Planning high school subjects does not have to be a tricky conundrum. We may think we want a checklist provided by somebody else, when in fact, guidelines may be of more value.
Guidelines for must cover high school subjects are more flexible than a checklist because it allows you to take into consideration your family’s goals, your teen’s maturing personality (I know, some days it doesn’t seem like it, but I promise they do grow up) and it allows you to adjust your plan, which is very common too.
When I shared Homeschool High School The Must Cover Subjects Part 1, my goal in that post was to be sure you knew to build your high school courses or frame with the basics and keep a good balance of the core subjects.
Today, I want to share what I call “glam planning” in high school. I call these next round of courses you need to decide on glam planning, because they really embellish or add to the goals you have been working on in the younger grades that will now come to fruition in high school.
Chosen Direction = High School Course Selection
The direction your teen chooses to take makes all the difference as to which high school courses are selected.
Too, I think part of the confusion in understanding high school courses is realizing how you can break down course selections and how courses generally fall into larger broad categories.
As you can see from my picture above, American Literature falls under English. It is not as specific though as say a study of plants which is a more narrow study of Biology, which falls under the broad category of Science.
Understanding both the direction your teen wants to take and more clearly how to articulate your courses, will help you to glam up your high school course selection.
For example, if your teen was going to enroll in a four year university then a lot of universities like to see a broad range of topics being covered. In other words, was his course selection well-rounded?
If your teen is thinking about taking community college courses and then maybe head to the work field, then you would want to hone in on skills that will help him to accomplish that. You would want to be more specific in choosing the course of study. As you can see from the picture above that a plant study would be a great choice for your child if he chooses to become a biologist.
The bottom line is that must cover subjects vary for each person according to what are the end goals. Understanding that you can get a specific as you need to or stay as general as needed will help you to not become stressed by the selection process.
High School Courses 1, 2, 3 Planning
In public schools here in Texas, the high schools have a variety of plans that you can choose to follow. I think as parents it is wise for us to have a plan and back up plan too because things don’t always go exactly as planned. Look at the 3 plans below. The plan varies with the goal, but they are all good plans.
|Total Credits : 26||24||22|
|Mathematics – Algebra 1||1|
|Science – Biology||1|
|Social Studies – World Geography||1|
Can you see how easy peazy it is to get 6 credits for their freshman year and I did not add any electives yet or a health credit, which is usually .5 of a credit?
Hint Hint: The rest of the grades follow this same type of layout.
If your teen was doing a foreign language then you would add that to your course study.
As you can see it is not hard to get the required amount of credits that you set up for them in high school. Key to determining the credits is being sure that you are within the normal range of most high schools. Using simple multiplication of 6 x 4 (number of years we usually equate with high school), your child can easily attain 24 credits for high school.
I have heard all kinds of numbers through the years, but I feel pretty safe in saying 19 to 26 total credits for high school is what you should aim for.
Some folks think 19 is too low, but then again it depends on your goals. That is not for any person to judge or say, it is your decision alone as a family to make.
Remember, that there is a lot of wiggle room in choosing courses that interests your teen in high school beyond the core subjects.
Just to give you an idea, beyond the core subjects, my son studied foreign languages for a couple of years, fine arts, wood working, ball room dance, public speaking and some volunteer work.
Look at these steps as to where to begin high school courses.
- Plan each grade by filling in the core subjects, which are English or Language Arts, Science, Mathematics and Social Studies. Some schools feel that foreign language is part of the basic core subjects. With our world being more connected than ever before and with diverse cultures in each country, I tend to agree with them. These subjects are your framework.
- Determine your child’s direction. This are your glam subjects. If your child is college bound, the college is the first place to visit and determine what they think is a well-rounded plan. If you child does not know a direction which is completely fine too, then fill in with courses that interest them and are of importance to your family. For example, if you child for sure is interested in dance or sports, is it really necessary to weigh them down with a lot of extra history courses? If your child knows a direction and is work-minded, then give him skills in high school that will help him hone his work skills like courses on communications and computers.
- Be willing to adjust as you go along. There is a huge difference in maturity levels between children that are 14/15 years old and young adults that are 17/18 years old.
I will share more on this subject as I plod along too in my blogging, but I wanted to give you an easy starting point.
Plan high school just as you have planned the previous grades. In the most basic form, high school really is just a continuation of what you have been doing all along. Keep on doing it and besides you’ll love “glam planning”.
Hugs and hang in there. High school truly is fun!
I also found one book particularly helpful when planning:
You’ll love these other powerful and practical helps from my over 20+ years of how-tos:
- Homeschool High School Readiness?
- Homeschool High School How To Prepare THE Transcript
- Homeschool High School–How to Log Hours for High School?
- Modern U.S. and World History High School Literature
- 7 Unique Ways to Supplement U.S. History for High School
- Homeschooling High School: Curriculum, Credits, and Courses
- BEST Curriculum by Homeschoolers for Homeschoolers
- How to Teach Science Through A Story – Middle & High School