Monday, January 22, 2018

Use the Force and Complete the Course

This post contains affiliate links - using affiliate links from Homeschool Coffee Break helps fuel this blog and our homeschool - thank you! 
Use the Force and Complete the Course - "Our Homeschool Curriculum" in Week 3 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Welcome to "Our Homeschool Curriculum" and the third 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 "How do we cover it all?" Honestly, it's next to impossible to truly cover it ALL so we have to decide what subjects are most important and figure out how to cover those, and then move on from there. We're homeschooling high school, so the essentials are the core academics and the required credits for graduation. So that's where we start.

Our graduation requirements at present 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

Once we know what we need to cover, we can plan how to spread those credit courses over the four years (maybe five if they take credit courses during Grade 8; and maybe as few as three if they plan to graduate early), and we can choose curriculum that is a good fit with our priorities and for our style. Then, we "Use the Force" to adapt where needed so that we can cover it all!

Use the Force and Complete the Course - "Our Homeschool Curriculum" in Week 3 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

English

In Kennady's first two years of high school, her English credits were somewhat cobbled together, and to be honest, I wasn't exactly thrilled about how much we covered. We used a combination of materials from Institute for Excellence in Writing for the most part - Student Writing Intensive Level C and Fix-It! Grammar in Grade 9, and the High School Essay Intensive in Grade 10. Last year she also started on The Power in Your Hands from Writing with Sharon Watson, but put it on hold to work through during Grade 11. So last year, the composition portion of her English credit seemed a little light overall, because most of it was done at the very beginning and the very end of the school year.

Use the Force and Complete the Course - "Our Homeschool Curriculum" in Week 3 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com
Institute for Excellence in Writing High School Essay Intensive

This year Kennady has been doing a Writing class at our co-op. Since we'd decided on The Power in Your Hands for this class, we'd stopped using it last year. The co-op has been helpful because of the  firm deadlines for assignments to be completed. (Did I mention that I'm the teacher? I enforce deadlines in my class, but have trouble doing so at home.)  So by the end of this year, she'll have three of the needed four credits, and that's not counting the credits for Literature. We haven't decided what we'll do for English next year. Options include another class at the co-op, a class at the community college (dual enrolled), just using the writing assignments from her history text, or maybe the One Year Adventure Novel course at home, since she enjoys writing fiction. 

Writing with Sharon Watson Review


Social Studies

In Grade 9, Kennady chose a course in Cultural Geography. Actually, it was one those courses that was intended to be on year, but we spread it over two years. She started it in Grade 8, and we took it a bit slower and added quite a bit to it, so it made a lot of sense to spread it into two years and then award the credit. 

Use the Force and Complete the Course - "Our Homeschool Curriculum" in Week 3 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

We have a bit of a habit of spreading courses over two years, it seems. That's one of the ways we "use the force", I guess! It was not in our original plan to spread Exploring World History from Notgrass over two years, but we were moving a lot slower than we should have been during Grade 10. Rather than make it harder than it needed to be, I reworked the course description and she completed the first half of the course and called it Ancient and Biblical History, since we included other things along the way. The half credit we had originally planned on for Literature included selections from the Notgrass course as well as some additional study of Shakespeare thanks to a Lightning Lit review.

So this year, we're finishing up Exploring World History, along with a few additions to make sure it's still worth a full credit. The Bible portion of this course is still be a full credit and the Literature portion is a half credit. Most of the full-length novels for the Lit portion fall in the second semester, which should work out well, since she's just finished one of her electives at co-op and theoretically has a bit more time! At the end of this year, she will have three History credits, but still needs US History, which we will do next year, using Exploring America from Notgrass. That will also be a Bible credit, so she'll have at least the two required.

Use the Force and Complete the Course - "Our Homeschool Curriculum" in Week 3 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Math

Ugh. This is where we most need "the force". In fact, I wish there was a force we could use that would make this subject a lot easier! For me and for Kennady. In Grade 9, she was doing pre-algebra, and because she didn't like it and it didn't come easily, she had a tough time getting any momentum going that year. She needed to take math slow and steady in order to get it - and the "steady" part of that equation is still a struggle. So that first year was a combination of Life of Fred, extra worksheets on occasion, and some review from A+ Interactive Math mini-courses.  

Use the Force and Complete the Course - "Our Homeschool Curriculum" in Week 3 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com  Use the Force and Complete the Course - "Our Homeschool Curriculum" in Week 3 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Things went better in Grade 10 as Kennady continued to use Life of Fred, but with the Fred's Home Companion to help give structure. At the end of the year, we got to review No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials to review and it was a good fit for Kennady, so that's what she is using this year. Next year, she will do a full credit Consumer Math course - at present I'm leaning towards  Money 101 - so she will have at least the three required Math credits. We're considering the possibility of the first year college math if she does dual enrollment, but that will depend on several factors, not the least of which is whether she'll be able to test into that level.

Use the Force and Complete the Course - "Our Homeschool Curriculum" in Week 3 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Use the Force and Complete the Course - "Our Homeschool Curriculum" in Week 3 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


Science


In our homeschool community, a lot of students do their required Biology course in Grade 9, but Kennady did a General Science. We used Survey of Science History & Concepts, an overview course that covers mathermatics, biology, chemistry, and physics. 

Use the Force and Complete the Course - "Our Homeschool Curriculum" in Week 3 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


She did Biology in Grade 10 with Biology 101 from Answers in Genesis. We had trouble sticking to a schedule with it though, especially since we had to be creative with adding reading and extras in order to round it out to high school credit level. Thankfully, near the end of the year, we reviewed Nature's Beautiful Order from Memoria Press, and that helped us out by providing that needed reading and some written work. Kennady has both her required Science credits, and unless she surprises me with a Science elective she wants to do next year, we are calling it good. But to be honest, I think this is the course where we've skimped and part of me worries that we really haven't done enough.

Use the Force and Complete the Course - "Our Homeschool Curriculum" in Week 3 of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com   Nature’s Beautiful Order


Next year?

Right now we're at the midway point of her Junior year, and we know what we'll need to cover next year. Kennady will have technically have the four required English credits, but that includes two half credit courses in Literature. So she will still do a full credit English course that focuses on Composition - we just need to decide what that will be. She has three Social Studies credits, but still needs US History, so we're planning to do Exploring America from Notgrass. That will also provide another Bible credit, and does have a full credit Literature component as well, if we choose to use it. If all goes well this year, she'll be finished with Algebra, and we'll plan on Consumer Math next year, and will have the option to take math at the college if we decide that's a good idea.

And the electives?

That's a whole new post! Next week the Virtual Homeschool Fair will be focused on enriching our learning, so I'll be discussing our electives and some other extras then. 

My related posts:


Junior Year (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

How are you covering it all in your homeschool? Do you do the complete curriculum or pull things together "using the force" the way we have been? Leave a comment and let me know! Also, please visit my fellow homeschool bloggers as we all share thoughts about "Our Homeschool Curriculum" 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 "Our Homeschool Curriculum" (all posts will be live by 8am EST on January 22, 2018)!

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

Our Homeschool Plan for 3rd, 6th, 8th, & 12th Grades by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Our 10th Grade Plans by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Planning Out Our Unschooling Studies by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool
The Details of Curriculum by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Reflections of a Curriculum Junkie by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Freedom through nature journaling. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
How I pull together a homeschool curriculum without packaged curriculum by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool
Our Favorite Curriculum and Resources - An Annotated Bibliography by Sabrina @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ
Our 2018 Homeschool Curriculum Choices by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
Top Home Educating Resources by Sarah @ DeliveringGrace
Homeschooling Curriculum We Are Using This Year by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World
Use the Force and Complete the Course by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Choices, choices - how to choose your curriculum wisely by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home
Our Curriculum Needs - grade seven by Annette @ A Net in Time
The Heart of Our School by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
Curriculum We Have Loved Using - Virtual Homeschool Fair -Week 3 by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
How to Avoid Gaps in Education by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset
Tricky Subjects and Starting the Decision Making Process by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
High School Syllabus by TrueNorthHomeschoolAcademy @ GoldenGrasses

This post is also part of a #breakthrulinkup  at Breakthrough Homeschooling - Join us!



Don't miss a coffee break! Subscribe to Homeschool Coffee Break by Email!

 ©2006-2018 Homeschool Coffee Break. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://kympossibleblog.blogspot.com/ 

 We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.





5 comments:

Jeniffer D said...

You've got a lot of my favorites on that list! Biology 101, Sharon Watson, IEW . . great resources!

Brittney Mom's Heart said...

As we inch closer to high school, I love seeing what others do in their homeschool!

Michele said...

I think it sounds like you have done a great job! Having a chart of graduation requirements is more than half the battle!

Christy Schaefer said...

You sound quite a bit like us. I was already planning on using Notgrass World History with extras and making two courses from it, and we're using the Survey of Science for her last science course next year. Math is equally burdensome here and I'm struggling to find a good final math credit. Good luck!

Kristen H said...

This is great. Thank you for sharing what you are doing because it helps me think ahead and plan.

Post a Comment

I love comments! It's like visiting over a virtual cup of coffee.