Combining Subjects in High School: Case Study

By request: Combining Subjects in High School, a Homeschool Case Study.

Combining Subjects in High School: Case Study. Examples of ways to coordinate credits so that homeschool high school is more meaningful.

Combining Subjects in High School: A Homeschool Case Study

Recently, we were sharing with our Facebook group (you should join) some posts on what we call “Combining Credits” for homeschool high school. Some of our 7th Sisters joined in the conversation and asked for more ideas.

Here are some previous posts on combining credits to get you inspired, then we are sharing a real-life case study!

Now, a homeschool case study from our 7th Sister, Stacey Lane Clandaniel, on combining subjects (or credits) in high school.

Stacey Lane Clandaniel is an old, old homeschool friend. Besides being our right-hand gal, we have homeschooled our kids alongside each other for many years. I think the high point of our homeschooling adventures is the year we did a Chemistry lab co-op together. I think we had around forty homeschool high schoolers in that lab class. We co-op moms would set up stations with Chemistry labs. The teens, in groups, would circle through each station, do the labs and complete paperwork.

Their unanimous favorite lab-mom was Stacey! That’s because she would blow up things. She would take the high schoolers into the parking lot, explain the Chemistry of whatever would make smoke that week, then demonstrate. SO many happy teens!

Here is Stacey’s story of combining subjects for her high school homeschoolers.

In the early years of homeschooling I was the queen of unit studies! I love a good theme, it gives me a reference point on the direction to take each subject.

Now at the high school level unit studies take on a different look by combining subjects.

My favorite combination was combining:

Cooking and History combined


Then I compiled a book list of famous chefs for literature. We used these guidelines for my daughter to choose the number of books she would read.

Here are a few ideas of books from famous chefs (always vet books to know if they will be a good fit for your teen):

  • Alton Brown: Everyday Cook
  • Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
  • Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
  • My Life in France by Julia Child
  • Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman
  • The Chef Next Door by Amanda Freitag
  • Or how about a mystery novel that features recipes? The Last Chance Olive Ranch by Susan Wittig Albert


We used 7Sisters APA Research Paper Writing Guide for my daughter to complete a ten-page research paper on a food topic.

My daughter was naturally interested in cooking, so these subjects fit her educational needs well. BTW- she did go on to graduate from college with a degree in culinary arts. Here are other ideas for developing interests for the homeschool transcript.

Combining subjects can make learning more meaningful.

For one son, we combined these to create his British History, English and Bible credits:

I had two kids who were not going to use science in their lives after high school.

So, one year we did the History of Scientists, that combined:

  • History
  • Science
  • Literature/Writing
  • We would study a scientist and complete some of that scientist’s experiments from his studies. My teens then wrote papers on what we learned.

Advice from Stacey:

If this is the first time you have combined subjects for high school, I recommend starting with just two subjects. The easiest is literature/writing and any other subject.

Tip for writing: I find using a rubric or 7 sisters writing guide an easy way to write about any topic.

Some possible combinations:

Sometimes I have used a text books focusing on the common theme. Other times, I have had my kids use their research skills and rubric on a given topic.

Now, combining subjects does require a different documentation if you are not using a text book. I kept track of time spent and things completed with a spread sheet. I wanted to make sure that we spent enough time on each credit. We also got ideas from other homeschoolers like Homeschool Enrichment.

Also, combining credits is another way to describe integrated learning. If you would like a more in-depth discussion on how to create integrated learning experiences for your teens or homeschool co-op, check out this post. Not only that, we have an interesting discussion on schools that combine credits, check out what Finland’s public schools are trying.

Combining subjects for homeschool high school is a great way to add more cohesiveness and interest to your teen’s studies. Involve them in the process of choosing the topics. It will be inspiring.

Read more of our favorite case studies.

Just for some fun: Try unit studies based on a movie, check out this freebie: Unit Studies Based on Popular Movies.

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Combining Subjects in High School: A Homeschool Case Study

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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