View Full Version : Overall High School Classes

Jennifer in VA
05-07-2014, 07:02 AM
Having a touch of panic here about high school classes. Thought I'd ask here, in a relatively private type format and larger geographic population about how high school is done.

Spent some time with homeschooling moms last night. It seems like a common occurrence to parcel out certain high school classes to teaching services type places. Most of these classes are about $400 to $450, plus more dollars for extras/supplies. Seemed like about all of the ladies (6 that have high school aged kids) all parcel out some classes. Two are fortunate to be rather talented in a given field do to passions and training and can teach an excellent high school class, at said teaching services. So for every class they teach, they get one free. That works well when you have a few high schoolers as well.

So my questions are: Do you parcel out classes to teaching services? Do you think it is necessary to do so for preparing your kids for dual enrollment classes and college? If you have a kid with learning glitches, to some extent, how do you handle it all?

Heather W
05-07-2014, 08:55 AM
Jennifer, people handle high school in lots of different ways. Many people do outsource classes at this age either because they don't feel equipped to teach it or because their teen has a great interest in a topic they want to pursue with more expertise.

You have some options in a few different directions depending on how you want to go about things.

Around here the most popular of the outsourced classes are those from The Potter's School. The classes are rigorous online courses taught on core subjects and electives. They are about $500 per class. I've seen kids take anywhere from 1-3 classes per semester on classes. That gets pricey as they have more than one child taking classes.

The other option, although less popular here, is the community college courses. They have some available online now and of course you can take classes in person. Online classes are somewhat less expensive, but as community college goes ours is expensive. Some kids keep taking classes and end up with an Associates Degree. Others simply take classes for high school credit.

Dual enrollment/credit can be tricky. It's very easy to talk about using one class for both high school and college credit. Great deal, right? Just be careful because not every college/university accepts dual credit. It's a big buzzword in the homeschool community, but it's not universal. The two schools in our town do not accept dual credit- these are not obscure institutions. You can use those community college credits as high school credits or college credits but not both.

For us, we have our high school juniors take one outsourced class. This serves three purposes: 1) It gives our high schooler an opportunity to answer to someone else academically before leaving our homeschool. 2) It puts one course on the transcript that was not given by us. 3) The grade obtained in the class gives validity to the rest of the grades I do put on the transcript.

Community college classes are not something we will pursue mainly out of cost- with as expensive as they are, we'll save those resources for when they are in college.

I don't think it's necessary to do outside classes before enrolling at the community college. Our kids here seem to do very well going into them as their first outsourced class. However, our cc requires that high school students take certain classes before being allowed to take whatever they'd like. In addition, unless they are 16, they cannot be on campus by themselves.

I would start by looking at what your teen's goals are and check into schools and programs that relate. Then make a plan from there. One school Ethan is looking at requires 3 credits of a foreign language another 2. So, he's doing three credits- that sort of thing.

I know different options are popular in various homeschooling communities. This is what I see here and we are good friends with an admissions officer at our local ivy league school. I take advice from him! :)

05-07-2014, 09:28 AM
My older son is 20, my younger is 14 and will start high school next year. Here is our "plan".

My boys do science, a couple other classes chosen by me, and some electives at the local high school, an option not available in all states. Science because I don't feel capable of teaching it well and I think it should be taught by someone who has a passion for it. Required by me classes are personal finance during Sr. year, and Art 1, both of which I feel are better not taught by me, and Art 1 is a prerequisite for any other art class they might choose as an elective.

Ds1 took every drawing class they offered, and a couple computer classes. He chose graphic arts as his college course and just landed his first professional job.

Ds2 plans to take every shop class they offer, and wants to work as a carpenter while going to college for Architecture.

These will be their only "outsourced" classes. Like you mentioned, outside classes at the high school level can be expensive. They can also be very demanding, and my boys fall into that group with "learning glitches" and seriously struggle with written work, so I choose not to put them into a high-pressure, high-achiever atmosphere.

Options locally for high school choices are many. We are in a small town about 30min from a major metro area. Within about 10 miles are: traditional co-ops with mom-taught classes; a high school only co-op with professional teachers, many of which are homeschooling moms, that has a wide variety of classes for around $200/class; dual enrollment at the local high school (our choice) which is free; a technical arts high school that is a joint effort of multiple school districts and offers certification in many areas- child care, nursing asst, construction trades, mechanical trades, etc; and PSEO - dual credit at any college, private or public, community or university, on-line or on campus, according to the college's individual policies, paid for by the local school district.

The down side to all this choice is that local homeschool high schoolers are split in so many different directions that there is no cohesive community among this sector of the homeschool population. I miss having frequent contact with like-minded friends.

Laura JL
05-07-2014, 09:57 AM
We've chosen to do all high school coursework at home until they enroll in our local community college for dual enrollment. Here, a child can enroll at age 16 or earlier with special permission. Normally they enroll in 1 course a semester until age 17 at which time they can do 2 -- although some have worked the system and been able to take up to 4 courses a semester. The fee is greatly reduced for high school students -- they call it Jump Start or Early College --our cost is $50 per credit hour which is cheaper than many people I know that are out-sourcing or doing on-line programs. Where you have to be careful is if a child places in a course that isn't transferable - for example a beginning math or foreign language course that is considered "below college level".

I'm odd in that I don't mind paying for college courses -- but I homeschool to do things my way so I'm not interested in paying someone else to teach a high school course to my children.

05-07-2014, 12:07 PM
I am guilty as charged...yes, I outsource all of my ds16 high school education. I even 'joked' with another mom saying we don't homeschool we 'out-school'... sad but true.

Now this kid is my bright, lovable, helpful young man who also happens to be somewhat argumentative and a challenge when it comes to ME teaching him something. By the time I had baby #6 he was 12 and I had 3 babies age 2 and under. I was in surival mode and and became very sick. When he was age 13-14, I had a total of 6 surgeries in a 24 month period. It was easier for us to do local Co op and outside classes than for me to 'teach' him.

That's the 'rut' we got into. He has thrived and really enjoyed his homeschool experience thus far. He gets excited when the next 'class' becomes available. Although it's not what I want for my homeschool, I can see and expect our high school will look drastically different for these little girls.

Rachel Jane
05-07-2014, 01:16 PM
I homeschooled both of my children all the way through pretty much on my own. We intended for them to go to CC for their JR and SR years but they wanted to participate in drama and other things, so we let them. Real life is forever. ;) . We did do physics on line and for extra help, I relied on Khan academy or other websites. We did figure out a four year plan conducive to furthering their education after graduating high school, so Jer was weighted heavily in the sciences and maths with labs and Luke had more history, english and music.

Jer is graduating with an associates in engineering in two weeks from CC and will be going to NJIT in Sept. Luke is starting Rutgers in January and studying communications for now (he believes he will be changing his major as he sees what is available).

Becky in CA
05-07-2014, 01:50 PM
I've always been on a really tight budget, so I've never been able to afford any other option than to homeschool the high school years. Years ago, we belonged to a co-op which had classes once a week, but we weren't able to continue with that. The only one who was able to do one or two class in his freshman year was my oldest, then those were out of the budget, too. I don't know if I would've used other options if I could've afforded it. :unsure:

Jennifer in VA
05-07-2014, 01:56 PM
Thanks all! Kind of figured it was all over the board with regards to this. We know some that have out-sourced it all, some partial, and just didn't know many, if any doing it all. If anything, I can see out source German and Kevin tutor. Other things will be easier in that I am liking the science and learning with them, my English is getting better (and Kevin was an English major, Physics minor, & undeclared math minor ~ lol! Not uncommon to hear me say, "Go ask Dad why!")

Plan to look around and see what works for us!

05-07-2014, 04:20 PM
I outsource science and foreign language. Also some electives that I can't possibly teach: P.E., drawing, auto maintenance, firearm safety and ... (something, I can't remember what I called that one). I also outsource things I could probably teach but my child has a particular passion for or wants to take with a certain teacher (One Year Adventure Novel, at our learning center with a fantastic teacher). The rest we do here at home.

If we didn't have a good learning center, I would probably do other things, including considering doing it all at home. It really just depends on what your options are and what your dc are wanting to do both in high school and beyond. And on your budget and the amount of time and expertise you have!

Kelly K
05-07-2014, 04:59 PM
For free or cheap, I would look at Kahn or allinonehighschool.com. My kids are going to the cc. This is their 3rd semester. It has been a good exp for them to have a slow intro to college. Things they've learned are things like schedule mgt, how to navigate the college's online system, messing around with student ids, how to write a good paper faster than they used to.

Jennifer in VA
05-08-2014, 07:04 AM
We had our planning meeting for co-op last night. Lots of choices for Simon, not so much Ian. That is how it goes though. Was happy to see that a friend of mine is going to do a Biology Lab. We were in small group together, this year, so she's heard my take on Simon's glitches. Talked with another friend, who teaches at a local teaching service type class. She said her biology is more AP and advanced. Made that choice a tad easier.

This coming year, our group is having four paid, high school classes, in the morning. Thinking we may sign Simon up for a writing class. I had already planned to add writing in with literature, but this way, if he does well, it's a "class" for the transcript and either way (good grade/bad grade) a learning experience.

There are also on-line language classes we may try. Start now, in 9th, so we have room to work around a bad year.

Thanks again, all!

Susan Seaman
05-08-2014, 09:31 AM
I have "outsourced" a variety of classes for my kids during the high school years. We have always been involved in a co-op, and the kids wanted to take classes to be with their friends (their reason) and because competition brings out the best in them (my reason). But what classes they took depended more on what was offered than what I needed to outsource. Also, where we used to live (and I was in charge of the co-op), it was very cheap. In Knoxville, there are lots of options - but high school classes can be as much as $350/year.

The one high school class I feel like I absolutely cannot teach is foreign language - my oldest took it at co-op in our old hometown, my middle son just finished it at the local community college, and now my next son will take it in the co-op we're in now.

I guess it's different in different states, but in Tennessee, the state universities have to accept community college classes for credit. They have no choice. So lots of folks do dual enrollment around here. I have been extremely pleased with the quality of instruction at our local community college, and it makes sense financially. My son who is just finishing his junior year took 12 hours of college credit this year (Spanish I and II and American History I and II). He plans to take at least 12 hours next year - possibly 18. He is also taking the AP English exam tomorrow, and we hope to get some college credit that way.

For my younger two boys (both also in high school next year), they are not doing many outsourced classes. I am going to be teaching more subjects myself, and to be honest, I'm trying to figure that all out. My boys like a passionate teacher and the fun of a classroom environment. It's just not that fun with me and their brothers. I am considering getting together with a friend and her teens to do some stuff.

Jennifer in VA
05-11-2014, 08:51 PM
Have been looking around at a few things and think we have foreign language figured out. Simon REALLY wants to take German. Oklahoma State University has an on-line class designed for the small private schools and home school kids. A friend of mine highly recommended it. $250 doesn't seem so bad when it includes someone else's time and I think text books. Bonus is that Kevin took German and is good at that sort of thing, so a lot may come back. They can work together on it and I can "step out" of one class completely.

May see about adding a writing class as IEW just didn't really work for us. This is with someone, local, who a few friends said even if you do minimal work and don't participate much, it is hard to do badly. The gentleman really wants you to succeed and seems to know how to motivate.

Pretty much everything else will be done at home with me or in co-op where we pay a lot less. Looking like he may be in German, Biology (w/lab at co-op) art or finances at co-op, literature (with vocab and writing and comparisons), finish up Algerbra 1 (as necessary) and then into Geometry, History of Modern World (Mystery of History Vol. 4 is due out this summer), P.E. through P/T, TKD, and other stuff, and Grammar.

Guess we're finished planning for him.