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WUHS Top Picks: High School

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This will be my final installment in the Top Picks series.  If you missed them, be sure to check out my picks for Kindergarten, first and second grades, third and fourth grades, fifth and sixth grades, and seventh and eighth grades.  This is also the one in which you hear the crickets chirping conspicuously in the background…as in, if you have any recommendations for high school, I’d love to hear them!

This was supposed to be Brianna’s 8th grade year and our practice year for high school.  Mid-year, she decided she wanted to catch up the year we “repeated” in fifth grade (a mutual decision and one of the best choices we made for her as far as school is concerned).  I was fine with that since I really felt that she was doing 9th grade level work in most areas already, only really needing to catch up math, which can easily be done with some summer work.

So, that being said, most of the following are what I plan to use — or look at — for high school, not necessarily resources with which I have experience.

Bible.  As I’ve said before, Bible Study Guide for All Ages gets my vote for preschool through high school, so no changes there.

Math.  Right now, my plan is to stick with Teaching Textbooks through high school.  We’ll be doing Algebra I and II and Geometry, with the final year of high school being a consumer math class.  In consumer math, I plan to use Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace to teach budgeting, and also cover things like how to balance a check book, how to save money on groceries using menu planning and coupons, and other practical, math-related life skills.

Literature and Composition.  This will be our catch-all English category and will include daily grammar review with the Ultimate Grammar series, composition with, most likely, WordSmith and Jump In, and literature selections from Reading Lists for College-Bound Students.  We’ll also throw in vocabulary and your typical book reports and research papers (which will be history-based as long as we’re using Pandia Press since a research paper is included as part of the yearly course work there).

Science.  This is one of my unsure categories.  I’ll be looking at Apologia.  If you have any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

History.  I will, most likely, be continuing with the History Odysseys from Pandia Press through high school.  My other alternative would probably be TruthQuest.

Health and P.E.  P.E. will be either volleyball, since Brianna is on a team, or working out at the Y.  Health will include books like:

  • Nutrition 101
  • And the Bride Wore White
  • I Kissed Dating Goodbye
  • I Gave Dating a Chance
  • When God Writes Your Love Story
  • Boy Meets Girl

I plan to post more on this particular aspect of our high school classes later (like probably next week).  For now, I’ll suffice it to say that the health aspect is going to focus on purity and personal safety, with other topics added as needed.

Foreign Language.  Ugh!  I’m trying not to think about this one.  I had considered Rosetta Stone, but have heard that it may not be enough to count as high school foreign language credits.  My other possibility is doing a co-op or classes for homeschoolers available in my area.  What are y’all doing?

Art.  This will be Brianna’s extracurricular class of choice.  We may go the organized class route again.  She took a class a few years ago that caused me to think that I wish we’d saved it for high school because it was high school level caliber.  I wouldn’t mind taking the class with her.  Other than that, we’ll continue Artistic Pursuits and Terry Holliday’s Elements of Art.

I also wouldn’t mind doing a photography class with Brianna (as in, both of us taking the class) as an extracurricular class, if I get a decent camera sometime in the near future.  I think we’d both enjoy that.

Economics/Government.  I’ve heard good things about Whatever Happened to Penny Candy and Land of Fair Play.  Those are two books I’ll be looking at.  I’ve heard that Land of Fair Play was suitable for high school, but I’m not sure about Penny Candy.  I hope to get my hands on both soon.

So, those of you who’ve been there, done that or are farther along than we are, what are your suggestions?  If you, like me, are just entering this territory, what are you looking at?

This post contains affiliate links and I will receive a commission on any sales purchased using said links. Please see my disclosure policy for details.

Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. Sounds like you have great plans!

    A little something to consider in high school is; what does your umbrella require!

    I had planned to graduate my oldest this summer, but our umbrella called out of the blue, telling me that several things we did in 9th and 10th were either non acceptable or incomplete for their standards…some credits we would lose…others required textbooks under their regulations. I was shocked and caught completely off guard!

    We switched umbrellas with my oldest- but we first made sure that a diploma from the new umbrella would be acceptable to our local college, since he plans to enter in the fall.

    We have used "real books" for years, rather than textbooks and never had any trouble. I assumed in 9th and 10th that everything we sent in was good…but right at the end of 11th (which they said is when they always review the entire high school credits, courses, and curriculum)…they through a wrench in!

    Just trying to share from what we've learned! We didn't know they didn't check over everything until the last of the 11th grade, nor did we know that they had such specific requirements in high school! Hope you have a great year! Blessings!:-)

  2. For Biology this year we used HIgh School Biology in Your Home by Bridget Ardoin. It is not textbook based, but research based. Each week the student gets 4-8 questions and researches using library books, the internet or a textbook (I read that she wrote it woth ABeka Bio in mind). I liked it because a student could get very in-depth, or not so much. There is a dissection or microscope work every week.


  3. Kris,
    We're using Apologia Biology next year. I've been reading the book and I think it's wonderful. I have also found there is so much support for Apologia products. I purchased a whole notebooking/lapbooking/study guide/lab report set from Knowledge Box Central to coordinate with the text.


  4. One more thought – we are using Rosetta Stone Spanish now and do like it and plan to continue but are looking for a good program with written work to coordinate. I am VERY open to suggestions!


  5. Donna,

    Thankfully, we don't have to worry about an umbrella; they're not required in our state. I'm basing everything we're doing on our state's requirements for high school graduation since that's what colleges will be looking at.

    If dd decides that she wants to go to college, which is currently what we're planning on, we'll probably do dual enrollment at some point. There are a couple of very homeschool-friendly colleges in the area that offer that option.

  6. Christy and Samantha,

    Thanks for your thoughts on science. You've both given me something to consider.

  7. I'm not a homeschooler (my first baby is due next week so it is still a bit early for that!) but I was homeschooled all the way through high school.

    Up until 10th grade, I used a variety of science programs and honestly, I hated science. It was really the only subject I didn't like. Then my mom switched to Apologia and I fell in love, working through 4 years worth of curriculum in just 2.5 years, going on to study Biomedical Science in college and working as a researcher in a university lab before becoming a mom. Needless to say, I love Apologia!

  8. This all makes me both excited for you, and nervous for me when we get to this point. I like to think it's forever away, but our oldest will be in 5th grade, so it's probably not quite as far away as I think it is, huh?

    What language are you thinking about doing? We have a Spanish Level 1 & 2 Rosetta Stone that I want to part with for a reasonable price.

  9. For high school math, we used TT for algebra I, and then my dd had difficulty with the PSAT. SO we switched to SOS, from Alpha Omega Publications, and used that for Geometry and then Algebra II. We found SOS to be meatier and a better college prep math series for my daughter. For Science, we have also used SOS, which is their cdrom course, and my da;ughter took Bio, Chem and Physics (this year) from them. I have heard that some colleges don’t accept Apologia, but I don’t know that for sure. How is homeschooling high school going for your family? I appreciate your
    post, full of great suggestions. Thanks!

    Betsy Sproger
    BJ’s Homeschool Consulting

    1. We tried SOS and it wasn’t a good fit for my daughter. She is graduating this year and we’ll be starting High School Round 2 with my son next year. It’s going well. I feel a lot more confident the second time around. 🙂

    2. Hi Betsy,
      I’m interested in SOS or Alpha Omega Academy. Do you use much of their curriculum and do you think that it teaches all the material needed? I’m looking to get my daughter into a program that will teach her well and ready her for college. Thank you.

  10. Just a note, we used SOS, as we were worried that Apologia might not be accepted by some colleges. Have you ever heard anything like that? It is such a wonderful science program!

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