Monday, January 6, 2014

Looking Forward and Adjusting Course {Let's Homeschool High School}

This week will (hopefully) be the first full week back to school after our holiday break, so I'm updating assignment lists and lesson plans. The updates are supposed to be done today, if all goes according to plan. (Like THAT ever happens...) It's easy to see the areas where we need to shape up a bit, and getting into the new year is a good time to "re-start" and make some improvements. Thankfully, as I look back I also see areas where we are doing well and where I can say to my kids and to myself, "Keep up the good work!".

Social Studies - We are working on this subject together (Landon in 9th grade, and Kennady in 7th grade), using the sections on North and South America in "Around the World in 180 Days" as a general study guide. With lots of other things added, of course. For the most part, we are on schedule with this, but since it's a self-developed course, it's also been very easy to make adjustments along the way. We also have the "Eating the Americas" project going on as part of this, which is going fairly well. We certainly lost momentum with it over the holidays, but hopefully we'll be able to get back into it now. 
Looking forward - Keep it up! But, I would like to include more independent written work in this subject for Landon. For 9th grade work, I think regular short research papers would round this out better.
English - Landon and Kennady are working together in the area of Writing/Composition, as we are using the Student Writing Intensive from Institute for Excellence in Writing. I'm happy with the quality of their work, and I'm delighted that they enjoy this. However, we have not been consistent about scheduling this into our regular school days. Or following through on actually DOING it when it's been scheduled, to be more accurate. Looking forward - I need to make it a priority to get these lessons done as scheduled. 

Math - Here's where the differences start. Landon is doing VideoText Interactive Algebra, and he is doing great! He is very proactive about getting his lessons done, he never complains, and he is getting good grades. So I have no complaints, other than that I need to be quicker about getting the grades into the Homeschool Tracker. Kennady, on the other hand, doesn't like math, so she will avoid doing it unless I am nagging reminding her frequently. She is doing Life of Fred along with some additional worksheets. So I guess I need to resign myself to the fact that even though she likes Life of Fred very much, she does still need me to insist that she work on it every schoolday. Looking forward - Landon can continue as he has been, since this is his best subject. Kennady needs to re-establish a daily habit of working at math, and I need to make sure she does it.

Science - Science goes well - when we DO it. This is the subject we most often put on the backburner, I'm ashamed to admit. Both kids are doing biology this year. Landon is working through the Life Science units provided by Supercharged Science, along with a few extra things along the way. He can do it without much involvement from me, other than making sure he has the materials needed for the hands-on activities. Kennady is focusing on zoology, notebooking her way through the book "The World of Animals" from MasterBooks. She doesn't need me there every moment, but we like to do that with her at the dining room table while I work nearby so I'm available to help when needed. With both kids, the biggest thing we need to work on is getting the stuff done on a regular basis. Looking forward - I am going to make sure Science is scheduled regularly and that we actually follow the schedule.

Music and Art - These are Kennady subjects for this year. Landon is not much interested in either, so his Fine Arts credit courses will wait for another school year. Kennady is taking piano and guitar lessons, and sings in a childrens chorus that provides a full music education program. She likes to practice so this is going very well! She also truly enjoys artistic endeavors so those lessons are generally not a problem either. She's been doing ARTistic Pursuits Book 1 for Middle School, and some other art projects; and she is wanting to start trying to photography lessons as well. Occasionally she comes up against a project in ARTistic Pursuits that she doesn't quite know what to do with, and then she'll just not bother doing art for however long it takes for us to figure out what was stumping her! Generally, I don't mind this, because she is doing creative things quite regularly, so even if she doesn't get through a unit in the book every week, she is still doing something. Looking forward - Carry on!

Other subjects - Landon is getting credit for his Civil Air Patrol studies and time, and that is going very well. Both kids are in a co-op gym class which they enjoy, so that's never a problem. We had hoped to work on some Technology-related courses, but have struggled to get the needed software downloaded for Landon (we were hoping to use the second computer for this, freeing up the main computer, but obviously it is too slow) and there's only so much time and only one computer, so I think we'll have take a raincheck on it until we get a better/faster second computer. Both kids are working on Bible studies, but I don't think I will award school credit for those. Landon might get a partial credit for his study, but we'll decide that later.

Study skills and time management - It's sobering to realize that I am setting the example here, and it's not always a good one. If my students don't stick to schedules and have trouble making deadlines, I need look no further than my own struggles in this area as a huge factor in that. They do study fairly diligently on their own and work well independently, but obviously I need to set the bar a bit higher for myself as far as creating a practical schedule for our days and sticking to it.

Are you evaluating your homeschool as you start the new year? Are there any changes you need to make? Leave a comment and let me know! This post is linked at the "Let's Homeschool High School January Blog Hop" . High School Homeschool Blog Hop

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

 ©2006-2014 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.


Unknown said...

Hi Kym, it's Jackie stopping by from the January Let's Homeschool High School Blog Hop.

You guys have been busy and it sounds like this second semester is headed in the right direction. I think I would count the Bible studies as a credit. It can be an elective.

I also wanted to personally thank you for linking up with us this month and I look forward to you joining us again in February.

Let's Homeschool High School Admn.

Schwarzen Family Missions/To Sow a Seed said...

Wow--you've got a busy schedule! How long has your son been involved in Civil Air Patrol? I have a son who feels led to pursue flying for MAF someday, so CAP might be on his radar.

Kym said...

My son started CAP almost two years ago now. Shortly after he turned 13. It is a wonderful program - we have been so impressed with the quality of the opportunities he's had. He's been able to go up in small planes and in a glider with orientation flights; he's learning aerospace science and technology; and is getting training in survival, search and rescue, and support operations. I would definitely recommend it for any teen considering an aerospace related field, even if they're not looking to join the Air Force.

thanks for visiting!!

Post a Comment

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