Homeschooling Through High School
More and more families choose to homeschool through high school and more and more families start homeschooling during the high school years. Because of this, many more materials are available for teaching high school subjects.
As you start planning a high school course of study with your student, it's most important to work on deciding what your student wants to do after high school. If college is in the plans, take a look at the admission requirements at the type of school your child is interested in. If they are looking at a particular career path, see what courses might be available in your area or online. Students can work with adults to learn what particular jobs entail. They can become EMTs, pilots, landscapers, and newspaper writers all without attending college.
The first concern parents usually have is how to tackle the tough subjects. There is a wealth of homeschooling curricula available for teaching everything from chemistry to Italian. Many textbooks are backed up by lectures on CD or DVD, or online. High school and college courses can be taken online. Often there is a homeschooling parent nearby who teaches high school classes in their area of expertise, or homeschoolers hire a tutor and put together a small class. Homeschoolers frequently get together for lab courses in such subjects as biology and chemistry.
Many support groups have teen activities. There is a very large teen group based in Concord. Home Schooled Teens Together is a group that focuses on fun social experiences for home schooled teens, and support for their parents. Over 100 teens are in the club and a portion of them meet one evening a month for an outing of some kind, in the Concord area. Examples are nighttime capture the flag, board game marathon, Christmas Party, Beach Party, and much more. For more info please contact Cheryl & Trevor at email@example.com.
Finishing High School Early
You can certify completion for a student under the age of 18 who has finished high school by sending a letter to the Commissioner of Education. Otherwise the requirements of the homeschooling law must be met until the student turns 18. You can use the format in this sample.
Applying to College
The transcript itself, if it's just the name of a class and a grade, doesn't mean much. That's why colleges like to have an attached course description. It can be as simple as the name of the textbook and the topics covered in it, or it can be a more detailed list of books read, projects, and field trips.
It's most important to call the admissions office of the school and ask them what they would like to have submitted. Explain that you're sorry you are calling instead of the student, but because your child is homeschooled, you are the principal and guidance counselor and need to know what to prepare. It can be very helpful if you offer what you can give them first, rather than wait for the school to demand various things. Say that you are prepared to send in a transcript with (or without) grades, a brief course description of the classes your student took, and letters of recommendation. You might not have letters from, say, a math teacher and an English teacher, but you should offer what you do have, (maybe letters from an employer, volunteer director, sports coach, theater director). These days, colleges are very happy to hear from homeschoolers, but the specialized colleges (such as art schools) and trade schools often don't quite know what to do with homeschoolers and ask for things that don't exist (like a school district's write up of your high school program).
You should know that colleges are not allowed to ask that the student take a GED to be accepted receive financial aid. They are often confused about this. Refer them to the "Dear Colleague letter" http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN0211.html. Among other things in this letter from the U.S. Department of Education is the statement:"With regard to documenting a home-schooled student's completion of secondary school in a home-schooled setting, an institution may accept a home-schooled student's self-certification that he or she completed secondary school in a home school setting, just as it may accept a high school graduate’s self-certification of his or her receipt of a high school diploma. "
A list of New Hampshire organizations which offer scholarships is here : http://doj.nh.gov/publications/documents/dirpurpose.pdf
Instead of College
With the rising cost of a college education, more and more students are looking at other options. Here are some we've seen.
Other Places to Find Information
Kemlo Aki, New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition Board member, has put together an excellent Homeschooling Through High School page on her website http://sites.google.com/site/kemakihsinginfo/Home/highschool. You will find many resources there to get you started.
You may want to join Parents Homeschooling Teens - (http://mailman.dimentech.com/mailman/listinfo/pht) - an email list specifically for parents homeschooling teens in New Hampshire.
This page is still "a work in progress". Please check back as we post more information here.
Some programs of Special Interest to New Hampshire Homeschoolers
The Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS) is New Hampshire's online virtual school serving students in grades 6 through 12. New Hampshire resident students attend the school tuition free. VLACS is approved by the New Hampshire Board of Education and offers both full-time and part-time opportunities for students. Please visit the school's website to find out more information. Phone: 603-778-2500. Web address: http://www.vlacs.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dual Credit for High School and College
eStart is a collaboration between the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) and the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS). Students must be at least 15 years old to be eligible.
Earn high school and college credits for the same CCSNH 100% online course.
Pay $150 for CCSNH tuition plus the cost of a textbook. (save on college costs) Access the course from any Internet connection. Students work at their own pace to accomplish specific weekly assignments. Use the rich resources of the Web with a college instructor facilitating and encouraging a high level of student-to-student and student-to-faculty interaction.
TEAMS Charter School Focused on Science, Technology and Math
TEAMS Charter School is a tuition free, small public charter school with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math. TEAMS emphasizes an integrated, hands-on approach to learning in a personalized small environment that prepares students who have completed their sophomore year, or comparable competencies, for postsecondary education in both high tech and liberal arts fields for students. Students enrolled at TEAMS Charter School have the opportunity to earn college credits through VLACS or NHTI. There are three main components to the academic program:
-Students complete some high school course work using VLACS, a virtual learning environment that allows coursework to be completed outside the brick and mortar walls of the school.
-An Analytic Reading and Writing course is offered onsite and designed to increase and improve those skills which are necessary to be competitive in college and post secondary schools.
-The Engineering by Design courses engage students in engineering concepts, social issues and design skills in a variety of engineering fields.. Students should learn the basics of engineering from concept and prototype development to final creation and manufacturing of the solution. Students are presented with projects and problems in environmental, mechanical, electrical and biomedical engineering over the course of two years. The exposure to these concepts helps to prepare the student to career or college ready in the STEM fields.
More info from the director, George Rogers at 753-4022 or email at: email@example.com. Check out the web site at: www.teamsnh.org
Step Ahead Program at Franklin Pierce University
The Step Ahead program allows area high school students in their senior year to take classes open to our traditional freshman. Home educated students do not have to be "seniors", but it is important that the students are socially and academically prepared to succeed and enjoy their experience.
Classes are $100.00 per credit and most classes usually carry 3 credits or 4 credits if there is a lab. There are a wide variety of classes offered; college writing, sports and recreation management, anthropology, graphic design, and philosophy just to name a few. Contact Terry Skorewicz, Assistant Director of Admissions, 603.899.4059, firstname.lastname@example.org, Franklin Pierce University, 40 University Drive, Rindge, NH 03461.
Great Bay Community College Business and Training Center offers a variety of programs available to homeschoolers.
For more information visit http://www.greatbay.edu/?pg=btc_solutions#draft.
Thomas More College in Merrimack, NH provides a classical education in the Catholic tradition. With a student/faculty ratio of 10:1, small classes, and opportunites for tutorials and independant-study programs, students flourish in an intellectual journey through reading the Great Books which have shaped our Western culture. Please read our president's Letter to Homeschooling Families . In addition, each student is required to study in Rome, Italy, for a full semester at no extra cost. http://www.thomasmorecollege.edu/
Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner, MA
Offers homeschoolers part-time or full-time classes; on-line classes; three campus locations; Honors Program; 4-day schedule; small classes; affordable; local; personal. You can start college at age 16, WITH financial aid.
Liane (rhymes with Diane) Jablonski is a former home schooling mom who now teaches, works in enrollment, and recruits for MWCC. "All 6 of my children have started their higher education at the Mount, coming from a non-traditional high school background. MWCC has hired me to spread the word about the flexible opportunities available to homeschoolers. Individuals, families, or groups are encouraged to schedule a consultation with me to gather information, ask questions, and see how MWCC can work for you and your future." email@example.com
River Bend Career and Technical Center, Bradford, VT
Students who reside in the following NH towns: Piermont, Monroe, Woodsville, North Haverhill, Haverhill, Benton, Piermont, Bath, Lyme, Orford, and Pike, are eligible to attend River Bend Career and Technical Center (see www.rbctc.org ) during their Junior and Senior years of high school. Home schooled students have this same right. Applications for the 2011-12 school year are due March 31, 2011. Any interested student should call Karen Collman, Guidance Coordinator, at 802-222-5212 ext. 135 to arrange a visit to the center.
Murray’s Technical Education
Michael Murray teaches AutoCAD drafting online to homeschoolers. Teenage homeschoolers who are looking for a fun and rewarding learning experience can sign up for either of two classes: Drafting 1 Mechanical or Drafting 2 Architectural Drafting. The field of Drafting and Engineering is growing and CAD is the program most used in the industry. Students can become certified in AutoCAD and have an edge when entering college.
Michael is a state certified teacher and has been teaching for almost 30 years. He is available by phone or e-mail for support. Please visit www.homeschoolingus.com