Tuesday, September 6, 2016

2016 - 2017 Curricular Plans

 photo 2016 BHA_edited-1_1.jpg

Welcome to any new visitors! I'm not a very good blogger, but for some reason the fall curriculum posts always bring me out of my hibernation. I guess I'm just a sucker for new books and school supplies! And if you are one of the faithful friends who've put up with my on-and-off-again updates, I apologize -- especially if some of today's news takes you by surprise.


This year I'll be homeschooling my 17 year-old son who was diagnosed with autism at age 2. He has been homeschooled since the middle of 1st grade. Although he's starting 11th grade this year, his skills vary. He's made great strides the last few years in the Classical Conversations program, and this year he is in Challenge II. For the last three years he's been my only homeschool student.

His two sisters (18-years and 13-years) have attended a classical Christian school three days a week, although they were both previously homeschooled. The oldest has now graduated and is off at college studying architecture. I'm not sure how that's possible since it was just a few years ago we used her handprint on the mug in the above picture. I digress....

The 2015-2016 school year was very stressful as we dealt with the death of my father, health issues for my oldest daughter, and the whole college search process. I was pulled in way too many directions and decided that this year I needed to simplify and narrow my focus, so we have decided to keep our youngest at home this year. The tentative plan is for her to return to the classical school in a year or so. For now, however, we're enjoying having her home full time again. She is in 8th grade. She is not part of Classical Conversations.

THE PLAN: RYNE (11th Grade, Classical Conversations Challenge II)

* Indicates particular to Blue House Academy, not the Challenge II curriculum


Ryne and Grace finished their four years of catechism training at our church and are now confirmed members of the church. I've always counted catechism class as part of our homeschool studies in addition to doing Bible study at home. This year I'm switching things up. My oldest had four years of world view classes in high school (1st year -- Intro to World View, 2nd year -- Homiletics, 3rd year -- Doctrine, 4th year -- Apologetics). I'm pulling from those courses and some other sources to put together a two-year world view course. I'm still figuring out the details, but here is the reading list so far.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Stevenson (goes with the next book)
The Deadliest Monster, Baldwin
Universe Next Door, Sire
Answers for Difficult Days, Quine
Mere Christianity, Lewis
Biblical Worldview, Bob Jones Press

British Literature and Composition

The Challenge II reading list is exciting and, um, challenging!

Selected Canterbury Tales, Chaucer
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Weston
Paradise Lost, Milton
The Pilgrim's Progress, Bunyan
A Modest Proposal, Swift
Pride and Prejudice, Austen
A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens
Jane Eyre, Bronte
Animal Farm, Orwell
A Passage to India, Forster
Something Beautiful for God, Muggeridge
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Carroll
Robinson Crusoe, DeFoe
Favorite Father Brown Stories, Chesterton
A Morbid Taste for Bones, Peters
Out of the Silent Planet, Lewis
The Hobbit, Tolkien
The Screwtape Letters, Lewis

We are also reviewing some grammar using Rod and Staff's English 8 textbook (not part of the Challenge II curriculum, just something the three of us do together for about 10 minutes a day).


We've been using Math U See for 9 years now, so it's no surprise we're sticking with it to the end! We are trying something new this year -- time will tell if we're being brave or foolish. We're tackling both Geometry and Algebra II. We're only a few weeks in, but so far we're managing. (Note: CC recommends Saxon Algebra 2 for Challenge II, which includes some geometry.)


Apologia's Exploring Creation with Biology

Western Cultural History

The Annotated Mona Lisa
State of the Arts
The Gift of Music
Classical Music for Dummies
How Then Shall We Live?

* At least two musical events, such as the symphony or a musical -- a BHA tradition! Last year he attended a full-screening of "Star Trek (2009)" with the score performed by our local symphony, a Piano Guys concert, and the symphony's season finale of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony ("Ode to Joy"). It was one of our best cultural years yet!


Traditional Logic I
The Elements of Style


Henle Second Year Latin

I'm not a big fan of Henle Latin. Last year we tried to switch to Latin Alive 2, but fell behind on it because of all that was going on in our lives. I ended up not giving Ryne any high school credit for Latin last year, so this year we're just going to stick with what they're doing in Challenge II. A big motivation for me to join CC was the accountability, so last year's Latin fail was confirmation I really do need it.

[Updated: October 2016] Latin Alive 2

Yep, I lasted less than a month with Henle. It's overly tedious, the answer key stinks (I even bought a different answer key this year because it was supposed to be better than the original but I still hated it), and the subject material gets old (Gauls vs. Romans, Romans vs. Gauls, and some religious themes we're not comfortable with). Therefore, we're headed back to Latin Alive, from the same publisher as our elementary Latin curriculum (Latin for Children). Wish we could have just stuck with that all the way through!


CNN Student News -- 10 minutes of daily current events (Ryne's favorite part of the day!)


Cross Country/Track

THE PLAN: GRACE (8th Grade)


For Grace, I thought a natural progression after catechism/confirmation would be to focus on spiritual discipline and growth.

A Believer's Guide to Spiritual Fitness, Ruvolo
The Practice of Godliness, Bridges
Greater Than Gold, Boudia
Prayers of the Bible, Hunt
Desiring God, Piper

Grace's classmates from school will be spending the year studying church history, but she's had plenty of church history in our previous homeschooling and her catechism class, so we will just do some review in the spring using The Church in History (Kuiper).


Since the plan is to return to her school, we chose literature selections they will be using, plus a few I added on my own. The school uses Lost Tools of Writing, just like Ryne did in his earlier years of Challenge, so I'm adapting the Challenge writing schedule to fit the books we chose for Grace. One of my biggest failures in mothering is that I never finished The Little House on the Prairie books to her, so those are also added in (yes, I will read those to her, but the others she will read on her own). In the second semester, we will switch to short stories and poetry.

Lost Tools of Writing
Rod & Staff English 8 (together)
Vocabulary From the English Roots Up, Level B
Poetry for Beginners
Words Aptly Spoken: Short Stories

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Stevenson
To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee
The Pearl, Steinbeck
Out of the Silent Planet, Lewis
Mortal Engines, Reeve
The Giver, Lowry
The Count of Monte Cristo, Dumas
The Hiding Place, ten Boom
Little Town on the Prairie, Wilder
These Happy Golden Years, Wilder
The First Four Years, Wilder


Like I said earlier, we're either brave or crazy, but Grace is doubling up on math too. At least with geometry they are able to watch the videos together and we grade papers together. Doubling up was her request and we have no obligation to finish geometry if the workload gets too heavy.

Math U See Algebra I
Math U See Geometry 


Apologia's Physical Science


Introductory Logic
Intermediate Logic
Fallacy Detective


Grace took geography at school last year, but she really wished she could learn to map the world like the Challenge A students in CC do, so instead of a history course she will be mapping the world this year.

Foreign Language

Henle Second Year Latin

She would have been in her last year of Latin at her school, so I'm having her do Latin with Ryne. Having it all the same will hopefully make it easier to manage.

Bob Jones French I

This was her main motivation for homeschooling this year -- being able to take French. She will be starting an online class next week.


CNN Student News




Sorry, nothing is linked in my post. If you have any questions about books or materials or anything else, just let me know.

Happy Homeschooling!!!