Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Home Schooling High School - 9th Grade

We are well into our school year, ticking off day 100 this week. I thought I would take some time to lay out what home schooling high school looks like for us.

We school Tuesday - Saturday because that is what works best for our schedules.  I work full time, three days in the office and two days at home, (which helps tremendously). My husband works 3 days a week - so between the two of us, there is an adult at home to facilitate school to our 14 year old boy.

I do all the tracking and planning. I seek my sons' input where I can to make sure he has a voice in his education. I approached this year with an overall concept for each subject, and plan out lessons 4 weeks at a time. This allows for adjusting things that aren't working and researching new ideas to keep things interesting and our reluctant student engaged.

These are 10 minute, pain free grammar lessons. Each day is a review of capitalization, punctuation, grammar use, etc. It is simple and straight-forward. 

Reports created for other subjects are duel purpose and count towards English as well. 

I set a goal of reading 10 books of his choice during the school year. So far he has read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Howls Moving Castle, and he is mid-way through Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. He doesn't love reading as much as I would like him to, and I doubt he will complete 10 books, but it's nice to have a number to work towards.

Last year we  used Mathability-Math in the Real World in conjunction with Khan Academy. The workbook was fine, but my son couldn't stay engaged with the lectures offered on Khan.  
So far, Teaching Textbooks has been our most successful option to date. I am normally hovering around during the math lesson to assist in providing further explanation and make sure my son is understanding the concept being taught. 

This is a DVD lecture course with downloadable PDF coursebook and accreditation booklet. This is a very basic overview of biology. We replaced some of the suggested course work with our own content to provide a broader view and more in depth study of some areas. 

We use  Amazon Prime videos a lot for this course: The Secret Life of Plants, Wild America, Wonders of God's Creation - Human Life, etc.

We have also utilized online resources to dissect a frog, study anatomygenetics, etc.

We are focusing on World Geography this year. This has been the most fun to plan. We used this book, assigning correlating art projects using Geography Through Art and other activities based on the country of study. The text covers topics including population, political landscapes, climate, and regions of conflict.

Other resources for World Geography: Try the World, YouTube: A day in the life of...., Instagram hashtags for specific landmarks, regions, and countries, travel podcasts, Foodbycountry.com, and Amazon Prime travel videos. 

This book utilizes various mediums such as modeling clay, pastels, and water colors. I did give my son a choice in some cases where he could substitute a drawing by making a micro build with Lego or using MineCraft to "build" the assignment. 

Physical Education:
My son is a brown belt in karate and attends class 1-2 nights per week. He snowboards in the winter and we kayak and hike a lot during warmer months. He is also completing a 2 week study on physical health and nutrition.  

In addition to the above, our community church has a "teen night" the first friday of each month. These events normally have about 20 teens in attendance. They eat dinner together and have themed relay races and challenges. My son is also part of the youth group. They have a strong focus on community. He has been able to participate in visiting elderly patients in rehab facilities, serve meals to the homeless, and raise money to support different humanitarian outreaches. 

The best part about home schooling through high school is being able to learn side-by-side with your teen. The hardest part is keeping yourself from comparing your schooling methods to the traditional schools. In the end, I don't want my son to learn just to pass a test. I want him to discover what motivates him and where his passions lie so he can apply that to his adult life. 

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