When we were starting out with our high school student I remember the panic we felt as we started to think about curriculum options for high school. Our first year we went with what is called a canned curriculum, you choose an entire grade of courses, put together by the curriculum company and then you try to get it all done before the end of the year. We choose A Beka 9th grade video course with transcripts. It was so long ago that it was only available on VHS. We thought it would help us a lot to have everything laid out but boy were we wrong. There was no flexibility because they required everything be done by a certain time. Every student has different needs and way of learning, so please do not think that this will not work for you. It did not work for us, but may be a perfect fit for someone else.
Awesome Curriculum Options for High School
There are so many options today, online courses, courses on DVD, and thousands of curriculum suppliers, how do you choose? It really is an individual thing and you may not always make the best choice, but don’t let that discourage you. As I said before you should try to use what you have and keep moving forward rather than purchase something new. Supplement, delete, tweak, try and make it work somehow. If you switch to something new it may not be a good choice either and then you will feel like you have to get something else yet again. It can be very trying on you, so if you purchase something try to use it. I believe that you will be thankful in the end.
Options for High School Math Curriculum
For Math we used several things over the years. We used ALEKS math an online program that allows the student to advance through several different levels of math in one year, it does not limit you to Algebra 1 for example, if the student completes Algebra 1 they can go on to Algebra 2, no additional cost. We used Teaching Textbooks, which my daughter really liked. Teaching Textbooks is a computer program that gives the lessons visually on a piece of lined yellow paper, nothing fancy. It gives the student practice problems and then the lesson problems to complete. There are tests at the end of each section. We used an older version where the practice problems and lessons were done in a student book and then could be checked using the solutions disk or the answer key. the newer versions are done all on the computer and the computer does the grading. Saxon Math was used but we tweaked it a bit, my son did not like all the repetition. So, I chose a problem from each section and then all the new material, if he got the problem from the past sections correct then he moved on, if he did not then we did another one from that section. This seemed to work well for him. We used many games as well, Smath, Muggins Math, etc. There are many others, but this gives you a little variety to work with.
Options for High School Grammar Curriculum
For Grammar we used mostly Easy Grammar, the red book. We used it for the entire high school level for our two sons. It worked well because it
was short 15 minute lessons that reinforced what they had learned previously and it moved forward in small steps similar to how Saxon math works. Our oldest son took an adult ed English course at the local school over the summer for his final year because he had everything else completed, it was a 6 week course twice a week and it was done. The instructor loved him as a student and he did very well. For our daughter, we signed her up with a homeschool group to take a course using Analytical Grammar, we did this for two years and she did well. It was not her favorite course, but she made it through. There are again many online options like Khan Academy and some colleges offer these types of courses online for free as well.
Options for High School History Curriculum
History was never boring around here, a lot of it was through games and dad sharing his knowledge of history. I did not like history as a student but I love history now. For traditional curriculum we used Ray Notgrass’ Exploring America. We found this to be an awesome curriculum that my daughter really liked, it was not a dry text book and covered some things that I have not seen explained in the way it was in this book. There are so many options, they have an entire history series that you can download to your kindle now as well. This may work well for some but not for others. We have also used some History Channel shows and other videos that we found at our local library.
I want to wrap it up saying that high school homeschool curriculum options are great, do not feel like you have to stick to one particular curriculum. Make your own if you want to. The sky is the limit. Your students can have a choice today in what they would like to use for the courses that they want to take, including adult ed courses and tech courses. Apprenticeships are a good way to meet needs as well, depending on what your child wants to learn. Share courses with other homeschoolers, teach science and send your student to your neighbor that can teach math for example. There is a lot of that going on today, co-operatives are popping up all over the place. Asvab testing is something you may want to consider as well.
What are your favorite high school homeschool curriculum resources?