High School English Curriculum

Students get excited about stories, but the traditional high school English curriculum is pretty boring today, mostly because of a rigid Common Core curriculum and distractions in the classroom.

As a homeschooling parent, you can give back to your teen the adventure of books, creative writing, and self-discovery.

The sweet memories of a novel enjoyed slip away with each new assault on literature.

Make time for your kids to sit and enjoy a book. 

And all throughout her English journey, your teenager will improve her vocabulary, spelling, grammar, and writing skills in my revamped high school English curriculum guide.


I’ve included numerous alternative units ranging from mythology and fairy tales of different countries. You can plug any of these units into any grade level and complete the assignments. 

Note to Parents:

     Before we continue, I have some suggestions for keeping up with your teenager’s reading.

In order for her to get maximum advantage from reading these plays, short stories, and novels, you need to have read them too.

It would be a good idea also to read the Cliff Notes of these plays, so you can help your teenager more completely analyze it. These Notes also provide many writing topics too.

After you have “quizzed” her on each Act, you should have her read through the notes too. The synopses and analyses of each Act will help her improve her own analysis for the remaining acts.

Try it and see for yourself.

Your teenager will step up her game and start reading more critically for the plot details. Cliff Notes will enrich her reading experience, after she has done all her own critical thinking. To visit the literature for this high school English curriculum, choose one of the links below. 

High School English Curriculum, grade levels

Freshman English

Sophomore English

Junior English

Senior English


A good high school English curriculum will aim for learning the vocabulary by defining the principal definitions of relevant words, writing them in sentences and paragraphs, talking about them, and listening for them in every day activities.

You'll be surprised how often your teenager will hear the same words on television, the news, the radio, or strangers' conversations when she is studying them. 

Words should be chosen from her literature, at random from the dictionary, Latin and Greek roots, prefixes, and suffixes, a literary terms list, and an authentic SAT study guide.


Grammar has always been part of an high school English curriculum, so I would recommend  that your freshman continue but focus on diagramming sentences, writing correct samples of those sentences, and using the grammar book as a tool to improve her writing.

The only point of studying grammar is to improve writing, so simply completing grammar exercises can be a waste of time. However, when she adds/incorporates those new sentence patterns into her own essays, her writing skills and grammar will improve. Part of your job will be to encourage her to use these sentence patterns in her writing.


Your teenager’s writing skills will improve most by writing and reading and it too must be included in an English curriculum. 

Reading material from quality writers from a wide range of backgrounds will enrich her vocabulary, which will spill over to her writing.

She should respond to this written material by writing summaries, character sketches, essays, and reviews daily as part of her reading. To read further about getting started and basic writing steps, click here.

Just a Reminder:

     The more the television is left turned off, the more your teenager will eventually turn to reading for entertainment. It has worked for my 16-year-old son, so I know it will work for your teenager.

Good writing isn't easy and it takes time to develop, but it is a very worthwhile activity in this English curriculum. Your teenager will be able to recognize fallacious thinking, evaluate more critically, and communicate more clearly if she writes daily.

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." -- attributed by William C. Knott, 1973

However, the writing process includes many stages including brainstorming, editing, revising, and paragraph organization. Each type of essay also requires its own style in order to be successful, so please remember:  Writing is hard work.

Writing Project

I have envisioned a unique writing project that I believe will help your teenager. To help with that process, I have created a writing form below where you can cut and paste your teenager’s essays to anonymously submit them for publication on this website.

This will be a highly educational process for everyone. It will not only help you by receiving  free editing and revision suggestions, but you also will be able to read other students’ papers (anonymously) as well.

Think about it: You will be able to read an essay from other high school students on the other side of the country or the world on the same topic.

Eventually, this website will have dozens of writing samples on dozens of different essays that will allow you to read comparison-contrast essays on Romeo and Juliet or critical analyses of The Crucible.  

Your teenager's writing will improve exponentially as she reads helpful, positive suggestions for fine tuning her writing,and compares the style, vocabulary, and written thoughts of other students her own age. 

 To say the least, I’m very excited about this project.

High School English Curriculum Editing Bonus (at least for a while)

I have found no free service on the internet that will fill this High School English curriculum need, so I will edit and revise these papers. I estimate that during the 25 years I taught English, I graded no fewer than 15,000, 250-word essays and more than 3,150 MLA-format research papers of about 500-words a piece.

This comes to more than 5 million words edited. As each paper is reviewed, I will publish with the other grade-level papers and essay type for easy viewing.  Follow the submission guidelines on the form below. If you would like to read more about writing and the High School English curriculum, click on the link.

     When I have sufficient examples of each writing assignment for each grade level, I will close the service and make private editing help available for your teenager. Please click on Contact form for help.

Share Your Teenager's Writing

Do you want to help your teenager write better, but can't find a trustworthy, economical service? I have found no free editing or revision service on the web either.Therefore, in the box below, cut and paste an essay of no more than 300 words (five paragraphs)and click SUBMIT. I will personally review her writing sample and make comments on her strengths and areas needed for improvement.Your teenager's name will be kept confidential.

Contact Me

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