St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Monday, May 09, 2011

What courses does your high school home schooled student do, what do you use, how do you do it?

Oh, if I had a nickel for every time I’ve been asked this question now.  The last six years of our home schooling lifestyle has included high school.  My oldest son graduated into college in ‘09, and now our daughter is on her way as well.

What has the last six years of homeschooling high school looked like when parent led? To begin, it has not included any on-line courses, or post secondary at a college location. We have truly “home schooled” in every sense of the word, as law describes it. We exercised complete control over content and resources used. It has included daily catechism, deep and broad and solid.   For us, it resembles what we originally found in Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum, by Laura Berquist. The beauty of this program is that each year layers itself.  Each courses is meaningful and serves a formation. Whether you are Catholic, or not, this guide book to classical Christian education is truly a God-send.  Many protestants have utilized it happily and successfully. I consider ourselves very blessed to have come across it very early in our home education journey.

To sum up, I’ll plot it here for you what our daughter’s transcript looks like and put in some of the links to the resources we’ve used to accomplish this transcript.  Our son’s transcript was very similar with just a few different courses here and there.

Please note students using the History syllabi from Mother of Divine Grace receive 2.0 credits due to the amount of literature integrated with the history.


Four Years High School Home Education:

9th grade

P.E. and Fine Arts as well (1.0 credits each)

10th grade

P.E. and Fine Arts or other electives as desired; keep in mind this program is very literature based, particularly in the area of history


11th Grade

P.E. & Fine Arts & Electives as desired

12th Grade

Our daughter also worked on the yearbook staff  and newsletter team of our local home school co-op, sang in choirs, dramas, and worked on the VBS team and basically did a variety of electives throughout her high school career. 

One size does not fit all when it comes to home schooling through high school, and like I mentioned our son’s transcript read a bit differently but for the most part the core courses were the same.

Jamie Piano3 

I highly recommend reading Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum especially if you are considering home schooling through high school.  What is nice about the program is it is flexible giving a few choices in sciences and maths and is thorough in core standards and formation.  For Catholics it’s a wonderful Catholic education choice; for other faiths it is an excellent educational choice, with just the right amount of traditional rigor but yet flexible to work with each individual child.  Would I change anything?…personally, I would plug in a different Latin program as I felt the Henle Latin, while good, lacked support for the latin novice and parent who was attempting to teach it.  I would prefer more support resources to tap into.  But, honestly, no complaints!  A fine program that has now successfully gotten my older children into a liberal arts college both receiving excellent higher end merit awards for their GPAs and college board test scores. 

I’d love to answer your questions about homeschooling through high school, please feel free to contact me any time.  God has richly blessed us and I know he is just waiting to bless you too!


How we did it…….I’ll leave that for another post Smile


Eva said...


I noticed that you have been using MODG's Earth Science syllabus for high school. Would you mind sharing what kind of hands-on projects are included?

Thanks so much.


Home School Mom: Denise said...

Hi Eva, there is a large rock study within the latter part of the Geology study, where the student handles specimens of various rocks,i.e. quartz, chalk, limestone, etc, much more, and learn to identify. In the weather course they are encouraged to follow and chart weather changes; they draw the world Ocean currents in the Oceanography and they draw a diagram of the layers of the sun, as well as encouraged to use a telescope for solar system study. There is more, I'm sure I'm missing something! They also write a short essay on each worksheet completed that gives them practice in factual forthright dry scientific writing including all the facts and research on their worksheets via Milliken worktexts. Hope this helps! It's a very full formative course.

Eva said...

Thanks so much, Denise. I am thinking about using this for my rising 9th grader, a girl. I want to enroll her with Seton, but I would prefer this course for science.

Home School Mom: Denise said...

I know you can swap out sciences with Seton, but you do have to pay a bit extra to do it, as I recall. Not trying to plug Modg :)...but, it is flexible enough that you pay your flat fee of tuition, and it covers the whole family. Then they offer on line classes for additional cost, and Teacher Assisted courses for additional. But within that, you have several math choices, sciences and sequences that are all very adaptable to the child. If there is something a mother really likes to already use, say a grammar or language program, or a math track, generally it can still be honored and done and credit given. I'm glad if my little blog post was helpful to you Eva :) God bless!

Eva said...

Yes, I know about the extra fee, but it is not a lot. I always liked MODG, but I don't like the price! If you do not want to enroll as a family they are so expensive! I like to mix and match in the lower grades, but do like a formal high school program for the higher grades. Since I work part time I was looking for a program that took the pressure of me and was all spelled out. MODG is too open in addition to the price tag for what I needed and so I went with OLVS for my oldest. It is not perfect, but my son likes the materials and it gives me the opportunity to supplement with the things that are important to us. Now my daughter would not do well with a program like that, but again, MODG is too expensive for just one child and needs too much of my input. I looked at St. Thomas Aquinas Academy and Kolbe, but I think Seton will work best for our purposes. Also, MODG makes you finish your school year on time. That is good in general, but since my husband and I are both working and we also travel (last summer we were in Europe for two months, we are both professors), we never manage to finish everything on time. OLVS and Seton do not punish you if it takes you longer to finish a grade than they thought it would take you. OLVS has too much paper work, I wish they would do more online for that, but that is a minor complaint. So, in theory I like MODG, the lower grades are similar to our eclectic approach, I love Laura Berquist's book, but for now I think Seton and OLVS will work better for our situation.

Maybe with child number 5 I will try them, you never know!

Thanks again for sharing your experiences, I always love to read and hear what other people are doing.

Home School Mom: Denise said...

I sure understand, Eva. But one of the reasons we began 18 years ago, and have stayed with Modg for over a decade enrolled now is the price precisely. The one flat tuition fee, covers the entire family, it's not per child, it's "whole family". So for us that works. So for big families enrolling all the children it's definitely economical. That also gives you all the free syllabi/lesson plans per grade, your own family website, a consultant for advice and transcript keeping, and you don't have to enroll further with on line classes (LS), or TS (teacher assistant), which is where it gets more pricey, but is still so valuable if you need it, and much less expensive than a Catholic or Christian private school. So I've found it very reasonable and to receive an accredited diploma. Still, you know your situation best and what works best for you and your family. It is good to shop around and compare for sure. Many blessings :)

Eva said...

That is very true if you enroll the whole family, but I like a mix of Waldorf and Charlotte Mason ideas for grades 1-8, so that would not go with MODG. If I were not doing that, I am sure I would enroll also. I do not like OLVS or Seton for the lower grades, too much busy work, but I do like some of their books here and there. Being from Germany and using a lot of German materials and placing a big emphasis on living foreign languages would make MODG difficult to use for us. But I always praise her book and lesson plans highly and recommend them to many people :). We even hope to take a look at Thomas Aquinas College when we come out to California next spring.

Home School Mom: Denise said...

That would be so nice to stop by TAC when in California. Very lovely, and very authentic ancient liberal arts. I was originally born and raised for a while in Southern Calif - enjoy your trip there!

Eva said...

Oh, really! I was in California in 1987 the last time! I bet things have changed since then.