Homeschool Plan 2018/2019

We are weeks away from completing another homeschool year--our 21st year overall. It's been a really great year and I'm extremely pleased with the progress of my current 3 homeschoolers.

Katerina 11th Grade

Algebra II using Math Help online
Biology using Kolbe Academy
Medieval/Renaissance History using RC History
Shakespeares Tragedies, Comedies, and Sonnets using Lightening Literature
Religion 11 using Catholic Morality and Chief Truths of the Catholic Faith
Vocabulary from Classical Roots E
Art--Katerina is an artist and so I have her completing art projects of her own choosing. I did commission the work pictured above which I absolutely love.
Music--Piano and violin lessons, 3 orchestras, and she is now teaching introductory students in both violin and piano

Overall Katerina has done quite well staying on top of her work. She's been pleasantly surprised to discover she's actually achieving B grades in math and science, which are her two most challenging subjects.  It is likely she will be pursuing music in college and the school we are looking at will not accept her homeschool transcripts, which means her ACT scores will be more important than we had anticipated. With this in mind, she will start an ACT prep course later this spring which should help boost her scores to the needed level to apply for music scholarships.

Benedict 7th Grade

Algebra 1/2 using Saxon Math
Introductory Physics using NOEO Science
Medieval/Renaissance History using RC History
English Lessons through Literature Level E
Vocabulary from Latin Roots A
Confirmation I using Catholic Bible History and Virtues in Practice
Latin using Fundamentals of Latin Grammar I
Art using ARTistic Pursuits Middle School book 1
Poetry appreciation and memorization using various sources

Ben is doing very well in school.  He's a voracious reader and so much of his work is literature based. He enjoys writing papers for history and will diligently write multiple drafts until there are no longer any corrections for me to make in his work.  His biggest obstacle is attention to detail. While he is perfectly capable of mastering Algebra 1/2 he often makes many errors in his work which we discover is quite often just mistakes due to his failure to pay close attention to his work. He understands concepts very well, he just needs to be more precise. This is something we are working on in other areas of his life as well and if he can master that, he will soar to amazing heights.

Leo 2nd Grade

Math 2 using Saxon Math
Bird science using The Burgess Book of Birds for Children, Cornell  Lab of Ornithology, and coloring pages I found online for each bird studied
Animal science using Burgess Book of Animals, YouTube videos of animal behavior, and coloring pages I found online for each animal studied
Medieval/Renaissance History using RC History
Reading using Teach a Child to Read with Children's Books
Phonics using Explode the Code 1.5, 2, and 2.5
Handwriting using A Reason for Handwriting A
Religion using the Baltimore First Holy Communion Catechism and Virtues in Practice
Art using Simply Drawing Volume 1 DVD
Poetry appreciation and memorization using various sources

Leo has really struggled learning to read. I have tried multiple phonics based curricula and had little success getting him to jump from sounding out words to recognizing whole words. After doing some research I came across Teach a Child to Read with Children's Books and began using simple picture books and books with repetitive and easily predictable patterns.  Using a more whole work approach was the answer. His reading has exploded and he's gone from barely being able to sound out words to reading fairly long introductory readers. He's loved the Biscuit and Pete the Cat series the most so far. By the end of this school year he should be right at grade level in reading.

With his struggles with reading, it's been a relief to me and to him to discover he is an absolute math whiz.  He has flown through Saxon 2 with ease and joy.  I've no doubt he will be a great homeschooler to the end.

* Notes on particular curricula I love
--NOEO Science is so much fun and a truly great way of introducing students to core concepts in biology, chemistry, and physics. It's a living books and hands on lab style which is perfect for Benedict and I imagine I will start Leo with NOEO next year.
--Saxon often gets a bad rap in the homeschooling community. People either love it or hate it. I happen to love it. It is logically laid out, naturally progressive in introducing concepts, has built in review, and gives plenty of practice in concepts already covered.  That being said, Katerina began to really struggle with Saxon in 9th grade with Algebra I. I found Math Help through a co-op site and she's been doing much better since switching curriculum. The lesson here is to not be afraid to change up what your are doing, even in the middle of a school year.  That is one of the beauties of homeschooling.
--RC History is probably my favorite curricula for history we have used. It is multi-level, living books based, incorporates timelines and mapping skills, and has wonderfully diverse writing and hands-on projects at the end of each unit. Most importantly, it incorporates a Catholic worldview.


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