A Review of

Senior High:

A Home-Designed


Review by Julie Lofurno

(Book by Barb Shelton)



If you are homeschooling a high schooler (or intend to do so soon), I would like to recommend a wonderful resource called Senior High: A Home-Designed Form+U+la. Barbara Edtl Shelton has written a wonderfully detailed manual on how to plan the high school years in a non-traditional manner - and keep track of it all!  Interspersed throughout the book is Barb's unbeatable humor which will keep you in stitches while you become educated, motivated, and encouraged.


Last year, as we embarked on our umpteenth year of homeschooling (which included a ninth grader), we realized that there would be a type of transition in the way we were teaching our oldest child. We began to ponder the possibility that he would want to attend college and, with that in mind, knew we had to "buckle down" and structure his course of study toward that end. We began to think about things like high school "credits" and transcripts, neither of which we were familiar with. We wondered, How can we use the events of everyday life - like changing the oil, babysitting, meal preparation - and fit them into his academic schedule? Well, this book was our answer...


This book will teach you how to set up the FRAMEWORK SYSTEM. It does not tell you what books to use; rather, how to document what you devise. This system accommodates ALL methods of teaching - traditional or non-traditional:


If you like the pure textbook route, this system will work for that.
If you are like us and prefer a mixture of textbooks and real learning experiences, (including apprenticeships), this record keeping system is perfect!
If you consider yourself "unorganized," this manual will help you "get it together"!
If you are an organized person by nature, you will LOVE this book!


Barb takes the reader step-by-step in figuring what subjects to teach over the high school years, how many credits to assign, and even how much time should be spent daily, hourly, weekly and yearly to achieve the goals you and your student set. She helps you understand that biology need not be learned all in one year and shows how easy it is to document biology-related activities over a longer period of time if you desire to stretch the subject out a bit. For example, last year we took advantage of oceanography workshops sponsored by ODU. We documented six biology hours, even though we did not begin an "official" biology course until this year.


The record keeping forms are well designed and are all accompanied by complete instructions and examples... I photocopy all the forms needed for the entire year and organize them into a note-book by subject. (Directions for all this are in the book, too.) Our high schooler is then in charge of maintaining them week to week. This has totally changed our son's approach to his education! He is completely in charge of it!


The Learning Guides cover a vast variety of subject areas and are great "springboards" for other learning activities. These are not your typical fill-in-the-blank forms. They require "thought" and analysis. You can put the report in your child's portfolio as is, or let your student us it as an outline for a report.


Senior High: A Home-Designed Form+U+la is well worth the price. It will not only motivate and encourage you, but it will motivate your high schooler to take control of his education and, if college is on the horizon, equip him for the task ahead. 



Julie Lofurno is a homeschooling mom of four.

She had been homeschooling for 12 years at the time

she wrote this review in 1995.




I got this background and the bear at:



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