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!

Getting your students Writing

writingOver the years of homeschooling ups and downs… I realize that one of the most difficult things to get across to my children are good writing skills. I have found that the challenge has many multiples…

1) I have to get them motivated… this is huge. If I can just find the key, find a thing they love, and get them interested in talking about that thing… I’ve got it made. However, finding the “thing” is the issue.

2) I have to get them to practice good grammar, which means teaching grammar skills. (collective groan)

3) I have to teach them fluency, agreement, syntax, etc. All of which takes practice… so just like learning how to play an instrument or a sport… writing takes PRACTICE.

…sigh…which they won’t get unless they write… and they won’t write unless they are motivated…

This past year I had to teach my highschooler how to practice essay writing for standardized tests… in the middle of it I almost despaired and sought out a writing tutor…but we kept at it even though there was very little motivation…essay prompts are really just not fun!

Now you can see my ongoing dilemma. This past year, I purchased several very interesting and very fun motivational writing books. They were responsible for the best year of writing that we’ve had so far. So, if I had to hang my hat on ONE key thing… it would definitely be the motivation! If you can motivate them to write something they are interested in… you have won the battle!