Avoid This One Major Flaw When Teaching High School English


High School English can include so MANY things that it can be overwhelming! You can teach communication skills, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, punctuation, penmanship, composition reports, poetry, prose, reading skills, reading for pleasure, classical literature, non-fiction, reading aloud, speed reading, comprehension, public speaking, speech and debate, American Literature, British Literature, Great Books, literary analysis, essay writing, research, proof-reading, timed essays, sentence structure, paragraph outline, mythology, fables, capitalization, punctuation, parts of speech, dialogue, word choice, editing, novel writing, short stories, lyrics, iambic pentameter, haiku, expository writing, narrative writing, summarizing, creative writing, note taking, persuasive writing, literature appreciation, bibliography, biography, themes, Shakespeare, irony, listening skills, comprehension, character, setting, rhetoric, Socratic dialog.


When I considered all my options, it felt like a giant collage of guilt, weighing me down, and draining my love of homeschooling. That's because in my thinking I made one fatal flaw.

I felt like I should be doing all these things in the first month of school during freshman year! 

It can seem overwhelming - I know that! But you must know the truth. You can’t do everything. You can’t do it all in one year. Focus on what is important: reading and writing. The goal of high school English is clear communication. There are many ways to get there, not everything needs to be covered by all children, and there are many paths to get you where you need to go.

Repeat after me: "I can't do it all, and I can't do it all in one year."