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Favorite books for homeschooling high school

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Here are a few (in no particular order):
College Prep Homeschooling (2012) -- Chandra Byers
The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens (2010) -- Debra Bell
Homeschool High School Made Easy (2017) -- Lee Ann Garfias
Setting the Record Straight (2010) -- Lee Binz -- transcripts, record keeping, admin. aspect of homeschooling high school
"Coffee Break" book series (2013-2018) -- Lee Binz -- short books on various topics
and a website: The Home Scholar (Lee Binz), also has a number of free video tutorials, handouts, blog articles, etc.

The 2 books by Cafi Cohen that I found helpful have not been revised since their publishing in 2000, and SO much has changed since then, and there are SO many new options now, that those books are now incomplete helps. You will most likely want something that has been published, or revised, since 2010 or more recently.

As a result, like 8FillTheHeart, I found that the high school and college boards of the WTM forums were the best sources of information, advice, ideas, and guidance. To get you started, I recommend starting off with these threads (all linked in "High School Motherlode #1", one of the pinned thread at the top of the high school board):

High School "Time Table" (deadlines + what to do/when in each year of high school and for college prep) 

What do "seventh" and "ninth" grade look like to you? (brain development and goals for the average student for grades 7-12)
Please describe the reality of homeschooling high school (time commitment; typical day; what do you do)

Can someone link me to a nice 4-year overview for high school? (lots of topics: planning, required credits, tips, info on tests, etc.) 
I need a guidance counselor (addresses fears, tips on planning, ideas for outsourcing, info on tests, etc.)
Starting over again - homeschooling in 8th-12th grades questions (good overview of all the "getting started" topics)
My son is starting high school this year (linked resources, tips, and gentle steps from posters on getting started)

Looking forward toward high school (time line, planning credits, how to make a plan, picking curriculum)
When formulating a high school plan (what factors to consider?)
To parents of freshmen, sophomores next year (4 types of college admissions; why you have to plan ahead in high school)

High school curriculum, where do I start?? (how to decide what credits to do, and then how to select curriculum)
Could you point me to a list? (what type of classes "count" for what type of subjects/credits)

Both of the "High School Motherlode" threads, pinned at the top of the High School Board, were just updated and reorganized last month. And a new pinned thread, "Going to College Motherlode", was added to the top of the College Board last month. All three have a "table of contents" listing the topics in that thread, as well as in the other 2 "motherlode" threads, to make searching for a specific topic a little easier.

To help you as you start your homeschooling high school research, I have "reprinted" the table of contents for each of those "motherlode" threads. To start off, you'll likely want to look at threads linked on page 1 of motherlode #1 (getting started and making a high school plan topics), and threads linked on page 1 of motherlode #2 (transcripts and record keeping topics). As you start getting those topics figured out, you may with to move on to page 5 of motherlode #2 to learn about possible outsourcing of high school courses, and page 2 of motherlode #1 to learn about all of the possible tests, and which may be a fit for your family, and when.

So get a cup of coffee, pull up a laptop, and a little at a time, start reading about homeschooling high school. Cheers! Warmly, Lori D.



page 1 topics:
High School Time Table (what to do/when for each year of high school)
Teaching Executive Function Skills
Preparing for High School
Addressing Fears
Getting Started
Books & Resources
Making a High School Plan
Time Management
High School on a Budget
Accreditation / Cover Schools

page 2 topics:
tests -- info and comparisons on:
PSAT  (National Merit Scholarship qualifying test)
ACT / SAT  (frequent college entrance requirement)
SAT Subject  (also called SAT II)
AP  (Advanced Placement courses & tests)
CLEP  (college credit by exam)
GED  (high school diploma equivalency test)
ASVAB  (military entrance exam)
Compass/Accuplacer  (college placement test)



page 1 topics:
Transcripts / Record Keeping
Grading / GPA
Honors Courses
Record Keeping / Course Descriptions / Letter of Recommendation / Volunteering
Graduation topics / Diplomas

NOTE: there are 3 pages of poster responses between page 1 and page 5 topics

page 5 topics:
General Threads on High School Subjects (Writing, Math, Science, Electives)
Home-Grown Courses / MOOC Courses
Extracurricular Activities
Online Classes
Dual Enrollment



page 1 topics:
College Search Process
College Visits
College at Home / Distance Degree

page 2 topics:
College Applications
Common App

page 3 topics:
Honors Programs / Phi Theta Kappa
Internships / REUs

page 4 topics
Heading to College
At College
Study Abroad

page 5 topics
Financial Aid

page 6 topics
Alternatives to 4-Year College
Gap Year
Career Exploration

Edited by Lori D.
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On 10/11/2018 at 8:51 AM, Mom2boys said:

I found The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens by Debra Bell to be really helpful, especially if your teen is college-bound.


On 10/13/2018 at 4:42 AM, --- said:


These 2 together shaped our high school, but once I found these boards, I rarely consult them anymore.

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Definitely The Well Trained Mind has been our go to. But the boards have helped me more through figuring out PSATs and stuff like that! 

I have read about half of the others on the lists above, and they were useful, but ultimately, WTM is my go to. I don't do it completely as is. For instance, I don't think my kids do enough for a grammar credit and a lit credit. So I am thinking they will just get the standard Eng. 1, Eng. 2, Eng. 3, and Eng. 4 on their transcripts, which includes their continued grammar study, writing, and lit. like most high schools. 


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  • 2 weeks later...

Seconding the use of this board.

I particularly liked Jeanne Gowen Dennis's Homeschooling High School: Planning Ahead for College Admission; the author makes homeschooling through high school seem doable. (It is written from a Christian perspective, but I recommend it to all.)

Some other valuable reads:

What High Schools Don't Tell You - 300+ Secrets to Make Your Kid Irresistible to Colleges by Senior Year by Elizabeth Wissner-Gross

and her other book: What Colleges Don't Tell You by Elizabeth Wissner-Gross

Another I'd recommend is How to Get Into the Top Colleges by Krista Klein and Richard Montauk. This book is a helpful overview of the entire college application process and is particularly helpful if your child is aiming toward any moderately selective college.

Books by Cal Newport are well worth reading.


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I enjoyed most of the books above.  One book I still keep around is Senior High:A Home-Designed Form-U-La . https://www.amazon.com/Senior-High-Home-Designed-Form-U/dp/1887639098/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1541163073&sr=8-1&keywords=senior+high+a+home-designed+form%2Bu%2Bla

It is a blast from the past.  It reminds me of how homeschooling use to be.  I enjoy her emphasis on life skills and total freedom of choosing whtever she thinks it is important for her student to learn, not focusing on college.  She has lots of examples and worksheet/chekoff lists for different subjects and how she taught them in unconventional ways.  I have a different focus , but do want my kids to learn life skills.   Every once in a while I pull it out  and reevaluate .

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