Crazy times. My oldest will begin high school this year.
Our state has a program whereby high school junior and seniors can attend the community college as dual enrollment students, and it’s our plan to take advantage of that program. Both my husband and I graduated high school with an AA through our local community college, and it was a good experience for us both.
All signs seem to indicate it will also be a good fit for our oldest, and so when I sat down to plot out a high school plan, I was actually thinking in terms of the last two years I’ll be teaching him at home.
High School Priorities
In seventh & eighth grade we’ve worked on the skills of independence, not without tears from us both. Experience is often the best teacher, and he’s had the opportunity to have experiences with procrastination, defining “done” for himself, shoddy work, and trying to slide under the radar without doing things. Such things are totally normal, and even though I was expecting them (having done them all myself at his age), I should have been checking up (or checking in more closely) than I sometimes did.
Those experiences have been had and we’ve both learned, but that doesn’t mean we get to check the box and move on as if we won’t have those same problems over again. That’s not how temptation works, is it? No, now we’ve established the rhythms of looking at work, establishing standards, and following through. It’s time to keep it up and not grow weary rather than ease up and think a lesson once learned is learned for good.
That’s not been true in my life, so I can’t expect it would be in anyone else’s.
But my goal and priority for high school is to make that checking in feel more like camaraderie of learning rather than taskmaster checking boxes.
And that means keeping up with his reading myself, something I’ve always wanted to do, but never made the time to do.
When I look at his book stack now, though, I’m jealous, so I have even more motivation to follow along.
Homeschool Plans for High School
Here is his lineup for the year:
- Math: finish MUS Geometry and move into Algebra 2
- Bible: Basic Christian Living by Doug Wilson, plus reading Basic Christianity by Stott, Being Christian by Jim Wilson, and 7 Toxic Ideas Polluting Your Mind by Anthony T. Selvaggio
- History: From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun, History of the American People by Paul Johnson, and The Patriot’s History Reader for primary source historical documents
- Science: The Riot and the Dance by Gordon Wilson, paired with Khan Academy videos
- Literature: early modern lit class reading Pilgrim’s Progress by Bunyan, Emma by Jane Austen, Oliver Twist by Dickens, and Huckleberry Finn by Twain
- Writing & Grammar: persuasive essays using Lost Tools of Writing, grammar review by diagramming Heidelberg Catechism answers.
- Logic: Intermediate Logic (video lessons)
- Language: German, using Living Language, Berlitz, and DuoLingo
- Music: Piano lessons and How to Listen to & Understand Great Music from Great Courses
If push comes to shove and this is too much, then the Great Courses music lectures go (or become free-time listening). I heard about it from Amber Vanderpol, and thought it’d be a nice addition – one he’d enjoy that would add to his appreciation for various piano pieces he’s learning.
As I estimate times and run numbers, I’m guessing this will amount to around 4 hours a day of schoolwork, including Morning Time. So if we get started right at 8 and he is focused, he could be done by lunch some days, but I’m going to be warning him that the 1pm-2pm hour after an hour lunch break is reserved for schoolwork as well.
We are again using Trello for our homeschool checklists because that has been working great for us. Here’s a tour of my 9th grader’s Trello to-do list:
Once a week I’ll be teaching a writing and literature class I’m looking forward to. We’ll be reviewing grammar by diagramming a Heidelberg Q&A, one sentence a week in class and one sentence a week homework (most of them have deep thought expressed in clearly structured sentences). We’ll practice persuasive essays, and I’ll be basing my lessons off Lost Tools of Writing, but not following the program exactly and not using the student workbook. Those essays will be on topics related to our literature discussions. And for literature, we’ll be reading The Pilgrim’s Progress by Bunyan, Emma by Jane Austen, Oliver Twist by Dickens, and Huckleberry Finn by Twain.
For 30-45 minutes, this 8th/9th class will combine with the 6th/7th class and we’ll do Shakespeare (Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet), Plutarch (Cato & Publicola), and Art (using parts of The Story of Painting plus prints and Khan Academy videos).
How to plan your best homeschool year yet.
If you’re getting ready for homeschool planning, or you feel like you’re missing something in your plans, I highly recommend Plan Your Year by Pam Barnhill. When you purchase Plan Your Year, you not only get planning forms, the best step-by-step guide out there, and a Facebook support group, you also get several bonus audio sessions – one of which is an hour conversation Pam and I had on overcoming obstacles in our homeschool days.
P.S. The Plan Your Year Planning Kit comes with several bonus audio sessions, one of which is a conversation Pam and I had about overcoming obstacles in your homeschool days.
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