Homeschooling High School: A Look at Biology

I have this crazy idea of homeschooling both of my boys through high school. 

In the beginning, I can remember thinking that we’d go through middle school, but there would be no way I’d be able to homeschool high school. I admittedly had no idea if we’d make it through year one let alone year five, six, or seven, but here we are. Still alive and smiling on most days

As I write this post, we’re almost through 9th grade with my oldest. 

Much of my days are filled with algebra, biology, and plenty of other stuff I thought I’d never care about  again after I graduated high school. Who knew I’d grow up to be me?

It’s funny how much things have changed for our family since the start of our homeschooling journey. What seemed impossible five years ago feels like a path we could take now. 

Will we continue homeschooling forever?

I don’t know.  

For us, homeschooling is a decision that we prayerfully reconsider each year. As parents, I think we have to stay open-minded to what our children need as they grow and mature. If I only ever thought of education one way, we would have never found the blessing of homeschooling in the first place!  

That being said, homeschooling isn’t just an educational choice for us anymore. It’s a lifestyle choice and one we believe in and love. God willing, this is what we’ll be doing for another 9 years.

Gulp. 

So here we are. Getting ready for 10th grade. 

High school seems to be one of those hush-hush topics within the homeschooling community.

I’ve noticed it online and in real life circles. People just tend to shy away from talking about older kids and higher level curriculum.

I get it. 

Teaching high school is difficult. Who wants to talk about that, right?

It’s hard to admit our homeschooling struggles and I think it’s even more difficult to discuss them as our children grow up. 

Most days I’m reminded of my own limitations as a teacher, but if I’ve learned anything on this homeschooling journey, it’s this:

Homeschooling high school is just another part of the journey. You can do it! 

Here’s what I can tell you about homeschooling high school so far:

The curriculum is hard. 

There will be material you won’t remember. 

The student can be, um, er…challenging.  

BUT?

High school students are smart!

They’re independent.

They’re resourceful.

They teach themselves!

More importantly, they can teach us if we let them! 

Want to know more about homeschooling high school?

 
Over the coming weeks, I plan to share more of what homeschooling high school looks like for us.

Ask me questions! I’ll try to answer them in the post series. 

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In the meantime, how about a look at biology? 

So, what does high school biology look like in our home?

 
Homeschooling High School Biology

What we use:
Apologia Exploring Creation with Biology, 2 Volumes, 2nd Edition
I’m a die hard Apologia science user. My boys love it. I love it.

Other supplies:
I decided to invest in a quality microscope this year. I highly recommend having one in your homeschooling arsenal. It’s opened up the opportunity for so much more discovery and learning. I went with this one from Home Science Tools. 

Other than that, the majority of supplies needed for labs are every day items that can be easily found around the house. 

hs_biology

The notebook:

I require my son keep a 3-ring binder with 5 sections for: 
biology terms
notes
on your own (comprehension questions)
lab reports
tests

My role:
My role in teaching biology isn’t nearly as involved as I thought it was going to be. Over the summer, I was all oh my goodness how am I going to teach biology? But the truth is…I don’t teach much. 

Biology is a subject that my son enjoys. He makes my job really easy! 

He reads the text on his own, we review the material together, and I assist with labs when he needs it. He takes a test at the end of each module and as long as he does well on the test, we move on to the next chapter. 

I also gauge his understanding of a concept through discussion during oral reviews and experiments. I really enjoy having him take what he’s learned and share it with his brother on a 3rd grade level. If he can teach it to someone else, I know he gets it. 

His role:
I would say the majority of his time in biology is independent study.

homeschooling high school biology

As he’s gotten older, I’ve felt guilty about the amount of time he spends working independently.

I worry I don’t give him enough one-on-one time, but he’s 15. He needs to learn to manage his own studies. The one-on-one he really needs from me has nothing to do with school. 

I’ve learned that teaching our kids to be independent students is one of the greatest gifts we can give them. 

biology

There’s usually a science experiment happening in my kitchen, things are probably growing somewhere (on purpose) in my fridge, and I almost never know the answer to any question. 

Just remember it’s OK if you don’t have all the answers! 

I often find myself saying, “I have no idea! But, we will find the answer together.”

And then, we do. 

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Adrienne is a Florida homeschooling mom of two boys, follower of Jesus, and lover of words. She's an imperfect parent surviving on God's grace and mercy, lots of yoga, and regular doses of salty ocean air! Find her as @TheMommyMess on Twitter and connect with her on Facebook.

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Comments

      • says

        Kind words, Adrienne. But I have to tell you, lately I keep thinking, if I knew then what I know now I would’ve home schooled my children. With one going off to high school next year and the other in middle school I’m not up for the battle with them to try and change things, but so many times I’m frustrated not only by the things that go on in the classroom, but the things that kids say and do to each other. So, YOU inspire me for your courage to take on this daunting task. Brava!

  1. says

    You are really enlightening my mind at the moment. We start with the middle school one next academic year, but I have been very nervous with this matter. We are far away from the USA and have to wait the books to arrive 6 months later, so that we have to use the local boring curriculum first. Thank you very much for sharing. Love it a lot.
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