Cheerful Heart Academy

A Non-Traditional Private School

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The High School Years

The high school years can be so foreboding for some parent/teachers. You might feel like you have to have all four years planned out long before your student even gets to the eighth grade, much less starts the freshman year. I just want to tell you that it doesn't have to be that hard, nor does it have to keep you up at night with worry.

The first step in figuring out how to get through the 'dreaded' high school years is to calm down and go to God. Pray. Tell Him what you are worried about, what your hopes for the future of your child are, and what you think your child's dreams are. Then spend some time with Him, listening. Do some reading in the best plan book there is, the Holy Bible, and allow yourself to think about what you are reading in the context of what the next few years of schooling your child will look like. 

Once you have spent some time with God, it's a good idea to spend some time with your student. Talk about their hopes and dreams for their future. Pray with them. Find out how they see their high school years in their head. Now is a good time to ask if they want to have a Prom or dance of some sort and if so, do they want you to put one together or find one for them to attend. Do they want a class ring, or would they rather have a different piece of jewelry - or something altogether different? 

Talk about what they see in their future as far as going to college, volunteering, working, etc. Start this conversation as early as you feel is comfortable, but do not pressure your student into making final decisions about their life in the fourth grade. This should be an ongoing open dialogue that is comfortable for both of you - not the anxiety inducing conversation that it all too often can become.

Work together to plan the high school years. You might decide to use the same curriculum that you've been using all along, or you might decide to try something new. Find out what is required in your state for graduation so that you do not inadvertently cause your student to not be able to graduate. Once you know what is required, you will be able to make your overall plan for high school. 

We found it was better for us to make a plan for the entire four years at the beginning, but to remember that it was only a plan. We changed the plan as we went along. What we thought was a great plan ended up being an okay plan. Our lives changed, my student's life changed, and we learned to change our plan. We also learned to stop and listen when it seemed that our plan wasn't working; it was then that God showed us that He had a better plan.


If you are homeschooling through highschool in Florida, which most people who land on this page are, I've included some links in the "Helpful Links" section that are specific to Florida. 

I have some planning tools that I used when I was homeschooling my older daughter. I looked around on the internet and found some forms, tweaked them to fit our needs, and used them. I will be putting them into action again in the coming years as I have an eighth grader this year! I'd like to share them with you - please feel free to use them.

Four Year High School Plan - This is a two page overall goal sheet for plotting curriculum choices, how many credits you plan to give for that curriculum, extracurricular activities, and graduation activities.

Required Courses for Graduation Worksheet - This worksheet lets you plot out the number of credits needed for each of the core subjects and electives for each year of high school. It also has a place for the extra projects and the grading scale that I used. 

Required Courses for Graduation Worksheet without grading scale or credits - This is the same worksheet as above, but I've taken out the total number of credits, the credits per year, and the number grades in the grading scale so that you can set your own.

For Cheerful Heart Academy Students: If you have a student with Cheerful Heart Academy, you know that CHA is not an accredited school. This is because I wanted to keep the tuition affordable for everyone, and the administrative duties manageable for me. While Cheerful Heart Academy has not in the past provided diplomas or transcripts, please do not hesitate to call or email and chat with me about your graduating student. Most of the time, I am able to help you with whatever you have questions about and can at the very least point you in the right direction or provide some clarity. ~Lynda