So you’ve chosen to homeschool your high schooler (or maybe they’ve been homeschooled since day one), but what do you need to do to ensure they meet homeschool science graduation requirements? Are there specific requirements for science when you’re homeschooling? Where do you even begin?
Before we dive into our recommendations for homeschool science graduation requirements, it’s important to note that every state is different when it comes to homeschooling. Many states have little to no prerequisites on exactly which science courses you choose to put on your student’s high school transcript.
However, that doesn’t mean you should skimp on science! We’ll go into further depth about why we believe it’s still important to meet your state’s general standards for high school graduation, even if it’s not required.
4 Tips to Ensure Your Homeschooler Meets Science Graduation Requirements
1. Consider the Graduation Requirements of Your State
If your child were to attend public school, they would automatically be enrolled in the set program your state has chosen to follow. This might mean they take biology their freshman year, followed by earth science, then physics, and end with chemistry (or some other variation of classes and sequence). Is it mandatory that you follow this same schedule as a homeschooled family? Probably not.
However, when you’re looking ahead to graduation, look one step further toward college and a career. If your student were to apply to a university and submit their high school transcript, the transcript should resemble the course schedule of your state’s public schools. Now, does this mean it needs to be identical? Not at all.
Pro Tip! Whether or not your student currently wants to attend college, prepare them as if they will be attending. Plans change. Sometimes they change years or even decades down the road and it would be better to over-prepare your student than under-prepare them.
If students choose to apply to college, it’s better to submit a transcript that has a similar number of science courses to those coming from public schools, or even more. You can still choose what curriculum to use, how to teach it, when to teach, and benefit from the flexibility of homeschooling, all while meeting graduation standards universities expect. Check out this resource for a general guide on how many science credits your student needs in your state. Find your state education departments website to see if there are further requirements for students.
It is possible and important to keep your state requirements in mind, while still teaching science how you want to!
2. Don’t rush to meet science graduation requirements.
At the start of your student’s freshman year, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed… so much to complete in so little time! Don’t panic. Four years is plenty of time to fulfill all of the credits necessary for a typical high school transcript.
It can be easy to overload your homeschooler during their first couple of years of high school. This often leaves little to be taught during their senior year. It can be helpful to set a loose plan at the beginning of high school. This ensures credits are spread out evenly over the four years. Doing so will leave everyone feeling less overwhelmed and more productive in the long run!
3. Implement a grading system.
“Grades don’t matter if you homeschool!”
Not so fast.
They might not be as important for elementary and middle school, but they’re certainly significant once your student reaches high school. Colleges and potential employers do look at grades. So whatever route you choose for science, make sure there is some sort of grading system in place (or make your own).
This can be implemented via quizzes, exams, homework questions, labs and other coursework components. By having this method of accountability, you’ll already be much closer to meeting homeschool science graduation requirements!
4. Use a high-quality science curriculum.
No two science curriculums are the same, and some are just sub-par, not giving your student the foundation for future studies they may need. While you, of course, want your student to have fun and enjoy their experience, you also want them to actually learn. When you write “Biology” on their transcript, you want to be sure they have a foundational understanding of the topics and how to apply them. Check out our recommendations on how to choose the best online Christian homeschool program.
If you’re looking for a science course that already encapsulates everything your high schooler needs to graduate, look no further! At Journey Homeschool Academy, we pride ourselves on offering online science courses for high school students. From biology to chemistry to physics and more, each of our high school courses is designed to promote independence while still keeping your student engaged in learning.
We take a lot of the upfront work out for you, the teacher, making your homeschool journey less overwhelming and – dare we say – more fun? Don’t let homeschool science graduation requirements make you throw in the homeschool towel. You’ve got this!
Encouragement for Parents of High Schoolers
Connect with other local homeschoolers and ask them how they plan to navigate science graduation requirements. Some may have already graduated some students and be able to have some great tips. Others can walk alongside you as you figure it out together. This will make you and your high schooler feel more supported during a time that can often be stressful.