Homeschooling Only High Schoolers: Our High School Curricula Resources

I'm beginning a new era in homeschooling this year. It's a season of change. This year I'm homeschooling only two- and they are both high schoolers.

I now have two homeschool graduates, and I have two girls left to homeschool. After lots of discussion this summer, I decided to start high school with both of them this year. My third daughter is the age to be in 9th grade. My fourth would technically be a middle schooler still. But we've never really kept track of grade levels, and the two girls have done school together all the way through. So it seemed rather pointless to make my youngest do another year of middle school instead of continuing on and beginning to work for high school credits.

So...there we are. I have two high schoolers this year.

Literature-Based Homeschool High School Curricula


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My homeschooling method has always been a bit eclectic because I'm all for matching curricula and methods with the needs of the student. This is why my son ended up using textbook/workbook curricula all through his high school years. But I gravitate toward all things literature-based. And because both of my girls have used and done well with a literature-based curricula throughout their elementary and middle school years, it was easy to decide to continue along those lines for high school.

Here's a look at what we're using for high school curricula this year.

Bible/History/Literature and Other Language Arts


We are using My Father's World as our base curriculum this year. When you choose their high school curricula, you can really jump in at any grade level, but I am following the order that is typically used with Ancient History and Literature this year. This curriculum includes Bible, history, and literature instruction.

My Father's World is a literature-based curriculum, so there aren't only textbooks for each subject. Instead, there are a number of real books that the girls will read through throughout the year. For the history portion of this curriculum they are using Exploring World History from Notgrass as a spine book.

I count the Bible portion of our curriculum as an elective. The girls will read through the entire Old Testament using the book Taking the Old Testament Challenge as a review/discussion tool. They also work on service projects throughout the year as part of the Bible credit.

For the English/Literature portion of the course, the girls are reading a selection of classics that connect with the ancient period of history throughout the year- the Bible, The Epic of Gilgamesh(condensed version), The Cat of Bubastes, Bulfinch's Greek and Roman Mythology, The Iliad, and The Odyssey.  They have a workbook that has questions and discussion for each of these. They will also write a good bit throughout the year. In fact, my oldest daughter who is in college now, says that using My Father's World has been one factor that has contributed to her being able to be a good writer in college.

In addition to the required literature, there are optional books for the girls to pick through for a regular reading time. We're going to use these as read alouds because I still love reading aloud to the girls, and they are game to sit and listen.

Science


I had originally hoped to have the girls take an online science class. As we got closer to the school year, however, I realized this wasn't in the budget. I decided to do science with the girls on my own and use Apologia's Exploring Creation With Biology. But Kathryne- my oldest- volunteered to take over science. She's a biology education major in college, and this is perfect practice for her. She set up an account at Canvas to create assignments and tests and quizzes. The girls read independently and then meet with her once a week to check up and do labs for the week. If they have any questions midweek, they ask her if they can catch her coming in and out from classes or they ask me. It's a win-win for all of us!

Math


Oh math. It's my nemesis. Here's our problem with math. I need something that is easy for the girls- and me- to understand and that has problems worked out in detail so that we know why a problem is incorrect. Oh, and I have one child who struggles with math and really hates it.

Enter Mr. D Math. I reviewed his pre-algebra program at the beginning of this year. It's a curriculum that is all online. The classes are live with Mr. D. The girls can attend class, work problems, ask questions. There are also recordings of the classes if the girls miss the live class or just need to see it again. All of the grading is done by him. He has regular help classes throughout the week, and the kids can email him to ask for help as needed. So far this has been a great choice for us!

P.E. and Health/Nutrition


Although homeschoolers don't have to exactly follow the graduation requirements in our state, it's what our legal overseeing group recommends, and it's what we do- especially when the kids are thinking about college. We have one credit of P.E. required, as well as a health and nutrition class.

My third child is a volleyball player, and her volleyball will count as her P.E. She's into fall training right now, and she'll continue on after that to try out and play on a team of whatever level she's assigned to.

My fourth child has really had no interest in team sports. She's played for a month or two at a time in our church's recreational sports league, but she's aged out of it now and has no desire to play for a more serious competitive team. So we weren't quite sure what to count for her P.E. After some thought and discussion, we decided to keep a YMCA membership for her and let her swim throughout the school year. We typically have a family membership throughout the summer, so we can all swim but cancel it in the fall. She loves to swim, although she'd rather swim independently and not compete in that sport either. So...she has her YMCA membership, and I'm taking her to swim laps two days a week. She's loving it. The whole thing reminds me- again- how flexible homeschooling is and how it allows us to adapt and choose what works for each kid.

For nutrition, we're using Apologia's new Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition set. I have a review coming up soon on this curriculum, and we're really enjoying it. It's a three day a week course that is formatted similarly to the Apologia science courses.

Foreign Language


Because my youngest is definitely covered with electives this year, she's waiting to complete her foreign language credits. Both girls are intending to get at least two credits of foreign language in high school. Ashlyne, my third child, is taking American Sign Language at a local co-op for her foreign language this year. My oldest daughter also took ASL from this teacher and highly recommended her. Ashlyne already had an interest in the language because Kathryne had taken it, and they love that they can now communicate with each other using ASL.

Electives


Electives are the fun classes! The choice of electives allows the girls to pick subjects and classes they are interested in. My third daughter picked only a few to start off with this year, but the fourth has found a number of classes she wants to take, and she's willing to put in the time to complete all of them this year, so I let her go for it. That freedom is what homeschooling is all about! My goal this year was to find free or frugal electives that fit in our budget but were also fun and fit the girls' interests.

One easy elective for both girls is learning to play the ukulele. We've had a ukulele for some time now, and both girls have been learning on their own with YouTube videos. They are keeping track of their hours of practice as well as completed pieces they've learned, and we're using it as an elective.

Schoolhouse Teachers has some great high school electives courses. We did discover that we needed to make sure to check out the course thoroughly and be sure that (1) it was thorough enough to be a high school credit and (2) that it was a complete course and not just a sampler of a complete course that you could purchase for an extra cost. We ran into a few of these. (I still think that Schoolhouse Teachers is worth the money because one subscription covers any courses for everyone in the family, and there are a good many complete courses to choose from.) From Schoolhouse Teachers, the girls are using

  • Image Editing
  • Keyboarding
  • Computer Coding
  • Music Theory
Rachel- my youngest- loves all things art, and she was thrilled when we got access to Sparketh, an online resource that has tons of great art courses available. We're reviewing it soon, and she's been loving the portrait drawing track she's been using.

Both girls are doing music with me. We're using 20th Century Music Appreciation for High School from Music in Our Homeschool. We've done several of the Music in Our Homeschool courses already and really enjoy them. They are online and self-paced. The girls could do them independently, but this is one we enjoy doing together- and I can learn too!

We're also doing the Poetry and a Movie course from Hide the Chocolate together. This one is another self-paced online course. I have to admit that, although I'm an avid reader, poetry has never been "my thing." But I'm excited about the opportunity to learn more along with the girls as we go through this course. The course uses the book Poetry Matters as a spine, and it goes through the works of poets like Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Dylan Thomas, Edgar All Poe, and more. The really cool thing is that each unit ties in the work of the poet you've been studying to a movie. It's a fun twist that has all of us interested even though the girls might not be excited to learn about "just poetry."

Literature-Based Homeschool High School Curricula


So there's a look at our homeschool curricula this year. Did you find anything familiar? What are some of your favorite curricula resources? You can find other great curricula ideas from homeschool families and link up your own curriculum posts here at the iHomeschool Network.


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