If you’re a fellow blogger or a writer, you know that I was supposed to use an exciting headline to draw you in. Something like, “10 Secrets about Homeschooling High School” or “10 Books for Homeschooling High School That Will Rock Your World,” not something boring like “10 Resources for Homeschooling High School.”
However, if you’re a regular reader, you know that I’m quite the honest sort. So, maybe you won’t be surprised when I tell you that homeschooling high school with my poor guinea pig first child was a bit of a bumpy ride. We didn’t really find 10 resources that will rock your world – well, not 10 that rocked hers, anyway.
What we did do was stumble around a bit and find a handful of resources that we truly loved and a few that were not the best fit for Brianna, but that I still liked well enough to try to tweak for Josh and Megan. So, while I’m not ready to update my Top Picks list for high school just yet, I am ready to tell you about 3 or 4 resources that are on my “most definitely will use” list and 6 or 7 others that will get very careful consideration for Homeschooling High School, The Sequel.
Uncle Eric Books
Y’all may be getting tired of hearing it, but we love the Uncle Eric books. This is one resource that’s on the “definitely” list. We’ll be using the Uncle Eric books to homeschool high school with my younger two. These books will be the spine for some of our history, as well as government, civics, and economics.
Easy Grammar and Daily Grams
We have long loved the Easy Grammar and Daily Grams books. We’ll be using their Ultimate Series to keep all those grammar rules fresh in the kids’ minds through high school.
I’ve heard pros and cons for Teaching Textbooks, but they’ve worked well for us. I foresee us using them all the way through high school, unless…well more on that in a minute.
One thing that I wish I’d done sooner is contact my friend who teaches high school algebra. Having her do a bit of tutoring with Brianna on the concepts that were proving a bit difficult has really been helpful.
CurrClick Live Classes
Brianna has been taking Spanish this year using the CurrClick Live classes. We have both been so impressed. (Just as an aside, Sra. Schere is fabulous! I have never met a more encouraging instructor in my life. She has completely changed Brianna’s outlook on learning Spanish after a bad experience a couple of years ago. If you get a chance to sign your kids up for one of Sra. Schere’s classes, I highly recommend that you do so.)
My plan right now is to have Josh and Megan take Spanish through CurrClick Live for high school. As for my “unless” on Teaching Textbooks, I’m seriously considering CurrClick Live for high school math. One thing that Brianna and I both really appreciate about the live classes is that she can ask questions of a real, live person when she doesn’t understand something. I’m thinking that would be really great for high school math.
Apologia science didn’t work well for Brianna. However, I can’t help but feel really good about the courses for high school. So, we’re giving Apologia General Science a trial run with some tweaks for Josh and Megan this year to see if it might work for them for high school. The two main things I’m trying are:
1) Using the audio CD so that they can listen as they read along in the book to help with comprehension.
2) Sitting in on their science lessons so that I fully understand what’s going on in case there are questions. I found that when Brianna started getting into some of the more complex science topics (with biology), it was kind of like trying to jump into complex math when I hadn’t been following along. It took me some reading and catching up to be able to explain the concepts. That caused frustration for both of us that I’m hoping to avoid during Round 2.
Biology and Chemistry 101
Biology 101 came highly recommended by a friend. When I found out there was a Chemistry 101, I had to get it, too. Brianna is watching them this year as a refresher and to cement any concepts that she might have missed. I plan to watch them with Josh and Megan when they get to high school.
At this point, I’m not even worried about meshing the topics with Apologia, necessarily, but, rather, just watching the videos as we go through the two science classes and letting the concepts click as the kids hear them repeated in their textbooks or on the videos.
Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance
I really like Dave Ramsey. He’s funny, so he keeps the attention of kids and adults alike as he shares financial truths that everyone needs to hear. I think that every American teen should view the Foundations in Personal Finance series before graduating high school. It’s that important. I’d love to see my kids avoid the financial mistakes that Brian and I made early in our marriage – mistakes that we’re just now finally starting to overcome.
I’ve got Josh and Megan’s workbooks stored in our school cabinet, just waiting for high school.
As it stands right now, WriteShop will be the writing program that we use through high school. Brianna enjoyed it and found it very helpful. Josh did well with it last year. I’ve started him and Megan on it this six weeks. No complaining about writing, so far. That’s always a plus.
I’m hoping that my friends at Geography Matters will keep one step ahead of us as they continue adding to the Trail Guide to Learning series. Since the first middle school book (Journeys to the Ancient World) is just coming out this year, though, I’m not sure they will. If they do, we’ll keep going with Trail Guide. If not, History Odyssey will be a serious contender.
I wrote a review of History Odyssey a few years ago when Brianna used it. I really like that it ties in literature, geography and writing with history (You already knew that, right?) and I thought that Level II was challenging enough for most high school students. It even included a year long research paper assignment, if I remember correctly.
I like a lot of products from Zeezok Publishing, and their American Government course for high school is one of them. Bonus: It’s a DVD series with a student workbook, so there’s very little planning or input needed from me.
If you’re homeschooling high school (or have in the past), what are some of your favorite resources?