Welcome to the month-long series “Homeschool HIGH SCHOOL Made Easy,” a follow-up to the popular “Homeschool Made Easy” series (now published on kindle). I’m sharing tips from my experience as a homeschool graduate and homeschool mother, showing YOU how easy and enjoyable these high school years can be for you and your teen. Be sure to sign up for the entire series so you don’t miss a thing!
There is no such thing as a “typical homeschooler” any more than there is such thing as a “normal day.” Are you normal? I don’t have to tell you that I’m not!
Yet when my children were approaching middle school, I wondered what a typical day of high school homeschooling would look like for us. How would we finish all that work? How much would my student do on his own? How would we cram sports and music and ministry and work into our already-packed-full family calendar? Would I lose my mind?
Ok, the answer to the last question is “yes,” but not because of homeschooling. I’m just nuts. You don’t have to be nuts to homeschool high school, but it helps explain the madness to others.
Anyway, after some trial and error and missteps and adjustments, we’ve settled into a nice routine for our high school years. We worked out a lot of kinks with my oldest (now graduated), and my daughter is making this homeschool high school life all her own.
So to help you imagine how a busy family manages it all through the teen years, I thought I’d share with you a “typical” week (whatever that is!) from my perspective and from Adana, our current high schooler. She’s in 10th grade this year and studying classically (Tapestry of Grace) as well as from textbooks. She’s primarily a visual learner, though she enjoys some auditory activities (especially discussion). On top of her homeschooling, she plays soccer, performs in a local orchestra, works part time, and teaches Cubbies in her church’s AWANA program. She’s currently interested in pursuing a college degree in history or writing.
A Week of Homeschooling High School in Real Life
Adana is taking the following subjects:
History Tapestry of Grace Year 3, rhetoric level (with extra reading)
Math Saxon’s Algebra 2
Science Jay Wile’s Exploring Creation with Chemistry
Music private piano and violin from me, church music ministry, orchestra
PE club soccer
Each weekday, I set my alarm for 6 am for devotions, journaling, and reading before everyone wakes up. Everyone makes their own breakfast, cleans their rooms, and does a few household chores before we start studies. We should begin Bible time at 8 or 8:30 every day, but lately, it’s been more like 9. Today is my youngest’s turn to do his laundry, so he starts that before we begin.
After we read from the Illustrated Family Bible Stories or A Family Guide to Narnia together and discuss the lesson, we have another group lesson on geography, music history, art appreciation, or church history. Today the youngest reads aloud from the Passport to the World about Bolivia, since we are studying South American history this month.
It’s the beginning of the new week, so everyone gets out their assignment notebooks. I fill in assignments and due dates for the two younger boys while Adana writes down her own goals for the week.
On Mondays, I teach language arts to everyone. Adana and Leandro (8th grade) are both doing Jensen’s Vocabulary. She helps him match the words and definitions for the new list of terms this week. Then I hand her the grading book for her Jensen’s Grammar, and she checks last week’s homework herself. When she’s ready, I give her this week’s test and grade it quickly. She then moves on to other subjects to study while I finish English lessons with the other two boys.
Before lunch, we practice singing. The three of them are learning a special song for church, and Adana and I are rehearsing a duet for next month. Then we each make our own meal, and I read aloud from Of Courage Undaunted.
After lunch every day, everyone works quietly. I write for a couple hours, the boys do homework by moving to a different room or flat surface every 15 minutes. Adana studies quietly in her room then practices the violin and piano and does her Spanish.
Early evening, we work together on house chores. Mondays we pick up the downstairs clutter, vacuum, and dust. Adana finishes up supper for me while I greet David when he walks in. We all sit down to dinner around 5:30.
I visit with David for a few minutes after supper before he takes Adana to soccer practice. The boys play with their friends, and I practice the violin. Everyone is in bed shortly after 9:30.
The day starts the same way, but now we’re looking at math. Adana is working on her geometry on her own and plans to take a test Friday. We eat lunch a little sooner because she has an online literature discussion at 12:30 for 90 minutes. For the rest of the afternoon, she finishes some work in vocabulary, geometry, and grammar then studies her chemistry and practices. After supper, she has soccer practice again.
This is the day Adana works, tending shop for a seamstress. After our morning lessons, she packs a backpack with just about every books she owns, as well as snacks and lunch. I drop her off for several hours, and she works on homework for the rest of the week while waiting for customers.
She finishes geometry work and completes the rest of the vocabulary and grammar homework for the week. Then she reads chemistry and completes the study guide questions and studies for her upcoming test. She completes her AWANA work that remains for the week. Finally, she reads her history assignments, which includes biographies and history books from the early 19th century.
After I bring her home from work, Adana puts her school books away and cooks dinner for the family. We eat early, then David takes all of the children to AWANA. Adana teaches Cubbies and says her own verses for her Journey work.
After our morning time together, we all have history discussion for another hour or two. We discuss the week’s readings and the historical events covered. Our discussions cover not only history but also worldview, church history, geography, and art history. We finish up a little before lunch time. Because Adana has finished so much during work Wednesday, this is a light day for her. She will finish up any remaining written work like church history now, then practice her instruments.
Thursday afternoons we often have field trips to local art museums, zoos, or cultural events. After dinner Thursday evening, Adana and I drive to orchestra rehearsal for two hours.
Friday is a test day. I make sure the boys have completed their assignments and projects for the week, but Adana is more self-directed. Usually, she’ll have a couple tests for me to proctor and grade. She is normally finished before lunch. In the afternoon and evening, she likes to go running, do some babysitting, or watch a classic movie marathon with her little brother.
So while Adana is a very busy teen, homeschooling helps her make the most of her time. While helping me write this, she remarked that she does more than she thought, it just seems manageable because she’s in control of her time.
How about you? How does working independently help your teen do more?
Tell me in the comments below!
This article contains affiliate links to help support this site, but all recommendations are products I actually use and love. I am not a legal expert on graduation requirements in any state; please do your own research and plan accordingly.
Don’t miss out on the series!
Subscribe to get every installment of my new book Homeschool High School Made Easy FREE in your inbox!