Twelfth Grade Homeschool Curriculum {2013-2014}

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Twelfth Grade Homeschool Curriculum

This year marks a milestone in our homeschool–we will be graduating our first student! Brandon has only a few requirements to complete before graduating in 2014.

While he could add in a few more courses, Brandon has chosen to take a job where he will be learning some valuable skills. He will be working part-time until his eighteenth birthday in October, and then he will begin a full-time work schedule while completing his senior year.

Twelfth Grade Homeschool Curriculum Plan


Writing is probably Brandon’s least favorite subject. Dare I admit that we have never even attempted a research paper? {gasp}

This year, though, we will be tackling the fearsome research paper. I have not yet found a writing course that covers research papers in a simple, step-by-step way. Please help me with your advice and recommendations!


Because Brandon finds reading easier with the adjustable font on the Kindle (and because I really don’t have space to store any more books), I chose the Kindle edition for all of his literature books this year.

I found all of these classics FREE for Kindle:

SpeechSpeech Boot Camp

This speech course is presented via DVD by Mr. Andrew Pudewa of Institute for Excellence in Writing. Brandon did so well with IEW’s Student Writing Intensive last year that I decided to try the Speech Boot Camp course this year.

Pennsylvania history – Keystone: A History of Pennsylvania

I have to say that I am not completely satisfied with this course, primarily because of its mention of evolution and its lack of Christian perspective on history. However, PA history courses are very difficult to find, and this one will at least meet the state’s requirements.

I will definitely be reading this text aloud to Brandon and taking time to discuss how our viewpoint differs from that of the author.

American governmentSchool of Tomorrow U.S. Civics PACEs

PACEs are not typically my first choice for Brandon, but it was surprisingly difficult to find a government course that would fit our needs. The PACEs are self-contained and require no teacher preparation, although I will probably be reading through the course with Brandon.

BibleSchool of Tomorrow New Testament Church History PACEs

We have been pleased with School of Tomorrow’s Bible courses over the last few years, so this was an easy decision to make. This course covers the roots and history of the New Testament church.

Computer literacyComputer Literacy: Windows 7

Because Brandon’s computer experience has been somewhat limited, I felt that he could use some basic computer instruction and practice. This course is completely new for our family, so I’m not certain yet of how effective it will be.

Overall, I feel less confident in our choices for twelfth grade than for the four younger children. It was incredibly difficult to find materials that I felt would work well with Brandon’s learning style.

I’m trying to remind myself that none of our curriculum plans are written in stone–they CAN be changed if they don’t work well for us.

What will you be using for twelfth grade?


  1. Thanks for the post. My daughter is a Senior this year too. I’m having to find curriculum that includes courses that will help her in college. She wants to be an E-ray Tech. There’s a small community college near us that she wants to go to. I know it’s going to take the Lord to help to teach some of the courses. lol

    • You can do it, Valarie! I always tell myself that if I expect my child to be able to learn something, then I had better be able to learn it, too. :-)

      I am getting a gentle start to planning a senior year, though, since my son isn’t planning on attending college. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. Thanks for you post! Our oldest with graduate in 2014..GULP and GASP!! He only needs a English credit yet and we are going with Easy Grammar Ultimate and Christian Reading Companion for 50 Classics. He will choose at least 6 books from the list. We also have Total Lang Plus to go along with somethe classics he picks. He will complete Financial Peace homeschool for some additional Math course work even though he does not need a math credit. He has an intership this summer with our Pastors at church and he would like to continue for the fall. He will also work PT with my husband. My husband has two jobs and one of them is his on Electrical business , so are son will Apprentice with him on an as need basis. Tha’ts about it, lots of lifeskills and looking into colleges.

    • It’s so nice to find someone else who doesn’t have a jam-packed schedule for senior year, Tracy! We are also emphasizing life skills, especially since our son isn’t interested in college. Honestly, the hands-on skills are just as important as the book learning, I think.

      Another reader suggested to me that we could give our son a credit in “vocational education” for his time spent on the job (he is currently sand-blasting, and will be trained in several other skills as soon as he turns 18). That may be something that would work for your son, too.

  3. Tammy Grubaugh says:

    Thanks for posting what you are covering for each grade level. My son, who will be an 11th grader this year, all of a sudden decided that he wants to homeschool for his last two years of high school. I homeschool my younger kids grades 7th-toddler but the year we switched to homeschool my older children hated it and begged to return to the public charter school they came from. I suddenly have to navigate through transcripts and credits. It is comforting to see that others are successfully doing it and what curriculum they are choosing.

  4. I always enjoy reading your posts and getting ideas for my children, as my oldest will be a sophomore this year and our 2nd child will be a freshman. Homeschooling high school is still pretty new to me! :-)

    • Lisa, a lot of people are afraid of homeschooling high school, but it CAN be done! And if I remember correctly, you have teaching experience to lean on, right? :-)

      • I was a classroom teacher for many years, but sometimes I wonder if that is more of a liability than a benefit. :-) I still feel like I am “de-programming” from the brainwashing of teaching to tests and finishing every page in a book type of thinking that is pushed on teachers by the bureaucracy and public school systems.

        I agree with you wholeheartedly about children getting life-skills, whether or not they choose to attend college. I feel like this nation has created an entire generation of functional illiterates. Although they may receive a diploma, they aren’t able to be self-sufficient in any capacity. Most cannot balance a checkbook, fix a leaky pipe, install dry-wall or cook a healthy meal for their family. They are dependent on others for everything. That has always bothered me. And the way the economy has changed, most of the jobs that are in greatest demand today are blue-collar jobs. Unfortunately, hard-working blue collar workers have been downgraded and are looked down upon. They make more money, in most cases, than most recent college graduates, don’t have mounds of debt they can’t pay and are successful, contributing members of society. My husband is a blue-collar worker, and although I have advanced college degrees, I have begun to wonder lately, if it is truly worth it and if we are doing our children a disservice by forcing them into college that truly prepares them for so very little and gives them very bleak job prospects when they are through. Much to think about! :-)

        • You said this SO well, Lisa! My husband, too, is a blue collar worker, and he makes more than a friend who has a college degree. We have made the decision to encourage our children to go to college ONLY if they need a degree in order to be successful in what they want to do in life. I firmly believe that you can be well educated even without a college degree–it’s a matter of constantly desiring to learn throughout your entire life.

          If you would be interested, I would LOVE to have you write an article about this for Contented at Home. Please think it over! :-)

  5. Judy, BTW…Just love all of your post!! Yes, our son will be given credit for his transcipts for the intern work and apprenticeship work. I was told 60 hrs =1/2 credit and 120 hrs= whole credit. Does that sound right to you??

    • From another Pennsylvanian – those are the numbers I use. Our daughter is earning credits for her vo-ag work with the 4-H alpaca club at the farm; she’ll have at least two agriculture credits by the time she graduates thanks to those hours! :)

      Judy, your plans are good. You will find what works for you and for Brandon. I am actually more interested in this plan than in some other high-school ones I’ve seen because Sarah’s plans most likely do not include college (though maybe a vocational program/certification). I feel like college prep is in some ways easier, because there is so much more material out there, but we’re prepared to walk this route and I so appreciate being able to draw on your experience!

      • Thanks for adding your knowledge here, Joan! I think it’s awesome that Sarah is getting credit for her alpaca work–I would never have thought of crediting Brandon for his training and experience if it weren’t for several comments on another post.

        And thank you over and over for all your encouragement. It means so much! I agree that college prep is definitely the more popular path, but we are fully supporting Brandon’s decision to go another way. It’s nice to know someone else who is making her own path in life (yay, Sarah!).

    • Thank you so much, Tracy–it’s people like you who make blogging meaningful for me! I had never looked at the number of hours required for a credit, but thanks to you and Joan, I now know. :-)

  6. Thanks Joan!!

  7. Research in Increments by Susan Kemmerer. :o)

  8. Suzanne says:

    Robin Finley with Analytical Grammar has an excellent course for learning to write a research paper. It covers how to choose a thesis, writing styles, choosing supporting points and citation. She also has a great way to collect and organize quotes and information.

    • Thanks for this suggestion, Suzanne! I will look into it later this evening. I’m much more willing to consider something new after getting a recommendation from someone who has already used it. :-)

  9. Tara-lee Hollander says:

    Hi Judy,

    Thank you for your blog. I just would like to know how you manage with your other children and your high schooler? I have three children, my oldest being the high schooler and the others are in grade 3 and grade 6 (these are South African grades – not sure if it is the same in America). I have been homeschooling all three my children from the beginning of their schooling. I enjoy homeschooling soo much, but recently I have been feeling strain with my oldest. Her work load has increased so much (she insists she wants to do all the work she does) that I struggle to fit everything into our day.

    I would really like to finish her schooling at home, but my oldest and I seem to butt heads all the time about her work. How do you juggle it all?

    • I’d have to say that high school IS more challenging than the younger grades. Not only is the work harder, but it matters so much for graduation and college (for college-bound students).

      My kids are currently in grades 12, 10, 9, 7, 4, and K, with a 2-year-old added in for good measure. :-) One thing that definitely makes it easier for me than most families is that most of my kids are VERY independent learners. They like to do as much as possible on their own, with as little “hands-on” as they can get; they prefer reading over projects any day.

      However, my oldest requires a great deal of my time, as he learns best if I read everything aloud to him and work through everything right with him. I don’t think this would be possible if my other children weren’t naturally independent learners. They typically just work on their own while I am helping my oldest, then I give instruction or help them as needed as I get the time.

      A few things that we do to help stretch my time:

        We use a math program that has the lessons taught via DVD.
        We occasionally use an online class for one subject.
        We primarily use a textbook, “hands-OFF” approach–but that is also my children’s preference.
        I allow the older kids to correct most of their own work, and I just check in with them every few days.

      Just a thought, but perhaps if your daughter wants to continue with her heavy work load, she may need to take responsibility for some of her schooling herself.

      There may be a few more ideas in this post: Homeschool Planning for a Large Family

      I know what works for one family may not work for another, but these are a few thoughts from my experience. I hope you can find a workable solution for your family!

  10. Looks great! Here is what we used for writing a research paper – it was called Research in Increments –

    • Mary, you are the second person to recommend Research in Increments. I took a look at it and I am VERY impressed–in fact, I’m planning on ordering it this evening! Thanks so much for taking time to share your recommendation. :-)

  11. Dossie Briggs says:

    Hi, ladies! I am new to reading all these homeschooling, unschooling blogs and thoroughly enjoying and gleaning lots from them. I have been homeschooling forever (since my oldest was 10, he’s now 34) but, never knew how much was on line in the way of women like me blogging their experiences. Thank you all. Now, my question. Can anyone recommend a U.S. History high school course, preferably online? My son is in his senior year, as well, and it is one credit he is lacking in. Again, thank you all for sharing your lives.

    • Hi Dossie, and welcome! My favorite U.S. history course is the one my ninth grade daughter is using this year, All American History. I just posted a review of AAH this morning, in fact–and I’ll be blogging about our progress throughout the school year.

      We have also used School of Tomorrow PACEs for U.S. history. They are certainly adequate, but not as easily adapted or supplemented as AAH. Hopefully someone else will have more ideas!

  12. I saw that he has used IEW programs before. Have you looked into using Writing Research Papers: Essential Tools from the same company? I have heard only good things about that course. I’ve also heard good things about Put That In Writing Level 2 and Writing Strands: Writing Exposition.

    • Hi Kimberly,
      We finally ended up going with Research in Increments by Susan Kemmerer. So far it’s been a good fit for my son. I appreciate you mentioning the other titles, as well, as every one of my child has his/her own learning preferences. That info may be helpful in the future! :-)

  13. I have a junior this year who is flying through every course with great grades.
    He wants to jump start his senior by December and will need just a few credits to graduate. He plans on working and not going to college. He has been blessed with some great friends with excellent jobs who could hire him today. My concern is his diploma not be accredited from (homeschool). I considered letting him do his senior year through a school online but they require credits that I shouldn’t have to pay for because he doesn’t need them. Your opinion on a none Accredited diploma and the workforce would be greatly appreciated. Thanks I am boggled with this one. I don’t want him to be rejected because of his diploma.

    • Hello Raeshell,

      I don’t consider myself an expert on this, since I’ve not graduated a student yet. However, I do know that the diplomas from a local Christian school are NOT accredited. The principal is a personal friend of mine, and he told me that the transcript is what really matters. He said that employers don’t ask to see your diploma–they want to see your transcript. The principal’s son graduated from that school with a non-accredited diploma and is now nearly finished with medical school, so I do trust his judgment.

      I hope this helps you with your decision!

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