains everything you need to know about recordkeeping and transcripts for your high school student in one compact, easy-to-use book. Transcripts Made Easy can be ordered here.

Homeschooling the High Schooler

Homeschooling the High Schooler is 73 pages long and consists of three parts. Part One is entitled You Can Homeschool Through The High School Years. Part II is called Options and Resources to Help You. Part Three is about Preparing for the Future.

Chapters in Part One:

  • Growing a Heart for Homeschool High School, by Christine Field.
  • High School at Home: A Practical Approach, by Maggie Hogan.
  • Windows of Opportunity, by Jill Novak.
  • Just Jump In! by Coie Igarashi.
  • Real Life, Real School, Real World, by Claire Novak.

    Chapters in Part Two:

  • Options for the High School Journey, by Paula Moldenhauer.
  • How to Finish High School in Half the Time, by Rebecca Kochenderfer.
  • “Keeping it Real”: Building Your Own High School Program, by Dawn Sutherland.
  • Dual Enrollment, by Ann Zeise.
  • A Primer for Higher Level Math, by Steve Clark.
  • Teaching Higher Level Math Without Anxiety, by Michael Badgley.
  • High School Science, by Penni Hill.
  • Language Arts For High School, by Debbie Locklin.

    Chapters in Part Three:

  • Why Transcripts are Crucial for Homeschooled High School Graduates, by Inge Cannon.
  • How to Convert Extracurricular Activities into Credit Courses, by Cindy Downes.
  • A College Selection Checklist for Christians, by Dr. Ronald Jay Cannon.
  • Exploring the Apprenticeship Option for Vocational Training, by Inge Cannon.
  • Creating Entrepreneurs at the Backside of Nowhere, by Rhea Perry.

    In Homeschooling the High Schooler, it’s interesting how several of the different contributors raise the same points and reach similar conclusions. In general, they offer thoughtful suggestions on how to focus on God’s calling for your teen and help prepare him or her for the future that God has intended for them. This may be achieved through early college classes, dual enrollment, distance education, apprenticeship, volunteerism, entrepreneurship, or a combination of the above.

    The main objectives for a student’s high school education include: 1.) learning how to learn; 2.) developing a sense of life purpose in their quest toward a fulfilling vocation; 3.) interacting with real life situations; 4.) developing good character traits and godly wisdom. Individual interests and learning styles continue to be important during high school. If their hearts aren’t in it, their minds won’t be either. So encourage them to pursue their interests and channel their unique talents into useful outlets rather than forcing them to fit a certain mold.

    If you think your son or daughter will attend college, the first thing you should do is check the admission requirements of several likely colleges as early as possible in your child’s high school career. Then you can plan out a sequence of courses for them to take in high school to make sure they will be able to meet those entrance requirements. Over and over again, Homeschooling the High Schooler contributors emphasize the importance of setting goals and keeping good records during high school. A carefully prepared transcript is much more meaningful and useful than the symbolic high school diploma. While none of the chapters go into detail on how to format an official transcript, references are provided for anyone who wants to find out.

    It’s good to know that as the “principal” of your homeschool, you have the ability to create your own courses and assign your own credit values. You do not have to follow a certain scope and sequence to produce a well rounded student. I was relieved to have well-known writers assuring me that it’s okay to be a little creative when listing high school courses on transcripts. Now I don’t have to feel like I’m cheating when I give a drama credit for performing in a church musical, or call my son’s summer reading list a “Survey of Contemporary Literature.” Colleges of course will not accept extracurricular courses as meeting the requirements of high school math, science, history, and English, but they can be used as credits for electives.

    Whatever you do, failure is not an option. Your child must keep his or her goal in mind – even when circumstances are less than perfect. The Lord has a plan for your child’s life, and that plan may be completely beyond your preconceived notions. Homeschool graduate Claire Novak quotes Andy Stanley in saying, “Your present circumstances are part of the vision…. It may be difficult or you to make the connection at this point. But in time, it will come together. It always does.” The most important factor in making any decision about your child’s high school career is seeking and following God’s direction – so by all means, pray! Because like it or not, you’re in partnership with the Lord to meet the desires that He has placed in your child’s heart. As Dr. Ronald Cannon states: “The bottom line: when God is pleased, it does not matter who is displeased. If God is displeased, it does not matter who is pleased.”

    The above review is merely a brief summary of the practical advice contained within the pages of Homeschooling the High Schooler. For much more detailed information and inspiration, you must buy the e-book! See also the following review on another e-book, Get a Jump Start on College, which describes how high school students can earn college credit independently through exams, portfolios, and classes.


    These pages are a continuous work in progress.
    Copyright © 2000- by Teri Ann Berg Olsen
    All rights reserved.

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