Tuesday 9.4.12 – Homeschool Year 2012-2013 is Off With a Bang!

Awesome first day, as first days go!

The Teen: Started homeschooling High School! For Bible, he is doing a reading plan through the BibleGateway.com app (NT in a Year). He got baptized in the spring, so I thought staying in the New Testament, initially, would be good for him. That, plus, I wanted him to continue his Biblical Greek class, but at a much slower pace (he was with a group of adults before), and there is a great (free!) program through Mango Languages at our library.

English will be a mix of literature study, critical writing/thinking/analysis (and our World History curricula below includes literature-based study) and also prep for the PSAT/SAT vocabulary portion. I went to a college financial planning workshop last week, and the advice was to score well on the PSAT since it leads to the NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship) track. We had already been prepping for the PSAT for spelling/vocab, but it was nice to have some outside validation!

We signed up for another year of Thinkwell! I love this online video course, but the proof is that my son loves it, too. He reminded me our 8th Grade Math series was about to expire and wanted to know if we would re-enroll for High School. We purchased both Pre-Algebra and Algebra. He started Pre-Algebra today, and in one hour got through three quizzes (83%, 83%, and 100%). Again, validation that I was wise to purchase both and try to accelerate based on his pace, interest and ability. He’s a real STEM guy, like his Dad and so unlike his Mom! I’m so happy we discovered Thinkwell! They have free online sample videos, if you want to check it out. Should you decided to purchase, I also have Thinkwell discount code for 10% off so just contact me through the “Contact Us!” link.

The Teen took the initiative to try to start his own band. He’s been playing guitar for a couple of years now. For Music, he will be looking at tutorial videos as well as learn a bit of music theory.

Back to Mango Languages for French, though this time we upgraded to 2.0, the more comprehensive curriculum.

For World History, we went with Exploring History by the Notgrass Company. It was a very last minute addition, and as the books had not yet arrived, we are doing a mini-unit on the election, since one political party just finished a convention and another has theirs this week. We’re also looking out for media bias in election reporting:

In the 1828 presidential election, candidate Andrew Jackson took advantage of a national media network of partisan newspapers to coordinate his message. After the election, he rewarded political allies with lucrative jobs in government, which became known as the “spoils system.” Elected officials would reward big donors with a government job.

It took me awhile to figure out what curriculum I wanted to use for Biology. As Christians, it was important to find something that affirms our worldview that we are God’s creation. Thus, that really narrowed the pool down. I think we are really leaning toward Apologia. Plus, one of my favorite sites, DonnaYoung.org, has Apologia-correlated material. The kids have an outside Science class so I’m not horribly pressed right now.

The Tween is working on Spanish through Mango Languages, we’re evaluating a History curriculum (both the older kids are really enjoying learning about how our government works), and for now Math is video-less, but that may change. 🙂

My girl continues to excel on her swim team, and really loves it! We’re really proud of her motivation and the accolades she gets from her coaches.

The Youngest is working on his (Brazilian) Portuguese for capoeira, Math, and working on improving his reading. I love that we can adapt our lessons to meet his needs, style of learning, and to accommodate his learning differences!

We have a few time tested favorites, some outside classes the kids love and look forward to. One of them is their Homeschool Choir class. It begins tomorrow. The other is Science, which starts in a couple of weeks. We’re going to start an outside PE class next week, and I anticipate it will become an instant fave!