High School and Beyond

Homeschool through High School? OF COURSE!

HOME is here to assist you from start to finish! Below are a number of links to  resources that will help you during the high school years. For further assistance, please feel free to call the HOME Office at 207-763-2880 to schedule a Preparing for High School consultation session. Consultations are free. 

If you have a young adult who will be finishing their high school program this year, consider participating in HOME's statewide graduation ceremony!

Preparing for High School and Post High School Resource Links

Maine's Early College Programs - Homeschoolers have access to free or low-cost college courses through the University of Maine and Community College System. There are five requirements:

1. The student’s educational program must meet Maine’s legal requirements for home instruction.
2. The college must have space in the classroom for the student.
3. The student must have completed all course prerequisites.
4. The student must submit such evidence of academic fitness as the college may request.
5. The student must receive the college’s approval of the student’s academic fitness.

For more information on Maine's Early College Programs visit Early College Programs.

Additional list of resources for high school students considering college:

PSAT - ME - 992099, NH - 993099, MA - 992299
SAT - all states use 970 000
 
  • Visit the Homeschooling Thru High School pages on HSLDA's website for information and encouragement for parents who are teaching high school aged children. Here you will find:

- Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Curriculum resource lists and links
- Record keeping and transcript resources
- Testing resources
- College admissions information
- Plus lots more...
 
  • The Congressional Award - America's Best Kept Secret - The Congress of the United States awards bronze, silver, and gold medals to deserving youth, ages 14 to 23, who have set and achieved goals in the four areas of personal development, physical fitness, voluntary public service, and expedition/exploration. The only civilian medals struck by Congress, these awards are highly regarded by colleges and universities for scholarships and admission, even at the Ph.D. level.


Resources and Books from HOME and
 The Heart of HOME Bookstore



Home School, High School and Beyond

by Beverly Adams-Gordon
Cost: $24.95

100 Picks
by Cathy Duffy
Selecting the right curriculum can be a time consuming, heart wrenching task for any family that chooses home education. Now, homeschooling guru Cathy Duffy makes choosing the right resources for your child easy!
Cost: $21.99

Homeschooling High School
by Jeanne Gowen Dennis
Cost: $24.99
 
Homeschoolers' College Admission Handbook
by Cafi Cohen
Cost: $17.95

Graduation Supplies and High School Diplomas*

Homeschoolers of Maine offers a diploma specifically designed for homeschool graduates. The certificate arrives ready to be inscribed with the graduate's name and date of graduation. The diploma's seal depicts the lamp of knowledge encircled by Psalm 119:105. The cost is $30, which includes shipping. Caps and Gowns are also available. To order, please contact HOME at (207)763-2880.

* By sale of this diploma, HOME does not certify completion of any course of study.

Free Online Courses Fulfilling Maine High School Course Requirements

Compiled by Kathi Kearney, M.A. Ed., Homeschooling Consultant

This list of sites does NOT
imply an endorsement by HOME of these sites or
their materials. Please use your discretion.


About This Site: This site was developed to assist Maine homeschooling families to locate free high school courses available on the Internet. The courses are sponsored by a wide variety of providers, including public and private schools, public education cooperatives, state and federal governments, homeschool organizations, and individuals. All courses and instructional materials posted on this website are completely free for homeschoolers and others to use.



  • Click here for more information about how courses for this site were selected.
  • Click here for tips on how to select an online course for your high school student.
  • Click here for tips on how to incorporate an online course into your homeschooling program.

Disclaimer: The listing of these sites does not imply an endorsement by HOME of these sites or their materials. Please use your discretion.



  • The following organizations offer a wide variety of free course materials online. You will need to search these sites individually for the courses you need. The offerings change frequently, so print out or download and save any materials you plan to use over the course of the school year.

COOLSchool - Eugene, OR
This is a public online school with a policy of providing most of its course materials, readings, and assignments online for anyone to look at and use. If you want credit, a tutor or classmates, or want to use the interactive sections of the course, you must register and pay a fee. If you only want to use the materials, they are FREE online. COOLSchool now posts its course materials each semester, so course offerings change periodically. Thus, if you find something you want to use with your homeschooler this year, you may want to print out any course materials or readings needed. Course offerings are available for a wide variety of high school courses, including math, English, history, foreign language, science, art, health, and Advanced Placement English and Calculus courses. You may need to purchase a textbook for some courses.

MIT OpenCourseWare
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology places most of their course materials free online for anyone to use. Some of the course packages are very complete, and advanced high school homeschoolers would be able to study the materials on their own.





  • LINKS TO SPECIFIC ONLINE COURSES IN THE HIGH SCHOOL SUBJECT AREAS
    The links below provide access to specific FREE online courses in the high school subject areas.

English & Language Arts

  •  Debate
    This “Debate Central” site will link you to many resources on debate, including a 13-part “Critical Advocacy” streaming video series on the how-tos of debate (at least the free version of RealPlayer must be downloaded to your computer to view these videos). Also included is the free syllabus, course instruction videos, and free online debate textbook used for Dr. Snider’s Fundamentals of Debate course at the University of Vermont. Used together, these resources could comprise a full-year debate course for high school English. Type of Type of Website: College or University (University of Vermont)

  • British Poetry of World War I
    A series of free online seminars exploring the poetry of World War I. In addition to traditional literary analysis, teaches students to evaluate original manuscripts (provided in digital format). For advanced students. Type of Website: College or University (Oxford University, England)

  • Basic Composition: Paradigm Online Writing Assistant
    This online course provides assistance in the development of basic writing composition skills necessary for college-bound students. Each explanatory section comes complete with assignments. Also included is instruction in how to write four different types of essays: Informal, thesis/support, argumentative, and exploratory. This course could be used as a stand-alone course in composition, or the course segments distributed over several years of high school as part of another English course. Type of Website: Individual (Chuck Gilford, Assistant Professor of English, Boise State University)

  • Principles of Composition
    This is a complete course in English composition with interactive exercises and assignments, covering patterns and structures of composition. (Capital Community College, Hartford, CT)

    Supplemental Resources: The Elements of style, by Strunk

  • Traditional English Grammar: Description and Use
    This is an online text/course with built-in self-correcting quizzes. This grammar course is in-depth, intensive, and for advanced students. (Don Hardy, Colorado State University)

  • Grammar and Writing
    This is an interactive course in grammar applied to writing. Includes many online interactive quizzes and complete explanations of English grammar, with applications to written composition. (Capital Community College, Hartford, CT)

  • SCORE CyberGuides, 9-12
    SCORE CyberGuides are model literature units based on the California state standards. Each unit provides comprehension, analysis, and extension activities based on literature. 43 different book units are available; select according to student interest and reading level. All are appropriate literature selections for high school study.

    NOTE: You will need to locate a copy of each book. Some units use books that are available completely online. The following books from the SCORE CyberGuides unit series may be read online or downloaded free in their entirety:

    Huckleberry Finn (also available on audiobook)

    The Canterbury Tales

    Cyrano de Bergerac

    Great Expectations (also available on audiobook)

    Hamlet

    Julius Caesar

    My Antonia

    Romeo & Juliet

    The Tempest

  • BBC’s Get Writing Course
    Beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of instruction and practical application exercises. Explore the site, then click on “mini-courses” to get started. (British Broadcasting Corporation)

  • The Basics of Screenwriting
    A six-module course covering these topics: The Premise, Character Development, Screenplay Structure and Visual Storytelling, Setting the Scene, and Formatting Your Masterpiece. (American Film Institute)

  • News Writing
    This is a video instruction series in the basics of journalism. 15 half-hour video segments, using online video-on-demand, with commentary by leading journalists.

    NOTE 1: Requires DSL broadband connection.

    NOTE 2: There is an optional a student text and teacher’s guide to accompany this video online course, but they must be purchased. The books are not absolutely necessary to use the video course. You may wish to listen to each segment, then design your own assignment to practice the video segment topic.

Mathematics

  • Elementary Statistics
    A basic elementary statistics course complete with 12 thirty-minute video lectures, assignments, quizzes, online calculator, and exams with answer keys. A complete statistics course. (Sofia Open Content Initiative)

  • Against All Odds: Introductory Statistics
    This online video course includes 26 half-hour video modules and introduces the basic principles of statistics.

    NOTE 1: Requires DSL broadband connection.

    NOTE 2: Optional textbooks to accompany this course may be purchased.

    Supplemental Resource: AP Statistics Course Description and Syllabi You must register (it’s free) first, then you may download any AP Course Description and sample syllabi


  • Geometry
    Basic geometry course; interactive with online video. Originally designed for teacher training. (Annenburg/CPB)

  • Geometry in Art & Architecture
    This website accompanies a class of the same title offered at Dartmouth College. Website is extensive, offering course readings, slides, and other links. This course was originally designed for non-math majors. Type of Website: College or University (Dartmouth College)

    Supplement this course with Euclid’s Elements.

  • Pre-Algebra
    Type of Website: Commercial (free-ed.net)

  • Patterns, Functions, and Algebra
    Basic Algebra course; interactive with online video. Originally designed for teacher training. (Annenburg/CPB)

    Supplement this course with free online Algebra I textbook, Understanding Algebra (Boise State University)

Science

(*Laboratory study experiences need to be added by the homeschooling family for some of these courses.)



  • Biology
    Note: This course contains some evolutionary material. Use at your own discretion and/or supplement with creation-based science texts.
    This very extensive online syllabus provides instructional material, online readings, and online activities and web labs. This would serve as a good basic course in biology for high school students, and can be used without purchasing a textbook. Type of Website: Public School (North Warren Regional High School Blairstown, NJ), Individual (Chris Halloran)

  • Advanced Placement Biology On-Line Syllabus
    Note: This course contains some evolutionary material. Use at your own discretion and/or supplement with creation-based science texts. This course requires use of the textbook Biology(4th ed.), by Peter Raven & George Johnson.
    This is a massive and well-organized site, which includes reading assignments, teacher's lecture outlines, a timetable for the course, selections from online textbooks and hypermedia from leading colleges and universities (including MIT), and a large number of well-selected online activities to support learning the course material, including links to virtual labs. Although technically not an "online course," the materials could be used as is, accompanied by the recommended textbook, to more than meet the instructional requirements of AP Biology. You will need to purchase or borrow the required textbook, Biology (fourth edition), by Peter Raven & George Johnson (McGraw-Hill, Publishers). Type of Website: Public School (North Warren Regional High School, Blairstown, NJ) & Individual (Chris Halloran)

    Laurie Callihan, science teacher and co-author of the book The Guidance Manual for the Christian Home School, writes:

    "I followed the links on this page and almost forgot there was life outside the internet! An incredible maze of online texts, practice problems, cool sites and lots more – you could spend days here. It is evolutionary because the AP course is evolutionary so I would supplement with good Christian creationist materials from ICR.org or Answersingenesis.org or a creationist text such as Apologia or A Beka. . .Otherwise, top-notch stuff! (Texts from MIT especially!)"

    Supplemental Resource: AP Biology Course Description and Syllabi You must register (it’s free) first, then you may download any AP Course Description and sample syllabi

  • The Biology Project
    Note: This course contains some evolutionary material. Use at your own discretion and/or supplement with creation-based science texts.
    This website was designed to support college-level study in biology. The site provides instructional materials, problem sets, and links. The course materials can be used in whole or in part to design or to supplement your own biology course. Type of Website: College or University (University of Arizona)

  • General Chemistry I and General Chemistry II
    (Less like a course and more like an online textbook) For advanced students with an excellent math background.

  • Concept Development Studies in Chemistry
    An online chemistry textbook.

  • Physics I Online Course Outline
    This site is actually a hyper linked online textbook, not a full course. For advanced students.

  • Physics I, 8.01
    This course is a first-semester college freshman level physics course available free in its entirety, including 35 videotaped lectures, from the MIT OpenCourseWare project.
    “8.01 is a first-semester freshman physics class in Newtonian Mechanics, Fluid Mechanics, and Kinetic Gas Theory. The website features lecture notes, problem sets with solutions, exams with solutions, links to related resources, and a complete set of videotaped lectures. The 35 video lectures by Professor Lewin, were recorded on the MIT campus during the Fall of 1999. Prof. Lewin is well-known at MIT and beyond for his dynamic and engaging lecture style.”

    The entire course, including video lectures, may be downloaded. For advanced high school students who are ready for college-level work.
    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology OpenCourseWare Project)

  • Nature Transformed: The Environment in American History
    This is an extensive interdisciplinary, online, hyperlinked curriculum guide including essays, discussion helps, extensive links to related online resources and readings for each section. Students who complete all essay readings, participate in discussions if possible, and select several areas to explore further using the related online resources will obtain a strong foundation in environmental science as it has played out across American history. (TeacherServe, National Humanities Center)

  • Physics & Astronomy: From Stargazers to Starships
    Teacher’s Guide to From Stargazers to Starships
    A complete course, physics and algebra-based. (U. S. Government, NASA)
    Type of Website: U. S. Government (NASA)

Social Studies

  • The New Deal Network: The Great Depression of the 1930s
    Although technically not an online course, this site contains enough instructional material in the teacher lesson plans that when coupled with the primary sources of the main New Deal Network site an indepth semester-long course on this topic is easily created. Type of Website: Co-sponsored by three separate entities: Non-profit Organization (Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute), College or University (Teachers College, Columbia University), Government (National Endowment for the Humanities)

  • The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War
    Although technically not an online course, this site includes teacher curriculum guides and a vast number of carefully selected primary source documents. Studied together, an indepth semester-long course on this topic is easily created. Type of Website: College or University (University of Virginia – Virginia Center for Digital History)

  • Digital History
    This includes a free hyperlinked online U. S. History textbook, learning modules, classroom handouts and worksheets, active and problem-based learning activities, multimedia including online e-lectures, online virtual exhibits, and links to hundreds of primary sources and history reference materials. This site can be used to create either basic or AP U. S. History course content. (University of Houston)

    Supplemental Resource: AP U. S. History Course Description and Syllabi http://www.apcentral.collegeboard.com/ You must register (it’s free) first, then you may download any AP Course Description and sample syllabi.

  • HOME: The Story of Maine is a 13-part video series and accompanying website created by the Maine Public Broadcasting Network. This series is a complete exploration of Maine history and culture (including Native American contributions). Five of the videos may be viewed online at the website; Maine educators (including homeschoolers) are allowed to tape episodes for educational use when they are aired periodically on MPBN television stations, or they may be ordered for the price of a blank videotape from the Maine State Library's Educational Video Services (details here: http://www.mpbn.net/homestom/classroom1.html) The website also includes history time lines for each century; arts and culture time lines; Native American cultural resources; and detailed lesson plans and worksheets for teachers, to accompany each of the 13 video segments. This website and the accompanying video series provides a comprehensive, high school level Maine studies course. (Maine Public Broadcasting Network)

  • My Own Business
    Course List an online course on starting your own business. Includes 12 session modules, short audio lectures, and specific assignments. NOTE: Be sure to select the “free course” option. (My Own Business private company, in cooperation with the U. S. Small Business Administration)

    Supplemental materials: Find many other free online business and entrepreneurship courses, curriculum, materials, and templates at the Small Business Administration website.

  • The Western Tradition
    Video instructional series; 52 half hour programs covering the scope of Western civilization. Uses video-on-demand, playable from the site.

    NOTE 1: Requires DSL broadband connection.

    NOTE 2: Site lists an optional textbook; if you choose to use this you will need to purchase or borrow it.

  • Divining America: Religion and the National Culture
    Includes essays by leading scholars tracing religious issues and influences across American history. Extensive links to supplemental resources and primary source documents accompany each essay. Used together they provide a course of study in the history and influence of religion on American history and culture. (TeacherServe, National Humanities Center)

Fine Arts

  • Introduction to Music Theory
    A basic music theory course; includes instruction, assignments, and sound files.

  • Sound Reasoning
    This is a music appreciation course with built-in “listening galleries” and an interactive online workbook. (Anthony Brandt, Connexions)

  • Music Theory Online
    Type of Website: Individual (Dr. Brian Blood)

  • Music Theory on the Web
    Type of Website: College or University (Southern Methodist University)

Foreign Languages

(Note: Although not a required subject under Maine homeschool law, two or more years of foreign language instruction at the high school level is preferred by many colleges and universities)



  • Italian I
    This is a self-contained, comprehensive online Italian I course, featuring instructional materials, online quizzes and tests, and sound files. Type of Website: College or University (City University of New York at Brooklyn)

  • Icelandic Online: Modern Icelandic Language and Culture
    Includes all instructional materials and sound files. (University of Iceland)

  • Beginners German
    This provides a full German I course online, including extensive instruction in German grammar. 20 chapters of which 12 are currently online, practice exercises, online grammar lectures and reference section. Includes sound files. (University of Exeter, United Kingdom)

  • French I & II:
    Francais Interactif is a complete college-level first year French course (corresponding to French I and French II of high school level French; one semester of college coursework usually equals one year of high school coursework). This course includes all the basics of language study -- vocabulary, grammar, listening, speaking, culture, and practice. The site is complete with sound files, grammar exercises, cultural information, videos, and even internet explorations. Grammar explanations and practice link to a clever sister site, Tex's French Grammar, which provides detailed grammar explanations for the entire French grammar plus sound files and interactive exercises for grammar practice. For high school French I, use chapters 1 through 6; for French II, use chapters 7 through 13. (University of Texas - Austin).

  • Ancient Greek with Thrasymachus
    This extensive, complete curriculum guide includes detailed lesson plans for the teacher, materials for the student, and student exercises. The curriculum guide accompanies the textbook, Thrasymachus, by C. W. E. Peckett and A. R. Munday, and was written by a professor of classics at Duquesne University and a high school teacher of Greek and Latin at St. Paul's School (a private independent school). You will need to download a Greek font for your computer (directions are included). (Alison Barker)

    NOTE: It is helpful to have the textbook Thrasymachus, published by C. W. E. Peckett and A. R. Munday, Bristol Classical Press, 1990. However, it is possible to use the curriculum guide as is if you do not have access to the book.

  • Modern Greek
    Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced modern Greek, with online instructional materials, quizzes, and sound files. You need to register to use this site, but registration is free. Type of Website: Government (Cyprus)

  • BBC Language Courses: Beginning French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, & languages of the UK
    Based on their popular TV series, the British Broadcasting Corporation provides free beginning online language courses complete with video and sound clips, practice activities, and interactive quizzes and tests. Most courses cover the first quarter or first semester of a high school class. Supplementary materials and tapes may be ordered at the website for a small fee. Type of Website: Government (Britain)

Computer Skills - Meeting Computer Proficiency Requirement

  • Web Page Authoring
    This is a college freshman level course in the basics of html and web page design. Suitable for high school students. (Sofia Open Content Initiative).

  • IBM Programming Tutorials for Developers
    Type of Website: Commercial (IBM)

  • Computer Tutorials on the Net
    Links to online tutorials for many major commercial software programs (PowerPoint, JAVA, Eudora, SPSS, PhotoShop, PaintShop Pro, Illustrator, HyperStudio, Excel). Type of Website: Commercial (emTech)

Maine Studies

  • HOME: The Story of Maine is a 13-part video series and accompanying website created by the Maine Public Broadcasting Network. This series is a complete exploration of Maine history and culture (including Native American contributions). Five of the videos may be viewed online at the website; Maine educators (including homeschoolers) are allowed to tape episodes for educational use when they are aired periodically on MPBN television stations, or they may be ordered for the price of a blank videotape from the Maine State Library's Educational Video Services (details here: http://www.mpbn.net/homestom/classroom1.html) The website also includes history timelines for each century; arts and culture time lines; Native American cultural resources; and detailed lesson plans and worksheets for teachers, to accompany each of the 13 video segments. This website and the accompanying video series provides a comprehensive, high school level Maine studies course. (Maine Public Broadcasting Network)

The following websites provide extensive primary source material and educational materials to assist the home educator in designing a substantial course to meet this requirement.)
 

Special Education

  • The Hadley School for the Blind High School Program
    The Hadley School for the Blind offers a free distance learning high school program for blind and visually impaired students, covering all the basic high school courses required for graduation plus Braille, Bible, and Independent Living. Instruction is delivered in several media, including braille, online, or recordings. The student chooses the preferred format for the course materials. (Click HERE for a full listing of available courses. Type of Website: Non-Profit Organization (Hadley School for the Blind)

Physical Education

  • Bowling
    This course was originally part of BYU’s independent study program. This is a comprehensive one-semester college-level physical education class, appropriate for older high school students. (Brigham Young University)

    NOTE: Requires access to a local bowling alley.

  • Intermediate Swimming
    This course was originally part of BYU’s independent study program. This is a comprehensive one-semester college-level physical education class, appropriate for older high school students. (Brigham Young University)

    NOTE: Requires access to a local swimming pool.

Health Education No Free sites found for this subject at this time.

Library Skills

http://homeschoollearning.com/units/unit_09-10-01.shtml

http://www.homeschoolhelperonline.com/lapbooks/library.htm


End of Free Courses Listing

How Were the Courses Selected to Be Posted on this Website?

The courses had to meet the following criteria:

  • The course materials must be available completely free on the Internet, other than requiring a textbook that might need to be purchased or borrowed. There is one exception to this. In their original format, the many courses offered by the Eugene, Oregon-based COOLSchool (formerly Cyberschool) are actually interactive, fee-based courses. However, because of the COOLSchool’s unusual policy of placing most lesson materials online for anyone to view, most of the actual course materials, assignments, and activities are all posted free online. Most homeschooling parents are comfortable evaluating their children’s work themselves, so the material in the COOLSchool’s course could easily be adapted for use in the homeschool. It is possible for a homeschooling family to use all of the course materials free online, and grade the student’s work themselves, just as they would with any other purchased homeschooling curriculum or textbook. COOLSchool’s course links have been posted in a separate section on this website.

  • The courses must be substantial. In other words, as stand-alone courses, they must include either a full semester or a full year’s worth of instructional material.

  • The courses must provide high school courses required by many colleges and universities, or courses typically recommended by technical and trade colleges, or provide substantial enrichment to a college-prep, general studies, or technical studies high school program.

  • The courses must include content that most homeschooling families would not find objectionable. A few courses were rejected for inclusion because they did not meet these criteria.

How Do I Select a Course for My Child?

  • First, review thoroughly any courses that you are considering. You should not be a slave to any curriculum, online or traditional. Curriculum is a tool for learning, not an end in itself.

  • Reviewing a course means reviewing all of the course, not just part of it. Take the time to scan every lesson and activity. You want a course that meets academic requirements, but you also want a course that will be responsive to your child’s learning style and is not in opposition in any way to your religious beliefs or your family’s values. You also want to make sure that the course will be easy for your child to use. Some children respond better to one approach than another, and different instructional approaches are evident in different online courses, just as they are in courses delivered “live.”

  • If you are unsure if your child will respond well to online learning, let the child try out a few lessons to see how he or she responds.

How Do I Use an Online Course?


  • Make sure that you are able to support your child’s learning in an online course. You don’t need to know Algebra I for your child to benefit from an online course in this area, but you will need to help keep your child motivated to learn, provide support when necessary, and keep records and perhaps grade some tasks.

  • Keep records. Keep records of your child’s progress in an online course the same way as you would with traditional curriculum materials. Many families use a logbook or a teacher’s plan book where the instructional materials completed each day are recorded.

  • Engage your child in discussions about what he or she is learning online. Sometimes online learning can be a little lonely unless the student has a real person with whom to discuss ideas and questions.

  • If you are absolutely dependent on an online course for your child’s full instruction in any particular subject area, you may want to print out some or all of the instructional materials, or download the course website for later use, using software such as WebWhacker. Unlike books, websites have a way of coming and going. Although most of the online courses above are at stable websites, occasionally a website will change from a free to a fee-based site without much warning, and sometimes part of the content or even a website itself may disappear completely. It is always better to be safe than sorry.