A Beginner’s Glossary of Terms for Homeschooling High School

Homeschooling High School

Take the mystery and fear out of homeschooling high school by understanding the lingo. Here are a few acronyms and some jargon that you need to understand when you start educating your high school freshman at home.

CLEP – College Level Examination Program

Instead of attending college, a teen studies independently at home. After thoroughly preparing for a course, he takes a multiple-choice exam (called a CLEP test) at a local college or testing center. If he passes the exam, he can receive college credit for the course just as if he had attended college. 

Each college handles CLEP credits differently. Inquire with the particular institution in question if you want the credits to count for college.

Core Subjects or Courses

At the high school level, the four core subjects are English, math, science, and social studies.


An easy explanation is that one credit is the equivalent of one school year of work in a subject, but it could also mean the equivalent of finishing one high school textbook.

A half credit would be one semester of high school course work. For example, a student make take a course in fine arts for one semester and earn one half credit. For the second semester, he takes physical education for the other half credit.

Can you now see the high school mom’s secret tip in covering numerous subjects? Cover one subject for a half credit and another subject your teen wants to learn for the other half of the year.

Credit Requirements

There is a total number of credits your teen needs to graduate. Your state has these specific requirements for exactly how many credits and what particular courses or fields of study are necessary, but you may schedule those among the four years of high school according to your preference.

One high school plan may be be earning 4 ½ credits in ninth grade, 10 ½ total credits by tenth grade, 16 ½ credits by the end of the junior year, and then finishing any remaining credits the senior year.

Dual or Concurrent Enrollment

When your teen earns both high school and college credit at the same time, this is called dual enrollment. Inquire at your local community college for details. Typically these two-year schools will accept high school junior or seniors instead of having an age requirement for enrollment. Since you, as the homeschool parent, determine your teen’s grade level, you can may be able to achieve dual enrollment for younger high schoolers. Because this option puts your teen in the company of adults on a daily basis, you will need to evaluate his maturity for the best fit.

Grade Point Average

The GPA is an accumulation of points, tied to the grades earned in a subject. An A earns 4 points, a B earns 3, etc. down to zero points for an F. Then those points are divided by the total number of credits.

Below is a grading scale I created for my teens.


Numeric Grade




3.7 - 4.0



3.0 - 3.6



2.0 - 2.9



1.0 – 1.9

A Beginner’s Glossary of Terms for Homeschooling High School

High School Transcript

A transcript is a record of your child’s high school courses, including the credits and grades earned on each. There is nothing wrong with detailing your teen’s unique personality and achievements on the transcript, but you also want to keep it uniform. Here are facts to include:

  • student's full name, address, and date of birth

  • student's social security number (note: you may only need the last four digits)

  • graduation date

  • number of credits completed

  • subject courses and grades

  • grade point scale

  • parent’s signature and date

  • (optional) total days of school attendance


The SAT, PSAT and ACT are college admission tests, which you normally want to take in eleventh grade because it gives your student the opportunity to retake them if desired. The tests are needed for entrance into college, but they can also be tied to scholarship money.

Ask the colleges your teen is interested in which test will be needed for entrance and what the cut offs are for admissions and scholarships. Each test is slightly different, and they do change over the years. Make sure you are reading the most up to date information about these tests. Look at the College Board for more specifics about the PSAT and SAT, and visit ACT to grab more details for the ACT. The test dates are the same across the nation and are published on the official websites. You can register for the tests online and choose the testing center you prefer whether it be a local public or private school.

When your homeschool journey moves from making learning moments to creating lasting memories in high school, you’ll be one step ahead when you use this quick reference.