We had some requests for information on how to customize high school language arts for your homeschooler.
How to Customize High School Language Arts
Homeschooling high school is the time to explore your teens’ unique strengths and interests! Therefore, customizing their curriculum, especially their literature curriculum is an excellent idea.
In your homeschool, you can choose books and writing assignments that will speak to your child in a personal way. Along with a personal connection, good curriculum help him uncover his strengths and prepare for life after school.
Therefore, choosing to customize high school Language Arts can be a powerful key to rich learning for your teen.
Here are some ideas for tailoring your Language Arts to a discovery of strengths for your student:
Remember, there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school. These are some suggestions that have been helpful to our teens. With that in mind, choose any that fit your teens’ needs!
1. Start with what you already know is interesting.
Include some biographies or autobiographies on the reading list, life stories of people who have done things that your child finds fascinating. Maybe you want to look for fiction that is character-driven rather than plot-driven.
Love data and facts and numbers? The reading list should reflect that. Include technical writing, scientific articles and journals, and how-to books with lots of data. When he needs to read some fiction, find a book that has a puzzle to be solved in it, or a science fiction novel that includes a lot of food for scientific thought.
2. Include others in your Language Arts.
Reading is often a solitary pursuit for a bookworm, but for kids who are not drawn to words on a page meeting with other students who are reading the same book at the same time opens the door for lots of cool discussion. If each child in the group (with guidance from the parents) picks one book that really speaks to his/her soul, you’ll see some wonderful discussions result!
3. Include the arts.
Use the internet to find artistic interpretations of literature you are reading. Don’t always assign written work after a book has been read; for an artistic child assign an art project inspired by the book instead. Ask your budding musici
an to write a song in response to the book he read. Make arrangements for your young actor to script a scene from a book and make time to rehearse it with a friend or two, or even present the material as a monologue at a family gathering.
One way to work some creativity into your homeschool high schoolers’ Language Arts is to do a unit on Creative Chronicling. It’s a scrapbook-type writing assignment that teens love!
4. Is your child good with her hands?
If she has a knack for putting things together, for building things, allow her to build a model of something from a book, and then write up the instructions for how she did it as a tie-in if you need more writing assignment ideas.
5. Remember how important technical reading and writing are.
Attention to detail and a desire for precision equip a reader and writer for excellence in many careers. Reading instruction manuals for putting together a piece of furniture, assembling a computer, etc. are valid types of reading, and we often overlook them in our homeschools.
These days, professional writing skills are part of the technical experiences that our teens need. With this in mind, 7Sisters has a professional writing guide for homeschool high schoolers that will help them develop skills in email communication, memos, complaint letters and more.
6. Journalism is sometimes neglected in our reading and writing.
Read some essays, some articles, some professional journals in an area of interest. Maybe assign articles for his writing as well. Not all written work needs to be long. Allow him to try writing in the style of one accomplished journalist or another. When he reads about an event in history, have him follow it up with an article written for a newspaper as if it were happening in the news right now.
7. Read some essays and articles
This type of writing is good for personal growth and critical thinking skills. With that in mind, have your teens read our essay in response to an attack on homeschooling by a Harvard professor. Along with that, choose some articles and essays from the lists in this post.
8. Choose some highly creative experiences
Teens come alive when they discover their creativity! You can ease them into the world of creative thinking with some good, classic literature like:
- The Hobbit (No one can read The Hobbit too many times and your teens will enjoy what they learn from 7Sisters Literature Study Guide.)
- The Chronicles of Narnia (Our 7Sisters Literature Study Guides help teens enjoy these classic children’s books at a high school level)
They can follow up with writing their own short stories. 7Sisters Writing Guides ease them through the story writing process in order:
- Family Narrative
- This can be an especially fun assignment at Christmas with our Holiday Family Narrative Writing Guide
- Tall Tales
The EBookstore offers lots of study guides to accompany a wide variety of books and writing guides designed for beginners, intermediate, and advanced writers. Comfortably priced, and available as individual purchases or bundled for your convenience, these curriculum resources download immediately to your desktop.
Just because a child is not the next great novelist doesn’t mean she can’t find her writing voice and explore ideas that interest her in a variety of unusual ways. Reading and writing are two wonderful tools for exploring a student’s strengths.