How much is too much high school work? In this episode of “Teaching Ideas,” I’ll address a question from a reader who has a high school wish-list that is really long! Is all of it necessary for an attractive high school transcript? Can you cover your state’s basic high school graduation requirements while also choosing a really unique high school course mix for your own unique teen? Yes indeed, you can…
Pick the High School Courses that Meet Your Teen’s Needs
Tailor the High School Curriculum
Once the three skills are substantially mastered, you are free during the high school years to tailor the high school curriculum to the unique needs, passions, and interests of your teen WHILE also creating a high school transcript that meets or exceeds basic college admission requirements. Determine the teen’s interests first, then pick and choose the content to meet those needs. If you must use a prepackaged homeschool curriculum because it gives you security, then select the most important or most interesting portions to study. Don’t feel pressure to complete all 36 chapters.
You are not teaching public school, so you have the luxury to tailor the curriculum content to your child. So, for example, if your son is really into reading detective novels, why not create your own high school English credit that only includes classic mystery authors like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes), Agatha Christie (Roger Ackroyd), and Charles Dickens (Edwin Drood)? Add some research on the biographical details of each author, the historical context for their writing, and some stylistic studies, then call your own unique high school course “British Literature: Mystery Genre.” You could also add a Social Studies credit along these same interests by sending your son to a summer camp like Georgetown University’s “National Security and Counter-Intelligence” summer camp.
Meet the Minimum Number of High School Credits
Meeting the typical state minimum high school graduation credits should be very easy for you since you usually get a lot more done at home than the standard public high school schedule permits. I know you will surpass these, but there is no need to double the basic requirements of your state; relax, and only pick the very best high school coursework to meet your high school credit goals.
- English (any language arts) – 4 credits
- Social Studies – 3 credits
- Math – 3 credits
- Science – 3 credits
- Foreign Language – 2 credits
- Electives – 4 credits
- PhyEd – 1 credit
As a homeschool mom, you have the flexibility to meet the state graduation requirements with personalized flair. Use your creativity to cobble together your high school courses in any number of ways. “British Mystery Literature,” “Internet Journalism,” and “Advanced Expository Speech” would all qualify as an English credit just as “History of Ancient Persia” would count as a legitimate Social Studies credit. Don’t be afraid to create partial credits, too, like a unit study in the fall and a unit study in the spring. You are not bound to the status quo…you have the freedom, within your state guidelines, to create a high school experience that really satisfies your teen while impressing college admissions officers with its’ unique memorability.
Register for Our Fall High School Courses
I’ve been teaching live high school courses for years that follow this same creative formula. As many of you know, I’m in the process of transferring all of that rich content to several private membership websites so that your homeschool teens can access my recorded high school courses 24/7 with optional live feedback from me through weekly chats and editorial remarks on essays. To see what high school courses I’m developing, or to save your teen’s seat in the Fall 2013 classes, click on the image above or “Learn More.”
Fifteen-week high school courses begin September 2, 2013, and January 13, 2014.