As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
This. This is what happens when you allow your just-turned-4-year-old to start kindergarten. You blink twice, she turns 15, and her Junior Year is beginning!
For the past few years, I’ve tried to encourage Gracie to let me include a gap year in her schooling, but she’s always resisted. Considering that, after this year, she’ll be only 1-2 credits short of being able to graduate, I’m guessing she’s right and it’s not really necessary. (Not for her, anyway!) Lucky for me, she’s a major over-achiever, so her Senior Year will be just as full as this one (I’m sure).
So, now that I’m done babbling about how quickly my baby girl is growing up, here are our curriculum choices for this school year:
I have to admit that it was hard to come up with something for Bible this year that would top last year’s choice. We used Apologia’s curriculum that accompanies the book I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. Gracie said that, out of all her subjects last year, that one was the most practical and she felt she got the most out of it. How can you top that?!
I had The Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Study: A Survey of the Bible by Starr Meade in my “reserves” from my years of running a product review team. I pulled that out, we looked it over together, and felt it might be a good course of study for this year. Now that she knows how to defend her faith, she can dig a little deeper into the Bible doing this in-depth study. It’s a series of 4 student books and 1 parent book/answer key. It covers both the Old and New Testaments in one year of study.
Gracie’s been starting to think about her future and what she might want to do with her life. Of course, we’d love to see her utilizing her musical talents in some way; but, the realist in her wants some sort of career to fall back on, just in case. She’s leaning toward Accounting at this time.
So, with that in mind, I decided that we’d take this year to work through Consumer Math. (I feel that it’s important for every child to study this course, though many high schools don’t include anything like it in their curriculum line-up anymore.) I knew it would be a no-brainer for her (she’s always been very good with math); but I felt it would be a good lead-in to taking an accounting class next year. Anyway, I pulled out all of our Consumer Math stuff from Abeka (and only had to purchase the test book). Ashley had used this course in her Junior year as well.
Of course, as Gracie and I were sitting down last week to get really serious about her schedule, we got to thinking that maybe it wouldn’t hurt her to take Algebra II (I want her to be well-prepared for college entrance exams). She was all for it! (Like I said, over achiever!) Anyway, I asked if she’d want to go back to Thinkwell, but she really enjoyed doing the PACE’s for Geometry last year and asked that we go that route again this year (I think that, like me, she may have some control issues!) Anyway, we ordered from Accelerated Christian Education.
With science, I have tended to keep Gracie more on age level as opposed to grade level. So, for this year, we’re doing Apologia’s Biology. Holding her back a bit in science has proven a good thing, as she’s right on target for the releases of Apologia’s accompanying Student Notebooks (she used the one for Physical Science in 9th grade and really enjoyed it). I love the Student Notebooks because they allow the kids to keep all their notes together in one handy place, and they make a great keepsake.
We are also using the Video Instruction DVD this year (for the first time). My sweet friend Sherri is the lovely face and voice behind these DVD’s, so I was so excited to add this to our curriculum line-up this year. (I will be posting a review in a few weeks/months.)
Oh, and because Gracie wanted this to be counted as a lab course, we ordered the lab kit the other day as well. (I may have to call on my 5th grade teacher to come help with those dissections!)
Over the years, we’ve dabbled in Latin and Greek. In fact, we even attempted Vietnamese for a short time. But, when it came down to actually settle on a language for high school credit, our choice was pretty obvious. We went with the same “foreign language” choice that Ashley used – American Sign Language! We’re utilizing the course at lifeprint.com (American Sign Language University). It came recommended by my friend Renee, who also offered to help Gracie out with this course!
History, Literature, Writing, Music, etc.
Gracie really wanted to steer away from typical curriculum for the next few years and base some areas of our schooling around MUSICALS. I did some research and didn’t really come up with anything; so we’re putting together our own study. If you have already been following along, I’ve been blogging about our “journey” and the resources that we’re using. We’re sharing under the hashtag #2yrmusicaljourney. At the end, we hope to compile it all into a curriculum that will be available to other homeschoolers who might have an interest in this area.
We’re using Mystery of History for our history spine (picking and choosing American lessons from volumes 3 & 4).
We’ve come up with a well-rounded list of American Literature and Classics that she’ll be reading throughout the year. Writing assignments will be based on these great works as well.
And we’ll be watching, listening to, and attending as many musicals as we can possibly squeeze in (based on our schedule and finances). We’ll use these musicals as a starting point for studying composers, musical styles, etc.
I signed Gracie up for an SAT Essay Writing Course through SoVerbose.
We’ve also got some other SAT prep stuff here that I’m sure she’ll be utilizing.
She’ll continue to take both piano and violin lessons. No orchestra this year, but she’s participating in musical events through the local high school; so she’s keeping very busy musically.
And she continues to work a part-time job from home, so we’re calling that Occupational Education (thanks to my friend Lee, the HomeScholar, for the advice).
We again purchased our planner from Target, but went with a Mead Five-Star version this year. It’s similar in style to the planner she used last year. It’s efficient and useful for a monthly plan, as well as individual daily plans.
My favorite record-keeping tool continues to be My Home School Grades. This tool just keeps getting better!