Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Homeschool 2010-2011: The Teenagers

One of the most significant things I've learned during our 13 years of homeschooling is that as long as they learn to read, continue to progress in math skills, and develop a love and desire to learn on their own, nothing else in schooling matters until the high school years. We do spend some time during the late middle school years preparing and learning the skills that will make the transition into high school fairly smooth. My two high schoolers have found that high school is at times much less work than the previous school years, partially because they are no longer required to take the total 7 subjects required by the county through 8th grade, and they are allowed greater freedom in pursuing their interests through electives.

All three of our teens have worked above grade level in certain subjects and areas throughout their homeschooling careers. There are a couple ways of handling this advanced work over time. Some of our homeschool friends use the advanced work to graduate their students a year or more early. We have chosen dual enrollment in the local community college for senior year as the option best suited to our family, at least so far.

Oleander will be officially an 8th grader this year.

Math: She will be continuing with Saxon Math Algebra I.

Language Arts: She will use Seton English 8 and Vocabulary from Classical Roots C. As we will be studying Ancient Rome, and early European Medieval history this year, I did not want to continue having her use Hewitt's Lightning Literature as the 9th grade program focuses on American Literature which is so much better suited to use alongside study of American History, which she will study next year. I found a straightforward teacher lead literature study program through IEW, called Teaching the Classics(I purchased only the workbook and not the DVDs) that can be used with any genre of literature and with any age student. It will mean a bit more prep and involvement on my side, but I think Oleander will really benefit from the approach. She has also asked to use the Write Shop curriculum for creative writing. I love that she expresses her own desires for learning.

History: Oleander will be studying alongside her younger siblings using History Links, but she will do much more independent reading, research, and writing based on her studies.

Science: She will begin using Kolbe Academy's science curricula, beginning with Physical Science. Both Karate Kid and Stat Boy have used Kolbe Academy for high school science, and we have been very pleased overall. The texts are secular and are commonly used in honors programs in high schools, but Kolbe's curriculum implements supplemental resource materials such as encyclicals, the catechism, and faithful Catholic writers to express Church teaching on matters such as evolution and human sexuality.

Art: Oleander will be doing some of the projects from Sewing with Saint Anne, but she also asked to continue using Artistic Pursuits. She will begin with Senior High Artistic Pursuits book 1 and work at her own pace through the lessons and projects.

Religion: This is her Confirmation year and she will continue receiving religious instruction through the CCD program at our parish. She's also hoping to spend her Saturday mornings with the Sister Servants.

Music: She will continue her private flute lessons.

PE: She will also continue her ballet instruction as a Grade IV in the Cecchetti Syllabus.

Foreign Language: Our little flower was born in Japan and has an affinity for all things Japanese. She will be using Rosetta Stone's Japanese I.

Stat Boy will be a 10th grader this year.

Math: He will continue in the Saxon Math series with Advanced Mathematics

Language Arts: He will use Vocabulary from Classical Roots D, and will finish Write Shop. For his literature study I've decided the Lightning Literature program is not well suited to him and so we will be trying out the individual literature guides through Progeny Press. He'll be reading C.S. Lewis' science fiction trilogy as well as varied short stories that I'll try to match to his interests and abilities.

History: Stat Boy will be studying Medieval England and Spain using the lesson planning guide by Laura Berquist. The curricula is literature based and heavy on the writing side. Both Karate Kid and Stat Boy have enjoyed studying history in this manner.

Science: He will be using Kolbe Academy's Biology. We haven't yet decided if he will take the regular lesson plans or the honors lesson plans. I think that will come down to attitude more than aptitude.

Religion: We'll be trying Laura Berquist's lesson plans for high school religion. Of course they are solid and I'm hoping my teens come away with more than just fundamentals of the faith. Our focus now is to prepare them to enter the world, ready to confront secularism, and armed to defend their faith.

PE: Stat Boy will be continuing taking Taekwando as well as participating in the pick-up sports he organizes with his neighborhood friends. He's really hoping to be a walk on player in basketball in college.

Foreign Language: Wingnut is planning a pilgrimage trip for Oleander and Stat Boy to Rome this coming fall. Karate Kid went with her grandmother several years ago and we really hope to give the same opportunity to the rest of our children over time. In preparation for this trip, Stat Boy is taking Rosetta Stone's Italian I and will hopefully begin Italian II sometime later in the school year.

Karate Kid will be in her final year of high school and as I've mentioned will be taking courses at the local community college in preparation for college next year.

Math: Karate Kid's test scores qualified her for Calculus and Analytical Geometry at the college. She begins online classes next Monday.

Language Arts: She has always enjoyed Hewitt Homeschooling's Lightning Literature series. She chose the world literature course for first semester and we'll decide what course to take for second semester at a later date.

History: Karate Kid decided to take a political science course through the community college as it will likely transfer and take care of one of the core curriculum courses she will need to take her freshman year in college. She's taking American Government, taught by a former Maryland legislator. This should be very interesting for her, and for us.

Science: She had several choices for science this year and opted to keep with Kolbe Academy. She'll be taking Anatomy and Physiology. She is also leaning toward taking a college science course in the spring that should transfer.

Religion: Karate Kid will also be using Laura Berquist's high school religion syllabus.

PE: She will also continue taking Taekwando and may join her dojo's Olympic sparring team.

Foreign Language: Karate Kid has been taking Italian using Rosetta Stone throughout high school. She should finish up Italian III and is looking at continuing studying Italian at the community college. The Italian professor goes to our parish and our teens are friends with her son. I think she'd really enjoy taking more of an immersion type of class than what she has taken so far.

As a final elective I found a great life skills curriculum for high schoolers called, Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers. When I was in high school we were required to take a course like this before we could graduate. It covers car maintenance, budgeting, life and health insurance, keeping a checking account, maintaining a good credit rating, paying taxes, etc.

So there we have our plan for the year. I've included links to most everything we use. If a link does not work, please leave me a comment and I will repair it. Hope you all have a wonderful, productive, and blessed school year!

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momto5minnies said...

I'm always curious to see what homeschool high schoolers do as far as curriculum. We are not there yet and as of now, I am not sure I will be the high school homeschool teacher, but we take it year by year.

This too is Confirmation year for my soon to be 13 year old. She is all over the volunteer thing ... I'm always amazed that my older two girls put themselves there willingly (a serving heart).

Teresa said...

Sounds exciting. Have fun and good luck! (The captcha word is lazings. lol)

Barbara Frank said...

Looks like you have a great year lined up! Many thanks for using and linking to Life Prep. I hope it will be a blessing to your family :)

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