Jump to content


New to HS homeschooling

Guest mom2fivemd

Recommended Posts

Guest mom2fivemd

Dd in 10th withdrew her from PS last week, for multiple reasons...most importantly, she wanted this. She'll be 16 tomorrow, MD law states compulsory age is 5-16. Not sure what that means but she does want to go to college, is not "gifted", but works hard and wants to be a "writer".


Any help would be greatly appreciated!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dd in 10th withdrew her from PS last week, for multiple reasons...most importantly, she wanted this. She'll be 16 tomorrow, MD law states compulsory age is 5-16. Not sure what that means but she does want to go to college, is not "gifted", but works hard and wants to be a "writer".


Any help would be greatly appreciated!





Well definitely asses her needs and her ability level, and it seems you did do that so that's wonderful! Okay so you know what your dd wants to do, she wants to be a writer, so purchasing a good literature program along with a lot of reading and writing materials would be perfect for her. Since she is doesn't seem to be that into math, a light but thourough course should do just right for her. And then that just leaves science, language, history and lots of time for electives!


It may start off a little bumpy, but over the course of the year things should begin to come together perfectly!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MD law states compulsory age is 5-16. Not sure what that means


That just means that the state of Maryland requires all children between the ages of 5 to 16 to be in some sort of educational setting. After age 16, it is no longer required -- so a student can legally drop out of school at that point and parents will not be held legally liable. This will not at all pertain to you, as your DD will be 16yo, but will also be completing high school -- just doing so at home. :)




First: Welcome to homeschooling! We all wish you and DD the very best in your journey in finishing high school! :)



Second: See if you can talk with some local homeschoolers to help you "get up to speed" quickly with things like:

- MD homeschool requirements/paperwork (for example, it looks like DD will need to take the annual MSA Maryland School Assessment Test)

- mentoring for YOU as you transition into overseeing your DD's home education

- ideas for specific curriculum, outsourcing, dual enrollment, etc

- social and extracurricular activities and opportunities

- plugging in with other high school students interested in writing


Here are some lists of MD homeschool groups to help you find a group near you:

Homeschool World

Homeschool Central

Homeschool Classifieds list of MD groups



Third, I'd suggest just taking this month OFF and start fresh in January. Give yourself and your DD time to discuss and research TOGETHER:

- what will be required to complete high school at home

- what sorts of "extras" DD will need to accomplish and how she will do so (for example: PSAT, SAT and ACT tests; potential AP or honors coursework; driver's ed; etc.)

- future (post-high school) goals, and how to begin working towards those goals now (for example: DD's interest in writing -- what kind of writing; what college writing degrees/programs are out there; what kind of local support is there for writing; etc.)


This is your DD's decision and path as well, so she will need to be very involved in the research and decision-making process. :) For research on homeschooling, you can start with some free resources online:

Home Scholar website; Lee Binz, homeschool high school expert

HSLDA articles and links to resources, online newsletters, on homeschooling high school


I also *highly* recommend reading a book or two from the library on homeschooling; here are some good ones:

- Homeschooling: The Teen Years: Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 13- to 18- Year-Old (Cafi Cohen)

- Homeschoolers' College Admissions Handbook: Preparing Your 12- to 18-Year-Old for a Smooth Transition (Cafi Cohen)

- The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens (Debra Bell)

- Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High School (Rebecca Rupp)

- Homeschooling High School: Planning Ahead for College Admission (Jeanne Gowen Dennis)

- College-Prep Homeschooling: Your Complete Guide to Homeschooling through High School (Byers)



A first step would be to figure out exactly WHAT credits DD will need for high school graduation/college entrance in MD. For example, here is the list of required credits for MD. You'll also want to get an OFFICIAL copy of her school transcript for your records (and also for when it's time to send copies of transcripts to colleges) -- but also, the transcript will help you see what credits DD has already completed, so you can figure out what credits she still needs to accomplish at home:


Maryland high school graduation required credits

4 credits = English (typically that includes: Literature, Writing, Grammar, Vocabulary)

3 credits = Math = (MD minimum requirement = Algebra 1, Geometry, plus one other)

3 credits = Science (MD minimum requirement: Biology; 2 of the 3 credits at least much include "labs" (hands-on/experiments))

3 credits Social Studies (MD requires: 1 credit U.S. History; 1 credit World History; 1 credit in Government (local, state, national) )

1 credit = Fine Arts

0.5 credit = PE

0.5 credit = Health

1 credit = Technology Ed. (typically this is a computer course)


PLUS, either option A:

- 2 credits = Foreign Lang. OR Advanced Technology Ed.

- AND 3 credits = Electives


OR option B:

- 4 credits = State-approved career and technology program

- AND 1 credit = Elective


TOTAL = 21 credits (minimum)



As far as what specific programs/curriculum to use to accomplish these credits -- you have a lot of options; you and DD should discuss and research to come up with what would work best for each different kind of subject:

- textbook (sometimes with workbook)

- textbook plus DVD, CD or other visual lessons

- program that is on DVD, CD, etc. only

- online course at scheduled time, with teacher and/or student interaction

- online pre-recorded lectures: “webinar”, podcast, video on line tutorials, etc.

- public, private or charter high school class

- homeschool co-op class

- community college course / dual enrollment


When it comes time to pick specific materials for accomplishing these credits: if you are very uncertain about what to use and how to go about it, consider a "virtual charter school", something like K-12, which provides traditional materials for all subjects. If DD is doing well this year with the school-issued textbook or program for math, history or other subject -- then I suggest sticking with that for this year; every time you switch programs, there is a "learning curve" for both your DD and for you. If using the public school materials is not an option, and you'd like more flexibility than a virtual charter school (school textbooks done at home rather than in a classroom), then especially for math, I would recommend some sort of program that has a DVD or CD-Rom video lesson component. This would also give you flexibility to research and find a program or online course that would really fit your DD for writing. Also, dual enrollment (take a class at the local community college and it counts for both high school AND college credit) can be an excellent opportunity. Some states even pay the tuition for high school students to take 1 or 2 classes of dual enrollment.


Deciding on what program for each class subject is where talking to other high school homeschoolers is a BIG help -- they can give you advice, show you the actual materials, help get you started, give you tips on how to buy used or more cheaply, maybe even loan you material to get you started...



Finally, to help you get started in your thinking through what homeschooling will look like for you; making a high school plan; a "timetable" of what needs to happen and when in high school; and an overview of how to make transcripts and links to many free online resources, please email me and I'd be happy to send you a 20-page "packet" I made for our local homeschool group on getting started with homeschooling high school: neferlla AT hotmail DOT com.


Welcome to homeschooling! May you and DD have a wonderful journey! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
added info
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...