This series is getting down to the real nitty-gritty of how we homeschool high school. I promised that for this third post, I’d tell you about curriculum we’ve used specifically in some of our courses to prepare for credit by exam.
I’m going to cover these courses: World Religions, Psychology, Environmental Science, Economics, Government, Human Development, Analyzing Literature, and U.S. History I & II.
If you haven’t read the first two posts in the series, I encourage you to go back and do that.
The first post tells about how we are homeschooling high school by working towards college credits for free or cheap, and gives some detail about the huge financial savings of this method.
The next post laid out step by step how we prepare for CLEP/DSST tests. There are loads of links there, be sure to Pin it or bookmark it for future reference. If you’re looking for links to practice tests or how to register for the exams, it’s all there…and a lot more!
One of the resources I cover in detail is the Instantcert website. With every subject, we use the flashcards at Instantcert heavily, as well as the discussion boards (to see what topics others have noticed on their tests). If you register through my link, you can save 25% off your first month by using the discount code 100109.
Curriculum We’ve Used
*Note to Parents*
As with any curriculum that is secular in nature, we encountered information presented at times that was contrary to our worldview. Be sure to use those opportunities to have some discussion with your student. It’s always a good reminder to us that we’re glad our kids are learning these topics with us instead of on a college campus.
World Religions (DSST)
Study Guide: World Religions Course Guide With DSST Exam Prep by Cheri Frame
Study Guide: Introduction to Psychology Course Guide with CLEP Exam Prep by Cheri Frame
Note: The guide suggests some online videos to watch to review each chapter. We used different videos that our study group found a bit more engaging. You can find them here.
Movie: A Beautiful Mind
REA Study Guide w/Practice Tests:
CLEP® Introductory Psychology Book + Online (CLEP Test Preparation)
Environmental Science (DSST – Environment & Humanity)
We did some activities from this website.
Field Trip: Local Water Treatment Plant
Movie: This was by far the most memorable piece of our course. Our study group watched Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”. We discussed how convincing the material is. We then went through this article titled, “35 Inconvenient Truths – The Errors in Al Gore’s Movie.” (You can find the pdf here).
It was a great lesson for the students on critical thinking and questioning the sources of information.
And because we’re Disney Fans…
Economics (CLEP – Macroeconomics)
You can read here in detail about our Economics Study Group. It details a number of activities we are doing.
Textbook: Notgrass Exploring Economics
REA Study Guide with Practice Tests:
CLEP® Principles of Macroeconomics Book + Online (CLEP Test Preparation)
Textbook: HSLDA Constitutional Literacy DVD Course
Note: We have friends that used the Notgrass Exploring Government for this course, as another option.
We loved this course as a study of the Constitution, but did have to find other resources to make sure everything on the test was covered. Specifically, studying the workings of Congress and Government Bureaucracy.
To help cover those areas, we used some of these videos:
REA Study Guide and Practice Tests:
CLEP® American Government Book + Online (CLEP Test Preparation)
Human Development (CLEP or DSST)
As part of this course, my son and I taught a Pre-School class at our church one morning a week. You can read about it here.
Videos: Various Netflix videos on child development
REA Study Guide and Practice Test:
CLEP Human Growth & Development (REA)-The Best Test Prep for the CLEP Exam (CLEP Test Preparation)
Analyzing Literature (CLEP)
Our English curriculum centers around reading novels, analyzing them, and writing essays. I find resources that we’ll use for a semester or two at a time. This is one of my favorites!
Website: Easy Peasy All In One free online curriculum.
This gem features daily lessons in a variety of subjects. Because I’m me, I tend to go through and pick and choose what we’ll use and assign only those “days”.
There are several English courses on this website. Each one has poetry lessons, various short stories and novels, and literary terms throughout. We haven’t done her novel studies, as they haven’t matched up with what we’re reading at the time. But I can say that I love her lessons for short stories and poetry.
I have found a number of short videos on Youtube that focus on analyzing poetry. I put together a playlist you can access here:
Having your kids read from the King James Version of the Bible can also be a way to get them used to more flowery language.
REA Study Guide with Practice Tests:
CLEP® Analyzing & Interpreting Literature Book + Online (CLEP Test Preparation)
US History I & II (CLEP)
We have used a number of different things for these courses.
In middle school, the boys did Notgrass America the Beautiful. And our family visits a lot of museums and watches documentaries frequently. So entering these courses, the boys already had a general understanding of American History.
I also created packets with various lists (Notable Supreme Court Cases, Individuals related to the Civil Rights Movement, Presidents, etc.) for the boys to complete.
Sometimes that involved just looking things up and filling it out. Other times, the boys would use the information to create a Power Point or other project. We made a lot of timelines, too.
Midnight in Paris (we researched the literary figures/artists before watching)
Saving Private Ryan (recorded from TV/edited)
Be sure to Pin or bookmark this page so you can easily find all of these resources!
*This post contains some affiliate links. Part of why I created The Sparrow’s Home was to be able to share resources that I’ve found useful or wonderful in some way. Every so often, I’m fortunate enough to become an affiliate with the makers of these fantastic resources. This will never add cost to my readers.