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Home-Schooling High School... Yes, You Can!

Home-schooling has been going along just great. The kids have learned to read, write, do math… all on grade level. But as high school looms on the horizon, maybe you’re starting to get a little leery. Can you handle this new kind of journey? Will your kids miss out on all the cool things like graduation, yearbook, and drama? The good news is yes, you can handle it and no, they won’t miss out on a thing! Let’s start with the core subjects and branch out from there (always check with your province to find out graduation requirements within each of the core subjects).

Core subjects - Math can be anything from Algebra to Calculus, and there are many great ways to teach these subjects. Some feel confident teaching math themselves, while others pass the job off to a spouse, family member, co-op teacher, or tutor.

Language Arts - Your kids have the basics down, and now it’s time to learn how to write fun as well as serious pieces while learning to use their own voice, experiences, opinions, and research. This is the time many parents might choose to have their teen take a writing class. Brave Writer’s program, Help for High School, hits the bull’s-eye for sending kids into the world knowing how to write all sorts of different essays and papers.

History/Social Studies - Government, History, Geography, Politics, and more are History and Social Studies options you and your teen can choose from during the four years you’re teaching high school, and curriculum can be created (documentaries, library books, field trips, etc.) or bought (physical textbooks) or even taught using an online paid subscription-based service.

Science - Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Astronomy, Physical Science, and Botany are just a few of the courses to consider when thinking of Science credits. Just like with the other subjects, you can opt for online, physical, tutor, or even do-it-yourself.

Electives - At my local homeschool co-op this year, my teens are taking Dave Ramsey’s Personal Finance course, an Open Art Studio, Spanish, and P.E. Other years, they have taken Study Skills, Latin, and Creative Writing. Once a week, they also get a Health credit by taking a sex education course. If you’re doing it all at home yourself, it’s fairly easy to incorporate topics such as Fine Arts and more into a teen’s life (concerts, plays, symphonies, Art History, etc.).

Extracurriculars - Yes, it can sometimes be difficult for your high schooler to fit in extra activities over and above school, work, and their social life (don’t forget chores around the house!). But extracurriculars like music lessons, theatre, dance classes, gymnastics, painting, and more show just how well-rounded your home-schooled teen is while they are doing things they truly enjoy and are good at! Bonus: Usually these are social in nature and some even count on a transcript.

Social life - Unless you live in an extremely rural area, activities like co-ed dances, parties, and plays should be a piece of cake to find. In some areas, your head may spin at all the options, including anything you can think of such as skating, dances (yes, home-schooled kids can go to the school dances of other kids), field trips, festivals, etc. Don’t forget about youth groups, homeschool groups, and co-ops. Check out your local parenting magazine’s calendar and if you can’t find what your high schooler is looking for, consider creating it!

Work - At some point, your high schooler is likely going to want to get a job to make money to buy things they want (a phone, nicer shoes than you are willing to spring for, a car, save for post-secondary education, fast food). Juggling the responsibilities of work and school can absolutely happen as long as your teen is organized, and this is great practice for their life in the future. Be clear about your expectations for getting school work done (all by the time they leave each day; all by Friday night; all by Sunday night, etc.). My oldest works for a lawn care business and does the majority of his school work early in the day to knock it out.

Kerrie is currently home-schooling two high schoolers, a middle schooler, and two elementary schoolers and loving it! Find her at

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