Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mapping out High School

Around the beginning of this year, I was hit with the reality that The Boy will be graduating from high school in 4 years. Although he did 2 classes this year for high school credit, next year will be his first official high school year. This thought made me a bit freaked out, nervous, anxious...you name it, I felt it.


Image from freedigitalphotos.net
I had to stop and focus on how to successfully get through the next four years without losing my mind. These are my tips for mapping out the high school years.
  • Begin with the end in mind. What colleges or universities does your young person want to attend? Look up the entrance requirements for each college of interest. Use the requirements to determine how many and what type of units you need to plan for. Most colleges require 4 years of English and math, at least 3 years of science, either 2 or 3 years of foreign language, either 2 or 3 years of history, 1 year of physical education, and a certain number of electives (often including computer science).
  • After deciding what classes your young person needs to take during the high school years, divide the classes among the 4 years. This doesn't need to be a set in concrete, never going to change plan, but more of a guiding framework that you can change as needed through the next 4 years.
  • Decide how to schedule each year. I was teaching in a public high school during the time when schools were moving to block scheduling. I'm grateful for this because it opens up more flexibility in planning high school. Different options include traditional - work on 7 or 8 classes worth of work every day for the whole year - or block - work on 3 or 4 classes each semester. We're choosing to use a block schedule for our homeschool. I feel like this way The Boy can focus more intently on the classes he's doing if he only has 3 or 4 at a time. It will also prepare him better for college life, having to do a complete course in a semester. 
  • Now focus on one year at a time. Much less stressful. :)

As The Boy and I navigate the next 4 years together, I will share my tips, successes, and failures. Hopefully there won't be many of those failures. Ha Ha! 



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