I am currently homeshcooling my second high schooler, and I frequently get questions about how I do it. Most questions and comments stem from fear of being able to do it "right." People usually want to know about credits and the SAT.
Does your child plan on going directly to the work force, attending community college or attending a 4 year college?
This is the first question you need to ask before you start planning for high school at home. My oldest was clear that he didn't want to continue school after graduation. He wanted money, which meant getting a job. He wanted to work in a restaurant kitchen. Knowing he had no plans to go to a community college or 4 year college right out the gate, made it easier to determine what he would do for high school credits. He didn't go past Algebra 2 and Geometry for math - instead he did a consumer math class to learn "real life" math, like banking, loans and investing. We used the Stewardship Program from Math U See, and it was sufficient for him.
Knowing he wouldn't go to college right away, but also considering he may change his mind after being in the work force a while, I still had him graduate with a few more credits than the local high school required. He also participated in dual enrollment so he would have a few college credits already. That was a great decision for us. He has a transcript, thanks to Homeschool Tracker, and when he decides he wants to attend community college he will have what he needs. He is currently planning on doing the Welding degree at a local community college. He has most of the basics out of the way, so that means he will save time and money.
How many credits should I require for graduation?
I suggest going to the website of your local district to see what they require, and I would require a tad more. Some schools list class offerings and that is a good way to get ideas for electives and such.
How many credits do colleges require for admission?
That depends on the school. If a four year college is your student's goal, then I would make a list of the possible schools, and then proceed to their websites to see what their Freshman admission requirements are. This will insure that your student takes the right classes to reach his goals. You wouldn't want to make the mistake of doing only two years of foreign language (which is usually all that high school requires) but then realize that most colleges want to see three years of foreign language.
What about the SAT?
Go to www.collegeboard.org and sign up for their emails and their Practice Question of the Day. There is also an App for QOTD and that is what Bear uses since he doesn't do much email activity. The College Board puts out the SAT so they are the best and first go to source for preparing. There are other classes and products out there, but I think most of what is needed can be found at the College Board website - for free and for purchase. Bear will be taking the SAT for the first time this coming May. After we experience that I will share what we experienced and discovered.
What if I don't know enough to "teach" my high schooler?
If you don't feel confident teaching high school then take advantage of curriculum directed to the student, dual enrollment programs, co-ops and online programs.
If your student is good at learning independently then take the research approach. Find a scope and sequence list somewhere and let your student research and investigate the topics listed, on their own. Provide access to a library, online resource list, notebooking pages, textbooks, DVDs etc let your student write papers, create projects etc., that demonstrate their knowledge of the subject.
There are a lot of resources on the Internet for how to homeschool high school. It isn't as hard as we make it in our head. Don't let fear guide your decision, but instead decide based on your ability to access what is needed to get the job done.
Here's a list of some really great resources for homeschooling high school:
HSLA High School
Let's Homeschool High School
The Home Scholar
Donna Young - High School