Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. The link to the planner we are using is at the bottom of this post.
You may remember that we made the decision to homeschool our daughter Alyssa for high school. Making that decision was pretty easy, but then we had the monumental task of choosing curriculum. Let me tell you, there are so many options to choose from, you can get overwhelmed! If you are looking for curriculum for the fall, first of all, I pray that you find what fits for your family, and second, read on to see what helped us decide how to choose.
I spent weeks researching, reading, searching for reviews and scanning Facebook groups for information about high school curriculum.
Our requirements were pretty simple:
- Biblical worldview– I wanted to make sure that the texts aligned with our values and that we could incorporate our faith into her education.
- Academically rigorous– She wants to be challenged and often felt bored at public school. I was looking for something that would keep her interested and that she could move through as quickly as she wanted.
- Online math– My math abilities are limited to basic algebra, so I wanted to have a video or online math teacher that she could watch.
Teaching high school can be intimidating.
You may be a math person, but struggle with science or writing. Whatever your strengths, there is a way to fill in the areas where you feel you are lacking. There is also nothing wrong with learning right along side your child. At this age you are more of a guide or facilitator, you don’t have to have all of the answers. You have to provide the resources and be willing to take the time to help your child find the answers.
All of the online research I had done left me stumped. Every publisher and online program I found had some parents who loved it and some who hated it.
What ultimately made our decision was attending a homeschool conference and seeing and talking to the vendors. (Alyssa and I went to the NICHE (Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators) conference.) She was drawn to one publisher, and they had almost everything we were looking for.
Some of the subjects that were included for 9th grade either didn’t interest her or she had already studied (Algebra I), and we were able to mix and match what courses we chose.
Here is what we chose:
English: BJU Press Fundamentals of Literature and Vocabulary, IEW Student Writing Intensive Level C. We chose to combine these two rather than use the whole BJU package for English because Alyssa is very interested in writing and I have heard such great things about IEW’s writing program.
Math: BJU Press Geometry Distance Learning. We were able to see a demonstration and Alyssa liked the way you could see the teacher demonstrating on paper how to do the problems. Sold!
Science: BJU Press Biology (10th grade). This course includes a lab. The publisher recommends one lab per chapter and all chapters have a couple to choose from. One requires more equipment than the other (this is just my initial impression) so I won’t be purchasing all of the lab equipment they recommend.
Social Studies: BJU Press Cultural Geography and World History (for when we finish Cultural Geography. Honestly, I bought both in error, but we will just hold on to World History until we are ready for it.)
Bible: We are currently studying “Who Am I To Judge” from Formed. My father is coming over once a week to teach this. We haven’t decided when we will start BJU Press Bible Truths, but probably once we are done with the current study.
Foreign Language: Alyssa would like to study both Japanese and American Sign Language. Our public library gives us access to a language learning website that we will use for Japanese. Lifeprint.com has a homeschool syllabus and gives free access to their ASL lessons.
The BJU and IEW courses come with teacher editions of the books, handouts, tests, and answers making it easy for parents. In fact, Alyssa was so excited to start, we just opened a book and got started before I had prepped anything.
We also purchased this planner from Amazon:
I think we are ready for the fall. The great thing about homeschooling is that we can start any time and we can add or subtract a course as we choose. (So I am not stressing about the massive amount of information that comes along with these courses.) We haven’t settled on a schedule for the year. Right now Alyssa is just starting to work on what she is interested in, and we will add to it as we are ready.
Remember, when you are choosing curriculum for your own homeschool, there is no one size fits all solution!
There is only what you think is the best for you and your student. And it you find that something really doesn’t work for you after you have started, you can switch to something better suited to what you need.