Highschool Homeschooling Summer Courses

highschool homeschoolIn our last post we talked about summer learning. Yes, we are joining the ranks of those that homeschool all year round. As a former teacher, there is something in me that just “balks” at that idea. My mind, my body, and my soul need the summer break!!!!!!  Uh – hem… excuse that…

Anywayssss… it looks like we will be doing Summer School – Lite Edition. As I mentioned before each of the younger kiddos need a few specific areas worked on, and our highschool daughter has a few areas that we neglected this year.

We have tried to incorporate “dual enrollment” with our highschoolers, and have begun this as well with our oldest daughter. They are doing dual enrollment with a local Bible College that I work with. By the time she graduates, she will have an Associate of Arts degree in Bible. This doesn’t really assist her with credits or course load when she enrolls in university, however, it does prepare her for how college courses are given and what is expected and required. We are a dedicated Christian family, and since our daughters are attending state institutions, we want to make sure that they are rooted and grounded in their faith. During these highschool dual enrollment courses, it is a great time for them to take inventory of what they really believe, study it out, and take a stand for it.

Dual Enrollment also acts as a “Wow” factor with the university and – as with her sister- they eagerly grant acceptance into their program. Of course, in this Associate’s degree there are other courses besides Bible that are required  including such things as a world history highschool course, Biology, Physical Science, English Comp., and Speech. Though she takes the course from the college, it actually counts as her requirements on her highschool transcript. Ahhh… the beauty of dual enrollment!

Have you used dual enrollment with any of your homeschool students?

3 Tips for finding the right Homeschool HighSchool Curriculum

homeschool highschoolI think one of the biggest questions that I hear from high school homeschoolers is “What curriculum is good?” I think we are all afraid of spending too much money on a curriculum that just doesn’t work for us… or wasting a bunch of time on a course that really didn’t teach what we thought it would. So, how do you navigate the myriad of curriculum out there without getting mental burnout?

One of my favorite stops is the Let’s Homeschool High School Curriculum Directory. It is a rather comprehensive curriculum listing of well-know tried and true curriculum. In fact, in the near future they will be listing personal reviews of these various curriculum along with the curriculum information.

Most of the time I LOVE trying something new, but the cost of high school curriculum is definitely intimidating. While Time4Learning has just recently put out their highschool curriculum it is definitely an affordable option. The last time I checked it cost $30 a month for four subjects. That is definitely a deal. The courses are all online and are aligned to state standards. These are courses that will lead your student to college readiness upon graduation.

Another great homeschooling idea is to find and use opencourseware or Homeschool College USA. You can look over the courses prior to investing time in them to see if their scope and sequence aligns to what you want to learn. Both of these options are FREE, which is amazing because some of the open courseware courses are through very prestigious colleges. You can’t get better than free if the course meets your expectations!

Teaching Highschool Math… it can be fun!

homeschool highschool mathI think everyone here already knows about my crazy stupid love for math. Yes, I admit it… I am a nerd. I love the “puzzle” that math affords, and I can always count on math to be black and white – solution or no solution. So, when it came time for me to start teaching my own children high school math subjects… it took on a new meaning. Though I had studied through calculus in high school, and had minored in math in college… it had been 12 years since I had done advanced math. I had to go back and study before I could teach them ANYTHING! It wasn’t pretty… at first.

Now that I’ve been through all that hairy scary math for my oldest daughter… it comes so much easier for the others. Yet, I know that the average homeschooler doesn’t love math enough to go back and study the course just ahead of their children. So, I’m here to tell you that there are other ways!! Teaching high school  math doesn’t have to be insanity. It can be a smooth process that gives your highschooler everything they need to meet the demands of future college courses. Since I began writing for Let’s Homeschool High School, I’ve been introduced to some amazing homeschool highschool curriculum and resources. You need to check their curriculum directory out for a very comprehensive listing of great cheap/free homeschooling resources.

However, knowing which ones are student friendly and those that have been tried and true can only be found through someone who has walked that road before us. Though I’ve not used every one of these curriculum, close friends of mine have and I am using their opinion in conjunction with my own.  I also want to preface by saying that though I love ABEKA for many subjects, highschool math is not their strong point. I have always used other types of math curriculum for my homeschool.

My all time favorite algebra curriculum is the Glencoe high school math series. This however, is a regular text book and must be taught by a teacher/parent. So, this is definitely not for the faint hearted, but the book covers everything that would be needed for basic algebra on up to what an advanced algebra math student might need. I started using this book simply because I was tutoring the neighborhood children and this is what the public schools were using.

For those who just can’t teach their highschoolers math. Aleks math is a great curriculum that works on mastery. The student masters a skill and then is able to move on to the next skill. There is also a way for highschoolers to log certain of these courses with ACE as college credit. This curriculum costs $20 a month but is pretty easy to work with and understand. The Aleks system doesn’t keep records beyond the course that your student is in currently. Make sure that you retrieve any necessary information prior to your student starting their next math course.

Another one of my favorites is the new Time4Learning highschool algebra curriculum. This has just been released this year, but I had a part in writing the curriculum map for Algebra I so, I know the details of what this course covers. It is definitely a comprehensive course and one that is presented in a fun and engaging manner. If your highschooler likes using the computer for courses, this is definitely a win/win for them.

I have friends that use the Saxon math for high school, and they love it. It has definitely been a great foundational tool for college math courses. It is very review oriented, just like the elementary Saxon math. Yet, it is challenging and covers everything necessary to meet college expectations.

Finding the right math course isn’t a walk in the park… but it is achievable. My advice, take time to review each of them and if possible let your student try them out. Sign up for any free trials that they offer and see what works for you!