By request: Combining Subjects in High School, a Homeschool Case Study.
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!
- Homeschool Highschool Podcast Episode: Powerful Homeschool Transcripts by Combining Credits
- Combining Credits: Literature, History Elective, Fine Arts
- Combining Credits: Literature, Geography, History, Writing
- Combining Credits: History, Art and Literature for Homeschool High School
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
- We used one of the Great Courses called the Food: A Cultural Culinary History.
- This looked at the ways food was cooked and consumed throughout history. Then we also cooked and researched recipes of each time period.
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.
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.
For one son, we combined these to create his British History, English and Bible credits:
- British History
- C S lewis literature guides from 7sisters
- Introduction to Essay Writing Guide
- This post on the kinds of writings we should do when studying C.S. Lewis
- For Bible we used devotions from CS lewis found online.
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:
- 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.
Some possible combinations:
- Literature/Writing and History
- Geography and World History
- World Language and Geography
- Drama and Literature
- Earth Science and Geography
- Career Exploration and Culture
- Art History and Literature/Writing
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.
For 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.