Thursday, November 21, 2013

What My HIgh Schooler is Doing

Now for my high schooler.    My plans for him are here.   Remarkably, they've hardly altered at all -- at least the basic texts.   This seems to be a consistent thread with all of them this year -- I have only altered my plans slightly!   What's up with that, I wonder?

The main thing I don't think I wrote there is that I have a Guided Reading program for him that to me kind of fills out the sparse places in a textbook-driven curriculum.    Right now he is reading, in addition to the textbooks:

  • That Hideous Strength (the last book in CS Lewis' Space Trilogy -- he's finished the rest)
  • Firepower through Confirmation by Fr Albert Shamon (he was confirmed about 8 years ago so I want him to review what it means)
  • Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?   The start of an economics semester-credit which he needs to graduate in California.   This is more of a middle-school resource, folks, but I have more age-level resources waiting in the wings.  
  • The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry.
I figure out what to give him just based on browsing through my bookshelf where during the summer I put everything I thought might be good reading material for him this year.   

I think there is one more book I m forgetting about.   When he finishes one I add another.  They are basically just books I want him to read for one reason or another -- so there is no super-formal plan.  I can use Guided Reading to supplement a certain subject (as I am doing with Chemistry) or just to bring in another field altogether in an informal way (as with economics in Penny Candy).   It works really well for us.

He breaks his day up into two parts, one where he reads, and one where he works at Henle Latin, Life of Fred, and Apologia Chemistry.   Before I got sick I would tutor him in those subjects in the evening, and then he would do follow-up work by himself the next day.   Now I know I won't be able to focus for a while, so I handed Latin and Math over to him completely, and we've dropped Chemistry for a while, because that was at the very edge of his comprehension zone.  

 THAT'S the one I was forgetting.  I added "Exploring the World of Chemistry" -- a middle school level history of chemistry by John Tiner -- as a kind of placeholder for him to read while I'm off duty.

Oh, I forgot.  Discussion is an important part of the curriculum, so we discuss frequently, not just one book, but a combination of things.   He will apply the Morality book to something in real life or that he watched in a movie, or tell me about an aspect of the Space Trilogy that captured his imagination.  It is not narration precisely but I suppose it is an older cousin of it.   I suppose it is a bit like Mortimer Adler's synoptic reading.   Anyway, it is something I look for in my kids as a sign the homeschool is basically flourishing, so I am glad to see it.

I also made him a weekly checklist.   Before that I was writing them out by hand daily, which was fine, but a little redundant.

The main change I want to make with him is to get him started on a writing program.  He writes stories  and draws on his own but I really want him to make a bit of progress in the progymnasmata before he leaves home.   We worked at it with all three of the older kids, though we never got to the end of the exercises, and they have good memories of it.  It wasn't the core of their writing curriculum, since they all wrote stories and blogs and things, but it was a nice way to teach some concepts you might not pick up just by writing on your own.  

1 comment:

  1. Willa, I would LOVE to reprint this post at If that's something you'd consider, would you email me? ( Thanks for your consideration!


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