Homeschooling through high school

Aug 2, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. ET

For some parents, the thought of homeschooling through high school seems scary and overwhelming. For others it is a natural progression. No matter how you look at it, homeschooling through high school is a huge responsibility.

Homeschooling high school

If you are second-guessing yourself about whether you are qualified to teach your child through high school, remember that help is available. Tutors are an excellent choice to help with difficult subjects, as are co-ops and virtual classes.

The first thing to do when deciding to homeschool through high school is check state laws regarding homeschooling regarding high school in your state. You will also want to learn about your state's high school graduation requirements for courses and credits.

You will have the option to choose your own curriculum for high school, or join an online charter school or private school. A letter of intent (LOI) may need to be sent to your local school district informing them that you intend to homeschool. It's crucial to stay on top of record keeping and documentation if you would like your high school student to participate in dual enrollment or to be eligible for scholarships. You will also want to maintain organized records of the courses, textbooks and credits, as well as short summaries of each course your child completes. Staying organized and keeping records will be of great benefit to you once you begin preparing a transcript.

Learn more about homeschool record keeping >>

Are transcripts necessary?

According to Lee Bins, the HomeScholar, they are. Bins says, "Transcripts are the love language of colleges. If we desire to be invited to their party, we must communicate with them in a language that they understand. By tailoring your child's transcript to highlight his knowledge, experience, strengths and weaknesses, you can help him achieve his higher academic goals."

A well-prepared transcript along with a college resume will greatly increase the chances of your child getting into the college of their choice.

Many homeschool record keeping programs or other online resources offer the ability to create credible homeschool transcripts. Keep track of your child's grades and consider using one of these programs:

What is dual enrollment?

Dual enrollment allows a high school student to take college-level courses that will count towards high school and college credit. Typically, a student must be a junior or senior to qualify for dual enrollment. While there are definite benefits to choosing dual enrollment, there are also some drawbacks such as the cost of books, the age gap of students and the fact that technically, it will not be considered homeschooling. Look into colleges in your area (as well as online colleges) to find out the options and requirements for dual enrollment.

Resources for homeschooling high school

The high school years are exciting, terrifying and bittersweet. Relax, be flexible and celebrate the accomplishments you have made with your son or daughter as you draw near to the end of your homeschool journey together. Your child needs your experience and guidance now more than ever.

More about homeschooling

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Free and frugal homeschooling
How to homeschool through the summer