Monday, March 28, 2011

Charlotte Mason for High School?

Can anyone tell me which volume would give me the most pertinent information about the high school years (or equivalent in CM's time/place)? I am really trying to keep my CM goals in mind while I am thinking about high school - it's so easy to stray, but I'm really trying to continue to follow the philosophy that has served us so well. But I need to know what to read to figure out what the underlying principles that will be guiding us.


The Glasers said...

Many CMers are trying Jacob's algebra/geometry. I like how he explains math. He takes many chapters to work up to x's and y's and has students draw empty boxes for x and circles for the constant (5 would be five circles). He slowly develops the rules of algebra in a way that is concrete and well-reasoned. Personally, I was not impressed with MUS.

As you know lots are turning to Apologia, but CLUSA is trying a textbook free version of science. I really can't say more than that right now. We are shooting for June 2012!

Everything else is really about picking books and cycling through history with them. There's a bit more focus on grammar and writing but more in a "tutor" fashion where you work on what the student needs, not Chapter 10 of the grammar book whether or not they already know it. For essays, you would read a lot of essays before writing any. The research paper can wait until 11th or 12th grade.

If you haven't been doing Shakespeare and Plutarch, it might be time to try it in small chunks. We are finding that watching the BBC version (one scene) and then reading it aloud together works well.

AO's outline is VERY rigorous. David didn't get passed Year 9 and yet has been on the honor roll since his transition to public school. He was the only person in his class to get an A in history and had the highest score on the SC history exam in his school.

If you use AO for high school, don't be afraid to cut or substitute books. It was lot to take on.

Also, at the CLUSA conference, we are doing an morning of immersion. For two hours, attendees will pick a speaker and join them for what classes would look like. I'm doing special needs, of course. But, I'm sure someone will be covering high school. If you want, I'll ask.

How many years have you been doing CM? I forget!

Niffercoo said...

Tammy, this is our 4th year of CM, but really the first two years were during the beginning of RDI so it was mostly a blur.

I have always had my mind set on Jacob's for Riley, but have heard it's quite "wordy". For someone who struggles with language processing, do you think he would be able to handle it?

There is a "non-textbook" science plan in the Well-Trained mind that I'm considering, but if I want him to take labs, all the classes around here use Apologia.

WTM also lists history selections but the first two years recommendations are written by Susan Wise Bauer herself, and after using her books for elem/middle school history, I would like some different perspective. Churchill (on AO) sounds fascinating, but I've heard it's very hard.

We have been doing Shakespeare, but only Children's versions followed by DVD. We started Plutarch's Lives for Boys and Girls but even that was pretty hard, so I dropped it. Too many kids to teach and not enough of me to go around to add in something like that. :(

The Glasers said...

Jacob's is wordy but here is the thing. If we teach math as a series of formulas and procedures, it is like teaching discrete social skills. I like how Jacob's gradually unfolds algebraic thinking in a way that makes sense. Another thing I like is that it focuses on essentials in an interesting way and it does not have all the "buzz" current math textbooks have. Because state standards are unreal, textbooks today are now unreal. Even something wonderful like Singapore and RightStart have too much too soon because they are trying to comply with CA standards. There are some articles I can send you that explain the situation our culture is in with math.

Do you have a link to the WTM science plan? I'd like to see it. :-) One thing I have learned about labs, try to focus on the reading and extract ideas from that. For that reason, Pamela and I are doing two hands-on things for science right now: building a telegraph (and we will do some water experiments with it) and growing wisteria seeds--flowed out of our nature study.

You definitely don't want just one voice for history. Churchill is hard, but worthwhile. History is the pivot so one way to think through it would be to think about what Austin has covered. You have four years of high school, so you would break world history up into four modules chronologically. Or, you could start with the fall of the Roman Empire and break that up into four years to have a Western Civ thread. You would break up U.S. history into four years. And do the same for ancient history. Once you have a history cycle set up, other books will flow into that. You want some set in the period but others related to the ideas of the period.

IKWM about Shakespeare and Plutarch. We are reading the real deal for Shakespeare and are reading a children's version for Plutarch. I decided to do Julius Caesar since Pamela likes him and both fall under Shakespeare and Plutarch.

I have a friend raving about The Story of US put on by the history channel. I've looked at the book and what I saw was well-written as story and doesn't try to give you ever blasted detail but gives you the big ideas of the times. The only thing I don't like is the over PC influence.

Kellie said...

I can't help you with your original question (haven't finished all the CM volumes), but I thought I'd mention that Harmony Art Mom has lots of info about using CM in high school.
Scroll down to almost the bottom of her sidebar and you'll find lots of links.

Niffercoo said...

Kellie, that blog is awesome! I never would have thought to look there because I assumed it was about Art! She has a wealth of information about high school the CM way! This is excellent! Thank you for sharing!