High School Resources

General Resources for Home Schooling Through High School

The list below shares general resources we have found most helpful in preparing teenagers for adulthood. Many of these books are from secular publishers, but all contain nuggets of valuable information for the home schooler planning for life beyond high school. As you begin “charting your course” for high school, we recommend you start with these resources:

Charting a Course for High School by Ellyn Davis of the Elijah Company is a CD explaining why the high school years are crucial years of identifying who each child is and how we parents can use high school to prepare for our children’s futures. This message is part of an 8 CD set on home schooling called Turning Hearts. Homeschooling the Teen Years. Cafi Cohen speaks from experience about teaching teens at home. She delves into the details of preparing a student for college, but also paints a picture of the many paths to success.

The Christian Home Educator’s Curriculum Manual, Volume 2. If you are trying to tailor teaching materials to your family’s needs and values, this is the place to start. Using the four different learning styles, Cathy Duffy shares how to choose curriculum that works best with your teenager; helps for college, career, and vocational planning; how to “graduate” your child from high school; ideas for record keeping; and reproducible charts. She recommends the best teaching materials for each type of learner.

Discovering Your Children’s Gifts by Don and Katie Fortune. This book does an exceptional job of taking the list of spiritual giftings in Romans 12 and showing parents how those giftings express themselves in their immature forms in children. There is a different chapter for each gift describing the gift, how it tends to operate in children, how it affects the way the child learns, and how it gives a child a bent toward a specific life’s work. Very informative.
What Color is Your Parachute for Teens? This book has been around a long time because it has no equal. It is considered the best book available for determining which job is most suitable for a person and how to go about getting it. Note: This book covers getting a job in all job markets. Finding the Career That Fits You by Lee Ellis and Larry Burkett is a hands-on workbook filled with worksheets that help you pinpoint your personality type, skills, life values, and vocational interests. Burkett’s Career Pathways organization has thoroughly researched the job market to determine which skills will be most needed and which jobs are best suited to particular personalities and aptitudes. By working through this book, you will discover how to pursue a career that is the wisest investment of your God-given abilities.
Homeschooling High School by Jeanne Dennis. Not only does this book offer reading lists, suggested topics to cover in courses, and lists of materials for science, but the author offers a collection of forms that is invaluable. She has time sheets, reading logs, and most importantly, a transcript. I’ve always wondered what a professional transcript was supposed to look like. There are many other forms as well. Homeschooling for Excellence by David and Micki Colfax. The Colfaxes’ homeschooling primarily consisted of a lot of hard work establishing a homestead. They explain their process of homeschooling four sons through high school and having each of them receive scholarships from top schools like Harvard and Yale.
Preparing for Adolescence by James Dobson. Although this book assumes the teenage years will be turbulent, it is one of the few Christian resources about puberty. We suggest that you read it first, then work through it with your child. It covers the feelings adolescents commonly experience, the peer pressure they face, the physical and emotional changes in boys and girls, misconceptions about romantic love, and how to accept the responsibilities of growing older.
Homeschooler’s Guide to Portfolios and Transcripts provides critical advice, examples, and resources for designing the most powerful and persuasive admissions presentations. This guide cuts through the veil of mystery that surrounds the admissions evaluation process to provide frank, practical, advice from public educators, home and alternative school specialists, and admissions professionals on such critical topics as: When and how to start building a record. Choosing the best medium to convey high school achievements What records and documents must be included – and what’s better left out.
The Five Love Languages of Teenagers by Gary Chapman. Each of us has a “love language” of certain actions and words that when others use them it makes us feel loved. A very helpful book that will give you a greater understanding of showing love to your teenager. How to Really Love Your Teenager by Ross Campbell. Sometimes loving parents can’t seem to get through to their teens. Teens need a special kind of love and understanding and this book tells you how to meet their needs.
Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World by Stephen Glenn and Jane Nelson. According to the authors’ research, the maturity of a 1990’s 18 year old was equivalent to the maturity of a 1950’s 11 year old. This book discusses critical factors in developing maturity and explains how parents can help. Age of Opportunity. Paul Tripp uncovers the heart issues affecting parents and their teenagers during the often chaotic adolescent years. He shows parents how to seize the countless opportunities to deepen communication, learn, and grow with their teenagers.
The Blessing by Gary Smalley and John Trent. Many of us were never identified as who we were by our parents and what we have tried to do with our lives has never been blessed or accepted by them. This two tape set explains the tremendous power of identification and legitimacy that a parent’s blessing gives to a child and shows how a blessing can confirm and direct a child throughout life. Teenage Liberation Handbook : How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education by Grace Llewellyn. This book tells teens how to take control of their lives and get a “real life.” Young people can reclaim their natural ability to teach themselves and design a personalized education program. Grace Llewellyn explains the entire process, from making the decision to quit school, to discovering the learning opportunities available.
I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Josh Harris. We appreciate this book because he doesn’t make a big issue of either dating or courtship, but focuses on finding out what God wants you to do with your teen years. Josh says, “Our ultimate purpose is not to figure out if Christians should date….Instead, as you read, I hope you figure out the aspects of your life that dating touches—the way you treat others, the way you prepare for your future mate, your personal purity—and attempt to bring these areas in line with God’s word.” Boy Meets Girl, sequel to I Kissed Dating Goodbye. Five years after giving up the dating game himself, Josh Harris met, courted, and married his new bride, Shannon. This book covers how to grow and guard in friendship, fellowship, and romance; principles of great communication; how to be passionately in love and sexually pure; and questions to answer before you get engaged. Although I am not a proponent of the current home school version of “courtship,” this is a refreshing look at how boy/girl relationships could be.
Best Friends for Life by Michael and Judy Phillips has deeply affected both of our older sons by causing them to examine the emotional and physical promiscuity that results from conforming to the world’s preoccupation with romance. This book shares the pros and cons of every type of relationship that usually leads to marriage and then presents a surprising alternative–deep friendship that only progresses to marriage with the approval and oversight of the couple’s parents. Lady in Waiting. This book offers a refreshing alternative to the dating scene for ladies, and that is to fall in love with the Lover of their souls—Jesus Christ. It shows how important “waiting” time can be as preparation for eventual marriage, and it provides a path for women to follow to find completeness and happiness in their lives, with or without a man.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Teenagers are notoriously lacking in relational skills and this book has for over 50 years provided rock-solid, time-tested, practical advice on the fine art of getting along with other people. Raising a Modern Day Knight defines a man as “….someone who rejects passivity, accepts responsibility, leads courageously, and expects the greater reward.”

College Preparation

Home Schoolers College Admissions Handbook. Cafi Cohen offers invaluable information to the homeschooling parent readying his or her child for higher education, including record-keeping and organization of transcripts, details about the admissions process and financial aid, and special requirements colleges request of homeschoolers. Word Smart selects 823 difficult words that appear most frequently in the vocabulary sections of the PSAT, SAT, ACT, and GRE and gives definitions, sample sentences, quizzes, and tips for learning them.
Reading Lists for College Bound Students. Suggested reading lists from 100 top colleges, plus an annotated booklist of 100 most often recommended books. Cracking the SAT and Cracking the ACT are two books put out by The Princeton Review. Each book contains test-taking tips and strategies as well as sample questions from actual tests.
12 Practice SATs allows the student to practice taking the SAT. This book contains twelve complete SAT exams with test-taking tips. Complete GED Preparation helps home schoolers to prepare for and pass the GED.
Students’ Guide to Colleges : The Definitive Guide to America’s Top 100 SchoolsWritten by the Real Experts–the Students Who Attend Them. Lively, irreverent, and insightful, the Students’ Guide to Colleges is the only guidebook to colleges actually written by the students who attended them and offers multiple perspectives on each school and tells it like it is so that college applicants can make the best choice when deciding where they want to spend their college years. Bears’ Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning by John and Mariah Bear. More and more universities are offering the opportunity to earn college credit by mail, videotape, or on-line Internet courses. This book lists the top 100 accredited schools that offer affordable, legitimate, universally recognized college degrees. Includes valuable information on getting college credit for your life experiences.
College Board Scholarship Handbook by The College Board is a trusted guide to over 2,300 scholarships, internships, and loan programs for undergraduates. The guide provides complete and authoritative facts about more than 2,100 legitimate undergraduate scholarships, internships, and loan programs. It also contains numerous indexes to help counselors and students focus on appropriate awards and find up-to-date information quickly. Colleges That Change Lives is a review of 40 colleges, mostly in the Northeast, Midwest, and South, that select students who have a wide range of abilities, not necessarily the cream of the crop academically, but who exhibit a desire to learn. The atmosphere at these institutions is collaborative rather than competitive and they feature close interaction between students and faculty. And most of them are home schooler-friendly.
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