This year will be our first year homeschooling a high school student. I can’t believe we’ve already arrived at this time in our lives. How can my Ben already be old enough to be in high school?!? The time really does go by quickly. Not each individual day, necessarily – but the months and the years really do fly by. Treasure this time, moms! 🙂
This summer, I’ve been spending lots of time researching what types of homeschool high school record keeping we need to do at this phase of my son’s life. Fortunately, this past spring I had the privilege of taking several workshops by Lee Binz, The HomeScholar. Lee has two sons who she homeschooled through high school. These sons both received full scholarships from the college of their choice! So Lee knows what she’s talking about when it comes to homeschool record keeping. I gleaned some very helpful information from listening to Lee – information which makes me feel much more comfortable about this stage of homeschooling!
Things you should keep for each year you homeschool high school:
- Items your state law requires you to keep (such as letter of intent to homeschool, etc.)
- Items which will be helpful for writing course descriptions later (such as book lists, experiences, certificates or awards your child has earned, a copy of the cover and table of contents for textbooks you use – you can probably find copies of these on the internet and print them off)
- Items colleges may ask to see (such as tests, lab reports, finished written papers)
Lee recommends you make a binder for your child’s high school experience. This is what she recommends you put in separate sections of that binder:
- State law requirements
- Course descriptions
- Reading list (books, audio books, video adaptations – include books read for school AND for pleasure)
- Activities and Awards
- Work Samples
Figuring out credits
Lee said that when she was researching how to determine when to give your child credit for completing a class, she ran across lots of different opinions. Here is what Lee recommends:
- Count the textbook first – If your child completes at least 80% of a textbook which states that it is appropriate for high school level work, then you should give them 1 credit.
- College level work – If your child takes a one semester class at a community college or online, then you should give them 1 credit. NOTE: College classes move faster than high school classes; so, even though a college class is only 1 semester long, it covers the equivalent of a full high school year’s work.
- Electives or Delight Directed Learning – If your child is reading real books, or having experiences in a specific area of study (such as drama or physical education) then you should count hours to determine credit.
120-180 hours = 1 credit
75-90 hours = 1/2 credit
I’m a planner, so I’ve been spending lots of time trying to create binders for both of my sons before fall. My other son, Sam, is entering 7th grade this year… and since he’ll be taking Algebra I, he’ll be completing his first high school class – even though he’s only in middle school. Lee said that we should give our kids credit for any high school work they complete – even if they aren’t in high school. Simply put “Early High School Credits” on their transcript for those items.
Lee has some AMAZING resources I highly recommend:
- Setting the Records Straight: How to Craft Homeschool Transcripts and Course Descriptions for College Admission and Scholarships
Lee also has samples of records that she recommends on her website. With my boys only being 12 and 13, we don’t have a clear idea of what career they will want to pursue after high school. Whether they want to go to college, into the military, to a trade school, or into a job, I want them to have the credentials that they’ll need to pursue their dreams. Now that I’ve learned more about homeschool high school record keeping, I feel much more confident about my boys’ options for their future.
QUESTION: Do you plan to homeschool through high school? Do you have experience homeschooling a high schooler? I’d love to hear any tips you could share with the rest of us! Please leave a comment below.