Episode 60: When the Homeschool High School Plan Needs to Change

You can be swimming along and then things aren’t going so well anymore. Homeschooling high school is all about adapting, and so you may realize that it’s time for something to change. Often this involves a change in the overall homeschool high school plan, not just tweak like a new curriculum choice.

But no fear; this does not have to be a big deal! In fact, if there’s one constant when homeschooling high school, it’s that change WILL happen, LOL!

In this episode we discuss reasons why you might want to change the overall plan, how to change the plan, and what the key factors are to keep in mind as you do so.

Be encouraged!

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Sometimes you need to change the homeschool high school plan. Learn when it's good to do so and how -- so that everyone stays happy!

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This episode is sponsored by SchoolhouseTeachers.com

SchoolhouseTeachers.com, the quintessential homeschooling solution, provides a high-quality Christian education supplying ALL the necessary tools for successful home education to over nine thousand Christian families around the world. Join these families and create a strong faith-based foundation for all your children as you homeschool using the learning style that works for your family.

Keep the fun rolling throughout the summer with SchoolhouseTeachers.com! There is no need to slow down your children’s educationSimply switch gearsgiving them something to be excited about! Educate and entertain your kids at the same time by selecting their favorite electives during the summer months. Over 400 Courses are available to choose from! Plus, SchoolhouseTeachers.com is unique in that it provides options for every subject, you are not limited to one course per subject! Take the plunge today and use code: EXPLORE at SchoolhouseTeachers.com to pay only $179 for a two-year Ultimate Membership (reg. $224.97/yr). Dive deeper into the world of homeschooling with in-depth, quality resources available upon sign up.

With a SchoolhouseTeachers.com membership, mom is covered too! Spend some time planning out the next school year with the complimentary 2021-22 SmartMama™ Planner, relax by the water with a print copy of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine (members receive four print copies delivered to their doorsteps per year), and enjoy an evening away from the hustle and bustle of it all by attending one of the exclusive Hey, Mama! Members’ Lounge events or ask questions in the engaging Facebook group and the chat box on the site.

Join today and receive access to curriculum downloads, electives, self-paced video lessons, streaming educational videos including Drive Thru History® and The Torchlighters® series, recordkeeping materials, and more.

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Episode 60: When the Homeschool High School Plan Needs to Change

Related Resources:

Cure the Fear of Homeschooling High School: A Step-by-Step Handbook for Research and Planning

Episode 58: Getting Your Homeschooled Teen a Job

10 Effective Strategies for Motivating Your Homeschooled Teen

Episode 45: 4 Things that Kill Your Teen’s Motivation

Save Your Sanity while Homeschooling High School: Practical Principles for a Firm Foundation

Homeschool Literature Curriculum Options for Teens who Hate to Read

Why Should You Homeschool High School? Crafting Your Mission Statement

When Your Teen Hates Homeschooling: What to Do and What NOT to Do

Episode 68: Considering a Fifth Year for High School

TRANSCRIPT:

0 (0s):
Hi, this is Ann Karako and you are listening to episode 60 of the, It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool High School podcast. You know, a lot of the time it’s because the kid is becoming more and more of an individual, more and more of an adult, more and more of somebody who knows their own mind, more and more of somebody. Who’s not just going to do what you tell them to do.

1 (33s):
Welcome to another episode of, It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool High School, the podcast for real people. So you can confidently, competently, and even contentedly provide the high school education that best fits your teen and your family, and live to tell about it. I’m your host and Ann Karako from annieandeverything.com. Welcome, today we’ve got sort of a different sort of topic happening today. It’s not one that you find people talking about that much, and it’s really kind of hard to put it into search term, terms. Like I was trying to think, what would people even

0 (1m 13s):
search for this as. It’s not something that you’re going to tend to search for, but it’s something that’s going to be helpful to hear about because it probably will happen to you. I’ve got another Google maps analogy for you. Let’s say you’re headed somewhere, I don’t know where it is just someplace. And you have put that into Google maps and you are in your car and you are following the blue line and your blue dot is on the blue line. But guess what? Now you’ve got to stop and get gas. And so you get off the blue line to get gas and Google maps shows you off the blue line and maybe the gas station is further off the blue line than you realized.

0 (1m 57s):
Or, hey, when you’re at the gas station, you find out from a billboard that there is this great ice cream place that you want to go visit, and that’s even further off the existing blue line. And now you’re so far off the blue line that you really need a new way to get back to it. You don’t want to go back the way you came, there’s gotta be a shorter way to get there now that you’re as far off of it as you are. And so you recalibrate the Google maps, you say, okay, forget where I was coming from. If I go, if I want to get to where I’m going from here now, what do I do? And this is analogous to what we’re going to talk about today, which is you’ve got a plan for homeschooling high school, and sometimes you reach a point where you need to change the plan.

0 (2m 42s):
The analogy breaks down in that often with Google maps, we are still trying to get to the same place in the end. We might just be taking a different route to get there, but sometimes when it comes to homeschool high school planning, the goal actually changes. And so now it’s a matter of putting a completely different endpoint. And so now how are we going to get there? And you know what? This is perfectly normal, absolutely. And utterly normal. So we’re going to talk about that. Let’s just have a brief overview. How do you plan in the first place? Cause maybe you’re one of those who never really did create a plan for the high school years.

0 (3m 26s):
And you’re just kind of going by the seat of your pants from one semester to the next, you know what? It’s going to build a lot of confidence. If you actually have a plan and what kind of plan am I talking about? A plan where you know, which courses your kid is taking when. Not necessarily all the curriculum choices for those courses, but the courses themselves. Which credits are going to happen when? How many math credits are they going to have? When are those math credits going to happen? Which courses are those math credits going to be? And the same for English, history, and science. What’s going to happen when, and when are electives going to happen? It’s really helpful to have a plan before you even start so that you don’t leave out anything that is necessary for whatever comes afterwards.

0 (4m 11s):
So how do you even get a plan going in the first place? Well, I’m going to cut to the chase and say I’ve got a book that helps you. It’s called Cure the fear of Homeschooling High School. You can find it on the website, under shops, so go to annieandeverything.com and click shop in the top menu. And then look for Cure the fear of Homeschooling High School and you can see all about it. It takes you through all of the steps to make a great plan, step by step. And there are forms to fill out all along the way so that you can record your decision-making process so that later, you know why you made the decisions that you did. So when you get to this point and you’re ready to change the plan, it’s a lot easier to do that when you know why you were doing what you were doing in the first place.

0 (4m 57s):
So yeah, now that’s just one possible option. Of course, the overview summary of how to plan is first, you’ve got to research your state homeschool law in regards to high school and you have to research any requirements for whatever your kid wants to do next. Most parents, when they’re getting ready to homeschool high school, as their kid is going into ninth grade, they’re thinking about preparing their kid for college. And so that’s definitely something to look at, what are the requirements for college and how can we make sure we fit them into high school? So then after you know what those requirements are, what your state homeschool law says, and what college requirements are, then you’re going to create some requirements for yourself.

0 (5m 45s):
Like, what do you think is important that should happen in high school? What are your homeschools graduation requirements going to be? And then what you do is figure out how you’re going to fit all that in. And you can, you know what? You can do it on a piece of 8 1/2 x 11 notebook paper. That’s how I did our first kids. I just divided it into four squares, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th, and just started writing math, math, math in three of those, because we had decided to do three math credits and English went in all of them. And we did a foreign language in there. So that went in a couple of them. And you can do it that way also. But I do recommend my book because it takes a lot of the fear out of it.

0 (6m 26s):
You don’t feel like you’re flying blind. You feel like you’ve got somebody holding your hand, namely me through the process. So you’ve got this plan and once you’ve got the plan, then all you got to do is start and see how it goes. And yes, there is also, curriculum choice involved in that. We’re not talking so much about curriculum today, as we’re talking about the main overall plan. So when you come to each new semester, you’re going to pick the curriculum out for that semester. But basically, you’re going to follow the plan. And for many people, maybe they do end up following the entire plan from start to finish. It really depends on so many factors. Certainly, through 9th grade, most people are able to follow the plan that they start with.

0 (7m 9s):
And even many through 10th grade are able to follow the plan that they start with, it’s after that, or maybe towards the end of 10th grade, that sometimes things start to break down a little bit. Why would that be? Why would a change need to be made almost always starting maybe at the end of sophomore year or sometime in junior year? You’re like, whoa, wait a minute. This plan is not working for this kid. Well, a lot of the times it’s because the kid is becoming more and more of an individual, more and more of an adult, more and more of somebody who knows their own mind more and more of somebody who’s not just going to do what you tell them to do.

0 (7m 51s):
And that’s not a bad thing, that is again very normal. Let’s say, sometimes their interests change. So you thought they were interested in one thing, and so did they, but the more they started to spend time on it, they’re like, no, I don’t like this at all. Or maybe they find something new that they’re interested in, that they didn’t know before that they liked. And now they really want to study this instead. And so they want to gear their coursework or their credits towards this other thing that they’re interested in. So interests can change. And that’s a great reason to change the plan. What else might happen?

0 (8m 31s):
You know what, maybe your kid finally decides on a major that they want. And that is a great thing. Some kids don’t decide by this point, but some do, and they’re pretty firm about it. And so then you’re like, okay, this plan that we made, didn’t take this major into account at all. So we need to make sure we’ve got the requirements for this major under our belts before you graduate. So we’ve got to change the plan. Maybe your kid gets a job. That is something that can really affect the plan. Now it was just a couple of episodes ago, I want to say, it’s episode 58 of this podcast, where I talked about getting your teen a job and whether or not to count it for credit, spoiler, I think you can and should.

0 (9m 19s):
And if you do, that’s definitely going to affect the credits that you planned for the remaining years of high school. If your kid keeps this job, and if they’re working enough hours to make it worth a high school credit, then you’re not also going to make them have to do all these other credits you had already planned on. No, they don’t need a gazillion credits. And that would be a lot of their time. Then we need them to be happy individuals and human beings who get enough rest and have enough mental space margin in their lives. We don’t want them to be constantly going, going, going.

0 (9m 59s):
So if they’re getting a job, then it’s very likely we will want to adjust the plan. So one thing that can tend to happen around this age as well, is that the kids can, some kids can tend to lose motivation for homeschooling. For doing the workday in and day out, in their room, at the dining room table, at home with the younger siblings, or whatever. Where maybe they’re the last kid left at home and they’re lonely. Nobody else is around to do homeschool with anymore, so they’re losing motivation. This can be another great time to change the plan, because if they’ve lost motivation, it’s no amount of pushing, forcing, slogging them through is going to make things get better.

0 (10m 47s):
And sometimes it’s super helpful to meet them halfway and change the requirements a bit to make them, a) more interesting, b) less onerous; whatever it takes to bring that motivation back up a little bit. Gonna break in here for just a moment to say that this episode is sponsored by schoolhouseteachers.com. schoolhouse teachers.com. The quintessential homeschooling solution provides a high-quality Christian education supplying all the necessary tools for home education to over 9,000 Christian families around the world. Join these families and create a strong faith-based foundation for all your children.

0 (11m 28s):
As you homeschool using the learning style that works for your family. Keep the fun rolling throughout the summer with schoolhouseteachers.com. There is no need to slow down your children’s education. Simply switch gears, giving them something to be excited about. Educate and entertain your kids at the same time by selecting their favorite electives during the summer months over 400 courses are available to choose from. Plus schoolhouseteachers.com is unique in that it provides options for every subject. You are not limited to one course per subject. Take the plunge today and use code [email protected] to pay only $179 for a two-year ultimate membership.

0 (12m 8s):
This is regularly $224.97 per year. Dive deeper into the world of homeschooling with in-depth quality resources, available upon sign up. With a schoolhouseteachers.com membership mom is covered too. Spend some time planning out the next school year with the complimentary 2021 to 2022 Smart Mama Planner. Relax by the water with a print copy of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Members receive four print copies delivered to their doorsteps per year and enjoy an evening away from the hustle and bustle of it all, by attending one of the exclusive, Hey Mama Members lounge events, or ask questions in the engaging Facebook group and the chatbox on site join today and receive access to curriculum downloads electives self-paced video lessons, streaming educational videos, including drive-through history and the torch lighters series record-keeping materials and more schoolhouseteachers.com every grade, every subject, every student.

0 (13m 2s):
And Hey, I just want to make you aware that this sale where you can use code explore, technically doesn’t start until the 12th of July, but you guys get early access. So if you are listening to this episode on the day it airs, which is July 2nd, or any time after that before July 12th, it’s okay to go over and use this code anyway. So go check it out. All right, back to our content. So yeah, for all of these reasons, then the plan may need to change. You may be looking at it and realizing that what you thought was going to happen, back before 9th grade ever started is probably not a good idea anymore.

0 (13m 44s):
Totally normal. It’s totally fine. I’m going to keep saying that through this episode, this is all totally normal. Really, when you think about it, just realize that when you’re making that plan before 9th grade, you probably will change it at least once, if not multiple times. Sometimes more major, sometimes just fine tweaks. The idea is that as we’re cruising down that road, as we’re following the plan, it’s a lot easier to make a course correction if we’re actually moving down the plan. So the plan is a good thing, even though we know it will probably change, it’s still a good idea to have a plan, not to mention it builds your confidence so that you know, hey, I’m fitting in everything that I need that I know of right now.

0 (14m 30s):
And I’ve not left out anything important. The plan can work, but then hey, you get a couple of years down the road and you’re like, all right, the plan could work, but it’s not meeting the needs that we have anymore. That’s really what’s going on here is your needs have changed or your kids’ needs have changed. And to continue with the same plan is then an exercise in frustration. So how do we change the plan? What you’re going to do is you’re going to look at what is now needed. What do you really absolutely need to have accomplished by the end of high school? By the time graduation rolls around what courses are absolutely necessary versus the ones that you had put down, where can we eliminate or change so that we meet the needs of the new goals or the new situation we find ourselves in.

0 (15m 28s):
We all were wanting a certain outcome. A lot of the time that turns out to be unrealistic. Another good resource here is my Save Your Sanity While Homeschooling High School book, it talks a lot about reasonable expectations and sometimes our expectations weren’t reasonable to start with. And it’s okay if our plan was a little bit, kind of, pie in the sky. It’s okay that we’re brought down to reality. It’s okay. As long as we’re willing to flex. And sometimes it’s a pride thing and we need to just take it on the chin and say, okay, I obviously had the wrong idea here. What is more important is that I’m meeting the needs of my kid, not my ideas of what things should have looked like.

0 (16m 11s):
So re-evaluate, what is absolutely necessary, versus what can we let go of or change to make it fit what we’re doing better? So an example may be, you’re getting rid of a foreign language requirement because your kid is just bogged down. Maybe you’re going to delete one of those math credits. You wanted to have math every single year of high school, but your kid is not succeeding well at math. They’re not going to be going into a tech major. It makes no sense to keep them forced to do the 4th year of math when they only need two or three credits to get into what they want to do anyway. And this is the sort of thing, as matter of fact, math was one of the biggies in our little world when it came time to adapting the plan, my husband and I did start out wanting everybody to have all core courses every year.

0 (17m 2s):
So four credits of English, four credits of math, four credits of science, four credits of history, that did not last very long. And math was one of the ones that went by the wayside first. No, our kids did not need four credits of math. So we took a math off the list. History is another one. Some of my kids liked it, others didn’t. So the ones that liked it, we kept those credits there. The ones that were just really hating that time every day, we didn’t feel the need to have four credits of history. Now English was non-negotiable because most colleges require four credits of English, but what type of English was very negotiable.

0 (17m 43s):
So, maybe this kid wasn’t into reading as much. So then we went for some other options that didn’t involve as much reading. And I’ve actually got a blog post about literature curriculum options, when your kid doesn’t like to read that much so that your kid can still be studying literature, but not necessarily with all the heavy reading. So yeah, these are the types of things that you’re going to do to change the plan. Another way to think about it is what is your, why? Did you develop a Why for homeschooling high school? Do you know why you’re homeschooling high school as opposed to sending your kids somewhere else?

0 (18m 25s):
And that plan that you made, does it still meet that, or is it too difficult or is it really causing a hindrance to meet the goal of the Why? You can always adapt to make sure that your why is met or isn’t being hindered. A lot of times you’re like, but these courses or these credits that I thought we needed to have, they don’t affect our why at all. So why am I bogging us down with all of this pressure? Our, why is something else completely different? We don’t really have to do all of this work. That’s why I always say it’s really not that hard to homeschool high school. We often make it harder for ourselves than it needs to be because we have these huge expectations.

0 (19m 10s):
Let’s remember what our why is and try to meet that. And if something that we’re doing is either hindering that or causing undue stress and strain, then let’s dump it. That’s called changing the plan. You know, every kid is completely different. Some kids are going to be more academically oriented. Other kids are going to be more hands-on-oriented. Some kids are going to be dreamers and readers or writers, and some kids are going to be analytical or creative. And we want them to be able to explore what they want to explore.

0 (19m 52s):
And we want to adapt to those individualities as best as we can while still getting the job done. And so, you will find your plan starts out quite similar, maybe for each of your kids, as you’re going into 9th grade, that then as you track along with this plan, it changes depending upon the individual kid. So none of my kids’ credits looked alike. None of my kids’ coursework looked alike. They had different courses, they had different credits and it all was dependent upon who they are, what they thought they needed, what we thought they needed, and how we met in the middle.

0 (20m 33s):
Please realize that you are going to want to involve your teen in this process. Probably not, to be honest with you, the process before 9th grade, where you’re planning their credits and their requirements. They’re not ready yet in my humble opinion, to enter into the planning process. But now that they’ve been doing it for a couple of years, and we’re at the end of sophomore year or we’re in junior year, and sometimes these plans can change even as late as the senior year. Now they’ve got the right to have an opinion and to be heard. And that one of the best ways to build bridges is to meet your kid halfway; about what they’re saying and to change the plan in a way that they can agree with.

0 (21m 18s):
And then they’re going to be much more likely to be motivated to complete the plan, which is where we’re all wanting to get to. Am I right? Please remember that the relationship is the most important thing. And so your idea of what the plan was should have been what the requirements were; what you wanted to have your kid accomplish by graduation. Sometimes it’s not worth dying on that hill. That doesn’t mean we’re giving in to our kids. The idea is to try to meet them halfway, where we are giving up some of the things that we wanted, they might be giving up some of the things that they wanted. We come to something in the middle that we can agree with that keeps them motivated, but still, as I said, gets the job done so that they’re ready for whatever comes next.

0 (22m 6s):
It’s really not rocket science. Really. It’s just all about being willing to flex and change, keeping your eye on things, and remembering that it’s not all about you. It’s not all about them either. There are lots of considerations when it comes to changing the plan, adding these credits, subtracting these credits, changing a curriculum, maybe. Or changing instead of doing American History, we’re going to do Ancient History. I don’t know. There are all sorts of ways in which every kid is so different. Every family is so different. There are infinite number of ways that the plan may change. But the idea is to not be a stick in the mud, either of you uses this as an opportunity to dialogue and to understand one another better.

0 (22m 51s):
I’m trying to think of some other examples of when we changed the plan. The most current senior, the one who graduated in May, we had an idea for a foreign language for her that never came together. And then after she was accepted to a school that didn’t require a foreign language and decided that’s where she was going to go, then we’re like, okay, who needs it? We’re not going to do it. She’ll probably have to take it in college. And yeah, you know what? It might set her back a little bit because she hasn’t had it before. It might be difficult for her, or at least more challenging than it would have been if she’d had it in high school, but it wasn’t necessary anymore.

0 (23m 31s):
And she was working almost 30 hours a week with her job. And she had other things going on in life that we felt were more important than getting a foreign language requirement. So we didn’t do it. And that was dropped off pretty late in the plan, but we did it. So a lot of times the change is going to come with dropping things off, but sometimes it comes with adding other things in, again, if they develop an interest that you weren’t anticipating, and then maybe you can take advantage of that and create some of their study around that interest, so that their motivation stays up. So, just remember it is perfectly normal to have a plan change in the middle.

0 (24m 15s):
Don’t feel like because it’s not going the way you thought it would, that it’s bad or wrong. That is not the case. I’ve been around this thing five times now. And every single time it changed even if only a little bit, but sometimes pretty major. Another example was my son; after he got his job, academics just became more and more frustrating for him. And so kind of overtime, we dropped off more and more credits and let him add more and more time to his job. And that was great for him. He graduated and went on to college and everything is fine. Everything is fine.

0 (24m 55s):
We get so worked up about stuff in the moment. And I’m here to tell you that most of the time, the number of credits here versus there, is often just not a big deal when you’re already five years down the road. It’s just not in fact what was on their transcript. You don’t even remember anymore. I mean, it’s true. Try to aim for the big picture, which is the relationship with your kid and whether or not they will be prepared for what comes next to the best of your ability. And that’s on them too. Sometimes they won’t be fully prepared. That just means they’re going to have to work harder, but maybe when they’re on the college campus, their motivation will be a little bit more.

0 (25m 40s):
Right. And it probably will be actually. So there’s that too. You can’t beat a dead horse. You can only do so much. So sometimes they’ll have to suffer some consequences. If you decide that in order to keep the relationship, some of the requirements are going to get lessened well, then if they get to college and that would have been helpful for them to have that thing and now they don’t have it. Oh, well, that is their consequence. They’re going to have to step up to the plate and do something about it. It’s called growing up. Right. Okay. Well, thanks for listening today. You know, there’s going to be show notes as always on the website, annieandeverything.com, click on the podcast, and then look for episode 60.

0 (26m 23s):
Click on that, and you’ll see all of the links to all of the related things that go along with this episode. I’ve got so many articles on planning; there will also be links to Cure the fear and Save Your Sanity, so you can learn more about everything that has to do with homeschooling

1 (26m 42s):
high school when you come to the website. Thanks for being here today, and in a couple of weeks, we’re going to talk about how to involve your teen in the planning process, which I think is super important, certainly in those later years. So, I think that’ll be helpful too, at least I hope so. We’ll see you then. And just remember, it may not always be easy to homeschool high school, but it doesn’t have to be that hard.

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