The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Jenny Higgins and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

Homeschool High School Made Easy Review by Renee Knoblauch and Melanie Reynolds

Lea Ann Garfias
8517 Fairfax Avenue
Rowlett, TX 75089

I have been homeschooling for many years now. One question that I hear often is if I’m planning on homeschooling my children in high school? I do want to homeschool my children in high school. I have to admit that high school does intimidate me more than I’d like to admit. This is the endgame for them. I’m often my own worst enemy wondering if I’m doing enough to prepare them academically and spiritually to enter the world beyond the safety of home.

I know many homeschoolers who put their children in public school when their kids enter high school. I’m not saying that I’m against that path as you know what is best for your family. For my family I feel that we have invested so many years and tears into homeschooling our children to let someone else take over the teaching of my children. Regardless of the skills that I feel I may lack academically. I do have confidence knowing that I know my children the best and I have their best interest at heart. With that knowledge I can homeschool my children through high school. I just need some encouragement and the right resources to get me on track for high school.

Homeschool High School Made Easy by Lea Ann Garfias is available as a Digital PDF or a physical book. I will be talking about the Digital PDF. The Digital PDF has twenty-four chapters and 278. Downloading the Digital PDF was easy. The layout for the digital format is easy to read. It was simple navigating back and front and finding where I left off.

I highly recommend you read Introduction section. Reading the Introduction voiced all my fears of homeschooling high school. It made me feel not so alone in this journey.

Lea Ann Garfias is a homeschool graduate herself and now a homeschool mom of six children who has graduated one of her sons through high school and in the process of high schooling another. She comes across as a down to earth homeschool mom who has been in the trenches with the ups and downs of homeschooling. Lea Ann is very practical and realistic in her approach with homeschooling.

This book dives into the many aspects of high school. What’s the big picture going to be for the next four years? Lea Ann breaks down the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year. Very informative tips to keep at the forefront as you move forward each year. Not only are academic tips but also making them more responsible adults.

Another topic she covers is learning style and your teaching style with older and I appreciate the thoughts that Lea Ann covers in the book. I like that she approaches this topic as you usually hear the focus in this area with younger kids. She breaks down each teaching method and what it would look like homeschooling through high school. Whether your method is unschooling, traditional, Charlotte Mason, classical, or eclectic she lays out some good points and presents some pros and cons with high school. She then goes beyond and explains how each method looks for college. 

What about classes outside of the home? She shares many pros and cons from a Biblical worldview offering some alternatives that you may not have thought of. She admits that not all of her friends agree with her choice of homeschooling and high school classes. At the same time, she isn’t dogmatic with only her way is the best way for your homeschool. I appreciate that she talks about many options in an unbiased pros and cons of classes outside of the home that are different than her own.

I really liked how Lea Ann breaks down subjects covering each subject in a separate chapter.  Touching on the requirements needed in Bible, English, math, history, science, and electives. She dissects each subject and what you need to do to fulfill those requirements for each subject. How do we make them study independently for each subject and what about accountability? This section was extremely helpful for me seeing the big picture for the next four years.

There are several chapters that I think are the most important as this is where our kids are growing up and becoming their own person apart from the parents. She shares how our kids are growing into adulthood and how family relationships change. Developing friendships, dating, work, service, and driving. These topics are an area that is just as important as academics that we need to focus on in the next four short years.

There are several chapters devoted to college covering the pros and cons of college. Transcripts, what a typical schedule can look like day by day, college planning, college entrance test, and even beyond college. 

One huge thing I took away from the transcript section was being realistic as when you turn in a transcript with a 4.0 GPA and your students’ test scores on the ACT don’t correspond. The college is going to wonder about the accuracy of your transcripts. Grading your own children is tough and I want to be realistic with that aspect.

I loved the “Tips from Friends” chapter. I would have never thought of take a picture of the reading books until I could record them onto a spread sheet. I would have loved to have a lot more tips in this section.

I have to admit that I jumped on the high school band wagon with my daughter after she started her freshman year. I have special needs daughter who isn’t going to be college bound and most likely will never leave home. After doing research I found that it would be much better for her with job vocational skills and other services available if I keep a transcript for her. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the whole high school mind set with her. After reading Homeschool High School Made Easy I felt like I had this whole high school journey in perspective and could relax some! I now know what I need to do to be successful for the next four years of her high school. I feel more prepared when my son is in high school to prepare him for college with the field he is interested in.

This has been an easy read but also very informative. Whether you are on the verge of homeschooling through high school or contemplating high school I would recommend you grab a cup of tea, notebook, and start your high school journey with Homeschool High School Made Easy.

-Product review by Renee Knoblauch, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2018

Another Review:

Homeschool High School Made Easy

Lea Ann Garfias

I would imagine that most homeschool moms are likely to feel some degree of trepidation when their children approach the high school years. I always felt very confident teaching my child (in most subjects!) during his elementary or middle school years. Yet I noticed that my blood pressure seemed to rise when I thought about transcripts, high school chemistry, or ACT/SAT preparation…or all those other related high school obligations that we’d not needed to focus on in the early years! We were covering our necessary subjects, but I always felt as though I were missing a key ingredient or that we needed to be doing something else for my son’s high school graduation requirements. What that was, though, remained sort of mysterious. I feel incredibly blessed to have received Lea Ann Garfias’ excellent book, Homeschool High School Made Easy. It is available in two formats; softcover print version for $12.39, and Kindle e-book version for $9.95. I received the softcover print version to review, at almost the halfway point of my son’s tenth grade year. I can honestly say that it was the perfect book for me at just the right moment (even though I also wish I had read it when he was in middle school!). I may have come to this book a little later than I had wished. But it has officially become my new manual for preparing my son not only for high school graduation but for adulthood and life.

Lea Ann Garfias is a homeschool mom of four, wife, writer, speaker, musician, and a homeschool graduate herself. Her eldest son has graduated from high school and is attending college, while her second child is currently in high school. And she has taken the many life lessons and tips she learned during her son’s and daughter’s (and her own) experiences with high school and preparing for life, and written them down for homeschool moms (or dads) who desperately want to know how to ready their children for life while ensuring they cover everything necessary during the homeschool high school years. Best yet, she does this in a way that is grace-filled, non-judgmental, and truly fun and encouraging.

Homeschool High School Made Easy begins with a question that homeschool moms have heard before but may have struggled with answering; the family’s “why” or purpose for selecting homeschool in the first place. With just a few simple questions (and examples from her own family), Lea Ann Garfias helps her readers think about why they are homeschooling. Once the “why” or vision of the individual homeschool is known, everything else about homeschool can either flow from or fulfill each family’s chosen reason. Not only can the “why” be a defining characteristic but an encouraging reminder for the homeschool mom during tough times. Garfias discusses how a family can prepare for the high school years. What are the skills a high school student needs to have mastered before entering ninth grade, from study and test preparation to writing and time management? The author breaks up the high school years and discusses not only each one’s required academic subjects but the necessary life and/or college testing and preparation that students will need to work on at the same time. 

What credits does a state require for graduation, and how does one find that out? Will a stdent choose to go on to college? How will the homeschool mom prepare a transcript and get her child ready to take the ACT or the SAT, or write college entrance essays? How will a child select a college? And what about drivers’ licenses and tests? Garfias covers all these topics and much more in an easy (just like in the book’s title!), conversational manner that enables the reader to feel ready and prepared to handle these tasks. She also discusses one of the most important reasons families homeschool; not just to shove a stack of books at children for them to study but homeschooling for focused relational time with the little ones who do grow up so quickly.

So, what have I come away with after reading (and highlighting, and putting Post-It flags on pages, and taking copious notes) Homeschool High School Made Easy? I feel as though a trusted and wise friend, who’s further along the educational journey than I am, has come alongside me and mentored and strengthened me as she’s shared her own experiences and knowledge. I have an understanding of the important things that we need to be covering, in addition to subjects for academic credit, during these last two and a half years of our homeschool. I understand more about making a transcript, helping my student prepare for college entrance, teaching driving skills, and providing opportunities for my son to grow in independence and wisdom. Now, I have a manual in Homeschool High School Made Easy that I can refer to again and again as we continue to prepare our student for high school graduation and life after that. And my stress level, which was pretty huge as I stared at the void entitled “Everything You Need to Do in High School,” has been taken down to a calm and peaceful list of necessary and timely projects and ideas. That is a pretty amazing outcome for any book!

I thoroughly recommend Lea Ann Garfias’ Homeschool High School Made Easy to you. If your children are in elementary school, or middle school, get a copy and read it now. But even if your kids are already in high school but you’re feeling nervous that you’re not doing everything you need to do, it’s not too late! Garfias has easy tips and recommendations for implementing these goals and ideas. You can homeschool high school…and Lea Ann Garfias has written a book to tell you how to do it without stress or worry!

-Product review by Melanie Reynolds, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2018