For most of my blogging career, I have written posts spelling out what curriculum we are using each year. I don’t actually think I did one last year and for the life of me, I cannot remember why. But as I was looking back at other high school related posts that I have written, I realized that we changed things up a lot. Homeschool curriculum we began with in September went by the wayside by November. That’s one of the greatest benefits of homeschooling, right? When something is not working, you can set it aside for later, or forever.
But since Ben is now beginning his last year (or maybe year and a half) of high school, we have a pretty good handle on where his interests lie, what his future career goals are, and what works (and has worked) best for us. And since I was recently (finally) starting to put together his high school transcript, it seemed like a good time to share those top high school homeschool curriculum resources we can honestly and enthusiastically recommend.
Before I do though, let’s look for a few moments at what guides our choices because that’s really where choosing homeschool curriculum begins — with decided what is most important to you and your student. So here are few considerations for us, that may work for you or at least get you thinking about what priorities you should consider when choosing high school homeschool curriculum.
For us, it is important that our homeschool curriculum aligns with our biblical worldview. This doesn’t always necessarily mean that everything we use is explicitly Christian, but it does mean we don’t use any homeschool curriculum that conflicts with what we believe. This is especially important in the areas of Bible, history, and science.
Convenience and Usability
Ben is a busy kid. With outside activities including a part-time job, musical theatre, and U.S. Navy Sea Cadets, he needs access to homeschool curriculum that is convenient and easy to use. I’m busy, too, running my own small business, along with being a wife and mom. Intensive resources that take too much time to lesson plan are not something I’m interested in. Ben needs to be able to work pretty independently. And, there’s our affinity for travel. Things just need to be easy, while maintaining a level of quality. I would never want to trade quality for convenience. To that end, we select a lot of video-driven and online resources. Don’t get me wrong, we love books. And many of our choices have both textbooks and online or video components. When that is the case, the video takes precedence for instruction, while the textbooks are used more as a resource.
That’s pretty much it. I’ve written before about how to choose homeschool curriculum with suggestions that also consider methodology, costs, reusability, and reviews. At this stage, we are thinking about those things a little less, but if you are earlier on in your homeschool journey, you might enjoy reading that one.
Oh wait, there is one more consideration . . .
State Requirements and College Consideration
At this point in time, Ben is not considering college immediately after high school. Instead, he is focusing his attention toward a possible military career with the hopes of becoming a Navy Medical Corpsman. When choosing coursework, I’m keeping in mind his career goals, while also realizing he could change his mind and want to attend college later. So as we decide on what homeschool curriculum to use, we are also thinking about what our state requires for graduation and what colleges generally like to see on a transcript (this can vary from school to school), including the following:
- 4 credits of English
- 3-4 credits of Mathematics
- 2-4 credits of Foreign Language
- 2-4 credits of Science (including Lab)
- 2 credits of Social Studies/History
In KY, a graduate needs a minimum of 22 credits, with the following subject requirements:
- 4 credits of English/Language Arts
- 3 credits of Social Studies
- 3 credits of Mathematics
- 3 credits of Science
- 0.5 credit each of Health
- 0.5 credits of Physical Education
- 1 credit of History and Appreciation of Visual and Performing Arts
- 7 credits of electives
You can find out what your state requires by visiting the HSLDA Homeschool Laws in Your State page.
Top Options for Homeschool High School Curriculum
Using our own state requirements as a guide, these are our top options for high school homeschool curriculum. All of these courses are ones Ben has taken or will be taking to fulfill his credits for high school graduation from our homeschool. A few of these are unique to him and his interests, as you will see. But there are many options here that are universally acceptable for any Christian high school homeschool student.
English/Language Arts (4 credits)
The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School from Writing with Sharon Watson
Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis from Writing with Sharon Watson
Medical Terminology (1 credit)
Mathematics (3 credits)
Algebra I from CTCMath
Geometry from CTCMath
Supplemented with SchoolhouseTeachers.com
Financial Literacy from 7SistersHomeschool
(Before I start getting emails about this, yes, I realize Algebra 2 is not on the list. Ben is very math-averse and it’s been a struggle just getting done what you see on this list. If your student needs higher level math, CTCMath will cover you through Calculus. Please no judgment here; we all do what’s best for our kids and we’re all good at our house with this well thought out decision.)
Social Studies (3 credits)
Dave Raymond’s American History and Modernity (World History) from Compass Classroom (2 credits)
Psychology from 7SistersHomeschool
Science (3 credits)
Friendly Biology (with lab and video)
Friendly Chemistry (with lab and video)
Health (1 credit)
CPR/First Aid/AED certification through American Red Cross
Ben will also be attending an Advanced Training in Medical Field Operations through the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets
Physical Education (0.5 credits)
Membership to Planet Fitness with regular work-outs, Personal Training, and regular training to meet Physical Readiness Test requirements for U.S. Naval Sea Cadets
Foreign Language (4 credits)
Spanish 1 from BJU Press
Spanish 2 from BJU Press
Visual Latin 1 from Compass Classroom
Visual Latin 2 from Compass Classroom
Fine Arts History/Appreciation (1 credit)
Advanced Musical Theatre (outside class – 0.5 credit)
Shakespeare (outside class – 0.5 credit)
Bible/Apologetics (4 credits)
Biblical Worldview from BJU Press Homeschool
Bible Road Trip from Thinking Kids Press
Electives (7 credits)
Ben has accumulated a plethora of electives already. When I create his final transcript, some of these may move into “extracurricular activities.”
Musical Theatre — Louisville Drama Project for 3.5 years
Military Science and History (Ben completed the Basic Military Requirements and Seaman Correspondence Course for the U.S. Navy and attended Recruit Training and Coast Guard Training with the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, as well as attended monthly drills for 2 years. He will attend Petty Officer Leadership Academy this winter and complete the Petty Officer correspondence coursework.
Photography, plus one semester outside class
Your student’s transcript will look different than Ben’s, but I hope that getting a glimpse at his will help you in some way. I know I always enjoy seeing what other students are doing!
SchoolhouseTeachers.com for High School Electives
Our top pick for high school electives is SchoolhouseTeachers.com, a membership site that contains over 400 courses for all grades, PreK-12. We’ve used it for core subjects as well, but for high school, you can’t beat the exhaustive list of electives.
You can purchase the YEARLY option for $224/year, or if you prefer you can do a MONTHLY option (usually $19.95/month) for $10.95 by using my code: BENANDME. There are no contracts; you can cancel anytime (but if you really dig into this site and use it, you won’t want to cancel- we haven’t in over 6 years). This price covers your entire family. It is NOT a per child cost. One price, for all courses, for all of your kids. There are frequent sales, so be sure to go take a peek to see what deals they may be offering. At different times during the year, you can get the Yearly Membership for as low as $99/year.
Your membership also includes online courses for homeschool moms, attendance record keeping, report card generation, quizzes/test, answer keys, certificates of achievement, and much more.
This is THE BEST DEAL in homeschooling and one of our personal favorite homeschool resources.