Monday, January 29, 2018

Let's See What's Out There! (Electives and Extras)

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Let's See What's Out There (Electives and Extras) - "Enriching Our Learning" in Week 4 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Welcome to "Enriching Our Learning" and the final week of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair, hosted by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Each week of the Virtual Homeschool Fair has a theme, and this week's question is "What do we do for enrichment?" There are so many ways that homeschoolers add enrichment and extras to our learning, including pursuing special interests, arts, field trips, service and mission opportunities. I've decided to share about our electives - and maybe a few other extras we do - since I focused on just the academic core subjects last week.

To recap, this is what our graduation requirements are:

English - 4 credits (must include Literature and Creative Writing) 
Social Studies - 3 credits (US History + 2 others)
Math - 3 credits (Algebra I + 2 others)
Science - 2 credits (Biology + 1 other)
Bible - 2 credits
Phys.Ed. - 1 credit
Technology - 1 credit
Fine Arts - 1 credit
Health - 1/2 credit
Electives - 5-1/2 credits
Total Credits = 23

Literature and Creative Writing

Although these disciplines can be included as part of a general English credit, they are worth a mention here because we do award Lit credits separately. Kennady has already earned a credit in Brit/World Lit by doing a combination of things. This year will be another half credit in Brit/World Lit as part of her Exploring World History course. Next year she'll be doing Exploring America from Notgrass, which means she'll also be reading American Literature. It's likely we'll do about half the novels on the required reading list for that course and make that a half credit, but we'll decide when we get there! There is a full credit Literature course, using Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide by Sharon Watson, being considered for co-op next year, so that's another option. 

Let's See What's Out There (Electives and Extras) - "Enriching Our Learning" in Week 4 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


Lots of Literature (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

So far we haven't done a separate course focusing on creative writing, but some of her writing assignments definitely cover that aspect of writing. I haven't given it much thought because she does creative writing on her own - short stories and serials, some of which she has published on Wattpad; and some poetry and music. We are considering the One Year Adventure Novel course for next year too.


Bible

This is obviously required by our homeschool group and not by the state! Since we use Notgrass for high school history, the two Bible credits are built right in as part of Exploring World History and Exploring America. 


Phys.Ed.

This was an easy credit thanks to our co-op gym class over the past several years! We counted hours to complete the credit, which many homeschoolers do. Between two full semesters of gym class in each of her first two years of high school and plenty of other sports activities, I awarded a half credit for phys.ed. in her freshman year and another in her sophomore year, so that is done. We didn't have time in our schedule for gym class this year anyway, but the fun and socialization it offered are sadly missed.
Let's See What's Out There (Electives and Extras) - "Enriching Our Learning" in Week 4 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


Technology

This one is still up for debate as to exactly how we'll fulfill it. Possibilities being considered include: combination of Thinking Like an Architect from Innovators Tribe and  Introduction to Architecture from SchoolhouseTeachers.com; or maybe Graphic Design or Image Editing. All of these options would appeal to her creative bent but are technology based studies.


Fine Arts

This is where Kennady has loaded up on credits! She has been in the advanced group in the Children's Chorus since her Freshman year, so she's earned two full credits already, with another in the works this year, and a fourth planned for her Senior year. This is a full music education program with intense rehearsals and several performances each year. Much of the music this group performs is college level choral music. She's traveled with the chorus for choral festivals and adjudications to Philadelphia, New York (performing at Carnegie Hall!), and New Orleans.


Let's See What's Out There (Electives and Extras) - "Enriching Our Learning" in Week 4 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Let's See What's Out There (Electives and Extras) - "Enriching Our Learning" in Week 4 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com
Outside Carnegie Hall, before the chorus performed
in June 2015


Let's See What's Out There (Electives and Extras) - "Enriching Our Learning" in Week 4 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com
Jackson Square in New Orleans for the Crescent City Chorus Festival


 She's also an intern with the Chorus this year, assisting the Director of the upper elementary age chorus, which will also earn her a credit. Hopefully she'll decide to do the internship next year as well.


But we're not done with Music credits, because she also takes guitar lessons, and plays guitar and ukulele with worship teams at church. We do count the hours for lessons, worship team rehearsals and performances, which is way more than enough for one full credit each year without even trying to count her personal practice hours. So four total credits by the end of her senior year. At least.  Clearly, she is looking into careers that involve music.

Let's See What's Out There (Electives and Extras) - "Enriching Our Learning" in Week 4 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com
leading worship during her Freshman year

Let's See What's Out There (Electives and Extras) - "Enriching Our Learning" in Week 4 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com
a new ukulele at the end of the Sophomore year

Let's See What's Out There (Electives and Extras) - "Enriching Our Learning" in Week 4 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com
a little guitar practice at the beginning of her Junior year


Let's See What's Out There (Electives and Extras) - "Enriching Our Learning" in Week 4 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


More Fine Arts credits come from her interest in art. Mostly she has played with art during her high school years, but has focused on it enough using some art instruction programs we've reviewed (ARTistic PursuitsCreating a Masterpiece, and ArtAchieve) that I've awarded at least a half credit for art in her Freshman and Sophomore years. Both years she also designed and painted full size backdrops for the children's Christmas plays at church - large scale projects that took many hours of planning, creative design, and even managing her assistants!

Health

This is a required half credit for our group, in keeping with some state guidelines. We used a BJUPress curriculum that she completed in her Sophomore year. Mostly read the text and answer some questions - call it good.

Electives

In the "Other" category? This year she completed a half credit course in Speech and Presentation at the co-op - which she loved, by the way! There's a rumor that there may be a Speech II class offered next year and she's already said that she wants to take it if it's available. Part of the course was based on the book TED Talks but most of the class time was spent practicing their speaking skills with both improv and prepared speeches. They also worked on preparing and giving powerpoint presentations.

Let's See What's Out There (Electives and Extras) - "Enriching Our Learning" in Week 4 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


And another course at the co-op that she is really enjoying is French I. And we are planning on her taking French II next year. One or two years of a foreign language is a requirement of some colleges, and Kennady was very interested in learning French when the opportunity came up through the co-op.


Extras

Although the extra things we get to do as homeschoolers may not find their way onto report cards or transcripts, they certainly can be described as enrichment for our homeschool. We've found that there are fewer field trips that interest us or that we have time for during the high school years, but we still do a few now and again. Seems like most of those field trip type things actually happen as part of family outings and vacations though! Some interesting places we've visited during Kennady's high school years include a cartoon museum and library, a commercial greenhouse during poinsettia growing season, zoos and aquariums, an exotic animal rescue facility, an art museum, and many historical sites. Even the trip to New Orleans with the Childrens Chorus included a visit to an aquarium, plenty of opportunities to explore sites in the historic French Quarter, and even a class at the New Orleans Cooking School.

How do you enrich your learning with electives and extras? Leave a comment and let me know! Also, please visit my fellow homeschool bloggers as we all share thoughts about "Enriching Our Learning" in this week's Virtual Homeschool Fair.

This post is part of the Virtual Homeschool Fair 2018. This year the Virtual Homeschool Fair is hosted by Susan at Homeschooling Hearts & Minds. Visit my fellow bloggers listed below and find out about "Enriching Our Learning" (all posts will be live by 8am EST on January 29, 2018)! Make a special point of visit our hostess at Homeschooling Hearts & Minds and thanking her for organizing the Virtual Homeschool Fair, and the Virtual Curriculum Fairs in years past. Susan has done a lot of work pulling these blog events together, and this is the last Fair under her leadership, so be sure to show your appreciation to her!

A Long Time Ago . . . Why We Decided to Homeschool on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Week 1 "The Reasons We Homeschool" in the Virtual Homeschool Fair 2018

Celebrating 7 Years of Homeschool Support & Encouragement by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
All of the Extras by Christy Schaefer @ Unexpected Homeschool
How To Explore Special Interests In Your Homeschool by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Learning outside of the box by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool
Putting the Heart Back into our Homeschool by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Adding in the Fun by Michele @Family, Faith and Fridays
The Electives We Use in Our Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
The Fun Parts of Homeschooling by Annette @ A Net in Time
How we add in the fun stuff. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
Running - for fitness & fun by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home
Adding in the Extras by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool
What About the Fun Stuff? by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
And the Learning Goes On, And On, And On by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
Let's See What's Out There! (Electives and Extras) by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

This post is part of a #breakthrulinkup at Breakthrough Homeschooling - Join us!  This post is also linked at the Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop hosted by Apron Strings & Other Things; and at the Homeschool Linky Party on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.





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9 comments:

Mother of 3 said...

So many wonderful ideas! Pinned.

Brittney Mom's Heart said...

So many great opportunities for learning - I love the idea of getting a technology credit through her interest in art.

At Home where life happens said...

I sure do appreciate how you are able to incorporate her interests into her schooling in so many ways. Thanks for sharing. - Lori

Annette V said...

You are doing a great job in fulfilling those credit needs. How do you determine if the work is a full credit or half?

Kym Thorpe said...

Annette - if it's not a "textbook" course or a class that has the number of credits already determined, we count hours. We've counted hours for phys.ed. and art; and a combination of hours and lessons for music.

Kristen H said...

This is fantastic. It is great that her interests can drive what you guys do. As a former teacher, I have so many students have interests but not get to pursue them due to scheduling conflicts or classes being full.

Linda Sears said...

It can be daunting just thinking about fitting everything in for them to earn the high school diplomas, but seeing it listed out and reading through your ideas shows us how 'do-able' it really is - thank you!

Michele said...

Great list! And yes, I love that Notgrass kills several birds with one stone! Such great curriculum!

Diana Malament said...

I always love reading the Kennady updates! I knew she was a great artist. She's also a singer! Great work, Kennady!

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