Getting Ready to Begin Homeschooling High School

I have been feeling quite confident about all of Ian's skills lately and have been looking forward to really having fun with him these next four years in high school.

I feel like we really struggled through the math these past two years and everything just clicked all at once.  He's almost done the work for this year and I am seeing such confidence in him.  I was looking forward to high school and we both had a lot of great ideas we've been throwing about.

We know that while we want to meet our state's requirements we still want to have the next four years flow easy and still have lots of time for hands on learning, exploration, and real world life lessons.

I was feeling so confident... until I went to our state's website and read our state guidelines.  They seem to rigid and I'm beginning to feel a few slivers of panic.

The requirements for graduation are changing and by the time Ian is ready to graduate our state will require 25 credit hours with specific guidelines for math, science, foreign language (which used to be an elective), history/social studies, and more. 

I begin wondering:

  • Can I really do this?  
  • How am I going to teach a foreign language when I can not speak one?  
  • What is a senior demonstration project and how can I prove passing exam grades in the 5 specified classes when I don't give exams?  
  • How am I going to teach high school at home and issue my own diploma to him? 
  •  How Do I know I'm teaching enough?

All those same old homeschooling fears came flooding back times at least a hundred!

Yet, I KNOW I can do this!

I know we can homeschool high school and with a little creative thinking and planning we can meet our state requirements in our own way.  We know many families in our area who rely on unschooling, relaxed or delight - directed homeschooling and their kids not only graduate but have gone onto college and are doing quite well.

I just need to remember that while our state my tell us that he has to have 4 math credits; one in Algebra 1, one in geometry, and one in algebra II or statistics (and one more math elective), it does not dictate what program we need to use or how we cover those topics.

I may have to teach him 3 credits in science but that doesn't mean I need to run out and buy a textbook.  We can still enjoy lots of experiments, exploration, and hands- on science labs.  We can still read living books together, watch movies, and have fun with what we're learning about.

We still have choices and it helps tremendously to know that.

I also need to keep in mind that Ian is able to work through his schoolwork quickly and independently too.  While our list of schoolwork might look long and intimidating it's really not any more than we're doing now.

Once I sat down to plan (with him) and saw it all in writing I'm actually getting quite excited about teaching next year!

Here is what we have laid out for his freshman year of high school (6.5 credits):

We took the total credits needed and divided it by 4 years; knowing we needed 5-6 credits per year.  We were thrilled when we went subject by subject and realized he'd end up with more than needed for freshman year.

We then broke it down subject by subject according to our state's guidelines.

Math: Algebra I using No- Nonsense Algebra and supplementing with Kumon Algebra 1 workbook when needed.-- 1 credit. 

No-Nonsense Algebra (Mastering Essential Math Skillss) by [Fisher, Richard W. ]

Science: All three of my boys will be using Building Blocks of Science grade 5.  We are covering this subject with some friends of ours and to make it work for high school credit Ian's lessons will be supplemented with more hands on work and a bit of extra reading.     --1 credit

Things like:
  • Ion card game
  • exacting DNA from a strawberry or onion
  • building a cell wall cake or structure out of household items
  • building a double helix using candy
  • using the molymod set to build atomic models
Exploring the Building Blocks of Science Book 5 Bundle (Softcover) | Main photo (Cover)

Participating in the Lego First Robotics League -- .5 credit

Social Studies:  American History-- we'll continue picking time periods in American history and finding interesting books to read about those times through our local library like we've always done.   We'll supplement the books with our States Debate card games and watching movies like Drive Through History, How the States Got Their Shapes, The Men Who Built America, and others we find along the way.  -- 1 credit

English:  We'll combine reading, writing and grammar together for a full credit for the year.

Reading- We'll continue reading great books we find at the library that interest Ian; making sure to include a variety of genres like always.  --.33 credit
Grammar- We'll be using Introduction to Grammar. --.33 credit
Writing- We're going to try Writeshop 1 this year and we're pretty excited about this program that we've heard to many wonderful things about.-- .33 credit.    

WriteShop: Incremental Writing Program Set (Teacher Manual and Workbook 1) | Main photo (Cover)

Career and Life Skills: All kids need 3.5 credits to graduate and I know this is going to be such an easy credit for us to cover!  We'll combine work study, phys. ed. and home ec. for a full credit for the year.

Work Study: He'll continue going to work with his grandfather and father on the weekends and at night.  He'll be working on blacksmithing, wood working, learning how to use more of the machine shop tools and keep driving the loader and excavator when needed. -- .5 credit

Physical education:  We'll continue our family bike rides in the spring, summer, and fall, our weekly hikes, swimming, running, and playing sports with our families and friends. -- .25 credit

Home Economics:  Ian will continue to help out around the house cleaning, planning meals, cooking, doing his laundry, and helping with the groceries. -- .25 credit

Fine Arts:  Ian will continue to work on his models, painting and assembling them as desired.  He'll also participate in various arts and crafts projects throughout the year and we already plan to study a few more artists and make our own replicas of their works.  He'll also continue on with film study and working on deign cad and with drafting plans for the woodworking and metal projects he decides to work on. -- 1 credit 

Now that we have a plan I am feeling much better.  Of course, I know our plans could end up changing.  Not every curriculum we pick is always a good fit but at least we have an idea now and one that excites us both.

Linking up With:

Oh My Heartsie Girls WW 650 x 635

JENerally Informed

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  1. I realized the other day that I'm 3/4 of the way through the school year and had not updated my son's transcript. I guess I'm slipping now that we're nearly to the finish line!

    1. I'm kind of afraid that I won't remember to update his transcript as we go along. I have never had to keep records of any kind as to what we were doing and this is going to be quite a change for us.

  2. I love your picks and you most certainly can do this!
    Blessings, Dawn


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