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This past week I have shared the span from kindergarten to middle school – our curriculum choices for 2013-2014. Today we reach homeschooling high school and in my next post I’ll share the resources we use with all our ages – together.
This is the year we have two high schoolers – 9th grade Eldest Boy and 10th grade Eldest Girl. Two high schoolers. I am thankful my husband and I have the privilege of this time with our young adults. Thankful we can tailor an educational plan with their input and with consideration of their gifts, talents and needs. Am I as nervous as I was this time last year about high school? Actually not. But oh I am definitely still learning. It’s still continuing education for me! But I have proof. I have seen how the Lord provides and we have one year of high school behind us! Plus, I still say…
God does not ask your ability or your inability. He asks only your availability. ~ Mary Kay Ash
This is a rather long post, but there’s plenty to think about for two high schoolers – and this still doesn’t cover it all (like those frequent, late-night talks with my two teenagers).
Homeschooling High School
- Answers in Genesis High School Bible Curriculum – so excited about this! I look forward to sharing a full review soon.
- Doorposts and a suggested resource from the Doorposts folks – Polished Cornerstones, Plants Grown Up and Christian Character. All of these offer real life, practical application and practice. From housekeeping to fixing cars to interviewing mentors and grandparents – definitely a high school career’s worth of info here.
- Rod and Staff English 9th and 10th Grades – also a great resource for writing assignments
- Writing – Besides Rod and Staff, Tapestry of Grace (I’ll share more about Tapestry in my multiple ages post) offers weekly writing assignments to tie in with our history studies. I love the variety, we often choose between the two each week. We pick whatever fits our studies best…plus we’ll also be tapping…
- Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW)
- Teaching Textbooks – Algebra 1 and Geometry
- Visual Latin (my review)
- Triple 1070 – (my review) our high schoolers will continue building Biblical financial foundations for a lifetime.
Apologia Marine Biology – (picked it out – still need to get it!) we are all so very excited about this course! Our high schoolers will use the Apologia resource while the rest of the children will use the Answers in Genesis – all learning together more about marine biology!
Plus we’ll be heading to the Georgia Aquarium to use our passes for up close study. We’re also planning at least one trip to the Florida coast. And using this fabulous gathering of marine biology resources from Barb-Harmony Art Mom’s homeschool.
- Government and economics class offered by the president of Americans for Prosperity Foundation Georgia who is a local homeschool mom who has graduated her four children. We’ll be headed to the capitol for field trips and learn about branches of government and their functions, free markets, rule of law, regulation and more.
- LEGO Education® – Hodgepodgedad will be sharing reviews and giveaways of LEGO products this academic year.
- Technology and photography. Both of our high schoolers will take further courses, choosing what they are most interested in via Lynda.com
- Fine Arts – Our 10th grader will continue with piano lessons. Drama troupe sign up is soon. And her appreciation of fine arts will be rounded out with Harmony Fine Arts (more on this in my Multiple Ages post since we’ll be studying this with all the children together again).
The Rest of the Homeschool Day
Our high schoolers will, of course, also participate in all the learning we do with our multiple ages (literature, writing, art, music, history, science, nature study and more). So this list isn’t complete.
High School Organization
I mentioned in last year’s curriculum post that our high schoolers pick and choose where they like to do school work around the house. Teaching Textbooks is, of course, completed at the computer (unless Eldest Girl carts the book off and does it elsewhere then comes back to enter her answers). This summer, we’ve been working to make quiet spots in each of their bedrooms. Eldest Girl got a Micke IKEA desk a while back. Now, Eldest Boy has one too! Hodgepodgedad swung by IKEA on his way home earlier in the week so we’d have the new desk to put together this weekend. The plan is to also get an IKEA desk for his roommate, Lil’ Buddy. Eldest Boy has big building plans for his desk. The first thing he wants to do is spread out the Raspberry Pi he has been tinkering with since Christmas.
This way each of our high schoolers can retreat away from all the noise, noise, noise, if they need to. They can do a subject in their room or spread out on the family room couch. Wherever they are comfortable and most productive is what I want for them.
This is another one of those “I’m still learning” parts of homeschooling. I have several resources I have studied and I love. I’ll share them below. But I will also say that I did purchase Homeschool Tracker with great intentions. However, it is PC based and I am a Mac gal all around. So, all those extra loops I had to jump through just threw me for a loop. So, this past year I kept track of high school records in the most natural way for me. I wrote a narrative of all my Eldest Girl did. Course work, extracurricular and enrichment activities. Electives, science fair projects, awards, leadership positions at church. Standardized testing.
And I put it all in Evernote (Hodgepodgedad’s review – our uses for this have expanded even more!). I have a separate notebook for each of my children in Evernote. (Great post here on creating an Evernote Portfolio). And while I have heard that Homeschool Tracker has a wonderful, new update coming out for Mac users, this is natural for me. And I have found that because I have extensive notes – that those notes translate well into credits. I have a template I use that a fellow mom in our homeschool group shared. But I also understand that one of the best ways to track credits is to go to the website of the college your child is considering and download their credit tracker. That way your can tailor your high school credit and planning towards the college of their choice. If that is what your child is considering. See, I’m still learning.
- Great advice on just this – by Betsy – in the High School resources post at Curriculum Choice
- 10 Steps for Preparing for College by Kim at Habits for a Happy Home
- Colleges and Universities Accepting Homeschoolers group Pinterest board by Curriculum Choice
- High School Four Year Planner by Well Planned Day (Daniele’s review at Curriculum Choice) – we have this, use it and so appreciate the prompts throughout (e.g., time to take the PSAT, make goals, etc.)
**Update: We have settled on and absolutely love A Plan in Place homeschool planners.
Weekly Homeschool Planning Meetings
We also hold weekly homeschool planning meetings with our eldest three children. My friend, Barb-Harmony Art Mom has been a wonderful mentor and great example in this area. This is a big focus and truly helps us to not only stay on track but talk through what resources would be good at the time. Plus, we can chase rabbits and build in time for the current topic of interest – and fit in that get together we just found out about. More detail in this post about our homeschool planning meetings.
Also know, at this age, both my young adults are independent learners. They plan, contribute to our overall plan and continue to learn how to research and find resources themselves. That’s the beauty of homeschooling high school. My husband and I are here as their parents, to guide, question, challenge, encourage and more…
These are a few more resources I’ve read, studied and restudied:
~this post contains affiliate links~
- Homeschooling High School posts by Barb-Harmony Art Mom
- The HomeScholar (Lee Binz) books. The first one I purchased and the last three ‘coffee break books’ I got free on Kindle (I use a Kindle for Mac app):
The magazine rack above the family room couch is a great spot to keep things within sight – and to keep our planners!
Rest assured I am still planning (especially Tapestry of Grace). And we tend to leave room for interests and project-based learning (like the Pinterest meal planning and baking science fair project). Plus I haven’t even touched on the iPad apps…I am also considering a resource I mentioned last year – Barb-Harmony Art Mom’s high school Geography study (the link is in my Hands on Geography for Multiple Ages). We started it last year and got sidetracked. But I really want to get back to it.
There is truly so much to look forward to and love about homeschooling high school with your young adults!
More Resources for You!
- Homeschooling High School at Hodgepodge plus a mid-year update.
- My Homeschooling High School Pinterest board plus Curriculum Choice’s High School board (so many great resources I visit often here!)
- Even more resources at Curriculum Choice! Our authors shared Choosing Homeschool High School Curriculum.
- the 10 Parts of the Hodgepodge Schedule – (including how we fit in all the extras, afternoon quiet time and the household service opportunities)
- When do we start our homeschool year?
- Our Hodgepodge homeschool method
- Our IKEA and chalkboard homeschool room
Now that we have two high school graduates…
- What I’ve Learned Homeschooling High School to College
- Homeschooling High School Learning Styles
- The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Simple Guide to the College Search
- Graduation Chalk Pastel Art Tutorial
- Homeschool High School Finish Line
- Fall Homeschool and College Visits
- Wisdom for Every Day
- Homeschool Independent Learning
- High School Homeschool Video Courses
- High School Homeschool Curriculum Choices
- Preparing for Homeschooling High School
- Homeschool Graduation Favorites
Hodgepodge Curricula 2013-2014
Each of these links will be live as I share about them over the next week:
- Kindergarten curriculum
- Second grade
- Sixth grade
- High School (9th, 10th)
- Multiple ages – all those resources we enjoy with all ages together
Goodness! And I haven’t even mentioned driver’s ed for both, the practical technology support Hodgepodgedad is teaching Eldest Boy at home and with multi media at church (it’s like an internship) or our PE and health plans. We are definitely taking a technology and fine arts track. Also, my sweet sister-in-love is a high school guidance counselor…Another time…
Let me sum it up with this verse:
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4
Linking up to iHomeschool Network’s Not Back to School Blog Hop!
Was this post long enough for you? What are your thoughts on homeschooling high school?
Wow, so much you have written about. I’m a good ways out from high schoolers. 🙂 I haven’t “officially” started according to the State,but my 5 year old will start Kindergarten next year. We use Heart of Dakota and I loved it last year. Thanks for all the info. I’m sure I will need a lot of help at that stage of schooling.
Oh you are so smart to start learning and finding resources now. Just having it all on your radar is so smart! Continuing ed, continuing ed…
Barb-Harmony Art Mom says
Two in high school! You are going to be the expert someday! I really think this post is going to help a lot of families. Great job putting it together.
My daughter is starting 9th grade this year. She will be using Notgrass Exploring World History(1 English Credit, 1 History Credit, 1 Elective Credit[Bible]),Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1(1 Math Credit), Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Biology Full Course CD-Rom(1 Science Credit),French through Mango Languages and duolingo.com(1 Elective Credit), Photography through Lynda.com and Zumba classes with me through the community center(1/2 PE credit). This is for a total of 7 and 1/2 credits. Her big goal is independence. She will complete all of her work at her desk(same one as your kids!) in her room w/ her laptop(purchased for school work) while I work with the little ones (3rd,4th,4th and 5th). We will like you have weekly meetings. Boy it must be nice to have a sister in law as a high school guidance counselor when it comes to college stuff.
Heidi @ Home Schoolroom says
Thank you for the long post, Tricia! Please keep them coming. My oldest is just entering middle school but I have my radar set to high school information so I (hopefully) won’t be overwhelmed when the time comes! I’m so thankful for lovely mentors like you and Barb walking the road and sharing your experiences.
Heidi – you are so very wise to be seeking and learning as yours head towards high school!
Hello. Thank you for for your blog and reviews. I find them very helpful. This is our first year with tog. Grades 5,7,8 all doing dialectic. It has not been a positive switch yet. My children actually miss textbooks, workbooks and tests. The books have been difficult to obtain through our library and they have not found them engaging. As I read this pits and your curriculum choices, I am wondering what you use tog for in your middle and high schoolers? It looks like you duplicate all the subjects that it covers? Can you help me understand? I am still considering doing tog next year for my son starting high school in hopes that we will grow to love it. He is a kinesthetic learner and will not spend hours on writing assignments. Thank you for any direction you might give.
Regina – thanks for your comment. First off, when I feel like something is not working for us I have to step back and remind myself that curriculum is tool. And that it does not control us – we use it to help us. Often we can not find the exact books at the library for Tapestry of Grace either. So, I go to the alternate list or do a search for the same topic and find something similar at the library. I find that if we don’t get all the books, but are able to get a variety (I reserve as much as I can) then we can grasp the concept or subject matter. As to what I use TOG for for our middle and high schoolers – we use it for history, literature, church history, writing, geography. Basically for everything but science, math and grammar. Yes, it may seem that we ‘duplicate’ some of those things with other resources. But that is the absolute beauty of homeschooling – you can use what works best for you. The TOG books are truly rich and wonderful. And we never are able to use them all because the offerings are more than we could ever get to. Maybe since your son is a kinesthetic learner he can create display boards and multi media projects as writing assignments. Yes, there are other writing assignments that I think all high schoolers should complete. Some work just need to be done. But the variety seems to encourage my children. I do hope this helps you. If your children truly do thrive on textbooks and workbooks – then go with that. Mix in some of the wonderful books from TOG. Choose what is best for your family! Blessings, Tricia
P.S. If you haven’t read these resources on Tapestry of Grace, it has more information on dealing with the overwhelm and all I have learned: https://www.yourbesthomeschool.com/2013/05/what-ive-learned-homeschooling-with-tapestry-of-grace/ and https://www.yourbesthomeschool.com/2012/03/tapestry-of-grace-for-the-teacher/