High School has finally arrived. I don’t know how or when I became old enough to have a child in high school…but, I blinked and here she is. It’s honestly been blowing my mind for the last few months as I’ve loosely planned the next four years of her life. It is pretty crazy that the little person who first taught me the weight of true responsibility (and y’all, its heavy, isn’t it?) that only parenting can instill will be an adult in less than 4 years. I’ve got a lot of work to do. I miss my babies but I love who my older kids are becoming. I can’t wait to spend these next 4 years getting to know my daughter even more as she becomes a young woman.
Lest I start to wax poetic, on to the academics…
9th Grade Curriculum Choices 2016-2017 (14 year old girl)
Morning Time (Resources not pictured)
We will continue our Morning Time routine this year as a family. I plan to dedicate a post to our MT plan soon. But, basically we will be studying the Bible/Catechism, Cultural Literacy/Current Events & memory work daily. Then looping we will be studying Shakespeare/Plutarch, Geography (this year’s focus is Africa & South America with review of the rest of the world previously studied), Nature Study, Poetry (both through memory & Art of Poetry), Art & Music appreciation, and Logic (Art of Argument). This will count as .5 credit in Humanities.
This year we will be using Latin Alive Book 1 as a group (minus the 5 year old…this is when she will do read-alouds with Dad). The older girls will also be using DuoLingo to study either French (beauty) or Spanish (practicality). I’ve been using it for 2 years now and am approximately “50% fluent” in French. I’m still conflicted regarding our family modern language choice. This course provides 1 credit in Foreign Language.
After much consideration I chose the Jacobs Elementary Algebra text with the Ask Dr. Callahan DVD kit. For my bright, but not heavily math-minded (or interested) child, this looks like the perfect fit. I will try to review it once we get it up and going. I let her choose between this and the Foerester book and she definitely preferred Jacobs. She had an excellent experience this past year using the Lial Pre-Algebra text and has determined that traditional textbooks work better for her than digital content, like Teaching Textbooks or CTC Math (both tried and not enjoyed). This course will count towards 1 credit in Mathematics.
World History (and Literature)
Again, I gave my daughter multiple options for this year and together we settled on Notgrass Exploring World History. She loves the layout, full-color text, the project options, and linear nature of the program. I love all that, too, plus the cost cannot be beat, and I LOVE the “In Their Words” book that includes hundreds of excerpts from primary historical works and documents. I also love that everything is scheduled for us and she can just enter her assignments right into her assignment book every week. This will count towards 1 credit in World History. There is also a Bible component, but I am leaving that optional for her as we study the Bible as a group already. The program also includes a literature component, and we will read most of the books because they are excellent choices, but I do not think the way it is structured makes it worth a credit in English. So…
English I (Composition & Literature)
Notgrass literature choices:
- The Cat of Bubastes*
- Julius Caesar*
- The Art of War
- The Imitation of Christ
- Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther*
- A Tale of Two Cities*
- North & South
- The Hiding Place*
- Animal Farm*
- Bridge to the Sun: A Memoir of Love and War
- Cry, the Beloved Country*
- The Abolition of Man*
*these books are for sure; the rest may be subbed or dropped for the following titles
Additionally, she will also be participating in a monthly literature discussion group with other families led by a brilliant local homeschooling mom and will be reading:
- Lord of the Flies
- The Crucible
- Heart of Darkness
- The Old Man & the Sea
- Up from Slavery
- The Pearl
- 2 other selections TBD
So, I will most likely remove a few of the Notgrass selections and make them optional to allow more in depth attention to the titles that will be discussed in the group. She will also be writing papers utilizing the formats learned last year from Teaching the Classics & Windows to the World.
Additionally, she is enrolled in Circe Academy’s Lost Tools of Writing course. So, this will be the basis for her compositions this year and should allow her to weave in both history and literature content.
Cumulatively, all of this will give her 1 credit in English.
We elected to go the Physics-Chem-Biology route for high school, and have selected Conceptual Physics, 11th ed. by Paul Hewitt as out text. It is intended as a college-level text for non-science majors, but it is a very accessible text and has a companion site, Conceptual Academy, that includes video lectures, animations, simulations, quizzes, and tests compiled by the author, who is a very engaging teacher. For example:
We are meeting monthly with another family using the same program to perform the labs. I created a master syllabus and plan for this course and once we work out the kinks I will post it for others to use. Of everything planned, this course is evoking the most fear in both myself and my daughter. I was a science major but managed to get through undergrad and most of a master’s program without taking a college-level physics course and for her this is a BIG leap from the much easier Science Fusion interactive textbooks she used throughout middle school. I have started taking my own notes from the book to serve as a model for her to learn good note-taking skills and have directed her here for a note-taking primer. So, we will be learning together :). This course will earn her 1 credit in Science w/lab.
She takes 5-6 hours of dance study each week, in addition to performing with her studio’s dance Company. She also runs with my husband and practices dance regularly in her home “studio” (which is under construction but will be fabulous eventually!). I’m giving her 1 credit in Phys Ed.
Additionally, I am using the FiveJs Homeschool Gradebook+ to track all her assignments & grades. I just entered all her chapters/units/assignments into the spreadsheet & printed them out. They sit in my planning binder and I’ll enter the info by hand throughout the year and transfer into the spreadsheet quarterly. She will use the cheap homeschool planner I bought from Rainbow to keep track of her assignments.
I think that just about covers it. I hope to post updates on some of these resources as the year progresses and I will share my curriculum for physics once it is finalized.
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