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Academics are the core of your student's high school experience, so you'll want to make sure he has a solid foundation. From drafting your initial high school plan, through selecting curriculum and testing options, to marking the end of your child's homeschooling journey with a transcript and diploma, helpful resources abound.
Check out these documents to get an idea of how to create course descriptions for your student’s specific high school classes. (Documents require Adobe Acrobat Reader.)
A back issue of the HSLDA high school email newsletter entitled Creating a Course Description provides additional details.
One option used by many homeschoolers is enrolling as a high schooler at a community college. Through these classes, your teen can earn both high school and college credit (this is usually called “dual enrollment”). Aside from offering instruction in subjects you may feel inadequate to teach, community college classes will save you money in the future if your student enters college and is able to transfer his credits (check with the four–year college of your teen’s choice to make sure his community college credits will transfer). Because some freshman scholarships have limits on dual enrollment credits, parents and students should ascertain if there are scholarship restrictions. Be proactive to check with the colleges administering the scholarships. If your student plans to transfer to a four–year college rather than apply as a freshman, his freshman status is not an issue.
Generally, a one-semester three-credit college course is equal to a year-long one-credit high school course. Again, since local policies may differ, it is best to check with a specific college or state to see how they treat dual enrollment courses.
For teens, getting a driver’s license is one of the most exciting rites of passage. It’s exciting for parents, too, but in a different way—your anticipation is probably tempered with a strong dose of trepidation.
So how do homeschooled students take driver’s ed? There are a number of options.
A good place to start is by asking those who have gone before you. For instance, what have people in your support group done for their children’s driver’s training?
Next, take a look at your state DMV website, which may provide a list of approved private driver's education services.
For a complete summary of the driver education laws in all 50 states, visit Highway Safety.
Recent studies indicate that parental involvement is the most important factor in teaching teens safe driving behaviors. So check out home study courses. Some programs simply send you a curriculum, videos, and tapes providing systematic parent-taught driver education. Others require the student and parents to track their progress and accomplishments through each lesson. States vary in what portions of parent-taught driver’s education your state will recognize for the purpose of your student qualifying for a driver’s license, so be sure to verify that your home study course will count before you purchase it.
Find out what driver education discounts your insurance company offers and make sure that the program you choose will allow your teens to qualify.
- The Effectiveness of Home-Study Driver Education Compared to Classroom Instruction: The Impact of Student Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes
- Rules of the Road
- Interactive DVD to use as a supplement to Driver’s Ed curriculum
- Includes quizzes and a printable teacher’s guide
- Student Driver Magnet
- A Student Driver car magnet is a great way to let other drivers know your son or daughter is learning to drive and may need a little extra space and patience!
Determining the credits to be awarded for each high school course is not difficult. We’ve provided a clear and simple procedure for you to consider for both academic and elective courses.
Evaluating your child's work in a subject area may be difficult for you, but grades are an important source of feedback for your child. Also, grades for high school subjects are normally included on the high school transcript. If grading is an area that you need help with, you may find these Grading Guidelines helpful.
Honor societies are a great way for students to develop leadership skills, impact their communities, demonstrate high academic achievement, and boost their chances of college admission and scholarship awards.
The organizations listed below represent prestigious opportunities for your homeschooler.
- "Eta Sigma Alpha National Home School Honor Society"
The first national homeschool honor society.
- Mu Eta Sigma National Math Honor Society
- Science National Honor Society
- The National Society of High School Scholars
Founded by Claes Nobel, whose family established the Nobel Prizes, this organization allows homeschoolers to participate. To request an invitation, homeschoolers should go to the FAQ section of the website, print out an invitation request, attach GPA documentation, and submit. If accepted, they will receive an invitation by mail.
- The Homeschool Student and National Honor Societies by Erin McRee
HSLDA's Guide for Homeschooling through High School brochure includes a concise section on the records and documentation you may want to organize for your high schooler.
Recordkeeping and documentation are important during the high school years. You should maintain good records of each course your teen completes during each year of high school, including textbooks used, credits, and short summaries of the course content. Taking the time to write down this information each year will be a benefit when your high schooler is a senior and it is time to prepare his or her transcript. Be sure to check your state’s high school requirements regarding any other records/paperwork that you must keep.
Whatever route your teen takes after high school—employment, military, or college—accurate records of the high school course work completed will serve him or her well when recapping educational background for an employer, providing information to military recruitment offices, completing college applications, or filling out scholarship applications.
Below are helpful resources that provide information on how to maintain your own homeschooling records:
- Develop a High School Plan by Carol Becker, Becky Cooke, and Diane Kummer
- Simplify Your Recordkeeping and Transcript by Carol Becker and Diane Kummer
- Homeschooling High School: Planning Ahead for College Admission by Jeanne Gowan Dennis (foreword by Michael Farris)
These are just a few of the many recordkeeping services available:
During high school, parents need to help their students refine their test-taking skills and be prepared for several key college entrance examinations. For descriptions of the tests your student should expect to take during high school, along with test sources and preparation resources, click here.
Transcripts are an academic record of the courses your teen completed in high school, the credit earned for each course, and each course’s final grade. Watch a short video for an overview of the various sections of a transcript.
For step by step instructions on how to create a transcript, consider these resources:
- Transcript Preparation: You Can Do This!
- High School Recordkeeping: Let’s Simplify the Process
- Let’s Calculate a Grade Point Average
- Simplify Recordkeeping and Transcripts provides detailed information for keeping records of your teen’s academic program. These records become the source of data to create your teen’s transcript.