Figuring it out

14 Jan

curriculum_000This has been a rough school year for us as far as homeschooling goes.

We started off rocky, using curriculum that I didn’t feel was a good match for Andy and with little oversight for Ashley.  We changed up some things 4-6 weeks in to our school year.   I thought things were going better.  Then I found out they weren’t. I did some more research and changed things up again.  Shortly before the holidays, I found out that Andy still wasn’t where he should have been in his schooling for multiple reasons.  So we changed things up yet again.

{Have you figured out yet why my one word for this year is WAIT?  LOL}

Sometimes I wonder if I’d left the curriculum alone and just given it more time it would have worked out.  Sometimes I tell myself that this is a foolish thought and I need to trust my instincts when it comes to my kids.  Sometimes, in the darkest of my frustrated times, I think that it would be simpler just to put them in school and be done with it.  But I know with all my heart and soul that public school and GEDs aren’t the answer for either of them.  They wouldn’t get what we can offer through homeschooling, and I’d only be trading in one type of frustration for another.  I know all my frustrations will bear fruit in time; I just have to wait until that time arrives.

Where did all those changes lead us?  To something that I think is actually workable, amazingly enough.

Andy’s schedule is in Outlook.  As much as I prefer paper, Outlook gives us greater flexibility to rearrange assignments, edit assigned reading based on what comes in at the library, and include all the related information and instructions in each daily assignment.  Right now we’re focusing on science, and will start world history/geography in a couple of months.

Outlook screenshot

He has binders or workbooks for each subject, and uses a variety of physical and online textbooks.  We are using a 4-colored file folder system for assignments that need grading.  Time will tell how well it’s going to work for us.

  • Yellow – loose-leaf assignments and tests
  • Red – assignments ready for grading
  • Purple – graded assignments to be logged in my grade book
  • Green – assignments to be filed in binders

Our final curriculum list for 9th grade:

  • Algebra 1 – Life of Fred Beginning Algebra & Companion book
  • Earth Science – using an online text
  • World History – we’ll be using BJU’s World History 10
  • World Geography – Rand McNally Answer Atlas and a daily skills workbook
  • Spanish 1 – online through LiveMocha
  • Music Theory – online with Breezin’ Thru Theory
  • English – BJU’s Writing & Grammar 8, Writing With Skill – Lvl 1, and assigned reading w/ discussion
  • total credits 6.5

His reading assignments vary based on what he wants to read and what I think he needs to read.  I’m trying to break him out of his comfort zone and will have him choosing works from different genres starting later this spring.

Ashley’s schedule is very much built for her.  Since she has a part-time job, I’ve asked her to set weekly goals for how much schoolwork she’s going to get completed and then we’ll discuss her work over the weekend. Due to the circumstances beyond much of her control, she didn’t have as many credits as she should have and is having to do a lot of extra work to catch up. We’ve talked it over though, and this is what she wants to do. Having her high school diploma, and not a general GED, is very important to her, even if takes her a couple of years.

After reviewing her transcripts from her earlier schools, we decided to call this her junior year knowing she has to make up the couple extra credits from what should have been sophomore year. If she completes everything, she’ll be on track as a full senior later this year.

Our final curriculum list for 11th grade:

  • Algebra 1 – Life of Fred Beginning Algebra & Companion book
  • Biology – online text
  • World History – BJU’s World History 10
  • English – British literature: Beowolf, Canterbury Tales, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Macbeth, The Time Machine, Paradise Lost, Pride and Prejudice, Frankenstein
  • Government – Exploring Government by Notgrass
  • Economics – using a homegrown living book/video approach
  • Child Development
  • total credits 6

Both kids will move on to Algebra 2 using the Life of Fred Advanced Algebra books as soon as they finish their current texts.  We also school year round with short breaks for the holidays, in the summer, and between textbooks.

The calendar says we have officially been homeschooling for 51 weeks, and I’m just starting to feel like I’m getting better at figuring this monster out.

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Posted by on January 14, 2013 in Homeschooling


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