Part 3: Simple Ways to Homeschool for High School with No Curriculum

High school.

 

The thought of homeschool for high school can be one of doubt, striking dread and uncertainty in even the most seasoned homeschool mom. But it doesn’t have to be this way!

 

You can homeschool for high school and be successful at it!

 

So how do we go about homeschooling for high school?

 

If you’ve read my other posts in this series, you’ve explored the why behind homeschooling for high school and you’ve got a taste of some curriculum options.

 

But now, we’ll get into so more in depth, real life, nitty gritty, rubber meets the road type stuff to help you move through these high school years like a pro!

Homeschool for highschool is fun!

High school can be such an enjoyable season in your homeschooling career!

 

Your child is now reading fluently, has their basic math under their belt, has more self control in general and is starting to explore who they are and who they want to be.

 

Now you get to have fun with them!

 

Gone are the days of sounding out letters, going over flashcards 100 times and helping with every single aspect of their school. You have both graduated to the next level, so if your child is asking you to go outside the box a little bit with school, this is the perfect time to do it!

 

Let’s talk about outside the box curriculum and schooling options.

 

I love finding school in everyday life. Since homeschooling is a lifestyle, it’s only normal that we would try to fit life into school, instead of school into life.

 

It’s also a good exercise in critical thinking to try to find as many school subjects in what you’re already doing.

Since homeschooling is a lifestyle, it's only normal that we would try to fit life into school, instead of school into life.

homeschool for high school

some examples

Since it’s easier to talk with examples, let me give you some to illustrate my point.

 

Your child is a mechanical genius and just wants to tinker in the garage all day on engines.

 

Let him.

 

In fact, go buy broken engines from neighbors, off of Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist and encourage it. There is so much your child can learn from this endeavor. Small engines are nothing but math and science. If you want to sneak in a little writing and reading, have him narrate what he did that day and write it down, correcting spelling and punctuation as you go.

 

Use the science he’s already applying to go further, with books, YouTube videos, curriculum.

 

Have him read chapters on pulleys or levers or other physical science concepts and outline them or narrate them to you.

 

Have him make a game for his younger siblings on engines or a science or math concept.

 

You can also use real life skills such as budgeting. If he wants a new tool, he’s going to have to pay for it, so how can he make this happen? 

 

You know how to do this, momma! Just have him write this all down and keep track of it and it’s school!

 

Done!

 

How about your budding chef? Your son just wants to cook all day, meal plan and look at recipes. Besides the obvious help this gives you, let’s think how we can pull some school out of it. Let’s embrace it and fit life into school!

 

Cooking is also science and math. Every time he doubles a fraction or figures out how many teaspoons is in a tablespoon, he’s using math. Then of course, there’s science. Why does baking soda rise our biscuits? He can research that and probably end up in a science worm hole for days. He can supplement with YouTube videos on science of cooking (Alton Brown, anyone?) and write papers on what he’s learning (language arts). He could also use spelling words that are cooking related or write recipes for young children to follow (applying his knowledge).

 

So much school can come out of real life, it’s just a matter of looking for it, being creative and letting our kids have that time.

 

We have to trust them, which is very hard.

 

I understand.

 

But in 4 short years they are going to be making all of their own decisions, so you might as well let them have some control now so they can mess up in the comfort of your loving house, where the harshness of life won’t be so harsh.

homeschool for high school

college credit, anyone?

There are other ways to think outside the box when it comes to homeschool for high school.

 

One way is by having your child earn some college credit while they are in school.

 

It’s not as hard as it sounds and your child doesn’t have to be a genius to do it. Every state is different, so please check with your state before you explore these options.

 

One way your child can earn college credit is by taking classes at the local community college. How it works in my state and town, is that they have to be 16 yrs old and they cannot declare a major. The reason for this, is that in order to declare a major, they have to be graduated. Since we’re just looking for college credit and not a degree right now, that’s fine.

 

We can figure out which classes they need based on what they want to major in once they declare it and start there. Most degrees want a course of gen ed’s anyway, so getting those out of the way in high school make a ton of sense.

 

My daughters have taken everything from Spanish, to Zoology, to general math courses in high school at the local community college.

 

My now 21 year old, was able to get rid of her entire first year of college gen ed’s in high school. She started at age 16, about junior year and took all of her high school classes at the local community college.

 

She was hitting all the high school requirements: math, science, history, foreign language, but also getting a year of college out of the way. I’m not saying this to brag, but just to give you a blueprint on what is possible.

Another way to earn college credits is to have your child take CLEP tests.

 

These are tests that you take to “test out” of a class. Your child studies for them just like any other test and then you pay a fee (usually about $80) and then they take the test.

 

If they pass, they earn the college credit and do not have to take the class in college.

 

If they fail, they can try again or move on to something else.

 

I have never done this, so I can’t speak from experience. I am in a Facebook group, however, where this is the focus and people can get questions answered and celebrate wins with each other.

 

It’s a very informative group and people are very willing to help. I have seen children in there as young as 12 taking the CLEP tests, but I’m not sure if there is an age limit.

 

This is a much cheaper option, but is harder in some ways than taking a class. There are pros and cons to each and you’ll have to weight each one and do what’s right for your family.

 

Pros of Clep Testing

cons of Clep Testing

  • inexpensive
  • quick
  • simple
  • can do many tests in a small amount of time
  • most colleges accept these
  • most classes are offered
  • can help your child study for them
  • can be a morale booster
  • saves money on college classes
  • may not learn the actual material
  • some colleges don’t accept and it may be the one your child wants to attend
  • some classes aren’t offered
  • lack of interaction in a classroom setting
  • if you transfer colleges, the new one may not accept the CLEPs
  • if you take all the “easy” courses this way, then you’ll have higher work loads in your major when you get there

honest work feeds the soul

If your child is not college bound, they can work.

 

There is no shame in working straight out of high school and there are a lot of kids who would be better served if they weren’t pushed into college the way our society tends to do.

 

But that’s another discussion!

 

If your child is not college bound and has a general idea of what he or she would like to do, then let them do it!

 

One of my daughters was college bound, but was also motivated to buy a house, so she worked full time hours during the day (in high school), did school in the evenings and saved a bunch of money. There is no harm in this and I would rather have them working hard like this, then playing video games or wasting their time at the mall.

 

Also, encouraging entrepreneurship is another direction to go. If your child wants to start their own business, encourage them to do it. Writing a business plan, figuring out the money is all math and language arts. If they spent all of their days working on their business, they are learning, they are growing.

 

Even if they “fail,” they have learned.

 

This is what we want for them anyway, so why make them wait until they are an adult?

 

Let them learn now, in the safety and security of your home. They won’t be actually starving if they can’t get their business off the ground.

 

And you never know…they may do amazing things!

 

We limit our teenagers by making them stay inside the boxes society has created for them. Let them break out and see where it goes!

Bonus Q & A Section

You can use a traditional curriculum or you can think outside the box. Your highschooler can earn college credit while in high school, learn a trade or start a business. They can also find school in real life.

The best program is the one you’ll use and the one which your child learns from. That could be a traditional homeschool curriculum, or it could look a lot different. Don’t be afraid to explore different ways to homeschool for high school.

The short answer is yes. Homeschooling offers the freedom for young adults to explore what they may want to do in life, as well as be surrounded with support while they do it. Homeschooling doesn’t have to be difficult or take a lot of time from the parents. Homeschool for high school can be a great option for a myriad of different types of students and abilities.

There aren’t many, but here are a few:

  • moms/homeschooling parents need a break: self care while homeschooling is critically important
  • can cost money: while you can homeschool for free, it won’t be 100% free
  • social time: if you or your children are extremely social, you may feel isolated or alone. You will need to be intentional about finding social outlets.

As always, thank you for being here!

 

I hope you are enjoying this series on homeschool for high school.

 

I have had a ton of fun writing it and am excited for you and your teenager and this journey that awaits you!

The rest of the series...

homeschool high school

Part 1: How You Can Fearlessly Homeschool High School

Can you homeschool your teenager?   Should you even try to homeschool high school?   What about just starting in high school?   The short answer to these questions is yes! Yes, you can homeschool your teenager and you should. You can start in highschool

Read More »

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