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11/2/2006 10:33:47 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter--November 2006

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HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter--November 2006
High School Graduation Requirements - Part I
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Dear HSLDA members:

For the month of November, we are sending out our Homeschooling Thru
Highschool email newsletter to all our members. Even if you do not
have children in high school, we want you to know of the resources we
have available for you at Home School Legal Defense Association.

The topic of this month's newsletter is graduation requirements. If
your children are many years from graduating, you may be thinking
about pushing that delete button about now, but I encourage you to
read a little further before you do. Having a goal for the future is
often one of the best ways to make sure that our steps now are headed
in the right direction. After all, this type of "future" thinking is
what God instructs us to do--to fix our eyes on heaven.

After you are done reading, should you decide that you would like to
receive this email regularly, go to
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3459 to subscribe. Otherwise, this
is the last one you'll receive for quite some time. Oh yes, back
issues are also available if you'd like to read more or research other
high school related topics.

Blessings to you and your family as you look ahead to all that God has
in store for your family.

J. Michael Smith
HSLDA President


Dear Friends,

Welcome from Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer, HSLDA's high school
coordinators. After our own children graduated from high school, we
wanted to pass on what we learned to make the path easier for moms who
were coming up behind us. Through HSLDA's program, we've been able to
help hundreds of moms.

What we've discovered is that homeschooling moms are just like
us--busy ladies who through extraordinary effort soar to the heights
of success and at other times fall into the dumps! And we've also
found that it's important to remind each other that trials and
hardships, as well as times of blessing, are a part of life and not
byproducts of homeschooling. One of the consistent pieces of advice
we offer is: "Focus on enjoying these days with your children,
thanking the Lord for all He provides. These are precious times that
the Lord wants to use in your life and theirs to accomplish His
purposes."

Our topic for this month is one that encourages you to look ahead to
an important goal for your students--high school graduation--and how
you can design a program that will help them successfully graduate.
Questions about graduation requirements are among the most common we
receive from moms. Since we have much to share, we will cover this
topic in a two-part series. This first installment covers the
following: Your state's graduation requirements for homeschoolers (if
any), your child's post high school goals, and your child's personal
interests. Next month, we will discuss how to structure your child's
high school program to include the five core academic subjects,
electives, and extracurricular activities.

STATE HIGH SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS FOR HOMESCHOOLERS

The first step in designing your child's high school program is to
check out your state homeschool laws. Legal summaries of
homeschooling laws in all 50 states can be found at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3460 . Some states may specifically
require that certain subjects be taught, but in other states no such
requirements are stipulated. If you have any questions at all
regarding your state homeschooling laws and how they affect your high
school program, HSLDA members may contact HSLDA's legal department.

Remember that each state determines its own requirements for the
number of credits public school students need to earn in order to
graduate and receive a diploma. Although in most states homeschoolers
are not required to meet these same high school graduation
requirements, it is prudent to at least be aware of this information.
You do not need to feel the necessity of complying with the public
school requirements in any way--but use these requirements as a
skeleton or frame of reference when deciding how many courses in each
subject area would most benefit your child.

Check with your state's Department of Education for current public school
graduation requirements. Simply search the internet for your state's
Department of Education and type "high school graduation requirements"
in the search box on the Department of Education page. You will then find out
the number of credits in each subject area that students graduating from
public schools in your state are required to earn. Again, unless specifically
outlined in your state's homeschooling laws, you do not need to follow the
public school student's requirements for graduation.

YOUR CHILD'S POST HIGH SCHOOL GOALS

The second item to take into consideration as you plan out your
child's high school program is that all-important question, "What are
your plans for after high school?" If high school marks the end of
formal education for your child and he plans to enter directly into
the workforce or the military after high school graduation, then
realize that the high school years are his last opportunity to develop
and learn the knowledge, skills, and expertise he needs for the next
phase of his life. Many times students will re-enter the educational
scene at later times in their lives; so again, the high school years
should be seen as valuable years to gain at least a familiarity and
introduction to each core subject area.

If your child desires to pursue college after high school graduation,
one very important factor in determining the number and type of high
school courses you provide for him will be the colleges' high school
requirements for admission. If your child knows the handful of
colleges he may be considering in the future, simply check out each
college's website and you will discover the number of credits the
college requires for admission. Remember that these credit
requirements are usually the minimums, and most admitted students will
generally have earned more than the minimums.

If your child is not sure yet about the colleges he will consider
after high school, just look at the websites of several colleges in
your area to get a feel for the number of credits that they require.

The more selective the college, the more rigorous your child's high
school course load should be. A rigorous high school program is
distinguished by the number of credits earned and the number of
advanced courses taken.

For a general overview of sample 4-year high school plans, see HSLDA's
brochure: "Developing a Plan for High School: Sample 4-year Plans."
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3462

CHILD'S INTERESTS

The third area to consider as you develop your high school program is
your child's interests. For example, if your child is interested in
owning a business someday, then an accounting course during high
school would be a good choice. If your daughter has plans to enter
the nursing field, then taking an anatomy course while still in high
school will serve her well. If your child thinks he may pursue a law
degree, then a debate course is invaluable. Likewise, if your son has
talked about nothing else except becoming a real estate agent, then
perhaps having him work alongside an experienced Realtor several hours
a week and getting a jump on preparing for and taking some initial
tests required for licensing in that field would be beneficial.

Most of you, though, encounter children who at this point in time have
no idea what they want to do after high school. In this case, don't
sweat it! Just pursue the basic general courses and maybe include a
career development elective in your high school program so that your
child can begin to explore the possibilities. Resources to help you
in this area are listed here: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3463

Once you've taken a look at the big picture and have an idea of the
general direction your child's high school program should follow, the
next step is to plan out the specific courses and activities that you
include. So tune in next month when we'll cover information on the
five core academic subject areas as well as discuss electives and
extracurricular activities and why they are an important part of your
high school program. Until then, we pray the Lord's blessings on you
and your family as you gather around the table at the end of the month
giving thanks for all that you've been given.

With gratitude for you,
Becky and Diane

Related items of interest on the Homeschooling Thru High School
website:

"What We Expect!" (article written by 10 academic college deans
providing their insight on components of strong high school programs)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3464

New Homeschooling Thru High School brochure: Homeschooling the
College Bound--Successfully Navigating the Road to Success
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3465

(Brochures are available as bulk copies for support group meetings by
contacting info@hslda.org and providing your name, address, and number
of copies requested.)

Be sure to check out recent entries on the Homeschooling Thru High
School blog site:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3466

NCSAA Homeschool College Fair online at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3467 during the week of December
11-16, 2006. Come and participate!

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-> Have you ever yelled into the wind, only to hear the sound of your
voice blown back at you?

It's hard to be heard in the midst of a storm. Trying to influence
federal legislation is much like yelling to be heard while
standing in a fierce wind. Yet when 80,000 voices join together,
they become a powerful force that cannot be drowned out.
Join HSLDA to be heard above the tempests that threaten homeschool
freedoms.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1939

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