Academically, high school is the transition between basic education and college. Practically it is the zone between childhood and adulthood. It is complicated by hormones that fling emotions into unknown regions of agony and ecstasy. [How thankful I am that those years are over in my life—now I just have menopause to look forward to!] There is a need for prayer planning to make these years successful.
Eighth grade is a good time to plan the high school years with your husband and teen. I recommend reading a few books on homeschooling the high school student and talking to other moms who have (or are!) successfully homeschooled teenagers. Other homeschooling moms can lead you by the hand and help you through the questions and decisions.
Realize that your plan will change over the years, but it is good to have a rough idea of what you want to accomplish. Here are the graduation requirements from the state of Florida:
High School Graduation Requirements
SCIENCE –3 credits (two with labs)
MATHEMATICS –4 credits (at least Algebra I)
SOCIAL STUDIES –3 credits [World History (1); USA History (1); USA Government (0.5)/Economics (0.5)]
LIFE MANAGEMENT SKILLS –1/2 credit
PHYSICAL EDUCATION –1 credit (include health!)
PERFORMING OR PRACTICAL ARTS –1 credit
ELECTIVES –8 credits (4 credits in a major area of interest and 4 general electives or second major area of interest!)
24 Total credits needed for graduation!
Four Year University Minimum Requirements
This will vary from school to school but these are the VERY MINIMUM standards for competitive schools:
ENGLISH –4 credits
SCIENCE –4 credits
MATHEMATICS –4 credits
SOCIAL STUDIES –4 credits
FOREIGN LANGUAGE –at least two consecutive years in a foreign language
There are often changes in high school graduation requirements.. The new requirements have been adjusted on this page, but there are more options—see this site for a clear explanation! Check out Florida graduation requirements.
Don’t be limited by requirements, ask yourself what you want them to learn. Ask your teenager what he/she wants to learn. My children graduate with over 30 high school credits. I’m not limited by what the state of Florida or Stetson University or University of Central Florida requires, I am obligated by God to give my daughters and son the education that the Lord wants them to have. My children take a whole year/credit on economics and another year/credit on government. These subjects are too important to me to skimp. My children end up with 5 credits in social studies instead of 3.
High school is my time to prepare them for the life God has called them to live. I try to give them a well-rounded education that will prepare them for any direction that God calls them to. Medicine, law, engineering, computers, politics, business, missions, homemaking and homeschooling all require different skills and gifts. Once they graduate, the ability to study any subject is theirs, along with a thorough grounding in the Word of God and righteous living.
Personalize each class to your child. Do they love to write? Design classes that give plenty of writing experience. Are they artists? Provide assignments that allow them to present their knowledge of a subject through art projects. Is there a computer whiz starting high school in your house? He/she can design web sites or make power point presentations instead of the typical essay!
You are not alone. Jesus is with you always! He has the power and wisdom you need for every situation you will face or class you will teach. Rely on His strength and experience His blessing on your high school homeschooling.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to Him,” (James 1:5 NIV).
Unlocking the Mysteries of Classes, Credits, & Transcripts by Meredith Curtis & Laura Nolette
Teaching Literature in High School with Classes You Can Use by Meredith Curtis
Teaching Writing in High School with Classes You Can Use by Meredith Curtis
Celebrate High School: Finish with Excellence by Cheryl Bastian
Senior High: A Home Designed Form+U+La by Barb Shelton; Homeschool Seminars and Publishing; 1999.
Homeschooling the Teen Years by Cafi Cohen; Random House; 2000.
Homeschooling High School: Planning Ahead for College Admission by Jeanne Gowen Denis; Emerald Books; 2004.