Nurturing My Nest Blog

Routines and Rhythms of Homemaking
Intentional Homebuilding & Custom Built Education
 Based in Tennessee. Available for travel.

Ideas for the Best High School Years

High schoolers competing in an etymology game in my class.

If you have a student approaching high school, it would be wise to look at the expectations for all of high school so you can strategize. Preparation offers you the the opportunity to organize the schedule so your student will be most successful. Keeping an eye on the big picture ensures the option of working ahead or at least working smarter.

For those who choose home schooling, knowing the requirements of high school may allow the student to add dual enrollment classes for college credit. Organize your student’s time to allow him to take flying lessons and become a private pilot while still in high school. My husband choose this advantage while in high school. Pursue a welding certificate. One of my sons completed 320 hours of welding at an adult welding school before high school graduation. He is currently a crew chief on a B52 in the United States Air Force strategically aiming for his A & P mechanic certification. My children spent years in speech and debate competition striving to improve their presentation skills, debate techniques and speaking abilities. Regardless of what they choose to do in their lives, solidly crafted speech along with composure will serve them well. Customize your student’s academic journey.

High school classes can be taught by mom, online, in an in-person tutorial, in a socratic circle or self paced. Design each subject for the success of your student guiding him or her to be their best self. Time spent teaching your student is never wasted. Teach the areas where you have competency. Don’t be shy to hire a master tutor for any subject. Pursue excellence. Arrange the subjects to encourage the hardest subjects first in the day.

Determining the Requirements

Once homeschooling is the selected route for your child’s education, investigate your state’s requirements. Read about the requirements for any colleges and universities that might be in your child’s future. Although this last idea may seem extreme, look closely at what is ahead. Many academic charts ask you to determine whether your child just wants to graduate from high school or plans to attend college. Some students might pursue a two-year degree or skill training instead of college after high school.

For a college-bound student, the following list likely meets state requirements:

Math—4 years (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Precalculus, or Trigonometry or College Math which can be taken through dual enrollment)

English—4 years (English I, II, III, IV which is a combination of Writing, Literature, Grammar, and Vocabulary)

Science—3–4 years with labs (Biology I, Biology II, Anatomy, Physics, Chemistry)

History—3 years (US History, World History, and Geography). Our students do the Veritas Omnibus program as a core of our history requirements.

Personal finance—0.5 year

PE/wellness/nutrition—1.5 years

Electives—6–8 years

Language—2 years

Fine arts—1 year (speech, debate, music lessons, band, or music history)

Many students select photography, computer-related classes, video editing, auto mechanics, computer coding, speech, music classes band, driver’s education, or home economics as electives.

Other subjects not required but needing mastery are geography, speech, domestic skills, general home repairs and typing. The list should be customized for each student. 

In our home we also do purposeful Bible study each year. We complete Apologetics, Worldview and Chronological Bible studies while we homeschool. Selecting our Bible learning for each school year is first on my list as I map out an academic school year. Spiritual training is the responsibility of the parent. My recent blog on “Who’s In Charge of Your Children’s Spiritual Training?” offers some practical ideas. 

Learning about God should start at home. Anything gained at church should be a review or a compliment to home studies.

Discussing the Big Picture

Most successful people agree that each child is multifaceted. As you approach the challenging and hard work of each day, think ahead to your goals. Working through the immediate academics as well as preparing for what is ahead, you will give your student the advantage.

Keep the finish line in the forefront of your mind when you are tired, when your desk is calling, when the house needs deep cleaning, when you yearn for lunch with a friend, when you would love to attend a morning Bible study, when you can’t seem to master that math lesson, or when myriad other desires pull you away from the task of schooling your child. Although you should not lose yourself, and you should schedule time for refueling, don’t forget your vision.

Dream the future. Commit to today. Love your child.

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