Planning High School Courses Book Review by ChristineMM


Title: Planning High School Courses

By: Lee Binz

Genre: Nonfiction, homeschooling high school

Publication: self-published

Format: Kindle eBook

My Star Rating: 3 stars out of 5 = It’s Okay

This is not one of my favorite books by Binz. The recommendations given are skimpy, they are not detailed enough. I thought the book would be about how to plan high school courses, as the title states. Instead this is a very general overview of what courses generally make up a high school education. I just finished reading it for a second time and now I think this gives the big picture; a general macro view that is best for people who have kids in middle school to hear as one of the first things they learn about homeschooling high school. Then once you know the basics, more info will be needed in order to truly plan a course, especially if it is a course you are designing yourself.

An example of the incomplete information is for English she states to do one hour of reading or writing (total) to count as a full credit English course. Yet she does not give recommendations such as “in grade 11 a student should do an in-depth literary analysis of at least three college prep novels, should read at least 6 short stories, and one play, in addition to writing X number of essays and X number of research papers a year”. For the math section she encourages four years of math and lists the typical courses taken.

Sometimes the advice just doesn’t add up. Since a high school credit is at least 120 hours of instruction, the advice in the history chapter to use DVDs from The Teaching Company is incomplete because many of their courses are only 24 or 36 hours in total. She doesn’t say to combine those DVDs with other work to cobble together a custom designed class for your teen.

This is one in a series of short books (approximately 40 pages) in the “Coffee Break Books” series.

In enjoy Binz’s writing style and have found some of her books more helpful than others.

Again I feel this is a big picture view of what a typical high school program looks like and it is best for people who have not yet started the high school homeschool journey. It is a fine introduction but there are some important things that are not explained here that homeschool parents need to know. I have read four of her books and am finding that when put all together the advice is more thorough, just one slice of the pie is sometimes not enough information.

I rate this book 3 stars = It’s Okay.
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