I am hoping that by this point you have read Why Homeschool High SchoolPassion led High SchoolStructuring High School and Middle School Vision Casting.  Those posts are the philosophy of why we have chosen what we have.  They are also the reason that we have a different high school journey for each of our kids.  We start with what our kids and ourselves think is possible for their future.  We start with the assumption that our kids are going to go to college.  Why?  We believe that our kids should be prepared to go to college because it is much harder to change the assumption from not going to college to going to college mid stream.  I have heard far too many stories of kids who changed their mind in their Junior year and have had to play serious catch up which is very difficult. Even if our kids don’t go to college, they will be very well educated which will hold them in good stead for whatever God has planned for them.  After that assumption,  we start talking details.  What kind of school are they looking at?  What are their passions?  Where do they see themselves in 10 years?

We start with a basic structure with all of ours.  This is the foundation and the absolute credits that have to be completed by our kids to graduate from our homeschool.  These are not state minimums, these are our homeschool minimums based on our kids goals.

I want to give a quick caution, my kids are looking at selective Colleges and Programs and are going for some high level scholarships.  I am not saying that every student should follow this path. I don’t think that would be a good plan at all.  Homeschooling is all about meeting your kids where they are at.  One size does not fit all.

We use My Father’s World for our base curriculum and then we change or modify it as needed.  MFW is a good, solid, college prep curriculum for History, Bible and English.

Bible4 credits  We feel very strongly about MFW’s Bible integration and the Bible scope and sequence.  MFW has students read the entire Old Testament in 9th grade and the entire New Testament in 10th.  They then study Worldview and Apologetics in 11th as they should have the Biblical understanding and foundation from the first two years and then finally, in their Senior year, they learn the 5 habits of a strong faith.  It is well planned out and goes into a lot of depth.  Our kids know their Bible and have a good working knowledge of theology, worldview, and apologetics.

Modifications – We send our kids to Summit Ministries for an intensive two week camp on Worldview and Apologetics.  We sent Connor twice although the second time was much more worthwhile as it was right before he went to a Secular University.  He more than held his own in classes like Astronomy and Psychology and his faith was only strengthened.

History3-4 Credits (including Economics and Government) We like MFW’s base of History and like the way it is integrated into both Bible and that it is Classical in nature and teaches it Chronologically. Connor used MFW’s History pretty much as written and did well and was well prepared for College.  However, we don’t really like Notgrass as a spine and needed to schedule some more time for test prep.

Modifications – I substituted Susan Wise Bauer’s, History of the Ancient World and its Study Guide for the twins instead of Notgrass.  The twins really like History so they liked the more difficult text.  Make no mistake, this was a lot more work for them and for me.  Had I other kids to homeschool, I probably would have just had them do MFW as written.  I also will substitute other texts for World History and then just move to BJU when we hit Exploration and make the class more of a “American History in a World Context” similar to what MFW does in its earlier cycle years.  This gives me some space to schedule some test prep into their Junior year.

I will also probably substitute Sonlight’s Government and Economics program as it contains Thinkwell Economics which will help us prep for the AP Economics Test.

English – 4 Credits We use MFW as the base for our English program.  I love the way it ties Bible, History and English together.  My kids have had some amazing, thought provoking papers because of this integration and I believe that integration produces a lot of critical thinking in my kids.  However, my kids are serious readers and want more to read than what MFW provides and I like mine to take the AP English test their Junior or Senior year and while MFW is college prep, it is not enough for the AP test.

Modifications – We use Susan Wise Bauer’s, Writing With Skill 1, 2, and 3, through Middle School and High School, half a book a year.  I have them do the majority of MFW’s writing projects (because I like the integration) but add in WWS every other week.  We also add more Grammar review with, Easy Grammar or Editor in Chief but sometimes these are only done during the summer as review or skill maintenance.

We also add Sonlight’s reader packages.  We like to read and although there is some overlap for the most part, my kids have enjoyed the extra readers.  This is not necessary and should only be used for serious readers.  Caileigh reads all of the books but neither Connor nor Collin read every one but pick and choose accordingly.

Science – 4 credits – My kids are serious science geeks and are all destined to go into STEM fields so they need 4 years of Science.  We like Apologia for the most part but switched Chemistry to Discovering Design with Chemistry.  It is Jay Wile’s new Chemistry book and has more experiments and I think, better flow than Apologia’s.  All of my kids do at least one AP Science and that depends on passion and likes.  Caileigh is also doing Apologia’s Marine Biology this year because she loves Biology but needs another year of math until she can do AP Biology.

Foreign Language – 4- 5 credits – We have our kids do at least 1 year of Latin for the vocab and for the foreign language foundation.  We then do Spanish with Homeschool Spanish Academy.  We love HSA!  HSA has both one on one classes and semi-private classes.  Students have a Skype class with a native speaker in Guatemala.  Connor did 4 years with the same teacher and learned how to speak, read and write in Spanish.  He also formed a great relationship with his teacher which also helped with outside recommendations for both scholarships and college.  HSA is accredited and has its own rigorous curriculum so you won’t need to get any other materials.  It’s also nice to have a subject that I don’t have to be involved with at all.  They even provide an online report card which is great.

Math – 4 credits – As my kids are looking into STEM careers, they need 4 years of math which should go through Calculus.  I have 3 different kinds of math kids.  Connor basically reads it and understands it but cant be bothered with the little details like, you know adding.  He can easily do Calculus but can’t remember how to multiply fractions.  Collin is detailed and methodical and is just naturally good at math.  Caileigh struggles with math but because she has goals that require math, works really hard at it.  When she doesn’t get something, she buckles down and keeps at it until she does.  I believe that we should always have two math curriculums going at all times as they help cement, review,  and introduce  topics differently and I find great value in that.  So, depending on the child we use a combination of Life of FredThinkwell and Art of Problem Solving.  I will honestly say that math is one subject that I am more than willing to hand over to either the video course of Thinkwell or Art of Problem Solving or the online classes of Art of Problem Solving.  However, I am currently doing LOF Geometry with Caileigh.  When I say doing, I mean doing every single problem and comparing notes as Caileigh needs someone to do it with her.  I will either be stronger for this or dead.  It’s still a toss up.

Whew!  I think I will have to write another day on electives.

***full disclosure*** there are affiliate links and reward programs on this page.  All of these are items that we actually use. I am trying to make this blog pay for itself or even pay for a portion of the cost.

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