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Homeschooling high school...where to begin?

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My 9th grade DD will be coming home from PS after this semester. I have no clue what to do! We home schooled last year but I looked at it like, it was a year....I can't mess her up too bad :-) We had a lot of fun and she learned a lot, which is why she wants to come home. I don't know why I am so nervous about this... If anyone has any advice, book recommendations, or curriculum recommendations (secular) it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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HSLDA has some great high school planning brochures that are free to download.


Find out if your state has any specific requirements so you can add that into your planning. Basically, you need 1 english, 1 science, 1 math, 1 history, and an elective or 2.


I think math and science are the easiest to get started. Where is she in those subjects? If in math, she is at algebra 1, then select an appropriate text like Saxon or TT or some other you and she like and get started. Same with science. Earth science, biology?


History? What are you goals? Many schools do geography in 9th grade. Do you want to do ancients? US? World? Middle Ages? Once you and she decide that, you can start looking at curriculum that will do what you want it to do.


English has been the most confusing for me because it covers a wide range of topics. It should incorporate literature at this level IMHO. Writing also should be a major focus. Does she need a grammar review or filling in gaps in grammar knowledge? How is her spelling? Vocabulary? Do you want a separate writing program like IEW or Write Shop, or do you want to incorporate writing into history and literature? How do you want to approach grammar? Editor in Chief is a great way to practice editing skills but is it enough or a supplement? Once you get a handle on what you need and how you want to approach it, you can start considering curriculum or books.


Electives? Foreign language? PE, Art, Latin, life skills, computer, are all possibilities. What are her interests?


I know I've given you more questions than answers. But, I'm hoping it helps you get a good jumping off place......

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Welcome to high school! Holly gave you some great beginning steps. I'll overwhelm you now :tongue_smilie: with a mega list of resources below. But first, here is "replay" (lol) from a past post about how I went about planning high school. BEST of luck -- and ENJOY your high school homeschool adventure! Warmest regards, Lori D.



- I started planning high school by hanging out on this board and asking lots of specific questions.

- I also did research by reading some homeschooling high school books.

- Then I printed off the list of our state's high school class requirements, and also the list of required classes for entrance into several of our state universities. That gave me a list of 18-20 "required classes" I knew we would need to cover somehow. That also left 4-6 classes for electives for our sons to explore interests.

- Then I started to plug in classes for each grade to get a feel for a very general "big picture" of the 4 high school grades.

- Be sure to leave room for unexpected interests and extracurricular activities.

- Don't overwhelm you student in 9th grade with 7 full-credit classes; 5-6 credits in the first year of high school is plenty! Remember, a 1-credit course roughly translates to about 1 hour of work per day, 4-5 days a week.

- Make a list of non-academic goals and priorities for your student, too, and make sure you leave time to include these -- high school is your last little window of opportunity to pour into your student; do you *really* want to make it only about academics? What about learning life skills (learning to budget; cook; change the oil in the car), or spiritual growth (Bible study, family devotionals, youth group), or learning how to have a balanced life (you want academics and study time; but also time for physical exercise or activities; social time; community service or volunteering; etc.), and especially time to talk together, or allow your student time to just think, dream, fiddle around with a hobby...

- Be aware that your time gets even tighter in the junior and senior years -- students are learning to drive, have more social commitments, may be working part time...


Below are some past threads with great book resources for helping you figure out credits, transcripts, etc, and about getting started with homeschooling high school. Welcome to high school! Come on in -- the water's fine! :) Warmest regards, Lori D.




Getting Started

To all you people with 8th graders...

Soon to be a high schooler

Talk to Me About... High School Fears

Homeschooling High School


Books and Resources

Need book suggestion for help in homeschooling through high school

Best Guides for Homeschooling in High School?

High School at Home

Best Resources to Learn How to Homeschool High School?

Donna Young website articles and forms: Homeschooling High School

HSLDA website series of articles: Homeschooling Through High School


Making a High School Plan

When formulating a high school plan...

Who Else Has an 8th Grader and is Making a High School Plan?



Nuts & Bolts Topics



Book for Planning High School Curriculum Choices

High School curriculum, where do I start?


Credits, How Many Classes

Could you explain what equals a credit, 1/c credit, etc.?

How many classes per year for high school?


Record Keeping, Transcripts

What kind of records do you keep for your high school student?

Keeping HS records

What work do you save and how do you store your records?

Do you use a program such as Edu-Tracker for record keeping?

Resource for creating HS transcripts? HS planners?

Transcript question

How to combine traditional school and homeschool on transcripts?


Moving Toward College

Whine!! I didn't sign up to be a guidance counselor!


The "motherlode" of accumulated wisdom -- links to the best past threads on these topics:

Outsourcing, Online Classes, AP/CLEP/SAT/ACT tests, Dual Enrollment...


Doing the Well Trained Mind for High School

Do You Follow TWTM for High School?

Does Anyone Do High School History/Lit ala TWTM?

Tell Me About Your Traditional Lit/History High School Courses

Is Boxed Curriculum Not Sufficient for High School Any More?

Edited by Lori D.
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Rebecca Rupp's Home Learning Year By Year has a very nice, specific overview of the high school years with many curricular suggesions (she's a biochemist and the book is definitely secular). The book is readable and not at all intimidating, but full of useful information.


Edited to add: It says volumes about you and your relationship with your dd that she is eager to return home and likes learning there better. You apparently did a whiz-bang job and there's no reason whatever to think that will somehow change just because this is "officially" high school. Keep doing whatever you did; it seems to have worked beautifully!

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Welcome!! I just started hs my 11th grader this year. It can be overwhelming, I know.


First, hang out here often. Listen carefully to the discussions here. Use the search function...a lot (you'll find even more of Lori D's fabulous lists)! Ask lots of questions. The members here are brilliant and kind. Absorb all you can.


If your dd is interested in college (especially a selective one) this site http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hs2coll/ is also wonderful.


Figure out what history, math and science you'd like, considering the four years you'll be covering these topics. What are her strengths and weaknesses? Does she have any interests or passions that should be given priority? Will she be working on a regular or honors level? What kind of teacher are you? Do you like an active role, in which you're discussing things with her? Do you prefer scripted materials? The entire year laid out for you? Or do you like her to work independently? What kind of learner is she? Does she like hands on? Does she like to read from textbooks? Or would she like to learn from videos? Are there any areas in which public school slacked - spelling, vocabulary, basic math etc? Is there an area in which she excels, like math or science?


The more you think about these things and share the answers with us, the more we can recommend!


Have fun! I am so excited for you both. You'll have a fabulous time. :001_smile:

Edited by lisabees
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