I can keep track of appointments, medicine schedules, volunteer commitments, and all sorts of other things, but I just cannot keep track of schoolwork. The work does get done. My kids learn enough each year to pass to the next grade. It's just that I may never be able to accurately say whether our math curriculum took us 184 days or only 169. I guess those sorts of details aren't really all that important to me. (And thankfully, they haven't been all that important in terms of homeschooling laws in the states we've lived in.)
I realized that I needed to do a better job of keeping up with homeschool work when Addison started high school. I also knew that I needed a simple way to plan for her high school years.
I really didn't think much about high school planning until near the end of Addison's eighth grade year. (I might also win a "best procrastinator" award in the yearbook.) At that point, I did some internet research to find out high school graduation requirements. I looked at several states to get an idea of what was required for High School graduation. In our case, I knew that we were likely going to move before Addison finished. I researched course requirements in our current state and a few states that are always likely possibilities for new military assignments. I also looked at few college websites to see if they listed any class requirements or recommendations for admission. I needed a starting place, even if I knew we'd have to adjust along the way.
I would recommend researching requirements earlier than eighth grade, especially if you are planning on having classes taken in eighth grade count towards graduation requirements. In Addison's case, she took a High School Biology class and a Geometry class as an eighth grader. It turns out that many states require that three of the high school science classes have a lab component. Addison spent a few weeks catching up on the labs that I hadn't insisted she complete earlier in the year.
From our list of required classes, I divided them up into the appropriate number of years. It turns out that a high school requirements list looks remarkably similar to what she had been doing all of her elementary years. We planned on four years of English, at least three years of math, at least three years of science, at least three years of social studies, and enough electives to ensure that she had a well-rounded curriculum each year.
I remember when I was a senior in high school and many of us spent that year only worrying about Senior English. After meeting all the rest of the requirements, our schedules were filled with electives, work/study opportunities, or high school classes that would help us get college credit. I wanted something similar for my children. Although I'm a master procrastinator, I didn't want them waiting until their senior year to finish a bunch of state requirements.
With that in mind, Addison and I sat down and planned her English, math, science, and social studies classes for her Freshman year. It really wasn't any more difficult than the planning I had done for second grade, eighth grade, or any year in between. In most cases, we continued using the same curriculum companies that we had been using for years.
9th GradeBible IThen came the fun part -- adding electives to the schedule. I'll be talking more about those next month.
Chemistry with lab
For us, planning for high school isn't much more difficult than planning for every other year. Maybe that's because my "least organized" nature doesn't get all wrapped up in the details and doesn't fret over all the possibilities.
Next year I'll be planning for two high schoolers. Addison has already done most of her own planning and picked out her curriculum for the upcoming year. This week I'm trying to figure out some good English, social studies, and science options for Brennan.
This post is one of many that are talking about making plans for Homeschooling High School. Be sure to stop by and see all the tips my friends have to share!
Meg from Adventures with Jude on Planning Your Homeschool High School
Chareen at Every Bed of Roses with thoughts on Planning to Homeschool through the High School Years
April from ElCloud Homeschool shares Homeschooling High School: Planning For High School
Debra over at Footprints in the Butter asks: You mean I have to PLAN our Homeschool High School?!?
Michele at Family, Faith and Fridays shares Here's the Plan
Lisa at Golden Grasses says Don't Panic! Homeshcooling High School Blog Hop
Debbie at Debbie's Homeschool Corner Planning Out a High School Program
Gena over at I Choose Joy! shares her The Top Tip for Planning Homeschool High School
Kym at Homeschool Coffee Break shares on Planning and Preparing for Success
Tess from Circling Through This Life shares on Planning the High School Years
Erica over at Be The One shares Planning and Record Keeping for High School
Jennifer from A Glimpse of Our Life on Planning For Homeschooling Highschool
Carol over at Home Sweet Life on Making A Plan
Wendy at Life at Rossmont shares thoughts on Planning for High School
Cristi from Through the Calm and Through the Storm shares on Making High School Plans
Dawn Oaks at Double O Farms shares Planning for the High School Years
Leah from As We Walk Along the Road shares her thoughts on Making Plans for Homeschooling Through High School
Laura from Day by Day in Our World shares Planning High School Classes for the Homeschool Parent