Homeschooling High School – Staying the Course

 Planning for high school at home and actually carrying it through can be daunting!  But it is possible to do a great job and see your child’s K-12 education through to the finish line.  Over the years resources for homeschool parents to provide their child’s high school education has increased by leaps and bounds!  But how do you find out about all your options?

This page is an attempt to explain different pathways and point you to resources.

Printable version: NHN.Homeschooling High School.2017

There are a variety of ways to approach the high school years building on your child’s K-8 education:

1. Continue homeschooling choosing your child’s course of study for each grade.  Build your own high school transcript as you go.

  • Begin observing your child in elementary school for his/her “bents” to try and in figure out what he/she might want to “do in life.”  Will that “career” need vocational training or college (AA degree, 4 year degree, Masters, etc., etc.)?
  • While the child is in 7th and 8th grade begin researching vocational schools, apprenticeships, and/or college and university degree programs.  Looking through required core curriculum for college freshman will help you determine the high school level and college prerequisite courses he/she may need to take in high school to ensure they have taken the high school courses they need to pursue their dreams.
  • Utilizing course descriptions and report cards for 7th and 8th grade will ensure that all the basics of K-8 have been covered, that any prep courses needed for high school is completed and can even allow the student to move ahead into 9th grade level work while still in 8th grade.  Mary Schofield discusses these grade levels in her book listed below and there are others on the market as well.
  • When your child reaches high school you can use parent taught courses (purchasing textbooks, pre-packaged curriculum, or an eclectically designed curriculum), online classes, or community based classes to meet your child’s high school education. The beauty of homeschooling is that you can focus your child’s high school plan towards their future rather than only offering them a “general” high school experience.

Or,

2. Continue homeschooling using a blend of home taught courses and college courses for “dual-credit” towards high school graduation and a future college degree.

  • Following same bullet points in #1, the homeschool child can begin taking community college courses for “dual-credit” as early as age 14 (younger for “gifted and talented” children).
  • Parents/students should contact the college in their area for more info (see list below).
  • Most NV homeschool families find it easy to work with the community colleges in their area.  State colleges and universities are a bit more stringent but for an academically talented student, it is possible.
  • In this option the parent pays all tuition and fees associated with earning college credits. Be prepared to submit the “Receipt of NOI to Homeschool” you got from the school district and for the student to take Accuplacer tests for English or Math.
  • The parent builds the High School Transcript utilizing a combination of parent taught courses, online courses, and/or dual-credit college courses.
  • Also, we caution homeschool parents not to have their child take college level courses if they are not mature enough (be honest in your assessment) or academically prepared for college level courses… a “bad” experience can have negative consequences for all.

Or,

3. Following bullet points in #1 above, parent continues homeschooling and uses a “Jump Start” program offered at a community college.

  • Western Nevada College (WNC) Jump Start has a uniquely designed program for homeschooled students, 9th through 12th grades and as of 2017 has 60 homeschool students participating and excelling in the program! This is an interesting option for homeschool students living near WNC… and may be worth the drive for others in the Reno/Sparks area.
    • The student remains a homeschool student and can earn an Associate’s Degree or college credits towards a 2 or 4 year degree depending on when the student enters the program.
    • Homeschool parent and NHN Officer (Provisional) Maureen Ford is the current Jump Start Specialist and Homeschool Liaison at WNC. She also gives many workshops about the program, Contact Us or Maureen for more info.
  • Other Nevada Colleges offer a “Jump Start” program (11th and/or 12th grades) geared more to public school students than homeschool students. Contact the college for more info:
  • Parents pay all tuition and fees associated with the college program.
  • If finances are an issue, Nevada State High School is a public charter school participating in Jump Start and other dual-credit college programs, homeschoolers may join in 11th or 12th grade, and the school will pay for the cost of up to two full years of dual-credit courses.
    • Contact Maureen for more information on the WNC/NSHS Homeschool Jump Start Program.
    • Contact Nevada State High School directly regarding the TMCC and CSN Jump Start programs as well as other dual-credit programs for high school age students across the state.
    • Remember, there may be “freedom issues” when choosing this route but it may help families in need of financial assistance in finishing up their child’s high school program and get a head start on college!
  • Resources:

Or,

4. Other colleges offer a variety of programs designed specifically for public high school students.

  • Some of these programs are welcoming to privately funded homeschool students, some are not. See the school websites listed below for more information.
  • But remember that high school age homeschooled students don’t have to participate in one of these “special programs” and can instead apply direct to the community college as a homeschooled student – See #2, First Bullet.

Or,

5. Enroll your child in a Nevada Private School or a Nevada Public School at the beginning of 9th grade.

  • This option – our least recommended – used to be pretty easy regarding the public school system (and still is in some school districts).
  • But due to recent changes in “promotion from middle school to high school and graduation from high school requirements” in state law, some school districts are making the hoops you need to jump through more difficult than need be.
    • For instance, Clark County School Districts accepts the parent’s middle school transcript created by the homeschool parent and enrolls the child into 9th grade… easy-peasy!
    • But other school districts are saying “accredited” courses only will be accepted for enrollment into 9th grade even though the State Legislature gives the school district many ways to review a child’s middle school and high school transcripts.
  • To help you navigate this option NHN recently updated our FAQs as well as this FLOW CHART, answering the question “May a child enroll in a private or public school after homeschooling?”  The simple answer is “Yes.” For the full explanation of steps you’ll need to take, CLICK HERE and scroll down to Question 6.A

Helpful Links:

HSLDA:  Homeschooling Thru High School (may require membership for viewing)

Six Ways to Help Prepare Your Homeschooler for College

Promotion and Graduation Items for Purchase from HSLDA