Monday, June 22, 2015

Honor - 7th grade

   How on earth did Honor get this big??!? (And isn't he an adorable Ron Weasley doppleganger??)

   7th grade is junior high. 7th grade is not a little kid. More challenge. More expectations.

   Honor's attitude? Bring it on, baby.

   Here's what his curricula will look like for the year.

  • Analytical Grammar, kept fairly light and he'll get wherever he gets by the end of the school year
  • Spelling by Sound and Structure 6 (Rod and Staff), and when he finishes this book he can be done with the subject
  • Composition: big, fat, undecided, though leaning toward Lively Art of Writing for the first semester
  • Literature: homegrown Inspiration of JK Rowling course, using Harry Potter's Bookshelf by Granger as the spine, adding some Figuratively Speaking as it applies (I'll add the actual lit list to the end of this post), and How to Read Literature Like a Professor for Kids by Thomas Foster, adding feather quills with ink pots and parchment paper for some of the writing assignments
  • finish Art of Problem Solving prealgebra - this was written for kids who participate in math competitions. At first it's brain slaughter, but when you get over the culture shock it's fabulous and he thrives.
  • start Art of Problem Solving introductory algebra
  • Alcumus for online AoPS style practice as needed
  • Khan Academy for when he needs a breather, or just needs to see how good he really is
  • Math Olympiad homeschool team (a selective one, so it's only kids who like math and want to be there) - they meet once a week and assign a little bit of homework
  • Harmony Fine Arts free high school schedule - modified
    -dropped the world religions, he'll cover that in high school in the context of world history
    -added some architecture from around the world, drawing, missions, fables/folktales, and a multicultural reader
    -none of the DVDs
  • Guesthollow's chemistry schedule - modified
    -doing as many of the experiments and activities as seem sensible, watching most of the linked videos
    -dropped the more elementary looking books, used the optional biographies or found replacements for them
    -patched in Cartoon Guide to Chemistry (Gonick), Chemistry 101 dvds, portions of Chemistry in the Community textbook (ChemCom by ACS), and parts of a Glencoe chem book
  • once a week labs with this Chemistry Equipment Kit and this Intro Chem Kit
  • added readers like the Itch trilogy (Simon Mayo), The Periodic Kindgom (Atkins), Uncle Tungsten
  • Spanish for Children A (Classical Academic Press)
  • Duolingo app

  • daily Bible reading with a sprinkling of Victor Journey Through the Bible (independent, read and discuss)
  • Training Hearts Teaching Minds by Starr Meade for catechism (as a family)
  • finish the History Lives church history series by Withrow (read a portion and discuss)
  • when History Lives is finished, either Bitesize Theology or Rebels Rescued: A Student's Guide to Reformed Theology

  • Art of Argument (Classical Academic Press) - not adding this until second semester

Here is Honor's booklist for the Inspiration of JK Rowling course. (The teens want to take this course too, but I'll tailor separate lists for each kid taking the course.) He is a strong reader, but there are more books than he's likely to get through on this list. We'll see what we get through. There are ten units, two of the are pretty short, so each unit will average about a month and the two short ones will share a month. There are even more classics than this that we'll watch on DVD instead. You can see the divisions on the rough draft post.
Mysteries and Dickens Orphans
            Mysterious Affair at Styles - Agatha Christie
            Sherlock Holmes - a couple/few shorts
            The Busman's Honeymoon - Dorothy Sayers
            A Child's Machiavelli -Claudia Hart
            David Copperfield - Dickens
Austen Influences
            DVDs for Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Mansfield Park
Boarding School Novel
           Famous Five series - Enid Blyton
            Tom Brown's Schooldays
Gothic Romance
            Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
            Tell-tale Heart - Poe (MhoncaiDad does a wicked read aloud of this one.)
            The Tempest - Leon Garfield retelling
            DVDs for Wuthering Heights and Dracula
Postmodern Epic
           Wizard of Oz
            Flashman Papers - portions
            DVDs for Van Helsing, Twilight (monsters then and now comparisons), Bewitched, Wicked
            Gulliver's Travels retelling by McCaughrean
            Canterbury Tales retelling by McCaughrean
            Plato's Cave Allegory
            Phantom Tollbooth
            Alice in Wonderland
            Cruikshanks cartoons
Everyman Allegory
            The Land of Far Beyond by Blyton (Pilgrim's Progress retelling)
            Phaedrus by Plato
            The Beedle and the Bard
            DVD for Everyman Play, Brothers Karamazov,
            Secret Garden (+ Little Princess on DVD)
            Psammead by Nesbit
            Wanderings of Odysseus
            In Search of a Homeland
            Dante's Divine Comedy as Told for Young People
Alchemical Magic
            Garfield's Shakespeare (just a handful of plays)
            research Red King and White Queen
            research Nicolas Flamel, Hermes Tristmegistos, and others
            research alchemy in general
Secret of the Mirror and the Seeing Eye
            The Little White Horse
            The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis

 **** Mid-year notes added March 2016 ****
  • We actually started with Junior Analytical Grammar to keep it light, and because that's the way the school book deals rolled. He'll get Analytical Grammar season one done before the next grade. That's plenty.
  • Spelling - Man alive did he balk over that book. Spelling isn't his strong suit, but he's not really a bad speller. By December I couldn't take it anymore. I showed him how Spalding spelling worked with the Writing Road to Reading manual and had him get a blank notebook from the school closet. I made him start at the very beginning with two and three letter words, but we didn't do the thirty words a week thing. We aimed to fill one notebook sheet a day, until we reached a point he really needed to camp. This probably gets skipped 1-3 times a week on average, but he's already to list P. I keep a running list of words he didn't do well with and we start with those, then start down the list of words. His application of basic spelling rules has grown exponentially. When he demonstrates mastery of list Z he can drop spelling as a subject, but I'm still fairly tempted to look for a light, independent workbook that would keep him working on word building next year. 
  • Composition - He started the year with a vintage text. We ended up doing homegrown assignments, mostly about airplanes, every 1.5 weeks or so. This worked great, actually. Lately we've been working on Lively Art of Writing, which teaches basic essays and theses. Next week we plan to work some Art of Argument into this block. He's getting into this and doing great.
  • Homegrown Inspiration of J.K. Rowling literature - Win-win!! Hearty two thumbs up. We've had a blast.
Math - Until lately I would have just said oof. This has been his second year of prealgebra. He had a sturdy love/hate relationship with Art of Problem Solving, and while he really liked the challenging MOEMS style problems, he was balking and taking shortcuts on math in general. AoPS prealg was shelved for awhile. We did such a mishmash of work from various sources (well established school closet...) that I started Honor and Grace on Horizons prealg in January, intending to run through it quickly and make sure we didn't leave any glaring holes. Not too long ago I pulled AoPS prealg off the shelf and called Honor over. He did two lessons complete lessons in a row, just using the videos and the exercises, which skipped all the teaching work of the lesson. He was confident and did fabulous. He asked if we could do it again the next day. Another two lessons with videos and exercises only. I had him look closely at the table of contents with me and his confidence soared higher. He knew that he knew he could do the majority of those topics well, and mentioned that the roots and geometry chapters looked great. He could easily finish this book by the end of this school year and run straight into algebra. ♥

Geography - Two thumbs up from the boy. He enjoyed the varied resources and really had fun with this.

Science - Two thumbs up from the boy. I really, really hesitated putting him in this schedule. He is capable of meatier, more mature courses. In the end, I'm glad I did. It was a fabulous success. He absorbed GOBS of chemistry, without having to plug through a large textbook, and his love of the subject is stronger than ever.

Spanish - Perfect fit! Easy peasy lemon squeezy, yet very effective.

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