I don’t know about you but I saw my high school guidance counselor a total of 3 times during high school when she signed off on the classes I was going to take. But, in public (or private) school, most students are following a typical lock step method of education, and the classes are in place for whatever track the student happens to be on, vocational or college bound based on test and performance scores. Easy peasy for the guidance counselor. Plus, they don’t have parental investment in the kids or hopes and dreams for their future.
With homeschooling, as we’ve said so many times before, you have so much freedom. Freedom to choose what to study and when, and to personalize as little or as much as you want to. Like I point out in my workshop What a Homeschooling Parent Actually Does, being a Guidance Counselor is one of the roles of the Homeschooling Parent. And what a great role it can be with some simple parameters.
Crafting a Personalized Learning Plan can be so helpful. It’s like a map that you can follow to the letter or take fun little detours from, but regardless of it still keeps you on track. A Personalized Learning Plan can provide a clear path toward academic achievement and personal growth.
Start with the End in Mind
Where do you see your kids going post high school? You know them best and you have great ideas about what they are capable of, the cost of many things, including vocational and college training and also what it takes to support certain lifestyles. Start talking with your kids while their young about the lifestyle that they want and how they’ll pay for it.
Set Clear Goals and Objectives
Before diving into the nitty-gritty details of planning, take some time to establish clear goals and objectives for your child’s high school years. Consider academic aspirations, personal interests, and potential post-secondary paths. Are there specific subjects your child wants to excel in? Are they considering college, vocational training, or other career paths? Defining these goals will serve as the foundation for creating a tailored plan. Consider serious hobbies or areas of interest as well. How important are they to current and future plans, what will it take to support those interests?
Still not sure exactly how to put it all together, need credit recovery assistance, have a gifted, 2E or struggling learner? We get you and we’d love to help! 1:1 Coaching means you’ve got an expert to help guide, resource and encourage you! Set an appointment today!
Understand Graduation Requirements
Research the educational and graduation requirements for your state. This includes necessary credits in subjects like mathematics, science, English, social studies, and electives.
Plan a Four-Year Program
Divide the high school years into four academic years, each focusing on a balanced curriculum that aligns with your child’s goals. Incorporate core subjects, such as mathematics, science, English, and History, and include elective courses that cater to your child’s interests. Also consider subjects like computer science, foreign languages, Art and Music, Bible, Career Exploration and Entrepreneurship. And look, just because you plan a 4 year program, doesn’t mean it has to be accomplished in 4 years. I’ve worked with students who have finished high school as young as 13 and as old as 21. So, again, you have freedom to work with your kids and your lifestyle.
Plan by Year
Using a Typical Course of Study as a guide, plan by year, taking into account any prerequisites or sequential learning paths. Be sure to include Middle School Courses that are high school level hours and rigor and don’t forget to include CLEP, DE, Honors and AP courses if you choose to go that route.
Include Extracurricular Activities High school isn’t just about academics. Factor in extracurricular activities such as church, sports, arts, community service, and clubs. These activities play a crucial role in personal development, building social skills, and enhancing college applications.
Take Advantage of Amazing Opportunities
Each family, locale and season presents unique opportunities. Be flexible enough in your schedule that you can take advantage of them as they pop up! And remember, parents, YOU are your kids very best resource. Include them in your hobbies, activities, business, dreams and big ideas! You never know where they’ll lead!
Keep Your Student Involved in the Process
Involve your child in the planning process. Their input is valuable as they’ll be more engaged when they have a say in their education. Discuss their interests, strengths, and preferences to tailor the plan to their needs. Again, talk to them about the kind of lifestyle they want and how they’ll support that. Help them understand that how they’ll support that lifestyle goes beyond money and can include social, familial, spiritual, physical and mental resources!
Monitor Progress and Adjust as Needed
Review your high school plan and schedule to monitor progress. Are your student’s goals being met? Is the schedule realistic and manageable? Make adjustments as necessary, considering any changes in goals, interests, or circumstances.
Foster a Love for Learning
While planning is crucial, remember that fostering a love for learning is paramount. Incorporate projects, hands-on activities, and real-world applications to keep your child engaged and excited about their education.
Embrace Flexibility and Growth
As your child progresses through high school, they may discover new interests, strengths, and passions. Embrace flexibility in your plan to accommodate these changes. The high school journey is a time of growth and self-discovery, and your plan should reflect that evolution.
Crafting a high school plan is a collaborative and dynamic process. It requires careful consideration of your child’s goals, a well-structured curriculum, and a flexible approach. With dedication, open communication, and a commitment to fostering a love for learning, you can craft a high school experience that equips your child for a great high school experience and future success!
As homeschooling continues to gain popularity and acceptance, parents are increasingly taking on the responsibility of providing their children with a well-rounded education. When it comes to high school, a crucial aspect of homeschooling is creating a solid transcript.
Why is a Solid Transcript Important?
A high school transcript serves as a tangible representation of a student’s educational journey. Its importance extends beyond the homeschool years and can impact a student’s future in several ways:
- College Admissions: Most colleges and universities require a transcript as part of their application process. A well-crafted transcript showcases a student’s academic rigor, demonstrates their ability to handle challenging coursework, and gives admissions officers insight into the student’s readiness for college-level studies.
- Scholarships and Financial Aid: Scholarships and financial aid programs often have specific eligibility requirements, including minimum GPA, specific courses, or extracurricular involvement. A detailed transcript can provide evidence of a student’s achievements and increase their chances of securing scholarships or financial assistance.
- Job Applications: While many students opt for higher education after high school, some choose to enter the workforce directly. In such cases, a transcript can serve as proof of academic competence, demonstrating a student’s dedication, knowledge, and work ethic to potential employers.
- Personal Development: Beyond its external benefits, a transcript can also serve as a personal reflection of growth and accomplishments. It allows students to see their progress over the years, identify strengths and weaknesses, and set goals for further improvement.
Creating a Transcript: Step-by-Step Guide
Creating a transcript may seem like a daunting task, but with careful planning and organization, it can be accomplished effectively. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you create a solid transcript for your homeschooler:
Step 1: Understand Requirements and Grading
- Familiarize yourself with your state’s homeschooling laws and any specific requirements related to transcripts.
- Determine your grading system, including the scale (e.g., letter grades, percentages) and the grading criteria for each subject.
Step 2: Document Courses and Credits
- List all the courses your student has completed during high school, including core subjects (English, math, science, social studies) and electives.
- Assign credits to each course based on the time and effort devoted to it. Typically, one credit is equivalent to 120-180 hours of work.
Step 3: Compile a Course Description
- Write a brief description for each course, outlining the topics covered, resources used, and any significant projects or assessments.
- Include any honors, advanced, or dual-credit courses your student has taken.
Step 4: Calculate GPA
- Determine the grading scale you will use for calculating the Grade Point Average (GPA).
- Assign a numerical value to each letter grade (e.g., A = 4.0, B = 3.0), and calculate the GPA by averaging the values of all courses.
Step 5: Document Extracurricular Activities
- Highlight any extracurricular activities, community service, leadership roles, or sports involvement.
- Explain the significance of these activities and their
impact on your student’s personal growth and character development.
Step 6: Include Standardized Test Scores
- If your student has taken standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT, include their scores in the transcript.
- Some colleges and universities may require official score reports, so be sure to follow their guidelines.
Step 7: Maintain a Transcript Template
- Create a transcript template using spreadsheet software or online tools. This template will serve as a standardized format for recording your student’s academic information.
- Include sections for course titles, grades, credits, GPA, extracurricular activities, and any additional information required by your state or college admissions.
Step 8: Keep Detailed Records
- Throughout your homeschooling journey, maintain thorough records of coursework, assignments, grades, and any significant achievements or milestones.
- These records will ensure accuracy when creating the transcript and provide supporting documentation if necessary.
Step 9: Seek Counsel and Evaluation
- Reach out to homeschool support groups, co-ops, or educational consultants who can provide guidance and evaluation of your student’s academic progress.
- External evaluations can add credibility to your transcript and provide an objective perspective on your student’s achievements.
Conclusion: Unleashing the Potential
Creating a solid high school transcript is an essential part of homeschooling during the high school years. It not only opens doors to higher education but also provides a tangible representation of your student’s academic journey and personal growth. By following a step-by-step guide, parents can ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of their homeschool transcripts, increasing their student’s chances of success in college applications, scholarships, and future endeavors.
As homeschooling gains recognition and acceptance, a solid transcript becomes a valuable tool in showcasing the rigor, dedication, and achievements of homeschoolers. Remember, the transcript is not just a collection of grades and credits; it is a testament to the hard work, commitment, and individualized education that homeschooling provides.
By putting effort into creating a comprehensive and well-organized transcript, you empower your student to unlock their full potential, pursue their dreams, and embrace a future filled with limitless opportunities.
So, seize the moment, embark on the transcript-building journey, and watch as your homeschooler’s achievements shine brightly on their path to success!
Cure the Fear of Homeschooling High School: A Step-by-Step Handbook for Research & Planning (Ebook)
Written by Ann Karako
For moms getting ready to homeschool high school who need to know what to research and how to apply what they’ve found out, this book provides colorful forms to fill in each step of the way from the beginning all the way through to building a complete curriculum plan for your teen.
1: Easing Your Fears
2: The Crucial Confidence-Boosting First Step
3: What Should YOU Require?
4: The General Credits Plan
5: Planning Core Courses
6: Planning Electives
7: Choosing the Best Curriculum for YOUR Homeschool
8: More Encouragement as You Plan
9: Now What?
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Credits, Transcripts, and Tests – OH MY!
High school credits? Ugh! That’s an instant homeschool parent stressor. Whether you’re a homeschooling veteran or just getting started, understanding how high school credits work for a homeschool transcript can be a daunting, but necessary task. This is especially true for those who are preparing to apply to higher education, as universities look closely at transcripts to assess a student’s academic achievements. Knowing this, it’s important to be aware of how credit accumulation is determined in a homeschool setting.
By the end, you’ll understand how to correctly award credits, so you can take the steps necessary to create an effective transcript that accurately reflects your student’s academic achievements.
By Lisa Nehring of True North Homeschool Acadamy and It’s Not that Hard to Homeschool
Credits, Transcripts and Tests – Stepping Stones to the Future
Start with the End in Mind: Exposure- Interest- Strategy
What kind of LIFE does your student want to live?
The Transcript is the STORY of your student’s High School Career
You want to include:
- Academic Classes
- Community Service
- Physical Education
- The ARTS
- Team Activities
- Leadership Opportunities
What is a credit?
Credit- Carnegie Unit – 120-180
Hours of Work
- 1 Credit- 120 hours
- ½ Credit -60 hours
- ¼ Credit- 30 hours
- 2 Credits -240 hours
How to accrue a credit?
- Class time
- Tests & Exams
KEEP IN MIND
- Make sure you don’t undervalue
- Include Hard Skills and Soft Skills
- Don’t forget Life Skills (Adulting)
- You need to capture your student’s STAND-OUT factor
- You are your student’s most valuable resource
Create a VISION for your family
Develop a Liturgical Life and focus on faith formation. Create time and intention
4 Social Studies
8 electives including PE, health,
BCIS, Art, Music
College Prep Transcript
4 Social Studies (history,
2 Foreign Language
7 electives including PE,
health, BCIS, Art, Music
4 for English
Award 4 for Social Studies (history,
3 Foreign Language
7 electives including PE,
health, BCIS, Art, Music
Grades = Assessment
Hours on Task
Goldilocks Principle- Not too hard, Not too easy, JUST RIGHT!
Typical Course of Study (4 Years)
English- English 1, 2, 3, 4 – can include grammar, spelling,
literature, composition, poetry
Math- Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Trigonometry &
Pre=Calc, Calculus, Personal Finance, Accounting
SCIENCE: Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics,
Environmental Science, Anatomy & Physiology
HISTORY: World Geography, World History, U.S. History,
Government & Economics, Politics, Philosophy & Economics
FOREIGN LANGUAGE: 2 years of 1 language
ELECTIVES: BCIS, Art, Music, Bible, Health
- Student’s Name
- Name of School
- Dates Attended
- Work listed by Grade or Subject
- Credits Earned
- Grades Earned
- Grading Scale
- Signed and Dated
- Develop Strategies for Success
- Learn how to work under pressure
- Learn how to make an educated guess & eliminate obvious wrong answers
- Understand instructions particular to each section
- Tests are created to be endurance tests
High Test Scores
Every point higher on a test can translate into academic dollars
Composite Scores count
- Start with the End in Mind
- Typical Course of Study
- Stand out Factor- Electives, etc.
- Strategize Testing
- Launch with JOY
- Pivot as Necessary- be flexible and adaptable!
How to Homeschool MIDDLE SCHOOL
By Lisa Nehring of True North Homeschool Acadamy and It’s Not that Hard to Homeschool
What is the point of Middle School?
- Transition- Developmentally, Emotionally, Physically, Socially
- Life skills
- Soft Skills (interpersonal Skills – 4 Cs)
- Develop Executive Functioning skills
- Develop Skills and Talents = Lead to passions
- Community Service
What is going on with the attitude??? Major things!
- Brain Pruining (aka Synaptic Pruning)
- Synapses allow neurons to transmit signals to other neurons
- Synapses are responsible for movement, thinking, memorizing
- They are VERY IMPORTANT
- Growth spurts- hormones
- Need adequate sleep and good food, vitamins, and good water
- Healthy physical movement and green therapy
- Help with understanding, managing, and regulating emotions
- Moving from concrete to abstract – important to shelter from an ideology that states they can be anything they want to be or any ideology during this time
- Handling Teen Issues in Homeschooling
- Lend them your brain
- Pick your battles
- Allow for some self-expression
- Give choices
- Listen and Talk
- Firm, consistent, logical boundaries
- Travel and do fun things together
- Create connection and family belonging
The Nitty Gritty
- To explore areas of interest
- Continued skills development
- Shore up areas of weakness
- To develop Study Skills
- Online management
- Read for understanding
- Time Management
- Ask good questions
- Test yourself
- Math functions:
- Addition *
- Subtraction *
- Multiplication *
- Division *
*Should be memorized, or Algebra will be unbearable.
- Communicate well- verbally and in writing
- Write a complete sentence with ease and coherency
- Write a paragraph with ease and coherency
- Understand some basic tropes like alliteration & puns
- Legible handwriting
- Basic spelling
- Short stories
- Read with ease- both out loud and to themselves
- Be able to listen to a story and narrate it back
- Able to understand and apply the Scientific Method
- Appreciation for nature
- Sense of wonder and discovery
- General overview of
- Earth & Space
- Natural/ World
- Physical Science
- Awakening appreciation for distinct fields in Science
- Current Events/ Politics
- People, Places & Events of the World. All time leads to or
- away from the Cross.
- Modern World
- Self Defense
- First Aid
- Budgeting $, Taxes
- Critical Thinking Skills
- Flexibility and Adaptability
- Time and Distraction management
- Work ethic
Frontal Lobe (executive functioning)
Mid-Brain –reactivity- fight or flight
Lower Brain- instincts
- Flexible Thinking
- Self Monitoring
- Working Memory
- Emotional Control channels feelings appropriately.
- Impulse Control
- Task initiation
- Planning and Prioritizing
- H.S credits in Jr. High
- Start with the END in MIND
- Where do YOU see your kids after high school?
- Career Exploration MUST HAVE
- “I paid my way; my kids can pay theirs- old thinking.
- Begin strategizing post-high school sooner than later.
- A clear assessment of where the kids are academically and
- Plan from there- are they at grade level, behind, or ahead?
- Include the Core 4, Foreign Language, Electives
- Do they have special interests or abilities?
- Field trips and travel
- Nature studies and green therapy
- Daily gathering
- Weekly planning
- Great Books
- Faith Formation
The Beauty of Middle School–
The transition between child and young adult- Rapid growth and Development- FREEBIE YEARS
A Typical Course of Study can help you develop a strong plan for homeschooling Junior High School. It can define your purpose in what can feel like an academic no-man’s land! Students are no longer children but are definitely not yet the young adults they will be in high school.
Their bodies are changing rapidly, and they can’t keep up with themselves, preferring to sleep and eat over many other options. Some people want to skip the Jr. High years, pretending it’s all a bad dream. But these years, though challenging, can be rich academically and set the tone for future high school and adult success!
How Do Tests Help?
Jr. High is typically the time when undiagnosed learning disabilities or processing disorders come to the fore, and getting a good standardized test done now, as a benchmark of a student’s ability by grade level, can be really helpful. If you suspect a disability or processing disorder, check out resources such as our Advising. Help is available, though you may have to search for tools. SPED Advising (like ours at True North Homeschool Academy) can save you hours, thousands of dollars, and tears of frustration!
If your student is weak in any of the basics, such as English or Maths, you will want to shore those weaknesses up; particularly reading comprehension and speed and Math literacy, including being strong in the four math functions- addition and subtraction, multiplication, and division.
What to Focus on in Junior High
a typical course of study for Jr High School will focus on the Core 4 subjects and then add in Electives and Extra-curricular activities.
Jr. High is typically 7th and 8th grade. You’ll want to focus on the Core Four and build from there:
- English – make sure your student has the mechanics of writing down. Can they write simple sentences, a paragraph, and a three-paragraph paper on an assigned topic? Students should be able to write a clear, well-organized simple essay by the end of the 8th. They should understand basic grammar and spelling and build their vocabulary through more difficult reading.
- Math – Solidify their knowledge of math functions, particularly multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, and percentages. Students should begin moving into pre-Algebra/Algebra at the end of Jr High.
- Science – Students should have a basic foundation in nature studies. Jr. High Science will give them a broad overview of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, Earth & Space, Physical Science, and an introduction to Lab Reports. They should know the Scientific Method.
- History- students should have a broad sweeping overview of History, with details about the Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, and the Modern World and an understanding of U.S. History. A basic timeline is a great idea. Be certain they have a basic understanding of Geography.
Electives and Extra-curriculars
Foreign Language: Jr. High is a great time to introduce a Foreign language if you haven’t already! Latin is a perfect language to start with. It will solidify English grammar basics, build English vocabulary (15000 English words are Latin derivatives), and give them a fun code to crack. Latin also has many moving parts, so it is a good critical thinking skill as your teen learns executive functioning skills. Spanish, Chinese, German, French, and Hebrew are also great ways to hone skills, and students can earn High School Credit while still in Jr. High!
Logic: Face it, most tweens live to argue and are not very good at it. Teach them logic and reveal that they’ll be able to recognize fallacies and form logical arguments. Good writers are good thinkers, which will hone their English skills; math is symbolic logic, which will hone their math skills. Informal Logic is a perfect study for developing tween brains.
Physical Education: ½ credit each year. Regular exercise will help regulate your teen’s emotions, energy to argue, and food intake. Check out our fun Dance at the Movies course, where students will gain skills, earn PE credits and learn to appreciate the beauty of dance.
Music: A general overview of music, including Music Theory, voice, or instrument lessons, will enrich their homeschool program (and their lives!).
Art/Humanities: Give them a general understanding of Form and Color, Photography, Photoshop, etc.
Bible/Apologetics: Students should have a solid overview of the Old and New Testaments and a foundation of Apologetics; an understanding of how to defend their faith.
Computer: Basic Computer Information Systems, Powerpoint, Video Editing, Internet Safety, and Accountability; I highly recommend parents read Glow Kids and make informed decisions about what their students can access via phones and the internet!
Health- This should include general hygiene and safety, including managing and handling their phones/ internet usage.
Electives for Jr High should be diverse and introduce students to various opportunities and challenges. In Jr. High, students are moving from experience to interest to strategy if their interest is something that they want to pursue and have a clear drive to invest in.
Community Service is a great way to get Tweens to think beyond themselves and understand and support others’ needs.
Books: Of course, reading great literature will expand your student’s horizons, build their vocabulary and help them empathize with others.
Want to know more about credits, transcripts, and standardized tests?
More Resources and Tools
Survive Homeschooling High School is a comprehensive eBook that will walk you through how to plan and prepare for High School. Or check out our Academic Advising– we offer Standard Advising, SPED Advising for nontraditional learners, and NCAA Advising for those looking to compete for an NCAA position.
It’s a great time to homeschool, and the options for Jr. High School Homeschooling are better than ever! Check out our live online dynamic, interactive classes taught within an international community by world-class teachers! Students interact and work together- we believe excellent education occurs within a community!