When my oldest son passed the mid-year mark of his 8th grade year, I had a complete meltdown. I didn’t know what I was doing. All those fears I thought I had conquered in the early years rushed in on me–spilling doubt and uncertainty and a big cloud of “you can’t do this” loomed over my head.
After several conversations with other moms homeschooling 8th grade students, I have come to the conclusion that the 8th grade panic is a thing.
If you are in the middle of your own 8th grade panic, or maybe even the 9th or 10th grade panic, I want to walk beside you. If I could, I would sit and have a cup of coffee with you. I want to tell you that you can do this.
Since I probably can’t do that, I’d like to offer you encouragement and resources here.
This page includes various helps for homeschooling high school. It has record keeping forms, curriculum reviews, and other pertinent posts. I hope you find them helpful on your journey. And remember: you can do this.
Homeschool High School Record Keeping Forms
At the end of your homeschool student’s high school experience, you will need to create a transcript. These forms will help you on your way.
If you feel overwhelmed by record keeping for high school, start with this information about Homeschool High School Record Keeping.
- Make a Professional Homeschool Transcript (includes a free transcript template)
- Homeschool High School Transcript Examples (if you need more samples before you start making your student’s transcript)
- Homeschool High School Course Record Form
- Homeschool High School Grade Book (this Excel spreadsheet will calculate grades for you!)
- Homeschool Attendance Tracker (scroll to the bottom of the post to find the one for high school students)
In addition to the forms above, these will also help you with record keeping. These forms aren’t necessities, but I decided to use both to document my high school students’ journeys.
Homeschool High School Curriculum
My state, Indiana, gives me a boatload of freedom, so I take advantage of it. I am not worried about doing all of the things. I am not worried about my boys taking the same courses that other students take.
If my students are running like heck after their passions, then they don’t have time to check every box. I had to make some decisions: what boxes HAD to be checked in order for me to know that I had given my boys a solid education.
My personal decision was this: four years of English, four years of math, personal finance, and government. Everything else is debatable.
You might think this is a dangerous plan, but my oldest chased his interests, and I didn’t have to beg him to get his school done. He was motivated, and he spent four years diving deep into pottery, music theory, and other subjects. He was also able to finish high school with an associate degree.
This list includes some of the curriculum choices we’ve made. Since Simon is just starting his homeschool high school journey, I will continually be adding to the list.
Homeschool High School Math Curriculum
Math is not my thing. Math will never be my thing. However, I deeply desired to give my boys a good foundation in math. I turned to Mr. D for the upper level math classes, and I have not regretted it.
We have used Mr. D for Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II.
When Elijah, my oldest, took College Algebra he told me that Mr. D prepared him well. My youngest son is gearing up to take Mr. D Geometry (after two other years with Mr. D), and we both know that he is getting good instruction.
If math is your nemesis, or if what you are doing isn’t working, I highly recommend Mr. D. You can read my review here: Help and Hope for High School Math at Home.
Homeschool High School English Curriculum
English can be tricky. It encompasses vocabulary, literature, composition, and grammar. I did not worry about including all of these things at one time.
Instead, I evaluated my goals for my boys: I want them to be deep thinkers and competent writers.
Science Fiction Literature Course
I put together a Science Fiction Literature class for Elijah, based on his interests and strengths.
American Literature Course
When Elijah worked through David Raymond’s American History, I compiled a book list for him to read for American Literature. He read the books and completed a reader response journal (you’ll find the reader response questions in the post). That was it.
Dual Enrollment English Courses
I taught one semester of essay writing at a local homeschool co-op. Someday I might pull all of that together into a course that I offer here on the blog. In addition to that, Elijah completed two dual enrollment classes: English Composition I and English Composition II. Elijah also received English credit for a dual enrollment speech course.
Homeschool High School History Curriculum
Elijah started his high school career with an American Government course that I taught at a local homeschool co-op. I used various materials put together; I shared a few in this Government Copywork Quotes post.
Next, he wanted to learn more about ancient history, so I wrote this course for him: Easy Ancient History Course for Homeschool High School.
He moved on to Dave Raymond’s American History. We tweaked it to fit Elijah’s needs. It is a great course, and I think my younger son will take it someday, too.
My younger son, Simon, took an interest in philosophy last year as he had the opportunity to take a class at a co-op. The teacher used a combination of Philosophy in Four Questions and Hillsdale College’s free course, Introduction to Western Philosophy. He continued with another course from Hillsdale, Introduction to Aristotle’s Ethics.
Modern World History
Simon is going to tackle Modern U.S. and World History. He enjoys reading, and this literature based history course will be perfect for his analytical brain.
Another course Elijah wanted to take was World Religions. We used Cheri Frame’s curriculum, and when he finished, he took the DSST exam for college credit.
Homeschool High School Science Curriculum
Elijah didn’t have a huge interest in science, but we did complete a one-semester Ecology Course at home.
He then went on to take Geology and Environmental Science as dual enrollment courses.
Simon hasn’t made his science selections yet, but I will update this page as he does.
Homeschool High School Electives
Elijah started pottery classes in 7th grade, and he continued at a local community arts school. He completed four years of high school pottery. His teacher worked with me and gave Elijah a ceramics textbook to work through as I wanted to add a bit of written work to the hands-on creating.
He also audited a pottery course at a local university.
In addition to pottery, Elijah also took a drawing class and dabbled in Digital Art. You can read more about How to Provide High School Art here.
He also developed an interest in music theory, and was able to take four music theory classes through dual enrollment. This was an amazing opportunity for him, and I am thankful for the local option we had for this experience.
Some of the other electives my boys have chosen include:
- Introduction to Architecture
- Cinema Literature (through 7 Sisters Homeschool)
- Health (Elijah used this free course)
- Music Appreciation