Am I Qualified to Teach High School? Resources to Guide You...
August 8, 2018
Hey Mama,

Spit and sticky junk in your hair. Dirt under your nails. Your shirt always has something smeared on it. Your lap is used for cuddling babies—but also for bigger kids who won’t budge (they don’t even fit there right and hang over). And it’s messy. Pants are meant to be dirtied and smudged—yours, anyway. Tears soak your shoulder, and your neck is always sweaty (your sweat, theirs, or both). Eventually, vomit doesn’t really smell all that bad, right? You’re so used to it. Wiping noses? Gross, but you’re a pro.

That’s a chapter. A chapter of your life. And it feels like an ENTIRE lifetime, but it’s not. It’s a season, and that’s it. Blink. You won't believe how fast it's gonna be gone.

High school is around the corner—and your big kids will still need the care and dedication that went into their early education. But I don't know how to teach high school, you say.

First off, the right resources are key. Check out the gorgeous Summer 2018 edition of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine: The “Higher Education and Post High School Opportunities” resource is awesome!

Next, take heart as you read what other experienced homeschoolers have to say about homeschooling high school in The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine:

And, finally, remember, Mama . . .

Once it’s gone, you’re not getting it back with these same kids. They’ll be adults, and the relationship will change. You’ll still lend a shoulder and be there for their tears. You’ll still hold their hand (maybe when she’s in labor having your grandchild). They may mess up your heart instead of your shirt for a time, as they transition. But that’s yet another chapter, another season to come. Good and bad, joy and pain, happiness and tears. It’s a messy life. So very messy.

A beautiful mess. You wouldn’t trade it. It’s yours, and you fiercely continue to defend it. Such a blessing. God-given, truly.
No one promised a perfect family life. No one offered you children who never mess up. No one said every slot would be filled with the right-sized slate. Because that would not be reality. And you are a real kind of Mama. Transparent. Genuine. Realistic. Human. Alive. Willing. Available. Never leaving these kids. Never taking for granted what the Lord has given you—Motherhood.

That’s you. A true blue Mother. Forever committed. And Mama, guess what? His hand is on your head tonight.

- gena
Do you know how to write a resume? Suppose a family friend alerts you to a part-time job opportunity or you learn of an outstanding scholarship in your area of interest. You are much more likely to achieve your goal in such situations if you have an up-to-date, professional-looking resume at the ready.

A resume is an organized summary of your education, employment, community service, honors, and achievements. It’s a standard document used by most people seeking employment, but it’s also a useful tool for a high school student.

Suggestions for Writing a Resume

1.  Keep the style simple and let your accomplishments speak for themselves. Use ordinary fonts and print sizes and avoid backgrounds and borders. 
2.  Choose categories that reflect what’s pertinent to you. Include: Education, Employment, Community Service, Awards and Honors. You might also choose to include Sports and Social Activities. If you are talented in music or dance, you might use Performances. Combine categories if you have only one or two items for them.
3.  List your categories from most significant to least significant. Within categories, list the items from most recent to oldest.
4.  One or two pages are typical for a high school student.
5.  Proofread everything diligently, remembering that “Spellcheck will let ewe down.”

The content of your resume will change with time and experience. Keep one master copy of your current resume in which you include everything, whether or not you’re sure of its relevance.

A resume can provide an edge over your competition for a scholarship or a job. Remember to put achievements on paper and not into your heart. As Christians, we are to be in the world, not of the world. God loves us, and He loves us for who we are, not for what we’ve done.

Marilyn McCusker Shannon holds a master’s degree in human physiology, with a minor in biochemistry, from Indiana University’s Medical Sciences Program . She is a tenured, part-time instructor of biology at Indiana University–Purdue University at Fort Wayne , where she has taught human anatomy and physiology for more than thirty years. Marilyn is the co-author of Apologia’s Advanced Biology: The Human Body, 2nd edition. She and her husband, Ron, are the parents of nine children, all of whom were homeschooled from the start.
Teaching multiplication and addition are daunting enough, but when you think of algebra and geometry, or world history and literature, it’s understandable that you might be worried whether you can do this thing—teach high school at home. Listen, though, you really can! We’ve known lots and lots of families who have . . . from all kinds of different backgrounds.

There are a few things you need to know, though:

You are a lot smarter, wiser, and more focused than you were in high school. Those subjects are all going to be easier when you bring an adult’s mind to them, and you aren’t distracted by who likes you or what shoes the other girls are wearing.

You’ve been getting ready for this. All those times teaching long division to all your children have strengthened your foundation and will make high school a lot easier. You’ve learned how to homeschool your children and manage your home—this is just the next step in the process.

Your kids are way smarter than you think. Young adults who love to learn and are motivated can teach themselves practically anything, especially if you use a homeschool-oriented curriculum that doesn’t assume there is an expert on hand to teach.

There’s more help out there than you can imagine. Is there a subject that just gives you the collywobbles? There are online classes, co-ops, dual enrollment, tutors, video lessons, and all kinds of things to help you get through it. We’ve used those things to help our kids learn languages we don’t know and to play instruments we can’t play, too. It’s amazing what is available.

It’s worth it. When your children leave home, all you will have is relationships—their relationship with God and their relationship with you. These next few years are critical to building and cementing those relationships. That makes it worth whatever it takes to teach them high school at home. Homeschooling during high school allows you much more time with your kids—time that will soon be past. We’ve graduated four of our children and we’re so thankful for those high school years!

Get our free Homeschooling High School Resource Pack for encouragement and help, an Editable High School Transcript that got four of our kids admitted to college with scholarships, our College Decision Guide, and more!

Your friends, 
Hal & Melanie
Psychology is the second most commonly-taken college class. It should be in the homeschool curriculum.  can help: turn-key curriculum and online classes.
Marcy Crabtree
We were sitting around the dinner table on Christmas evening. Ben was about eight years old and my husband's aunt began her yearly ritual of quizzing me about homeschooling.

“Just how long are you planning to homeschool him? Will you ever send him to school?”

The unapproving tone of her voice was a clear signal that the answer she was hoping for was not the same one I was about to speak aloud (again). In my hard-headed attempt to be funny, I responded:

“I'm pretty sure I can get him through his bachelor’s degree.”

I was in it for the long haul, but admittedly I sometimes wondered deep down inside if I had what it took. And I know that many other homeschool moms question homeschooling the high school years because, like I feared, they are afraid that they cannot teach their children since they “don’t know everything.”

If this is you, can I offer you a few tips as you look toward homeschooling high school?

Change your teacher mindset, and realize that you are now a facilitator.

You’ve been teaching your child since birth. And just as you have throughout the preschool, elementary, and middle school years, in high school you will continue to answer your student’s questions the best way you can. But in high school, your role is changing to less of a teacher and more of a facilitator. When presented with a question for which you do not know the answer, you will direct your student to do some research online, consult a book, take a class, or even ask an expert on the topic. You will facilitate your child’s learning through all these methods and more.

Encourage independent learning.
One of the reasons I encourage you to become more of a facilitator and less of a teacher once you are homeschooling high school is to push your child toward more independent learning. If you are a typical homeschool mom, you have been smack-dab in the middle of every book, project, unit study, field trip, and outside educational opportunity your child has had. Now is the time to allow your child to complete his homeschool work and learn new skills under your supervision, but without your direct instruction.

Seek God for answers daily.
Though we are in the homestretch now and are feeling good about how things are going in our homeschool, do not be fooled into thinking that our days are always peaceful and smooth. They are not. Homeschooling high school is not for the faint of heart, and we do sometimes struggle with learning issues, attitudes, clutter, laziness, and other character issues (and that's not just the student). We are not a perfect family and do not claim to be. But seeking God daily for help, answers, and strength has gotten all of us through whatever trials we have faced. He is faithful! And it is so worth it.

Marcy Crabtree is a Christian homeschooling mom to one teen son. An encourager at heart, she is passionate about cultivating relationships with other moms and spends much of her time doing so, both on her blog,  Ben and Me , and in social media.
Human Life Alliance: resources to promote the dignity of life, without compromise. Learn to defend a culture of life and chastity through education and life-affirming alternatives to abortion and euthanasia.  (651) 484-1040
Lee Binz, The HomeScholar
The school year is starting, and it’s time to think about why you do what you do, and how to know you’ll be successful in the end. Let’s review your qualifications to teach high school to your teenager.

1. You love your child.
Missteps will occur, but 1 Peter 4:8 says that LOVE covers a multitude of sins. That means that when things go wrong, the love for your child is like the spackle (or makeup foundation) that smooths over mishaps. Everyone has gaps, and we are not immune from that, but we have one ingredient that no other teacher has: love for our child.

2. You know your child.
You know your child, their abilities, and challenges. No other teacher would be able to tell when your child is challenged enough but not overwhelmed by the work. As homeschoolers, we can find that “sweet spot” of perfect balance between “too hard” and “not hard enough.” Know your child and trust yourself and your best judgment. You know them better than anyone, and you can use that knowledge to create perfect homeschool classwork that matches their interests and abilities.

3. You are motivated to succeed.
Parents are motivated to ensure the success of their child. While love is a great motivator, that’s not our only reason for wanting our child to grow up and become literate. We are financially motivated for them to become independent grown adults. We are emotionally invested because we want them to become successful and happy when they grow up. 

4. You have an excellent student-teacher ratio.
Homeschooling is effective and efficient learning with a tutorial-style aspect that can improve learning for every student. We can locate homeschool curriculum that will allow the student to learn how to learn independently. Using management tools from business, we can have a daily meeting with our student to review expectations. Instead of using tests, we can evaluate learning naturally, more like a piano teacher evaluates using all five senses.

5. You are the best high school guidance counselor.
Public school guidance counselors have hundreds of students and spend on average thirty-eight minutes with each teen. Parents spend thirty-eight minutes just talking over breakfast each day. They know their children, the goals, and their abilities, so they are in the best position to guide their child toward a perfect-fit college or career choice. Like a public school, parents can provide an official transcript and high school diploma.

6. Homeschooling is the best way to educate teenagers.
Homeschooling is the best learning environment because teens can learn better when they are safe, and when learning is based on ability level. It’s the best career preparation because parents have time to shape and mold teen behavior while creating a strong work ethic, and statistics demonstrate that homeschooling works. Home educated students have better test scores than their public schooled peers across the board, regardless of race, gender, income, or parents' level of education. It’s because we have that one key ingredient: LOVE. Learn more statistics about homeschooling and why it works.

Lee Binz,  The HomeScholar  is a dynamic speaker and  author   of over 30 books on homeschooling high school. She is an expert on  homeschool transcripts  and getting scholarships. Lee’s mission is to encourage and equip parents to homeschool through high school. You can sign up for her free  monthly homeschool e-newsletter  where you can also get a daily dose of high school help. Check out the  homeschool freebies    on the website. You can also find Lee on Facebook at .
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Homeschooling through high school can be the very BEST years of your homeschooling journey. Be encouraged that you are able to guide your kids through the challenging teen years, help them wrestle with important issues, enjoy fascinating discussions with them, and prepare them for adult life. These can be some of the richest, most rewarding days a homeschooling parent can experience, so don’t be intimidated by high school.

Our high school resources on are here to help you and your student as you chart this new territory and to provide guidance as your child begins to look to the future, whether that includes college or career. A long list of high school courses in all subject areas, including many exciting electives, is available. Academic weighting information is available for most courses. You will find help for creating transcripts, taking the SAT and ACT, finding scholarships, and so much more. Together we can make the high school years great for you and your students, and what a fantastic achievement it will be.

If you haven’t yet joined, come give us a try! If you or someone you know would be interested in teaching or writing for us or helping us adapt existing courses for children with special needs, let us know. You can email me at We look forward to serving you and your family! 

in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
Contest Corner  
For the month of August

Literature has been a component of high school programs for years. However, many textbooks for brick and mortar schools present key topics with the use of excerpts from different novels and plays. Occasionally, they do include an entire play or encourage the teacher to require students to read particular novels. While this may appeal to some, there are other students who want to learn concepts alongside complete works of literature.

Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis from Writing with Sharon Watson is a one-year high school level course which does just that. With eight chapters containing four weeks a piece, it takes two semesters to complete.

To complete the course, you will need to purchase the Textbook ($46) and Teacher’s Guide ($18.) Quizzes administered during the class can be taken online at no charge. Alternatively, you can purchase the Quiz and Answer Manual ($9) which provides copyright usage to your family. The Novel Notebook which is integral to the course is provided as a pdf download at no charge.

Literature Selections contained within this course are found at this link

It is recommended that you purchase the specific edition of the five novels not included in the textbook. That way your student can easily find placement as items are discussed in the lessons and avoid frustration of finding the mentioned passage in a different edition. Ms. Watson has the specific editions of the five novels linked on her product page for ease of purchase.

This course is written so that material can be easily understood by the student with some guidance through the study by a teacher or homeschool parent.

After a short introductory chapter meant to take up to one week to complete, each literature selection is contained within a chapter. Using four weeks to complete each chapter, this program offers the ability to be used as a ‘once a month book club’ or other co-operative learning experience. Ms. Watson has a suggested schedule for this approach in the Teacher’s Guide. For students not working in a group setting, she provides a suggested pace to complete the work in the four-week time period.

At the start of each chapter, the student is given a brief reading for before they begin the selection. Lessons comprise the chapter with notation in the lesson when they should read the assigned text or another item referenced. Along the way, they will encounter questions to help them dig deeper.

Walking hand in hand with the textbook, is the Novel Notebook. This pdf file is intended to be printed and placed in a three-ring binder. Visually appealing pages seek to engage the student in more thorough contemplation of the key components of the reading. Individual lessons in the student text will indicate when to work on pages in the notebook. (. . .)

As a busy homeschool parent, I seek out programs that guide my student through the work as well as giving me suggested answers to questions. While I aspire to read novels alongside my student, there are times when life gets busy and I need a helping hand. Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis provides a great framework for my son to follow while giving me the tools I need to mentor him through it. (. . .) 

YOU can WIN this literature set for your homeschool! 

TO ENTER: Click on over to our entry page and follow the instructions! Contest ends at midnight, the last day of the month.
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