There’s a huge population of Christian homeschoolers out there, and lots of curriculum programs written for them. If you’re a secular homeschooler, however, you may feel like your choices are more limited. Homeschooling in high school is challenging enough, and quite a few parents who have homeschooled during their child’s younger years are bewildered when it comes to choosing high school curriculum. But when you’re specifically looking for secular curriculum, the challenge is even greater.
Sometimes the best approach is to stick with the program you’ve been using. If a certain homeschool curriculum has worked well for you, and it’s possible to continue through the high school years, why not? For other people, entering high school is a good transition point to begin a new program.
One of the most important things to look for when choosing a secular homeschool high school curriculum is how easily the information provided converts to a high school transcript. As a homeschooler, it’s your responsibility to keep accurate records and compile them into a transcript. This will be necessary if your child decides to apply to college, or even to enlist in the military. Your state may have specific requirements on how transcripts should be formatted and what information they should contain, so be sure to check on the details. Generally, a homeschool transcript should list courses taken, a brief description of each, and the final grade received.
Some secular homeschool high school curriculum lend themselves more easily to the process of compiling a transcript, and this should be considered in your decision-making process. For example, if a short synopsis of what is covered in each class is provided, you won’t have to sift through the course material to determine what to enter on your transcript.
Some homeschool programs try to mimic the curriculum subject by grade found in public schools, such as Biology in 10th grade, Chemistry in 11th grade, and Physics in 12th grade. This sort of thing is really a matter of personal preference, but worth some time for consideration.
By high school, many homeschoolers have developed their independent-study skills to a high degree and don’t require much input from a teacher or parent. An independent study program may work well for these kids. Similarly, high schoolers have different learning styles, and homeschool curriculum should be chosen according to the method by which they learn the best. Some people prefer traditional lectures and note-taking, and others do well if they are given reading and written assignments to complete. Some kids may learn best in completely non-traditional ways like hands-on activities or apprenticeships instead.
Often, kids will have some idea of their future career aspirations by high school, and one of the great things about homeschooling is that students have the flexibility to explore what interests them. Consider their interests and likes or dislikes when you choose curriculum to make sure they enjoy what they’re learning about and that they’re exploring career options that appeal to them along the way.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to include your student in the decision of choosing their secular homeschool high school curriculum. Not only will they be more inclined to do their best work, but high school students have an innate sense of what will work for them, and what won’t, that shouldn’t be ignored. Keeping your student informed and included in the process of choosing curriculum will be beneficial to the whole family.