10 Resources for Homeschooling High School
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?
This post is linked to Top Ten Tuesday and Homeschool High School.
I have a 9th grader and a 3rd grader so I am just beginning the high school journey. My son is using KONOS History of The World Volume 1 which is 3 credits and covers History, English and Bible, Thinkwell Algebra 1, Apologia Exploring Creation With Biology Full Course CD-ROM, Mango Languages(Spanish) and TeenCoder. Plus he is takes guitar lessons for 1/2 music credit and being on the Y swim team covers the 1/2 PE credit. We have used Apologia and Mango Languages in the past. Plus last year he used KidCoder. The other companies are new to us. We are 3 weeks in and so far, so good.
I LOVE your blog:)! I found you 2 weeks ago somehow. I ordered the t-shirt for my 15 yr old daughter that reminds me of your blog too, lol. I want to thank you for your post this morning. My daughter is starting 10th grade and needs Spanish. I was going to use BJUP and Rosetta Stone together, but wasn’t really happy with it totally. When I checked out the currclick live classes w/ the teacher you recommended, I was ecstatic! She’s actually willing to try it. She had a very bad experience just talking to an online Spanish teacher in person at the Cincinnati HS convention last year. He made her so angry that I thought she was going to explode! She’s not that type of person and so anything online has been an absolute no-no since. Keep up the encouragement and your sense of humor. I feel like I’ve met a person who has the same sense of humor as me;p!
Hippocampus.org is my favorite resource for high school right now. They have videos from NROC, Khan Academy, and PhET. You can search by topic, take an entire course with them (though not with teacher support), or search a textbook for related videos. We are doing AP US History course from Hippocampus and watching the corresponding videos for the Biology book we got.
I have a 10th grader this year. This is what she is using. *= new product/company
English- reading/writing to go with history, Apples 2*(spelling, this is the one area she came really weak out of public school with back in 6th grade. Now she wants to take control of it), public speaking class at co-op 2nd semester
Math- Math U See Algebra 1
Science- Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Biology
History- finishing World History Observations and Assessments From Creation to Today(we made this a 2 year course by adding in more reading and writing)
Bible- Connecting with God: A Survey of the New Testement
Gym- yoga classes w/ Mom
Most of these are tried and true
I feel the same way about High School resources. It gets harder and harder as the kids get older to find outstanding resources. I appreciate you sharing what’s worked for you and being honest in your assessments.
Thanks for sharing these resources! I currently school two highschool students and it is always nice to see what others use. As far as resources, I am a Pinterest nut. I am sure I am not alone. 🙂
So glad to see this post, as I have two in high school this year. I love the fact that we use many of the same materials. I am definitely bookmarking this for future reference. 🙂
Kris, Thank you for sharing this wealth of information. I have a 7th grader and am starting to look into different avenues for our high school years. This was a great post and definitely helpful. I love seeing what other people are using and how it works for them. Thanks again.
We’re just starting high school this year, so I’m bookmarking this. Right now, we’re using Apologia, Saxon, and History Odyssey, but this is a test year on a lot of levels, so always on the look out for those, “Well that didn’t work – what will?” kinds of resources. Sharing this with my local group, too – we’ve got a whole slew of new high schoolers this year, so a very timely resources, indeed!