Today it’s a pleasure to have Miranda Lamb, The Reluctant Cowgirl, on the blog…After homeschooling through high school, she’s sharing her 10 Best Tips to Successfully Homeschool High School! Welcome, Miranda!
Homeschooling through high school was never part of my plan. But I made the mistake of going to a homeschool graduation. As I sat in the wooden pew and listened to those articulate, confident homeschool graduates, I wondered how I could make homeschooling through high school happen for my kids. Now, on the other side of high school, with two of our kids, I realize that successfully homeschooling through high school is more than just academics. Homeschooling high school is about covering both academics and practical life skills to prepare your teenager for life. As you take on the adventure of high school, here are 10 best tips to successfully homeschool high school!
Homeschooling during high school is a bit of a crazy ride as you help your teenager navigate high school classes, driver’s education, part-time jobs and more. You continue to be teacher and mom but also life coach and career counselor! That’s a lot of hats. But just like you never thought you would be able to teach your kids to read, you’ve got this!
10 Best Tips to Successfully Homeschool High School
As you create your high school homeschool plan consider these 10 best tips to successfully homeschool high school that include both academics goals and practical life skills. Prepare your teenager to graduate and successfully transition to adulthood!
1. Develop Your Teenager’s Writing Skills
Writing is one of those areas that can be hard to teach. As homeschool moms we often complain about not getting to writing, or that it is so hard to “grade” our student’s papers as our student wants to disagree with each point. And then there are all the revisions! It can be easier to let the topic slide.
But don’t! Your teen will need to be able to communicate well through writing. This will become evident immediately if your student has aspirations to attend college and has to write college application and scholarship essays.
Help them gain confidence in writing by finding a program, co-op class or grandparent that will push them to write! Get creative and encourage them to write in other studies, they find more interesting such as science or history class.
2. Encourage Teens to Discover Their Career Interests
Many teens will be unsure about their career interests. And this can make planning the future even more scary.
Take the fear out of the future and make career development fun and natural! There are so many clever, seamless ways to add in career development during the teen years. Read a book together (my absolute favorite career books for teens), help them create a side business or work with them to find a part-time job. Take advantage of this season of their life to volunteer and gain invaluable work experience.
Brainstorm with your teenager on ways they can take something they love and branch out from there to gain more experience or another skill in the same field of interest.
One of our boys loved playing the drums! We encouraged him to build upon that love by gaining another practical life skill in the same field, running sound. He later used his sound engineering skills to help pay his way through college and graduate with a degree in digital media.
Discover more ways you can easily include teen career development in your homeschool high school curriculum- 6 Activities to Help Teens Discover Their Passion and Purpose!
3. Create a Solid Transcript during High School
Keep good records of what activities, jobs, volunteer experience, and classes your student has taken. Do this after each school year and don’t wait til the end of high school! Creating a transcript and recording grades will benefit your student! A transcript allows students to visibly see what they have accomplished and to know their grades.
If there are areas in school your student needs to improve, a transcript allows them to better plot their next action.
Even if your student will not be attending college in the immediate future, make sure they have a transcript as you NEVER know where life or God will take them! In our thirties, I had to help one of my friends create a resume as she was going back to school and needed one! Her mom had not made one for her so it was up to us to make one from scratch 15 years later!
Lee Binz is a homeschool mom at The Home Scholar that has tons of tips on creating a solid transcript. Check out her website for lots of ideas!
4. Make a Clear Decision on Grading Level & High School Standards
Make a decision in the beginning of high school on what grading level you are using for transcripts. You will thank yourself later! Also decide a basic high school plan and what subjects you are going to cover.
You may choose to follow your local high school requirements, Home School Legal Defense Association suggestions or the incoming requirements for a college your student is interested in attending. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does need to be consistent. Look at your options and then make a choice.
5. Plan for After High School for Your Homeschooler
There are so many opportunities for job and ministry. Help your teen learn what is available by encouraging them to ask others about their jobs, visiting colleges, attending college fairs, and/or going on a mission trip.
Discuss with them the importance of finding work they love, that will pay well. This will allow them to be generous givers and to have plenty of family time in the future.
Helping teens discover their career options is a passion of mine, so I started a college and career fair for our homeschool group. It is one of our most attended events (behind skiing;). So if you don’t have a lot of opportunities in your area, invite local career professions and colleges to come and speak to your teens!
6. Ensure Your Teen Takes the ACT or SAT
You and your teen don’t know exactly what the future holds. But you want to create as many career options as possible for your homeschooler. So be sure to have your teen take the ACT or SAT, even if they think they absolutely don’t want to go to college.
One of our teens was adamant that they were NEVER going to college. Turns out our son was hired by a company that then paid for them to go to college. Have you teen take one of the tests!
Your high schooler may need ACT or SAT test scores for a job, an apprenticeship program or a future career they haven’t even imagined yet.
7. Develop Life Skills During High School
As you get closer to graduation you may realize that your teen still doesn’t know how to take class notes or get out the door on time. Try to identify a few of these life skills and see if you can address them together with your homeschooler.
Brainstorm with your teenager on life skills or school skills they think they are missing. Your teenager will often surprise you by detailing some life skills they want to know to feel more confident.
As a side note…even if your teen doesn’t listen at the time, the life skill lesson will become crystal clear later! They will come back and tell you that you were right which is always awesome!!
Find a FREE Printable Parent-Student Contract on The Reluctant Cowgirl to help you and your teen set school and personal goals.
8. Create a Resume with Your Homeschooled High Schooler
Deliberate with your teenager and create a workable resume. You will greatly appreciate this resume later for a couple reasons!
A resume is very helpful if they decide to go to college. They will be able to easily refer to their resume when they fill out college and scholarship applications. If they need a reference from someone, your teenager can hand their resume to the reference allowing the person to write an even stronger personal reference.
Even if your homeschooler decides not to further their education, creating a resume allows your teen to see what skills they have to offer. When they are in a job interview they will be more confident as they clearly verbalize their experience and skills.
On your homeschooler’s resume put down dates and places they worked, volunteer experience, skills they have mastered at home, and any activities they have participated in during their middle school and high school years.
9. Prepare Your Teen for Life by Creating Transitions
Your teen is preparing to leave the nest. So create transitions for them while they are still living at home. Sign them up for a local college class, dual enrollment, short-term mission trip or an accelerated activity that will challenge them in a new way. Everyone’s family and student is different, but explore options to give your teen variety during 11th and 12th grade.
There is a fine line between carefully measuring our child’s maturity and holding them back. We have worked so hard to raise kids to be salt and light to the world. So when and if God opens that door feel confident your teen will do well
10. Solidify Your Teenager’s Worldview
One thing I love about the teenage years is that we can have some great discussions with our teenagers! Use the high school years to have those deeper talks with your teen about life and current events.
We use My Father’s World curriculum. I love that the books they had us work through lent themselves to really discussing the various worldviews. Use these last few years at home wisely to discuss and talk about God and the more challenging issues of living out our faith.
Enjoy Homeschooling High School
Homeschooling high school can feel a bit intimidating. There are so many new terms to learn and guidelines to ensure we meet for high school. But it can also be an amazing time as you see your teenager develop and grow spiritually, academically and emotionally.
As you homeschool high school, work with your teen to further their academic. But also develop their life skills so they are ready to take on the next stage of life!
Meet the Author, Miranda Lamb…
The Reluctant Cowgirl’s mission is to help moms, of tweens and teens, create an emotionally healthy home that is vibrant, full of respect and laughter. Miranda Lamb is a city girl living in the country. She is a wife, mom to a blended family and vibrant life mentor at The Reluctant Cowgirl. She has worked with hundreds of families as a group facilitator for court ordered groups. Find Miranda at https://thereluctantcowgirl.