Homeschooling High School

I am writing quick updates as I go along to mark our journey and hopefully to show how much further along we will be when we go through this process with our subsequent children! (Poor little first child guinea pig!)  You can see my previous thoughts in a back post about pondering homeschooling high school.  I have been doing a little bit of research since then, and thought I would share a few things.

  • One thing I did was pull curriculum from a wide variety of Waldorf High Schools to see what is taught when at different schools.  I was particularly interested in where the curriculum differed or was adapted for a regional area.
  • I read two small books by Lee Binz: “Setting the Records Straight:  How to Craft Homeschool Transcripts and Course Descriptions for College Admission and Scholarships” and “How to Homeschool 9th and 10th Grade:  Simple Steps for Starting Strong”.
  • Based upon the suggestions in Lee’s book about crafting transcripts, I wrote a description of our high school and our eighth grader and  I named it.  Unlike many others, we have never had a “school name” before!   Very exciting!  Because we are focused on a holistic, artistic, interrelated curriculum and  experiential style of learning with Waldorf Education, these were heavily considered in the  description of our high school.
  • We looked at the “requirements” of credit hours in order to apply for college.  I looked at the requirements for the University system of our state, and then several colleges I handpicked in other neighboring states and one private school just to get a feel for requirements in our region.  Most students applying to high school have 24 credits or so, but the actual state requirement for graduation is only 17 credits for four years of high school – 4 in English, 4 in Math, 4 in Natural Sciences, 3 in Social Studies, 2 in Foreign Languages.  Some universities asked for specific things, such as “fine arts elective – 1 credit”; some asked for “American Economics and Government – 1 credit or “general electives – 2 credits”.
  • Some universities want a brief description of the course the student has taken, required texts, sample of work, and HOW the course was graded – ie, the grade was comprised of  1/2 homework assignments, 1/2 quizzes and test, etc.    Again, because of the experiential nature of our schooling, I am having to think about what part “experiences” will play in the grading of courses.
  • I found out a general timeline for taking the PSAT, SAT, ACT and also how to access AP classes.  This is more important for some universities than others – for example, if Georgia Tech was a goal, ninety-something percent of incoming freshman have taken AP Calculus or equivalent, and the average incoming student has taken  9 AP classes or more.  Important things to know!
  • I am still sorting through the science end of high school –>While the typical Waldorf High School still does science in blocks and has a multi-disciplinary focus in science all years (ie, ninth grade could contain anatomy and physiology, geology, physics and chemistry, for example), the credit hours don’t add up well until one has complete all four years as far as I can tell…ie, you may not have all the hours for “biology” until senior year of high school.  And, most college applications want to see 1 credit biology with lab, 1 credit chemistry with lab, etc when students apply…So perhaps others out there can enlighten me how this normally works at home or if most Waldorf homeschoolers just decided to go a more traditional route for high school sciences in terms of biology one year, chemistry one year, etc?


6 thoughts on “Homeschooling High School

  1. For science, we’ve gone the “whole year” route… by default. I like the approach of doing a little of each science discipline each year. However, the only way I saw to make that work was to teach all science at home. There are some nice homeschool science classes in our area, with labs. The catch is that these classes are a full year long. After much debate with myself, I decided that the benefit of the year-long classes won out.

    • Thanks,Martha…I really do understand in the homeschool environment why that wins out…I wonder if anyone has done it the other way and how they did it or what that looked like!

  2. Pingback: » Homeschooling High School

  3. This is way ahead for us but still so helpful to read! What I’m thinking about is how homeschooling older children especially might work differently for boys vs girls. I’m wondering if 2 adolescent boys won’t want/need to get away from the family by the time they’re inhighschool. Maybe that’s pessamistic. But I’m curious, do you know of any statistics about the prevalence of boys vs girls homeschooled, or anecdotal information, or have you wondered if your boy will be different than your girls?
    Thank you!
    And happy soon-to-be-fall!

    • Hi Shira,
      There are a ton of homeschooled high schoolers in my county and it looks to be fairly evenly split..and not to sound pessimistic the other way, but I think it is often the GIRLS that would like to get away from their mothers, hahahahahaaha. Many of the boys I have seen really blossomed a bit later, so to speak, and by the time they were ready to really roll, they had drivers’ licenses and were busy with many things.
      I have wondered if our little guy will be different from our girls, but our two girls are very different from each other and I can see each one of them will have a very different high school experience…Our little guy will most likely be super busy with sports and outdoor stuff, and at that point he will be an only, so he will lots of time to do things from our end…
      All kinds of things to ponder,

    • Hi Shira,
      Last spring, my then 13 yo daughter (doing 7th grade waldorf homeschool) announced that she wanted to homeschool 8th and 9th grade simultaneously this year so that she could go to the local high school next year. A friend advised me to just let her enter in 9th grade so she would be a newbie along with her peers. With her June birthday, she qualified age-wise. Fast forward to today: my daughter is thoroughly enjoying her first few weeks as a freshman! My daughter was simply not getting the peer interaction that she craved, so high school is providing that. She is full of analyses of what is wrong with the school system, (this is very homeschooling-affirming to me), but it sounds like she is actively contributing in her classes while other students are passive. Oh, and I forgot to mention- I insisted that she start out 2/3 time. She is on the crew team which is after school every day and I wanted to make sure she would get enough rest so she is taking the 4 core classes and skipping periods 1 and 2.
      I am now homeschooling my other daughter who is 10 and on the waldorf grade cusp with her early April birthday. It feels right to do 4th grade with her. She may want to go to public school one day, but she has let me know she would be fine with being one year older than her classmates.

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