A Day (&Week) in My Teen's High School Life

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Do you wonder what homeschooling your teen might look like?

Today, I'd like to share how we did our days during my daughter's senior year...fitting in core studies, but also making time for other important things like..cookie making, homemade electives and not to forget, nature study to refresh and renew us.

Usually, my teen and I would meet on Sunday nights, and make a schedule for the following week, based on what was needed to be accomplished for each core subject.  Then my daughter would write out a rough schedule for her week. 

Then we always met in the mornings to go over the studies for the day. My teen would decide what she wanted to do when.  Once she was a senior, she scheduled her week herself, based on a list of assignments that I gave her each Sunday.  

Core studies were usually done in the mornings through the early afternoons.  After that we often had science experiments, time for writing, or elective projects to do. 

Then evenings were for outside activities a couple of days per week.  Sometimes evenings were used to finish up work, as needed.  Yes, that's a lot of study time.... 

Just in our backyard.

However, when we got behind, we could do a catch up week, and take a whole day to do each core subject, like English on Monday, math on Tuesday, etc.  And we always built in a LOT of fun things to do, too.

So, here's one of our favorite catch up weeks, from my teen's senior year.  NOTE - As a blogger, I tend to focus on the positives, and the week described below was one of our stellar weeks.  

There were also weeks filled with the flu, others when my teen found her studies boring, and then there were times when I so wished that I could have a day to myself, without having to be there 24/7 to motivate and guide my student.  And, of course the times when we found that our curriculum did not work, and we needed to make a change...alas.  And it always it seemed to be with the most expensive curriculum...lol.

Homeschooling high school is hard, it really is.  But parenting teens is hard, whether using public or private school, or homeschooling, don't you agree?  We found that the benefits of homeschooling out weighted the negatives, for sure, for our daughter.  (But that is another post, in the making, lol.)

So with that understanding, here's how one of our most fun catch up weeks went, during my teen's senior year......

It was in the spring, a few weeks before her homeschool prom. We had just bought this dress....

We got this at a thrift shop.

After all the excitement of the prom dress...we did some catch up work, but also a lot of goofing off, too.  Homeschoolers can go to prom too, and the post mentioned above has more on that.

Monday, my teen focused on her chemistry course, at the coffeeshop. We are using Switched on Schoolhouse.  I love how it is self graded.  

If there is a question that I can't answer (btw, I am not a science person!), my teen could have tutoring from SOS, by the half hour, which is easily arranged, and has been a great help to us.  There are also a number of online tutoring options available, for help, as you know.

Tuesday, it was warm enough to study outside....so nice!! So my teen studied outside and made it an English day. Afterwards, we drove together just for fun and for her driving practice.
Studying outside makes it so much better!
Wednesday, she worked on her online Government course.  Taking a lot of time at once, really helped her to catch up on this course.  Then she had an irish dance practice, getting ready for this recital...

A chance to hang out with her teen friends.
Thursday was math day. We went to the library, where I worked on some computer projects, while my teen did her online math course, also from SOS.  Getting out, to the library or a coffee shop, was something that we took advantage of, to get a change of scenery.

Later we stopped by our local farmer's market and picked up some favorite veggies, for a easy to prepare dinner for that night...
I love the farmer's market.
We also picked up some veggies starts at this market, can't wait until I can plant them!

I love watching plants grow.  You plant them, water them, give them some fertilizer a few times, and you can almost just know that they will grow!  I like results that I can depend on, lol.

Friday morning, a friend came over to study. They worked together on one of my daughter's electives, video-making.  I think making cookies and was just as interesting, though...

After she left, there was one assignment and an essay to finish for the weekend.  

But we both needed a break, so we decided to head out... into a beautiful, sunny day!  We drove to our most favorite beach, we are lucky, it was nearby... and were treated to this gorgeous blue sky!  Yes, I am a photography mom.

Enjoying nature means a lot to me, and I am so glad to be passing that onto my daughter.  She has become a photographer, too.  What hobbies would you like to do with your kids?

Things have been pretty intense with my daughter's senior year, with her studies and all.  It has been a lot of concentrated work, so we always tried to build in some concentrated FUN, too.  You gotta play!

Especially when there is such a nice sunset.....


And, most importantly, I love that my daughter has developed a true appreciation of nature...
Yes, high school does take a lot of study time, but we made sure that we not only worked hard, but we also played hard. too.  And built in time apart, too, to give me a chance to do something that I enjoyed, or just get some peaceful time to myself.  That helped a lot.

Are you curious how our days looked when my daughter was younger?  We homeschooled since age 3, and here's how we did it in the elementary years....

Have you seen my new book yet?  I wrote it to make planning high school easier for families.  Soon it will be available on Educents.

 Kindle is on sale thru April 9th on Amazon

How does your teen's high school week usually go?  I love reading your comments.  This post is connected to the Not Back to School Blog Hop - Day in the Life Week.

 More high school posts are on Pinterest here: Homeschooling High School Pinterest Board


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Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is mom to her now college junior, whom she homeschooled from day one.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh school & college and wrote the book - Homeschooling High School with College in Mind.   She offers free homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting

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Note - This post may included affiliate links to products that we love and have used or would use in our  own homeschool. Please see my disclosure policy.


  1. Thank you for linking up with us on our Hip Homeschool Hop! I have teens that I homeschool too, and it's great to hear from other moms who are homeschooling teens. :)

    1. Thank you, Wendy Hilton! Sorry for the delay, but I enjoy linking up with the Hip Homeschool Hop and I do that a lot! I am so glad that we homeschooled high school and I wish you a great rest of your homeschool journey,

  2. Hi Betsy,
    I started homeschooling my younger kids two years ago. My oldest daughter joined us last year when she was going into her junior year. This year, they are in 12th, 9th and 6th grades. I gather from your posts that you have a combination of structured and unstructured learning. If that is true, how do you make it happen without "doing school at home"? You both just seemed to have such a relaxed approach---which is wonderful! In my state (PA), we are relatively heavily regulated and I struggle with this all the time!! Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  3. Hi Susan B, it's nice to meet you! We used curriculum for each of our core subjects, but from that I worked in as much child-led stuff as I could. We used Oak Meadow for English, for exampe, and would change the topic to her interest, or pick and choose from the many writing assignments in the curriculum, and do the ones that she was interested in. We modified things and did not feel that we needed to do every assignment, but I made sure that she got enough to develop strong writing skills for college, as she wanted to go there. Does PA require you to finish each book? Then for electives, we did a lot of our own homemade courses. Photography was mini-road trips, where we took lots of pictures, and edited them together. State Government class was based on her time spent doing a mock government activity with other teens, throughout the year, and that became an credit in state government. She got to decide all of her electives and we had flexibility with her study schedule, so we were not hitting the books all day, together. Sometimes, she preferred to read her history at night, etc. I would enjoy chatting further with you on this, if you like, as I am curious as to what you are required to do in PA. Feel free to message me @ BJ's Homeschool facebook page @https://www.facebook.com/betsyhomeschoolcoach/. Thanks for stopping by! le, and it offered lots of related projects, along with their weekly lessons. For example, w

  4. Thanks for your response!
    I don't think there are specific rules on finishing text books or programs in PA but I generally try to follow the 2/3 rule. I have to admit that homeschooling high school the first year was a bit overwhelming as my oldest daughter decided last minute to do it. For that reason and others, I felt some of our curricular choices were hit or miss and, therefore, became quite eclectic!! This year, I am trying a membership with an online curriculum provider and, so far, I feel like it will be a great match for many of our core and elective classes for all of my kids. Plus, it is very budget friendly!:)
    I would really love to chat with you more as well. I do not, however, have a Facebook page! (Probably the last one on earth, right?!) I love learning from homeschool veterans and always value their advice. I prefer not to give my email or phone on the web so I am not sure how this will work! Let me know if you have other ideas!
    Thanks again!

  5. Feel free to stop by and comment any time! That is one of the reasons that I blog, to meet other homeschool families, and connect via my blog. It sounds like you have a good thing going for this year, with your online curriculum membership. I have looked at Time 4 Learning and I hear that it is a strong one, too, all the way through high school but I have not used it myself. There are so many options out there now, it must be hard for families to choose! Feel free to reconnect on another blog post comment section. That would be fun! Enjoy those kiddos of yours, and thank you for stopping by, Susan B.

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