teaching tips blog


Nov 25, 2013

How Can I Possibly Teach High School Courses?

Diane Kummer

Whether you are looking ahead to teaching high school in a few years, or you are in the midst of teaching high school, there may be times when you lack confidence to provide a certain course to your teen. One way to address this concern is to become aware of the many different possible options. A smorgasbord of choices is available including parent-taught courses, CD/DVD instruction, tutors, online courses, co-op classes, or dual enrollment courses.  Line right up and catch a glimpse of the feast!  

Parent-taught classes

Don’t ever underestimate your ability to teach a high school course. With the great variety of homeschool curricula and resources, it’s likely you will find everything you need to teach the course of your choosing. Most homeschool curricula from large publishers offer teacher’s guides, tests, quizzes, and answer keys. Many also offer suggestions for using their material, and some provide a helpline for parents who need additional help when teaching the material.  HSLDA’s website offers curriculum suggestions in 40 different subject areas

CD/DVD Instruction

If you would like to offer a course to your teen but feel you need help with the actual instruction, some publishers include CD/DVD instruction with their materials. For example, Saxon, Chalk Dust, and Teaching Textbooks all offer CD/DVD math instruction. BJU Press offers DVD instruction at all levels for most subjects.


A tutor to teach an entire course or to simply provide supplemental help in a given subject may be an answer to your teaching needs. Good sources for tutors include homeschool moms, recent homeschool graduates, retirees from among your friends, relatives, or church members, former teachers who are now stay at home moms, or tutor agencies. Set up a trial run of perhaps a month to determine if the tutor is helpful.

Online courses

For any course you would like to offer your teen, there is probably an online course! Online courses differ in terms of interaction, so be sure to check out the format of the course and also look carefully at the instructor’s background and credentials. This list represents a small sampling of online courses.

Co-op Classes

Many areas offer co-op settings for homeschoolers. Be familiar with what is being offered in your locale. Or, if there are not co-ops, you may be instrumental in setting up one in your area.  It may be helpful to begin with just a few families. Parents can each take turns teaching sections of a particular course, or one parent can teach an entire course to many teens from different families. Some co-ops hire outside teachers with each homeschool family contributing to the instructor’s fee. Co-op teaching is legal in many states, but check with your HSLDA legal assistant if you are unsure how co-op teaching is viewed by your state. 

Co-op classes spread the teaching responsibilities, provide ready-made audiences for presentations, and offer your teens the experience of having a teacher with different expectations than you. 

Dual-enrollment Courses

If your high schooler is ready for the challenge, you may want to investigate the possibility of registering him for a college course at a community college in your area. Visit the college to discuss the options with an academic advisor. Some colleges require your teens to take a placement test (usually either the Compass or Accuplacer) to determine if they have the academic skills to do well in a college course. “Dual Enrollment:  A Two for One Deal” provides additional details about this option.