For many homeschooling families, the thought of homeschooling a high schooler and graduation brings many questions. How do I homeschool high school? Will my homeschooled high school graduate have the required knowledge and skills to attend college or enter the workforce? What do homeschool high school graduates do anyway?
Every homeschool family is unique—that is part of what makes homeschooling great! You can tailor your high school graduate’s courses to meet their needs. Do they want to go to a two- or four-year college or university? Or perhaps they are thinking about entering the military. Some high school graduates may seek to start their own business or enter a trade school. There are so many options!
Going to College
One option in many states is to dual-enroll your high school student at a local junior college. This gives them a head start because these classes count towards both high school and college. And a one-semester class in college often equals a full-year class in high school, so this can be an efficient way to get more classes in and graduate sooner. Attending a local junior college is also a great financial decision as tuition tends to be much less than four-year colleges. College academic advisors can help your student decide what classes to take, depending on if they want to transfer to another college, get a two-year degree, or even get certifications. Even if your child doesn’t graduate with any of those things, the few classes they do take at the college level can still guide them in their future.
Something that is very important in high school are transcripts. Yes, this can sound intimidating, but all you really need to do is track what classes your high school student takes and their grade. It is helpful to record this at the end of each semester; if you wait until their senior year it can be hard to remember what subjects they took their freshman year. There are many resources out there specifically for homeschoolers that help with transcripts, applying to colleges, and more.
Entering the Workforce
Many homeschooled students start their own businesses. When they graduate, they are ready to work full-time in their business venture. These can range from raising livestock such as chickens, goats, and pigs to baking or photography. With the homeschool lifestyle, they were able to focus upon the courses that would help them to succeed after graduation.
For some homeschool high school graduates, they don’t know what they will do after graduation. We prepared our oldest for a potential career as a photographer. He had spoken about starting his own photography business after graduation. So we scheduled business creation courses, photography courses, graphic editing courses, and more that would help him start his own business after high school graduation. At some point in his senior year, he decided that wasn’t the path he wanted to take.
Our oldest did not want to go to college. He wasn’t interested in trade school or the military. For now, he is working several part-time jobs with one allowing him to work on his graphic artist and video creation skills. So even though our oldest isn’t transitioning from high school to college, he has entered the adult world well-prepared. We’ve helped him learn more about himself and the world around him. So when he is ready to move from part-time to full-time work, he will be ready.
Getting Your Graduate Ready
After you hand your high schooler their diploma, they will still need your guidance no matter what decision they make about their future. Be prepared to answer questions or listen to them as they discuss their least favorite college course or co-workers and work drama. Maybe they’ll ask you to help them prepare for a job interview or tackle a project in their new apartment or home. Remember that they will continue to learn long after they graduate from high school. Embrace the joy that graduation day brings and know that you prepared your children for the future.