Get Your 4 Year Homeschool High School Plan in Order!

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Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Sarah McCubbin

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A 4-Year Homeschool High School Plan is a great investment of your time that will save you money, energy and stress as you launch your child into adulthood. As a homeschool parent, you have the unique opportunity to tailor your high school student’s education to their specific needs and interests. While you’ll still need to meet your state’s graduation requirements and earn enough credits to graduate, you’ll have a lot of flexibility in how you do so.

If you are just beginning your homeschool journey, here is great place to start!

When my oldest son was approaching 9th grade, the whole concept of homeschooling high school seemed overwhelming. I would hear people talk about “making transcripts,” “taking early college classes,” “taking college entrance exams” and “applying for college.”

All of this felt daunting like I needed to learn a whole different language. Now that I’ve graduated 2, I feel very confident telling you that there is no need to be overwhelmed by the process. In reality, these are pieces of the same puzzle, and as you start to work on one thing, it will naturally overlap with other areas as you help your child launch well.

homeschool high school plan

One way to approach your student’s high school years is to make a 4-year plan. This can help you make sure they are on track to graduate, and it can also help make the most of their homeschooling experience. There is no set way to go about making a homeschool high school plan, but there are some important things you will want to consider.

Here’s a look at how to make a 4-year plan for homeschool high school:

1. Figure Out Your state’s High School Graduation Requirement

If your state does not have specific requirements for graduation for homeschooled students, you may want to look at entrance requirements for some universities in your state. Even if your child does not choose to go to college, these requirements will help you structure a 4-year plan to would allow them to go if they wanted to.

Each state has different requirements for homeschool students who want to graduate. These requirements typically include things like coursework and standardized testing. Some states require homeschoolers to follow a specific protocol to graduate and others allow the parents to graduate their students when they are ready. So it is important to check with your state’s department of education to see the requirements.

HSLDA also offers a lot of valuable information on creating your homeschool high school plan,.

2. Decide what courses you need to take.

Once you know your state’s graduation requirements, you can start planning out your courses. They can help you figure out what courses will best prepare you for your future goals. As homeschoolers, you have a ton of flexibility in how you teach the required subjects. You can tailor your subjects to include textbooks, co-op classes, college classes, or even projects and hands-on learning. Homeschooling for high school can work with any of the learning methods including classical and unschooling methods.

3. Write up a 4-year plan – this can change!

Once you know what courses you need to take, you can create a 4-year plan. This plan should include when you’ll take each course and how you’ll complete any required standardized testing. When I was creating our 4-year homeschool high school plan, I basically structured their schooling so that the first 3 years were the heaviest and the Senior year was the lightest on requirements. This left plenty of time for earning elective hours through work, volunteering or special projects.

Here is a sample 4-year plan with 25 credits:

Freshman Year: (7 credits) (English I, Algebra I, Physical Science, Piano Lessons (Fine Arts Credit), American History, Soccer Team (PE 1/2 Credit for each season), Speech (1/2 credit), Bible )
Sophomore Year:(7 credits) (English II, Algebra II, Biology, Piano Lessons (Fine Arts Credit), World History, Spanish I, Bible)
Junior Year: (7 credits) (English III, Geometry, Chemistry, Piano Lessons (Fine Arts Credit), Spanish II, Bible, Soccer Team (PE 1/2 Credit for each season), Health (1/2 credit))
Senior Year:(4 credits) (English IV, Piano Lessons (Fine Arts Credit), Spanish III, Bible,)
Sample 4-Year Plan

4. Follow Your Plan & Know Your Options

Once you’ve created your 4-year plan, it’s important to review it yearly. Life happens and plans change, but homeschooling allows for plenty of flexibility and many ways to adjust plans. In general, it is good to be aware of different options that you may use for your high school years.

Many parents find that their kids want to mix things up in high school and having a good awareness ahead of time can help you pivot quickly.

Options some parents use as part of their 4-year plan include:

  • Early College Credits (dual credit through a local university or online)
  • Homeschool Co-ops and homeschool hybrids
  • Textbooks
  • Work Experience
  • Career Center
  • Volunteering
  • Project Based Learning
  • Hobbies
  • and more!

5. Make a Homeschool Transcript & Course Descriptions

Once you have your 4-year plan, you can start creating your homeschool transcript and course descriptions. These are documents that you will want to update each year at least once. If you do, when your child is a Senior, you will have a finished record that is ready to attach to their diploma.

Transcripts are simply your one-page record of all the classes they actually completed or have in progress in your homeschool high school plan.

Course descriptions are longer descriptions of what curriculum, resources, and experiences were compiled to create each course.

Learn How to Write a Transcript & Find Templates Here!

6. A Homeschool High School Plan Can Be Simple & Stress-Free!

A homeschool high-school plan can be simple…sketched out in a notebook or even on a napkin. Or if you are the more detailed type, you can write up a spreadsheet and add in ALL your ideas. Honestly either way is fine. The idea is to get your brain thinking about how your want to structure your child’s last 4 years of high school.

And it can be really fun too because teens often have great ideas of things they would like to do. They are capable of independent learning and often enjoy the challenge of interest-based projects, work or volunteering. You may want to grab your state’s requirements for graduation and let your teen map out their own 4-years. How fun would that be!

Planning high school can be a great way to get to know your son or daughter better as they step toward adulthood. Enjoy the process. Four years will fly by and you will be planning their graduation!!

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