The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens Through High School

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Are you thinking about homeschooling your teens through high school?  Or are you already doing that at your house?  I am delighted to be given the opportunity to put together an ultimate guide for you, all about homeschooling high school.  Besides preschool, being home with my daughter through the high school years was my most favorite time in our homeschool.  Not that it was all rainbows and roses, but it was so worth it!

Homeschooling our teens gives us so many benefits, not the least of which is how it builds up family relationships.  It also gives us a chance to be there, side by side, which our teens are reaching out, exploring the world as almost young adults, and beginning to find their own paths.

Homeschooling high school is so much easier with all the resources that we now have on the web!  All it takes is an understanding of the special requirements of high school, such as making transcripts, doing regular record keeping, and figuring out how to assign our teens their high school credit.

Once the particulars are figured out, then it is all about encouraging our teens, choosing their curricula with them, and helping them get going with their studies, which is what we homeschoolers are already so familiar with.

So today, let's start with the particulars, including: planning, record keeping, assigning credits, choosing curricula, and making homeschool transcripts.  The nitty gritty of high school.

Then we are free to look at the fun of the high school years, by discussing things like making our own courses, doing high school electives, and celebrating graduation.

Then, at the end of this guide, I saved space for encouragement for us mamas, and also some for our teens, as they work to develop their self esteem.  And for those who have college bound teens, the last section of this guide is for you.

So let's get started with some tips for planning, from myself and so many other veteran homeschool moms with tons of experience in the high school years.


Knowing a few key tips will make your high school planning easy!  Here are a number of posts that will help you in your planning.

Abundant Life Archives/ 10 Day Series on High School  by Marianne, mom to 7 teens with dyslexia

Homeschool High School - Curriculum, Organization, Planning by Tricia

Planning the High School Years by Midway Mom

Curriculum Choice High School Board  by Curriculum Choice Authors

Homeschool for High School - Posts and Helps by Jimmie

Preparing for Homeschooling High School by Curriculum Choice Authors

Homeschooling High School with Confidence by Betsy,

My book - Homeschooling High School with College in Mind - is great for planning too, and includes 13 planning printables, to make it easier for you.

Next, let's talk about record keeping and high school credits....


As homeschoolers, we already are familiar with record keeping, as we already do that when planning our learning activities.  In high school, recording those activities is important, as they then become high school credits.  It is not hard to do!  There are 3 simple ways to assign high school credit.  And below that, bloggers share how to met the record keeping needs for their teens.

How to Tackle Grading by Heidi

Three Ways to High School Credit by Betsy - A simple guide to assigning credit, in my book, mentioned below.

Keeping Homeschool Records with Homeschool Minder by Mary

How a Homeschool Mom Grades a High School Essay by Tina

How to Prepare Your Student for College Writing - by Betsy, in my book, Homeschooling High School with College in Mind below.

Now that you know how to assign high school credit, let's look at curriculum...


High School Math Resources for Homeschooling by the Homeschool Scientist

Choosing High School Curriculum - High School Resources - Curriculum Choice authors

High School Homeschool Curriculum Choices by Tricia

High School Homeschool Video Courses by Tricia

Geography Resources by Heidi

How I Teach Reading and Language Arts by Heidi

Choosing Curriculum with College in Mind by Betsy - In my book - Homeschooling High School with College in Mind mentioned below.

Our Favorites for High School English - Living Literature

Of course, there are those transcripts to make, but doing that doesn't have to be daunting.....and here is some help for doing just that... 


BJ's Guide to Transcripts - & How to Showcase your Student to College Admissions by Betsy - This is in my book, Homeschooling High School with College in Mind below.

How to Prove that Your Credits Mean Something by 7 Sisters

Plugging the Holes in the Homeschool Transcript by Vicki

More tips on transcripts and course descriptions, in my book mentioned at the end of this guide.

Now that you have mastered the important details of high school at home, let's look at some of the fun things that can be a part of it too, for sure.  Another great option for high school courses is to make some of your own!


One of the most fun memories I have are doing our own homemade courses.  Below are some articles on that, and assigning credit for them was not hard to do.  I have forms for your homemade courses in my book, mentioned below.

Our Favorites for US History by Betsy

Romeo and Juliet for High School by Heidi

Teaching History Through Movies by Heidi

Using Picture Books to Teach Expository Writing by Cindy

Literature Guides by Tina

Student Led High School Courses by Cindy

High School Science for the Horse Lover by Cindy

Our Homemade Course in Video-Making by Betsy

Being a Legislator for the Day - Youth and Government  by Betsy

Another way to switch up your homeschool is to use resources that were made by other homeschoolers, for homeschoolers...


Note - This post may included affiliate links to products that we love and have used or would use in our  own homeschool. Please see my disclosure policy.


Have you seen all the courses that are offered at the 7 Sisters Homeschool Site?  They have high school courses in English, History, High School Electives, Career Exploration, Health, Consumer Math, Literature Guides, and Speech and Drama.  Each of the courses is written by a homeschool mom who has homeschooled all the way through high school.

Do you have a teen who is interested in art?  Or one who just wants to try their hand at it for an elective?

Tricia Hodges, at You Are An Artist, offers a large variety of art courses, taught by a professional artist, including video courses as well.  This year, she has released two semester long courses, perfect for an art elective for your teen.  Most colleges require a fine arts credit, and here's an easy way to get that done, while having lots of fun, too!
Below is her course called "Video Art Course - Semester 2."  

She also offers Semester 1, all set up for fall subjects, like autumn leaves, holiday scenes, etc, plus lots of art books, on a variety of subjects, like historical sites, etc.  Now that we are talking about art, that leads right into looking at more high school electives....

100 High School Electives

Being a Legislator for the Day - Youth and Government by Betsy

Photography As A High School Elective by Heidi

Homeschooling a Horse Lover by Cindy

Getting Creative with High School Electives by Tara

How to Use High School Electives to Help your Teen Get into College by Betsy - Included in my book, Homeschooling High School with College in Mind below.

Our Homemade Course in Video-Making


High School Homeschool Parent Teacher Conference by Tricia

The Usual Hayhem by Middle Way Mom

A Day In the Life at Hodgepodge by Tricia

A Day in the Life by Shelly, family of 9 kiddos

A Day in the Life by Jamie

Handwork, Bird Watching & Video Making by Betsy

Finding the Play in our High School Days by Betsy

Growing a Leader
Well, I can't forget to mention graduation.  Awe, the fun of looking back on  my daughter's senior year, and all the fun of watching her graduate at our state homeschool graduation ceremony.

Below is more on that, and also a bunch of ideas for ways to mark this important milestone in your high schooler's life.


Celebrate Your Graduate  
A Rooster and a Prom Dress by Betsy

Homeschool Graduation Favorites by Tricia

Homeschool Diploma - Quality Graduation Products

Homeschool Graduation - Let's Homeschool High School

Six Part Graduation Party Series by 7 Sisters:
How to Plan Ahead
Graduation Party, part 2 - Delegation and SetUp
Graduation Party, part 3 - Having Fun and Cleaning Up 
Part 4 - Announcements or Invitations 
Part 5 - How to Be a Good Guest 
Part 6 - More on How to Be a Good Guest

And now, here's some encouragement from those of us who have already graduated teens...  


The Value of Homeschooling High School


A Homeschooler Goes to College - Again!  

Do you have a teen who is thinking about college?

I did and you probably know that mine is in college now.  Boy, did I worry way too much about that, when she was in high school.  That is why I wrote my book on Homeschooling High School with College in Mind, below, to encourage other families.

The colleges are getting more homeschool friendly each year.  That is the trend.

Here's more about our story, going from homeschool to college, with updates from my daughter's college experiences so far.  She is thriving there.

Our First College Acceptance

Another College Acceptance - And How We Got There

 How First Quarter Went at College  What is is really like?

The Scoop on Earning AP Credit in High School by Heidi

Homeschooling High School with College in Mind - Review by Heidi - This reviews everything that is in my book, mentioned below.

How about a handy reference for doing high school at home?  

Homeschooling High School with College in Mind 

This step by step, easy to follow book is full of tips for high school and applying to college, too.

 Kindle and Paperback are on


With 13 downloadable printables!
Plus an editable transcript ready for you to use.

"It is an affordable and quick reference to help you plan and navigate homeschooling high school....."
......Heidi from Starts at Eight,

Click here to get yours!


This post is a part of the Ultimate Guides for Homeschoolers, where you will find wonderful resources all organized for you on a bunch of interesting helpful topics.

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is mom to her college grad whom she homeschooled from preK to high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool about the early yearshigh schoolcollege, and is the author of "Homeschooling High School with College in Mind".  She offers homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting.

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  1. i have a question or a situation i am a bit puzzle about. my older internationally adopted DD is 17 ( soon to be 18) she will be entering 11th grade and we have so much material in science to cover that we are in overload. i am not sure what can be skipped or skimmed and what is a must. she is thinking of being a PTA and i know we have to do biology and maybe do some phys and anatomy. but what about chemistry? there doesn't seem to be time to get that in. 1/2 semester enough? she will already be 19 when she graduates and i don't think she will be willing to go another year beyond that. she does want to do college and i am trying to prepare her, but there is so much to cover - i just need to know what is a 'must'. math we have to do - 'line upon line'- and English, history , etc is on track...but she is only at the end of her pre algebra- not sure we will even get to geometry... not sure it is needed! any tips and links to guide as i plan the next year? thanks!

    1. That is a great question, momanita! It all depends on where she is going, ie where she would do her PTA work. If you check out my book, Homeschooling High School with College in Mind,(mentioned on this article) it will show you the differences between each type of college, and what they would likely require. For example, an easy to get into state college usually would only ask for two lab science, which would likely be Bio and Chem. Phys and Anatomy would usually NOT be required. I am an OT, and I did not have to do any Phys or Anatomy prior to college. It is the harder colleges that ask for 3 sciences, not 2. If you look at Chapter 1, it gives you line on line what the usual requirements are for the different types of colleges. I am more than willing to help you get this figured out for your dear one. My book also has lots of tips for high school at home with forms to help you make it easier to do! Send a message to me here again, if you like, or to my facebook page, BJ's Homeschool, whichever you prefer. My best to you and your family,

    2. thank you. i called the local Jr college she'd likely attend at first and the guidance counselor gave me some great insight. i think we are on the right track for college- just not sure how to help speed things up for her LOL i think it will just take as long as it takes. now to decide if ACT or placement test will be best for her! - thanks may hear from me sometime soon!

    3. Most community colleges use a placement test, which is usually so much less of a stress than ACT or SAT. Thanks for stopping by,

  2. my real concern is how to know what can be 'skipped' in the sciences- does she need to do the whole biology and chemistry book? i have no idea what can be just skimmed and /or skipped altogether! what HAS to be covered? any ideas where i'd find that info? thanks!

    1. I did a post on that called "3 Ways to High School Credit" which is here - You ask a good question, Momanita! You don't have to do the entire book. Please see below:

      "Covering the material in a textbook does not necessarily mean doing every problem, answering every question, or reading the book from cover to cover, but you should diligently cover the material presented. Some authors calculate teaching 75% of a textbook to equal one credit, but the bottom line is, don't shortchange your child."--------HSLDA So you can focus on the areas of interest, and if you do 75% of the book, then your student has earned one credit of high school science. Feel free to connect with me again here for more issues or questions. Happy 4th!!


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