High School Curriculum

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So – here are the piles, with the PDF’s all printed out. Come along for a tour of our eclectic, Charlotte Mason Learning Style, Notebooking, Narration – Project Driven – Delight Directed Resources. (Since this is just me talking – I’m not taking the time to add links – you can easily search and find these resources.)

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Harmony Fine Arts – Grade 11 Music Appreciation with The Classical Music Experience. We started this series in the 8th grade. It goes through a 4 year history cycle, and this marks our last year. I can’t tell you how wonderfully rich this study has made our lives. We can identify artists, styles, and historical eras during movies, on the radio, in an elevator – ha. We love the simple style of this program. Each artist is 4 weeks long, with 1 hour of study per week. Questions and learning goals are given with a nice outline of how the student can find the answers. Links to the music, biographies, etc. A research paper is expected at the end of each learning period.

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We started Harmony Fine Arts Art Appreciation in Jr. High as well. We used it with Artistic Pursuits. As Nate has gotten older, we’ve moved to the High School lesson. We use The Annotated Mona Lisa and this year Drawing in Pen & Ink. Again, the 4-6 week lessons are simple, yet full. We can just become aquainted with the art, or we can dive into the artist and spend time getting to know them. A research paper is expected at the end of the 4-6 week period. (One is 4, and one is 6 – I can’t remember which right now, so pretend art is a 4 week cycle per artist and music is a 6 week cycle per artist.)

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We are hitting it High School Style with the Outdoor Hour Challenges at the HandbookofNatureStudy.Com. Autumn studies are all lined out, advanced Notebooking Pages printed, projects flagged in the Handbook of Nature Study book, and I even found a Berry Finder book last weekend on our trip to Florence. (Perk of reading through challenges early, you can have library or used book store finds on the coffee table.) I shared last week how much I think this is important to our learning, knowing our world by name.

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We are looking at a product by Homeschool Adventure  – Creative Freewriting Adventure. I will write a review in the next day or two. It is a very creative different quick free style writing booklet.

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Our core – outside of reviews – this year will be Fix It! Grammar (Excellence in Writing) and The Power in Your Hands by Sharon Watson. Fix It! is a 15 minute a day exercise to help students be better editors and give the nuts and bolts of grammar. The Power in Your Hands is a daily book, with several writing challenges per day.  We did a review on this a couple of years ago, and I’ve been excite to make it to 11th grade to use it in full.

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The Art of Argument, an Introduction to the Informal Fallacies.  We also have the Deductive Reasoning books as well from this company. These go through several fallacies of logic and speech, one per week. This also has short daily readings after an introductory day. We did the Fallacy Detective a few years ago, and I think this will make for a great followup.

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After such great success with America the Beautiful last year, I went with Exploring Government by Ray Notgrass, Notgrass Company this year. Exploring Government has daily reading and research / writing assignments along with reading excerpts of writings from Historic Documents, Essays and Speeches in American Government. I love the living book quality of this company, and their passion to really explain a topic.

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Nate will be in Algebra 2 this year with Math U See. He has completed Pre Algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry and now Algebra 2. We LOVE this curriculum and wish we had started it sooner. I love the way Mr. Demme explains a problem with 3-4 different solving options to find the answer. I love that it has 3 pages of worksheets to practice the skill  of the week and then 2 pages of systematic review and 1 page of Honors Math. If a student knows the week’s skill, then you could move a bit faster, but if it just doesn’t click, there are enough problems to stay on topic until mastery is met. There is a DVD to teach the topic of the week (30+ weeks).

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After Government we will finish the Economics For Everybody by R.C. Sproul Jr. A friend is going to use our kitchen to do his homework this year and he will start the series this fall while Nate is on Government. This has a workbook with the DVD’s and suggestions of texts to find or buy to make it more meaty, with pages given to read with the week’s lesson. I may head to Robert’s Bookstore and find a similar, if not exact books for them to follow along in .

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We are looking at getting Nate in a Dual Enrollment option at the college for Biology, but the class might be cancelled. Our backup is Anatomy by Jay Wile and Apologia. This is their older version with the text and videos on a DVD that needs to be read on the computer or printed. The Anatomy Coloring Book came with rave reviews and was suggested as use with the course. Either way Science looks to take up quite a bit of Nate’s study time this year.

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We are using Plants Grown Up from Doorposts for the Leadership and Character Training. We purchased this book when the boys were really young, and have waited til they were teens to have them be self directed in the book. Doorposts has a Facebook Group for this book, and Pam Forster is giving out project ideas each week. It has helped us launch and get started.

Speaking of Leadership, Nate will be taking a course in the Ford Family Community  Leadership Program in town. He’ll learn how to work together as a team, and as a leader, to work with volunteers and to pursue a project from conception to completion. I am super excited for this once a month class. He is in it with one other teen and the rest adult community leaders.

The friend coming over is going to work on Victus Study Skills, the Exit Exams, and Chemistry 101 by the 101 Series.

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So now the books are piled in our resource room and ready to put into the Homeschool Tracker Plus (now only available as an online use option).

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It takes Cheese Popcorn, An Americano, and a lot of patience. If I put in the lesson plans in, it helps me to see the year as a whole. I see each of the week’s topics. This helps at garage sales, used book sales, used book stores, Netflix searches – etc. Then, each week I just assign the week’s lessons to the assignment grid and print out their assignment calendar and tasks.

I got the Lesson Plans entered for these topics, and the assignments plugged in for the month of September.

We are also going to start Visual Latin again – but I don’t have a graphic for that one.

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Nate will also continue to volunteer for the City, and for the Cultural Center. He helps with events for the Visitor Center and works as a Stage Director with Lights and Sound with the Cultural Center.  He is going to volunteer as a Wyldife (jr high for Younglife) leader this year.

He starts out his day at the Community Center as the life guard for lap swim and water aerobics. This is his paid job. He really loves working there!

He is also adding being the head life guard for a nearby camp. He just spent the week there and ended up being a counselor for the youngest group of kids as well. He’ll find out this week how busy he will be there. They said they are booked through the winter, so we’ll see how much time that requires. It’s a paid position as well.

So – Ya. If I don’t have the lesson plans ready to go, back pack full, and a breakfast burrito ready in the morning, he’d never even do school. Not sure we can call this ‘Home’ school anymore.

As always, we prayed, pondered, prayed, sought council, prayed and pondered some more. We wrote down short and long term goals. We wrote down goals from the boys, their dad, and myself. These resources were mainly chosen as they meet the ends to obtaining those objectives. If, at anytime, a resource is not working, we will change it out. As we review products this year, we’ll swap it out, or add to the mix. If our goals change, our resources will change. Flexible and Free.

If you have any questions at all, feel free to ask. Just me sharing our school year with you, no reviews, affiliates, or such – so I didn’t go into detail with prices and links.

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