Are you thinking about beginning the homeschool journey with your teenager? Homeschooling is a rewarding endeavor and can be especially meaningful when working with older students.

Teens crave independence and new challenges and are capable of developing educational goals and taking responsibility for their day-to-day learning. Here are some important tips for parents starting to homeschool their high schoolers.

5 Tips for Starting to Homeschool High School

Take it Slow

Whether you’ve pulled your kids out of school, or are starting fresh with a new year, it’s important to remember that this is a big change for your student. They will likely need time to adjust to new schedules and courses, just as you will need time to adjust to the homeschooling life.

As you start to get your bearings, remember homeschooling is not a race. While the school system often values speed over quality and deep learning, teens need time to process information, have extracurricular activities, and develop study skills. Speeding through lessons may get your teen to the finish line, but it also may take all the fun out of learning.

Keep Meticulous Records

While record keeping is important for all homeschooling parents, it is particularly important during the high school years. If your student pursues a traditional college degree – on campus, in a classroom – you will need detailed records for the application process. You’ll also want to apply for scholarships to help pay the hefty price tag of that route, and detailed records will come in handy.

If your student pursues their college degree in a more non-traditional way, you’ll still be glad you have records but you won’t be using them for applications and paperwork. The price tag of a regionally accredited degree earned primarily by exams is under $10,000, so there isn’t as great a need to spend inordinate amounts of time pursuing scholarships.

You don’t have to keep every paper your student writes, but you should have a record of textbooks used, grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, awards, and samples of your student’s work. These records will be used to complete your official high school transcript.

Make plans now to attend our free online workshop on transcripts, which will help you compile an impressive high school transcript for your teen.

Don’t Compare Your Student’s Progress to Others

One of the benefits of homeschooling is allowing your teen to follow their interests and work at their own pace. As long as they are meeting the requirements set forth by your state and their teacher (you), how they get there should be of little concern.

There will always be students who are more driven or get better grades than your teen, but if you have to compare, base your comparisons on how far your teen has come on their own journey, not how they measure up to other students.

Don’t Be Afraid to Outsource

Many homeschooling parents are easily overwhelmed by the thought of teaching every subject five days a week, especially at the high school level. At this level, homeschooling parents should think of themselves more as guidance counselors. You can help your teen determine the courses they need to take, and then figure out how those course requirements can be met.

That’s not to say you can’t teach teens yourself, but you can also enroll them in online courses, find them a mentor, join a homeschool co-op, or enroll them in Dual Credit at Home so they can begin earning college credits.

Let Your Student Lead the Way

High school students crave independence and responsibility, and given the chance they are usually eager to take charge of their education. Allowing your teens to follow their interests and meet personal goals will go a long way toward helping them become independent thinkers with a thirst for knowledge. Provide some boundaries, as well as guidance and support, and you’ll be surprised at how much they can accomplish.

Homeschooling high school doesn’t have to be daunting, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. Be encouraged — your family can thrive as you homeschool high school!

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