High School Homeschool Reflections and Tips | My Homeschool

Homeschooling in high school can be both rewarding and challenging. During these years, your child’s strengths and talents become more apparent. Independent learning begins to take off and before you know it, your child is an adult, and they are on to the next stage of their life. When homeschooling a homeschooler, you shift from teaching to coaching. You also become a researcher who sources a homeschool curriculum that prepares your teen for their future endeavours.

7 Essential Tips for Homeschooling High School

When I began home educating my children, more than 20 years ago, I never intended to homeschool high school. But I did! At first, homeschooling high schoolers was scary then then it became fun. However, it did take a while to find the right homeschool high school curriculum and develop some strategies.

Let me share with you some tips that helped me enjoy homeschooling through high school.

Tip 1: You Can Teach Homeschool High School Even Without Formal Training

No teacher training — that’s OK!

In most cases, when homeschooling a high schooler you will be using a homeschool high school curriculum that already has quality teaching built into the resource.  You don’t need to be an expert on all subjects. Specialised subjects like chemistry, physics, music, and drama can be outsourced.

Tip 2: Books Are Homeschooling High School Teachers

It is often suggested that one of the reasons you shouldn’t be homeschooling through high school is that your child will only have one teacher — one perspective. But that is a myth!

Homeschooling high school will still allow you to introduce your child to a wide variety of teachers. How? Through living books!

When homeschooling high school, your child may not have many “in-person” teachers but they have the luxury of, as Charlotte Mason puts it, “a city of books”. We may forego a few schoolteachers, but we can introduce our children to expert teachers who are authors who will help them to think.

“If you ask a living teacher a question, he will probably answer you. If you are puzzled by what he says, you can save yourself the trouble of thinking by asking him what he means. If, however, you ask a book a question, you must answer it yourself. In this respect a book is like nature or the world. When you question it, it answers you only to the extent that you do the work of thinking and analysis yourself.” Adler & Doren p.14 © 1972

Parents are not experts on all subjects, but they can research and find good resources. When we look for experts, we often find they are authors. Living books connect kids to ideas from people who understand their topics.

Tip 3: You Don’t Need To Be A Know-It-All


Pedagogy and andragogy are two terms you often hear when talking about education theories.

The pedagogical educational model assumes a teacher is a subject expert who guides all learning. This model works in the primary years because most parents are confident in teaching up to about 4th grade. However, when homeschooling in high school pedagogical teaching is no longer the best method.

Andragogical teaching (self-directed learning) is a better method for homeschooling high school. Using this style of teaching, the parent becomes a facilitator of their child’s learning rather than a walking, talking encyclopedia. This teaching approach is called andragogy, and many home educators use it without knowing it.

Tip 4: Encourage Time Management Skills.

As mentioned before, we want to encourage independent learning. We also want to develop strong time management skills – which can be hard to do when homeschooling 😉.

Homeschooled high schoolers have a unique chance to take charge of their education and be self-disciplined learners. However, it can be hard to study without the structure of a school. Help your child do this by getting them to set goals, make a schedule, and use their time well. This will not only prepare them for university or the workforce but also foster a sense of responsibility and independence. Provide them with resources and tools to help them stay organised, such as planners or online calendars. Include breaks and downtime, as well as time for pursuing projects and group activities. By fostering these worthwhile homeschool habits, you are setting your child up for success in their homeschooling journey and beyond.

“Children who are taught at home benefit from smaller class sizes, more individualised attention, and the flexibility to work on their academic activities as their abilities and interests dictate. In addition, experts believe homeschooled children are able to spend more time working on their studies—not only quality of time, but quantity of time.” Bryers & Bryers

Sometimes homeschooled teens can lose motivation, but with some help, you can get them back on track.

Tip 5: Set Clear Goals and Expectations.

When homeschooling high school, it’s important to set clear goals and expectations for both you and your child. Discuss with your child what they hope to achieve during their high school years and what their long-term goals are. This will help guide your curriculum choices and ensure that you are providing them with the necessary education and resources to reach their goals. Additionally, set homeschooling expectations for behaviour, attendance, and completion of work. Having clear goals and expectations will help keep you and your child focused and motivated throughout the homeschooling journey.

Not all children will know what they want to do when they leave homeschool. However, helping your homeschooler discover what they are good at can help point them in the right direction.  Arranging work experience in different fields can also help them decide on their future career path.

Tip 6: Utilise Online Resources and Curriculum.

One of the great advantages of homeschooling high school is the wide range of online homeschool resources and high school curriculum options available. Take advantage of these homeschool resources to enhance your child’s learning experience. Look for homeschool programs, virtual field trips, educational websites, and online learning platforms that align with your child’s interests and goals. Additionally, there are many homeschool curriculum providers that offer comprehensive courses in various subjects. Research and choose the ones that best fit your homeschooling approach and academic needs. By utilising online resources and curriculum, you can provide your child with a well-rounded knowledge rich education.

Tip 7: Understand High School Graduation Requirements.

Before you begin homeschooling your high schooler, it’s important to understand the graduation requirements in your particular state or country. Each jurisdiction may have different requirements for subjects, credits, and assessments. Research the specific requirements and make sure your high school curriculum aligns with them. This will ensure that your child is on track to meet the necessary criteria for graduation and future educational opportunities.

For example, if you complete Year 10 following NESA homeschooling guidelines you can qualify for a Year 10 Certificate of Completion.

Tip 8: Have Fun

The homeschool high school years are when your child can explore their interests. Opportunities are also available where they can learn new skills and experiment. Encourage your teen to pursue hobbies and try new things. Many homeschoolers I know have made a career out of their passions. Take advantage of the extra time your teen has and enjoy doing life together. Before you know it, they will have their driver’s licence and your days as their taxi driver will be over.

We May Not Be School Teachers but It Doesn’t Matter

Parents who are homeschooling through high school are not disadvantaging their children as some critics might suggest!

Let me share these encouraging words from Ruth Beechick, an educator and homeschool advocate:

“I meet teaching parents all around the country and find them to be intelligent, enthusiastic, creative people doing a marvellous job of teaching their children. But, sad to say, most of them do not know what a great job they are doing. Everyone thinks it goes smoothly in everyone else’s house but theirs is the only place that has problems.”

During my years of homeschooling high school, I was asked multiple times if I was a teacher, and when I said “No!” I was often dealt a judgmental stare. However, the proof is out to all my doubters. Even though I was not a schoolteacher, all my homeschooled high schoolers went to university at 16. One is a doctor, two have master’s degrees and the youngest has a business degree and runs two businesses she started from scratch.

Whilst the learning curve for new teaching parents is steep, there is an abundance of information to help you homeschool high school!

Using Living Books For Homeschooling

Using Living Books For Homeschooling

Using Living Books For Home Schooling What is a living book? How can I use these books for homeschooling?“Children can be most fitly educated on Books and Things...The value of this education by Things is receiving wide recognition, but intellectual education to be...

Make a Book of Centuries and Timeline

Make a Book of Centuries and Timeline

Book of Centuries - Why Use One? Charlotte Mason wanted children to learn history and to understand the flow of history. She used timelines, history charts and this curious Book of Centuries. Her plan was for children to see history holistically. Not as just a...

Charlotte Mason Exams

Charlotte Mason Exams

The examinations served as an opportunity for the students to demonstrate what they had learned through the term and they were intended to serve as a record of learning. The Charlotte Mason exams were not designed to be studied for. No special preparation was required on the part of the child before sitting an examination.

Free Homeschool Prospectus