Many parents of homeschooled teens want their students to take the same classes that other high schoolers might take. Parents like these enjoy having a list of the courses most common in high school, and they like the security that comes from knowing in which order these courses should be taken in grades 9-12.
Remembering there are many ways to homeschool the high school years, taking the traditional high school route is a very popular way to go. Many families do it, and are pleased with the results. And though high school graduation requirements vary a bit from state to state, most high schoolers who follow this path end up finishing almost the same set of courses by graduation day.
Traditionally, high school in the U.S. includes these courses, for the number of years (or credits) shown:
- Math: 3-4 years (Algebra 1 & 2, Geometry and beyond)
- English: 3-4 years (Grammar, Literature and Composition/Writing)
- History: 2-4 years (U.S., World, and others)
- Science: 2-3 years (usually with at least 2 labs)
- Foreign Language: 2 years (usually of the same language)
- Health and Physical Education: 1-2 years
- Arts: 1 year
- Practical or Occupational Education: 1 -2 years
- Electives: Enough to complete the schedule, sometimes in an area of specialization
There are many variations on the course sequence for grades 9-12, but here is just one example of how this particular method might play out using 6 courses per year, over a period of four years:
Grade 9 Grade 10 English English Math Math Science Science History History Heath/PE Foreign Language Elective Elective Grade 11 Grade 12 English English Math Math Science Art Foreign Language History Practical Arts Practical Arts Elective Elective
Even in public, private and charter schools, there is room for flexibility, therefore the schedule shown above should be viewed as merely one of many different ways these four years might be configured in homeschool, too. It may be helpful to download a high school planning worksheet to try out different options before deciding how your homeschool sequence will look to your student.
Once all of these courses have been completed, high schoolers have usually taken 20-25 courses, or ‘credits’. By traditional standards, this is considered enough for graduation, thus homeschoolers completing a similar sequence may consider themselves [at least as] equally prepared.
Because there is much flexibility in homeschooling, however, families should not be bound by these courses if there are other experiences they would rather include. Though many families follow this framework exactly, others prefer to substitute other classes to better fit the needs and interests of the student. Adding in more of one kind of class and fewer of another is one way to achieve a more custom fit for a student. Using electives in creative and interesting ways is another.
For more ways to homeschool high school, request a free subscription to Quick Start Homeschool, or just follow our ‘high school’ tag.
You may also be interested in THIS PRODUCT to help plan the high school years.
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