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Why Homeschool Teens?

10 Reasons By Elizabeth Smith

Wife of Home School Legal Defense Association President Mike Smith, taught three of her four children at home from 1981 to 1996 when the youngest entered college. For 30 years, Elizabeth’s practical wisdom has encouraged audiences at homeschool conferences and women’s retreats throughout the U.S. Michael and Elizabeth have appeared several times on Focus on the Family’s radio program. She has taught a women's Bible study in her local church for 12 years.

Here are 10 reasons why you might want to consider homeschooling your teen.

1. Continue the Family-Building Process
2. Cement Family Relationships
3. Provide an Excellent Learning Environment
4. Individualize Education Based on Needs
5. Accelerate Academic Progress
6.  Have Direct Influence over Peer Relationships
7.  Protect from the Pressure to Conform
8.  Maintain Flexibility
9.  Create a Safe Learning Environment
10. Allow God to Show Himself Strong

2 Chronicles 16:9 says, "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him." Let us look to God and trust Him as our provider during these special years.

The above, and following ?information was gathered from HSLDA’s website.

HSLDA Short Video Series; their high school consultants will teach you how to:

WEEK 1 - Developing a 4-Year High School Plan - Carol Becker

•Create a 4-year plan
•Translate graduation course requirements into credits

YouTube Link - Week 1

WEEK 2 - Recordkeeping for High School - Diane Kummer

•Establish guidelines for grading coursework
•Keep records of extracurricular activities

YouTube Link - Week 2

WEEK 3 - Transcript Preparation Tips - Diane Kummer

•Give transcripts that professional edge
•Select what goes on transcripts (& why it‘s important)

YouTube Link - Week 3

WEEK 4 - Career Possibilities for Teens - Carol Becker

•Discover your teen‘s gifts and talents
•Explore practical and creative post-high school options

YouTube Link - Week 4
Record Keeping Ideas
What records do I need to keep for my high schooler?

Record keeping is important during the high school years. In 9th grade begin keeping accurate records of the courses your child takes:
  • the textbook or other resources that were used, a brief description of the content of the course (sometimes called the scope and sequence—if a standard high school textbook is used, you might just want to copy the book’s Table of Contents),
  • the method of evaluation,
  • samples of papers written and tests taken,
  • and the name of the instructor (this could be the parent, a tutor, an online instructor, etc.).

It is also a good idea to keep separate reading lists of the various books your child reads for class work and for pleasure during the high school years. Keeping accurate records each year will save you much time and effort when creating a transcript for your child.

What is a high school transcript and why do I need one?

Transcripts are records of the courses that your children completed in high school, the credit earned for each course, and each course’s final grade. Transcripts also include personal information used for identification purposes and usually a grade point average (GPA). Colleges and other post-high school institutions will likely request a transcript from your child in order to consider him for admission.

Samples can be found at HSLDA’s website.

Ready to calculate the GPA

Once you’ve assigned final grades and determined credit for each course in a given year, you can then calculate the yearly GPA. The first step is to convert each letter grade to letter points. For standard high school courses, this is the typical conversion chart:

A+ = 4.3   B+ = 3.3   C+ = 2.3   D+ = 1.3 
A = 4.0     B = 3.0     C = 2.0      D = 1.0      F = 0
A- = 3.7    B- = 2.7    C- = 1.7     D- = 0.7 

The next step is to multiply the letter points by the credit the course earned. This results in quality points. For example:

CourseLetter gradeLetter pointsCredit Quality Points
Algebra 1A414
English 9B313
Phys ScienceB-2.712.7
Spanish 1C212
Phys EdA4.52


For each school year, calculate the quality points for each course and then add all quality points. Next, divide total quality points by total credits, and the result is the GPA. In the example above, 19.2 quality points divided by 6 credits yields a GPA of 3.20. GPAs are generally shown on the transcript rounded to two decimal figures.

The 9th grade cumulative GPA is the same as the yearly GPA. To calculate the 10th grade cumulative GPA, add total quality points for both 9th and 10th grades, and then divide by total credits for 9th and 10th grades. For the cumulative GPA through the end of the 11th grade year, add total quality points for 9th, 10th, and 11th grades, and divide by total credits (9th + 10th + 11th grades). Likewise, for cumulative GPA through the end of the 12th grade year, add total quality points (9th + 10th + 11th + 12th grades) and divide by total credits (9th + 10th + 11th + 12th grades).

Dual enrollment (concurrent enrollment)

One option used by many homeschoolers is enrolling as a high schooler at a community college. Through these classes, your teen can earn both high school and college credit (this is usually called “dual enrollment”). Aside from offering instruction in subjects you may feel inadequate to teach, community college classes will save you money in the future if your student enters college and is able to transfer his credits (check with the four–year college of your teen’s choice to make sure his community college credits will transfer). Because some freshman scholarships have limits on dual enrollment credits, parents and students should ascertain if there are scholarship restrictions. Be proactive to check with the colleges administering the scholarships. If your student plans to transfer to a four–year college rather than apply as a freshman, his freshman status is not an issue.

Generally, a one-semester three-credit college course is equal to a year-long one-credit high school course. Again, since local policies may differ, it is best to check with a specific college or state to see how they treat dual enrollment courses.

FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid
  • It is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is used to determine the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which determines eligibility for need-based financial aid. The form will ask for student financial information, family size and the number of family members enrolled in college as well as the student's age, marital status and other demographic characteristics that will be used to determine whether the applicant is an independent student or dependent. If a student is dependent, parent information will also be required on the form.
  • Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and gives you access to federal student aid to pay for your college, university or career school education. In addition, it can be used to apply for state grants and money from most colleges and universities.
  • If the student is a dependent student, the application asks for information from both students and parents. However, if the student is an independent student, the application asks for information from the student. Furthermore, if the student is married, information from the student's spouse.
  • New in 2016, the FAFSA application will now be accepted as early as October 1st of the student's senior year in high school and each subsequent year, it has an 21-month application cycle and can be submitted as late as June 30 of the academic year, or the by the last day of classes if that falls first. You can find school deadlines here
  • FAFSA is usually not available to early college students, only high school graduates.