View Full Version : Already worrying about the future and we haven't even started!

05-05-2016, 12:48 PM
We are homeschooling for the first time next fall, we're 100% on board and excited about it...BUT last night I started worrying about how we will homeschool high school if she wants to go that route and then how will she get into a college if she wants that without a traditional diploma, I know it's done but I just don't know the logistics.

She's behind in math right now and we were thinking about backing up and meeting her where she's at to help her get to where she should potentially be based on grade level. She really seems to like the looks of MUS so we were going to try that...I'm worried though that if we go that route and she does decide to go to ps for high school she will be really behind in that area if we fail to get her caught up. She's going to be in 7th grade next year, but will be on the young side, 12 years old.

Since she is going to be in 7th grade do I need to have her high school years planned out already in the back of my mind regarding scope and sequence, assuming we would continue to homeschool? I feel like ps has provided her with huge gaps in her learning when it comes to history and science, I feel like there is so much we want to cover with her.

If we do homeschool for high school where do I find the required classes for each year and credits needed to graduate, etc? At the end does she have to take the GED? Will a "diploma" that we create really suffice for certain colleges?

I'm also second guessing that I'm either planning on or expecting too much in my thoughts regarding our curriculum choices or not planning enough. Ack!

Thank you and I'm sorry that I'm all over the map with this post! I'm obviously needing a little encouragement today lol!

05-05-2016, 01:02 PM

I think it helps to go year by year with an outline to the "big picture" of doing it for more than "just" this year. It's what got me through the tough times in 3rd/4th grade.

Okay, Lee Binz (http://www.thehomescholar.com/getting-started.php) will be your best friend. Look at her site, ignore its religiosity except in the sense of 'this nice church lady has my kid's best interests at heart' and look at middle school as prep to high school and high school as prep to college.

My dd is your dd's age (well maybe a wee bit older) and we've gone 15 rounds with math. She loves math now and it's because I have been a math magpie, doing everything I can to help her with tricks and confidence. Danika McKellar's tricks are worth the girly-girl emphasis on her books. And we've just jumped around on what has worked (things like Richard Fisher workbooks, Zaccaro's workbooks, and Math Mammoth and Khan for videos and individual sections) so she's got a complete understanding that there're right answers, but not necessarily only one right way, to get there.

She adores Jousting Armadillos. The author's voice, the fact that kids find the answers, everything. She's blasting through this (pre-algebra) book and will go on to the next (Crocodiles and Coconuts, which is algebra) probably over the summer.

I would test her just to check her levels of understanding. See if you can find a leveled math test for her to take. Watch her take it just to see what her problems are (numeracy, memorizing those processes, what?)

05-05-2016, 01:06 PM
First of all, take a deep breath! The panic attacks about your dd's future is normal, but don't let them get to you. I had them too.

We've homeschooled through high school, and it's not as scary as you might think. It does take some planning, but you don't necessarily have to teach everything to her. Let me address your questions more specifically.

Since she is going to be in 7th grade do I need to have her high school years planned out already in the back of my mind regarding scope and sequence, assuming we would continue to homeschool? If we do homeschool for high school where do I find the required classes for each year and credits needed to graduate, etc?

It might help to have a simple scope of classes planned, but please don't feel you have to follow them to the letter. 'Home Learning Year by Year" by Rebecca Rupp can give you all kinds of ideas. Also, simply looking at your local school's or state's suggested curriculum can help. These are usually along the lines of 4 years LA, 3-4 years math, 2-4 years science, 2-3 years history/geography/econ/govt, etc. Right now, for middle school, let her explore her interests, especially in history and science if you think she has gaps there.

At the end does she have to take the GED? Will a "diploma" that we create really suffice for certain colleges?

Most homeschoolers not NOT take the GED. I ordered a diploma for each of my kids, but more as a memento of their school accomplishments than for official reasons. More important for a homeschooler seeking college admission is the transcript. Lee Binz, while a bit on the religious side, has all kinds of inexpensive ebooks on who to write transcripts and course descriptions. She also maintains a blog and does frequent Q and A webinars. You can pay for her advice, but I didn't feel it was necessary. You can also search online for transcript examples. My biggest suggestion--don't wait until junior year to start the transcript and/or course descriptions. I did that with my first, and it was a struggle putting things from 2 or 3 years prior together.

Through high school, let your daughter explore areas of interest. Not being tied to the ps schedule allows for this. Even "required" courses can be more interesting. For world history, my son used a curriculum that studied history and culture of Europe from 1600 onward through the lens of music and how it affected politics, literature, art, etc. My daughter used things like blog writing and NaNoWriMo as part of her language arts. DS taught himself programming and spends hours at it; I include it as a course on his transcript.

These anxious thoughts are normal. Feel free to ask questions!!

05-05-2016, 01:08 PM
Oh, as for classes you might be able to outsource, there are online classes, both paid and free (think MOOCs), co-op classes if available, classes at private schools if available, dual credit. Sometimes a parent with an expertise teaches a class or two locally. As your daughter ages, you become less of the teacher and far more the guidance counselor.

05-05-2016, 01:19 PM
HD525, make sure you look at the college prep (http://www.secularhomeschool.com/college-prep/) and middle/high school (http://www.secularhomeschool.com/homeschooling-middle-high-school/) sections on this forum. A lot of us are in your shoes and have blah-blahed about individual programs etc.

Carol, inmom, is our stalwart advisor too!

05-05-2016, 01:25 PM
In my heart I think she's going to want to continue homeschooling through high school, thinking about it last night made me go into a mild panic attack for some reason...I will try and relax a bit this coming year with her, I have it in my head that we are behind the game starting so late. She is an amazing reader, strong writer and loves science. We will probably be fine. ack!

Thank you for the blog suggestion, I will look it over. MOOCS are a great idea too, thank you! The planner in me needs to not be so rigid in my thinking I think! :)

05-05-2016, 01:26 PM
HD525, make sure you look at the college prep (http://www.secularhomeschool.com/college-prep/) and middle/high school (http://www.secularhomeschool.com/homeschooling-middle-high-school/) sections on this forum. A lot of us are in your shoes and have blah-blahed about individual programs etc.

Carol, inmom, is our stalwart advisor too!

I will, thanks!!

Free Thinker
05-06-2016, 01:06 AM
It's going be okay :) I just kept telling myself that there were plenty of people HSing for HS, so there must be a way and we would figure it out as we go. As for math- how can you expect her to do well if she has holes? You can't. You need to meet her where she's at and start at the basics. She needs a firm foundation- and IMO it doesn't matter how old she is! Do not pick a math based on grade, pick it on how it fits your DD and where she's at right now. The great thing about MUS is that there are no grade levels on it ;) I would rather my child understand and get what math we do, rather than put her in the right grade level and have her either fail or struggle along without understanding.

Best of luck!

05-06-2016, 09:23 AM
Another mindset that I think it's useful to address that I find myself falling into is the school year/grade level trap. You don't have to start x, y, z in August or September and do it for a year, or 'catch up' before the school year starts so you're on grade level. You can also re-evaluate every couple of months, too, so if you decide that something needs addressing, you can do so, and stop or move on if you've been doing something too easy, or that our kid already knows. You can add in something extra in November if you realise that, say, grammar is an issue. I suppose what I'm trying to say is try to see where your daughter is right now and where you think she should be in the next 6-12 months. Perhaps pick out your biggest worry (math?) and sort that. Take time, observe, tweak and add (or subtract).

Just as an example, a year ago, I was really worried about DS with math (no number sense at all). I decided to try Right Start, but I bought the level he 'should' have just finished and we did skip through it over about 3 months. I missed out sections he knew, and focused on those that he was weakest (i.e. number sense). We did then start the next level roughly 'on time' (FWIW) with the next school year. Now, I'm looking at his writing, and I'm tweaking what I ask for that. I get that your daughter is a lot older and you have more demands, but I think that if you look at a bit at a time, try to figure out where she is and where she should be, you'll get maximum benefit from the homeschooling experience, because it's all about meeting our kids where they are and planning an individualised path.

I hope those rambles make some sense and are of some use!

05-06-2016, 10:24 AM
Thank you Free Thinker and Ellycp, you both make perfect sense! I'm feeling better today, I perused the middle/high school forum last night and feel better. In my heart of hearts I know we got this, I'm susceptible to doubt though when I let worry creep in. We absolutely need to start my dd where she's at regarding math, thinking that we'll start her this summer with that and get a feel for how it will go.

05-07-2016, 01:32 AM
I saw this pop up on Amazon. It's free right now! "Creating Transcripts for Your Unique Child: Help Your Homeschool Graduate Stand Out from the Crowd (The HomeScholar's Coffee Break Book series 3) "


05-07-2016, 10:19 AM
You can put pre algebra as a credit and focus on where she is. Look at what local colleges require from homeschool applications and model your transcript after that.

05-07-2016, 10:19 AM
I have successfully "graduated" 2. My middle child just finished on Thursday. We chose to have our kids take the GED. At the time my son was graduating, he wanted to work toward the police academy when he turned 21. They required either diploma from a public school or GED. He took the GED. There has been ZERO stigma attached. He also went to college for one year and no one looked down on him for it. They knew he was homeschooled. My daughter just finished high school and is taking her last GED test on Tuesday. She's going to the International Air and Hospitality Academy to be a flight attendant and they require one or the other too.

A lot of people will tell you that the GED has a stigma attached. Honestly, it DOES NOT, IMO. Sorry ladies. If you take a look at any job application out there, there is one box to check "High school diploma or equivalent". No one cares. If your kid wants to go to college, and they see that the child was homeschooled through the transcript and has a GED, they aren't going to assume drop out. All that said, it's up to you. Most all colleges will accept a homeschooler with transcript and testing.

How I fashioned my kids' high school years was to take a look at the high school requirements on our public school's website. It showed what each high schooler is required to take. I used that as a guide to subjects my kids needed as a base. Then we elaborated from there. Both my graduated kids had all the basic courses and electives like public schoolers. Sometimes they took them at community college, sometimes they were just activities I gave them credit for (Boy Scouts), sometimes it was book work, sometimes it was just watching DVDs on a topic....we were pretty eclectic. All in all I followed the public school guide to keep on track.

I also started a transcript in 9th grade for each on my computer and faithfully kept up with it. I am finishing up my daughter's this week. My youngest child is finishing up her 9th grade year and I'll be working on hers too.

Take a deep breath and worry about one year at a time! You'll do great and have some fun!!