Wednesday, February 3

Individualized Plans for High School

Homeschooling your child through high school is different for each family. Some high school students are preparing for college and others have a trade in mind. Some high school students will be getting married and starting a family right away. There may be others who are going to work in a family business.

Depending on the plans of your child, there could be a vast difference in the courses needed from one child to another. My sons both graduated from homeschool, while a daughter attended private school her last three years. The boys knew exactly what they wanted to do after high school. They both planned to attend college: one to study math and the other, computers.

Because they both needed a college-prep set of courses, we selected classes and curriculum that would help them to succeed in college. College-bound students need an advanced level so that they can do well on entrance exams and sail through their general education courses. Although it is possible to take CLEP tests or AP courses that waive them through certain courses, this isn't always the best thing to do.

Just because a child can pass a CLEP test doesn't mean that they will learn everything that is taught in a full semester course. There very well could be gaps. This may not be important in a literature course, but it is very important in math course. Many subjects, like math or sciences, have foundations that can't be overlooked.

It's important for college-bound students to take courses that are as difficult as they can handle. Pushing students to learn will bring surprisingly positive results. We used tutoring when necessary to get through tough concepts that I couldn't teach. This made it easy for the child to then succeed in college.

Even with children going to college, there could be differences in courses chosen to study. If your child wants to be a kindergarten teacher, they aren't necessarily going to need advanced math or science courses in high school. But, remember that children often change their majors once they get in college. It's a terrible shame if a child is under-prepared when they want to change their major from Elementary Education to Biology, if they didn't study advanced science courses in high school.

This could cause them to need to back-track and take rudimentary courses in college, wasting time and money. So, that's why I suggest taking all the advanced courses that they can. Even if they don't get an A, they will learn a lot about the topic.

A high school student that wants to get married and have children will often say, "I don't need these hard courses, I'm just going to be a mother." But, is this mother wanting to homeschool her children? How will she homeschool her children, if she can't do math or chemistry? These courses are important for everyone. It is helpful to guide this child into learning about budgets, but also the subjects that will be needed to teach her own children.

And, the main thing to remember is that circumstances may change. She could be left a widow and need to have skills for working. Her family might need a second income. There are so many unknowns in our world. It is best to be prepared for the future.

If a child has a certain business venture to pursue, parents are great at helping them get ready. A good example of preparation is to let them get a taste of that business. They could get a part-time job or internship with a business. They will either love it and be more determined in this path, or they will quickly change their mind. Focusing in on their dreams will keep them motivated and help them to grow up and become independent adults.

Many homeschoolers have been known to find apprenticeships for their children. Trades are wonderful careers and many trades are needing more workers. Children who have a plan like this will need to make sure and learn math and business courses will help them succeed in being great owners.

I love researching curriculum for high school students! It's so exciting to help a child develop the best high school plan for them. If you need help, there are plenty of guidance counselors online and homeschool consultants. Often, a state-wide homeschool association can recommend someone to you. Take the time to read a lot and learn all you can. Better safe than sorry when making high school curriculum choices.

Read all the reviews, read lots of books, and talk to your friends. Get your child involved in the search and discussions. Give them the best information you can find. Take them to job fairs and let them talk to experts. But, most of all, don't sell your child short. They are smart and will surprise you!

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Lisa Ehrman is the owner of The Frugal Grandmom. After retiring as a homeschool mom and music teacher, I decided to write this blog to help moms have a better home and save money. I write many articles for homeschool moms as well. I would love for you to join me here: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

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