My daughter started high school this year. I still can hardly believe it.
This is our seventh year homeschooling, but this year I felt like a newbie. I was not prepared for the transition into the high school years. This was a strange new world of electives and credit hours, graduation requirements, and GPAs. I pored over homeschool high school curriculum choices to see whether one would meet our homeschooling goals. Here are some things that I took away from that experience.
Homeschool High School Curriculum Options
There are an overwhelming number of high school homeschool curriculum options. You can find a textbook for just about any course that your high schooler would like to take. Many online educational programs and in-person co-op classes also exist. Additionally, if your high schooler meets certain requirements, some colleges offer dual-credit courses that count for both high school and college credit.
Some homeschool options offer accredited degrees. Currently, no states require homeschoolers to enroll in an accredited program. But some homeschoolers do so to qualify for certain scholarships or gain acceptance into certain universities. When determining whether accreditation is right for your homeschool, you will want to consider your child’s future plans. You can learn more about accreditation in the post “Accredited Homeschool Programs: Advantages and Disadvantages.”
The best homeschool high school curriculum for your family is the one that meets your educational and budgetary goals and fits your family’s values.
What to Look for in a High School Curriculum
A Biblical Worldview
My high schooler is becoming more independent and regularly interacts with people with different worldviews. It is more important than ever for her to be grounded in a biblical worldview. I want a core homeschool high school curriculum that teaches her how to view the world through a Scriptural lens. The curriculum should also teach her how to communicate Truth to others.
As my daughter prepares for life after graduation, I want her to have the option of going to college. Thus, I want my homeschool high school curriculum to be challenging enough to set her up for success in a higher-education setting. It needs to teach vital skills such as academic writing, research, project design, and analysis. It also needs to be robust enough to provide the credit hours that she needs for graduation.
When it comes to a homeschool high school curriculum, one size does not fit all. Students are different. My own children are different—what works for one does not always work for another. A curriculum should fit the learning style and particular needs of each child.
High school subjects are difficult for a lot of students. Some students may struggle through a class even with the best homeschool high school curriculum. Having a curriculum that is multisensory helps. Pictures, diagrams, examples, and hands-on-activities aid and motivate learning.
Provides Support Features
Because high school subjects are difficult to teach, I knew I needed a curriculum that included a lot of support features. I chose to use the BJU Press curriculum with video instruction since I barely remember algebra and physical science. BJU Press’s free online tool, the Homeschool Hub, provides grading, scheduling, and transcript-creation tools—everything I need to homeschool my high schooler successfully.
Highlights of the BJU Press High School Curriculum
Literature 9 (Fundamentals of Literature): Exposes students to a variety of genres. Teaches them how to analyze literary works through the discussion of conflict, character, theme, point-of-view, structure, and tone.
Writing & Grammar 9 Teaches grammar and mechanics as well as writing strategies. Gives students practice in writing brochures, book reviews, letters, essays, and opinion pieces. Provides additional practice in creative writing, research writing, informative writing, and business writing.
Algebra 1 Teaches how to simplify, solve, graph, and interpret linear, exponential, radical, quadratic, and rational functions manually and using technology.
Cultural Geography Helps students better understand the world through the study of world cultures, landforms, climate, resources, economics, religion, and governments.
Physical Science Explores waves, energy, the structure of matter, the changes of matter, and how matter moves.
Literature 10 (Elements of Literature): Teaches students how to deepen their understanding and appreciation of literature. Guides them in analyzing literature for theme, figurative language, meter, symbolism, illusions, and irony.
Writing & Grammar 10 Teaches grammar and mechanics as well as writing strategies. Writing projects include a cause-and-effect essay, eyewitness report, short story, and persuasive speech.
Geometry Focuses on the development of higher-level thinking skills through the study of geometric figures.
World History Presents the story of the world from Creation to the present day with a special focus on the history of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the pre-colonial Americas.
Biology Explores cell biology, genetics, taxonomy, microbiology, zoology, botany, ecology, human anatomy, and physiology from a young-earth Creationist worldview.
American Literature Teaches students about the five periods of American literature while surveying works from over 75 well-known American writers.
Writing & Grammar 11 Teaches grammar and mechanics as well as writing strategies. Writing projects include an analytical essay, research paper, in-class essay, and narrative poem.
Algebra 2 Expands on the material in Algebra 1. Covers linear, quadratic, polynomial, radical, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions as well as probability, statistics, and complex numbers.
United States History Helps students become informed and empowered citizens through the study of the history of the United States.
Chemistry Focuses on building understanding of atomic structure, chemical composition, and chemical reactions.
British Literature Discusses the five periods of British literature and exposes students to great British writers.
Writing & Grammar 12 Teaches grammar and mechanics as well as writing strategies. Writing projects include a sonnet, research report, extemporaneous essay, issues analysis essay, and college application essay.
Consumer Math A math elective that helps students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to manage personal finances.
Precalculus A math elective that teaches the foundations of calculus by discussing topics such as matrices, analytic geometry, sequences, and series.
Economics Teaches economic principles from a conservative approach.
American Government Discusses the foundation, levels, and branches of government with a special emphasis on the Constitution.
Physics Equips students to solve problems related to forces, movement, mechanics, and energy.
A Complete Homeschool High School Curriculum
Purchasing a complete high school homeschool curriculum package will not only save you time and money, but it will also ensure that your child is getting a unified and consistent educational experience. BJU Press offers high school curriculum packages that are academically challenging and engaging, and they teach each subject from a biblical worldview.