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What I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Homeschooling High School

What I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Homeschooling High School

Homeschooling high school is a whole new world when it comes to homeschooling. In some respects the rules change a little, just as our kids are changing and growing up. I remember starting to research how I was going to homeschool high school when my first was in 7th grade. We have charted a course that has shifted and changed many times over her years in high school.

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Started Homeschooling High School from Starts At Eight

What I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Homeschooling High School

There are a few things I wish I had known starting out that I would like to share with you.

1. You Will Make Mistakes

Just as you did when they were babies, toddlers, pre-school aged, etc. you will make mistakes. Give yourself to the grace to know that it is ok and that their whole lives aren’t altered forever. I used to worry so much about dotting all my “i’s” and crossing all my “t’s” to be sure that I had done everything so my daughter could roll right into whatever college path she wanted. I had my self so stressed that I wasn’t able to enjoy the journey. Know that even if you miss something, you can always go back and do or get whatever it is you need.

Homeschool Advice for Those Starting Out from Starts At Eight

2. Pick Something and Run With It

You know your child best. Do your research and pick something. Don’t kill yourself over thinking, or second guessing. Just start with something you think will work and see how it goes. You can always swing off course if something isn’t the right fit. But I think you will be surprised to find that by high school not only are you and your child more adept at knowing what will work and what will not, but if you have been working on time management and such with your teen through middle school then they will be more equipped to navigate high school more independently.

3. It’s All About Electives

High school has this added element of completing electives that no other level of schooling has. It is a time for your teens to explore activities they love, and expand their knowledge into more hands on practical topics beyond the reading, writing, arithmetic basics. Check out how we have handled our elective choices.

Plan Your High School Electives: Free Printable Pack from Starts At Eight


4. Keep Good Records

I used a spreadsheet to keep track of what we have done each year for high school. It started with what we had to complete and each year has filled in with what we have done. As you complete each year be sure to keep a list with your spreadsheet of a brief description of each course, a grade, and a few samples of work. This will help you create a transcript for college in quick fashion.

4 Year High School Plan/Spreadsheet from Starts At Eight

Here are a few books I have found to be helpful when preparing our high school students for a path beyond high school and possibly into college.

3 Books to Help Prepare College Bound Teens from Starts At Eight


Other Helpful Homeschool High School Articles:

So You're Scared to Homeschool High School from Starts At Eight

Homeschooling Teenagers sq

7 Things You Should Never Say to Those That Homeschool High School from Starts At Eight

How Do I Get Started Homeschooling? from Starts At Eight


What I Wish I Would Have Been Told Before My First Year of Homeschooling


  1. Mother of 3
    Dec 31, 2015 @ 08:14:38

    Good to know…. my oldest is finishing up 6th grade this year and I’m just starting to look into what I should expect for high school.

  2. Mama Of Many Blessings
    Jan 06, 2016 @ 08:57:04

    What a wonderful list of ideas. I second all of them. I wish it wasn’t so hard to let go and go with the flow with our kids, I’m sure it’s just because we want the best for them and enter into unchartered territories. I hope you have a wonderful week!!

  3. Heidi
    Jan 06, 2016 @ 13:36:46

    Thanks for stopping in Nicole! Going with the flow is definitely hard for me but sometimes I know I need to step back and see where things lead!

  4. practicalbydefault
    Jan 09, 2016 @ 21:12:54

    Thank you for this great post, as a fellow homeschooler of high-school, I know how hard it can be to let go, and let them lead. We can be so scared of making mistakes, but we made mistakes in lower grades and won’t be perfect. We survived, the children learned. Pinned so I can come back to it later, thanks again!

  5. Heidi
    Jan 10, 2016 @ 12:31:56

    I love you sentiment, “We survived, the children learned.” It is true that despite any “mistakes” we feel we made, they still learn and grow and thrive.

  6. chelli
    Aug 01, 2016 @ 15:55:05

    How does it work with Starr testing when you home school? I have an 8th grader next year that I am preparing to home school for high school years…:-)

  7. Heidi
    Aug 02, 2016 @ 21:11:17

    Are you in Texas? I am in NY and therefore the Homeschool Regulations would be different from your state to mine. We do not have Starr testing here and are not required to participate in the state testing that goes on in our public schools. I would suggest checking out the homeschool regulations in your state.

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  10. Yesenia
    Jan 08, 2018 @ 16:49:27

    I want to homeschool my 10 grade and 1st grade any advice in curriculum

  11. Heidi
    Jan 09, 2018 @ 12:34:38

    Unfortunately that is not a quick answer, nor one right one. Here is a great place to start to help answer your question:

    I do also offer consulting services if you would like one on one individual help with any part of homeschooling.

  12. Amanda
    Feb 07, 2018 @ 14:47:10

    Hi there I’m after some advice, My daughter has developmental trauma and really struggles to socialise and work with your typical mainstream kids at school. I’m considering Home schooling! She is In year 7 this year, im just not confident I could do it alone. Im also a single Mum.

  13. Heidi
    Feb 13, 2018 @ 11:49:53

    Hi Amanda! There are TONS of resources out there that make it so you don’t have to do all the work! Things like Teaching Textbooks for math, and Growing with Grammar and Soaring with Spelling for language arts. I highly suggested if you have Facebook that you join the Hip Homeschool Moms community. There is so much support and advice offered in there from all the homeschool moms.

  14. Jose Moran
    Feb 24, 2018 @ 11:58:18

    My wife and I are considering home school our 3rd grader, but we have a 14year old going yo 9th grade and are considering her also. But my wife has never homeschool any advice

  15. Heidi
    Feb 27, 2018 @ 16:26:28

    My biggest advice would be to find local homeschoolers to ask questions of and get familiar with what is required in your state. Next I would say don’t be too hard on yourself, be flexible and know that no gap or mistake is insurmountable. If she has specific questions and wants one on one support I offer Homeschool Consulting Services. You can learn more here:

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