You know that feeling you get when you feel like you aren’t doing enough for your kids? The one that causes you to panic and doubt yourself, go look for curriculum, and then over-schedule your homeschooling days? Yeah, me too. Even though I’m a well-seasoned homeschooler that has been at this for over a decade, I still have this feeling creep in on me from time to time. That’s what happened at the end my son’s seventh grade year. I panicked thinking of high school coming up and crammed way too much into his eight grade year. It wasn’t fun. For him or for me. The silver lining is that it caused me to reevaluate what was our values were, what I wanted my family to get out of homeschooling, and served to ground us for beginning of his high school years. I thought I’d share today my thought process in how we are planning for high school including a template for a transcript and a CV.
For our process we kinds of worked our way backwards. I wanted to keep our options open because he doesn’t have a clear direction (nor do I expect him to at 15.) We looked at what was expected for a typical high school student in the state of Florida. Then I went and looked at what the entrance requirements are for the most popular State Universities. They were very similar. Two to three years of History are expected with some specific course for some Universities. Four years of both Math and English are expected with a specific sequence in Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II in there. The rest were two to three lab sciences, at least two years of foreign language, and one fine art. He also wants photography and possibly flight to be a part of his adult life, so we are keeping those in mind.
From there I looked at what he wanted to learn, what I wanted him to learn, what I wanted to teach, and then what educational resources were available to us. I knew that I would want to teach him is math and science classes as they are my favorite. I knew I also wanted classes that were not required like personal finance to be in our repertoire. He has a deep interest in photography and everything flight, so those two subjects will need to be included. Our educational resources were many. Florida has a virtual program that comprises public school classes offered for free to Florida students. It’s called FLVS. Also the State offers dual enrollment where high school students can take college classes from a local community college while still in high school again for free. We have the option to pick and choose specific classes at the local high school. There were also additional courses like Creative live and Brave writer where we could pay for online classes.
Considering all that and the High school Latin and US History that he took in eighth grade last year, we set out to see what things would look like this year. We decided on Driver’s Ed and Creative Photography though FLVS. Driver’s Ed worked out beautifully. Creative photography did not. We are switching up midyear using Creative Live. He’s taking Algebra I using Math-U-See with me, as well as Biology using E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth (free on Apple. High quality program,) English composition using Brave writer’s Help for High School as well as Rooted in Language’s Annotating Literary Elements and Trees in the Forest. We are also reading through a number of classics and young adult literature with the help of Boomerangs when they are available for our book of choice. I wanted him to have a study skills class so I pulled several podcasts, YouTube videos, and a book called How We Learn. That will be a ½ year credit. Sex Education through Our Whole Lives will take the other ½.
We will continue to sit down and talk about where we want to go, what worked, and more importantly what didn’t after the end of each semester. I’ve already started a CV and a high school transcript just so I can keep up with it as we go. You can find links to an example of them below. The data has been changed for his privacy. I hope that helps. If you are homeschooling a teen, I’d love to know what you are doing. Please comment below.