This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Choose Curriculum for Homeschool High School. This post is running concurrently on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
Vicki, Sabrina and Kym together again for an episode on a very important topic. We’ve missed seeing each other during this long pandemic. But here we are together to talk about choosing curriculum.
In the old days, there were few options for homeschool curriculum for homeschooling high school. That’s not true any more. Now we have SO many options, that it can be hard to choose curriculum for our teens. NOT to worry: your 7Sisters are here to help!
Now, here are some steps for choosing curriculum for homeschool high school
First off, remember: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school! SO there’s not ONE right kind of curriculum.
Now, look at your big, giant four-year goals.
You don’t want to drive on a long trip and not have an idea about where you where driving. You’ll end up nowhere. Goals are like that for homeschooling! Look at the big picture: What do you want to see in your teens when they walk across the stage (or backyard) at graduation:
- What kinds of sciences, histories, maths, literatures do I want for them to have experienced?
- Are they college or career bound?
- What are their personalities like?
- Do they clearly know their interests and abilities?
What works for parents?
- Some curriculum just won’t work for the parents who have to help their teens learn. For instance, Vicki could not use non-illustrated texts with her teens. She needed photos in texts…except when it was really interesting curriculum such as Philosophy in Four Questions, which was so interesting that no illustrations were needed in order for her to pay attention.
What are your constraints?
- How are the demands on your time?
- What is our financial picture? (No matter what your budget is, you CAN homeschool high school! It’s okay to be where you are.)
- How can we co-operate with other families? (We co-oped together for fun and money saving!)
- Are there barters that we can do for teaching or curriculum?
- Can I reuse curriculum with my other kids as they hit high school?
Beware of the folks who say: You MUST use this curriculum because it’s the right way! (Sometimes, these folks are selling expensive curriculum…ahem.)
What do teens need to cover over homeschool high school years?
Each state has different requirements, check your state Department of Education’s website.
College bound teens: Visit websites for a few colleges of interest to see what they are requiring for applicants. (Here are tips for adapting courses and out-of-the-box courses for teens with special needs.)
- 4 Language Arts (your choice of Literature themes or general topics)
- 2-4 Maths (Algebra, Algebra 2, Geometry and possible Statistics and/or Pre-Calculus)
- 3-4 Sciences with some lab courses (Biology, Chemistry, Health, and other Sciences according to state regulations or future major)
- 3-4 Social Studies (American History, World History, .5 Civics, .5 Economics, .5 Social Science and/or Geography and Electives)
- 1-4 World Languages
- 1-2 Physical Education
- 1 Fine Arts
- 1-6 Electives (including Career Exploration, Drivers Education, Technology, etc).
- Give yourself and your teen the opportunity to “rabbit trail”, that is, explore new interests.
- Log hours for Carnegie credits if you are not using a curriculum. Check out Homeschooling with Technology podcast for tech elective ideas.
There are three basic ways to earn a credit:
- Class (online, community college, hybrid school, co-op)
- Log hours on a subject of interest (Here’s a post to help explain earning Carnegie credits by logging hours)
- Read books (usually around 16 books will be enough hours for a credit)
- Projects, papers in areas of interest
- Movies, videos, documentaries, podcasts in areas of interest (a wonderful example of this is our interview with homeschooler Noah Tetzner about his podcast: History of Vikings)
Then break your four year goals into yearly goals
What do you want or need to cover each year? For instance (by the way, these are simply “for instances” not suggestions…you choose what is best for your teen):
- 9th Grade- Algebra
- 10th Grade- Geometry
- 11th Grade- Algebra 2
- 12th Grade- Statistics
- 9th Grade- American Literature
- 10th Grade- British Literature
- 11th Grade- World Literature
- 12th Grade- Great Christian Writers
Once you’ve narrowed down the courses you need, to choose curriculum
- Check out reviews online, such as:
- Cathy Duffy Reviews
- Ask for input in Facebook groups like 7SistersHomeschool, Simply Homeschool, or It’s Not that Hard to Homeschool High School
- Look for: what was good, what was bad, and why. (Kym points out the “why” is important because what is good or bad for another family might be the opposite for your family.)
- If you are looking at classes (co-op, community college, group classes) do some research about the course:
- Sometimes a wonderful sounding class might now be a good fit because:
- Teacher has completely different goals than you and your teens
- For instance: the teacher may aim the science course for science majors but your teen’s goals are more towards sports or public speaking (so they need time to play sports or joining a public speaking club rather than spending endless hours on science homework)
- Format is not a good fit for your teen
Is it a stressful year? In danger of burnout or exhausted from pandemic? Need to make some change ups?
Choose your curriculum with these in mind:
- Do you need a quieter year with more reading and less challenging curriculum?
- Or do you need a lighter-hearted reading list rather than books full of sadness and loss?
- Do you need more restorative time outdoors?
- Levelable (gives options for average high school level, college prep or honors levels)
- Money-back guaranteed
- Offers co-op discounts (send an email to [email protected] for information)
- At 7SistersHomeschool.com, many of the course have freebie suggested syllabi for you to use with your teens.
Join Sabrina, Vicki and Kym for an encouraging discussion on choosing curriculum for homeschool high school.
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