Mapping Out a High School Strategy: Part 1 - Where Do You Want To Go?

Every year, many moms contact me, anxious about planning for high school. I totally understand. I’ve been there twice myself. So, I decided to convert a lengthy workshop that I previously taught into seven short videos about mapping out a high school plan. You can stop here and watch the video below, but I’ve also summarized the main points for those of you who want to skip my silliness and anecdotes!

First of all, be encouraged! You can successfully plan for high school and even find joy in the process. I prayed for all of the parents watching my video and all who read this blog post, including you. So, know that even in this moment, I’ve prayed over your high school planning.

To get started with the process, I discuss the following steps in the video:             

Step 1: Pray Before You Start

Now, I know you probably pray for your children all the time, but a dedicated time asking the Lord to reveal His desires for your high schooler makes so much sense.

  • Pray for yourself, for patience and the ability to find joy in the planning.

  • Pray for your child to desire accountability and a voice in the planning.

  • Pray with your child so that you both develop a team mentality as you work together.

  • Pray that God would remove all fear and anxiety from the mapping out of your high school plan.

 Step 2: Communicate with Your Child

It’s easy as a parent, especially after homeschooling for years, to take the steering wheel and view your child simply a passenger during this high school road trip. However, communicating with your child makes the entire mapping process more relevant and authentic. Don’t take the shortest route and miss the scenic detours!

  • Even if your child doesn’t seem interested, be clear about what needs to be accomplished.

  • Pull your child into the conversation regularly.

  • Planning with you helps your high schooler feel more accountable and more connected to the plan.

  • Allow your high schooler to express any related emotion: anxiety, fear, excitement, etc. without negating those feelings.

  • Explore goals your child might have for (even beyond academics) before you state your goals.

 Step 3: Set Overarching Goals

Establishing specific goals before jumping into high school planning allows both you and your high schooler to stay focused. Starting off with the single goal of graduation, although a viable accomplishment, prevents your child from imagining a future beyond 12th grade. Consider the following when setting high school goals:

  • Set no more than 3-5 overall goals (i.e. scholarships, level of college, exploring options, traveling, gap year, etc.)

  • Encourage agreement with your high schooler, not just acceptance of the goals you’ve set.

  • Keep goals achievable and positive.

  • Beware of undo pressure (from you or your child) such as straight As, a perfect SAT score, etc. Those accomplishments most likely occur when students don’t feel over-stressed. Striving students tend to achieve more in the immediate, but less in the long run.

  • Remember that goals change, and be flexible in your planning.

Try not to push through the process of mapping out high school. Take each step with a spirit of joy and look to a positive future with your high schooler. A number of short sessions reaps more reward, and typically a better attitude.

I hope you found this helpful! Watch for the second video in this series, Exploring Ways of Learning, in which I’ll discuss resources and options available for homeschool high schoolers.

Here’s to finding joy in your high school planning journey!