Jump to content

Menu

Do you totally outsource HS, and if not, what do you use?


Recommended Posts

So, I am college educated and used to be a K-6 teacher. But. as my 8th grader approaches HS (not entirely sure he's going to PS or not), I am starting to at least think about our options. I feel totally out of my league!

Not only am I not really equipped to teach HS subjects, I have 5 other ones that need my time and attention. Not to mention the fact that he wouldn't WANT me teaching him anyway.

Which begs the question-how do you all afford the outsourcing? I've looked at things like BJU, Memoria Press, Kolbe. $500-$600 per class for the live classes times 5 equals a LOT of money. And that's just one year. And that's just one kid. Sigh.

So, if you are homeschooling high school and are on a budget, what do you use? Is there a curriculum out there that is relatively student driven and independent? Or, what are my options?

Link to post
Share on other sites

For me it’s DIY. I am using used college textbooks, Great Courses, math textbook with videos, audible, library books, kindle for more than one reader at time, YouTube, and an English curriculum. The most expensive thing I bought was math and that is reusable for my other kids.

The used college science textbooks cost me $30. I have Great Courses Plus. 

I put together my own lesson plans. They know what needs to be done every day. I sit with them for one subjects and I follow up on others. 

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hop on over to the High School board!  There are many ways to homeschool high school.  I do not outsource classes except for college Dual Enrollment.   I've currently got a Senior doing all DE through the college and a 10th grader that I teach.  I like to buy textbooks used from Amazon.  Best of luck to you!  My oldest is not having any issues getting into college or getting scholarships!  I know thatvwas one of my big worries.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

I only outsource specific classes.  Foreign language for sure.  I feel confident in "teaching" through Spanish 2, but I just don't have time.  I learned Latin I&II with oldest DS, Oldest DD wanted German, so we outsourced German I-IV.  I outsource most of the AP classes.  Oldest DD self studied for AP Human Geography and AP US History.

I also outsource some special interest electives like Screenplay Writing, Crime Scene, etc.

My DD(grade 10) is not interested in AP.  This year we outsourced Spanish and ACAD(I know nothing about CAD and don't want to , haha)

I will have her do a writing class at some point next semester or early next year.  We use the feedback to help guide us in evaluating her work moving forward.  I have done that with each of my kids.

Mostly, I research and write my own plans.  I use My Father's World for history and English.  Although I highly modify it with each kid.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that so many online classes are very expensive!

The only things I outsource are online courses for things I know nothing about - computer science, programming, etc. And even there, I find pretty cheap options on Udemy or other similar platforms, like my 14yo is doing a Python course now that cost $23.99.

I use math options that have video components like TT. I use sciences and history from homeschool providers but they don't have to be that expensive (for Apologia Biology, I just have the textbook and none of the extras). I make my own English courses, so all I'm buying are the books to read.

There are definitely options out there that are fairly independent.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

We mostly DIY for high school-- I have outsourced science using DIVE for a few classes, but I've taught Conceptual Physics and Conceptual Chemistry on my own, too--please note the *conceptual* part... 😉 I kept a couple chapters ahead of kids, and I had the Teacher's Manual.

You might find this thread worth reading... Lori D's post has some great links (as usual!).  🙂

 

We also did some elective classes at the local high school-- things like Band and Industrial Arts, and my kids have done sports through the local school system as well.   I realize that not all states/districts have the option, but I am glad we do.  It has been a great way for my kids to gain some independence, and learn to navigate some "normal" school stuff (how to talk to teachers when you have a problem, how to read a syllabus, etc.) before college.

 

Edited by Zoo Keeper
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Another DIY-er here. The only thing we outsourced for high school was a few semesters of dual enrollment for foreign language.

A few questions and observations to start you out as you look ahead to high school:

Teen ability/attitude reality check:
I do think that the teen's attitude and/or ability is really critical to being able to homeschool high school. Period. If there are special needs or delays (ability), OR if the student rejects parent teaching (attitude), then homeschooling high school really may not be the best educational option for a student. Learning just doesn't happen when it's a pitched battle day after day with a 15, 16, 17yo who does NOT want to do school at home. Or if the student needs special programs or methods of learning that the parent doesn't have the ability to provide. Just something to ponder and think about the particular student. 😉 

Will going to a brick-and-mortar high school be a possibility at some point?
Now is the time to look at this question, because in many areas, choosing to homeschool high school is an all-or-nothing option. If you start with homeschooling high school and decide to switch to a school, many school districts have the policy of not accepting homeschool credits. So in THOSE cases, the student either has to start back at 9th grade (even if they were going into 10th, 11th or even 12th grade), or if the school policy allows for it, the student must take and pass the end-of-year test for each and every course in order for the school to transfer the credit to their transcript. (There are also public schools who DO accept homeschool credits straight up with no hoop-jumping, so it really depends on your area.)

Parent involvement reality check:
I found that homeschooling high school required MORE of my time and involvement, rather than less. Even if the student works independently for the most part, there is a ton of stuff you have to spend time on as the homeschooling parent when you hit high school:

- researching -- esp. for DIY, but also in lining up materials that are a great fit for the student, or finding a unique class desired by the student
- discussion -- just about all courses, but esp. Lit./English, History, and often Science require a lot of talk time
- facilitating -- scaffolding into high school level work; working with student on scheduling, study skills, executive function skills, etc.
- tutoring -- stepping in when the student needs help (i.e, parent needs to go over previous lessons to learn it first to then teach it)
- grading -- oi! Geometry proofs! and essays and other Writing assignments! -- very time consuming!
- administrative -- standardized tests (PSAT, ACT/SAT, AP); transcripts and record keeping; etc.
- "counseling" -- career exploration; life lessons and maturing talks; college search/application process; etc.


All that to say: if you have a student who clicks with independent learning AND is diligent about it, there are options out there that provide the teaching either as video lessons, or as computer-based lessons -- and some are even self-grading. Below are some more options to consider:
 

Hybrid
What about outsourcing at the local public school for just 1, 2, or 3 classes, and homeschool the rest? Some schools allow that, and some homeschoolers on these boards have found that to work very well for high school. The teacher teaches and grades, the parent is the administrator and tracks the outsourced class(es) on the transcript (so the school is NOT the administrator, and this option remains homeschooling).

Another possibility: does your city have a "hybrid" or "university model" high school? It is like a less expensive version of private school -- student attends classes with a teacher for 3 or 3.5 days per week, and then does the rest of their work at home -- teacher does all the teaching, assigning, and grading, the administration does all of the transcripts and other administrative work, and the parent just oversees that the sent-home work is done and answers the occasional question that the student might have. (This is a school option, not homeschooling -- just school done at school on fewer days of the week.)

Outsourcing Classes
If you have limited funds, then I'd suggest spending it on outsourcing the areas you are weak in, and/or won't have the time to oversee yourself. For many families that is often Math, Science, Foreign Language, and Writing (English). Usually, Fine Arts, Electives, and Social Studies topics (History, Geography, Economics, Government) and are not too difficult to find ways of DIY that don't require tons of parent time. Remember: those limited funds will also need to cover any sports, music, or other special outside extracurriculars or cool opportunities/programs. (Note: if the student is pouring tons of hours into an extracurricular, you can count some of as the extracurricular, and some of it towards a credit.)

Also, it can REALLY be worth it to spend big $$$ on 1-2 high quality outsourced classes for the year, and then find free/cheap options for other subjects, and oversee those yourself. Again, choose carefully and outsource the courses that would be most difficult and time-consuming for you to  do at home, and choose to oversee the ones at home that would require much less input or help from you and could be largely done solo by the student.

Homeschool Co-op
Is there a decent, academically-based homeschool co-op in your area that doesn't cost a fortune? Maybe outsource just a class or two or three that way. Be sure that the classes you sign up for are full-credit of rigor and that the teacher does the scoring, so that all you need to do is keep records/add to the transcript, and make sure your student does the work.

Virtual Charter
You may want to consider switching from homeschool to "school at home" and use your state's virtual academy or virtual charter. Usually there is a basic free package, and then options with tutoring and grading for a monthly fee. That would be especially useful if you decide to switch to a brick-and-mortar school partway through high school--since the virtual charter is already public school at home, your student is already a public school student and just shifts to in-person/on-campus, with no worries about credits being accepted or not.

Dual Enrollment
Also, consider looking into your local community college system and see if they offer free or low-cost dual enrollment courses for high school students. But even if they don't offer a discount to homeschool students, dual enrollment can save you money down the line, if universities in your state have an articulation agreement with the community college  while it's not less expensive, but it does do "double-duty" by counting as college credits, and helping to reduce overall time (and thereby, overall cost) of college by knocking out credits in advance of college.


Since you are just starting to think about this, and I've already overwhelmed you with a ton of thoughts above (lol), I'll just end (below) with a very few specific resources, but this is just the tip of the iceberg of options for homeschooling and if needing mostly independently-done AND less expensive. Not all are the highest quality or rigor, but hey -- that's a sparkly unicorn to get all 3 (cheap, easy to use/very little parent time, AND high quality). 😉 

BEST of luck as you start thinking ahead to high school! Warmest regards, Lori D.
 

Self-paced / self-teaching / self- grading options:
Monarch (Christian)
Time 4 Learning

Video-based lesson options
Writing = Essentials in Writing (they also offer an additional scoring service for the year for $99)
Math = Teaching Textbooks, Videotext, Chalkdust, Math-U-See

Less expensive outsourced classes:
Lantern = Writing (8 week courses = $60/each) or full English (32 weeks = $330) 
 

Edited by Lori D.
  • Like 12
Link to post
Share on other sites

The truth is that ease and time savings comes with a cost.   

It is like any other thing you deal with as a homeschooler and home maker.  For example:

  • I save a lot of money on my groceries by buying whole ingredients and cooking things from scratch.  It takes more time and is more work.   However, I may have the option to purchase ease and time savings by buying pre-cut up veggies, pre-baked bread, and packaged snacks if I have it in my budget and decide it is worth the cost.  
  • I can save a lot of money by giving everyone hair cuts myself...even the dog!    OR--I could pay a professional to do that.   
  • I can save a lot of money by cleaning my own house.  OR--I could pay a professional to do that.
  • I can save a lot of money by painting my own walls.  OR--I could pay a professional to do that.

Those are just some examples.  And, of course, there are various "shades" of all of those things.   Maybe I usually cook everything from scratch, but one week I know I will be very busy (and to prevent myself from losing my mind 😄),  I buy a bunch of "easy" food that week.   Or maybe I usually cut everyone's hair myself, but before family picture day, I splurge and get a professional to cut their hair.  Maybe I usually teach all classes myself, but I splurge and sign them up for a short class at a museum or something.   

What I am trying to say is that running a house (and a homeschool!) is a lot like running a business.  

How?  Well, If you ever go to business school, you will spend a TON of time learning learning about when to outsource and when to do things "in-house."    When you decide to sign up for an online class, you are essentially outsourcing that work to someone else.    In order to decide if you should outsource, you have to ask yourself a lot of questions.  Here are just a few:

1). Do I even have the money to outsource?    For many people, they just don't have the budget to even consider online classes (or hiring a cleaning person, or buying pre-cut up veggies, or hiring a painter, etc.). They either do it themselves or it isn't happening at all!   If you look at your budget and determine that there is NO way to afford online classes (even with other cost saving measures), that pretty much answers the question.   Empowering Encouragement- Remember, you are not totally limited by your current circumstances.  For example, you could decide to increase your income to pay for other services that would make your life easier.  (Basically, Shifting work around.). You could decide to reduce costs in areas of your life in order to shift funds to another area. (Shifting funds around.).  I had to do a combination of both.  In order to pay for classes, I cut down our expenses to next to NOTHING.   I also took on a "side hustle" to bring in some extra income.  I test websites from home.  I (personally) decided that testing websites online was easier than teaching upper levels of Latin and writing.  🙂   I know another mom who got a "side hustle" cleaning houses (and organizing) so that she could afford online classes for her child.  She decided that cleaning houses was something she enjoyed (and was easier) than teaching high school chemistry.   Is it easy to get a second job or cut expenses.  CERTAINLY NOT.  I will always be honest with you.  But it is possible.  

2). Do I have the skill and ability to do it in-house?   Another thing that limits your options is your skill level and available resources.   For some people, baking homemade bread isn't even an option because they don't have the skill to do it.  If they want bread they either a) have to LEARN to do it in-house, or b) pay someone to do it (outsource.). Same thing goes with online classes.   Do you have the skill to teach calculus currently?  Well, then you either have to a) LEARN to teach high school calculus at home or b) pay someone else to do it.   

Empowering Encouragement- Remember, you can learn NEW skills as a mother.  It is VERY possible to teach high school level classes at home by yourself.  (Or teach yourself to cut hair, or teach yourself to bake bread...or any of those other examples listed above.).  Don't limit yourself by saying you aren't "good at math" or "smart enough" or "well educated enough".  Find the resources you need so that you can be successful.   Will it be easy?  CERTAINLY NOT.  Again, I won't lie to you.  Homeschooling isn't always easy, as you probably already know.   It isn't easy to homeschool high school chemistry, or teach calculus, or teach writing.   But it can be done...and LOTS of people have done is successfully.  We can do hard things!

3) What will the trade-offs be?   There are tradeoffs to any area in life.   You have 5 others that need your time and attention, right?   If you decide to shift your attention to your oldest (because high school classes DO take more time IMHO), what will the cost or sacrifice be?  What won't get accomplished if you make this choice in your home and with your other children?  Get some paper and actually write that out.  Think creatively and see if any solutions jump out at you.  Maybe you could enlist the help of siblings or a spouse.   On the other hand, if you outsource it, what will be the sacrifice?  For example, I really miss the time I was able to spend with my teenagers that is now dedicated to online classes.  Also, some classes I feel like aren't taught as well as when I outsource them.   I spent YEARS feeling guilty like I wasn't doing a good enough job, then I outsourced things to Memoria Press Online, and realized that my own "not-goood-enough-job" was way better than the "professionals" job in many regards.   (They don't conduct Latin recitation 5 days per week.  And the test became "computer graded select from a drop down list" vs. write out the answer.)   On the other hand, they often make the subject more fun than I would.  I just didn't have the energy to play a review game or always have a passionate discussion about the Iliad or history of the Greek People.  🙂

 

Those are JUST some of the things to consider when looking at online classes.   

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lori D. said:

Another DIY-er here. The only thing we outsourced for high school was a few semesters of dual enrollment for foreign language.

A few questions and observations to start you out as you look ahead to high school:

Teen ability/attitude reality check:
I do think that the teen's attitude and/or ability is really critical to being able to homeschool high school. Period. If there are special needs or delays (ability), OR if the student rejects parent teaching (attitude), then homeschooling high school really may not be the best educational option for a student. Learning just doesn't happen when it's a pitched battle day after day with a 15, 16, 17yo who does NOT want to do school at home. Or if the student needs special programs or methods of learning that the parent doesn't have the ability to provide. Just something to ponder and think about the particular student. 😉 

Will going to a brick-and-mortar high school be a possibility at some point?
Now is the time to look at this question, because in many areas, choosing to homeschool high school is an all-or-nothing option. If you start with homeschooling high school and decide to switch to a school, many school districts have the policy of not accepting homeschool credits. So the student either has to start back at 9th grade (even if they were going into 10th, 11th or even 12th grade), or if the school policy allows for it, the student must take and pass the end-of-year test for each and every course in order for the school to transfer the credit to their transcript.

Parent involvement reality check:
I found that homeschooling high school required MORE of my time and involvement, rather than less. Even if the student works independently for the most part, there is a ton of stuff you have to spend time on as the homeschooling parent when you hit high school:

- researching -- esp. for DIY, but also in lining up materials that are a great fit for the student, or finding a unique class desired by the student
- discussion -- just about all courses, but esp. Lit./English, History, and often Science require a lot of talk time
- facilitating -- working with student on scheduling, study skills, executive function skills, etc.
- tutoring -- stepping in when the student needs help (i.e, parent needs to go over previous lessons to learn it first to then teach it)
- grading -- oi! Geometry proofs! and essays and other Writing assignments! -- very time consuming!
- administrative -- standardized tests (PSAT, ACT/SAT, AP); transcripts and record keeping; etc.
- "counseling" -- career exploration; life lessons and maturing talks; college search/application process; etc.


All that to say: if you have a student who clicks with independent learning AND is diligent about it, there are options out there that provide the teaching either as video lessons, or as computer-based lessons -- and some are even self-grading. Below are some more options to consider:
 

Hybrid
What about outsourcing at the local public school for just 1, 2, or 3 classes, and homeschool the rest? Some schools allow that, and some homeschoolers on these boards have found that to work very well for high school. The teacher teaches and grades, the parent is the administrator and tracks the outsourced class(es) on the transcript (so the school is NOT the administrator, and this option remains homeschooling).

Another possibility: does your city have a "hybrid" or "university model" high school? It is like a less expensive version of private school -- student attends classes with a teacher for 3 or 3.5 days per week, and then does the rest of their work at home -- teacher does all the teaching, assigning, and grading, the administration does all of the transcripts and other administrative work, and the parent just oversees that the sent-home work is done and answers the occasional question that the student might have. (This is a school option, not homeschooling -- just school done at school on fewer days of the week.)

Outsourcing Classes
If you have limited funds, then I'd suggest spending it on outsourcing the areas you are weak in, and/or won't have the time to oversee yourself. For many families that is often Math, Science, Foreign Language, and Writing (English). Usually, Fine Arts, Electives, and Social Studies topics (History, Geography, Economics, Government) and are not too difficult to find ways of DIY that don't require tons of parent time. Remember: those limited funds will also need to cover any sports, music, or other special outside extracurriculars or cool opportunities/programs. (Note: if the student is pouring tons of hours into an extracurricular, you can count some of as the extracurricular, and some of it towards a credit.)

Also, it can REALLY be worth it to spend big $$$ on 1-2 high quality outsourced classes for the year, and then find free/cheap options for other subjects, and oversee those yourself. Again, choose carefully and outsource the courses that would be most difficult and time-consuming for you to  do at home, and choose to oversee the ones at home that would require much less input or help from you and could be largely done solo by the student.

Homeschool Co-op
Is there a decent, academically-based homeschool co-op in your area that doesn't cost a fortune? Maybe outsource just a class or two or three that way. Be sure that the classes you sign up for are full-credit of rigor and that the teacher does the scoring, so that all you need to do is keep records/add to the transcript, and make sure your student does the work.

Virtual Charter
You may want to consider switching from homeschool to "school at home" and use your state's virtual academy or virtual charter. Usually there is a basic free package, and then options with tutoring and grading for a monthly fee. That would be especially useful if you decide to switch to a brick-and-mortar school partway through high school--since the virtual charter is already public school at home, your student is already a public school student and just shifts to in-person/on-campus, with no worries about credits being accepted or not.

Dual Enrollment
Also, consider looking into your local community college system and see if they offer free or low-cost dual enrollment courses for high school students. But even if they don't offer a discount to homeschool students, dual enrollment can save you money down the line, if universities in your state have an articulation agreement with the community college  while it's not less expensive, but it does do "double-duty" by counting as college credits, and helping to reduce overall time (and thereby, overall cost) of college by knocking out credits in advance of college.


Since you are just starting to think about this, and I've already overwhelmed you with a ton of thoughts above (lol), I'll just end (below) with a very few specific resources, but this is just the tip of the iceberg of options for homeschooling and if needing mostly independently-done AND less expensive. Not all are the highest quality or rigor, but hey -- that's a sparkly unicorn to get all 3 (cheap, easy to use/very little parent time, AND high quality). 😉 

BEST of luck as you start thinking ahead to high school! Warmest regards, Lori D.
 

Self-paced / self-teaching / self- grading options:
Monarch (Christian)
Time 4 Learning

Video-based lesson options
Writing = Essentials in Writing (they also offer an additional scoring service for the year for $99)
Math = Teaching Textbooks, Videotext, Chalkdust, Math-U-See

Less expensive outsourced classes:
Lantern = Writing (8 week courses = $60/each) or full English (32 weeks = $330) 
 

Wow, your first three points really hit home. You know that old kid song 'I won't grow up!"? Well, today I was kind of singing it around my 8th grader...."I won't grow up (I won't grow up), I don't wanna go to school (I don't wanna go to school)...and out of the blue he says "I do". I laughed because he really does want to go. That was my first realization. He would not have a good attitude because he really does want to go.

Second, our state is this way. It is all or nothing, which is very scary.

Third, I fear that I won't have the time or energy to give him the kind of education he needs. Hence, the online classes. My good friend's son is doing Kolbe and they LOVE it. But she said it costs over $5000. He is the oldest of 7, but then again, as my husband says..her husband is a doctor :-) 

Alright-I have some thinking to do. Thank you for spelling this out for me. I just love our homeschool life so much, and it's hard to think about my first little chick flying the coop.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Meadowlark said:

Wow, your first three points really hit home. You know that old kid song 'I won't grow up!"? Well, today I was kind of singing it around my 8th grader...."I won't grow up (I won't grow up), I don't wanna go to school (I don't wanna go to school)...and out of the blue he says "I do". I laughed because he really does want to go. That was my first realization. He would not have a good attitude because he really does want to go.

I've read SOOO many posts where teen attitude torpedoes the doing high school as homeschool, and it's not pretty! 😵 And on the flip side, I've also read a LOT of posts where teens who do go to high school are thriving AND it's allowing for terrific relationships between teen/parent and teen/siblings. 😄 

Also, while high school may be "all-or-nothing" for going to a brick-and-mortar school, it is NOT all-or-nothing going the other way. A student can start in 9th grade at a brick-and-mortar school, and if the family is finding after a year or two that it's just not working well, the student can come home to finish up with homeschooling. And by that time, the student is older, and dual enrollment might be more of an attractive option... 😉 

51 minutes ago, Meadowlark said:

Second, our state is this way. It is all or nothing, which is very scary.

That's great that you already know this, so you can research all your options, and your family (DH, you, and DS) can sit down together and have some in-depth discussions -- not just about what to do next year, but: What are the goals for all 4 years of high school -- academically, personal interest-wise, socially, extracurricular-wise? And: What are DS's possible post-high school goals/interests, and what will best help him long-term to get to those goals?

51 minutes ago, Meadowlark said:

... I fear that I won't have the time or energy to give him the kind of education he needs. Hence, the online classes. My good friend's son is doing Kolbe and they LOVE it. But she said it costs over $5000...

Honestly, online courses are only great *if they are a good fit* for the particular student. A LOT of students do NOT do well with online classes. So even if you had $$$$ to spend to outsource everything, that's not a guarantee that outsourced classes would be great for your DS. 😉 

51 minutes ago, Meadowlark said:

... I just love our homeschool life so much, and it's hard to think about my first little chick flying the coop.

I know! But I will be very honest with you: we homeschooled for grades 1-12 -- and homeschooling high school was VERY DIFFERENT than homeschooling grades 1-8.  It is not all the cuddling on the couch with read-alouds and innocent little child nature study explorations of the early years of homeschooling. 😉

[Although -- we did do a huge portion of our literature all 4 years all together. And I arranged for us to do some fantastic field trips. And DSs participated is some awesome opportunities that I was willing to step in and be advisor for the group to make happen. And we had fantastic discussions about everything all through high school. But fantastic discussions come out of having built solid relationships over the years, which you've done, so no reason why you won't have great discussions and special times with DS in high school -- it will just be different types of experiences and discussions and relationships if he ends up NOT homeschooling for high school. 😉 ]


Even when you "DIY" for homeschool high school, you are always having to be somewhat constrained by making sure you have the needed rigor--which is good, but it is very different than the more relaxed fun explorations and discoveries of gr. 1-8.

And, you are always keeping one eye on requirements:  If we're going DIY, are we touching on enough of the topics of a standard Biology course (or whatever) so that my student isn't too far afield and missing out on foundational concepts that will bite him in the behind later on? And are we getting in the required credits for college admission? Yes, we can do them with our own unique homeschool focus, but at the end of the year, we still need to have knocked out the specific # of credits for the different subject areas in order to be "college prep" and eligible for possible future college admissions...  😬

And you're also spending time wrestling with questions like: "Should we do AP classes or testing? And if so, how should we accomplish that?" Or, "When should I have my student take the (PSAT, ACT, SAT) test, and how should we prep for that?" Or, "Should we do this class in a more homeschool free-form way or in a more traditional way in order to be college prep?" Etc. 🤯


Realistically homeschooling high school is time-intensive, exhausting, and a whole level of stress that you DON'T have in grades 1-8. 😉 It was super FUN for us -- but very different than homeschooling gr. 1-8...

BEST of luck as you guys begin to think ahead and plan ahead for high school! Warmest regards, Lori D.


ETA -- PS
And for thinking ahead and planning for homeschool high school, check out the big pinned threads at the top of the High School board -- especially helpful for starting might be the "High School Motherlode #1". PAGE 1 has links to great past threads on the topics of: 
- High School Time Table (what to do/when for each year of high school)
- What types of classes for high school

- Preparing for High School
- Addressing Fears
- Getting Started
- Books & Resources
- Making a High School Plan
- Time Management
- High School on a Budget
- Expectations/Attitudes

Edited by Lori D.
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Zoo Keeper said:

 

 

Ug... A lot of the links I posted to past threads in that thread are broken, and searching is not turning up most of them. 😢 

However, there are a lot of threads linked in "High School Motherlode #1", on PAGE 1, under the heading of "Getting Started" and then under the sub-heading of "High School on a Budget" that overlap... 😄 

Edited by Lori D.
Link to post
Share on other sites

We have not outsourced anything except music lessons.

If you look in my signature, you can see what we use for high school.  I prefer to use curriculum that I can buy once and keep using over and over again.

Our high school is not as rigorous as many here, but we make the best of it.  Two of my kids are in college, so it's not the worst homeschool high school ever...  

High school here got derailed by my chronic migraines.  (For three of ds20's 4 years of high school I had a migraine every.single.day.)  And so, high school work here became very independent.  And even though I am feeling some better, high school is mostly independent work.  Dh tutors high school math and I help with everything else as needed.  Most of their work though is just assigned at the beginning of the week and checked at the end.

I know that homeschooling high school is not for everyone, but it was always the best option for us.  I don't want my kids in public school for religious reasons and the local Christian school is cost prohibitive with six kids.

Best wishes to you and you weigh your options and make a decision. :)

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's hard to say what our year would have looked like if there had been no COVID, because that definitely impacted our decisions. Other than that, though, I try to outsource (if finances permit) the subjects I feel ill-equipped to teach either because of my interests or my prior exposure.  Also I try to outsource areas where I know my kids perform better for another teacher. So for us it was important to outsource writing because we just weren't making the progress with me as the teacher that I would like.  This year my oldest is outsourcing lit and writing.  I do love to read, but I just don't have a strong lit background. 

Obviously budget should be a consideration with outsourcing.  However, as mentioned by the prior posters, there are multiple layers of outsourcing.  You mentioned Kolbe. You can buy lesson plans from them and teach from home, or pay an extra fee for them to grade the papers.  OR, you can take the full class online. We used (sort of LOL) the videos for Latin Alive and the books but did not use an online class.  However, they also have a tiered assistance service you can purchase now, depending on how much help you need.  You can also get creative--when I was looking into writing, one of the options I considered was planning out the year and hiring someone to grade the papers.  In the end, I decided against that, but it is one way to possibly save some money versus the cost to fully outsource.

I think it's important to be aware that having an outsourced class does not inherently mean no work for you. A lot will depend on your kid, and the class itself. My oldest needs some help but not much. My youngest needs lots of hand-holding.  I am gaining not having to plan the course, but that does not mean that I don't have to be involved.  

I loved the comment on trade offs because that is so true. We dropped a bad fit Spanish class which means I am now teaching it. However that also means I have to learn ahead, plan, grade, etc. and that takes time.  So it was a trade off for sure.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't read any of the replies.  

This year I am outsourcing writing and science only.  Those are the most challenging for me because my kids take feedback on their writing very personally, so it is much better for our relationship to have someone else do that.  And science is a subject that I just really don't like.  As my DD progresses through high school, I will probably outsource more than that, but not ever all of it. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just realized that you wanted specifics.  For writing, I use Lantern English.  The classes are $60 a quarter, so very affordable.  For science, Experience Biology, which is self-paced with video lessons and labs.  This was comparable to other bio courses with all the lab supplies honestly.  For social studies, Guest Hollow Geography and Cultures -- very affordable and independent.  Math, CLE Algebra 1 -- also very affordable and independent.  

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

We're "old school" over here, too, and - with multiple kids, the out-sourcing has to be carefully balanced. This probably wouldn't work with every kid, but I've found that giving ours some agency in the decision-making has generally turned out well; we try to spend money on subjects that are (A) really hard / impossible to teach, (B) something the kid is motivated to learn (because I am *NOT* forking out money *AND* fighting over something - if it' going to be a struggle, we'll do a free option, LOL), and (C) a "high-value" class - either for emotional / social value to the kid *OR* a core subject that is important. I've seen some kids work quite hard on things they DON'T naturally love in order to convince me to "give" that money to a different / more fun / less accessible subject. 

My teens have responded well to the online classes, but they thrive with only 1-2 at a time. In other words, one online class, one meets-in-person-at-co-op, one self-study (from a book or DVD series), one team-learning with a local friend, one tutor-taught, etc. 

I've had excellent luck trading services for things I truly need, too - things that also benefit my own children. I'm so thankful for those chances and try to talk them up often to "spread the love" for barter & teamwork in the home schooling community.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Lori D. said:

Ug... A lot of the links I posted to past threads in that thread are broken, and searching is not turning up most of them. 😢 

....

Nooooo! Say it ain't so!   There are some really good ones in there.

Google has not been doing nice things for me and this board lately...  I truly do miss being able to mine the "wisdom of the ages." 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Zoo Keeper said:

Nooooo! Say it ain't so!   There are some really good ones in there.

Google has not been doing nice things for me and this board lately...  I truly do miss being able to mine the "wisdom of the ages." 

I know... I clicked on every one of those past threads, and they are "recursive" -- they just dump you back into the main thread. And then I searched on this board AND via a google search -- no dice. I think most of those were from before that major board upgrade in 2016, which caused most threads from before then to vanish forever... 😭

Only 3 of those are in the High School Motherlode #1 -- and it looks like those links have been broken or those are dead threads now, even in the Motherlode thread -- and I directly re-linked every single thread after a previous board upgrade. Looks like I'm going to have to go through and re-update and toss those lost threads now... 😱

  • Sad 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

I know... I clicked on every one of those past threads, and they are "recursive" -- they just dump you back into the main thread. And then I searched on this board AND via a google search -- no dice. I think most of those were from before that major board upgrade in 2016, which caused most threads from before then to vanish forever... 😭

Only 3 of those are in the High School Motherlode #1 -- and it looks like those links have been broken or those are dead threads now, even in the Motherlode thread -- and I directly re-linked every single thread after a previous board upgrade. Looks like I'm going to have to go through and re-update and toss those lost threads now... 😱

Which just reconfirms my Neo-Luddite tendencies... If I really like a thread, I copy and paste and hit PRINT!  I am such a creature of paper and pens and pencils.

I have a binder filled with various goodies from various posters over the years.  My teens think I'm crazy-- "Mom, what's with all the papers!  You can just google it!"

Well, no, you just can't sometimes.

 

I do promise to do a Swedish death cleanse... someday.  Hopefully my kids won't have to rent a dumpster after I'm gone. 😉

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Zoo Keeper said:

Which just reconfirms my Neo-Luddite tendencies... If I really like a thread, I copy and paste and hit PRINT!  I am such a creature of paper and pens and pencils.

I have a binder filled with various goodies from various posters over the years.  My teens think I'm crazy-- "Mom, what's with all the papers!  You can just google it!"

Well, no, you just can't sometimes.

 

I do promise to do a Swedish death cleanse... someday.  Hopefully my kids won't have to rent a dumpster after I'm gone. 😉

Hey, I STILL have a giant binder of print outs of helpful WTM posts about homeschooling high school, dating back 15 years!
I did stop actively *collecting* print outs of posts once the last DS graduated--which was over 8 years ago now... 😉 

Edited by Lori D.
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of years ago we sat down and had a conscious discussion about how we would handle this. My dd was requesting to go to a Christian b&m school in our area. We were not opposed to her going, but to make it work financially, we would have to put all 3 in school and me work full time (probably teaching at the school). That wasn't the best decision for our family so we decided on a compromise. I went to work part time (2 days a week) to supplement income to be able to afford more online classes, but still allowing me to be mostly home with the kids. 

We currently outsource science, math, writing, logic/literature and then I teach the other subjects at home. Basically, I outsource the areas either I am not passionate about, or in the case of writing, they just respond better to feedback from someone else. 

It is a struggle financially, but it is working for us. 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

As time has gone on we have outsourced more and more. My oldest kids are 22 and 20 and I have a high school senior and a 7th grader still at home. The oldest kids had more homegrown courses and my younger kids have had more outsourcing. It is expensive, no doubt.

Things that helped with the expenses- I was always looking for one more thing to round out a curriculum, one more supplement, one more experience, etc. So, I was spending more on homeschool courses than I should have been. Others don't have this problem but for me outsourcing is just done. I budget for the course and there are no extras tacked on. So the outsourcing cuts down on the steady leak of money I was spending going it alone. 

In our situation, de is free/very low cost. So, while I did spend a bundle homeschooling 9th and 10th with online classes, I spent very little in 11th and 12th while accumulating a years worth of college credits. For my kids these credits transferred, and saved us thousands in college costs. This won't be the situation for everyone.

I also, regretfully, admit the online classes worked better for my family than what I was doing on my own. My younger two students, with more outsourced courses, are my strongest students. My current senior is my highest ACT kid and that is going to pay off in thousands. I expect my 7th grade dd to be a high scorer as well. They are just pushed more than I was on my own, even though I really was trying. 

I hesitate to post this because I absolutely know that some do fantastic homeschooling on their own all through high school and I don't intend to push the opinion that outsourced classes are better. I just wasn't making homeschooling high school work on my own. I still feel sorry that I didn't do better. For us the expense of online classes is one that is primarily absorbed in 8th - 10th grade before moving to the less expensive de. It has been an investment that has paid off in scholarships, de credits. For a couple years though, the cost is high.

If you do go online I recommend planning in advance to save some money. MPOA and WTMA have offered early bird rates but you have to know what you are doing in February. Also, really researching and planning can save you from late changes/drops that end up being expensive.  My second ds took some classes from Kolbe but they have dropped off our list of providers we looked at because they got more expensive than the others. So, it does vary.

It has worked out for us and been cheaper than private school. My dd may attend a cottage school a couple days a week next year and that will be cheaper than her current MPOA classes. 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a junior and a senior totally diy this year. It wasn't intentional, but it's working. The really extroverted junior really needs a social outlet so she doesn't drive the rest of us bonkers along with her. Really really. But it's working overall. 😂 I haven't used grade in a box kits so their curricula list may not be the most helpful. Most of their courses are self-contained and we just do what comes next. I cobbled their English together from various resources.

The other comments here are super helpful. I'd just add, maybe call around a few charter schools in the area. Those may not be all or nothing. My oldest started a charter school mid-11th and graduated there. They took his mom-made transcript and interviewed me very briefly about it. Every public school in the area says homeschool credits don't transfer, so he'd have started with zero credits at the main high school. (He did well at that charter and our relationship with him was MUCH better.) 

Edited by SilverMoon
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/17/2020 at 11:03 PM, Plum said:

For me it’s DIY. I am using used college textbooks, Great Courses, math textbook with videos, audible, library books, kindle for more than one reader at time, YouTube, and an English curriculum. The most expensive thing I bought was math and that is reusable for my other kids.

The used college science textbooks cost me $30. I have Great Courses Plus. 

I put together my own lesson plans. They know what needs to be done every day. I sit with them for one subjects and I follow up on others. 

This is what we do too.

And as usual, @Lori D. says it best 🙂

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

We are very homegrown here. I use textbooks, library books, the online site Schoolhouseteachers dot com, a mish mash of literature books, funschooling journals and dyslexia games books, the internet, girl scout projects etc. Right now my junior in high school is having almost nothing outsourced except PE (dance classes and a PE class at co-op once a week) and an elective course that falls under health called human development at a co-op using a textbook that teacher picked out. We joined this particular co-op because they have theater, and she wanted to be in a play. So she is doing a couple of classes while we are there too. One hour they just play Oregon Trail, so theater, human development, Oregon Trail, human development, and PE while there half a day once a week.  She and I are doing fine doing maths and sciences together.  We do some labs at home alone, and we do some with people from our homeschool group or friends. 

In the past with my now graduated dd we did move her into Mrdmath dot com after algebra I.  She did a lot of high school science classes at co-op since she liked the teacher and the group. She did Biology, Chemistry, and Anatomy and Physiology at co-op with textbooks picked out from the teacher there and did all tests, labs, and everything there. She and I did Astronomy at home using sources recommended in the Well Trained Mind and she joined two Astronomy clubs for labs. Then her senior year she did some concurrent enrollment courses at the community college: English comp 1 and a Computers Applications course.  She did lots of art classes at a co-op and did dance classes her whole life, some of the hours I counted towards a 1/2 credit of PE each year, some hours went as extra curricular hours, and she took piano lessons for a 1/2 credit of piano for three years of high school. 

I did all Latin, history, English, most art, economics, speech, etc. etc. on our own with books or combining resources from opportunities in our community with books and lessons, etc.  I used the book, The Well Trained Mind a lot for putting together our overall plan for credits and other books about homeschooling high school. I don't use a lot of laid out curriculum, but do appreciate it in some courses. The Schoolhouseteachers dot com is giving me the laid out lesson plans for now in things that I don't want to do it myself. Other things we just read a lot and write and research and do on our own.

Example: our government class last year. I assigned each a textbook to read from the library. Each chose the one they wanted. I assigned three projects: give one poster/speech presentation at homeschool group's presentation night on a topic from their book. Complete one girl scout badge on government. Each badge has five steps that include a lot of research and reaching out in the community. And to enter the bar association's art/essay contest. Then we did field trips throughout the year: we sat through small claims court. We listened to a speech by a state supreme court judge and met him. We toured our state capitol building and met our state representative. We toured our state's first state capitol in another city, etc.  With co-op we also did a once a month group activity like act out a debate, or did a constitution themed escape room, mapwork projects, etc.  Their only output for this class was the three projects. But those projects were meaningful and self led and took a lot of research. I didn't make them answer the questions from each chapter as they read them or anything. 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

With Oldest, I outsourced Honors Physics (I used Derek Owens—he did the grading—it was fabulous. I will likely do it again with subsequent children!) He dual-enrolled for a few classes at the local cc his senior year, just to get a sense of his readiness, and to make some university plans. The cc classes were less expensive than most homeschool options! I counted those as one math credit, one English credit, and one elective credit. Everything else was me.

We used Writing with Skill + lists of books for English. We used generic Chalkdust math. (See epic thread on these boards!) I used BJUP science. I used History of the ____World with activity guides for three years of history credits, and did American History (full credit) and American Government (half credit) his senior year. Beyond that, I used college textbooks based on recs here—Krugman Economics was especially good, and we picked a foreign language.

This is doable!! Ds did very, very well on the ACT!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...