Let’s chat about 12th grade English curriculum for homeschool. That is, what is required, which courses can count toward senior year English, what are some reading list suggestions, plus how does this all look on a transcript? Ready to dive in?
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What should be taught in 12th grade English?
The first step is always to consult your local or state homeschooling laws. Certain states will have recommendations spelled out for graduation. Other states take a more hands-off approach and you can be more flexible with senior year English.
The next step is to have an eye toward your senior’s future goals. If they are headed to college, then you’ll definitely want to make sure you cover what’s normally expected for college admission. They might be wanting to see a more traditional 12th grade English credit on the transcript. Plus, if you need to take the writing portion of the ACT or SAT, you’ll definitely want to make sure you cover those skills this year.
What are the future goals of your teen? What are their passions? Those of you with bibliophiles might want to be more creative in your senior year and let them critique books and write reviews online or on a blog. Some of them may want to start a podcast for the same reason.
Some of your seniors may need a wrap up or review of grammar and composition. Basically, the bottom line is – consult the law, then figure out their plans after high school to craft their 12th grade English credit based on these answers.
English 4 in high school most likely has some instruction in the areas of literature, composition, grammar, and vocabulary. If you student hasn’t taken a literature class, then they may want to include that in their senior year. Most 12th graders will also need to write at least one in-depth research paper with proper format and citations. Of course, they’ll be reviewing grammar as they use it in the writing process.
Additional vocabulary study at this level will also be applicable to the writing process.
Here is a typical breakdown of the topics and skills many students learn during their senior year English course. You can look through these categories and see where your teen needs more instruction and practice.
Literature and Vocabulary
Your seniors should be able to analyze words using their knowledge of root words, synonyms and antonyms. As they read more challenging literature, they should be able to understand the elements of different genres and literary allusions. Being able to critically evaluate literature, draw conclusions, and make inferences is another crucial skill for your senior.
The main goal by the senior year of high school is for your student to be able to read critically and analytically. This skill will be crucial for the next component of the English coursework, which is writing.
One big goal for the last year of high school is that your teen will be able to communicate clearly. Being able to think through a topic, come up with an argument, and logically support that argument is key. In order to do this, most English 4 coursework requires at least one research paper where the student progresses through the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.
In addition to writing a research paper, your senior will want to be able to analyze the audience and produce other types of writing as well. Of course, as they write, they are applying their grammar studies to be able to produce clearly written compositions.
Some students have studied grammar for many years and are quite solid in their understanding and proper use of grammatical concepts. However, as your student writes compositions this year, you will want to check for these key concepts:
- Subject-pronoun agreement
- Parallel sentence structure
- Verb tense
- Comparatives and superlatives
- Noun agreement
- Commas and conjunctions
Some schools will include speech as part of an English language arts credit, because it requires many of the writing skills in addition to oral presentation. Debate would similarly fit this mold. Speech is notoriously hard to cover well in a homeschool setting unless you’re part of a co-op where students can present in front of the group.
However, if you’re looking for an out-of-the-box way to include speech in your homeschooling, then maybe creating a podcast would be a good fit for your senior.
Consider Dual Enrollment
If your teen is planning on attending college in the future, then why not encourage them to take a college English class as a dual enrolled student? Our high schoolers have had great success with doing this!
Not only will they get a taste for college-level work while still in high school, but the one semester college class will count as a full credit on the high school transcript in addition to credit toward a college degree.
Listen in on the Homeschool with Moxie Podcast episode 146 where we talk with Jeannie Burlowski, full-time academic strategist and author of LAUNCH: How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt-Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward. Jeannie talks about using dual enrollment to help your children get ahead academically and financially.
12th Grade English Curriculum
While you can definitely use the guidelines and ideas in this post to create your own English coursework during 12thgrade, some of you may want to just purchase a ready-made English curriculum. And that’s no problem! There are so many choices available. Here are a few links to help you narrow down your search.
Notgrass History offers an English Credit too
Notgrass History offers curriculum that will count toward one credit each of history, Bible, and English. Their high school offerings that include 3 credits of coursework are:
- World History
- World Geography
Memoria Press offers curriculum that is classical and Christian and centered around the Great Books. You can purchase full composition and literature curriculum sets for each grade level.
BJU Press offers traditional English curriculum from a Christian worldview. Their materials are definitely written with a Christian school classroom in mind. You will still need to purchase teacher’s manuals just to see the answers for the work. However, their materials will provide your student with an excellent education.
Institute for Excellence in Writing, or IEW, is another company that specializes in language arts curriculum for all grade levels. Their Level C, 9th-12th grade materials, offer full curriculum options for writing, grammar, and literature.
SchoolhouseTeachers.com offers Christian, self-paced, online homeschooling courses for every level. Your 12th grader will find multiple options on their site, including:
- African American Literature
- American Literature in Historical Context
- Benjamin Franklin Writing Method
- Classics Based Writing
- Great Books
- High School British Literature
- Selected Works of Charles Dickens
- And more!
Study.com also offers homeschool curriculum. They have a full 12th Grade English course, plus options in American Literature and AP English Literature. New members who sign up using the code AbbyBanks will receive 30% off for three months.
Compass Classroom offers a few full curriculum options as well. Consider these video courses:
- Writing Through the Wardrobe
- Creative Writing with Jonathan Rogers
- American Literature
- Grammar of Poetry
- British and World Literature
- Grammar for Writers
- Fitting Words – Classical Rhetoric for the Christian Student
- Plus vocabulary and Latin options!
If you have multiple students that would like to take courses through Compass Classroom, you can get a one week free trial of their Premium Membership.
If you’re looking for an easy-to use tool for finding the best books for your students, then look at The Classical Reader. You can narrow down the search on this site to find the best parent-approved and classically vetted list of books.
The Classical Reader helps you sort by genre, level (average, challenging or easy), grade, author, and notation (book awards).
Another strategy for finding excellent books to add to your senior’s reading list is to check out the titles that are recommended by well-known curriculum companies.
For example, Memoria Press suggests literature studies for these books during the senior year of high school (or sometime between 9th-12th):
- Wuthering Heights
- The Divine Comedy
- The Old English & Medieval Periods: Poetry, Prose, & Drama
- The Romantic to the Victorian Age: Poetry Book
- American Literature
- A Tale of Two Cities
- Anna Karenina
Some curriculum companies, like Notgrass History, offer your student 3 credits for completing their courses. That would include one credit each for history, Bible, and English. If your senior was taking Notgrass History’s Exploring World History during 12th grade, then the corresponding literature selections would include:
- The Cat of Bubastes (G.A. Henty)
- The Art of War (Sun Tzu)
- Julius Caesar (William Shakespeare)
- The Imitation of Christ (Thomas à Kempis)
- Here I Stand (Roland Bainton)
- A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)
- North and South (Elizabeth Gaskell)
- The Hiding Place (Corrie Ten Boom)
- Bridge to the Sun (Gwen Terasaki)
- Cry, the Beloved Country (Alan Paton)
- Animal Farm (George Orwell)
- The Abolition of Man (C.S. Lewis)
Even if you don’t intend to use a curriculum company’s full set of resources, you can see which books they recommend and create your own reading list for your student from their suggestions.
If you are looking to make your homeschool transcript easy to understand for college admissions and graduation requirements, then a good rule of thumb is to label each year’s high school English credit as English 9, English 10, English 11, and English 12. That way, you can include the multiple parts that make up a language arts credit in high school (literature, grammar, composition) without spelling it out.
Although, if your teen takes a full year literature course, for example, you would include that on the transcript as American Literature, or British Literature, or possibly World Literature – whatever fits the coursework.
So, the bottom line is that if your senior year English coursework includes the multi-faceted study and application of grammar, writing, and literature, go ahead and give it a generic but easy to understand label like “English 12” on the transcript.
As far as transcripts go, hopefully you’ve been keeping track for the previous years of high school. If you have, it should just be a matter of including the senior year courses and finalizing a high school GPA.
If you need more help with transcripts, calculating GPA, finding an easy solution to keep track of grades throughout the year, and an editable transcript you can download, head on over to this post: How to Create a Transcript for Your Homeschooled High Schooler
One of the best skills you can teach your teens is time management. Allowing them to control their daily schedule in high school is a great way to help them practice using their time wisely. To keep them accountable for their work, we use Trello. This free online tool allows you to clearly communicate coursework, tasks, weekly tasks, and such with your teen. But then it gives them the ability to rearrange and schedule their week to best get things done.
More High School Resources
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Thinking about homeschooling through the high school years can be intimidating, especially when it comes to choosing curriculum, but it doesn’t have to be this way! Let’s walk through the most important issues to consider, then check out the recommended resources.
Really, the high school years can be very rewarding, and dare I say, even easier than the early years of homeschooling! This post will tell you everything you need to know about choosing curriculum for your homeschooled high schooler.
Want an insider peek into what has worked for our family? Check out our full round-up of Homeschool Curriculum Reviews.