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    Default How to do homeschooling right this time? (High school, college bound)

    I had to come back to public school because it was so hard for me to find a curriculum, and still is. I struggled with using the common core and understanding which topics were in it, and most of the curriculums I were able to find were more of syllabuses, and I didn't know what lessons to start first, and at what time I should be on a specific subject. I was generally using khan academy and textbooks, and anytime I went on general testing things like parcc practice tests I could find, I was always so confused. I was doing polynomials before touching functions because I got confused on the khan academy curriculum. I got so worried that I just recently came back to public school, expecting a stressful environment and little in-class retention but at the very least a defined curriculum which would allow me to study after school, but public school has been awful, and I have hardly gotten anything near that. Long story short; For the rest of high school, I want to continue homeschooling. I expect hesitation from my family and rightly so after what has happened; but I want to figure out a way to conquer them and make things work this time for the rest of my secondary education.

    My goals are to pursue math and programming in college, and generally get good grades so I can get accepted into a college that will let me pursue those things, I'd like to graduate early. After this summer I will be beginning high school, and I'm not sure where to begin homeschooling for high school, a lot of problems and worries have been running around my mind.

    Firstly, curriculum. I don't know how to use common core, I search up "CCSS.Math.Content.8.F.A.3 lessons" and don't really find much. A few worksheets on occasion, but no lessons to go along with it, so locating what topic the worksheet is in is another hassle. All I used before were general math textbooks, not alligned to a grade, so I found myself getting confused at times on what I should focus on and for how long. I'd like to find a curriculum which has the times of which I should pursue topics (for example: march, 2 weeks) and the specific lessons in topics so locating a lesson video to watch is relatively easy. And how do I find worksheets and tests? That's been another difficult thing for me, I usually just scrounged around on free worksheet websites, and struggled on parcc practice tests because I never really knew what exact topics were being done. And that's just for math, I'm not even sure where to begin on figuring out science, english and social studies curriculum. I just generally want a curriculum so that if I was suddenly transported to a public school class, or taking a test, I wouldn't be confused on what topics we were on. For some reason it's proved tedious just to find a curriculum for each subject. Has anyone else had this issue, and where do I begin to solve it?

    And once I find a curriculum, where do I begin with grading and transcripts? I'm worried that my curriculum won't be seen as good enough, that admissions will judge it as illegitimate. Do you have to list what curriculum's you used for the courses? And how do you grade and get credits? I'm a bit worried about accidentally cheating, mostly because my process goes like this: I watch the lesson, do my worksheets, look at the answer key and compare my answer,
    and if I get it wrong I usually go back to the lesson and do it again till it's right. Are your first answers final?

    What process are you supposed to use for doing your work for grading when homeschooled? And how do you prepare for tests? Are you given the actual test in a curriculum, or are you given a sample test then you go somewhere for the real one? If you're given the actual test, is it okay to look at the questions to figure out which topics to study for it, or are you given sample questions? Who do you give the test to when you're done, or do you grade it yourself? How do you calculate your grades? How do you weigh, or unweigh them? How do you use the 4.0 scale? All this terminology is new to me in general, I'm not really sure where to begin. How do credits work? I hear it's about finishing a course, but what are ways I prove I've finished? How can I finish early?

    How do I do summer school when homeschooled? Or AP classes? I've also been wanting to take some online high school courses as well, but I've been afraid that they're too expensive. Are there affordable ones? And if I do find some, how do I add merge the courses with my textbook curriculum in my transcript?

    And once it's all finished, how do I begin researching on colleges and figuring out how to apply myself to colleges as a homeschooler? Can I go to a university as a homeschooler? How do I get scholarships and Aid? And how do I just generally proof my curriculums and work, to make sure my education isn't seen as less than a 'real' school? How do I get my diploma?

    For other people who have been in my boat, what guided you? What do college-bound homeschoolers generally do?

    Sorry for all these questions, I recently came to this forum, and just need help. I really want to continue homeschooling for the rest of my secondary education, but I just need to find the resources to succeed, I'm wandering in the dark right now.

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    First of all, welcome. I can understand why you are overwhelmed. Parents who help their kids plan homeschooled high school get overwhelmed. But what might help is to break it into smaller chunks you can address one at a time. From your post, it sounds like you have some time to put it together before fall.

    As background, I homeschooled my kids from mid-elementary school all the way through high school so have been through this. Also, my son is majoring in computer science, and one of his minors is math, so there are some similarities there. I'm sure other parents of high schoolers will pipe up as well.

    First, if you know where you'd like to go to college, search their admissions requirements. If you're not sure, just pick a couple of likely ones, especially an in-state school. If you want to go on to college, those are the standards you need to meet. Typically, they require 4 years language arts, 3-4 years math, 2-3 years social studies, 3 or 4 years science (lab based is better for what you want to do), 2-3 years foreign languages. Then make a chart with the subject categories across the top and each year of high school down the side. Fill in the subjects. Typically, Algebra 1 will be first year math, for example. We did this on large newspaper roll paper and hung it up where we could often check on it. It kept us focused on what the sequences could/should be.

    Second, don't worry about common core. Neither of my kids did anything related to common core and both got accepted to where they applied. Typically college look at two main things to start: ACT or SAT test scores and transcript. One word of advice: work on the transcript as you go along. Check out Lee Binz for ideas. She's on the churchy side, but she does have good ideas. She has some free things on her website. If you subscribe to her newsletter, she used to offer some of her ebooks for free.

    I can't help too much on curriculum that gives you a calendar of what to do when. For the courses my kids did at home, we put them together ourselves. Usually it meant getting through a textbook we had picked out. For language arts, they'd have a year topic (Brit Lit, short stories, World lit) and would then select what to read.

    Grading: That's a tough one. As the parent, I "graded" my kids. Sometimes this was through tests I either found or made. Other times, the grades were based on written work and discussion. It all depended on the course.

    If possible, another avenue is dual credit. On average, colleges offer dual credit to high schoolers starting in junior year. Depending on where you are, it can be costly or inexpensive. My kids earned language arts, lab sciences, foreign language, and math credit through dual credit. So it was credit for both high school and college. It also provided outside grading.

    If you want an online AP Computer science class, I suggest Edhesive. As for taking an AP test, we called around to find schools that would let my homeschooled son take the test there. Call in the fall for the spring test. Private schools are usually more friendly to homeschoolers than public schools.

    I just generally want a curriculum so that if I was suddenly transported to a public school class, or taking a test, I wouldn't be confused on what topics we were on. For some reason it's proved tedious just to find a curriculum for each subject. Has anyone else had this issue, and where do I begin to solve it?
    Here's the thing. I used to teach in a public high school. Even if you go from public high school #1 to public high school #2, they may not be covering the same things in the same order.

    I know this only scratches the surface of what you are asking. I suggest starting with math and computer science, since that is what your are interested in. Decide on coursework for those. Then add in language arts--decide that. Then add in social studies--decide that. (or change the order) The point is to not be overwhelmed.

    When you get stuck or confused on particulars, come back and ask. In the meantime, you may want to check out our subforums Homeschooling Middle/High School and College Prep

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward

    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

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How to do homeschooling right this time? (High school, college bound)