Even parents who have homeschooled for many years sometimes question whether to homeschool high school. When you homeschool high school, students are more mature, often have better study habits, and are able to take more responsibility for their own learning.
If your student is in or starting high school and considering college, take a look at our college preparation and admissions resources. For students interested in military service or are not college-bound, visit our page for homeschoolers joining the military or our page about homeschooling students who are not college-bound.
Help for Homeschooling High School
How to Choose the Best Homeschool Curriculum - Choosing the best homeschool curriculum is important to new and prospective homeschooling parents, as well as those who want to improve homeschooling or adjust to a new phase, such as kids starting high school. Many parents start with the question, “What’s the best homeschool curriculum?” A more productive question is, “What homeschool curriculum is the best fit?” Asking the right questions before investing in what may end up being a poor fit saves money and frustration.
Free High School Course Planner - Our spreadsheet planner, Homeschool Planner Plus, includes several resources to help you plan and keep track of your homeschool high school student's courses and credits.
Free Homeschool Transcript Template - In addition to helpful hints for creating a transcripts, this resource includes a free template that will create official transcripts (including calculating GPA for you) based on the grades input for each course.
Quickstart for Homeschooling High School
- College-Bound Course Planning for Homeschooling High School
- All About Homeschool Transcripts (and a Free Template)
- Do Homeschoolers Need a Diploma?
- Using an Online Homeschool Program for High School
- Do You Need to Use an Accredited Homeschool Program?
- Bad News/Good News of Starting Homeschooling in High School
- Resources for Homeschooling High School When Mom’s Not the Expert
- Homeschooling High School When Your Child is College Bound
- Homeschooling High School When Your Child is NOT College Bound
Free Community College Course Planner - If your student is taking community college classes (using community college classes as dual enrollment gives your child an opportunity to learn core college subjects in a small classroom setting while saving money by completing the first year of two of college at significantly lower cost), our free course planner spreadsheet can help you make sure your tuition dollars are put to the best use by ensuring that the courses will meet requirements.
Senior High: A Home-Designed Form+u+la and other resources - Book by Barb Shelton of Homeschool Oasis; great for preparing your child for life after high school
How to Study - Studying is a skill to be learned, not a talent one is born with. From taking notes in class to how to succeed on an essay test, this site gives useful and practical ways to succeed. When you click a link, scroll down to see the results - the page will not appear to change when clicking links since what changes is out of site below. The site is provided by two education professors who developed more detailed study skills programs that can be purchased from the site.
Taking Charge - "Should we homeschoolers be worried about getting conventional credentials? Are homeschoolers' futures jeopardized because the path to a conventional diploma is less clear-cut than it is for a student in a conventional school? Why and how is the process of getting a diploma becoming more complex? What choices do we have?" This article by Larry and Susan Kaseman addresses these questions.
Suggested Reading From Our Blog
Homeschooling high school can be challenging. And it would be a disservice to you, the reader, if I pretended that it was all sunshine, rainbows, and parent-teen bonding 24/7. But just because something is challenging, doesn't mean we should just give up on it, right? Let's dive in and chat about three challenging things when it comes to homeschooling high school and some tips on how to address them. Read More »
Looking to start homeschooling and you have teens? I've put together five helpful tips to help you get started. You and your teen can partner to create a unique home education adventure. Read More »
If you want to liven up homeschool for your older kids as you start the new year, consider whether they might be ready for a mentor. Mentors can be powerful positive influences in the lives of homeschooled teens. Here are six ways mentors can help homeschooled teens. Read More »
Our 10th grade non-traditional learner stated that he wanted to tackle more challenging content, more in-person classes with homework and projects, and wanted to be in charge of his schedule. I got to work researching local classes, online classes, curricula, and more. We had long conversations, lots of texting back and forth, and finally came up with a plan that worked for him, for me and his dad, and for our budget and schedule. Read More »
Since it can be helpful to read about what other homeschoolers are doing for high school, I’ve detailed out our plan for our first year of homeschooling high school with a non-traditional learner. I’m not an expert by any means—my teen is my guinea pig and I definitely needed some guidelines on how I could build an experience for him and not just school. My kid thrives on experiences. The more the better. Read More »
My oldest child started high school at home this year. He's a very non-traditional learner, which can present a challenge when mom is the opposite. I never intended to homeschool and I really couldn't imagine homeschooling high school. But here we are, and here's how we are preparing a high school plan that works for us. Read More »
One thing that has remained consistent into the teen years for my kids is their need for hands-on learning. We've just updated and tweaked what that looks like these days compared with when they were younger. With some creativity, planning, partnership, and imagination, hands-on learning can be explored in a variety of ways. I've got nine ways you can cultivate hands-on learning for your older homeschooled kids. Grab your pen and planner, and let's chat! Read More »
With the slow but steady growth of homeschooling across the United States comes a parallel growth in online, distance learning programs and schools. While many parents continue to provide independent, customized instruction to their children, others seek “enrolled homeschooling”—that which provides teacher-guided instruction, report cards/transcripts/credits, and other familiar elements of traditional education. Choosing a provider for this type of schooling naturally leads to an increase in questions about accreditation: what is it exactly, and how does it pertain to homeschooling? Read More »
Homeschooling parents whose kids will likely seek admission to college usually realize their homeschool graduates will need parent-made homeschool transcripts. They will probably also need "outside evidence." That's because a homeschool transcript full of parent-graded courses and independent learning done at home may not by itself convince university admissions counselors of a teen's preparation for college-level work. Read More »
As a parent of a high school homeschooler, I was approached by a neighbor who asked if I knew what the age limit was to begin homeschool. Her 20-year-old son never finished school, sadly. It seemed almost impossible for him to get his GED, having been enrolled on and off since he was 16. Knowing the need for a diploma, she’s considering homeschool, believing with one-on-one teaching, he will obtain his diploma, and his future will much brighter. Unable to find information on the North Carolina Homeschool help website about age restrictions, I’m hoping you can help us. Read More »
I am seriously looking into whether homeschooling would be an appropriate option for my high school student who is failing in the public school system. She's extremely bright, and excels in honors and higher courses, but is failing everything else. I believe homeschooling might be helpful, but I also know it could backfire too. We desperately need some expert advice! ~ Concerned in Colorado Read More »
Don't depend on boring government textbooks; use an activities approach to learning how government works. If teens do these activities, talk about their experiences with you and others, and follow rabbit trails online, they will likely retain more knowledge about how government works than if they just read from a government textbook. Read More »
So you have a high school student who is definitely not college-bound. How do you educate him? What does she REALLY need? Are there alternative training options available? I asked myself these same questions not so very long ago. Here is what I discovered... Read More »
The first few weeks of school this year haven't gone well for Cheryl, and she wrote to me for help deciding whether to homeschool her 7th and 11th graders who are in negative school situations. I wanted to answer a specific part of her question in greater detail: I have never homeschooled and I need advice. I thought of doing the online homeschool called . Please help! Read More »
How do homeschoolers learn things that their parents don't know anything about? Just a little research in the world of homeschoolers can show people that homeschooling parents don't have to teach everything their children are learning. They just have to facilitate opportunities so their kids can learn. Here are a few of the ways kids learn things their parents don't know about. Read More »
Course selection and completion are very big deals when you're in school, and even if you are homeschooling, colleges may have specific courses that they want to see. Homeschooling is not public schooling, and homeschooling parents have wide latitude in what their children should study, how they should learn, and what qualifies a teen for graduation or a diploma. If there are no course requirements, as with homeschoolers in most states, what should your child study and learn during high school, if college is on the horizon? Read More »
Starting homeschooling during the high school years can seem intimidating or liberating -- or both. There is both good news and bad news about starting out homeschooling in high school, but for many people the good outweighs the bad. Read More »
"Do homeschoolers get a diploma? Half of my family is pro-homeschooling and half is anti-homeschooling. How do I convince my family that homeschooling would be a better and more positive solution than public school?" You have a couple of overt questions and a couple of implied ones. Let's see what we can tease apart here, because these are common concerns for prospective homeschoolers. Read More »
This week I visited with a homeschooling family whose son was anxiously awaiting his shipments from New Egg and Tiger Direct -- full of the components he would assemble into his own PC. This brought back fond memories, since two of my three sons undertook this same project during their teen years, and my oldest actually did the same after he graduated. Read More »
Homeschooling teens means a lot of questions about preparing for college admission or getting experience and training for a vocation or artistic endeavor. We wring our hands over curriculum and credits, and we help our teens learn to drive and manage their money. But another little piece of life experience we can help our teens with is being able to work in "a third place." Typically, a third place is talked about in the world of adults, as the place that is "not home" and "not work." College students and some high school students often study or socialize in a "third place" that ... Read More »
We are homeschooling high school all the way through. If you would like to see how we track credits and create transcripts, see Our 10th Grade Plan. If you haven't checked out our free Homeschool Planner Plus, you should take a look at it for creating high school transcripts. It is easy to plug in your courses and credits and the spreadsheet calculates your GPA for you. The 11th Grade Plan: DE English - This year's focus is on composition through the local community college's ENG 111 course. Over the course of the semester, students work to complete a research ... Read More »
Do homeschoolers have graduation ceremonies? Some do; some don't. And those who do have graduation ceremonies may mark the occasion differently from one another. If you are looking for homeschool graduation ceremony ideas that fit your family, there are many options from which to choose. Here are a few that work for many different types of kids and families. Read More »
The teenaged years are actually the most rewarding of the homeschooling years. That's what we've found with our four homeschooled kids. And that's what I was told by many of the 110 families I interviewed for my book Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything. People in Ireland, Australia, India, and the U.S. described coming to this realization in similar ways. Their concerns about helping a young child master the basics or their struggles to find the right homeschooling style gradually resolved. Parents grew to trust the process of learning much more completely and, perhaps as a result, they saw ... Read More »
Hosting an international exchange student can be a great experience for homeschooling families. We hosted a student from Ecuador, and while the commitment can seem daunting, having Isaac José with us for a school year enriched our lives. What are some of the benefits of hosting an international student? Read More »
Homeschooling a teen can be really hard. While I'm overall glad to be homeschooling, I have a high school age daughter who is difficult to work with and who is inconsistent in her approach to homeschooling. She has always been a challenging child, and as expected, the teen years have had a lot of turmoil. Homeschooling seems to catch a lot of blame for our problems -- but it’s not from outsiders or family members. She spends a lot of time lamenting being homeschooled and blaming us for trapping her in home education -- despite the fact that she has ... Read More »
Part I of Homeschool High School Composition gives an overview of how to approach teaching homeschool composition. It is important to read it before using the assignments below, since it is a different perspective for teaching composition. Below are the assignments for composition using this part-to-whole process. The assignments use the UNC Writing Center's free online resources. Read More »
The Writing Center at UNC has put together a large collection of writing resources for college writing that are excellent tools for teaching homeschool high school composition. The center's printables and videos offer detailed explanations about research, sourcing, organization, editing and proofreading, voice, fallacies, thesis statements, and dozens of other writing topics. The resources are arranged alphabetically, making them easy to find by topic but not offering much in the way of an orderly progression for teaching. The following is a suggested order of study for using the resources for composition for a homeschooled high school student. In our case, ... Read More »
From the feedback and questions that we get on our Facebook page, there is a great deal of interest in how to homeschool high school. This year my daughter is a sophomore in high school, and I thought it might be helpful to share our 10th grade plan with you. Contrary to popular belief, homeschooling high school is often easier than homeschooling younger grades. Students are older, more mature, and better able to manage their own academics. When they need assistance, the material is more difficult, but between teacher guides, online resources, and friends with a knowledge of the subject ... Read More »
This year in my role as a homeschool evaluator, I met a number of tweens and teens who are interested in fashion. As we went through their portfolio of work and talked about their year, I was fascinated with the ways they had woven their interest in fashion with their academic studies. Two of the teens I met with had taken their interest in current fashion into the past -- studying the typical dress and accessorizing of women and men in earlier periods of history. They also took their fashion interest international -- studying the current typical dress of modern-day ... Read More »
Our family has greatly enjoyed using The Great Courses audio and video recorded classes. The first of The Great Courses we used was The Story of Human Language, presented by leading linguist John McWhorter, who gives 36 lectures about the development of human language, why languages change or become extinct, dialects, how languages and their grammars affect thinking, and what the study of language can tell us about history and interconnectedness of early peoples. From there, we began listening to every Great Courses CD set the library had. They offer courses in science, math, fine arts, music, religion, philosophy, history, ... Read More »
Lately, I've been hearing a lot of questions raised about how innovations in technology will change education as we know it - Can machines replace teachers? Do internet resources provide everything needed to develop professional skills? What happens if you replace school with online learning? I've spent my life trying to find out, and the answers I have are both promising and a little horrifying. Read More »
Parents can provide a college preparation during high school for every student, which can benefit every child. If they ultimately don't go to college, then your homeschool education will be the only education they get. Make it great! They'll be well prepared for life and their civic responsibilities. Plus, if they ever change their mind and decide to go to college, they will have a much easier time getting in. On the other hand, some parents know early on that their children are college bound. ... Read More »
Why would you want to homeschool through high school? Do the advantages really make it worth while? My husband and I homeschooled all four of our boys from kindergarten into early college, and we'd do it all over again in a minute. It was a joyous journey! Here are seven reasons you may want to consider homeschooling through high school. Read More »
Accreditation is a process in which school standards are evaluated by an accreditation agency. In the United States, this process is not completed by the federal government, but by states or private companies with varying rules and standards. Different groups promote accreditation for homeschoolers. They suggest hard and fast rules on how things should to be done, leaving parents feeling that their way of homeschooling was somehow deficient. It’s as though they think only a certain format or approach, or a single method will guarantee success. Looking around, it’s easy to see that homeschoolers of all varieties do indeed succeed, ... Read More »
How do you homeschool in high school? The greatest encouragement someone gave me when I was contemplating what high school home schooling looked like, was - "It's no different; you just keep going." When our children were entering the "high school" years, I had an idea that homeschooling was going to change completely. However, our routine stayed the same, and most subjects stayed the same. The difference was our learning methods and our focus. By the time our children have reached the high school years, a foundational base of knowledge should have been laid. They should have a basic grasp of history ... Read More »
What subjects should you include when homeschooling your teen through high school? Answering this question can and does fill entire books. Personally, I think at least some of the subjects should be related to your teen’s interests as much as anything else. But there’s one subject that should be mandatory: personal finance. Now that our economy appears to be in freefall, a quick look at the comments section of online articles about the subject reveals people complaining, lamenting and sometimes bellowing about the lack of financial education offered to teens in our public schools. Some believe that if adults had been ... Read More »
Step One- Thinking About It! Does the idea of homeschooling your high schooler sound scary and uncharted to you? Just as homeschooling is an adventure no matter what grade or age level, homeschooling for high school can sound intimidating! Please know that many, many families have successfully (and happily!) completed this chapter of education for one or more of their children. Speaking as a parent who has done this, these capstone years are do-able, really fun, easier, and more rewarding than our family imagined they’d be. What’s wonderful is that just as in the other years, you can find courses and help them ... Read More »
Online High School Program Reviews
Online high school reviews by other homeschool parents can help you choose the right program for your student. The feedback is from families who have used the online programs to homeschool high school and includes pros & cons along with detailed feedback. Topics covered in the reviews include accreditation of the school, teacher quality, level of customer support, quality of curriculum, flexibility of schedule, and more.
Reviews for some of the best known online high schools are linked here: