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Resources: Overviews on How to Home School High School

I promised you a discussion about some of our high school at home overview books, so here we go!  However, I feel so tempted to do something else instead….  Once again, I understand my children’s struggles to face a difficult project.  You see, we own four of these books, all Christian, three of which we picked up used before we got a highly recommended brand new one.  Each year I’ve leafed through them, read chapters here and there, gotten overwhelmed, and then just forged ahead haphazardly. 

After preparing for this blog, however, I have discovered what each book’s strengths and weaknesses are.  I’ve also compiled a list of other books that I’ll share both with you and with our library’s purchasing department.  Finally, I’ll let you know about a new course on home high school. 

The High School Handbook: Junior and Senior High School at Home  by Mary Schofield is a lovely older guide, recommended by Mary Pride and Cathy Duffy.  Its strength is course design, although it also discusses goals, requirements, evaluation, scheduling, and lesson planning.  It shows how to design courses from an outline, from what you have on hand, or from what you want to study.  There’s an example of a course designed from the outline of an article in World Book Encyclopedia, and even a photography course description I plan to adapt for my second child.   Mary Schofield also discusses prepackaged courses as well as how to alter them.  You can read HSLDA’s interview with her here If you plan to alter or design courses, this book is worth getting.

Homeschooling the High Schooler: Combined Volumes 1&2, by McAlister and Oneschak does not seem to be available anymore.  It is a user-friendly volume that discusses planning and course contracts, but its real strength is in listing the topics different courses should cover.  This book, also, would appeal most to those who are designing their own courses.  If you can get it second hand for not too much money, it is worth it.

Homeschooling High School: Planning Ahead for College Admission by Jeanne Gowen Dennis, a thorough guide to planning for post-secondary education, is recommended by Michael Farris of HSLDA as well as by Cathy Duffy.  It includes planning, goals, checklists, transcript information, a resource list, and a reading list.  Its main strength is its information on individual colleges.  It is also sprinkled with many insights from college admissions and administrators, including a list of the 10 most common mistakes home high schoolers make.  A preview is available. This book can be very overwhelming, but it will undoubtedly be useful to most homeschooling families who want their children to attend college or university. 

Home School, High School, and Beyond: A Time Management, Career Exploration, Organization, and Study Skills Course by Beverly Adams-Gordon is written to the student rather than the parent.  Chatty and inspiring, it is full of information to help a teen plan a wise course of study and keep effective records.  The book comes with a CD which contains, among other things, all the book’s many forms for planning and record-keeping.  This is a great guide for teens, both training them and empowering them to take charge of their education.  

A long time ago, I read Senior High: A Home-Designed Form+U+La by Barbara Edtl Shelton which is geared to Christian unschoolers.  Well-known Charlotte Mason mom, Karen Andreola, uses it as well.  It has a very exuberant tone and I recall it being a bit disorganized, but many people love it.  On the other hand, many people hate it as well, so it is worth looking at before buying. One can read some excerpts of the book on Shelton’s website.  

Other sources of home high school information include

-Cafi Cohen’s three books, Homeschooling: The Teen Years; Homeschoolers’ College Admissions Handbook; And What About College?  

College-Prep Homeschooling: Your Complete Guide to Homeschooling Through Highschool  by Byers and Byers

High School @ Home: You Can Do It by Diana Johnson

The trouble with each of these books is that a busy home schooling mother of teens may not have enough time to use them—except of course, for the one the teen is supposed to read!  Recently I discovered a possible solution to this problem, a course called Upper Level Home School, which is delivered to your inbox in 13 weekly installments.   So far I’ve only seen the first few weeks, but it seems to be a winner:  simple, quick, organized, and confidence-building.  I’ll let you know more about it once it’s finished.

Hopefully this list of overview books is fairly complete.  If I have omitted any important resources that discuss both courses and grading in detail, please let me know.  It would be great to have a complete list for people to refer to.


  1. proverbsmama says:

    I have also read The High School Handbook, as well as Home School, High School, and Beyond. Great books!

    I would also recommend Transcripts Made Easy and Successfully Homeschooling the High School Student.


  2. AnnieKate says:

    Thank you so much for mentioning those two resources. And thank you for the link you included in your comment.

    To anyone else reading this, do check out that blog post on this topic. There are some great ideas. I plan to check out the e-zines that are mentioned.

  3. Canadagirl says:

    Thank you for all these links ! I have the Form U la book. I will be checking out these links ! How many kids do you have ?

    Blessings in Him<><


  4. AnnieKate says:

    HI Mary,

    I hope you enjoy the links! There's a wealth of information out there.

    What do you think of the formula book?


    Annie Kate

  5. Erin says:

    Reading your list I suddenly realised I’ve never read a homeschooling high school book, except for an oldie, Teenage Liberation Handbook. I would love to read Cafi Cohen’s books, alas I know no-one who has them.
    Thank you for joining in the Carnival:)

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