A few weeks ago, I posted some information about homeschooling through high school. It seems that while many families feel excited about homeschooling their younger children, they get intimidated by the higher grades! I hope to help with that.
I mentioned the first step was the 4 year plan. Once you have your plan laid out, you can start looking into each year with more detail. Let’s say you decided that your daughter is taking Biology, English, Algebra 2, and World History as her main subjects.
The next step is to know exactly which curriculum you’re using, who’s teaching it (video, co-op class, independent study, or with you), and what you need to purchase or have on a regular basis.
Which curriculum should I use?
This question is usually asked by homeschool moms more often than it should! We tend to switch around and are easily swayed by enthusiastic friends. The most important thing to remember when planning out the high school years is to find a trusted source that presents the material in a way you can agree with. For example, if creation-view is important, then pick a Christian based science book.
Ask your friends, join a homeschooling through high school Facebook group, and search for online reviews. Great places to look online are The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew posts or Cathy McDuffy’s Homeschool Reviews. They are very well rounded reviews and thoughts from parents that actually use the products!
Once you pick something, stick with it!
High school is no time to jump around. If you change mid-year, you’ll be putting your child behind on their credits! Use the Yearly planner in our Highschool Planning Kit to map out all the specifics for the first year. Write in your goals, your plans, and any details you can think of so you can find it later.
What about Grades?
Grading is another scary area for some homeschool parents. Many of us didn’t use grades for the younger years and high school will be the first time that grades are used or really matter. Personally, I grade math in all grades… as well as spelling. I won’t let them move forward without an A or B. However, the other subjects are usually just looked over for understanding, so when my son started high school, I had to explain the importance of grades and that he won’t just “move on” to the next grade or book.
Best Advice EVER
Don’t get behind with grading! I would encourage you to grade immediately! When the math is done for the day, grade it together…or let them grade it on their own with a different colored pen. When they finish a paper, read it immediately and give a grade. Once things start piling up, it can get overwhelming!!
Be open with their grades. For some kids, a lower grade can be very hard on them, that’s okay. Don’t feel like you have to protect them from that feeling! It’s okay to be upset with ourselves for doing poorly….then make a plan to do better. How could they have improved that score…what can they do now to improve it? Can they study differently? Can they take notes? Read the material again? Make flash cards? Then re-take the test or assignment and see the improvement! This will teach them what works for them and how to “attack” an assignment in future grades.
Keep a record of their grades. A simple piece of paper in a notebook with handwritten assignments, dates, and grades is fine! Don’t get over complicated.
What about Categories?
Sometimes you’ll have different categories in a subject like tests, daily work, projects, etc.. On your grade sheet, write out what percentages you would like to count each category. There’s no wrong way. What do you think is most important?
Once you have a plan for the year with specific curriculum, supplies, and you’ve determined your grading system, you’re set for a well-organized year! Just remember…get anxious or worried. You can do this!
Read more about our Homeschooling Through High School Planning Kit here.