Is hands-on high school really possible across academic subjects in our high school? This year, I intend to find out. This is our hands-on plan for high school homeschooling in the 2021-2022 school year.
I dropped my oldest off at college two weeks ago. (My heart still hurts typing this…)
Two weeks in, he is doing better than I ever hoped for, both in the academic part of collegiate life, and in the life skills, living in the dorm, having to manage all the things part of the university experience.
One thing is abundantly clear to me now that his homeschool years are over – doing what worked best for his learning, even when it did not conform to educational norms and standards was exactly the right choice.
Moreover, I’ve learned that my instincts can be trusted when it comes to my children’s learning needs.
The Most Important Part Of Our High School Homeschool
Because of this, as his younger brother begins his high school years, I am going all in on what I know works for him.
Hands-on, experiential learning is what he needs. Hands-on experiential learning is exactly what I am planning to provide this year.
In addition to this multisensory approach, I also learned with his brother that high school can be treated more like college in terms of subjects and coursework. My oldest took more history classes (including a focus on World War Two and The Cold War) than any other combined because of his natural strengths and interests, throughout his high school years. It was almost like a college “major.”
My youngest will be completing more science courses than a standard educational plan would require for the same reason. Science is an area of great interest and strength for my son.
I know now that these extra courses will not only count on a high school transcript, but identify him as a learner with commitment and passion.
Our 9th Grade Plan For Hands-On Learning
Here is our overall homeschool plan for the year:
9th Grade Language Arts
Reading Practice – Online Driver’s Education Course (my son is profoundly dyslexic but has a goal to get his learners permit without accommodations for reading)
Spelling List and Handwriting Practice (he asked to practice both the “old fashioned way” with hand writing out spelling lists – we’ll see how this goes!)
9th Grade Literature
You ARE An Artist (adds hands-on learning)
High School Science (all hands-on)
Science Unlocked Kits (we still have two left to complete from this summer)
Kristin Moon Science Chemistry Labs (this entire online curriculum is based purely on science experiments and hands-on learning)
Astronomy (from The Waldock Way unit study)
Neurobiology Study (he requested this one – I am starting off with a model of the brain and studying brain anatomy)
CTCMath (we have used it for two years now and it just works for him)
High School Social Studies
World Geography with History Timelines (basically map work and timelines all year)
You ARE An Artist (adds hands-on learning with I Drew It Then I Knew It Lessons)
Other High School Electives
He is taking three different classes outside our home.
- Voice Lessons
- Rock Climbing
He also participates for social emotional learning in The Learners Lab on a regular basis.
High School Field Trips
- September – Van Gough Immersive Experience
- October – California Mission
- November – Aquarium
- January – Natural History Museum
- February – Observatory
- March – Art Museum
- April – Air and Space Museum
Hands-On High School Homeschool
It is quite different to be starting high school homeschool this time around. I know what to expect. I am not worried about transcripts and colleges. I know the requirements and I also know how much flexibility there really is in terms of how we meet them.
I am looking forward to a year of learning, one on one, with my last homeschooler.
More High School Homeschool Resources:
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.