The first thing most moms ask me is what is required for their children to graduate from high school? Then they ask about classes that they don't feel qualified to teach. "What about calculus?" "What about biology lab?' Don't fret or worry. There are so many options for homeschooling high schoolers.
We continued to homeschool, NOT under an umbrella school, but registered with the country, for our high school years. Our teenagers took the SATs, logged many volunteer hours, received Bright Futures scholarships, and were accepted at every college they applied to. We found the response of colleges and universities to homeschoolers is VERY positive!
Almost all of my children's high school curriculum was designed by me, after I was inspired by Barb Shelton's book: Homeschooling High School: A Home Designed Form-U-La. If you want to be motivated to homeschool high school, read this book!!!!!!!
In the State of Florida:
ENGLISH - 4 credits
SCIENCE - 3 credits (two with labs)
MATHEMATICS - 4 credits (at least Algebra I)
SOCIAL STUDIES - 3 credits [World History (1); USA History (1); USA Government (0.5)/Economics (0.5)]
LIFE MANAGEMENT SKILLS - (used to be 1/2 credit no part of PE credit)
PHYSICAL EDUCATION - 1 credit (includes Life Management Skills)
PERFORMING OR PRACTICAL ARTS - 1 credit
DEMONSTRATES COMPUTER COMPETENCY
ELECTIVES - 8 credits (4 credits in a major area of interest and 4 general electives or second major area of interest! It is impressive to colleges for these electives to be academic.)
24 Total credits needed for graduation!
Four Year University Minimum Requirements:
This will vary from school to school but these are the VERY MINIMUM standards for competitive schools:
ENGLISH - 4 credits
SCIENCE - 4 credits
MATHEMATICS - 4 credits
SOCIAL STUDIES - 4 credits
FOREIGN LANGUAGE - at least two consecutive years in a foreign language
There have been recent changes in high school graduation requirements for those starting high school 2007/2008 or later. The new requirements have been adjusted on this page, but there are more options - see this site for a clear explanation!
I was delighted to find that colleges and universities love homeschool graduates! I did not run into anyone in the admission process who was less than enthusiastic about homeschooling and helpful to me in finding my way through the maze of red tape and paperwork. Applying to colleges and for scholarships is quite a process!
You may run into a different situation than I experienced, but realize that most universities and colleges WANT homeschoolers to attend their school. Homeschoolers have proved themselves as outstanding college students. Most schools have homeschool policies. You do not need to take the GED to get in.
We did not have a high school diploma other than the one Katie Beth received from Grace Home Schoolers which is a support group, not an umbrella school. I would recommend that you NOT get a GED if you want your child to go to a better university and get scholarships. It looks better to have your own homeschool high school diploma.
I received so much help from another mother who was much more gifted administratively than I. She helped me through the entire process and I couldn't have done it without her. So, get help. Don't try to go through this process alone. Ask around. There's always a mom who is excellent and competent in the college admissions process and will help you through it.
Keep focused on the Lord and always be a good witness for the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Be blessed as you go through this challenging process!
More important than the application process or the SATs, worldview preparation is a must! All secular and many Christian colleges have moved away from a Christian worldview and embrace ideas that they are desperate to implant in your child. Make sure your child knows what he believes and can defend his faith. Allow him to recognize world views beneath rhetoric and literature.
Understanding the Times by David Noebel is an amazing (and thick!!!!) book that was helpful to my college-bound students. It goes into a thorough discussion of the different world views: Christian, Humanist, Socialist, New Age and Muslim. Worth its weight in gold and every second spent reading it, this book is a "must-read!"
Here is a copy of our children's transcripts. We kept them on our computers and printed them up as needed.
Applying for the "Academic Scholars" level of the Bright Futures Scholarship Program requires 75 hours of community service, an SAT score of or above 1270, and a GPA of 3.5 on a weighted scale. This scholarship will pay 100% of tuition and fees and $600.00 cost of education allowance to any Florida public university. It will also pay a comparable fixed amount to any private, including Christian, Florida school.
Don't be intimidated by all the paperwork - and there is a lot of forms to fill out. Be sure to talk to people in the admissions office and ask questions whenever you need to. Ask friends who have walked through the college admission process. My friend, Linda, guided me step by step when Katie Beth was applying at Stetson. She reminded me of due dates and made innumerable suggestions that were so helpful!
Along with transcripts, I sent a summary of each class we took during the high school years. This allowed them to have a better understanding of what my children actually did in their classes. (See my "Course descriptions of high school classes.") You write the recommendation letters as the teacher/counselor and your husband can write the letters from the principal or counselor.
The essays are important, so make sure that your child can write a good essay long before they are filling out college applications.
This is a copy of the course descriptions I sent along with Katie Beth's transcripts and SAT scores, as I was requested to do so by the admissions offices of various schools.
© 2006 Meredith Curtis (taken from Homeschooling High School for the Glory of God by MLC)