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Stages, Ages and Grade Levels

November 19, 2012

A lot of homeschool parents today are intimidated by the thought of homeschooling through high school, overwhelmed by the thought of college applications, and really unsure of how to plan for the final steps of their child’s education.

Generally, parents tend to react in one of two ways to this challenge:  some are really stressed out; they need minimal information, because if they are given too much information, they get immobilized and can’t do anything.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum are parents who need more and more information to overcome these challenges. These are the parents who want all of the information, all at one time, as soon as humanly possible. When they don’t get it, they get incredibly stressed and frustrated.

Both kinds of parents need information in order to succeed in homeschooling high school, but one kind needs a ton, and the other kind needs to know when to plug their ears and hum “la la la, I can’t hear you!”  No matter which kind of homeschool parent you are, knowing the five stages of homeschooling high school will put you on the path to success, and help you keep from being overwhelmed.

The first stage of homeschooling high school is actually middle school, grades 7 and 8 (sometimes grades 6, 7 and 8) and is usually about ages twelve to thirteen. This is a time when you’re really just training your students in good study habits, grounding them in the basics, and helping them to explore the things that are starting to interest them.

The second stage of homeschooling high school is freshman year, which is grade 9, beginning at about age fourteen or fifteen. This is when keeping records and transcripts becomes really important, because you’ll be submitting them to colleges when your student applies in their senior year.

The next stage in homeschooling high school is sophomore year, which is grade 10, about ages fifteen or sixteen.  This is a time where you need to work on some specific things to prepare for college, such as making sure you’re covering the courses that most colleges require for admittance.

The next stage is junior year, eleventh grade, beginning at age sixteen or seventeen.   This is the time to work on finding colleges that your student is interested in, and making some campus visits.

The final stage of homeschooling high school is senior year, grade 12, at about ages seventeen to eighteen.  Senior year is when your student actually applies to college and gets ready to graduate.

The important point here is to focus on what stage you are in, and what’s coming up, and avoid the temptation to get overwhelmed by the big picture!  Step by step, you can successfully home school high school!

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