Why Your Homeschooler Needs a High School Philosophy Course

Wonder why your homeschooler needs a high school Philosophy course? Teens need to think about big ideas. They need to be introduced to the ideas that have shaped the world. 

Why Your Homeschooler Needs a High School Philosophy Course

Why Your Homeschooler Needs a High School Philosophy Course

Philosophy is a POWERFUL subject for homeschool high schoolers to capture on their transcripts. As homeschool mom, group class teacher and advisor, I (and many teens I work with) believe that philosophy has been one of their most valuable courses. Let me share three reasons.your teens need a philosophy course.

Homeschool high schoolers should study philosophy because:

Philosophy is not simply a frivolous elective. It can help history come alive and help students truly learn from the lessons they read.

1) History credits become more valuable when homeschoolers also study philosophy

History textbooks are often dry as toast. They are full of dates and facts but sometimes do not give students any tools to learn from history or truly think about what happened in those times.

Dates and facts are good. However, high school history students should not simply supposed to regurgitate dates and facts. They need to be able to:

  • analyze
  • compare
  • contrast and
  • perspective-take regarding peoples and places of the past and present.

The humans in each time period and location had a specific worldview and lifestyle that made sense to them. These people used their thought patterns and ways of life to create the events that our teens read about in their history textbooks.

When teens understand the philosophic mindsets of the people in other places and times, they can climb into those folks’ shoes and better understand those cultures and decisions. Why is this important?

  • It helps them begin to recognize their own worldview, culture and decision-making processes.
  • This also helps them be better prepared to write essays and reaction papers (as in SATs  and college classes).

high school philosophy course

With this in mind, some years ago, I asked my philosophy-teacher son, Dr. Micah Tillman, to help me write a TRULY USEFUL world history textbook.

History and Philosophy of the Western World is the result of our collaboration. Teens learn about the philosophers and philosophies throughout history while learning the history they influenced. Keeping in mind that teens do not like to be bored when they read their textbooks, it  shares history and philosophy concepts in a light-hearted manner. Even average-level (non-philosopher) high schoolers have told us that they enjoy what they are learning!

It is a text that helps students understand the ways people have thought throughout time and how they made cultural decisions based on that thought.

History and Philosophy of the Western World
Click image for full description.

History and Philosophy of the Western World is written for the average high school student to read and enjoy (independent study and NO busywork).

The text also includes additional readings and assignments that help the college prep and honors students get their appropriate levels for their transcripts. (Here is a rubric you can use with honors-level World History and Philosophy students.)

2) When homeschoolers study philosophy, they become aware of the philosophies that permeate our culture.

There is no escape from philosophy. Everything we see or do, whether we know it or not, has a philosophy behind it:

  • news stories
  • advertisements
  • health care
  • politics
  • sports
  • cooking trends
  • music and
  • fashion are all influenced by philosophic ideas!

When homeschool high schoolers study philosophy, the begin to develop awareness of the ideas that are shaping their lives and culture. This helps them make more conscious choices as they grow and become adults.

3) Philosophy adds sparkle to the transcript.

The competition is heavy for college entrance in many schools these days. Your homeschooling high schooler will find it beneficial to have courses that are a little different than the normal, boring  “World History” that is on most teens’ transcripts. (Non-generic courses help a course be more college attractive.)

Philosophy is one of those sparkle-making courses. History and Philosophy of the Western World is powerfully sparkly!

Philosophy in 4 Questions. 7SistersHomeschool.com
Click image for full description.

Click here for my World History and Philosophy Pinterest board. (It has links to cool resources and Youtube videos.)

BTW- For homeschoolers who have already completed History and Philosophy of the Western World and now have the philosophy bug:

Dr. Micah Tillman has written a full credit course called Philosophy in Four Questions. When teens take this course, they learn philosophy’s four great questions and how to use them in life.

Teens can understand and enjoy this text because as always with 7SistersHomeschool texts, this is another light-hearted, self-study, accessible, with NO busywork!

A number of thinking-oriented teens say that this was one of their favorite high school courses.

Download History and Philosophy of the Western World and get your teens started on a meaningful World History credit! Also, check out this Homeschool Highschool Podcast interview with Dr. Micah Tillman about why to teach Philosophy in homeschool high school.


Why Your Homeschooler Needs a High School Philosophy Course

High School Philosophy Course

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at 7SistersHomeschool.com, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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