Over the years I've had many frenzied mother's of soon-to-be high schoolers ask me what my high school homeschool curriculum is. Do I use one of the providers for high school? Do I put my own curriculum together? Do I change it up for each child? How did I decide what to do?
Back when my eldest daughter was about to enter high school, I started doing research on what types of course are taught in most school districts. I looked at what Seton requires, what Mother of Divine grace offers. I also looked at what some colleges want to see in their applicants. Based on all of that, I came up with a template of what high school would look like for my kids.
For the most part I don't change it for each child. They all take the same amount of courses per subject, but they might have a choice in some areas of the content or in what year it gets taken. For example, in science, they might choose from Earth Science, Biology, General Science and Physical Science.
English 4 years
Math 4 years
Foreign Language 2 years
Natural Science 3 - 4 years
Social Science 4 years
Religion 4 years
Practical and Fine Arts 2 - 4 years
Physical Education 4 years
Electives 2 - 4 years
These requirements net them about 25 - 26 credits upon graduation, which is above what most states require.
Here is a breakdown of what courses are required for each of the subjects:
English: Composition, grammar and vocabulary (each 1 semester), American Literature, World Literature and possibly Speech (either through the junior college or through a co-op)
Math: Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra II, then either Trigonometry or Consumer Mathematics
Foreign Language: 2 years of any language
Natural Sciences: Choice of Biology, Earth Science, Physical Science, General Science, Anatomy, Chemistry
Social Sciences: American History, American Government, World History, World Geography
Religion: Introduction to Catholicism, Scripture Study, Apologetics, Morality
Practical and Fine Arts: This is comprised of classes in drama, music, home ec, woodworking, etc.
Physical Education: This is comprised of outside sports, dance groups or physical activities we do as a family (weight lifting, exercise challenges, etc)
Electives: This is comprised of any other area of study the particular child might be interested in taking.
For each of these subjects I have some definite choices in books. If you are interested in my choices for any of the above areas, you can go to this page where I have listed my favorites.
I hope that this has helped you in your quest to develop your own high school homeschool curriculum. At the very least, I hope that it has answered some of your questions and that it has given you the courage to venture into the wonderful world of homeschooling your teenagers! It is definitely an adventure!