Planning a High School Homeschool Year for a Teen with Learning Differences – by Erin Vincent of Nourishing My Scholar
Summer is in full swing, meaning ice cream cones, s’mores, campfires, sleeping under the stars, and planning for the upcoming school year. It seems like we finished our school year only last week, but I am, diligently plodding through curriculum ideas, books, and videos. Jotting down notes and objectives.
I actually enjoy the planning stages of homeschooling high school. As new books and planners arrive, things always seem fresh and full of unique purpose. There’s nothing I love more than getting new books! Unless, of course, it’s used books! 😉
So, how am I planning high school for a kiddo with learning differences such as ADHD, Dysgraphia, and slow processing speed, to name a few? A teen with learning challenges sometimes requires a different approach to school.
Planning a High School Homeschool Year
I start by looking at what has worked in the past. Eleven years ago, we started homeschooling, and I had no idea what worked. But now I’ve got some inclinations.
I get my son in on the planning process. After all, it’s his education. He’s requested more books this year and to study Ancient History.
Think about how your children learn best. For my upcoming sophomore, that means books, videos, audiobooks, and hands-on activities.
What didn’t work? Writing is the bane of his existence. What assistive technology can be used to help?
Consider all these thoughts and others more specific to your teen’s needs as you plan your next school year and make it what you and your teen want it to be.
Setting Goals and Priorities
Next, set the goals and priorities based on what may or may not be required by your state or umbrella school, or maybe you have no regulations, and mom gets to decide what everything looks like.
We are planning my son’s high school year and are looking at the credits needed to graduate per our umbrella school.
Here’s what that looks like so far for my out-of-the-box sophomore:
- English II with a selection of books he and I have decided on, along with WriteShop I & II. We spent one day reading the synopsis of over 30 books to help us narrow down to 10 we felt were a good fit.
- Geometry with Denison Success Geometry because Denison Success Algebra worked so well for him last year. This kid struggles with attention and math, so the Success version works best for him.
- Italian I with a tutor on Outschool, helping craft an Italian course specific to my son’s needs, along with short videos and Duolingo as a supplement. This Outschool tutor has previously offered Italian courses, and my son adored them. I reached out to her and told her about what we needed. She recommends the Ciao Italian book (afflink) to go along with his tutoring with her.
- Biology with a standard Holt biology textbook, four living science books on audible, Crash Course videos, teachers pay teachers worksheets to coincide with the Crash Course videos, and Kristin Moon’s self-paced biology lab videos. We will also incorporate hands-on activities as needed.
- History with a collection of prehistory and ancient history encyclopedias, living books, plus hands-on activities.
- Home Economics – My son wants to learn more about cooking, sewing a button onto his shirt, mending a sock, etc. So, we are going to explore all things home ec this year!
- P.E. with Taekwondo five nights per week. He’s been taking Taekwondo for two years and only has one year left before he tests for his blackbelt!
Don’t forget as you start planning your homeschool year to use what you already have on hand when possible!
Eek, I know; the new curriculum sounds so much better and is so pretty. But there is something to be said for using books and curriculum that you already have. I have several encyclopedias on ancient history that we’ll re-use. There are several others I would like, but this saves me time and money.
Remember to be flexible and pivot when need be. Even as he ages, a multisensory approach has been critical for my teen.
Yes, he did create a Lego model of an animal cell last week. I find that various options for each subject work better than having a single curriculum straight out of the box.
When it comes to planning a high school homeschool year, learning differences are not a one size fits all, and neither are the ways in which we should approach them.
Do what works best for your family and your out-of-the-box teen. Get them in on the planning process and watch as you both come together to create a dynamic team and a memorable homeschool year!
What’s Your Homeschool Mom Personality? Take Jamie’s quiz now and receive a free personality report to help you organize your homeschool based on what your type needs most!