High School Checklist


Use this checklist to make sure you have everything you need in place to start off homeschooling high school on the right foot AND stay there!

Homeschool Graduation Law

Graduation requirements vary greatly from state to state for homeschooled students, but most states do not have homeschool graduation requirements. Instead, most states defer graduation requirement decisions onto the school, which in most homeschooling scenarios means they are determined by the parents of the student.

What this means to the SPED high school homeschooling parent is, if your state defers graduation requirements for your student to you, then you determine what your student needs to know, what projects they need to complete, and what skills they need to show competence in before you award your student a diploma.

Unfortunately, not all states are so lax on homeschool graduation requirements, so always check with your state homeschool organization, or consult the Struggling Learner section of the HSLDA website, to get accurate and up-to-date information on the graduation laws in your state.

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Transition Planning

A transition plan is exactly what it sounds like, a 4-year plan detailing how specific schooling activities will prepare a student for wherever they are be transitioning.

 

And, although most students, as well as their parents, have no idea what the future holds 4 years away, each year the plan is adjusted to meet a more accurate end goal.

 

Typically, transition plans are used in general public high schools since special education students’ schooling includes learning components more diverse than just curriculum and extracurricular activities. A transition plan documents how each instructional component in a student’s learning plan fits together in achieving specific graduation goals.

 

ACCOMMODATIONS

If your student requires any accommodations, modifications in curriculum, or assistive technology in his studies, it is likely he will require those helps after high school.

 

Keeping records of your student’s needs, as well as any diagnostic testing records which give backing to those needs, will help your student best advocate in the future for accommodations from college testing boards, universities, job training programs, certification testing boards, and/or government testing offices.

 

 

IEP Basics – What to Track

  • Student’s yearly baseline status
  • Current testing records
  • Accommodations, modifications and assistive technology used
  • Specific and measurable goals
  • Therapy integration
  • Transition plan, if a student is age 14 or older
  • Behavior intervention strategies

 

Learn more on how to create your own IEP, step-by-step. 

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Looking for help?  Consider hiring one of our consulting partners to help you develop a homeschool plan and IEP. 

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Basic High School Record Keeping


Using an IEP to Keep Everything in One Place

An IEP (Individualized Education Plan) is a great place to keep track of ALL your student’s records, even in the high school years.

 

IEPs not only helps parents track the individual progress of their student but also helps create a comprehensive overview of the tools and/or interventions your student requires for optimal successful learning.  Check out the list to the left as a guide for developing your own homeschool IEP.

 

*HSLDA members may access sample IEP’s and an IEP template. Additionally, the HSLDA Special Needs Consultants will assist parent-teachers in developing and drafting an individualized home education plan.

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**THSC (Texas Home School Coalition) offers their members an IEP Generation Tool that is simple and easy to use.

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Core Subjects

Some states have required core subjects. As you are planning high school for your homeschooled high school student, make sure to check with your state homeschool organization to see if there are any subjects you are required to teach.

 

When reviewing your state law, also check to see if there are any specific allowances for a student’s cognitive ability to determine the level of instruction in those subject(s) AND if substitutions can be added into a transition plan for a student with special needs.

 

 

Personalizing High School

Electives

When choosing electives for your high school student, take into consideration your student’s transition plan as well as their gifts and interests. Electives can be subjects of study used to open the world of learning to your student beyond the barriers of academic deficits.

 

When thinking outside-the-box on how to incorporate electives into a homeschool high school plan, enrichment can be taken to a whole new level. Consider some of the subjects listed on the right to add to your student’s transcript.

 

“A high school transcript shouldn’t undermine creative and out-of-the-box…teaching methods for homeschooling high school.” 

  • Sewing
  • Cooking
  • Music Appreciation
  • App Coding
  • Photography
  • Martial Arts
  • Welding
  • Pottery
  • Drivers Education
  • Graphic Design
  • Woodworking
  • Religion/Bible
  • Child Development
  • Film Making
  • Geography…and more

Life Skills

If your student is working on specific life skills, which are directly related to their transition plan, then prioritizing those goals in your student’s IEP to ensure you test and document progress.

 

Life skills can also be made into a full or half semester class. These classes can be based on a more complicated skill or as a set of related skills.

 

Work & Volunteering

Incorporating on-the-job learning and volunteering into your student’s high school program will provide hands-on situational learning for your student in environments you can customize to meet their learning goals, as well as their specific interests.

 

If working or volunteering is a large part of your student’s curriculum, then document these activities in your student’s transition plan as well as his transcript for class credit. Then, in your student’s transition plan, document how credit hours will be counted and graded.

 

Transcripts

Transcripts are simply a one-page report summarizing your student’s high school classes, credits, and grades. When creating your student’s transcript, you will want to decide on a format, download the template, and then keep it in a computer file you can easily access and update after each school year.

 

Here are links to some great free transcript templates:

Free transcript templates from HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association)

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Free transcript template from Pros and Cons of Homeschooling

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Free transcript template from Free Homeschool Deals

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Diplomas & Graduation

As stated at the top, most states do not have specific graduation requirements for homeschooled high school students. If that is the case in your state, then when your student has met your graduation requirements, you can finish your student’s transcript, print or buy a diploma to issue your student, and then plan a graduation celebration. It really is that simple.

 

Final Items

Make sure to make multiple copies of your student’s transcript and diploma as well as any IEPs, diagnostic tests, and therapy records and store them in a safe place. As a homeschooler, you are the owner of the original “school” copies and there is no fallback if you lose them or they are destroyed by a natural disaster.

 

Also, make sure to check out the Final Stretch playlist on our YouTube channel for lots of encouraging and helpful videos on how to homeschool through high school and finish well in the final stretch.

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We at SPED Homeschool look forward to walking this final stretch with you as you homeschool your high school student. It’s our desire to help, encourage and equip your homeschool to finish this race strong.

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