Homeschooler’s Guide to Teaching High School English

High school English

All in One Homeschool English

From Shakespeare to transitive verbs, making facts live in the study of English is crucial. Yet, since the study of English or Language Arts as most educators refer to it – is the foundational subject for all other study it is vital that these facts “live.” Could we study mathematics without an understanding of language? Of course not! Language Arts is the key to all other learning, and should be treated with corresponding importance.

What should High School English include?

High School English includes the study of literacy, the study of literature, and the study of language for both public and private use. Throughout the study of highschool English, courses should build upon one another with each year consequently bringing the student closer to mastery. In fact, English is the only subject in which 4 years of high school study is required. It is universally accepted that if a student can grasp the fundamental concepts of reading, writing, spelling, grammar, and punctuation they will have tools that will serve them for life.

English curriculum

High School English by Year

Yet, for our practical purposes, it is sometimes difficult to know what to teach and when. Here is a sample of a basic high school English course of study.

Freshman English

Free Resources
Basics of the writing process/thesis statements/writing essays The Five Paragraph Essay
Essay Scoring
Grammar rules/spelling and vocabulary Guide to Grammar and Writing
English Grammar and Mechanics 
Vocabulary and Spelling City
100 Most often misspelled words
Novel study (classic literature indepth/Anthology study (overview) Novel studies – Sparks NotesProject
Learn out loud (audio recordings of classics)
Gutenberg – free classic ebooks
Research and public speaking skills Free public speaking course


Sophomore English

Free Resources
Expanding forms of written expression Essentials of Good Writing Course
Comparing and contrasting
Compare and Contrast Essays
Grammar/expand vocabulary Free Holt Grammar
Grammar Worksheets
Vocabulary and Spelling City
Word Lists – can put these in Spelling City
Classic Literature study indepth(Shakespeare)Anthology study overview Signet Literature guides
Classics online and a Classic Lit Book List
Research and oral presentation Public Speaking Class outline


Junior English

Free Resources
Formal and informal forms of writing/poetry Start Writing Fiction Free course
Types of Poetry
Voices and Visions poetry course
Elements of a Short Story
American Literature/Literary Analysis American Literature Guide
En 102: American Literature
Literary Analysis
Grammar/Spelling and Vocab Prentice Hall online exercise bank 
Printable English worksheets
SAT Grammar Practice
Vocabulary and Spelling City
Research Paper/essays Time4Writing
A+ Research and Writing
Narrative Essay
Final Exams Final Exams for Download


Senior English

Free Resources
Focus on formal written expression Thinking and Writing
Grammar – Spelling and Vocabulary Grammar quizzes -great for CLEP prep
Online Grammar quizzes
5000 Collegiate Vocabulary Words
English Literature/Literary Analysis English Literature course
The Legacy of England
Literary Analysis Plan
Research paper/oral presentations Writing a Research Paper
How to Write a research Paper (Georgetown)


This is a good place to start when formulating your English course for high school, however, remember that each child has different strengths and weaknesses. You may want to add various courses that your young person is passionate about. Here are some awesome additions…

Courses on Journalism

How to Write a Novel

Required Reading Books for High School

Though we have listed our All in One Homeschool English resources by Grade level, you can mix and match each of these free courses to your own student’s needs.


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Jamie Gaddy, B.S., M.Ed., Ed.D. has been a college education professor for over 17 years. Education has been an integral part of her life in both the classroom and as a principal. Six children later found her dissatisfied with traditional schooling and homeschooling became the better fit. She is also a pastor’s wife, remote project manager, and entrepreneur who now homeschools four of her six children (ages 11-17) in southern Georgia. Jamie loves to share about her homeschool experience and help other homeschoolers find success. Connect with her at [email protected]

January 23, 2013


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