Welcome to the month-long series “Homeschool HIGH SCHOOL Made Easy,” a follow-up to the popular “Homeschool Made Easy” series (now published on kindle). I’m sharing tips from my experience as a homeschool graduate and homeschool mother, showing YOU how easy and enjoyable these high school years can be for you and your teen. Be sure to sign up for the entire series so you don’t miss a thing!
I hope this past week has helped calm your homeschool high school graduation nerves. Hey, I know it’s scary to first think about graduating your homeschool student. But honestly, it really can be simple. Easy, even. Easier than getting rid of the smell in their room (what IS that?).
Not sure if you are ready to close the books on homeschooling? Here’s a final checklist to make sure you are completely finished.
Homeschool High School Graduation Checklist
- Has your student completed the requirements for high school graduation in your state? Find your state’s guidelines here.
- Has your student completed the requirements for admission to the college of his choice? Contact the admissions office for a list of what courses they expect to see on a transcript.
- Have you created a high school transcript for your student? Again, contact your college admissions office for a sample transcript, and be sure to grab my free transcript builder here.
- Has your student narrowed down his choice of colleges? Encourage him to take the lead on communications with admissions offices and faculty; it makes a good impression and empowers him to make the decision.
- Has your student sent his test results to the maximum number of colleges? Even if he knows what school he wants to go to, have him send the results to the maximum number of colleges (probably three). You never know what they may say when they see those scores.
- Does your teen have a regular job? If not, push him out the door to get one for himself. Make him pay something (anything!) as an incentive, and encourage him to save for college expenses, too.
- Does your teen know how to manage a bank account? As soon as he gets his first paycheck, help him open an account. Teach him how to reconcile his statements, use his debit card wisely, and deposit responsibly.
- Does your teen know how to pay bills? Make him responsible for his gas, his mobile phone, his entertainment, and other expenses. Help him anticipate his monthly expenditures so he can begin budgeting wisely. These are important lessons teens cannot understand without experience, and they help guard against one of the biggest pitfalls in college: debt.
- Does your teen respect adults around him and seek advice from his parents, teachers, pastor, and others? This is a good indication of that teachable spirit we are after.
- Does your teen live consistently with his own beliefs? Even if he doesn’t share our own convictions in everything, he should begin deciding what kind of adult he wants to be and living in accordance to his own standards.
- Does your teen demonstrate love and compassion to others? It’s the second most important commandment, yet entirely contrary to the ego-centric stage of life he’s growing into.
- Does your teen wrestle with his faith? This is when he decides for himself if he will attend church, if he will be a true Christian, if he will seek godly friends, if he will live for the Lord. He will question the rules and standards he was brought up with, weigh them against what he knows to be true, and determine what he will keep and what he will discard. This is very healthy. The best way to support his faith journey is to calmly answer his questions and point him to more resources for information and people for advice, all while affirming your own love and commitment to him.
- Does your teen know when you consider him an adult? Much of my twenties, I spent struggling to validate myself, to somehow prove I was an adult. I’ve seen other twenty-somethings wrestle with the same frustration, a craving for respect as an adult. I want my young adult to know when he’s in the driver’s seat, at what point he’s taking control of his life decisions. So I had a talk in the backyard one sunny afternoon with my firstborn, during which I used the solemn words, “I now look at you as an adult. You make the choices that are right for your life, and I will always be here to support you and love you.” (There may have been tears. And I cried a little, too.) His father took him on a special “man trip,” a vacation for the two of them, during which time they talked about serious grown-up things and he was formally recognized by his father as a man. These rites of passage are sacred moments to growing adults, and our other children and teens are eagerly looking forward to their own adulthood ceremonies.
- Have you set the house rules for adult children? Talk through the issues with your spouse, then communicate them clearly to your new adult, especially in these areas:
- Is there a curfew?
- If the young adult is living at home, are there financial contributions expected?
- What are the financial agreements between student and parent for college?
- What happens if the student leaves college or fails to launch? Can he come home? How?
- What are the dating rules for adult children?
- How should the young adult show proper respect for the house rules younger siblings still live under (like curfew, dating, entertainment, etc)?
- How should the parents and adult children demonstrate mutual respect, love, and consideration? This is an on-going talk in our home as we feel through this issue together. So far, maintaining open dialog, being sensitive when he asks for more personal space (or less nagging), and clearly stating expectations has gone a long way toward minimizing difficulties.
What else does your young adult need to graduate?
This article contains affiliate links to help support this site, but all recommendations are products I actually use and love. I am not a legal expert on graduation requirements in any state; please do your own research and plan accordingly.