Large family homeschooling high school curriculum ideas from a mom of 10. These are actual products we have used in our homeschool.
This year, I have 2 high schoolers – one junior, one sophomore – one girl, one boy. These 2 children have been my Thing 1 & Thing 2 their entire lives. That’s what being born 16 months apart brings with it!
However, when it comes to academics, they definitely do not have the same interests. Now that they are in high school, this is more apparent than ever. So, I’ve tailored their education to their individuality.
You’ll see more about that as we go, but first…
Let’s start at the top of the day!
Morning Time for Middle Schoolers in a Large Family
Our Morning Time has always been done first thing in the morning with everyone altogether, and I tend to “teach to the middle,” meaning I choose curriculum, topics, and information that are most relevant to the child or children who are in middle of the ages I am currently teaching.
For this year, my 10 and 12 year olds are my middle ages, so I am focusing on upper elementary and middle school and then supplementing extra literature and projects for my high schoolers and coloring pages and fun projects for my little girls.
READ >> Morning Time with Multiple Ages
If you are unfamiliar with the concept of Morning Time, let me begin by explaining that Morning Time can be ANYTHING you want it to be. You can use the time to do something simple like Bible and a Read Aloud (Read >> Making Morning Time Easy) or buy a ready-made Charlotte Mason Morning Time curriculum. (Our favorite is The Homeschool Garden. We are also looking at Morning Virtues from Gentle+Classical for the upcoming year.)
In our homeschool, we start with Bible (more on this in a moment). After Bible, we do a combination of The Homeschool Garden and the history lessons from Tapestry of Grace, with lots of extras mixed in from Music in Our Homeschool and You ARE An Artist.
Rather than get into the details in this post of how we put all of this together, I have a post where I share exactly what our Morning Time currently looks like, so you can get an idea of how I incorporate all of these curricula into one Morning Time setting!
READ >> What Our Homeschool Morning Time Currently Looks Like [COMING SOON]
However, I will share each of these components one by one below:
Bible Study for High School Homeschoolers
Last year, we started GrapeVine Bible Lessons (that link goes to my review). While it has been great for my younger crowd, I believe my older kids need more, so we’ll soon be moving to a whole new way of doing Bible compared to what my kids are used to – Obedience Bible Study from Not Consumed.
The reason this is so different is because I’m not doing THE SAME thing with ALL of the children. Not Consumed has each member of the family do Bible study on their own and then come together to discuss the topic. I’m really excited about trying something different!
History for the Large Family Homeschool
I have always preferred to do History as a group because years ago I found a curriculum that allowed me to do this and I fell in love!
Tapestry of Grace is that curriculum, and although we have taken a few breaks from it over the years, I have always come back to TOG because it is so robust, so comprehensive, and so wonderful in its concept that I simply cannot stay away.
Take a look at my Tapestry of Grace page here on Raising Arrows to learn more about how I make this curriculum work for our large family!
So, we do lessons from Tapestry of Grace as a family during Morning Time. You can see this in action if you read my Large Family Homeschool Life posts!
By the way, Tapestry of Grace covers not only history, but government, Bible, geography, art and music appreciation (with help from Music in Our Homeschool – see below), church history, philosophy, literature, and composition (we do not do the philosophy or composition portion of TOG). Tapestry of Grace makes up the spine of our homeschool with most everything else stemming from it.
Let me talk High School Government for just a moment…
Homeschool High School Government
If you are looking for a very hands-on approach to teaching Government, I highly recommend sending your child to TeenPact. This DOES count as a Government class and I also use it to teach essay writing. For those of you unfamiliar with TeenPact, it is a predominantly homeschooled “camp,” hosted near your state’s capital that has your child learning to present bills, use parliamentary procedure, understand what it means to be a Christian statesman in this day and age, and look at politics and government from a biblical worldview. We always go with our kids and enjoy participating in the evening sessions as a family. To find out if your state has TeenPact, GO HERE!
English and Composition for Homeschooled High Schoolers
Until late jr. high – early high school, writing is fun! We write stories, notebook, make posters, keep diaries, etc. All of this carries on into high school as well.
In high school, we transition to learning what it will take to make it in college and communicate effectively as an adult. This boils down to two writing assignments – essays and research papers (which are just essays on steroids).
TeenPact (mentioned above) requires several essays from attendees, so that’s often where we start. I teach them what goes into a well-written essay and guide them through the process. Eventually, they get good enough to write the essays on their own with me checking it over later. I do the same with research papers, and require 2 to be written before graduation.
Fine Arts for High School Homeschoolers
I also really like to supplement the Tapestry of Grace lessons with lessons from Music in Our Homeschool! These music-based lessons are so wonderful and so easy to use. Everything is online and works well with a variety of ages. And there are so many topics to choose from!
This year, we are using:
And for holidays, we’ll use:
We are also using their Charlotte Mason Fine Arts class off and on this year. I LOVE the art appreciation questions included in the class!
But these are just the tip of the iceberg! Take a look at the website and start dreaming up ways to incorporate music into YOUR homeschool!
Also, check out my review of 10 Weeks of Shakespeare from Music in Our Homeschool!
Art for High Schoolers
Once or twice a month, we do art projects during Morning Time as a family. I usually do this toward the end of Morning Time and usually on a Thursday (the last day of the week we homeschool since we do a 4 Day a Week Homeschool Schedule).
My philosophy on art in homeschooling is that it needs to be:
- Simple with few supplies.
- Integrates with what we are already learning.
- Something I can do with the entire family.
That’s why I chose You ARE An Artist chalk art lessons for our art! Chalk is a very forgiving medium and everyone can participate. It isn’t too hard for my little ones and it is still engaging for my high schoolers!
Once Morning Time is finished, I send everyone off to do their independent school work. By high school, my kids are working completely on their own. I simply check in on their work periodically to make sure they are still on track.
Individual work for this age includes Math, Science, and Electives. They are also doing Literature and other history-related projects based off recommendations from Tapestry of Grace.
Before I get into the specifics of my high schooler’s individual school work, I would highly recommend you get my ecourse Creating a Homeschool Schedule You Love! This ecourse will help you put your entire homeschool day on autopilot, including your children’s individual school subjects. GET IT HERE >>
Homeschool Math for High Schoolers
Many of my homeschooled high schoolers have used Teaching Textbooks for Pre-Algebra, Algebra I & II, and Geometry, but we have found they almost all end up struggling and need some outside help, and because of that, we usually use Khan Academy for a time or as their entire class.
Math is not a strong subject for me, so I am of the mindset that you have to do what works for you, and that may mean trying several different products and sites, and even getting help from tutors (which Teaching Textbooks has – see my review below!).
READ >> Teaching Textbooks 4.0 Review
I also believe ALL high schoolers need to take Consumer or Business Math in some form. A recent poll showed that college graduates say they wish they had been taught LIFE SKILLS – things like balancing a checkbook and figuring taxes. Consumer Math covers things like this and incredibly important for high schoolers to know before graduating from your homeschool.
We are going to be using this FREE Consumer Math program for our homeschoolers – MathAndYou.com.
High School Homeschool Science
We use Apologia Science as our sole Science curriculum.
Electives for High Schoolers
When I work out my high schooler’s academic plan, I start with our state requirements, and then add in things that reflect their interests and aptitudes.
Other posts on homeschooling high school:
- Homeschooling High School in a Large Family
- A Simple Plan for Homeschool Graduation Requirements
- Preparing Your Homeschooled Child for College (even if they don’t go!)
Also listen to this podcast:
You can find all of our Homeschool Curriculum Choices HERE >>