What Counts as Books for Homeschool High School Reading Lists?

Here’s a question we have received: What counts as books for homeschool high school reading lists?

What Counts as Books for Homeschool High School Reading Lists? There are many kinds of *books* for homeschool high schoolers. #HomeschoolHighSchool #HomeschoolReadingLists #KindsOfBooksForHomeschoolHighSchool

What Counts as Books for Homeschool High School Reading Lists?

We 7Sisters have had many different kinds of homeschool high schoolers over the years! We have also advised many different kinds of teens through their homeschooling high school years. We have learned that, although all teens need some kind of reading list, there is not ONE right way to handle it!

There are so many ways to handle the high school reading list, according to the needs, interests, ages and abilities of each teen. For instance:

  • Homeschool high schoolers who have special needs/reading issues need:
  • Homeschool high schoolers who are career bound need: Reading material that helps prepare them for life, faith, career, relationships, interests and character-development
  • Homeschool high schoolers who are planning on becoming STEM majors in college need:
    • Reading material that inspires them in their interests. They also need literature builds life and career skills, faith, character, critical thinking and extends their experience with the world by reading different genres of literature.
  • Homeschool high schoolers who are planning on becoming Literature or Humanities majors in college need:
    • Reading material that inspires them in their interests. They also need literature builds life and career skills, faith, character, critical thinking and extends their experience with the world. They should especially focus on different kinds of literature.

The cool thing is that not all reading material needs to be a book in the traditional sense.

There are lots of things that could count as books beyond the object with hardbound covers and lots of paper pages inside. (One caveat we have here: For homeschooling families that work with a supervising organization or umbrella or charter school, check that organization’s requirements. We have heard that some of them are sticklers for traditional books!)

The cool thing is that not all reading material needs to be a book in the traditional sense. There are many kinds of reading material that can count as books for the homeschool high school booklist.

First off, let’s talk about different kinds of book formats for homeschool high school reading lists. 

The most obvious book format is traditional book, of course. 

  • Every teen should read an appropriate number of traditional books each year. The number will vary according to age, ability and interest.
    • A ninth grader with dyslexia will read far fewer books than an English-major college-bound teen.
    • The number of books will also vary according to difficulty level that is appropriate for teens.
      • I never had an issue with a few books being beneath my teens’ ability level, if it was something of interest to them. However, we should train them to keep it honest. Years ago, one of local homeschool high schoolers that I advised tried to sneak an early-reader book onto his booklist (twice). Since he was college-prep in his abilities, I did not accept the book as appropriate for his list.

Another book format that counts for the high school reading list is digital formats.

  • Some teens would much rather read a digital version of a book. Some examples are:
    • Kindle or Nook
    • Christian Classics Ethereal Library (This is a marvelous site where you can find digital formats of classic Christian books. The site will even read the books to your teens! This has been a favorite site for one of my teens, who loves classic literature.)

We polled our 7th Sisters about what they have counted for their teens’ high school reading list. (BTW: Who are the 7th Sisters? YOU are!) Here’s what they shared:

Graphic novels

  • These are favorites of many teens. They love the format and the content.
    • Our friend, Ticia Messing, of Adventures in Mommydom, says,  “There are graphic novelizations of several classic novels, but just the graphic novels of traditional comics like DC or Marvel can be a great way to study story structure or characters, or many different ideas like that.”

Audiobooks

7Sisters Literature Study Guide for Right Ho, Jeeves

Want more ideas? Check out this post and this post.

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What Counts as Books for Homeschool High School Reading Lists?

Vicki Tillman

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

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