Creating these homeschool high school literature suggestions for teens is more satisfying now that my teens graduated. Looking back, I know their love of reading came from being exposed to a variety of genre.
Having a variety of genre to choose from is just one element of keeping teens reading into adulthood.
Beyond reading to fill a high school credit, use your time with your homeschooled teens to shape and develop their thinking.
Contrary to what some educators think, teens are still questioning beliefs. Their thinking is not fully matured. Issues raised in literature gives you the opportunity to analyze beliefs.
Too, high school and college courses require your teens to interpret literary terms and techniques. I found this was best done by classic literature.
The point is whether your teen is reading American, British, or World literature he is gaining a greater understanding of the world. That is something which will stick with him well into adulthood.
This high school literature list will give you a starting point in choosing the best literature for your family.
Moreover, don’t fret if your teen is still not loving to read. Some of these books will ignite a fire and did I mention some are short?
Whether you have a teen who is a voracious reader or who is an unenthusiastic reader, I have some high school literature suggestions for all.
Homeschool High School Literature
Also, it’s important to remember that there is so much more going on when a teen engages with a book
Books for your High School Teen
For example, when a teen reads
- and the genre is historical fiction it can make the time period come alive;
- and the prose is challenging, it can raise his reading comprehension;
- his vocabulary is expanded; and
- critical thinking skills are introduced.
Knowing that so much more is involved then filling a credit at the high school level, be choosy about what your teen reads.
Also, what helped me at the high school level are the self-paced online classes, Literary Adventures for Kids.
We covered a poetry unit for one of my teens in a fun way.
Look at my post Online Homeschool High School Poetry (No Teaching Involved).
Teens Reading List
See, I had to learn the hard way that a teen should have a choice in what he reads.
I remember being in English class in middle school and reading about boring topics.
I was a good reader, but not an enthusiastic reader until I read The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe. He’s not an author I thought I would be drawn to as a teen.
However, his stories and poems invoked a love for reading detective stories along with his great storytelling. I loved everything about that poem, the figurative language, the dynamics, and the theme.
Homeschool High School Reading
The point is I would have never picked up his book on my own when evaluating my choices.
So your teen needs your help. It literally takes one book your teen can’t put down for your teen to look at reading differently.
Now as a parent, it is a learned balancing act when each teen got to the high school level.
I tried to find their interests and themes they loved to weave that with other genre they weren’t interested in or thought so at the time.
Also, another way to engage your high school kids is to learn through a theme.
We love history in our house and learning history through living literature has been one of our very favorite ways to learn history.
We love Beautiful Feet History, and have used their high school literature. They suggest the following sequence which we mostly followed which has changed too.
Books for High School Readers
Although my teens had choices, I also had requirements because I wanted to invoke conversations to get my teens to think about the broader picture.
Learning to think critically means to know how to support your ideas from the book. It’s not always easy to do with just books they chose to read.
Why Some Homeschoolers Choose to Read Banned Literature
Next, I also had to decide how I wanted to talk to my teens about sensitive subjects. A lot of homeschoolers, including myself, reject some modern reading lists.
However, the similarity stops there when choosing literature. Families and teens differ in how they want to handle sensitive topic.
When you research about banned books, the Washington Post stated, “The American Library Association launched Banned Books Week in 1982 to celebrate the freedom to read.”
However, every since then, the topic of banned books sparks controversy for any education. You too have to decide if you’ll present these banned books to your teen.
It’s been my experience that the sensitive subjects in books allows me the chance to direct my children about mistakes of the past.
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer AND The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Unabridged. Complete with all original illustrations)
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
I didn’t want to cover up mistakes in history, but to expose them so we learn from them. Most important that we don’t repeat them in the future.
Children relate to everyday things and some kids lives have had painful turns they couldn’t control. Although my kids didn’t experience the sadness of divorce and death at the time, they had friends who did.
Homeschool High School Books
It helped my sons to form a compassion for their friends. Every child has a different maturing rate and I was sensitive to each teen’s emotions.
The point is that you are the only one to know whether you want your children to read banned books or not. Me? I will do the choosing for my family and determine the values; you probably feel the same way.
Homeschool High School Reading List
I want the opportunity to help my sons’ learn from the past, but not be promoting ideologies which conflict with our worldview.
That is not always easy to do, but being familiar with literature your teen is absorbing is essential.
As you see from this quick list that the books reflect personal tastes of each teen. In the end, you want your child to enjoy reading.
I stressed way too much about balancing the genre when my focus should have been on the short time I had with each teen.
Besides being forced-fed never worked for any reader. So use this list to begin your list for your unique teen.
Lastly, this is by no stretch all that each kid read in high school.
As I pore over my huge amount of books, I’ll update this post for you.
The point today was to get this quick glance to you.
In the end what matters is creating a lifelong reader.
Remember what Francis Bacon said “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few are to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.”
I know you’ll love these other posts:
- Homeschooling High School: Curriculum, Credits, and Courses
- How to Choose the Best Middle School Literature And Favorite Resources
- How to Choose the BEST Homeschool Middle and High School Language Arts Curriculum & Options
- Online Homeschool High School Poetry (No Teaching Involved)
- Modern U.S. and World History High School Literature
- 3 Beginner’s Tips: Homeschool High School Literature
- 8 World War II Historical Fiction Books for Middle School
- Homeschooling High School: Curriculum, Credits, and Courses
- 20 Nature-Inspired Kids’ Novels to Nurture Interest In the Outdoors
- A to Z List: Middle and High School Homeschool Electives
Hugs and love ya,