Home Schooling through High School

Several people have asked for advice as they advance on the period of credits, transcripts, and college applications. I am in no means an expert but, as usual, I will indulge by sharing my not-so-humble opinions. If there is something in specific you would like to see discussed on here, or if there is something I left out, leave me a comment !

The first step i would suggest is checking on the HSLDA website if you’re not sure what your state laws and regulations are. Always follow the state guidelines.

Next consider your objectives for your student’s high school years. Is the child college bound? Wanting a skilled vocation? Ready to start their own entrepreneurship? This will determine your plan of action. In all these decisions, include your student and have them make the connections and phone calls. This is their adult life we’re talking about here.

If the student is interested in starting their own business, help them to make a business plan. This may require meeting with a skilled professional who knows how to work logistics and marketing. Find someone in a similar business for your student to “shadow” or to do an internship. Same with a job skill – if their desired vocation requires specific training then help them seek that out. Some vocations now require classes and certification when they didn’t in previous years.

If the student is college bound you will want to have them take the SAT and/or the ACT… a couple times. Some universities have you submit your best overall test, some let you submit separate scores for each of the sections of the tests, so you can choose the best of the multiple times they’ve taken the test. You also will want to have a general idea in which universities they are interested, or at least which type of university or college. Then start checking the requirements for those colleges – do they require basic classes, college prep courses, foreign language, and do they offer dual credit or CLEP tests. (Dual credit or post-secondary is when a high school student enrolls in a college course and receives both high school and college credits for said course.) As a home school student, your son/daughter might be asked to take a couple entrance exams for a particular college – my daughter took them and did quite well. So don’t panic over those.

I may be a renegade but when it comes to transcripts I want some guided help. I use an online company and so far have been really pleased:  MyHomeschoolTranscripts.com  There are umbrella schools which you can use for transcripts. Universities are looking for well rounded applicants, so ontop of the typical classes/subjects you will want to document any extra curricular activities in which your student participated such as mission trips, theater and choir participation, team sports, church activities, volunteer work (hospital, animal shelter, soup kitchen), summer jobs, community involvement, internships, Habitat for Humanities (or something similar)…

When you are assigning credits for each class you should first look at the way your state assigns credit. Some give one credit for a full year academic class. Some give one credit for a semester of an academic class. Next check shat your state has as required amounts of credits for each category – Language Arts, Math, Sciences, and Social Studies. Also usually needed are P.E., fine arts, government and other electives. Consider which classes you should put in specific categories and which you can put into electives. Such as, you may have drawing and painting as fine arts, but choose to fill required elective credits with other art classes such as photography or sculpting.  *side note: most colleges do not accept pre-algebra worthy for a credit and most no longer accept physical science as a high school course*

Some classes that can fall into these categories (this is not a complete list)



Social Studies: American History, World History, Medieval/Renaissance History, Geography, Ancient History, European History, Modern History

Language Arts: Intro to Writing, Advanced Writing, Essay Writing, Creative Writing, Intro to Literature, American Lit, English Li, College Writing, Composition, Literary Analysis and Composition, World Literature

Math: Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Trigonometry, Statistics, Accounting

Sciences: Environmental Science, Biology w/labs, Chemistry w/labs, Oceanography, Botany, Anatomy, Earth Science, Physics

Government (in it’s own category)

Economics (again, in it’s own category)

Arts: Intro to Art, Drawing & Painting,Art History, Music History, Photography, Interior Design, Drama, Choir, Jewelry Making, Sculpture, Graphic Arts, Ceramics

Electives:  Food Prep, Nutrition, Health, Horticulture, Microsoft Office,  Sociology, Speech, Foreign Language, Technology/Computer Science, Journalism, Personal Finance, Marketing, Game Design, Web Design, Dance, Theater Arts

P.E (again own category) you can include yoga, dance classes, sports, 5K training & participation, horseback riding,

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