Thursday, September 05, 2013

School Year 2013-2014: Riley, 9th grade

Riley's first year of high school! It's so hard to believe! When I started this blog back in January 2005, Riley was a Kindergartener! It's amazing how quickly time flies by.

You already know that Riley is going to a homeschool co-op sort of place for Biology and Graphic Art this year. I say "sort of place" because we do have to pay for the classes, but at the same time we have to volunteer a certain amount of times per session - so it's not a co-op in the strictest sense of the term. Biology uses the Apologia textbook and her Graphic Art class is designed by the teacher, who is a professional artist.

For math, we are starting over with Algebra 1. She is using Elementary Mathematics by Harold Jacobs, and I really like it. She likes it better than Math U See, and anything that gets her to like math better is a good thing in my book. She wasn't thrilled about starting over at the beginning, but she'll be OK.

For Latin, we are continuing with Henle Latin 1. This has been really slow going and I'm not overly thrilled with it. She isn't, either, and she wants to do First Form Latin with Reece. However, we have to think about high school credits here (I'd like her to have 3 credits of Latin by the time she graduates - Latin 1 over 9th/10th, Latin 2 in 11th, and Latin 3 in 12th) and First Form/Second Form do not cover the amount of material that would make up a high school Latin 1 course. She also decided to add Greek into her schedule this year, finally. Since I see Greek as an 'extra' she is using the Elementary Greek, Level 1 program. There are 3 level to this program and when she finishes all 3, I plan to give her a half or whole credit for the entire series. I'll have to check the website for the curriculum to see what they suggest is appropriate.

Her English credit this year will consist of a number of components. The biggest component is Introduction to Literary Analysis using two programs from the Institute for Excellence in Writing: Teaching the Classics and Windows to the World. I am using a set of lesson plans that combines these two resources and adds in a few novels and a Shakespeare play for an entire year's curriculum. She will be reviewing grammar using the Analytical Grammar review books. I purchased Spelling Wisdom, Level 4, to use with her but we haven't figured out how to get it into the schedule yet. The literary analysis curriculum includes writing so we don't have a separate curriculum for that. She is also reading some poetry this year and I will include that in her English credit.

For a Health and Physical Education credit, we are using a textbook called Total Health. I used this with Austin and he enjoyed it. It's very straightforward - read the chapter, answer the questions, get the credit! For PE, I am planning to count her jazz, tap, and modern classes for the year into a half credit of PE. I am unsure if I will have ballet be its own credit or not - she takes 4.5 hours a week so it could count if I want it to. This is one of those areas where I'm unsure if it should go on the transcript or on the resume as an extra-curricular activity.

History gets a little more complicated when it comes to assigning credits. In the end of high school, she will have 1 World History, 1 American History, 1/2 Government, 1/2 Economics, and then an elective (right now I'm leaning towards History of Dance). However, we have always studied history chronologically and incorporate American History as we go. I have used books with Austin and she has read them as well, so technically she could have her American and World History credits complete by the end of next year. The World History text is high school level and the American History text is college level, so I don't think there is a problem in assigning her credit for reading and narrating the material. That would leave her available to do Econ and Government in her Junior year and Dance History in her senior year. Austin has been doing Econ and Government in bits and pieces since his freshman year but Riley has not. I also incorporate Biographies into history so those book will be included in the credits as well.

So she has a busy schedule, but it's not overwhelming, I don't think. She does struggle with attention, which I take responsibility for. In the years when I should have been training her in the habit of attention, I was busy with her siblings. There is nothing I can do about that except pray that it's not too late to develop this habit. In fact, I am sitting at the kitchen table with her now and she's been working on Algebra and History - trying to help her stay focused. She asked me to do this. She knows that this year is important and I know she wants to do better. Attention is a challenge for a child who is so creative!

Tomorrow I will post about Austin's busy year!

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