Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Raising the Bar

   Joy likes to shake things up and color outside of the lines in general. Her next trick? Going after an AP exam in ninth grade. While hunting for high school American resources to use this fall we came across the FundaFunda course plans ~ http://fundafunda.com/blog/in-depth-us-history-course-for-high-schoolers.html ~ We had already decided to use the Johnson book, and that lecture course, and the Leowen book was already on our shelf. The DVD list got her attention, and the more she thought about the AP challenge the more she thoroughly liked the idea.

   The first thing we did was pull the Critical Thinking series, and replace it with parts of the American Republic (BJU) textbook Joy had already chosen. Then we added Mammoth Book of Eyewitness America for more original source documents. We'll do as many of the DVD's as we can, and the AP prep book. ***Mid-year update: Strike this. Reverse it! American Republic stayed on the shelf and we really like the Critical Thinking books. She's pretty much doing the Fundafunda schedule as written, with literature and geography written into it.***

   After that we poured over the Great Books American lists and decided which ones she'd read. She wants to work through Trail Guide to U.S. Geography too. We're leaning toward doing that as a summer intensive instead of adding to that sturdy workload.

   The rest of her subjects are more average, and I'll make sure they stay that way. Assuming all goes well I can easily see her going for multiple APs in tenth. I'll take a guess now.... Human Geography and World History.

   Here's her ninth grade curricula plans.

  • English: American Literature (about 20 novels, 22 short stories, and 6 poets), Cover Story writing. NaNoWriMo, and essay practice in history
  • Math: Discovering Geometry by Michael Serra, videos from Khan Academy and Alcumus as needed/wanted  ***Foerster dragged over into 9th, and she did both books simultaneously until Foerster was finished.***
  • Science: Understanding Physics by David Cassidy (maybe Physics 101 too when it comes out this fall) ***She loves this book!! The publisher adamantly refuses to sell the instructor materials to homeschoolers. I've been using other texts with solutions manuals to make quizzes.***
  • History: History of the United States from Great Courses (84 lectures), History of the American People by Paul Johnson, and American Republic as the main spines all four volumes of Critical Thinking's US history, and Eyewitness America, several DVDs, Cracking the U.S. History Exam, and Trail Guide to U.S. Geography mingled with Barefoot Meandering's U.S. geography
  • Language: Latin Alive 2 and 3 (parts of both due to year-round wonkiness) Her stride slowed down. She'll just use 2.
  • Art Appreciation: Sister Wendy's Story of Painting book and VHS set, American Collection book and DVD set
  • Religion: Bible, For You They Signed (Marilyn Boyer), Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis), More Than a Carpentar (Josh McDowell), Cold-case Christianity (J. Warner Wallace), Jesus Shock (Peter Kreeft)
  • Extracurricular: American Heritage Girls ("Finally high enough to start working on the Stars and Stripes!"), swim team, and WWII era dance ***joining a Boy Scout Venturing crew this spring, for the big girl high adventure activities she's not getting in our mostly younger girls AHG troop***

Monday, April 28, 2014

March and April

   I've been trying to upload a photobomb catch-up, but my app keeps freezing up. Looks like I'll have to quit taking the easy way and spell it. Ha!

   We had two dance shows. One for a snowbird park and one for a WWII group. So much richness is added to my children's lives by entertaining these veterans and learning from them. It's amazing.

  We were blessed to be able to share in a wedding! Faith, Grace, and Joy were flower girls. Justice and Honor were ushers. It was beautiful!

   SilverDad was in a Last Supper drama as Judas Iscariot. That was fun!

   There were a few field trips in there. An arboretum trip, an indoor jump park, and a riparian preserve. We're going back to the riparian preserve before it's too hot to enjoy it.

   Swim team is going great. Justice and Joy have been bumped up a level, and Honor is the fastest in his level.

   Scouts continue to help stretch my children in amazing ways.

   Homeschooling has really hit a stride lately. Some subjects are going to start wrapping up for the summer, some will go all summer, and some will be changed. Nearly all of next year's curricula has been bought, and I've started preparing a few things, like the little girls' geography and Joy's history syllabus. It's going to be a great year. :)