Homeschooling English How to Guide

homeschool englishHomeschooling is awesome, just sayin’ – but sometimes it isn’t easy to make sure that you are covering everything that your child needs. I have to admit that I have had a rude awakening in the last year and a half. Once my daughter hit 11th grade it was serious crunch time for college. We were just coasting along – doing a good job – but still not really thinking about details of what we would need once we hit college years. So, here we are and needless to say we are finding out alot of great information. I’d like to share some of what I’ve been learning, but I think I’ll start with English. Here is a sample of what you should be teaching your highschooler for Language Arts.

Freshman Year

Vocabulary and Spelling

Spelling City

100 Most often misspelled words


Daily Grammar Exercises

English Grammar and Mechanics Free

Writing Basics

Guide to Grammar and Writing Free

Essay writing

Indepth and overview study of literature

Novel studies

Overview – texts from BJU press or ABEKA work great

 free classic ebooks

Sophomore year


texts or workbooks from major homeschool publishers work well!

Essentials of Good Writing Course

Comparing and contrasting – helps students understand how to write this type of essay

Spelling and Vocabulary

Spelling City

High School level spelling

Literature study and Literature Analysis

Classic literature study guides

Classic pieces of literature online

Literature analysis

Oral presentation

Speech class

Junior Year


Printable English worksheets

SAT Grammar Practice

Free Pass Grammar Texts


SAT vocabulary

Spelling City – use this to enter your lists and it will help you drill

Writing – Essay and Research – poetry writing


Challenging writing

Voices and Visions (poetry unit)

English Literature

Old English Literature
Middle English Literature (Medieval to Restoration Period)

Elements of a Story

Research paper

How to write a research paper

Senior Year


Grammar texts

Grammar quizzes -great for CLEP prep

Grammar Practice sheets


Spelling City

Collegiate spelling words

American Literature

American Literature Guide

En 102: American Literature

Literary Analysis

Writing and Research

Write a research paper

Georgetown explains writing

Public speaking

Speech class

Here’s a sampling of final exams for the different grades.

You may want to consider a serious SAT test prep class in the Junior year.

Getting Ready for the ACT / SAT test

Preparing your child for college isn’t an easy task. In fact, preparing for the college entrance SAT or ACT test is a feat in and of itself! We are facing that uphill battle right now. My daughter is in eleventh grade, and just took the ACT as a practice run. It definitely opened our eyes to several things. I knew we needed to be preparing in advance, but I didn’t know just how we measured up.  Taking the test early is a great help in planning your final college preparations.  Here are a few things that we are trying to put into practice, and a few things that we are learning along the way!

1) Begin preparations early. Plan your high school courses to meet your preferred colleges’ requirements.  At our house, we are depending on scholarships. In turn, scholarships depend on the ACT / SAT score. So, (no stress) a good test score will really help in this area.

2) Don’t be afraid to take the test several times. You can take each of these tests several times, we chose to take the ACT as practice this past month. We also elected to NOT send the scores to any colleges. This test this time -was just for our information only. We will review the scores, do some practice and then retake it for REAL!

3) Begin test prep a year in advance. Begin reviewing ACT SAT vocabulary and essay strategies well in advance. Don’t think that you can prepare for this test a few weeks before you take it!

4) Use a test prep book or an online test prep. I use A Major for my tutoring sessions. This site has great vocabulary prep, good practice tests, essay prompts, and even some great strategy tips.

5) Become an avid reader. Readers are learners…  the more you read the better you will test.

To be honest, I really don’t agree with how our country bases everything on “test” scores. Yet, to successfully navigate these high school/college waters we have to fit in this box… no matter how tight or disagreeable we find it!