In case you didn't read the title carefully, these are my homeschool plans for the school year we just completed! You see, I never quite got around to posting our plans last year, but it turns out I reference this annual post quite a bit throughout the year, and I really missed not having an online record of our plans. So I'm backtracking a bit and in the process giving a little recap of our last school year.
Since I'm doing this in hindsight, I could be sneaky and not list the things we intended to do yet didn't get around to actually doing, making the 2014 - 2015 school the first time we've ever completed everything on our list. ; ) But I figure there's no hiding the fact that I'm always overly ambitious when planning our school year.
This past school year I homeschooled Ryne (9th grade), while Anna and Grace attended their 3-day a week classical school. The biggest change to our homeschool was that Ryne started attending Classical Conversations as a Challenge A student. We did supplement the Challenge A curriculum to make it more appropriate for high school level work and to finish up our history cycle. I mentioned before on this blog that I wished that instead of starting high school, Ryne could have an 8th Grade Part II, and it did kind of have that feel. Nevertheless, Ryne certainly put in the hours of a true high school student, and I know that several of his classes were far more challenging than I had in high school. I'm so proud of what he accomplished this year!
Sorry, no links are included because I'm, well, lazy. : )
Memory work from the Heidelberg Catechism and weekly catechism classes at church
Explorer's Bible Study: (Quest Series) Promises Fulfilled -- Luke & Acts
This was our second year using this series. The format works well for him and gives him structure for daily Bible study.
History and Geography
The Story of the World: Volume 4, The Modern Age
Veritas Press history cards
Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of additional reading : )
Challenge A geography
Technically, we're still finishing up the history part. We quickly learned last fall that it was too difficult to keep up with our normal history content while also keeping up with Challenge A material. So we scaled back on history and then hit it super hard on the winter break and when CC finished up in mid-April. It turned out to be a blessing, because Grace was able to join us when she finished school in May and we've really enjoyed studying World War II together this summer. We should finish up modern history before the new school year starts.
Additionally, Ryne spent many hours each week working on his Challenge A geography assignments and he did great. By the end of the year he was able to draw and label the entire world from memory, and he learned 150 geographical terms. This has always been my biggest pull to Classical Conversations, and it was so worth it.
I've debated on how to list this on a transcript, but I'm leaning towards Modern History and Geography. Thoughts? : )
Apologia General Science
Challenge A assignments (1st semester -- weekly science presentations, 2nd semester -- drawing, labeling, and memorizing nine body systems)
This is the main area that I think really needs to be supplemented if giving high school credit for Challenge A. Like the history, Ryne worked on the Apologia book lightly during the CC weeks but hit it hard during the winter break and when CC was done for the year. For public school students in our state, high school credit is generally not given for general science, so I'm planning on Ryne completing at least 3 more science credits, even though he did a tremendous amount of work this year.
Math and Logic
These pictures are actually from spring of 2014, but I never shared them! Ryne came with me to the local homeschool convention to meet the man who has taught him math since 1st grade. Mr. Demme is a big guy (who happens to wear crazy socks) and was impressed that Ryne was catching up to him in shoe size. : ) By the way, Ryne is now officially six feet tall!
Math U See Pre-Algebra
We continue to be big fans of this program and plan to stay with it throughout high school. Like general science, my understanding is that high school credit is not generally awarded for pre-algebra. I, however, am thrilled at Ryne's progress. I have no idea what public schools do for other kids with autism when awarding credit, but even if we just get through Algebra II, he will have 3 solid math credits.
Challenge A weekly rhetoric assignments (Fallacy Detective and It Couldn't Just Happen)
I flip-flopped on what subject to include these assignments in, but finally settled on math. The assignments are kind of an introduction to logic, which is taught in Challenge B, and logic is closely related to math, so that's where they ended up. : )
Lost Tools of Writing and Challenge A literature selections
In Challenge A, the students read a new book every three weeks and write a persuasive essay for each three week period. This was probably our second biggest success of the year -- I finally had the accountability and structure I needed to teach writing and Ryne really took to the format and made great progress in his writing.
Analytical Grammar, Season 3
This was our big fail for the year; not because of the materials, but because of us. We had a little disconnect in the first few lessons and we just got so behind that we ended up ignoring it all year. Since Season 3 covers punctuation, we really need to complete it, so I guess we'll try again next year.
I hated to give up our beloved Latin for Children since we still had Level C to do (and I already had the materials). The first few weeks of Challenge A latin were so easy for Ryne that I decided try LFC, Level C at the same time so he would still be learning something. That lasted about a month, then things really picked up with his Challenge A assignments and we couldn't keep up with both programs. The Henle assignments were long -- Ryne probably spent the most time on this subject, yet probably learned the least since LFC had already taught him so much. No doubt, the amount of work done in this class is sufficient for high school credit. If a student comes in not knowing any Latin, they will learn a tremendous amount of material.
Kid Coder Series
Ryne LOVED the previous year where he completed two books of the Kid Coder series, so we really wanted to continue with it. Unfortunately, due to an already heavy workload, all 3 of our computers having issues, and bunch of just-plain-life, we were not able to add this in.
At least two musical events, such as the symphony or a musical -- a BHA tradition!
That's what I say every year in my curriculum post, but this was the first year that we didn't do anything, unless you count attending Grace's ballet performance, Anna's school play, or just listening to classical music in the car (Ryne still loves his Beethoven's 9th). So sad about this, but it makes me especially glad I prioritized it in our earlier years of homeschooling.
Cross Country and Track
Not only does Ryne run a lot, but he is privileged to be part of two extraordinary teams. Being surrounded by Christ-following coaches, parents, and athletes is such a blessing!
There you have it, our "plan" for the previous school year -- ha! Up next: "for-real" plans for 2015 - 2016!