Thursday, December 21, 2017

Junior Year (Blogging Through the Alphabet)

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Junior Year (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

After so many years of homeschooling, I've had plenty of opportunities to try curriculum and explore all kinds of resources, so during this Blogging Through the Alphabet tour, I'm highlighting some of the many homeschooling resources that have been stand-outs. Sometimes it will be a walk down memory lane as I share something we enjoyed many years ago, and sometimes it will be something we're using currently. Sometimes I'll focus on a specific curriculum, and sometimes on a subject area. And I imagine I'll have to be a bit creative with a couple letters of the alphabet! This week I don't have a specific curriculum or resource to share, so I'm doing a quick overview of the coursework my student is working on in her Junior year of high school.

Here's the strange thing: The Junior year for my daughter is far more stressful on me than the Junior years for the three students I've already graduated. Is it because she's the only girl? Because she's the one that is most likely to go a more traditional college route? Or because she's my youngest? Likely a combination of all three! In any case, I'm feeling the pressure more this time around, and I know sometimes she feels some pressure too. We wonder about starting dual enrollment classes at the community college next year and whether we'll be able to manage the schedule. Also, which classes she should even plan on taking at the college, and whether she'll be truly ready. And we're trying not to worry about SATs, but they are looming as well.

And I'm not gonna lie. No matter how much I try to mentally start preparing myself now, it's a safe bet that I won't feel ready for her to graduate in 2019 or to go away to college. I know this because I am finding myself unready for her friends to graduate in 2018! Pray for the moms standing at the edge of the Empty Nest, because it's really weird place to be. But back to the current situation - Junior year studies.

Grammar and Composition

Kennady is doing this class through the co-op, using The Power in Your Hands from Writing with Sharon Watson. One of the reasons we thought the co-op would be a good choice for a writing class is that there would be firm deadlines for assignments to be completed; and that has been working out very well indeed! Funny thing is that I'm the teacher! But I have trouble enforcing deadlines at home. Anyway, this is going well, and I'm genuinely enjoying reading the students' work too.

(One of the reasons the Homeschool Review Crew is so great? We found this fantastic curriculum because we got to review it! Read our review here: The Power in Your Hands (A Schoolhouse Crew Review))

Writing with Sharon Watson Review


We've been using No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials since reviewing it in the summer, and it's been a very good fit for Kennady. Of course, it works best when she does lessons regularly, but that could be said about any math curriculum! For the most part, this video and workbook combo presents the information in a way she understands, and in manageable portions, so my part is to nag remind her to work on it every day and then check her work each day too.

(Read our review here: No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review))

No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

History, Bible, and Literature

We're finishing up Exploring World History from Notgrass this year, along with a few additions to make sure it's worth a full credit in History. 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 she'll read for the Lit portion fall in the second semester, which should work out well, since she'll be finished one of her electives at co-op and have a teeny-tiny bit more time!

Junior Year (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

French I

This co-op class runs all year, using the textbook French I for Christian Schools from BJU Presswith some additional material added in. Kennady is enjoying this class and doing very well. The last class before Christmas break was actually a cooking class, with the girls making a traditional French Buche de Noel. Always nice to have a fun assignment like this to break up the book work a bit.

Junior Year (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Junior Year (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Speech and Presentation

This half-credit class at co-op has been Kennady's favorite, and will wrap up during the first part of January. Part of the course has been based on the book TED Talks but most of the class time is spent practicing their speaking skills with both improv and prepared speeches. They have a lot of fun, and it sounds like most of their speeches tend to be humorous. Recent classes and projects have focused on preparing powerpoint presentations to go along with speeches, and Kennady was super-excited to earn a perfect score on her second such presentation!

Junior Year (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @


Children's Chorus - First semester of chorus just finished with the Winter Celebration concert. This excellent music education program provides a full Fine Arts credit for Kennady's participation singing in the upper level chorus. She's also an intern with the Chorus this year, assisting the Director of the upper elementary age chorus, and also earns credit for that.

Junior Year (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Junior Year (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Guitar Lessons - Kennady also earns a full music credit with guitar lessons again this year, and she plays and sings on worship teams at church.

Architecture and Drafting - earlier this year, we reviewed an online course called Thinking Like an Architect, which would provide a quarter credit for high school. When we were finished the review, I allowed her to set it aside at least until after the holidays, but we're considering adding some technical drawing and drafting, and maybe some of the Introduction to Architecture course at in the second semester for a Tech credit. We're still thinking on that, so I can't say for sure whether we'll go with that plan.

(Read our review here: Thinking Like an Architect from Innovators Tribe (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review))

Blogging Through the Alphabet again? Yes, I'm taking the challenge, along with several other Crew members, including our three co-hosts for this round - Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool, DaLynn at Biblical Womanhood, and Kirsten at DoodleMom's Homeschooling Life. The link is open from Thursday to Wednesday each week, so join in if you'd like!

This post is linked at Blogging Through the Alphabet for Week 10, Letter J.

This post linked at the Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop hosted by Apron Strings & Other Thingsat Homeschool Blog & Tell at The Homeschool Post; and at the Homeschool Linky Party on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

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Lori said...

Thanks for sharing what she is working on. I am praying for you as you continue to guide and encourage her on her path. - Lori

Amanda H said...

We are working on our first High School Junior this year. It is great to see some of the same curriculum! We have been blessed by the Crew and the items we have found this last year!

Joanne said...

I can only imagine how that must feel to be facing an empty nest... But something tells me when the time comes you'll handle it better than you think you will. For now just keep on keeping on. You've got this!

Rebecca C. said...

I will have my first homeschool junior next year. These are helpful to see what is available.

Jen|Practical, By Default said...

AW thanks for sharing what you are using. I have two in high school this year and realized just the other day I have about 4 years left of homeschooling. I am going to admit it was a bit of a shock! Time flies!

Linda at Apron Strings & other things said...

My daughter is a Junior this year, too, and I'm asking, "Whaat?!!! How can that be?!"
Looks like you've found some awesome resources for you daughter! Thanks for sharing your recommendations - we have also been using the No-Nonsense Algebra for our 10th grader, it's been great!

Kirsten West said...

I have Freshmen this year, but I can see that empty nest around the corner and I understand what you mean about the strange feeling. All those parenting (and homeschooling) skills perfected and soon there will be no one to use them on. (I decided after mine fly the coop, I will set my sights on prepping for grandchildren! :) )

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