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Homeschooling High Schoolers: The Good, the Bad, and All the Rest

December 20, 2022

Are you considering homeschooling your high schooler? It can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With dual enrollment programs, college courses, and more available for online learning, there are plenty of options out there for parents looking to homeschool their teens.

In this blog post, we'll discuss these options, as well as points of interest such as record keeping, transcripts, extracurriculars or co-ops, and college prep. So if you’re thinking about taking the plunge into homeschooling your high schooler, read on!

A student receiving lecture online
A student receiving lecture online

An Overview of Homeschooling in High School

Homeschooling high school students is a decision that many parents consider every day. Generally speaking, homeschooling high school can offer more flexibility and autonomy than traditional schooling, but it also presents a unique set of challenges.

To decide whether homeschooling is right for your teen, it’s important to understand the regulations, resources, and potential pitfalls associated with homeschooling during these formative years.

Let's start with the pros and cons.

Benefits and Challenges of Homeschooling in High School

Homeschooling is an increasingly popular alternative to traditional education, especially for high school students, and can be a rewarding experience for both parents and teens. For families considering homeschooling, the preparation involved is no small matter. It's important to take a look at the good, the bad, and everything in between before you make the commitment to homeschool.

A student receiving lectures and taking notes
A student receiving lectures and taking notes

Pros of Homeschooling Your High School Student

Benefits of homeschooling high school include being able to tailor the curriculum for each student, cultivating a learning environment with fewer distractions, providing more one-on-one instruction, and having greater flexibility with scheduling.

Homeschoolers also have the freedom to choose their course materials and resources according to their own interests and values.

Cons of Homeschooling Your High School Student

However, homeschooling high school students does come with some challenges. Record keeping is important for homeschoolers to track progress and provide proof of transcripts for college applications.

Finding extracurricular activities or co-ops and preparing students for college can also involve a significant commitment of time and money from parents. Homeschooling requires a certain level of discipline and dedication from both the student and parent to ensure that homeschoolers are getting an adequate education.

Homeschooling is a viable option for many families. With proper planning, they can enjoy the freedom, flexibility, and customization of homeschooling while still preparing students for college and careers.

Record Keeping for Homeschoolers in High School

Record keeping is an essential part of homeschooling high school students. It can help homeschooling parents keep track of the progress their students are making and provide a record of coursework for transcripts and college applications. Keeping accurate records can also ensure that homeschooled students stay on track with their studies and reach their educational goals.

A person writing on sticky notes
A person writing on sticky notes

When homeschooling a high school student, it is important to create an organized system for keeping track of your homeschooling student’s academic progress. Maintaining records of coursework and grades can be done in various ways. Some homeschoolers use paper-based record-keeping systems, such as binders or folders that contain checklists or grade sheets, while others prefer to use online homeschool record-keeping systems, including spreadsheets.

No matter which system you choose, homeschoolers should have a clear and organized plan of what records they need to keep in order to document their homeschooled teen’s education. These records may include daily logs, course descriptions, a list of textbooks used, test results and grades, evaluation forms, and homeschool transcripts.

Make sure records are orderly and accessible!

It's also important to keep detailed records of the high school curriculum you've used as well as any extracurricular activities your student has participated in, such as homeschooling co-ops or sports teams. This can help homeschoolers provide potential colleges with a clear view of the homeschool program they have followed and the unique experiences they've had.

Transcripts for College Admissions and Scholarships

When parents decide to homeschool their high schooler, one of the biggest concerns that comes up is how to handle transcripts for college admissions and scholarships. Transcripts are an essential part of the college application process, as they provide evidence of the student's academic coursework, grades, and extracurricular activities.

Fortunately, there are a few options available to homeschoolers when it comes to creating transcripts. The most popular option is online classes, such as Acellus Academy, as they provide students with the opportunity to complete online courses that mimic a traditional high school curriculum. These often come with course materials and instructors who evaluate student performance and assign grades via an online platform.

Another popular option for homeschoolers is dual enrollment, which allows students to enroll in online classes offered by colleges and universities. This is a great way for students to get an early start on college prep while also earning credits toward their high school diplomas.

A person holding a pen, writing on notes with laptop in front
A person holding a pen, writing on notes with laptop in front

Finally, many parents opt to create their own transcripts through independent coursework, online classes, or dual enrollment. Of course, you should consult with your state's homeschool regulations to make sure that the courses you choose for your transcripts meet the requirements for college admissions and scholarship applications.

No matter which option you choose, as we said before, be sure to keep track of your student's grades and course information in an organized fashion. You'll be helping your student experience and record an exciting life stage while still preparing them for college and beyond. With the right transcripts in hand, they'll be well on their way to becoming college bound!

Extracurriculars or Co-ops for Socialization and Skill Development

Homeschooled high school students can take online classes, join dual enrollment programs, or participate in college-bound activities to help them with socialization and skill development. They can also join extracurriculars or co-ops to meet other homeschooled teens and practice their skills.

A couple of high-schoolers socializing on the beach
A couple of high-schoolers socializing on the beach

Sometimes the local school district will offer AP classes or labs that your homeschool student could benefit from. Your tax dollars are still supporting your local public school, even if your student isn't attending. It's worth the effort of a phone call to find out if your child might take advantage of a resource!

Extracurriculars can include clubs, sports teams, music lessons, etc. Co-ops are also a great way for homeschooled high schoolers to socialize and build skills. A co-op is typically a group of homeschooling families who meet regularly to share activities, field trips, and classes.

By participating in extracurriculars or co-ops, homeschooled high schoolers can gain confidence and become more well-rounded individuals. It also gives them an opportunity to make friends with other teens who are also being taught at home. Additionally, these activities can help them stay motivated and on track with their studies.

What's not to love?

Tips

Tips For Successful Home Schooling In High School

Homeschool education is becoming increasingly popular as parents look for more control and flexibility in their children's education. With a little preparation and organization, you can create an educational environment that is tailored to each individual student's needs. Here are some tips for successful homeschooling in high school:

Investigate online classes

Online classes can be a great way to supplement a home-schooled student's education. Most programs allow the student to move through the material at their own pace and, being online, students can access their assignments from anywhere.

Consider dual enrollment

Dual enrollment allows high school students to take college classes for both high school credit and college credit, giving them an early start toward college readiness. Check your local community college for available dual enrollment programs, as well as local and online universities.

Emphasize college prep

As homeschool students reach their senior year, it is important to focus on college preparation in order to ensure that the student is academically prepared for higher education. This may include online classes, standardized test prep courses, or dual enrollment opportunities.

Track progress

Keeping an accurate record of coursework, test scores, and extracurricular activities is essential when homeschooling high schoolers. Many online schools have online portals to track student progress easily and accurately.

Connect with other homeschoolers

Joining a local homeschool group or online community can be helpful for both the student and the parent. It can be a great way to make connections with other homeschoolers and access extracurricular activities or curricula that may not be available online or at a local public school.

Homeschooling is an exciting opportunity for families to customize their children's education and provide them with the best preparation for college. With online classes, dual enrollment options and online tracking, homeschooling can provide a great foundation for college-bound students. With the right preparation and organization, you can create an educational environment that sets your student up for maximum success.