How should I get through High School?

 

There are a few different ways to home education through High School, and each way has it's own advantages and disadvantages.   These are actually the SAME ways that you can home educate for all grades!   But high school has some different challenges and opportunities to think about, so it's good to review your choices when your child enters high school.   Remember that what may be bad for one person is great for another, so we all just have to know what's important to each of us.

 Jr. College classes are always FREE for concurrently enrolled students (students that are in high school and wishing to take classes at the Jr. College), but students are limited on the number of units they can take, and must register for classes after everyone else has registered.   Almost all Jr. Colleges accept 9th - 12th graders.   College of the Canyons only allows high school students in 11th and 12th grade.

To be sure that you understand how college classes end up on your transcript, click here.

 

California Homeschool Network offers lots of advice!   Here they let you know about classes that are required in highschool and other great pieces of info!

 

 

As part of a Charter School

This means joining a Charter School that has an Independent Study Program.   See the list of charters that Huck supports at the bottom of this article.

Advantages:

  • You will be assigned a credentialed teacher to help guide your through the tangled web of completing high school and being college-ready.   Ask LOTS of questions about how your charter school is set up to serve a high schooler.  

    • Do they cater to students that have a particular college plan, or do they help all types of students?   Do they allow the student to follow their interests, or do they require a schedule with must-have classes?   Are there choices on how requirements can be fulfilled?  How many college credits per semester will be allowed?   You know your child.   Make sure the program supports your child's learning style and their goals for their high school years.

  • There is funding involved!   Up to $3,200 per year, most Charter Schools provide a wide amount of funding for high schoolers.  Make sure you are clear on what they will allow this money to be spent on.

  • WASC Accreditation.    This means that the state has looked at their program and ascertained that it is robust enough to provide a bonafide high school education.

  • You're not really considered a home-schooler on college applications.   Because the student has been part of a public school (charter schools ARE public schools), most colleges will consider the student an Independent Study candidate.   For many colleges, this translates to less requirements to prove you were well educated.  For others, it makes no difference at all.

  • Formal graduation services.

  • Ability to join honor role societies.

  • The school will create your transcript for you, and include all high school and college classes on one transcript.   They will figure out an unweighted GPA, and provide you with a sheet that shows how every requirement has been met.

 

Disadvantages:

  • Less freedom.    Charters will always have some level of rules around what a student must do to complete their high school education.  You have to know what their rules are and make sure they are in alignment with what the student wants to achieve.

  • The charter will determine if a class is robust enough to be counted for high school, not you.   Work with the school prior to signing up with them to make sure your ideas of what should be covered in high school classes and their ideas match.

  • Limitations on how many classes can be taken at the Jr. College.   Charters want a certain number of units to be done outside of the Jr. College system, and will sometimes place limits on the number of units a student is allowed to take.  Make sure you know what these limits are.

  • Testing.  Of course!  There will still be state level testing.  Understand that this type of testing in NO WAY prepares students for the college tests; SAT, pSAT, ACT.   These are specialized tests with specialized rules and test taking strategies that are specific to the test.

 

Charter Schools that Huck supports:

Blue Ridge, Compass, Excel, Golden Valley, Granite Mountain, Gorman, iLead, Sage Oak, SCVi, Sky Mountain, Summit

As part of a Private School Satellite Program (PSP)

A PSP is a private school which has filed an affidavit. When you sign up, you become a teacher (of your own children) in that school.  You may also file your own PSP.

 

Advantages

  • You have nearly complete freedom to design the high school experience.   Ask LOTS of questions about the type of support you will be given if you join an existing PSP!  

    • Do you need help figuring out the types of classes your child should take?   Do you feel like you can determine if the class content is what you are looking for?  Do you have access to the classes and experiences that you want for your child?  Can you afford the opportunities you want for your child?

  • Because of the freedom of this path, students can design significant outside activities that help them determine what types of work they enjoy, be a substantial participant in community service, start a business, start a festival, intern on political campaigns, work for the city, work for the newspaper, etc.  You get it.  These students tend to have the largest ability to design their education and experience.  But this kind of freedom is most effective for the highly self-motivated individual.   Students can struggle with this level of independence.  Make sure you know your student before pursuing this!

  • No state testing.

  • Less limitations on units taken at local Jr. Colleges.

  • If you join an existing PSP, it is possible that they will do the high school transcript for you.   Make sure you ask this question!

  • If you join an existing PSP, you may have graduation ceremonies, clubs, classes or other opportunities.

  • If you file your own affidavit, you will be responsible for the high school transcript & keeping your records intact. 

 

Disadvantages

  • There is no funding, and you will have to pay to be part of an existing PSP.

  • No accreditation.   Your transcript may be viewed as unsubstantiated, unless your student does a variety of things to substantiate their grades and experience.

  • There are varying levels of support provided.   Some PSPs will provide almost no support, and some will provide roughly the equivalent of a public charter school.   Of course, price will be a factor in the level of support you receive.

  • Although there is an advantage of freedom, this can also be a disadvantage if you are not aware of what colleges are looking for, or other rules around graduating from high school.  Make sure you stay informed.

  • You must create your own transcript.  This is not a cumbersome task, but you need to keep adequate records throughout high school and should build the transcript at the end of every semester.

  • The student will be considered a true homeschooler for the purposes of applying to colleges.    There are no set rules that define how colleges determine if a homeschooler is a good fit for their college; each college determines their own rules.    Check our page on colleges for more information.

 

 

OK - One more way

 

  • If you are a credentialed teacher, you can also tutor your child through high school.  This is legal in the state of CA.    The difference between this and filing your own private school affadavit is that you don't have to do that filing if you are a credentialed teacher.

 

Need help figuring out college?  

We recommend Dr. Steven Mercer of Mercer Educational Consulting.     As a Homeschooler himself, he understands our world and how to help students explain their homeschool journey!