Posts Tagged ‘schedule’

High School Homeschool Curriculum

Friday, September 2nd, 2016


If you are wondering what we are doing for our high school homeschool curriculum this year, you have come to the right place. Today I will be sharing what we plan to use this year for our high school students.

Homeschool Math

We are using Teaching Textbooks, and my oldest two sons (16 and 14) are taking Pre-Calculus. My third son (13) is taking Algebra 2, and my 11-year-old daughter is taking Pre-Algebra. I love this program because I don’t have anything to grade, and I don’t have to teach the material. This is especially important with Pre-Calculus, since I have never taken it in my life!

Homeschool Language Arts

homeschool-language-artsThis post contains affiliate links.

We are focusing on SAT preparation this year, so we are pulling material from these three sources:

I will not be doing every page from the above books, but I will pull the most helpful bits out to strengthen any weaknesses uncovered by the practice SAT tests. We will be doing a lot of essay writing as well, to make sure they are fully prepared for college.

I’m planning to teach Logic to my oldest two sons, to help them in answering questions from the Reading and Writing sections of the test. I will probably do it after finishing Economics, since both Logic and Economics are half-year courses. (Introductory Logic by Douglas Wilson with videos by James B. Nance.)

Homeschool Economics


Instead of history this year, we will be learning about Economics. Here are the books and materials we will be using:

We will also be watching John Stossel DVD’s, which I ordered for free from his website. You can also watch episodes from his program (which used to air on 20/20) straight from his website.

For 12 weeks: We will be watching the 20-min. video of Economics for Everybody on Monday nights, followed by discussion questions. Then we will read one chapter from the Basic Economics textbook and answer those discussion questions. Wednesday night we will read another chapter and answer the discussion questions. I wanted my husband to be a part of the class because he is more in touch with current events and how they relate to economics.

There are 12 segments on Economics for Everybody, and each week we cover two chapters from the textbook. The kids will read Honest Money on their own during reading time.

Homeschool Science

My oldest two sons have already taken Biology, Chemistry, and Human Anatomy, and we filmed everything we did. These videos are inside the Unit Study Treasure Vault and are well worth the low cost of joining the site just for those high school science videos. Next year we will be doing Marine Biology and filming everything.

My youngest two have not taken Biology yet, so they will be taking it this year. It is a prerequisite for Marine Biology next year, which all four of my kids will be taking.

My older two will graduate next year with a phenomenal education including Shakespeare, great works of literature, theology of the Old and New Testaments, creative writing, classical art, etc. Because we do not do Junior High, we do six years of high school, so that we have school days that end by lunch–and we actually enjoy our lives!

Homeschool Spanish

We did a year of Rosetta Stone during the summer. This coming school year we will do Years 2 & 3, and the following year we will do Years 4 & 5. I am fluent in Spanish, so I plan to do some fun field trips and activities to go along with our study. I would love to visit Guatemala where I grew up to show my kids what it’s like to live in a third-world country.

Homeschool Art


We have been doing a class called Mixing with the Masters, and we will complete the class this fall. There are six famous artists with three art projects per artist for a grand total of 18 finished art projects. We are using this class for high school art credit, and we are learning a lot about the techniques of the great artists.

Homeschool Bible

Every year we read through the entire Bible on audio while eating breakfast. Earlier in 2016, we filmed unit studies of I & II Thessalonians all the way to Revelation. These included skits and other hands-on activities that brought the books to life. They are all accessible in the Bible section of the Vault.

Over the summer I read the following books:

  • Because the Time is Near: John MacArthur explains the Book of Revelation (We compared his pre-trib stance with John Piper’s post-trib stance and saw that there were LOTS of Scriptures that go against pre-tribulation rapture.)
  • Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (This is gory, but I am preparing my children to be martyrs. I am teaching them to stand for their faith in the face of the persecution that is coming.)
  • Heaven by Joni Erickson Tada (because all that butchery and death from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs is too much to bear without the clear vision of heaven, which is where all wrongs will be made right and there will be no more suffering or sorrow.)

We also learned note-taking skills at church. Because of reading the three books listed above, we are behind in our yearly Bible reading and will need to boogy to get it done by the end of December!

Oh, and my kids are watching this series for Bible class as well: The Bible Project. These videos are the books of the Bible explained in chart form in about 10 minutes with drawings. Phenomenal.

PE is hiking and swimming and bicycling.

That’s it.

Linking up to Curriculum Week at iHomeschool Network.

Creating a Homeschool Schedule

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014


Do you need help creating a homeschool schedule?

Yesterday I participated in a panel with several homeschooling parents, where we discussed many topics related to creating a schedule for your homeschool. What are the pros and cons of loose and rigid schedules? How do you create a schedule that works for you? What does your schedule look like, and why do you do it that way? How do you even begin to organize your day as a homeschool mom?

Here is the video panel workshop, answering all these questions:

My biggest secret for creating a homeschool schedule:

The biggest secret for how I get done the things that matter in homeschooling and in life is this: I pray about each activity and ask God what I should be doing, and what I shouldn’t be doing. I prioritize what’s important, and I don’t do every activity that comes along.

My current homeschool schedule:

Almost everything I’m doing right now for homeschooling revolves around the Bible. We are filming the entire Bible, brought to life in skits and hands-on activities, from Genesis to Revelation, to put into the Bible section of the Vault. We are also doing Earth and Space by Bright Ideas Press, and we are filming what we are doing as we blog about it. That’s all we have time for. (We did a full year of history last semester.) The kids get their math done first thing in the morning, then we have Bible class (includes writing, art, reading, and history), then we do hands-on science. After this we have lunch, then silent reading for an hour. This is what our schedule looks like right now.

8:00 am–Breakfast
8:30 am–Math
10:00 am–Bible class
11 am–Science class
12 noon–lunch & silent reading

More schedule-related articles, videos, and workshops I’ve done in the past, that can give you some ideas for creating a homeschool schedule:

Sample Homeschool Schedule

Thursday, September 13th, 2012


Before I type out our homeschool schedule and courses for this school year, I would like to say that if your children are not in high school, there is no reason to do more than one unit study at a time. Do math first thing in the morning; then an in-depth unit study should include (over the course of the year) history, science, literature, reading, writing, and art. Unit studies are the best way to learn, where you splash into one topic and surround yourself with it. All high school and college courses are in-depth unit studies. There is no other way to learn something in a thorough fashion. If you are interested in gardening, and you voraciously read everything you can get your hands on about gardening, you are doing a personal unit study on gardening.

Textbooks are thin rocks skimming upon the surface of a pond, never going deeply enough to give true knowledge that can be remembered for the rest of your life. Textbooks are churning out illiterate children in our public school system (a failing system), and the only reason private schools are successful with textbooks is because the creative teachers make the material into unit studies. I’ve seen it with my own eyes when I was a teacher in the schools, and I’m telling you the truth.

My 10-year-old and 12-year-old have been ready for high school science for years because they have done all the sciences in depth already through unit studies. (My Unit Study Treasure Vault includes our unit studies we’ve done over the years to get to such a high level so young.) My 10-year-old and 12-year-old both read on a college level. I believe their deep knowledge in all subject areas is due to the great unit studies we’ve done.

I don’t feel comfortable sending young teenagers to college to be influenced by ungodly professors at such a formative time in their lives. For this reason I did not start high school biology when my older two kids were 8 and 10, even though they were ready. After praying about it and not wanting to hold them back any longer, I’ve decided to teach high school biology this year, using Apologia Biology.

This year we are doing a Renaissance Unit Study. It’s really a literature unit study, since Shakespeare is the main topic we will be covering. We’ve already watched our first Shakespeare play, and the kids enjoyed it. We will be doing lots of art this year, too.

Bryan (12 years old)

  • Algebra
  • Biology
  • Shakespeare/Renaissance
  • Karate/Swimming

Stephen (10 years old)

  • Pre-Algebra
  • Biology
  • Shakespeare/Renaissance
  • Flag football/Basketball/Swimming

Nathaniel (9 years old)

  • 6th grade math
  • Science kits and unit studies, delight-directed
  • Shakespeare/Renaissance
  • Flag football/Basketball/Swimming

Rachel (7 years old)

  • 3rd grade math
  • Science kits and unit studies, delight-directed
  • Shakespeare/Renaissance
  • Gymnastics/Swimming


  • 7am-8am: Math
  • 8am-9am: Bible/Breakfast/Reading
  • 9am-10am: ~break~
  • 10am-11am: Biology
  • 11am-noon: ~break~
  • Noon-1pm: Shakespeare/Renaissance/Lunch
  • 1pm-2pm: ~silent reading~

My older two sons are reading G.A. Henty historical fiction books during “naptime,” when it is quiet at my house. They are reading through the Renaissance time period. (Last year they read the Henty books set during the medieval time period.) My sons just read a fun book about microscopes during their silent reading time as well, since the first chapter in biology includes becoming familiar with microscopes.

My younger two children read to me right after breakfast. I sometimes throw in a craft for the kids to do around 9am. If any of the kids woke up at 8am instead of 7am, they do their math after breakfast. I sometimes work one-on-one with a child for writing. Otherwise they relax and play. My 3rd son played with snap circuits during part of his free time this week. My daughter had a tea party with her dolls. My oldest son likes to draw during his free time, and my second son loves reading Calvin and Hobbes comic books during his free time, giggling to himself. This is my day in a nutshell.

Live Life Deliberately

Friday, January 21st, 2011

live-life-deliberatelyWhen people ask me how I accomplish everything that I accomplish, I tell them that I live life deliberately. At any particular time of day, I am doing something on purpose. If I stop what I’m doing to talk to my child, and I end up talking to him for an hour, that was not a detour from what needed to be done. That was what needed to be done. I took that hour on purpose. My goal of deepening my relationships with my children is higher than my business. Each hour of the day, you will find me doing something on purpose, with a specific reason. This is how I live a quality life that counts for something.

Some people seem to think that leading people to Christ is the only thing that is worthwhile, and they resent having to do laundry. I’ve learned that laundry can be the center of the will of God and exactly what God wants you to be doing. If you were to go evangelize at that moment, you would be disobedient to God, and nothing good would come of it. If you think that all your mundane tasks at home count for nothing, you’re wrong. Each task is given to you by God, and you are in the center of the will of God to do those tasks well. If you neglect them, you are not being faithful with what God has given you to do.

Often life is full of small things for years, especially when you have young children. But even then, I wrote down my priorities. When my children were young, I spent every spare moment studying my Bible or reading about how to optimally teach young children. And I did not neglect my children while doing it. The hundreds of hours I spent studying early childhood has now made me knowledgeable in this field, especially in the area of cognitive development. I implemented the best ideas with my own children over the years, modifying other people’s ideas that weren’t quite right, discarding some ideas that I knew were wrong, and forming my own opinions. I was just asked to be a speaker for an Early Childhood conference this March. None of that time has gone to waste.

I did the same with organization. I studied how to maximize my time and space so that I had more time to spend on things that mattered to me. I also wanted to have more energy for my husband in the evenings, so I wanted all the mundane things to be done in the most efficient way so that it didn’t drain all my energy. I learned how to do this.

One time, years ago when I had a baby and two toddlers, I had a guest come over and watch how I conducted my day. She was astounded by how much I got accomplished. None of my day was wasted. Don’t get me wrong. Resting was part of my day. Just being with my children was part of my day. But each moment, I was deliberately choosing what I was doing.

I’m a professional mother, I told her. She was stunned for a moment, then she told me later that my statement changed the way she viewed her job as a mother. I am constantly growing and learning in the areas that God has set before me.

Choose what you will do with your time. Don’t just let it go by. Time is one of those things, that when it’s gone, it’s gone forever. You can’t get it back. Don’t live a life of regret. Do what you should be doing. Better yet, yield to God each moment and ask Him what you should be doing. And don’t proceed until you know.