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Homeschooling 12th after PS? What would need to be done?

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If my son wants to homeschool 12th grade, what do I need to know? What do I need to Do?


Lab science?

officially what he needs for final year if in public school is a whole credit English, a whole credit lab science, half credit health, half credit careers, half credit Econ, half credit US government,  plus a few extra credits in anything. 


He already has math, foreign language, PE, and fine arts as required completed. 

Can he unschool the year? 

He does not currently plan to go to college, but does need a high school diploma for things he thinks he does want to do (such as pursuing a trade).  He had been interested in military, and has excellent ASVAB already, but less interested currently.  

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First, you'll want an official transcript from the public school. That will tell you exactly what credits in what subjects DS has completed. (Sounds like you already have that, and you already know what is still needed.)

Then plan out the course of study for the 12th grade year to complete whatever credits may be required for high school graduation, or for admission to college. To do this, look at your state's homeschool requirements for high school graduation, and list whatever credits have not yet been completed by your DS as credits to accomplish in 12th grade. And even though he is not currently considering college, if he has a decent set of credits and grades, I always recommend keeping as many future doors open as possible by having a basic "college prep" set of credits, if possible. Try looking at what a few universities in your state tend to list as required credits for admission, and jot down any credits missing from your student's completed credits as additional credits to  Blend your two lists together.

Finally, look at the student's interests and plan any credits that would be helpful there -- since trade school or military may be on the horizon, together, look with DS at what kinds of courses would give him a "leg up" for those possible future career areas.

A typical blended credit or college prep list (required credits for high school graduation + credits required for college admission) looks something like this, with Electives allowing for learning in the Vo-Tech or personal interest areas:

4 credits = English (usually 1/2 Lit. + 1/2 Writing, but can be flexible -- special Lit focus, or Journalism; Creative Writing; Technical Writing...)
3-4 credits = Math (Alg. 1, Geometry, Alg. 2; some colleges want a 4th credit; some want that 4th credit to be above Alg. 2)
3-4 credits = Science (usually a minimum of 2 need to be with labs; only a few colleges require Biology & Chemistry -- most are very flexible)
2-4 credits = Social Studies (many colleges want 1 credit = U.S. Hist.; some want 1 credit = World Hist/Geog.; a few want 0.5 credit each Gov't & Econ) 
2-4 credits = Foreign Language (same language):
1 credit = Fine Arts (can be performance/creation of art, or "appreciation")
4-8 credits = Electives (examples: Health, PE, Computer, Logic, Vocational-Tech, personal interest, add'l Fine Arts, "Academic Electives" = add'l credits in first 5 areas beyond required #, etc.)
22-28+ credits = total  (usually accumulated at the rate of 5-7 credits per year of high school)

Once you plan out what credits are needed/wanted for 12th grade, *how* you and DS accomplish those credits is wide-open. That can be via unschooling, or online classes, or at-home traditional materials, or... Research materials, resources, outside classes or programs or mentors etc. to find what is the best fit for accomplishing your goals.

If planning a DIY course, or unschooling a credit:
- research to get an idea of what content/skills should be learned
- set goals: determine how progress will be measured, and what type of "output" (if any) will be used to show learning
- find resources & materials, courses/tutors, special programs, or other ways of helping your student gain the needed content/skills
- if logging hours: roughly 150 hours = 1 credit [120 hours teacher/class contact = minimum / 180 hours = maximum]
- a typical workload is 5-7 credits per year of high school, which very roughly works out to approx. 5-7 hours of work per day, 4-5 days per week

So, if your DS has completed 3 years at a typical public or private high school, he probably only needs to finish a few credits in 12th grade. From your post above, you already know that if he continued with his high school he would need the following:
     1.0 credit = English
     1.0 credit = Science, with lab
     0.5 credit each = Social Studies: Econ + Gov't
     0.5 credit = Health
     0.5 credit = Careers
     [1-2 credits = ?? -- Electives ?? ]
     4.0 - 6.0 credits [?] total = 12th grade

However -- check your state homeschool requirements -- if you homeschool, he may NOT need the 0.5 credits of Health & Careers (although, doing some informal Career Exploration might be helpful... 😉 )

That leaves DS plenty of room for things like:
- working
- involvement in a special program
- earning any certifications that will help him later on
- learning more about a personal interest or hobby area
- doing dual enrollment at a community college -- perhaps coursework toward a vocational or trade area, which can be really nice if your area offers FREE or REDUCED tuition for vocational-tech courses to high school students doing it as dual enrollment. <---A lot of these things could also count towards credit(s) of Elective or Vocational-Tech.

Just a side note for addressing the possible future career interests of trade or military....

Perhaps he'd like to extend his interest in the military toward some "para-military" careers:
- urban or wildland firefighter
- 9-1-1 dispatcher
- coast guard
- merchant marines?

Perhaps he could research some of these (count the hours of research toward that 0.5 credit of "Careers" 😉 ), and see if he would benefit by earning a certificate or taking a vocational-tech course that would help prepare him and make him a better candidate for acceptance into one of those areas -- example: work towards EMT certification (which could double towards the 0.5 credit of Health). Or complete the 3-4 online (short) courses to prepare for applying as a wildland firefighter, and count that towards a partial Elective or Vo-Tech credit...

Or, if leaning more toward the trades, maybe simultaneously earn Elective or Vo-Tech credits while earning any certifications he might be able to start working towards now: welding; CAD; tile work; mason; etc. 

Or, once your DS has his diploma, he might consider an "earn while learning" trade and go through an apprenticeship program. If interested in something like that, he might look at what the coursework involves for the classroom part of the apprenticeship and take any courses in 12th grade that would help prep for that -- for example, the son of a friend is going through an Electrician apprenticeship right now, and it is fairly math-heavy.

Edited by Lori D.
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And finally... Are you looking for specific ideas of how to accomplish the credits for 12th grade? Once you and DS have decided what the list of credits would be for 12th grade, we can help you brainstorm ideas, esp. if you can also give a general guideline as to how you want to complete those credits (i.e., at home, online course provider, via unschooling, through dual enrollment...)

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What Lori said!  

And if you do need help with specific classes, let us know. We can give you pointers on how to create each class, but I’ve found it’s best to post questions about the classes one-by-one.  If someone posts, “Tell me everything I need to teach for 5th grade and what curric to use!” I skip it.  That’s too much work for me. 🙂  I don’t want to try to type up everything I know about 6 different subjects.

But if someone says, “Help me figure out 5th grade math!” Then I’ll gladly help.

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