How Many Books Should MY Homeschool High Schooler Read?

How many books should MY homeschool high schooler read? That is the question we hear SO often.

How Many Books Should MY Homeschool High Schooler Read?

How Many Books Should MY Homeschool High Schooler Read?

This is an important question! Homeschool high schoolers need to read…and they need to read a lot! These are formative years. Teens develop thinking skills, attention skills and creativity by reading.

Many of them will never read an entire book after high school graduation. A Pew research study reported that 24% of adults don’t read books in any form (even audi0).

So, it’s a good idea to get the exposure to great thoughts and stories now, while they are in high school!

Often, though, homeschool parents are not sure how many books their teens should read each year. Here is what we advise them:

  1. There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school! All teens are different in their abilities, interests and needs.
  2. However, there are some tried-and-true guidelines that you can follow or adapt to your teens’ needs.

Here are the guidelines we use.

First, you need to determine your homeschool high schoolers’ level. While there’s not a standardized definition of levels (some schools call them *phases*), these are the levels that our homeschool community uses. (Here is a post that explains levels.)

Next, adjust expectations by the year your homeschool high schoolers are in? Over the grades 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grades there are increasing expectations.

You will find that literature study guides are important. The guides help students develop critical thinking, vocabulary, literature analysis and creativity skills. These are skills that teens usually can’t develop efficiently on their own. However, they do NOT need to complete a literature guide for every book! Simply keep other finished books listed on a master list for the year.

We developed 7Sisters’ Literature Study Guides for our local homeschool community because we found that other guides were either too intense, had too much busywork or could not be adapted to differing levels and abilities of our teens. Over the years, the local teens have vetted them. (We keep them reasonably priced, too.)

How Many Books Should MY Homeschool High Schooler Read?
Literature Study Guides that give real learning without busywork or overkill. Click here for a complete list of 7Sisters Study Guides.

Now, follow this guide for the answer to the question: How many books should MY homeschool high schooler read?

Level 1 (Remedial Level)

These are students with learning or developmental disabilities. There is no standardized number of books for these students since needs, abilities and goals vary widely. The main idea is that each year should show progress.

How Many Books Should MY Homeschool High Schooler Read? Literature Analysis
Some Level 1 students and many Level 2 students enjoy Literature with this course. Click image for more information.

Level 2 (Average High School Level)

These are students who are not college bound or are not English,Communications, History or Humanities majors and are aiming for a non-competitive or community college.

  • 9th and 10th grades: 10 books (3 should be classics, at least 4 should have literature study guides, 5 can be books of the Bible)
  • 11th grade: 12 books (3 should be classics, at least 4 should have literature study guides, 6 can be books of the Bible)
  • 12th grade: 15 books (3 should be classics, at least 5 should have literature study guides, 6 can be books of the Bible)

How Many Books Should MY Homeschool High Schooler Read? Great Christian Writers Literature Course

 

Level 3 (College Preparatory Level)

These are students are college bound but not English,Communications, History or Humanities majors and are aiming for a moderately-competitive or community college.

  • 9th and 10th grades: 15 books (3 should be classics, at least 3 should have literature study guides, 5 can be books of the Bible)
  • 11th grade: 18 books (4 should be classics, at least 6 should have literature study guides, 5 can be books of the Bible)
  • 12th grade: 20 books (4 should be classics, at least 6 should have literature study guides, 5 can be books of the Bible)
How Many Books Should MY Homeschool High Schooler Read? British Literature
British Literature is another popular course for most levels and interests. Click image for more information.

Level 4 (Advanced High School Level)

These are students are college bound and are aiming for a moderately-competitive colleges.

  • 9th grade: 15 books (3 should be classics, at least 3 should have literature study guides, 5 can be books of the Bible)
  • 10th grades: 18 books (5 should be classics, at least 5 should have literature study guides, 5 can be books of the Bible)
  • 11th grade: 22 books (5 should be classics, at least 8 should have literature study guides, 5 can be books of the Bible)
  • 12th grade: 25 books (5 should be classics, at least 8 should have literature study guides, 10 can be books of the Bible)
How Many Books Should MY Homeschool High Schooler Read? World Literature
Click image for more information on this popular full year study of World Literature.

Level 5 (Honors High School Level)

These are students who are college bound and are aiming for competitive colleges or are English, Communications, History or Humanities majors at moderately-competitive colleges.

  • 9th and 10th grades: 22 books (7 should be classics, at least 10 should have literature study guides, 7 can be books of the Bible)
  • 11th grade: 25 books (7 should be classics, at least 10 should have literature study guides, 7 can be books of the Bible)
  • 12th grade: 30 books (7 should be classics, at least 10 should have literature study guides, 7 can be books of the Bible)
How Many Books Should MY Homeschool High Schooler Read? American Literature
Click image for more information on this inspiring full year study of American Literature.

7Sisters Literature Study Guides also include guides to poetry and many books by CS Lewis.

Download a collection or a single literature guide for a great education experience for your teens. They will find that they can be better thinkers and more creative when they finish their guides.

As you know, there’s not ONE right way to homeschool! Here’s how our friend, Ticia, from Adventures in Mommydom, handles books for her homeschool high schoolers.

How Many Books Should MY Homeschool High Schooler Read?

 

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Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at 7SistersHomeschool.com, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

4 Replies to “How Many Books Should MY Homeschool High Schooler Read?”

  1. Is that an error above where it states that the average high school level should read 15 books in 9th and 10th grade while the college prep level should read 10 books in 9th and 10th grade?

  2. Good question, Cheryl! There’s not one right way to handle this. Here’s what I’ve done when my teens were reading through the Bible: I recorded the number of Bible books suggested for their grade and level on their official booklist. Then I kept a separate list of Bible books and used them toward a religion elective.

  3. Would you list each book of the Bible that a student reads separately on a reading list? My student read through most of the Bible this year, but it seems like it would be a lot to list each book separately on a reading list. How would you account for that?

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