“Anne, is it possible for my high-school daughter to do school independently with HomeschoolingTorah? I need to work full-time.”
You’re Not the Only One
Especially since Covid started in 2020, many families have been in a similar situation to yours. It’s definitely not ideal, especially since we want to fulfill Deuteronomy 6:6-7.
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
However, if you can make a conscious decision to supervise your student (especially online) and to be available as much as you can to answer questions and have those deep discussions with your teenager that she will need, it can work.
Here are some suggestions that you can tweak to fit your situation.
Note: Most links on this page are only available to members of Homeschooling Torah. You can join here.
Choose the Courses
Choose the courses you want your daughter to take. Use the chart here to get an idea of what is normal for high school. Maybe print it out and circle the specific ones you want her to do this year.
Here are some suggestions for the individual subjects:
Have your daughter read the Torah portion on her own, then give her a spiral notebook in which to write the answers to the discussion questions. She could keep all those answers in that one spiral notebook, and you will be able to check and see that she is actually doing the reading and thinking about it. Consider making use of the optional activity links each week.
EXTRA BIBLE READING
Have her choose one of the Bible reading plans here:
And if you want to keep her busy with GOOD books, you could also do one of the studies here:
Note: You can often get these books through interlibrary loan from your local library. There are extra assignments and projects here, so you will want to mark these on a calendar, to be sure you check up on your daughter.
If you want to keep her busy and fulfill normal high-school requirements, try adding a foreign language. Your local library might offer Mango for free online. Rosetta Stone is also good (not free). Another option is to see if she can sign up for Skype lessons with Alef2Torah (for Hebrew lessons).
Does she like art? If so, there are lessons on our website:
And even more here (Christian website):
Same as the recommendations for Torah above: Have her do the reading, PLUS the high-school reading, then write all her answers to the discussion questions in a spiral notebook. Be sure she does the projects (timelines, maps, notebooking pages, extra things on Days 4 and 5 of each week, high-school essays). Whew! This will keep her busy! 🙂
Have her copy the Torah, up to one chapter per day to get done in a year, into a composition notebook (affiliate Amazon link). If you want to let her go more slowly than that, have her write 10-15 verses a day.
Can she type? If not, this is an important life skill!
Here is what I would do for grammar… Print out BOTH the student and teacher pages for your daughter, BUT remove all the answers. (You may have to cut a page in half, removing just the answers.) Insert the teacher part into a notebook, and she can read it and “teach” herself. Put the answer part in a separate folder, so you can “check” it in the evenings.
This is very easy for the teens to do on their own. Have her do all her writing in a spiral notebook. If she is older than 16, have her join our high school writing or speech club.
Require at least one chapter per day of a fiction book, preferably something of high quality. I love the House of Winslow series by Gilbert Morris, any books by Bodie Thoene or Francine Rivers or Lynn Austin (affiliate Amazon links). All of these are free from a local library. If she is older than 16, have her join our high school literature club.
For this subject, I think it would be easier for her to use a different curriculum, such as Life of Fred, if you will not be available to help as a teacher. I like Life of Fred because it can be self taught! Other excellent choices are Teaching Textbooks or School Yourself.
Same as Torah and History. She would need Internet access, and you would want her to have a notebook for answers and doing projects.
The Key to Success: Consistently Checking!
A KEY to making all this work is that she knows someone will check up on her. Without accountability, I don’t think it would work. After you choose her subjects, make her a checklist. We insert our kids’ checklists into a plastic sheet protector (or you could get it laminated at a copy shop). Put it on the fridge or in a public location in the house, and give her a dry-erase marker to check things off each day.
When she is done with a subject for the day, she needs a spot (a basket? a tray? a box? a spot in the kitchen?) where she should put her finished work, so that it can be checked that evening.
For yourself, print the following “Together School” planner, only customize it for your daughter. Then put everything you as teacher will need into a small binder, so you can just open it in the evenings, check your daughter’s work, and then check off the subjects on the “Together School” planner as a record for the state.
“The rod and rebuke give wisdom,
But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (Proverbs 29:15, NKJV).