Looking for high school homeschool curriculum? I’m so glad you are here! Choosing high school curriculum doesn’t have to be daunting. After 20 years years of homeschooling and classroom teaching, these are the resources I have grown to love for the high school years.
Before I give you my opinion on the best high school homeschool curriculum, please note that there are many differing views on what should be taught and when it should be taught. I’m not seeking to refute anyone or call names. I’m sharing only what has worked well for our homeschool after combining my experience in the classroom with teaching at home. Remember, that’s your job, too. Seek out what works best for your family and don’t worry about what everyone else says!
How many hours do you homeschool a day?
I know you are wondering about this because everyone does. It typically takes my kids 4-5 hours to complete the books and paper part of their high school homeschool curriculum. The rest of the day is filled with activities to help them create, gain wisdom, and explore opportunities like jobs, volunteering, and the arts.
At home, your high schooler is able to focus on the material at his/her level and pace, so it typically takes much less time to get everything done. If it’s taking longer than 5 hours a day, you may want to reassess the level and workload of your students.
Of course, again this doesn’t mean your child is finished learning in 4-5 hours a day and will waste the rest of the day vegging into the land of no knowledge. If you encourage enriching activities (and limit screen time), your child will literally NEVER stop learning.
What should my child be learning in high school?
High school is such a fun time for students. Students have typically discovered their individual areas of interest and some subjects will stand out above others. As long as their reading and math foundations have been laid, let them back off on things that aren’t strengths and dig deeper into subjects they are passionate about.
(Note that I didn’t say you could skip those harder subjects, only that it may not be necessary to take the most advanced courses in those areas!)
High school is the perfect time to dabble in career options. Explore ideas, shadow careers, take courses that will deepen that knowledge. Don’t wait until college for this because you might find that you’d rather take a different path instead. Better to learn that now than when you are halfway done with expensive college credits.
Typical high school homeschool subjects.
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Physical Education/Health
- Foreign Language
- Life Skills
In the next section, we will take a look at each subject’s recommended curriculum, as well as when and why you should teach it.
But first, we need to make sure you are legal. It’s very important that you consult with your state requirements. The most reputable place to find these laws are the HSLDA website. Note that I didn’t say to ask your friend who has been homeschooling for many years (that’s a big mistake- look them up yourself).
Most states have specific requirements for high school curriculum. Most have general guidelines for core subjects. Higher or more specific subjects are usually required by colleges more than the high school itself.
If your child has their heart set on a specific college or career path, it’s best to find out what the requirements would be. That way you are covered no matter what. Again, the only way to know what rules you have to follow is to check the site yourself.
One thing to note is that even if you are required to teach science, for example, it doesn’t typically say that you must use a textbook that covers 180 days’ worth. You might also find that a particular kind of science such as Biology or Chemistry isn’t mandatory. It really depends on the goals of your student. As homeschoolers, we have the freedom to teach the way our kids need us to teach them!
High school homeschool Science curriculum.
Once you get to high school, you’ll need to make sure you know the requirements of your state. You can find these on the HSLDA website. Although each state varies, most will look a little like this:
Three credits in the following: Biology, Chemistry, Physics.
But note that often these specific kinds of science are a suggestion. Read carefully to see what is truly a requirement and tailor your plans accordingly. You’ll also want to see if the college your child is interested in attending requires certain high school science credits. Do the work and look it up. You might be surprised at what is required and what is not.
While high school does become more restrictive, now is not the time to lose your creativity. You still have options. First, you might consider taking a course at a local co-op so you can take advantage of the lab element. Unless of course, you like dissecting things in your living room. Haha.
Seriously, a co-op is a great option, but not everyone has that opportunity. Other options include dual enrollment at a local college and online courses.
My friend Trisha and Luke have a fabulous online biology course. Students watch lectures, complete assignments, and even take quizzes. It’s a great way to get excellent teaching, independent curriculum, and strong Biblical worldview all in one!
Last, but not least, my art-loving 10th grader did a course called Biology 101. It’s definitely on the light side, but for a child with strengths outside of the typical “academic” courses, it’s a great fit.
Remember to consider first your child’s academic needs and not to squash them with curriculum that will frustrate their efforts. Particularly if reading is a struggle, pull back on the textbook format and allow them to explore other options.
High school homeschool Math curriculum.
Once you get to high school, you’ll need to make sure you know the requirements of your state. You can find these on the HSLDA website. Although each state varies, most will be similar to this:
Four credits in the following: Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus
We’ve used a lot of different math curricula over the years. But by the time we got to high school, there was a clear winner. All of my kids have used the same thing all the way through.
Once they are old enough, my kids always want to transition into Teaching Textbooks. They love that the computer teaches the lesson for them and that there aren’t 500 problems to answer when the lesson is finished.
As a mom and especially in high school levels, I love the instant grading feature. This makes my homeschool day so much easier. I also love that my kids are getting immediate feedback when a problem is incorrect. So often students do the whole page wrong only to learn they have to start over again. Teaching Textbooks doesn’t allow that to happen.
One final thought: If math really is more than you can handle as a homeschool parent, rest assured you can always outsource it to a co-op or online class. Juniors and Seniors may consider taking a dual credit course at a local college. Sometimes taking the subject outside of your realm is good for your student and your relationship!
High school homeschool History curriculum.
At this point, you will need to be sure you are meeting your state’s requirements. Don’t guess at this. LOOK IT UP for yourself. Most states require 3 high school credits: American history, Government/Economics, and one more history course. You can do them in any order or style.
We prefer to match our history with English requirements. That means we take American Literature and American history at the same time so everything we are learning fits together nicely. This kind of complementary learning encourages a life-long love for knowledge.
Here are some of our favorite resources for high school history in your homeschool.
Mystery of History
Mystery of History is a 4 volume comprehensive journey through all of time focusing on a biblical worldview. The awesome thing about this history curriculum is its flexibility. You can use it for all ages and make it a family affair. During high school you can go deep with the lessons and tests included. You may also supplement with novels or extra suggested reading. They also include the option of online classes and lectures.
The cycle of history can be repeated even if you’ve done it before. Since the student is much older, the knowledge is much deeper when you cycle back. For us, we’ve used this curriculum to lay the foundation so we move on to Notgrass (below) in high school.
Notgrass History is a great option for parents looking for a more in-depth approach to history. We love this curriculum for its emphasis on God’s Word. We also love that it covers language arts, Bible, and social studies all in one. That’s a win for busy high schoolers for sure. The lesson plan feature makes it great for independent learning. Simple enough for them to use and easy for parents to keep track.
Masterbooks promises the same Charlotte Mason inspired, Biblically sound curriculum for high schoolers from American history to Civics. If you are looking for something with less reading and little less intensive, this is a great fit. My kids love how Masterbooks covers a topic in-depth without making it overwhelming (or boring!)
Economics for Everybody by R. C. Sproul Jr. is what my high schooler took for her economics credit.
High school homeschool Language Arts curriculum.
As your child enters high school, an English credit will be required. This is truly the combination of all of the earlier elements (reading, spelling, grammar, writing). You don’t need separate curriculum pieces for this. In fact, if you had that, your child would really struggle to keep up. There’s a lot going on in high school. No need to make it harder than it already is.
You’ll find a wide variety of available options for high school English. My favorite is actually Notgrass History. This combines the social studies credit, a Bible credit, and an English credit all in one curriculum. It is strongly focused on a biblical worldview and the supplemental literature is a perfect fit for an English credit.
After the 3 history credits are done, you can easily pick something for contemporary lit (English IV). We plan to create and maintain a blog, but the sky is really the limit.
Master Books Literature is another good option. They offer both American and British Literature, but note that it’s VERY intensive! Be prepared to write a LOT and think hard.
And last, but not least, it’s possible to create your own English course. As a 9th grader, my daughter studied general literature. We called it English Literature 1. She did interest led reading, and I chose tests and activities from Teachers Pay Teachers based on the books she read.
Here are some other great reading resources for teens:
- Best Children’s Audio Books Your Family Will Love
- 11 Wholesome Chapter Book Series Your Kids Will Love
- Free Printable Homeschool Booklist For Every Age Level
- 14 Must-Read Christian Books for Teens
High school Bible curriculum.
What we want most for our kids is a lasting faith that changes them from the inside out. Our youth Bible studies are designed to help teens get into God’s Word and learn the life-changing truth they need to become more like Christ.
Bible Study Club Pack
These club packs couple theology you can trust with fun extras the kids will love!
The YOUTH age level is written with ages 12+ in mind.
High school homeschool curriculum for electives.
High school homeschool electives curriculum has a dual purpose. First, we have to meet those pesky state requirements. Be sure you find out what yours are and follow those guidelines. Most states require very little, thankfully.
Typically it’s a PE credit, maybe something in the arts, and a computer science credit. You may also need to meet the suggested college electives if your child is interested in college, such as a foreign language. Remember, while you have to meet requirements, you can still think outside the box.
For example, a physical education class doesn’t have to be the way the school system does it. Your child could take a swimming class at the YMCA or a spinning class at the gym. My daughter rides horses. You could also do health, wellness, or any traditional sport.
Fine arts doesn’t have to be an instrument, it can be an appreciation class where you learn about different periods and styles of music for a few weeks, then art, then drama. Why not mix it up if the arts aren’t your thing?
Computer requirements tend to be pretty easy. There are keyboarding classes, coding classes, and everything in between.
Once you get the required things out of the way, you will still probably have some credits to fill. This is your chance to have a LOT of fun. But I would strongly suggest you steer your fun in the direction of your child’s interests, particularly regarding a career.
Spend time thinking about what they want to do when they graduate and let them explore it now. Or have them take a class to help prepare them for it. I know a young man who spends every afternoon in the woodshed with his dad making cabinets. His elective? Woodworking. This is the perfect way to help your child dabble in a possible career choice so they don’t waste 50K on a degree that they still don’t know what to do with.
Like I said, most of the time, I want electives to be guided by the interests and passions of my kids, but because everyone likes a good list, there are 5 must-take high school electives on our list. To find out about these must-take electives and even more electives ideas, check out The Ultimate List of High School Electives for Homeschoolers.
More Christian Homeschool Curriculum
Using my expertise as a certified educator and 12+ years of homeschooling, we’ve created a comprehensive list of the BEST Christian homeschool curriculum for each grade level. You’ll find each of them linked below.
- Preschool Homeschool Curriculum
- Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum
- First Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Second Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Third Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Fourth Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Fifth Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Sixth Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Seventh Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Eighth Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- High School Homeschool Curriculum
Still stuggling to see how everything fits together? Get a better overall vision for Christian homeschool curriculum in this post.
Through practical tools & Bible-based resources, Kim Sorgius is dedicated to helping your family GROW in faith so you can be Not Consumed by life’s struggles. Author of popular kid’s devotional Bible studies and practical homeschooling tools, Kim has a master’s degree in education and curriculum design coupled with over 2 decades of experience working with kids and teens. Above all, her most treasured job is mother and homeschool teacher of four amazing kiddos.