Homeschool High School Ocean Study

Last week I talked about how we do homeschool planning in this relaxed but Leadership Education-influenced homeschool. Now I’m sharing specifics about what we’ll be studying and the resources we plan to use.

homeschool oceanography curriculum

Before I start: Yes, Kathryn was 7th grade last year. But I’m considering this year high school because she’s capable of learning at that level. I’m not rushing her through and we haven’t decided when she’ll graduate — but if she’s doing the work, it doesn’t matter “grade” what we call it.

High school curriculum plans:

(or Transition to Scholar in Leadership Education terminology)

Kathryn’s biggest expressed interest was ocean study. Anything related to the sea, animals that live in it, identifying shells, and so on. At this point in her education, we discuss what she wants to study, then based on those topics I choose curricula with her input. I expect this topic to give us all kinds of science, of course, but also plenty of geography, history, and even literature.

“Oceanology” is my working title for this year because marine biology isn’t exactly an accurate description of it all. And because oceanology is fun to say.


I decided to use Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Marine Biology as our spine, but we’ll be relaxing it, not doing everything it calls for. Apologia’s high school level curriculum tends to be more structured than we like but it has great info and will be wonderful to use and build upon. {Expect a full review once we’re well into the homeschool year.}

ocean focused homeschool year

Seaside Naturalist is a lovely book that seems very Charlotte Mason in it’s approach. This is not hard-core marine biology but covers so many of the questions I’ve had about the sea.

I’ll have a number of other resources at the ready when she wants/needs them. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore (there’s another one for the more southern Atlantic shore that I’d like to get, too); National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Seashells, and 101 Questions About the Seashore. Plus two lovely DK Eyewitness books: Seashore and Ocean.

Each year I create a literature list for Kathryn. I won’t be assigning these books at particular times but we have one dedicated bookshelf where they reside (and a different spot for any I borrow from the library as available) so Kathryn can read them whenever she likes, as long as she completes the stack before next summer. I keep a running list of these and any other books she reads as we go through the year so I can include them in my year-end summary.

This year’s booklist includes anything good I can find related in one way or another to the sea but of course she’ll be reading plenty of non-ocean books, too.

Ocean-themed literature:

We’ve already planned a field trip to the Georgia Aquarium to kick off the homeschool year, and a beach vacation later this year will give us other fun seaside field trips, including another aquarium we’ve never before visited. And I’ve been bookmarking relevant shows/movies to watch on Netflix throughout the year.

Follow my “oceanography” Pinterest board for marine biology and ocean study resources for all ages.

Follow Jamie Worley’s board oceanography on Pinterest.

Other subjects and resources:

Although Kathryn doesn’t love math, Teaching Textbooks is the program that seems to work best for her so we’re sticking with that. She’ll be doing Pre-Algebra this year. {Read my review of TT Math 5.}

We’ve watched enough How The States Got Their Shapes shows to know we like them, and now they’re on Amazon Instant Video (free for Amazon Prime members: yay!) so we’re planning to watch these for additional geography study.

For now, I’m simply requiring Kathryn to write something each week: a poem, a blog post, personal journaling, letters to her pen pal, or anything else. Later, either after the first of the year or possibly next homeschool year, I plan to have her do Fortuigence Essay Rock Star program for composition. {Read my full review.}

Once again we’ll use God’s World News magazine for current events.


Kathryn will continue Choi Kwang Do and may work on becoming certified as an assistant instructor. She has a number of other hobbies she plans to pursue (like knitting and crochet, of course, but others, too); I try to ensure she has the flexibility to change those up as time and interest allow.

Also read how I’m tying in plans for the younger two with Kathryn’s studies.


Visit the “not back-to-school” curriculum blog hop for more ideas!