One of the questions I often get asked is about homeschooling high schoolers. I remember when we first started homeschooling our kids, we said we would follow God’s lead on what to do with our kids when they started high school. I was worried that it would be out of my league to teach them, since I don’t have any type of teaching degree. I was also worried that they wouldn’t get into college without a diploma from an “accredited high school”.
Little did I know at that time that this was very far from the real truth about homeschooling High Schoolers. As the matter of fact College’s have realized that homeschooled high school students often times have better performance due to the fact that their educations have been individualized to fit their learning styles.
A lot of them often have earned college credits before even starting college. Let me tell you teaching high school students is not nearly as hard as you might think. Did you know if kids take the CLEP exams you don’t even have to provide grades to the college 😯 ?
This year we have a Senior and a Sophomore in high school, and I am so very glad we decided to keep them home through their high school years. They are very different from most of the high schoolers you would meet now a days that come from the public schools. They have respect for people, help others out, are kind to others, and we regularly get compliments about them being such hard workers.
Homeschooling High Schoolers
For homeschooling high schoolers we plan their curriculum according to their learning styles and life goals. What I mean by this is that for example, our daughter’s goal is to become a nurse in holistic health. In order to do this she is planning on getting her bachelor’s degree. This year and next year she is working on finishing different CLEP Exams, then she will start college in her 3rd year (yes completely skip year 1 and 2) and then spend less then $20,000 for her bachelors degree.
My son on the other hand has no want to go to college at all, and in my opinion that is completely up to him. We have discussed it over and over and fervently prayed about it, and this is what he is choosing to do. He is currently working as a gymnastics coach and is planning on working there full time after he graduates.
We do live in Michigan and do not have any reporting, requirements, testing, etc. Even though we don’t have any rules to follow I needed to have an idea of what normal high schoolers were required to graduate. Luckily the Ron Paul curriculum site offers a look at exactly what classes kids need to get into college.
So lets get into some of the curriculum directions we use for our high schoolers. For the kids that want to go onto college we are using the Ron Paul curriculum for at least their junior and senior year. I am following their plan for Serena, they guarantee that she will pass the CLEP exams or they give you your money paid for the exam back.
High School Science
This is one of the more expensive high school classes due to the cost of the consumables. Students need to take 2 years of a science class, and more if they are going to be going into a career in science. For all our high schoolers science classes so far we have used Apologia science. We purchase all needed consumables from Homeschool Science Tools.
Through the years we have purchased the big items to spread the cost of microscopes, scales, etc over time instead of having to make these big purchases all at once. My daughter is a reader and has gone through all of her classes on her own. My son is not a reader, so he has used the DVD’s that they have available to follow along with the classes. We also use MFW Lesson plans so that the kids know what needs to be done each day.
High School Math
Students need to take Algebra and Geometry in order to get into college, if they are going into certain fields of work, they may be required to take more. We now use Math-U-See for all of our kids, which includes the high schoolers. During their high school years they take Algebra 1, Geometry, and Stewardship is the final class taken their Senior year. I love this program, and believe me we have tried many different math programs.
High School History/Geography/Government
I have had a hard time with this in the past due to the fact I want my children to know the true history of the world and not some made up stuff like many different programs teach. So our oldest has taken Ron Paul courses for history. Gary North is the teacher of this class and he does a phenomenal job teaching real history to the kids. Our next high schooler is not a reader and the Ron Paul curriculum was not a good fit for him, so instead he does History with us using the added high school books for the Charlotte Mason History.
It is required in our state for the kids to take 1 year US History/Geography, 1 year of world history/geography, 1/2 year of economics, and 1/2 year of civics/government. Which means they will spend about 3 out of their 4 high school years in
High School Foreign Language
Students need 2 years of foreign language. Just like many of the other subjects, we have had a chance to review different foreign language programs. The one that I feel is really the best for older kids is Rosetta Stone. We purchase it from the Homeschool Buyers Co-Op and save 50% plus get free shipping, as well as bonus smart points (can be used to purchase other curriculum.)
High School Grammar/English/Writing
During the high school years it is important that kids get 4 years of English. Our goal is to have each of our kids understand grammar/writing before they get to high school and just continuously reinforce the skills they have already learned. This is the reason we have enjoyed using Analytical Grammar program for our middle schoolers starting in 6th grade. By the time they are in high school all they need to do one of the high school reinforcement program books along with Beyond The Book Report.
High School Reading
In this subject I don’t try to pick to many books for them to read. I do, however, have the kids do some research and choose what books they would like to read. If they do not want to spend the time researching then they are welcome to pick from one of the many, many books we have on our book shelves in their level.
High School PE
At this point and time we have not had to have a required PE class. We have 4 of our older kids in gymnastics class at the very least 3 days a week. If I had a child I needed to get in some PE time and they didn’t join a class I would recommend Family Time Fitness.
High School Visual, Performing, and Applied Arts
This would be considered art, drama, dance, and music. Both of my high school kids so far have chosen to take an art class. We have reviewed Artistic Pursuits at the middle school level and loved the program so much that this is what we use for our High School level now too. In order to receive a full credit they work through book 1 and book 2. They are short but great lessons to walk the kids through the whole program!
High School Health
I had a hard time finding some type of Christian health class for our high schoolers. The one that we ended up going with was LifePack Health class. While this isn’t a required class for high schoolers I felt it was important for the kids to understand health.
High School Scripture Memory
We firmly believe that teaching scripture to kids and adults of all ages is very important. The only way to teach our children to go out into this crazy world will be have the full armor of God on, and the only way to do that is for them to have scriptures stored in their hearts. For all of our kids for scripture memory we use Verse Packs which we learned about from Simply Charlotte Mason.
Want to see how we teach our younger children? Stop over and read about How We Teach, After 10 Years of Homeschooling.
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