Homeschooling High School: Student Led Curriculum

Student Led Classes for Home School

My Mahayla is a junior now.  (Where does the time go?)  Being homeschooled with a Charlotte Mason style education her whole school career has not only taught her loads and loads of real knowledge, but given her a passion for learning.  She especially loves history, literature and horses/farming.

Homeschooling High School and Following a Student’s Passions

Since Mahayla has been learning in natural ways with real, living learning – especially living literature – from the beginning, we’ve tried to keep as much as possible similar in the upper years.  So, once she entered high school, many of her classes have still been very much CM inspired.

That’s a tad scary.  The urge to turn everything over to the expert textbooks can be overwhelming when you consider the magnitude of these upper level years.

We have turned to some textbooks – and have loved the ones we’ve used!  (Apologia and Saxon, for example)  However, the subjects that inspire her biggest passions haven’t been found in textbooks.  She naturally wants to forge her own trail with library books, research, field trips and projects.

Instead of forcing her to fit into a particular curriculum, we’ve been allowing at least some of her classes to be student led.  How does this work?

1. Charlotte Mason Style Classes We’ve Designed

Together, we’ve chosen living literature, good research materials and expected papers and projects to prove understanding.  Sometimes, we’ll pick and choose some meaningful activities from various curriculum we have around the house, but choose not to use any one curriculum as-is.  The key is in allowing the student to have a say in how this type of class is put together.  Two of those courses this year include:

Modern American History

American Literature

Homeschooling High School Student Led Course

2. Completely Student-Led Classes

This year, for the very first time – but certainly not the last – we are allowing Mahayla to chart her own course in the subject she is most passionate about…AgriScience.

Below is our outline for planning and keeping on track with her studies.  Just about any class could be developed using the following guidelines.

Her responsibilities:

  • Create a list of potential agriscience subjects to study.
  • Once approved, outline the subjects to be studied each month of the school year.
  • Each monthly agriscience subject will need to include an high school level informational book, notes taken from the book, a lab activity (in the field), and a project to show-what-you-know.
  • Keep a weekly list of what’s been completed.
  • Meet weekly with mom for accountability.

My responsibilities:

  • Approve the subject list and order of study.
  • Approve the books before reading.
  • Meet weekly to look over notes, talk about projects and help tweak the learning path.
  • Provide opportunities for things she desires to do, go, and/or buy to make the course meet her expectations.

We’re only a month into this entirely student-led course, but it’s going SO well.  Mahayla is incredibly happy to be studying a subject of such interest – ahem, that means no complaints.  And in our weekly meetings, I’ve been impressed that she’s pushing herself harder than I would likely push if I were the one planning the lessons.

Have you encouraged student-led courses for your homeschooling high school student?  I’d love to hear about them!

This post has been linked to:

Homeschool High School

Cindy

9 thoughts on “Homeschooling High School: Student Led Curriculum

  1. Blessings!

    Hello. I popped in from a post on pinterest while blog surfing. We homeschool to. My beloved husband and best friend is an engineer by career and we both went to public school. We decided to select a curriculm when it came time to progress in math. Teaching our two growing blessings to read was much easier than potty training. *big smile* My point here, I’m getting to it I promice, your living math… … I found your living math spot and your have triggered my interst. If you wouldn’t mind and could find the time, I am interested in what all that includes. I thought I would give a little lead in so you know where I am comming from. Thank you for sharing your homeschooling plans here for others to read and learn from. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

  2. Pingback: Gossip Moms » The Hottest Homeschooling Blogs

  3. Cindy Post author

    Thanks for your comment. Living math has been such a blessing in our homeschool. You can learn more about how we add it into our school days via my e-book, Loving Living Math and/or my blog category of living math lessons. You’ll love adding living math! :)

  4. Keri

    This our 1st year homeschooling high school. I must admit, I have been dreading these years, but so far so good. ((knock on wood, lol!)) There is a website that has been a wealth of info more me called, “Lets Homeschool High School.com”. Might be something to check out, since your in the same boat as I am ;)
    Anyways, I have never really considered myself to have a “learning style”, but we do like to do Unit Studies based off of our children’s interest. We have not really started any this year, as we just started a week ago, but I am sure she will come up with something that interest her soon.

  5. Heather Hurt

    Is living Math… for High School also? My dtr is in 9th grade and state core standards require Algebras and Geometry… What do you do for Mihayla, if you don’t mind my asking? Thanks in advance!

  6. Cindy Post author

    Heather, living math can certainly be for high schoolers! I still focus on about 4 days of textbook work and one day of living math for Mahayla (11th grade.) Living math includes real projects like calculating the amount of cattle mineral we need for x number of feed for the next 3 months, for instance. Also, helping with our checkbooks, bills, stocks, etc. We still included a lot of logic as well. This only tips the iceberg, but I hope it answers your question!

  7. Sarah

    Popping over from the Pinterest party.

    This style of high school sounds wonderful. Sadly, here in the UK, the exam system is such that for high schoolers we have to follow a very prescribed curriculum even using specific texts from the exan board. We are starting these a little early so that we can fit in more interest led learning about the subject but it is a challenge.

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