How to Schedule the Homeschool High School Year

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Schedule the Homeschool High School Year.

How to Schedule the Homeschool High School Year

How to Schedule the Homeschool High School Year

While it may sound boring, finding the right homeschool high school schedule is important.  The great thing is, there’s not just ONE right way to homeschool high school. 

Let’s explore the three basic ways for scheduling the high school year 

You might even develop your own unique schedule. However, it’s easy to start with one of these three scheduling styles.

Year-Round Approach

Let’s start with a year-round approach. Instead of cramming all academics into one part of the year, this method integrates learning into everyday life. 

Families following the year-round schedule have several different strategies:

  • Some families allocate three days a week to traditional academic work, such as core courses. Then they reserve the remaining two days for extracurricular activities or family field trips.
  • Other families prefer a five-day academic week with a full week off each quarter for bigger projects or travel. 

The year round approach allows for more frequent breaks throughout the year. Not only that, but taking breaks every few weeks instead of one long summer break, students can avoid burnout and maintain their motivation for learning.

However, it’s important to note that the year-round homeschooling approach may not be suitable for all families scheduling the high school year. Some students may struggle with the frequent breaks and require a more structured traditional schedule.

It’s also important to consider any state or local regulations regarding homeschooling schedules, as some areas may require a certain number of instructional days or specific breaks throughout the year.

The key is to find a balance that works for your family and allows for flexibility.

Block Scheduling

Now, let’s talk about block scheduling. This approach is perfect for teens who prefer to focus on one or two subjects at a time before moving on to the next. Instead of juggling multiple subjects each day, they can dedicate their time to completing an allotted amount of work, increasing their focus and productivity.

With block scheduling, you can divide the day into larger chunks of time for each subject or activity. For example, your teen could have a two-hour block for math in the morning, followed by a one-hour break before tackling their science work for two hours in the afternoon. 

The goal is to create a homeschool high school schedule that suits your teen’s learning style and keeps them engaged.

This method also allows for more flexibility in terms of how long it takes to complete a certain task. If your teen needs extra time to understand a concept or finish an assignment, they can use the designated block of time without feeling rushed or behind schedule.

Just remember that, when scheduling the high school year, aim for flexibility. Your schedule can always be adjusted as needed. 

Two Semester Year

Lastly, we have the traditional two-semester schedule, which is a common choice for many homeschooling families.

The two-semester year approach involves dividing the year into two blocks, or terms, of fifteen or eighteen weeks each. This method aligns well with college-bound or trade school-bound students who are familiar with semester blocks. 

You can also customize the length of your semesters based on your state requirements and your family’s needs. For instance, you may want to consider trimesters or quarters if that suits your family’s needs better. 

The advantage of this homeschool high school schedule is the familiarity it provides and the ease of record-keeping for transcripts. It allows for a structured and organized approach to homeschooling high school. 

However, the two-semester year schedule may not work well for students who struggle with longer blocks of time or have difficulty staying focused for extended periods. In these cases, a shorter schedule with more frequent breaks may be more beneficial.

It is important to find a balance between structure and flexibility when it comes to scheduling the high school year. Some students thrive on routine and structure, while others may need more variety in their learning environment.

If you decide to use the two-semester year schedule, it is essential to plan ahead and set clear goals for each semester. This will help keep both parents and students on track and motivated throughout the school year.

You can also customize the length of your semesters based on your state requirements and your family’s needs.

For instance, you may want to consider trimesters or quarters if that suits your family’s needs better. 

There's not ONE right way to schedule the homeschool year.

Practical Tips for Implementing Your Chosen Schedule

Now that we have explored the three main options for scheduling the high school year, let’s dive into some practical tips for implementing your chosen homeschool high school schedule effectively! 

Get a Planner

When creating your schedule, it’s important to have a planner or calendar to keep track of all your commitments and activities. Start by marking down any field trips, family events, or major commitments that you know will be happening throughout the year. Then, determine which courses will be one-semester courses and assign them to either the fall or winter/spring semester. 

Incorporate Creative Education

Factor in creative education activities, such as holiday projects or special read alouds, which can be counted as educational days. Make sure to balance academics with enriching experiences.

Personalize Study Schedules

Sit down with your teen and discuss their preferred study schedule and time management. For courses that will be done at home, work with your teen to decide how many days a week and how much time they will dedicate to each subject, taking into consideration their learning style and individual goals.

Set SMART Goals

Regarding goals, this is a great opportunity for them to set goals and develop good time management skills. Encourage your teen to set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound) for themselves. This empowers them to work towards their aspirations and develop a sense of ownership over their education. (Download this free SMART goals worksheet for your teens.)

Scheduling the High School Year

Remember, there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school, no one-size-fits-all approach. The key is to find a homeschool high school schedule that works for your family’s unique needs and preferences. 

Whether you opt for a year round approach, block scheduling, or the two-semester year, the goal is to create a balanced and engaging learning environment. Give yourself permission to explore, be creative, and mix and match different scheduling methods until you find what works best for your family. 

If you ever need guidance or support, don’t hesitate to reach out to the 7Sisters Homeschool Facebook community. We are all in this together, and together we can create an amazing homeschooling experience for our high schoolers!

And a special thanks to Seth Tillman for editing and to Richie Soares with Homeschool and Humor for writing this blog post.

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Keep Calm and Homeschool On, Interview with Carla Fuller

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Keep Calm and Homeschool On, Interview with Carla Fuller.

Keep Calm and Homeschool On, Interview with Carla Fuller

Carla Fuller: Keep Calm and Homeschool On

Do you always have calm days? I doubt it. That’s why we’re diving into the important topic to keep calm and homeschool on!

Because let’s face it, sometimes we all need a little injection. Vicki is excited to day to chat with our friend, Carla Fuller, about the topic of calm homeschooling!

Besides holding double Masters degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy as well as Child and Family Studies, Carla is a high school educational consultant for HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association). Carla’s calm and wise demeanor is truly infectious, and she shares her homeschool journey, tips for reducing anxiety, and advice for homeschooling high school with grace.

About Carla Fuller

Carla Fuller’s homeschool journey began in a serendipitous way. As a marriage and family therapist, she worked on a radio show called Teen Talk, a show that was all about providing a platform for teenagers to call in and talk about their struggles. It was a way to prevent risky behaviors and promote mental health. On the show one day, Carla met a homeschooled teenager who completely blew her away with her maturity and calmness. This encounter sparked Carla’s interest in homeschooling, and she tucked the idea away for later.

Fast forward to meeting her husband and starting a family. They decided to give homeschooling a shot. Little did they know that this decision would shape their lives in incredible ways.

Initially, they took it year by year. However, as they saw the benefits for their boys and their family, they continued homeschooling all the way through high school. Now their sons have graduated and are in college. Their oldest son is pursuing political science while their youngest is studying engineering at a Virginia University. Talk about an amazing journey!

Unfolding the Homeschool Journey

Now, let’s get down to business and talk about that sense of calm and homeschool on that Carla brings to the table. Homeschooling high school can be a nerve-wracking experience:

  • The fear of messing up our teens
  • Or the pressure to cover everything
  • And the worries about college and the future.

It’s enough to make anyone’s blood pressure skyrocket. But Carla is here to save the day with some tips to lower that blood pressure and bring back the calm.

First and foremost, Carla reminds us that our teens are still works in progress.

Carla emphasizes the importance of observing and including with our teens in planning their homeschool years. Development of their unique selves (personality, interests, gifts) takes time, and it’s a process of unfolding. 

She encourages parents to detach from the pressures of gotta’s and should’s.

Instead focus on understanding their teens’ needs and interests. Watch what’s developing in your teens, listen to what they are telling you, and partner with them in their journey. It’s all about discovery and exploration.

By cultivating a strong relationship and engaging in conversations, parents can alleviate the pressure they put on themselves and their children.

Discovering Passions

And here’s a little secret: parenting is all about discovery too. We have no idea who’s being sent to us when we become parents. It’s a wild ride of surprises and unexpected twists. 

Carla’s homeschooling approach involved exposing her sons to various activities and observing their natural interests. From tinkering with Hot Wheels tracks to creating imaginary countries on maps, her sons’ passions became apparent. (Our friend, Anita Gibson, calls this “finding their star”.)

When high school arrived, Carla and her husband focused on incorporating these interests into their curriculum. Her oldest son was interested in political science, even traveling abroad for mission work, while her youngest delved into robotics and engineering studies.

Transcripts and Resumes

When it comes to capturing these unique experiences on transcripts, Carla explains that some activities are best suited for resumes. She suggests focusing on the core academics and listing the rest on a resume. 

For instance, her son listed mission trips, robotics camps and music performances on his experiential resume, showcasing his diverse skills and interests. The resume can come in handy for college applications and even job applications down the line. 

Remember: All of life is education

Advice for Homeschooling High School

For parents starting their homeschooling journey with a 9th grader, Carla has a few sage suggestions:

  • Begin with the end in mind
  • Create a basic academic plan together with your child to help set goals and expectations 
  • Understand your state’s requirements and explore potential colleges early on to alleviate stress later

Carla emphasizes that it’s impossible to cover everything, but by focusing on the tools of learning and fostering a sense of curiosity, your teenager can continue their educational journey beyond homeschooling.

Letting Go and Enjoying the Process

But here’s the thing: you can’t do it all. Carla reminds homeschooling parents that they are not in control of the outcomes. Putting pressure on ourselves to control every aspect of our children’s education is unnecessary. Remember: All of life is education (learning takes a lifetime and there’s just no way to cover everything during high school). 

Let go of that pressure and focus on giving your teens the tools to learn for themselves. And if there are any gaps, don’t fret. Dual enrollment can be a lifesaver. Colleges often have resources that we humble homeschoolers may not, so take advantage of them. 

And remember, you’re not in control of the outcomes. Trust the unfolding process and in the plans that God has for your kids. Have faith that the plans God has for their children will come to fruition. 

Reflecting on her own life, Carla acknowledges that our trajectories are rarely straight, and unexpected detours often lead us to where we need to be.

Embracing Support and Community

Homeschooling can sometimes feel overwhelming, but Carla reassures parents that they are not alone.  Organizations like HSLDA and supportive homeschooling communities exist to provide guidance, resources, and a sense of camaraderie. 

Building a community around you, linking arms with others who understand the journey, can make all the difference.

Carla Fuller: Keep Calm and Homeschool On

Homeschooling high school can be a beautiful and rewarding experience, filled with opportunities for growth and discovery. Carla Fuller’s wisdom and calm demeanor remind us to observe, partner with our children, and trust the unfolding process. To keep calm and homeschool on!

By focusing on the tools of learning, embracing flexibility, and building strong relationships, we can navigate the homeschooling journey with confidence and joy. So take a deep breath, remember that you can do this, and enjoy the adventure of homeschooling high school!

Thank you to Richie Soares with Homeschool and Humor for writing this blog post and to Seth Tillman for editing the podcast.

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO HSHSP VIA COMPUTER

  1. Follow this link to our iTunes page.
  2. IMPORTANT STEP: Under our Homeschool Highschool Podcast logo, click on View in iTunes
  3. This will take you to iTunes and our own podcast page.
  4. Click SUBSCRIBE.
  5. Click RATINGS AND REVIEW. (Please take a minute and do this. It helps others find us. Thanks!)
  6. Thanks!

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE VIA iPHONE

  1. Tap the purple Podcast icon on your phone
  2. Tap the search icon on the bottom-right of your screen
  3. In the search bar type: Homeschool Highschool Podcast
  4. Tap the Homeschool Highschool Podcast icon
  5. Tap *Subscribe*
  6. Please tap *Ratings and Review* and give us some stars and a comment to help others find us more easily.
  7. Thanks!