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  1. #1

    Default High School English

    We homeschool currently and my son is in 9th grade. I feel that he is behind in English. We have used textbooks, read books and wrote papers, and worked on grammar. I want him to begin dual credit courses, but he is nowhere near being ready for it. At this point, it would be great if he was ready for college level upon finishing high school. I need some help getting him ready for college level English. If I asked him to read a book and independently write a paper, he understands making an outline and thesis, but they are too simple. They are similar to what a 6th grader would turn in. What curriculum can get him to not only brainstorm independently but also teach him to write a college level paper? My budget is small, but any advice would help! I feel so incredibly lost when it comes to English curriculum.

  2. T4L In Forum Jan20
  3. #2


    A free and no-transcript-risk way to see how he does is to try an online MOOC. I searched "MOOC English composition" and several different courses came up. Most are set up to be the equivalent of a first semester English comp course. At least it would give both of you what the expectations would be and maybe what skills needs to work on.

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward

    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  4. #3
    Senior Member Arrived RTB's Avatar
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    Feb 2012


    Brave Writer offers college prep essay classes. And there are always online classes on Outschool.

    I've used Write Shop and feel it offers concrete, specific, detailed instruction that builds nicely and helps students construct complex and varied sentences. Moving at a good clip, it will take you a solid year to finish level I and II. The only major drawback is it is not secular (Christian). If I could find a similar secular program, I would use it, but until then, I can gloss over the religious stuff, but YMMV.
    DS 14, DD 12
    Year 8

  5. #4



    I teach college writing and I highly recommend the Building Writing Skills series from Critical Thinking Company. Ignore that they are for grades 3-7. I am using the first level with my sixth-grader. They give the foundation for what is expected for college writing in a more basic form. There are worksheets for prewriting activities and how to develop an essay. They show students how to write the kinds of essays that are expected to do at the college level. I was impressed with how they used similar techniques that are used in college writing classes to teach the necessary skills. It is broken down in easy to follow steps.

    I feel that students should not just be given a book to read and then to write about it without specific guidance. Even in college, students have in-depth discussions about the book with the teacher/class and develop an idea for writing about it. There are usually short writing assignments during the reading of the text to develop ideas before a larger paper is written.

    While I don't use this curriculum, Bravewriter has a program that breaks down ideas with specific books and provides writing assignments related to them. Also, there are reading guides for many classic novels that you can download and use with your child. There are a few posted in the forums.

    A note about dual-credit college writing. While it might seem great to complete college while in high school, my experience is that most students who take dual credit don't develop their writing skills as well as when they take it as a college student. Some might think that year or two won't make a difference, but it does.
    A mama who teaches college writing, as well as help her 12-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.

  6. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Mariam View Post

    I teach college writing and I highly recommend the Building Writing Skills series from Critical Thinking Company.
    I just bought Building Writing Skills series from the Critical Thinking Co. for DD11, so am pleased to see it gets a good review
    New Zealand-based. DD 11 (year 6 [NZ system]) homeschooled, and DD 6 (year 1 [NZ system]) who is currently trying out public school.

    Freelance copyeditor, specializing in scientific text, who will make mistakes in my posts (I don't self-edit).

    That's a kea (NZ parrot) in my avatar. You can learn about them on Beak & Brain - Genius Birds from Down Under on Netflix.

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High School English