Whether you’ve been teaching your child for years or are homeschooling for the first time—to teach your teen, you need to start with developing a high school plan.

It will help you keep all the important details of high school on track, as well as maintain momentum and direction right up to your teen’s graduation.

Ideally, you’ll be able to map out all four years of your student’s high school courses before 9th grade begins.

But don’t worry! Even if you’re halfway through your teen’s freshman, sophomore—or junior!—year, and you haven’t yet made a plan, you can make a plan now.

Once your plan is in place, you will be able to concentrate on one year of high school at a time without worrying that you have missed something as you guide your teen toward graduation. Each year, you can tweak the plan as your student’s post–high school goals become more apparent.

Ready to start making your plan? Here are some things you’ll want to check out up front:

Your state’s homeschool law may dictate subject areas you are required to teach. Be sure to include these subjects in the courses your teen completes before graduation. (Check out your state's required subjects here.)

It is not necessary to comply with or refer to public school graduation requirements, but some parents find it helpful to do so when deciding the courses their teens will study. You can find public school graduation requirements on your state department of education’s website.

If you are homeschooling under the auspices of an umbrella organization, church group, or correspondence school, make sure you understand its graduation requirements for your teen and incorporate those into your plan.

What are your teen’s post–high school goals?

After graduation, does your teen plan to attend college, go directly into the workforce, join the military, or attend a vocational school—or maybe take a gap year? Such plans influence the high school courses your student should take.

If they aren’t sure, it’s generally a good idea to plan as though they may attend college. That way, your teen will be prepared for any post–high school option.

Want some sample plans to get you started?

Remember, you as the homeschooling parent will make the final decision as to what courses your teen must take to graduate from high school. To give you an idea of what your own plan might look like, we have created some sample high school plans. Members can access the plans (and download the included blank plan form) below. If you’re not a member, you can join here!