Logo Homeschool World ® Official Web Site of Practical Homeschooling Magazine Practical Homeschooling Magazine
Practical Homeschooling® :

High School Unit Studies Prepare Students for Adulthood Interaction

By Jessics Hulcy
Printed in Practical Homeschooling #9, 1995.

   Pin It

Jessica Hulcy

Eighth grade is the doorway to high school. It’s also when we Hulcys finish our lessons in basics such as English grammar, and when we gear up for four years of practice in discernment and communication skills.

In ninth through eleventh grades the focus in our English class moves from grammar to composition and analysis.

Discernment and communication are necessary for everyday life. Both these skills are developed by analyzing literature. Our children read and analyze seven to nine books a year. I look at a list of books that “every educated person is supposed to have read before he goes to college,” but in reality most educated adults have not read a tenth of after they graduate from college, and choose the books I deem best for each child. I mix books from the “every educated person” list with my own selections such as The Bronze Bow, The Screwtape Letters, and I Heard the Owl Call My Name.

Our children sharpen their communication skills by writing papers about these works and by helping us publish the KONOS newsletter.

9th–12th Grades: “Let’s Talk About It”

In 9th–11th grade we use the three-year program KONOS History of the World. This curriculum is activity- and research-based and involves students in a lot of discussions with adults. Dialogue is important for all children, but it is extremely important for high schoolers as they move from childhood to adulthood. Instead of allowing teenagers to bounce ideas off other teenagers, in KONOS History of the World students record their opinions and answers to heavy questions in a journal and then talk with parents about their answers.

For twelfth grade we choose Summit Ministry’s Understanding the Times curriculum, the “Ideas and Idols” video program, and Michael Farris’ Constitutional Law to stimulate dialogue on philosophical topics.

In order to develop a mature thought process and worldview, teens need to compare and contrast ideas, as well as learn to project the consequences of certain ideas. Talking issues through with parents helps teens form their own ideas based on knowledge rather than peer pressure, as well as build lasting relationships long after discussion ends.

One might ask, “Why so much history and philosophy?” I am convinced that the liberal agenda is destroying America. This ideology is able to flourish only because several generations do not know history. The ideas of the 18th-century “Enlightenment” today are materializing in the form of the GATT treaty and other stepping stones to one-world government.

Youth need to see the connection beetween old ideas and new agendas. That is why I teach a Current Events class which requires students to research working agendas such as OBE, Planned Parenthood, America 2000, social security, agriculture subsidies, etc. Here they learn to chase down information on both sides of each issue. I include current books such as Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right from Wrong and None Dare Call It Treason.

If you think these topics are too depressing, you can always substitute others. Most important is the measurement of current agendas against Scripture. Hence, we study the Bible daily.

Secular Texts Offer Uncluttered, Efficient Approach

Some would be aghast that I use secular textbooks. For biology my reasons are simple. I want my teens to know what the masses are being fed and be prepared to meet every argument for evolution. Christian supplements provide them with accurate scientific argument to combat evolution. We select math and science texts not because they are sprinkled with Bible verses or because a biography of an obscure Christian scientist appears in the margin, but because math formulas and scientific laws, by being constant and orderly themselves, point the way to the orderly, constant God who created them. Uncluttered secular texts that teach basics and applied basics offer a complete, efficient approach to English grammar, math, and science.

12th Grade: “Do As I Do”

Modeling behavior to our children is so important. How can we obey the Scriptures that tell us to teach our children when we walk, talk, and sit with them if they are not with us?

We have personally chosen to involve our children in as many adult functions as possible. Our oldest son spent his senior year apprenticing in the KONOS business. Not only did he learn how to run a small business, but he witnessed customer service, communication skills, and wise decision-making policy at his father’s elbow. The next two boys attend all kinds of political functions with me, from lobbying to working on campaigns.

As I attempt to better the world we live in, I show my children how to get involved. Though the activities we participate in are worthwhile, the most important part is that our children learn adult behavior and build good relationships with us.

Was this article helpful to you?
Subscribe to Practical Homeschooling today, and you'll get this quality of information and encouragement five times per year, delivered to your door. To start, click on the link below that describes you:

USA Individual
USA Librarian (purchasing for a library)
Outside USA Individual
Outside USA Library

University of Nebraska High School University of Nebraska High School
Free Email Newsletter!
Sign up to receive our free email newsletter, and up to three special offers from homeschool providers every week.

Articles by Jessica Hulcy

How to Avoid Mindless Unit Studies

Make Drama Part of Your Unit Studies

Do Your Units End with a Bang or a Whimper

Costumes Add Color to Your Unit Studies

Safety First

Columnists Face Off - Unit Studies

Politics the Homeschool Way

What Are Unit Studies All About?

Multi-Culturalism Replaces History

High School Unit Studies Prepare Students for Adulthood Interaction

Picking Curriculum Carefully

How to Give Your Child a Theistic Worldview

To College or Not to College

Brotherhood Begins in the Heart

Education vs. Regurgitation

The Importance of Mentoring

One Word of Advice: Balance!

Teaching the Basics with Unit Studies

Study Units or Unit Studies?

Thanks for the Memories

99¢ Feather Duster or $90 Warbonnet?

Co-oping: The Very Best of Both Worlds

The Key to Exceptional Co-Op Days

Meeting True Heroes Face to Face

From Living Room to Front Lawn: Performances

Co-oping Younger and Older Students Together

Co-op Field Trips: True Three-Dimensional Learning

The Ultimate Field Trip... Europe

The Making of a Master Teacher

Laughter and Movement: Fertilizer for the Brain

Popular Articles

What We Can Learn from the Homeschooled 2002 National Geography Bee Winners

Montessori Language Arts at Home, Part 1

Start a Nature Notebook

Why the Internet will Never Replace Books

The Benefits of Debate

AP Courses At Home

What Does My Preschooler Need to Know?

Saxon Math: Facts vs. Rumors

Phonics the Montessori Way

Discover Your Child's Learning Style

Narration Beats Tests

Don't Give Up on Your Late Bloomers

The History of Public Education

Critical Thinking and Logic

Teaching Blends

Getting Organized Part 1 - Tips & Tricks

Who Needs the Prom?

Myth of the Teenager

How to "Bee" a Spelling Success

Top Jobs for the College Graduate

Interview with John Taylor Gatto

Classical Education

Patriarchy, Meet Matriarchy

Art Appreciation the Charlotte Mason Way

The Benefits of Cursive Writing

Columbus and the Flat Earth...

Shakespeare Camp

Montessori Math

University Model Schools

How to Win the Geography Bee

The Charlotte Mason Method

Can Homeschoolers Participate In Public School Programs?

The Charlotte Mason Approach to Poetry

Getting Started in Homeschooling: The First Ten Steps

A Homeschooler Wins the Heisman

Top Tips for Teaching Toddlers

Bears in the House

A Reason for Reading

Give Yourself a "CLEP Scholarship"

Character Matters for Kids

Getting Organized Part 3

Teach Your Children to Work

The Equal Sign - Symbol, Name, Meaning

Laptop Homeschool

Combining Work and Homeschool

The Gift of a Mentor

Joyce Swann's Homeschool Tips

I Was an Accelerated Child

Advanced Math: Trig, PreCalc, and more!

Whole-Language Boondoggle

Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
Copyright ©1993-2021 Home Life, Inc.